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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

Levittown Hall in Hicksville comes alive every Thursday night with music, dance, fun and laughter as students are swept away into the world of Latin dance.

Under the instruction of professional teacher Mark James, dance hopefuls learn a trio of Latin dance, including salsa, meringue and what James describes as the biggest craze in Latin dancing today, bachata.

 book shops in Hicksville and around the country will hand out free comics on Oct. 25, to celebrate the second biggest free comic book event of the year—Halloween ComicFest. On Saturday, anyone who goes into a participating comic shop can choose from 19 free comics and participate in fun activities comic shops host for their customers to enjoy, while discovering new types of comics and the treasures found in store.

In Hicksville, both Game Master Games (954 S. Broadway) and Amok Time (108C New South Road) will be taking part in the Halloween ComicFest festivities. Game Master Games just recently started carrying comic books and this will be the store’s first comic book-related event. Coincidently, the event runs in the middle of an in-store gaming convention, and store owner Dave VanderWerf is looking forward to the increased exposure for the store.


Sports

The Hicksville girls volleyball team improved to 7-1 by knocking off Oceanside in three consecutive sets by scores of 25-13, 25-19 and 25-14.

Emily Markakis played terrificly, using a powerful serve to record three aces, seven kills and added nine digs. Nikki Chase added six kills and eight digs. Additionally, Raeann Dong was versatile—recording three aces, seven kills and nine digs.

The Girls Varsity soccer team, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, wore pink uniforms and pink socks in their game on Oct. 8 against MacArthur whom they defeated 1-0. The girls and boys soccer programs at Hicksville High School are selling pink ribbon car magnets with a soccer ball and HHS on it with the words “Kick Cancer” on the ribbon. All the money raised will go to the Sarah Grace Foundation, which is a local foundation trying to beat pediatric cancer. The players plan to raise $1,000 for this organization

— From Hicksville High School


Calendar

Board of Education Meeting

October 22

Oktoberfest

October 25-26

Pancake Breakfast

October 26



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