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Board Aims To Reduce Testing Mandates

In a bold move showing just where they stand on the subject of standardized testing, the Glen Cove Board of Education adopted a resolution last week to request a reduction in federal testing mandates from the U.S. Congress, the Commissioner of Education and the New York State Board of Regents.

 

Dr. Michael Israel, assistant superintendent for curriculum, read the resolution, which outlines some of the problems with standardized testing, including the implementation of Common Core standards and its reliance on testing and narrowing of curriculum. 

 

“It is time for policymakers to recalibrate the number, duration and appropriate use of standardized tests so that we can refocus our efforts on student learning,” Dr. Israel read. “We call upon the Commissioner of Education, the New York State Board of Regents and other policy makers to reduce the use of and over-reliance on standardized testing; and we call upon the U.S. Congress and the Administration to reduce federal testing mandates and support the role of and focus on multiple measures of student learning and school quality in accountability systems.”

 

The letter will be sent to Commissioner John King at the New York State Department of Education.

 

During the public comment period, parent Kim Velentzas, who is the co-liaison for LI Opt-Out, thanked the board for taking a stand and noted it as a good first step. Regarding the mandates, she acknowledged that the teachers and administrators have to follow the regulations.

 

“But I don’t believe the board of education’s hands are tied,” she said. “You need to make policies...you should expect more students to refuse the test next year.” She added, “We need to know what the children will do -are we a ‘sit and stare’ distri ct?”

 

She stated that her second-grader will never take another state test, and added that district should have “full disclosure” about when tests are given and why.

 

Resident Janet Blatt asked if students could opt out of the APPR tests, calling them “flawed” and a “waste of time.”

 

Superintendent Maria L. Rianna said there is no state code for the exams but that students are encouraged to sit through them and parents learn the procedures for how to opt out. She also said they would be monitoring the number of students opting out and making appropriate regulations throughout the year to determine the best course of action on testing days. 

 

In other news, the board approved the addition of two new courses at the high school for the 2014-15 school year: stage craft and set design and environmental science. They also approved the fifth payment to Maccarone Plumbing for the high school locker rooms plumbing work, in the amount of $17,844.99 and the third payment to Relle Electric Corp. for the electrical work on the locker rooms, in the amount of $27,989.66, and the tax-exempt lease purchase of 2014 Chevy truck, for $33,994.90. The truck is mainly for snow plowing purposes, and will be financed for five years at a rate of 4.79 percent.

 

Throughout the meeting, a slide show of pictures for the high school Select Chorale’s trip to Washington DC played on a screen behind the board members. 

 

Rianna spoke about the trip and said, “The kids were so gracious to everyone. They honored Glen Cove in a way few districts get the chance to do.”

News

Movie lovers once again have a chance to see first-run films in the theater without having to travel far. Glen Cove Cinemas re-opened last week, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and free films offered to celebrate the occasion. 

 

“Thanks to all of the support we have here and all of you, Glen Cove is once again open for business,” said Mayor Reginald Spinello at the ceremony, held outside the theater on Thursday, April 10. “We were scheduled to open last week, and there were a few things that weren’t ready...I got a call from the theater operator, Jay Levinson, and he told me that unfortunately, that day Spiderman had the flu,” he joked. “But, Spiderman is well and Glen Cove is well, and we are coming back strong. This is just the beginning. This is going to be so good for Glen Cove and the surrounding communities.”

The Glen Cove Board of Education passed the Alternative Veterans’ Exemption for taxes following last week’s public hearing at Robert M. Finley Middle School, to the appreciation of the veterans in attendance.

 

Several dozen vets arrived promptly at 6 p.m. at the middle school to express their support for the tax exemption. Many noted that they get tax breaks from the city and county, but are still left with the ever-growing school tax bill.

 

“We’re having a hard time with our taxes, especially the school tax,” said the first veteran to speak.


Sports

 

Glen Cove High School players, from left, Tajah Garner, Dejon Taylor, Manny Sican, and Ralik Jackson, after the Long Island Colts u18’s team vs. St. Anthony’s at Robert Finley Middle School last week. Touchdown ‘tries’ by Garner, Taylor and Sican.


The third- and fourth-grade Knights took to the road last weekend as they faced off against Jericho early Sunday morning, April 6.  Jericho’s teamwork and hustle brought down the Knights by a final score of 5 – 0.  The early game may have been a factor as the boys started to play better and more like a team as the game went on.  Once again, goalie Tyler Shea played outstanding in goal and was relieved by Christian Maiorano, who did just as well in the second half.  Andrew Guster played solid defense in the loss.


Calendar

Eggstravaganza - April 16

Live Music - April 16

Community Easter Egg Hunt - April 19


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