November 23, 2011, 2:57 pm
Sunday, unseasonably warm and beautiful for late fall, I wandered coatless across Central Park to a meeting of the New York affiliate of the National Association of Scholars. Sol Stern was speaking on school reform—on his dashed hopes for the good that he once thought would come from No Child Left Behind and by the early promise of Mayor Bloomberg’s push for higher standards. I knew Stern’s work from having reviewed his 2004 book on school reform Breaking Free and was eager to hear him: a former leftist, once an editor of the radical Ramparts magazine, who turned conservative largely as a result of his encounter with the union-dominated New York City public schools.
The event was at the apartment of a couple of longtime NAS friends who live on Fifth Avenue near the Metropolitan Museum. Even non-New Yorkers will recognize that as an extraordinary address, and a New York…
November 16, 2011, 1:25 pm
The curious story of the Occupy movement is getting more curious still. In the early morning hours of November 15, Mayor Bloomberg had the police shut down the encampment in Zuccotti Park. He held a press conference at dawn that morning to explain that he remains a friend of the Occupiers and values their right to protest, but because “health and safety conditions became intolerable,” he had been forced to send in some well-armed evictors. He offered the evictees assurances that they could recover their camping gear at a depot in mid-town. And while he would have been personally happy to welcome them back to Zuccotti for some diurnal speechifying and drum beating, a New York judge, Lucy Billings, had issued a temporary restraining order, which requires the park to stay closed.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the University of California Board of Regents decided to postpone meetings it had…