Standardized exams didn’t become the high-intensity debate that it is now until New York State exam achievement was tied to teacher evaluation through the Annual Professional Performance Review (APPR) law.
Unfortunately, no discussion currently underway addresses the genesis of the problem.
The purpose of teacher evaluations is to improve teacher performance. However, a review of APPR reveals that the system was not designed to achieve that purpose. Consider the following:
I can imagine in Nassau County, where everything seems to go wrong, that school zone cameras will become a reality. The ball is in the hands of the people who can plan their routes so they don’t pass by schools or if it says 20 mph, creep through at 10 mph just to be safe. Chances are good that next light will be red anyway. What’s the rush? It’s up to us to ensure that not one summons ever gets issued.
It’s funny that they can finish the construction of the beautiful multi-million dollar Winthrop Research Center in less time than it takes us to do anything about the ugly Going Sign in front of it. Too bad. That sign just keeps going and going but never seems to be gone.
— Peter Gollobin
Mineola business owner
Memorial Day has passed, marking the official start of the summer season, a season that is above all about warm sunshine.
The sun is an astonishing presence in our lives. It is a primary, primal, life-giving force on this planet. Humans, like many species, are drawn to bask in its warmth. We miss it in winter, falling prey to sadness—officially called seasonal affective disorder—in the months when Apollo’s
chariot arcs low in the sky.
I don’t know about you but my stomach is turning and it’s not from too many barbecues Memorial Day weekend. No, my stomach is turning because we, as a nation, are hypocritical in the treatment of our veterans.
That’s not easy to write and I’m sure it makes some of you uncomfortable, but someone owes it to these men and women to speak what’s truly on their minds. I spent Memorial Day weekend at numerous observances and I had the honor of spending time with many veterans and their families. In no uncertain terms, our veterans are unanimously disgusted by the recent Veterans Administration (VA) healthcare revelations that treatment delays and falsified records have led to the deaths of fellow veterans.
Editor’s Note: Lou Sanders, who has his journalism degree from NYU, and his wife, Grace, a graduate of Adelphi, founded the Mineola American in 1952, giving the village its first successful newspaper. Lou and Grace, a graduate of Adelphi University, have lived in Mineola for 60 years, and his popular column is a signature feature of this paper.
What a guy Bill Gresalfi is. For an adventurous 32 years, he was a Third Precinct police officer. Bill has served in the Mineola Fire Department since 1978. He was named an honorary chief, and was appointed to a position in the recent election, “a great guy to have on your team,” said Chief Jeff Clark. Bill likes the job that Third Precinct Commander Sean McCarthy is doing and praises the cops like Sean Coffee, Jim Doughterty, Ken Parker, Nick Mosesso, Ron Connolly, Charlie Sellin, Mark Kellerman, Mohit Arora, and the rest. Bill is a man who likes to give back to the village he loves. He lives on Westbury Avenue.
We all remember springtime in high school and how it wasn’t always the rising temperatures that made us sweat. Finals time is stressful for students from all grades, but especially for those high school freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors.
Just the thought of the math Regents exam sends algebraic chills up our spines, culminating in a Pythagorean Theorem-sized anxiety attack. We remember those long nights of last-week cramming, with a steady diet of Mountain Dew and leftover Easter candy keeping our minds lubricated in wide-eyed hyper-sensitivity.
In response to Billionaires vs. Our Kids (May 21-27), since 1974 when President Richard Nixon created the U.S. Department of Education, the country has lost it prominence in educating our kids. Why? Because of all the politicians, special interest groups and bureaucrats have not made education policies based on the interest of the children.
At least 85 percent of all educators do a fabulous job in the classrooms. The problem is education administrators don’t hold children, parents, teachers’ unions and federal and state bureaucrats accountable to their responsibility to educate our kids.
Like many of my fellow Nassau County residents, I was deeply troubled by County Legislator Ellen Birnbaum’s dismissive and offensive remarks regarding the Yes We Can Community Center.
While I believe Ms. Birnbaum took office in the hope of making a difference, her words clearly fall somewhere on the spectrum between insensitive and racist. Where she lands specifically on that spectrum makes little difference. People were deeply offended. Because of this, I join the leadership of Nassau County Democrats, including legislative Minority Leader Kevan Abraham and Nassau Democratic Chairman Jay Jacobs in calling for Ms. Birnbaum to resign.
In “This Illness Isn’t Treated Like An Illness” (The Weekend, April 9-15), Claudia Peters Ragni makes the case that substance abusers’ addictions to alcohol, pills, and heroin “should be treated the same as other diseases” (because) “treating addicts differently from how we treat people with any chronic disease isn’t okay.” While she briefly concedes that “substance addiction is a disease with a behavioral component,” she seems unwilling to admit what an understandable difference that makes in why “it’s not looked at in the same way.”
I don’t think it’s surprising that people tend to sympathize with “innocent victims” a lot more than with people who cause their own problems by their stubbornly-bad life choices.
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