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Farmingdale Parents Talk Common Core

On Feb. 27, parents in the Farmingdale, East Meadow, Massapequa and Levittown school districts came together for an informal panel discussion on the New York State Education Department and the implementation of the state Common Core Learning Standards.

Panelists included New York State Assemblyman Thomas McKevitt, Jeanette Deutermann of the Long Island Opt Out Facebook page, and former public school teacher David Greene, who came to the Farmingdale Public Library to talk with local parents about key concerns and questions with the curriculum. 

 

An outspoken parent and founder of the Long Island Opt Out movement, Deutermann delved into some of the factors behind what led to the state’s adoption of the Common Core, and how the state education department cites High School graduation rates as its reasoning behind the curriculum. 

 

“For those students who were already below the bar and struggling, we just moved the bar higher... moving it even further and further out of reach,” said Deutermann. “This is a socioeconomic problem, not an education problem.” 

 

At the forum, parents raised questions and concerns a variety of topics, ranging from state and local assessments, test preparation, modules, Annual Professional Performance Review, opting out and the state Board of Regents.

 

“The state legislature never adopted the Common Core,” said McKevitt. According to the Assemblyman, on the second Tuesday of every March, state lawmakers each cast a single vote to elect candidates to the Board of Regents, which will implement the state’s educational policies throughout the year. “I am not inclined to vote for any incumbents when the vote comes up week from Tuesday,” he added. 

 

McKevitt also passed out copies of what he refers to as the “Apple Plan,” which aims to alleviate pressure on school districts, students and teachers. The “Apple Plan,” which was constructed by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb, Ranking Minority Member of the

Education Committee Edward Ra, and Member of the Education Committee Al Graf, covers several issues and possible solutions to six specific aspects of the Common Core, including the curriculum, data collection, teacher support, funding, student anxiety and special education.  

 

David Greene—a former school teacher from the Bronx, Greenburg, and Scarsdale, published author of Doing The Right Thing: A Teacher Speaks and treasurer of the advocacy group, Save Our Schools—told parents at the forum that the state’s attempts to commonize public education is nothing new. According to Greene, the country has made several attempts to reform education in the past, through federal programs like A Nation At Risk, GERM, No Child Left Behind, and most recently Race to the Top. 

 

“We need to backup, simplify and find out what will really work,” Greene said, regarding the usefulness of the curriculum. 

 

Reflecting on the past, Greene said that while growing up in the 1960’s, one teacher helped inspire him to persue a career as an educator. “I’m afraid that students will not have a Ms. Stafford... that they are not going to have the same opportunity.”

News

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

 

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent. 

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com