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Comptroller’s Conclusions Overstated and Unsubstantiated

Nassau County Comptroller Maragos recently issued a report in which he discusses the graduation and transfer rates at Nassau Community College. While the College appreciates the Comptroller’s recognition of its current commitment to “data driven analyses of its core policies,” and that “NCC provides an invaluable service to thousands of Nassau County residents, offering an affordable higher education at a time when tuition at private institutions is soaring,” the central premise of his report — that campus turmoil at NCC in recent years is associated with a decline in the College’s graduation and transfer rates — is not supported by the facts cited in the report itself.

For example, the Comptroller’s report refers to the conflict at the College between the president and the faculty in 2012, yet notes that NCC’s combined graduation/transfer rate actually increased by 22% from 2011 to 2012.  If campus turmoil was “the cause” in the decline in graduation/transfer rate, and if those rates actually increased during part of that same time period, then how, logically, could the Comptroller isolate campus turmoil as “the cause?”

In addition, the report notes that Suffolk County Community College and Westchester Community College had also experienced a lower graduation/transfer rate from 2009 through 2011, but does not discuss whether these other two colleges were experiencing campus turmoil during that time.  If these other two colleges did not experience campus turmoil, but nevertheless experienced declines in their graduation/transfer rate, then the central premise of the Comptroller’s report is brought into serious question.  

Moreover, one need read no further than the Comptroller’s report itself to have questions about the definitiveness of his own conclusions.  His report states that it found no data that “conclusively” explains the decline in the combined graduation/transfer rate but only found evidence that “suggested” factors that “may” be the cause.  In light of these statements in the report itself, the Comptroller’s conclusions are overstated and unsubstantiated.

Nevertheless, the underlying issues dealing with the graduation/transfer rate are serious, and the College Administration has already initiated its own fact-based investigation as to the real causes of these problems and the potential solutions to them.  It is committed to working with the College’s Board of Trustees, the faculty and all other interested parties with the goal of taking concrete steps to improve the graduation and transfer rates at NCC.

News

Vastra boutique finds a niche

in hand-embroidered dresses

Who says a bride has to wear white on her wedding day? For South Asian brides, no color is off limits including brilliant reds, blues and golds. For the past 17 years, Vastra in Hicksville has been helping brides from New York and across the country find the perfect dress for their special day.

There’s no lack of Indian sari boutiques in Hicksville but according to Marketing Director Prachi Jain, what sets Vastra apart from the others is its emphasis on one of a kind, hand-embroidered Indian dresses.

Many would consider it rude to play with your food. That is unless, you’re participating in the Long Island Potato Festival. The event, which was held in Cutchogue, NY, included a mashed potato sculpting contest which was dominated by Hicksville’s Sarah Tsang, who won first place in the youth division.

Contestants were allowed to use any tools and materials to help bring their creation to life. Sculptures were left on display throughout the day and voted on by festival goers.


Sports

Somehow LSA, the Levittown Swimming Association, has always been a part of our Hicksville summers. My family’s introduction to the organization in 1975 began when our two older daughters tried out for the Parkway Swim Team, one of the nine teams that competed through July and most of August.

It was no small task for the younger girl, swimming her first full lap in the deep end of the pool to qualify at age six, but both girls made the team and donned the coveted gray tee shirts as the trees cast their shadows over the pool water at the end of practice.

I’m convinced that the soul and the center of Hicksville is Cantiague Park. And why not? Every weekend it’s a beehive of activity ranging from tennis matches, hand ball games, basketball and baseball games, swimming, hockey and of course ‘the beautiful game’ called soccer. Cantiague has two professional soccer fields that are perfectly manicured and begging to be played on. And they were. This weekend was the finals of the East Meadow Soccer Tournament which is one of the largest youth soccer tournaments in the nation, sponsored by the US Soccer Federation. There were 18 boys and girls teams in the finals and a large staff of referees.

Two of the refs were Steven Orozco and Randy Vogt who told me how soccer had been growing and has now become the second most popular participation sport in America with 25 million of us watching this year’s World Cup.  I also met and interviewed Joe Codispoti who along with Tim Bradbury is the head coach of Rockville Centre United, a U16 boys club.  This U16 team has a group of standout players led by  Jack Graziano, AJ Codispoti and Pat Basile who have been playing together for six years.


Calendar

Close Encounters with Benevolent ETs and Ascended Masters

August 29

Adventures in Genealogy

September 4

Greek Festival

September 5-7



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