America is the land of opportunity. Unfortunately, these opportunities have diminished in recent years; however, with a little hard work they’re still out there for young people. During one of the worst periods in our country’s great history—The Great Depression—opportunities were few and far between for most Americans, much worse than today’s Great Recession.
At this time, my paternal grandfather survived by working his small farm and many odd jobs in New York’s Mohawk Valley. Although he had left school in the eighth grade, he was considered fairly well educated for this time period. Incredibly at this time, only about 10 percent of students graduated high school.
As many of you know, New York State plans to test students, in grades 3-8, on the new Common Core Learning Standards. Last year, Kentucky was the first state to test their students with these new lofty standards. Unfortunately, the results in Kentucky plummeted from the prior year. Reading proficiency fell from 76 percent to 48 percent in Kentucky’s elementary schools and 70 percent to 46.8 percent in their middle schools.
Equally concerning, math scores dropped from 73 percent to 40.4 percent in their elementary schools and 65 percent to 40.6 percent in the state’s middle schools.
About one-half (49 percent) of school board members favor giving priority placement in state-funded universal pre-kindergarten programs to children living in poverty, according to a new poll by the New York State School Boards Association (NYSSBA). Forty-three percent oppose the measure, while 8 percent are uncertain.
The poll comes as the state Board of Regents prepares to vote on proposals that would give priority placement in universal pre-K programs to children who qualify for free - and reduced-price lunch, as well as direct more state pre-K funding to average and low wealth school districts. The Regents’ vote is whether to recommend these policy changes. To become law, the state legislature would have to adopt both proposals.
The adopted $2.8 billion Nassau County budget for fiscal year 2013 represents a 0.2 percent decrease in spending compared to the 2012 budget. For the third consecutive year, the budget holds the line on property taxes with no increase.
The budget is fiscally conservative containing only $60.1 million of revenue and expenditure items considered as having risk. This is the lowest amount of budgetary risk in over four years. The $60.1 million at risk is comprised of $39.1 million in possible lower revenues and $21 million in possible higher expense. This level of risk is about 2 percent of the total budget and should be manageable.
Parents are their child’s teacher. In fact, out of the scores of teachers your child will have during their lifetime, there is no teacher more important. Parents will spend more time and have more at stake with their child than any classroom teacher ever will. Therefore, it is important for parents to create a rich learning environment that will enable their child to succeed in school.
The story of Christmas is not one in which a mighty emperor arrives on a mighty steed but rather one in which God identifies fully with ordinary people huddling in the dark: a young mother in labor, an anxious father, a baby born in a barn. Many of us recently huddled together in the dark when a storm took away the lights, phones, and warm homes we took for granted.
In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Assemblyman David G. McDonough is reminding Long Island residents and businesses to be on guard against repair scams and those who may try to exploit unsuspecting homeowners who suffered property damage. Despite the outpouring of support from volunteers and charitable organizations, there are still those who may try to take advantage of affected parties.
“It is important that we protect ourselves against those trying to exploit this disaster for personal gains,” said McDonough. “There are many reputable organizations that are able to assist those affected by the storm.
Recently, dozens of Kiwanians and sponsored youth came together outside of King Kullen in Levittown to collect hundreds of food items to donate those in need this Thanksgiving.
The Kiwanis Club of Levittown does this every year; this year, however, the response was even more incredible than previous years. Because of the generous spirit of Levittown residents, the Kiwanis Club was able to fill over 50 shopping carts of food.
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.
Unlike years and years ago, problem solving has become an important component of the New York State math curriculum. As an elementary student, I can recall my teachers assigning pages and pages of math computations, but for some reason we were always allowed to skip the two word problems at the bottom of the page. In fact, if word problems were assigned, they were designated as a “bonus work”.
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