As we look to the year ahead with promise and hope, it is difficult to assess where we are now and where we are headed without first grasping the importance and relevance of the last three months of 2012.
Perhaps 2013 will be remembered as the year in which the Long Island community came together to repair the structural, physical and emotional damage incurred in October, November and December of 2012: when neighbor to neighbor we worked to rebuild our island, to find a way to improve electric service and infrastructure; to give our veterans a plan for the future, return our residents to good jobs, provide our neighbors food for their tables, and to protect our children and loved ones from mentally ill people with guns.
First, I’d like to thank the paper for keeping the community informed on Common Core. It is definitely something most parents are talking about, some fearful, a few taking a tone of defiance. In the end, my wife and I take the position that it is better to have a universal standard in this country than have different standards originating “from the community.”
Bottom line is our children compete for opportunities and resources with other students across this country, and we had better make sure that our children’s transcripts adhere to one standard.
Interesting. However John Owens left out an important point [in his column “Mastering Math Shouldn’t Be Optional”], and one that I made at a recent school board meeting.
I asked if this Common Core curriculum was going to improve the ability of our children to make change at the check-out counter or anywhere else. The answer was “No.”
Those of us who are not vegans, myself included, may suffer these days from the politically correct movement toward eating healthier, low-fat foods. Vegetarian cooking for me used to be risotto Milanese or eggplant Parmesan. These dishes were easy for me but the cheese and butter these dishes call for are tough to give up. Moving beyond these winners is still a challenge. I am too often unsure about cooking vegetarian for the evening meal. Perhaps you too find yourself somewhat at a loss trying to decide how to cook a purely vegetarian meal, without resorting to the ease of pasta and marinara, or another lentil, bean, tofu or tempeh specialty. Did I hear someone ask to pass the bowl of quinoa?
During this past campaign I had the privilege of meeting many of the residents in the various communities making up the 18th Legislative District. I would like to extend a special thanks to all residents who voted on Election Day and helped me get elected to the Nassau County Legislature. It will be an honor to serve the entire District and I vow to work very hard to be an effective representative. My best wishes to you and your families during the upcoming holiday season!
Nassau County Legislator-Elect
Oyster Bay is a great community where everyone is gregarious and friendly. It’s where people are brought together to form a sense of unity and close relationships. There is a peaceful aura in the neighborhood that compels you to take part, and that is obvious at the Life Enrichment Center at Oyster Bay.
As part of my Service Learning Course at S.U.N.Y. Old Westbury I volunteer my time at the center in Oyster Bay. The course offers a work experience while providing much needed community service to local organizations. Additionally, this course encourages students to be active in their communities and by sharing our experiences with others students we build awareness for the organizations we support.
‘Over 60’ Set Rocks Oyster Festival
Once again, I was astounded by what The Life Enrichment Center can accomplish with our team of seniors supporting us every step of the way.
The Oyster Festival is truly a testament to the uniqueness of Oyster Bay. While other communities enjoy their annual fall festivals with the usual pumpkin patches and Halloween parties, Oyster Bay is all hands on deck for the best of the best in food, entertainment for young and old, arts and crafts galore.
John Owens’ column “Public School Data: Numbers Beyond Belief” deserves a great big “attaboy” for going to the heart of the problem. Being a math teacher, I would say to the kids, that in statistics, “figures don’t lie, but liars figure.” And when the city presented data that “garbage in results in garbage out,” they are trying to quantify the unquantifiable. In my career I’ve seen some of this, but the use by NYC is mind-blowing.
What fraud. But the New York State Education Department seems to be promoting this in many ways, including coming up with a number to rate teachers. What an insult to teachers to think that the efforts to motivate kids, the creativity, the dedication, the ability to put on a “dynamic show” five times a day, five days a week can be reduced to a number.
For some time it has occurred to me that a connection existed between healthy eating and environmental concerns like global warming that leads to warmer ocean temperatures and super storms like Hurricane Sandy. But I couldn’t find a cookbook that tied these issues together in a non-strident fashion that didn’t make me feel guilty. Award-winning New York Times food writer/ Op Ed columnist Mark Bittman meets this need in The Food Matters Cookbook, the follow-up to his books How Food Matters and How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.
After reading an article on Common Core, I agree even more. It really cuts through all the “educanese” the state is throwing at the public and fully exposes the serious flaws with the roll-out of the curriculum. You wonder how much teaching experience the people who wrote the curriculum modules have. Is the state trying to make the state program “teacher proof” by providing a virtual script for the curriculum? The curriculum is not complete and math chairs are being forced to turn to other states for a complete scope and sequence.
Of course the test results were bad because the teachers did not know what to experts, and the kids did not have the prerequisite background and knowledge that the course they were learning pre-supposed. Also, implied in the results of the tests was that the teacher was doing a terrible teaching job. An obvious teaching bashing in the public schools. There is a terrible disconnect between the tests and what the teacher is doing in the classroom. I have been through 5 curriculum changes in my career. Never have I witnessed such confusion.
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