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Mineola Test Assessment Talk

The Mineola School District Board of Education assessed the district’s performance in recent New York State assessment and Regents testing; performance that Superintendent of Schools Dr. Michael

Nagler noted was in need of improvement at a July 24 board meeting.


Nagler addressed issues that students have been encountering with the recently-mandated state assessments, noting the difference in effectiveness between what he called “formative testing,” or testing on a regular basis, and “summative testing,” which is done annually, typically at the end of the school year.


“We like to focus on formative assessments, which are more frequent and give us more information in time to fix something that we see is not working,” he said. “Summative testing doesn’t give us much information in a fashion in which we can fix it...information from the year before, old results, how will that help me fix things? Regular testing is much more effective.”


Nagler spoke on one specific assessment conducted in the Mineola district—the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) test, an exam conducted most recently in 2009 and 2012 that targets 15-year-olds which he described as being very much in-line with the new Common Core standards recently adopted by New York State. PISA effectively measures legitimate knowledge and not simply a student’s ability to regurgitate memorized facts and figures, Nagler said.


The PISA results Mineola students achieved were found to be lacking when compared to neighboring districts, such as Herricks; however, Nagler noted that certain aspects of the test could make the results somewhat deceptive.


“In our case, we didn’t do too well,” he said. “But this test doesn’t takes into account the social-economic background of the district, and when you take that into account, our results are not high, but they’re not low, either.”


Nagler said the district’s scores on assessment tests are, in reality, less important that the legitimately important, real-world results that the Mineola School District manages to generate; mainly, their success in regents exams and graduation rates.


“We do that very well,” he said. “We have a 95 percent graduation rate, and we have an advanced regents diploma rate that, this year, was greater than Herricks. So, while Herricks’ assessment rates were a little higher than ours, Herricks did not graduate more students with advanced regents diplomas than we did. ”


Nonetheless, Nagler said steps would be taken to improve the performance of students on future assessment testing such as PISA.


“When they take this test in the future, it’s my expectation that we will be above the line,” he said. “They will be prepared to answer questions the way that these tests will put those questions to them. That’s what we’re building toward.”


Online Class Pilot Program

In other news, there is a new aspect of learning in New York State that the Mineola School District is currently spearheading—online classes. Starting in the upcoming 2014-15 school year, students who are interested in doing so can participate in a “pilot” program where they can take an advanced placement psychology course, Nagler said.


“We’re going to be partnering with BOCES in bringing learning to the online world,” he said. “I’m hoping that we’re going to get some interested students to attempt this and really see how it works; where we can improve, and is it viable to expand this catalog to include children that want to try something online.” 


Nagler noted that offering certain course options online can help to increase the overall width of the learning experience due to the fact that class size and practicality would no longer be a consideration.


“We wouldn’t have to worry about when we hold the class, day or night, or if only six students want to take it,” he said. “In this instance, online courses would be cost-effective.”


The Mineola School Board will hold a public hearing on the much-debated New York State veterans exemption on Thursday, Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the Willis Avenue School. It is expected the board will either approve or disapprove the tax exemption during its regular meeting at 7 p.m.

When votes go to the polls next week on Tuesday, Nov. 4 to vote on the Town of North Hempstead’s 2nd Council District seat, candidate Bonnie Parente feels her stance on the building department is what voters will remember when casting their choice. The 2nd council district post is currently held by Peter Zuckerman, a former East Hills trustee. He was appointed to the seat in January to replace Thomas Dwyer, who resigned last year.


“That’s the major issue I heard about when I knocked on doors,” she said. “No matter where I am, I could be at the Herricks Community Center or the Albertson Pasta Dinner and

predominately what people ask about is how to fix the building department.”


Samantha Pastore

Samantha Pastore, senior and third-year varsity player, is also co-captain of the currently undefeated (11-0) Mineola Girls Varsity Volleyball team. She is an outside hitter and is often recognized in games by starting rallies with her quick thinking and nimble feet. She earns 20 percent of the team’s points and averages four aces per match.

The Mineola Mustangs varsity football team fell to the Seaford Vikings last week 27-21, missing their chance to tie the top seeds Locust Valley and Roosevelt’s 6-1 Nassau conference IV record.


After tying the game in the second half and having the opportunity to capitalize on Seaford’s failed extra-point kick on their final touchdown, the Viking’s senior wide receiver/defensive back Bobby Buell knocked away a pass from Mineola senior quarterback James Gerstner to senior wide receiver Brian Smith in the end-zone with 57 seconds left


International Night - October 30

Halloween Parade - October 31

Cultural Arts Series - November 1 


1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller,

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry,

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller,