If you want to do one thing this year for our children, our nation and our future, buy a copy of Diane Ravitch’s brilliant and engaging new book, Reign of Error: The Hoax of the Privatization Movement and the Danger to America’s Public Schools (Knopf, $27.95).
It is a best-seller that is destined to change the course of American education everywhere, suburban, urban and rural schools alike. When I started reading it, I was humbled, excited and sad.
Roger Tilles is Long Island’s representative on the New York State Board of Regents. He was asked to speak on testing by the local chapter of the League of Women Voters last Wednesday evening at the Port Washington Public Library. He opened his talk referring to this column, saying he’d been accused of being “clueless about education,” but “what do you expect?” from this newspaper.
There’s something about traveling to exotic lands that gives you an appreciation for how big the world really is. One of my fondest experiences involved traveling to Morocco for the annual Moussem of Tan-Tan, an annual event where 35 nomadic desert tribes and roughly 30 to 45 thousand people — including Berbers and Bedouin — gather for a week-long celebration of Hassani culture while buying, selling and exchanging food. There are also numerous competitions, including horse and camel contests that are part of a more widespread cultural exchange.
This was my second time in North Africa in 18 months. I was fortunate enough to go with a delegation of 16 or 17 of my friends in the Explorers Club. We went on the behest of His Royal Majesty King Mohammed VI. Our guides were Fadel Benyaich, royal advisor to the King, and the dashing Kitin Munoz, the Moroccan Goodwill Ambassador to the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and a published author.
Howard Sturim can’t be naive. After 22 years in the criminal justice system dealing with hundreds of examples of just how evil, stupid, crazy, crazed and victimized people can be, he must be a realist. Yet Sturim has decided to challenge incumbent Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice in the November election.
“The reason I decided to run this stressful race is because I can do a better job,” said the 54-year-old Great Neck resident. “And I think Kathleen Rice can be beaten.”
As a resident of Long Island, there’s a one-in-four chance you are an Italian-American.
“It is the largest single ethnic group in Nassau and Suffolk,” said Salvatore J. LaGumina. “About 700,000 people.”
LaGumina should know. He has been studying Italian-Americans for most of his 84 years. The Massapequa Park resident not only has a Ph.D. in the subject, is the director of the Center for Italian-American Studies at Nassau County Community College, where he is a professor emeritus, but he also has recently released a book, Long Island Italian Americans: History, Heritage & Tradition.
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