Thursday, 13 June 2013 00:00
This resolution, and a letter to Governor Mario Cuomo, NYS Education Department Commissioner John King, NYS Senator Jack Martins, NYS Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and other state officials, was sent by Great Neck Public Schools Superintendent Thomas Dolan.
The resolution was approved by the GNPS Board of Education at the June 4 school board meeting.
The letter stated: “We join with other districts, and other organizations, in imploring the policy makers at the state level to recognize that an over-reliance on standardized testing is having a deleterious effect on many of the aspects that have made public education the powerful force that it has been.”
The resolution reads as follows:
“A call to the governor of the State of New York, the New York state Commissioner of Education, the New York State Board of Regents and other policymakers to stop the over-reliance on standardized tests as a measure of student performance and principal/teacher effectiveness.
“WHEREAS, every student deserves a quality public education dedicated to preparing engaged citizens, creative and critical thinkers and lifelong learners ready for college and careers; and
“WHEREAS, the decline in state aid and support for public schools has forced our district to reduce programs and limited our ability to fully implement new programs mandated by the State such as the Common Core standards thereby creating an uneven rollout of the standards among school districts around the State; and
“WHEREAS, while the implementation of the Common Core standards will ultimately help students, teachers and the teaching and learning process, the growing reliance on, and mismanagement of, standardized testing is eroding student learning time, narrowing the curriculum and jeopardizing the rich, meaningful education our students need and deserve; and
“WHEREAS, there has been a reliance upon the Common Core standards in the development of state testing despite the fact that students have not been exposed to these standards for a sufficient amount of their school experience; and
“WHEREAS, despite the fact that research recommends the use of multiple measures to gauge student performance and teacher effectiveness, the State’s growing reliance on standardized testing is adversely affecting students across all spectrums and the morale of our educators and is further draining already scarce resources; and
“WHEREAS, the Federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act’s testing policies fail to appropriately accommodate the unique needs of students with disabilities and English language learners in assessing their academic achievements which results in test scores that do not accurately represent a true measure of the impact of teachers and schools; and
“WHEREAS, it is time for policymakers to reconsider the number, duration and appropriate use of standardized tests so that our schools can refocus their efforts on improving student learning outcomes; now, therefore be it
“RESOLVED, that we call upon Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, State Education Department Commissioner John B. King, Chancellor of the Board of Regents Merryl Tisch, Chair of the Senate Committee on Education John Flanagan, Senator Jack Martins, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Education Catherine Nolan, Assemblywoman Michelle Schimel and other policymakers to reduce the use of, and over-reliance on, standardized testing.”
Saturday, 30 November 2013 00:00
The recent adoption the Common Core Learning Standards, a rigorous series of teacher and student assessment testing, and the potential sharing of confidential student information with third parties have resulted in a radical change in the educational landscape in New York State—one that many parents have been concerned about.
To address these growing concerns, the Great Neck School District’s United Parent Teacher Council recently hosted a question and answer session at South High School with New York State Regent Roger Tilles, a Great Neck resident who has been outspoken with both his support of content the Common Core and his disapproval in how the new set of learning standards have been implemented.
Friday, 29 November 2013 00:00
At a meeting last week, after almost four hours of back and forth between Clover Drive residents, the attorney representing builder Frank Lalazarian’s controversial Old Mill II project and members of the Village of Great Neck’s Planning Board, there was very little progress, no vote taken and far more questions than answers.
The subdivision plan, a project under discussion for the last five years and recently approved by the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals, calls for 11 houses to be built in the area behind the Old Mill Apartments, with sole access from Clover Drive. Complicating the builder’s efforts to gain approval to start building is the fact that one of the lots is within the boundaries of Great Neck Estates and will require that village’s approval also. Additionally, Lalazarian’s project must gain the approval of several Nassau County agencies, including its department of public works, department of health and planning commission.
Wednesday, 27 November 2013 15:23
The Bears team before a recent game at the Andrew Stergiopoulos Ice Rink with Coach Dan Marsella.
Thursday, 28 November 2013 00:00
Great Neck’s Ayal Hod is the proud coach of Great Neck’s winning Top Gun sixth grade team in the Island Garden Fall League. Hod puts together the team every season, mixing local youngsters from Great Neck and children son Dillon’s AAU Jamaica Queens team. The league is very competitive and challenging and it teaches the children many valuable lessons: “how to be great teammates by sharing the ball, how to compete hard on every possession and what you put in is what you get out.”
Hod says that the main challenge is for every child to bring their individual talent to the team and collectively they have something special. an ex-player, he says that “basketball was very good to me, it helped pay my college education and it paid my-bills for many years to come via several basketball commercials ... basketball also opened many doors for me and it helped me tremendously in my business career.”
Hod enjoys sharing his basketball journey background with his son and his friends and having them learn lessons too.