Imagine living in a community that has no churches, charities, museums, sports leagues, art galleries, historical societies, fraternal organizations, youth centers, or senior citizens services. Hard to imagine except in the worse inner-city slum or in some rural backwoods? Not really. These institutions depend on volunteers to keep their doors open and fewer and fewer people volunteer.
In a society where people watch a few hours of TV a night, spend hours Facebooking people they’ve not seen in 20 years about what they had for lunch, and sufficiently wired into computer games in their cell phone to resemble the autistic in their disconnection with the rest of the world, it’s difficult to get people to donate a few hours a month in the community. (I’ll doubtless receive flack about the autistic comparison, but I have a profoundly autistic nephew. It kills me that he’ll never hold a job, enjoy the eloquence of literature, get married, or wonder at scientific discovery. Yet in many ways, those who chose to isolate themselves from the rest of their community out of apathy are no less tragic).
Many years ago, I was engaged in the process of gaining an Irish passport. Ireland grants citizenship to descendants. For example, if your grandparents were born in Ireland, you could apply for citizenship based on descent from Irish grandparents. At the time, I was looking into opportunities in Europe, but unfortunately the international rules and regulations were impossible to overcome.
However, I found out dual citizenship in one of the European Union countries was a way around the red tape. The application process required specific documentation - birth and marriage certificates - tracing back the lineage to Ireland.
Statement of the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA)
Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer
Today’s decision by the state Board of Regents to seek a federal waiver from the strictures of No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is welcome news for school districts across this state that were facing unrealistic expectations, such as requiring 100 percent proficiency in English/Language Arts and mathematics by 2014.
The common AP? CUNY? SUNY? GPA. On site registration? Four-year schools. SATs. Two-year schools. Naviance? Class rank. Financial aid. There is so much to learn about the college application process that managing the process can not only be overwhelming to students, but to parents as well. Stressful may be an understatement. The college selection process is a culmination of thirteen years of schooling – kindergarten through 12th grade. Children spend over 2,300 days in school leading up to the process and one could say this is the true final exam for higher education. In fact, our children only get one good shot at it from high school, so we want to make it count. But how?
Island Trees students are fortunate to receive science instruction from a number of outstanding teachers, as well as take part in many top notch classes. Recently, I was able to spend time with two of our science teachers – Dr. Andrew Sass and Mr. Joseph Manna. Dr. Sass is MIT educated with a PhD from Purdue University. For two decades, Dr. Sass has cultivated the Island Trees Physics program, including developing our AP Physics C class.
As the elections for key Town of Hempstead positions draws near, voters need to take a close look at how things have deteriorated in the Town under the current administration. We also need to be aware of the patronage and waste that exists in the Town. One example is the projected $900,000 increase in the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter budget, a facility that has a current operating budget significantly higher than other similar shelters, and a facility that is loaded with highly paid patronage positions. This needs to be explained to the voters. There are other wasteful practices in the Town, such as the many mailings sent to our homes. These are nothing more than campaign literature disguised as “important information,” and are paid for by the taxpayers.
It’s too easy for liberal Democrats to dismiss the Tea Party people as reactionary cranks and for the conservative Republicans to dismiss the Occupy Wall Street folks as hippie anarchists. Both protest movements have more in common with one another - and with the average American citizen - than with the dysfunctional system they are protesting.
These protestors are not nut cases or fringe extremists. They are our friends, families, and neighbors who are being taxed, downsized, and outsourced into poverty and homelessness; the scores of millions of working people who aren’t politically-connected bankers, businessmen, bureaucrats, lawyers, union bosses, or foreign governments.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the column From the Desk of Dr. Charles Murphy that appeared in the Friday, Oct. 7 edition of the Levittown Tribune.)
The Levittown Tribune ran an article written by ITUFSD Superintendent Dr. Charles Murphy on October 7, 2011, detailing Island Trees High School’s current AP rankings. According to Dr. Murphy, 207 students passed AP exams in 2010-11, which represented a one-year increase of 83 students passing AP exams. He referred to this increase as remarkable. Is it? You decide.
(Editor’s note: This letter is in response to the column “From the Desk of Dr. Charles Murphy, Island Trees Superintendent of Schools” that appeared in the Friday, Sept. 23 edition of the Levittown Tribune. The information from the superintendent was also sent via email from the district to Island Trees residents who are subscribers to the district’s email notification system.)
I am in receipt of an email newsletter from Dr. Murphy and I need to respond. The superintendent lays out in detail the forthcoming tax cap law signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo after being passed by the senate and the assembly.
For the 2010-11 school year, Island Trees High School opened up our Advanced Placement (AP) classes to more students. AP is the national benchmark for high school excellence, and the associated course work is one of the key requirements for enrollment into the best colleges and universities. In fact, the research shows students who take these rigorous classes are better prepared for college courses and tend to graduate in the traditional four year timeframe. Naturally, most colleges understand this and factor this into their selection process. They want students who take challenging course work.
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