Written by Daniel Offner Friday, 07 March 2014 00:00
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.”
Saturday, 18 October 2014 00:00
Bring your four-legged friends—in costume if they’d like—to roam Old Westbury Gardens during ‘Dog Days.’ Twice a year canines are welcome to accompany their (leashed) humans around the grounds of the mansion, and this is Fido’s last shot until spring. On Sunday, enjoy exhibits from rescue groups and animal welfare organizations from 1 to 4 p.m. A dog costume contest and parade takes place at 3 p.m. All activities included with admission: $8, $5 for seniors and $3 for children ages 7 to 17. At 71 Old Westbury Rd., Westbury, Saturday, Oct. 25 and Sunday, Oct. 26 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tel: 516-333-0048.
Friday, 17 October 2014 08:43
Mentorship is one of those goals rotary clubs strive for, particularly when it comes to grooming future community business leaders. Nowhere was this more important than when the most recent Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary meeting’s guests were Stanley Pelech, director of Integrated Academic and Technical studies and Jodi Haniquet, advisor of the Farmingdale High School (FHS) Interact club. Interact is Rotary International’s service club for young people. The Farmingdale Breakfast Rotary is the sponsor of the 75-plus student strong high school club. Advisor Jodi Haniquet reported to Rotary club members what fundraising events the Interact Club will participate in for the 2015 school year. The service group will once again team with FHS student government in a food drive – donations collected for Island Harvest pantries. They will also participate in Ronald McDonald house dinner program – cooking and serving meals on the premises in New Hyde Park for the many families staying at the residence while their seriously ill children receive treatment at nearby hospitals.
Friday, 17 October 2014 09:04
The Farmingdale State College Women’s Volleyball team earned a three-set victory of York in a non-conference match on Oct. 8.
Tied 4-4 in the opening set, Farmingdale State freshman defensive specialist Gina Giacalone served for 14 consecutive points to extend the advantage 18-4. The Rams cruised to a 25-8 victory in the first set.
Thursday, 09 October 2014 00:00
Farmingdale team wins annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Race
On Sunday, Sept. 28, the Farmingdale-based Runner’s Edge team earned first place overall in the 29th annual Bethpage Ocean to Sound Relay. The team, representing the Runner’s Edge running and multisport specialty store located at 242 Main St. in Farmingdale, consisted of Boyd Carrington, Andrew Coelho, Nick Pampena, Tim Lee, Shawn Anderson, Ryan Healy, Kevin Galante, and Brandon Abasolo. It completed the 50-mile course from Jones Beach State Park to Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Park in Oyster Bay in 4 hours, 41 minutes, 58 seconds. The runners won by a margin of more than 10 minutes over the runner-up team from the Sayville & Smithtown Running Company, with much of the difference supplied by the strong Leg 2 performance by Andrew Coelho. Runner’s Edge Teams also took second place honors in the Mixed Open and Men’s Masters Divisions of the Relay. The Relay was sponsored by Bethpage Federal Credit Union (“Built to Give You More”), with new Race Directors Glen Wolther and Keith Montgomery managing the event for the host Greater Long Island Running Club.