It’s easy to forget suffering in spring. When the winds blow warm and gentle, the world feels like a tender, forgiving place.
There is always an abundance of volunteers at holiday time. Starting at Thanksgiving, chill in the air and frost on the ground provide stark contrast to the warmth of hearth and home embodied in our year-end celebrations. Through Christmas and all the cold winter months, everyone wants to help feed the hungry and comfort the lonely.
A few weeks from now, New York’s public school children in grades 3-8 will spend six days taking the poorly designed, expensive New York State Assessments. The overreliance on these tests has pushed school districts to abandon successful curriculum models and confine themselves instead to the limited, unproven and expensive Common Core standards.
“Prepping” for these dreary, mind-numbing examinations greatly reduces the time our kids can spend on appropriate, meaningful educational pursuits. It inhibits excellent teachers from bringing their inspiration and ingenuity into the classroom. The tests penalize children for their creativity and original thinking, and they punish gifted children and those with special needs even more severely. The process also channels tens of millions of our tax dollars out of the classrooms and into the coffers of rapacious testing corporations, who view our children as nothing more than a footnote on their bottom line. These companies also eagerly look forward to gaining access to our children’s confidential personal information.
Your “Patience Is A Virtue” editorial was a good one: a good lesson, plus good advice. Unfortunately, it was probably preaching to the choir, because those of us patient, considerate reader/drivers will just continue practicing our responsible, careful driving habits; while the impatient, reckless fools like the one you describe (who arrogantly think that their time is more important than anyone else’s safety) are likely to continue their public-menace bad driving habits.
If only horn-honkers like that Mercedes owner were the worst ones on the road. It’s more the speeders, swervers, texters and drunkards who cause the most damage and death. I only wish that each and every one of them would hit a vehicle-damaging, disabling, incapacitating pothole before they cause an accident that will kill or maim some innocent person—whether pedestrian, passenger or “pilot” of a patiently-driven car.
Sales tax revenue is the County’s biggest source of income, accounting for over 40 percent of total annual revenues. Sales tax is also a good barometer of the County’s economic activity and economic health. Therefore, it is gratifying that the final sales tax figures for 2013 show an increase of 6.3 percent to $1.13 billion over the prior year. This was on top of another healthy increase of 4.2 percent in 2012.
These sales tax growth figures would seem to imply that Nassau County has recovered well from the recession and Superstorm Sandy, and in fact it has, with unemployment now under five percent, well below the national and state averages.
The next meeting of the Oyster Bay Civic Association will be at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 20 at the Italian American Club on 48 Summit St. (across from the Historical Society). The group is the “voice of the people” —not taking sides, but serving as a mechanism for uncovering public concerns and conveying diverse opinions and wishes to “deciders.”
Currently on the agenda is the installation of officers by Legislator Donald MacKenzie (with additional nominations accepted from the floor). However, topics open for discussion include the clean-up and possible public acquisition of the Mill Neck Marina; the dispute between the Baymen and the Flower Oyster Farm; the application by the Hess Gas Station for a bigger sign; a proposal for drive-by mail box drops at the Post Office and the need for better traffic control at the foot of Mill Hill.
I read the attack on John Owens’ articles on Common Core by Stanley Ronell with amazement. How could one person be so misinformed about the topic of Common Core curriculum? Mr. Owens was a teacher, and his views were right on target. The curriculum and the roll-out have been a disaster. I suggest he read an excellent expose, Reign of Error, by Diane Ravitch, and Mr. Owens’ book, Confessions of a Bad Teacher, before he writes further letters.
This is my 50th year in education, and I have never seen such a disaster. The testing is off-target, and the curriculum is not age-appropriate.
In mathematics, we had an excellent curriculum, and the Regents exams appropriately measured students’ learning. Why fix something that isn’t broken?
C. Vincent Pane Ed.D.
In honor of National Red Cross Month, we would like to recognize our Everyday Heroes from Long Island who reach out to help their neighbors when they need it most.
These everyday heroes help disaster victims get back on the road to recovery. They donate lifesaving blood. They help brighten the day of injured service members who are far from home. They take lifesaving skills classes; they then step forward to help a heart attack victim or to save a drowning child.
I know we are all busy, but I am asking you to read the following email and help our students in NY State.
By now I am certain you have all heard of Common Core. Though the intent may have been good, the resulting standards and implementation have been a complete debacle.
Impatience is rampant these days, with harried drivers blaring horns to speed up traffic. The car horn was designed to alert other automobile drivers to potential hazards, i.e. swerving into oncoming traffic, drifting into the next lane,
Recently, I observed the impatient driver of a beautiful white Mercedes sedan waiting to turn onto Plandome Rd. at a traffic light. When the light turned green, traffic proceeded slowly due to cavernous potholes deceptively filled with water. This driver honked his horn abrasively and then barreled through the intersection, damaging the undercarriage of his Mercedes. It forced him to stop in his tracks.
I’m lucky to live only blocks away from an unspoiled piece of nature, where a pond-side bench lets me sit and enjoy a big cup of coffee and a plastic-tipped cigar.
From this vantage point, my mind wanders freely. I often reminisce of my childhood, where in every season and at every age I spent time here.
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