Posts Tagged ‘Sol Stern’

29th January
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, January 29, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Quite a debate among advocates of school choice has been ignited by Sol Stern’s article on school choice in the current number of City Journal.

Mr. Stern is a longtime advocate of school choice, whose book “Breaking Free: Public School Lessons and the Imperative of School Choice” is a bible to many in the voucher movement.

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18th January
2008

First Published in The New York Sun, January 18, 2008

By Andrew Wolf

Nothing will grab a headline faster than rating schools with a letter grade. We saw it here in New York City when the Department of Education recently assigned grades to all of its schools. Last week, the national trade newspaper, Education Week, released its “grades” for each of the 50 states. Astoundingly, on the top of the list with a composite total grade of “B” in this “Quality Counts” evaluation, is the State of New York.

A closer examination of these results clarified the situation. Education Week used a weighted average of six components to arrive at their final grade. Only one of these components has to do with academic results, the one labeled “K-12 Achievement.” The rest of the components basically fall into the category of evaluating state education policy for good intentions, measured by such things as how much money is spent on their schools, and whether it is spent in an “equitable” way.

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21st September
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, September 21, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

It hasn’t escaped the notice of the city’s politicians that in less than two years, unless mayoral control of the public schools is affirmatively ratified by the state legislature, the old Board of Education will rise like a phoenix from the ashes, along with the much-maligned 32 community school boards.

Two commissions have been appointed this week to study the future governance of the schools, one by the City Council, the other by the public advocate, Betsy Gotbaum.

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30th April
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, April 30, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The No Child Left Behind law, dear to the heart of the president, is due for reauthorization. And unlike the good feelings that surrounded the initial passage, the debate surrounding reauthorization has already taken on an ugly tone.

The first time this came up, Washington was a different town. For one thing, the Republicans ruled the roost on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. It was early in the Bush administration, just after September 11, that short interlude when partisanship seemed somehow inappropriate. (more…)

17th April
2007

First Published in The New York Sun, April 17, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

It came as no surprise to Sol Stern of the Manhattan Institute that a class of New York City public high school pupils took a spring break jaunt to communist Cuba. “Sure, they do it every year,” Mr. Stern told me. He sees this as part of something much larger, a cadre of leftists and others caught in a time warp, promoting a 1960s type of radicalism. The problem is, according to Mr. Stern, that they are doing it in the public schools.

Although the city’s education department has rules about nearly everything that goes on in our schools, when it comes to the manipulation of young minds for political ends, not only does there appear to be no effort to stop such practices, but the mayor and chancellor have become unwitting co-conspirators in promoting them. (more…)