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.”
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 00:00
In movies like Don’t Tell Mom the Babysitter’s Dead, a parent’s very real nightmare of inadequate child care is at the crux of the film’s storyline. So the promise of a new website with intentions to revolutionize babysitting offered new hope at the party recently held at Melville’s Jewel Restaurant to celebrate its launch.
Babysitting Barter has roughly 1,000 babysitters and 2,700 parents connected to its website nationwide, according to CEO and founder Brian Mannix of Glen Cove.
“This has been a long time coming, about four years in the works,” said Mannix. “We have built our website and I think it’s very different and innovative. It is something that I really think will make a national difference for parents, babysitters, and for businesses as well.”
Saturday, 01 March 2014 00:00
The second meeting of the Powers Chemco property site at Glen Cove City Hall last Thursday night focused on health concerns in the surrounding area. Spokesmen from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), Department of Health (DOH) and other environmental experts discussed the extent of the contaminated soil and water at the site. It was a continued discussion on the proposed clean-up of the State Superfund site, which was formerly occupied by the Columbia Ribbon and Carbon
Manufacturing Company, and now located within the 15-acre Konica Minolta property.
“After careful studies, we found that the contaminated soil and water table poses no threat to nearby residences,” said Nathan Epler, a hydrogeologist from the environmental consulting and management firm Roux Associates.
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:00
The North Shore High School swimming team completed its season with high honors this year. Both the men’s and women’s teams have qualified individual athletes for all-conference and all-county championship competitions.
Coach Samara Weitz has also been honored with the Nassau County Coach of the Year award—motivating many of her athletes to succeed throughout the season, including senior Kristen Stanis.
“She made sure I was working hard, but also having fun,” Stanis said. “She taught me how to balance work and play and how it’s important to maintain it.”
Thursday, 20 February 2014 00:00
It was all fun and games at the fourth annual Winter Classic Hockey tournament at the Town of Oyster Bay Ice Skating Center in Bethpage on Saturday, Feb. 8. Young adults and kids of all ages from the Long Island Blues Hockey team faced off against three other teams in the event that gives individuals with special needs the opportunity to play ice hockey in an accommodating setting.
Michael Russo, founder of the Long Island Blues team, said he started the program 10 years ago so his son, Nicholas, who has autism, could play hockey.