Posts Tagged ‘State Education Department’

23rd March

First Published in The New York Sun, March 23, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

Last week, New York State revised its list of schools under registration review, the so-called SURR list. These are schools that are performing so badly that they are being considered for closing.

The idea of closing schools departs a bit from reality. Demolition crews do not come in and level the building. Usually “closing the school” means changing the name and number of the school, removing the principal and some, if not all, of the teaching staff. Most importantly for educrats, the school is now considered new, not failing, so it is removed from the SURR list. (more…)

1st February

First Published in The New York Sun, February 1, 2007

By Andrew Wolf

The Boston mayor, Thomas Menino, is fuming and with good reason. Four months ago, he proudly introduced Manuel Rivera as Beantown’s new superintendent of schools, to start work July 1 of this year. Hiring Mr. Rivera seemed like a tremendous coup and was treated as such by the Boston press and civic groups.

Mr. Rivera has been the superintendent of schools in upstate Rochester and was named Superintendent of the Year for 2006 by the American Association of School Administrators. (more…)

10th November

First Published in The New York Sun, November 10, 2006

By Andy Wolf

Near the top of everyone’s to-do list for Governor-elect Spitzer is the issue of funding education. That is, the Campaign for Fiscal Equity lawsuit. Although he pledged a generous settlement while on the campaign trail, nobody knows better than the attorney general the validity of the arguments on the other side. As the state’s lawyer, he led, at least technically, the defense against the litigation. Mr. Spitzer is a smart man, so hopefully this experience has not been lost on him. More dollars do not translate directly into better educational outcomes.

If there are solutions to fixing what is wrong with education, the solutions will have to be found at the state level. Unlike most other industrialized nations, which have national educational systems and uniform standards, in America it is the individual states that are charged with running schools. All of the local school districts, including our own here in Gotham exist under the rules and supervision of the state Education Department. (more…)

4th August

First Published in The New York Sun, August 4, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

Here’s a bit of news from the New York State Department of Education. It didn’t come to me as a result of a press conference or a news release, nor did any unnamed source meet furtively with me in a garage to slip me a package of confidential information. Rather this news came in the form of a help wanted ad that appeared in newspapers Sunday.

The news is that the state of New York, whose programs to administer academic tests to students has come under so much criticism, is simply not serious about fixing their broken system. As a result the education of millions of New York’s children will continue to be compromised. (more…)

20th June

First Published in The New York Sun, June 20, 2006

By Andrew Wolf

City Pupils Could Be Held Back On Basis of Five-Month-Old Tests

An uproar is greeting the news that thousands of elementary and middle school pupils in the city have been told that they will be held back for promotion to the next grade based on tests administered nearly six months ago that New York State still hasn’t finished grading.

Parents throughout the city, for the first time in memory, will be given report cards by their children on the last day of school that will not have the results of these standardized tests.The results will come too late for any remedial and intervention strategies that could have aided students lagging behind. (more…)

13th December

First Published in The New York Sun, December 13, 2002
By Andrew Wolf

When I was a child growing up in the west Bronx, everyone knew exactly what school he or she would be attending. In my neighborhood, if you lived east of the Grand Concourse, you were zoned for P.S. 46 on East 196th Street. Those living west of the Concourse attended P.S. 86, on Reservoir Avenue, right behind the Kingsbridge Armory. Zoned schools were a part of growing up during the period that many feel was New York’s golden age. Our schools contributed to the success of every facet of life in New York’s great neighborhoods.

Residents of our city’s few remaining middle income enclaves today don’t need to be reminded of the fragile nature of their neighborhood schools. Every such community in our town is desperately trying to hang on to the one thing that defines them as a successful community. Real estate advertising here in the city often boasts of Douglaston schools, Bayside schools, even District 26 schools. This contributes to property values and ultimately to tax revenues and communal pride. (more…)