The New York State Education Department mandates field-testing in virtually all of its school districts. The purpose of field-testing is to help in determining whether items are appropriate and to establish whether an item is valid for use with the students it is designed to test. Although there may be philosophical differences regarding the State of New York’s testing program, there are also legal requirements.
In order for the state to develop valid and reliable tests, they need to utilize items that reliably measure what they are designed to assess. One of the ways this is done is by using data that is collected each year from field-testing. The improvement of assessments is connected to participation in field-testing of items for future tests. Without this information, the state cannot improve its tests.
In response to Billionaires vs. Our Kids (May 21-27), or more to the point, an extension on what has been stated. Since 1974 when President Richard Nixon created the U.S. Department of Education, the country has steadily lost it prominence in the field of education and educating our kids. Why? It is because of all the politicians, special interest groups and bureaucrats that have made education policies based on their own interests and not the interest of the children or the learning process.
At least 85 percent of all educators, teachers, in nursery to 12th grade do a fabulous job in the class rooms around the country. The problem is administrators don’t hold children, parents, teachers’ unions and federal and state bureaucrats accountable to their responsibility to educating our kids.
It is unfortunate that almost every opinion on any issue is guided by the ideology of the speaker and/or author. In the letter of Mr. Biggin (Billionaires vs. Our Kids, May 21-27) it is obvious.
Quite frankly, I agree with Mr. Biggin and his opposition to Common Core. However, not in the manner he presents his objection.
I’m a journalist, author and psychoanalyst. I have written editorials and have been editorialized myself in Newsday, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. When I read Michael Miller’s “Viewpoint” (“American’s Deserve a Life After 6 p.m.,” The Weekend, April 30-May 6),I recognized it as one of the finest editorial pieces I have ever come across.
I recall the first time I watched the infamous Cadillac commercial Mr. Miller referred to, and how persuasive and really evil it was. For those who have not seen the ad, it was a 60-second spot of a handsome actor walking through his luxury home, past his built-in pool and approaching his new Cadillac. All the while he discusses how ridiculous the lazy French are for taking off “all of August!” and how Americans are so smart to be willing to sacrifice all their time and energy to work and buy and work and buy.
We all remember springtime in high school and how it wasn’t always the rising temperatures that made us sweat. Finals time is stressful for students from all grades, but especially for those high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Just the thought of the math Regents exam sends algebraic chills up our spines, culminating in a Pythagorean Theorem-sized anxiety attack. We remember those long nights of last-week cramming, with a steady diet of Mountain Dew and leftover Easter candy keeping our minds lubricated in wide-eyed hyper-sensitivity.
Following Sunday night’s services at St. Kilian’s church, I overheard one Farmingdale parent tell her child: “You see why I always yell at you to buckle up.”
As I continued past, I could hear my mother telling me the exact same thing.
All residents of the Village of Farmingdale are attempting to cope with the tragic and untimely death of five young people from our community. We grieve with the families who have suffered this unspeakable loss and are attempting to support them in this most difficult time in any way possible. We also pray for the recovery of the persons who suffered injuries in this accident.
I hadn’t planned to be where I was Sunday night. In fact, I wasn’t supposed to be there. And yet, everything happens for a reason. And sometimes it takes a very long time for us to find out the reason. Sometimes we never do. And I was where I was for reasons different than for the man who you are going to read about now. And yet, I believe I was there for some reason other than the one I thought I had gone for. Confused? Life is confusing and disturbing. Especially so on Sunday night.
Under normal circumstances, striking up a conversation in a public men’s room in the basement of a building would be considered odd, perhaps even frightening. And this was anything but a normal circumstance. And this was no ordinary basement. And no ordinary building.
It was the basement of St. Kilian R.C. Church in Farmingdale, during the vigil for the four teens killed in the horrific car crash early Saturday morning on Conklin Street, near Staples Street.
I don’t mind reasonable incremental changes to our children’s education. What I see, however, when you follow the money with Common Core, is an opportunity for billionaires like Bill Gates to apply monetary influence over politicians in order to gain political favor. I see a public school system focused more on testing and memorization of useless trivia, than students truly learning and grasping concepts.
With Common Core, I see corporations eventually profiting from access to our children’s confidential information, and a further invasion into our privacy. Will any of us be surprised if somehow Bill Gates’ Microsoft eventually benefits from computerized testing and educational software in our public schools?
I have a daughter in the third grade, who I think is far too young to be stressing over tests and to not genuinely enjoy going to school most days. I understand juniors and seniors getting tired of the school routines. Is it really necessary, though, to have children turned off to learning by the third grade?
Each and every time a vehicular tragedy involving youngsters occurs on the roads of Long Island, I’m reminded of all the dangerous situations I put myself in as a new driver in my youth — during what is often referred to as the best days of our lives. The tragic accident involving students from Farmingdale High School on Conklin Street over the weekend was another one of those reflective moments.
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