At its meeting on December 13, 2012, the North Shore Board of Education (“BOE”) voted to implement a new foreign language program, the World Language Program (“WLP”). The WLP is an expansive foreign language program that implements Mandarin Chinese in grades K-2, a choice of Mandarin Chinese or Spanish in grades 3-5 and adds Chinese as a language choice in the middle and high schools. It also initially called for the elimination of Italian as an accredited language in the middle school and high school, which sparked community outrage. As a result, the BOE was forced to reconsider its position and reinstate Italian.
Although the elimination of Italian was the impetus behind the community’s opposition to the new WLP, the adoption of this program raises a whole host of issues that need to be seriously considered by the BOE, the administration and this community. We need to look at how our tax dollars are being spent, the choices that are being made for our children and the responsiveness of the BOE to the community’s concerns and desires.
The Dec. 13, 2012 North Shore Board of Education (‘BOE’) meeting was a real wake up call for members of the North Shore Community and left most who attended in disbelief.
The North Shore BOE of course invited all to attend the meeting. However, it became obvious to all, that their decision to enact the World Language Program and to phase out the Italian language was a foregone conclusion made regardless of the community’s desire and regardless of who it impacted.
Be Able To Agree?
Election Day should have marked an end to some of the shouting that’s taken hold of our politics. However, with the fiscal cliff crisis in Washington only narrowly averted, and more legislative brinksmanship apparently on the way, that may have been too much to hope for.
However, there is one thing on which all sides should be able to agree: Common sense on immigration issues.
The whole country continues to mourn the deaths of 20 children and six adults who died in last month’s school shooting in Newtown, CT. And while we wait for the motive to emerge and policy proposals to surface, we can speak out now on behalf of families who need greater access to mental health treatment and other social services that ultimately will prove more effective in protecting and strengthening all of us; children, adults and our communities.
As the head of a human services organization, I believe it is part of our mission to inform and educate the public on important issues facing today’s families in a balanced and professional manner. As the result of this tragic event, there will be a temptation to look for quick answers; overly simplistic, one-size-fits-all solutions.
In response to Grace Merrell Slezak’s letter to the editor of Dec. 28, her suggestion of armed guards in every conceivable place opens the door to many questions.
One, how would you arm them? A guard with a side arm will not be enough to counter an attack such as the one in Newtown, CT. The guards would need assault weapons as well as flak jackets, etc. Second, how many guards for any institution? Third, how to pay for this? Suggestions of dropping foreign aid are irresponsible. Just recently, two past Secretaries of State, Madeleine Albright (Democrat) and Colin Powell (Republican), stated that foreign aid was important for the United States. Not only is it the right thing to do but it also wins friends and allies around the world, which we need more than ever in this country’s war on terrorism.
I appreciate Ms. Slezak’s concern for the safety of our citizens, some of her suggestions are reasonable, but fear tactics and thoughtless solutions are not the answer. If she prefers to live in what would be an armed camp, Fort Knox would be the place to live. For the rest of us who do not want to live in some Old West-Dodge City world…ban the big clips and weapons.
The Mutual Concerns Committee would like to extend its gratitude to the Gold Coast Lions for their generous donation to the Mutual Concerns Committee. Barbara Murray of the Lions organized a defensive driving class at Village Hall recently and the proceeds of that class were given to the MCC.
The Mutual Concerns Committee distributes food to those in need at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. We also provide food for those individuals in crisis throughout the year. The current economic situation has made it necessary for more people than ever to need our services, sometimes on a weekly basis. Thanks to the outpouring of support from the community and our local charitable organizations, we are able to help those in need.
Mutual Concerns Committee
This letter was sent to County Executive Edward Mangano and Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves on Dec. 17
During the Dec. 3 Legislative Committees session, the Rules Committee approved a $20 million contract for a “debris management plan,” enabling the county to clean up after Superstorm Sandy. Connected with this plan, Welwyn Preserve in my district was accidentally subjected to an inordinate amount of tree cutting. A head of Nassau County’s Parks Department gave public testimony at the same committees session that the wrong tree-cutting crew was sent into this Glen Cove preserve for several days. As a result of this, one of our few protected natural spaces was severely damaged.
I would like to wish everyone a joyous holiday season.
It has been a pleasure representing you this year as your Nassau County Legislator. Thank you for the opportunity to serve you and to meet so many wonderful people throughout the 18th Legislative District in the process.
Allow me to provide a rebuttal to the North Shore School District’s reasoning for dropping Italian. As a spokesman for Loggia Glen Cove #1016 Sons of Italy in America and an at large Italian-American spokesman, we are vehemently opposed to the dropping of Italian as a language of study from the curriculum. Education in this country is a state responsibility; New York State allows each school district a certain amount of autonomy as long as they provide a core curriculum and teach classes that are part of the N.Y.S. syllabus. This means that the district can teach N.Y.S. approved curriculum and they (the local board of education) can tailor their curriculum to reflect the needs and desires of the community they serve.
I am writing to you in order to sing the praises of the mayor of Glen Cove, our honorable Mayor Ralph V. Suozzi.
From the time that Hurricane Sandy made her devastating pass through our city, Mayor Suozzi went above and beyond his call of duty to keep us most informed, while providing critical information that we needed in order to weather this storm both physically and emotionally.
His daily telephone messages, filled with concern for his constituents, gave great comfort to this former mayor of Glen Cove’s granddaughter. Thank you, Mayor Suozzi.
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