Thursday, 13 March 2014 10:42
I know we are all busy, but I am asking you to read the following email and help our students in NY State.
By now I am certain you have all heard of Common Core. Though the intent may have been good, the resulting standards and implementation have been a complete debacle.
At no time were early education or developmental specialists consulted in designing the standards. Special needs children have been completely forgotten. The result is a set of expectations for our youngest students which are not only developmentally inappropriate, but completely at odds with what we know of cognitive development. Ironically, Jason Zimba, the mathematics standards writer for Common Core, reports that these standards were designed to prepare students for a two year college, and that graduating seniors would be unprepared for a freshman calculus course. How can we consider these standards to be superior if our graduating students will be even less prepared for STEM fields than they are now?Dr. Sandra Stotsky and Professor James Milgram, the only two educational experts on the validation committee, refused to sign off on the standards, reporting that they would leave our students unprepared for a four year college and make advancement in the STEM fields virtually impossible.
Finally, the data collection associated with the standards is a blatant violation of privacy. Over 400 data points are being collected and stored in a national data base. Along with academic history and test scores, more sensitive information is being collected, such as behavioral or disciplinary actions at school, medical or psychological diagnoses, and family marital status, to name a few, with personally identifiable information linked to it! This information may be shared with third party vendors at the discretion of the district and state, under the guise of development of educational materials.
FERPA and HIPAA laws were modified to prevent parents from blocking such data collection. Although I am vehemently opposed to my daughter’s personal and private information being collected and shared, I have no rights to prevent this.
I have attempted to be brief in my many, many objections to Common Core. I am therefore urging you to read this petition and sign to put a halt to common core and get our educational system back on track. We are making headway, but we still need more voices. Please step up for our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, friends, and put an end to this. The link for the petition is www.fixnyschools.com.
Sam B. Myers
Friday, 18 July 2014 00:00
One local playwright and his company — The Plainview Project — seem to be headed to the big leagues.
Claude Solnik of Plainview, the Plainview Project’s writer, is married with two children. While he has a master’s degree in dramatic writing from New York University, after graduating he ended up going into journalism, which currently remains his day job. But in his free time he indulged in his true passion, hammering out numerous play scripts until the day they he realized that he needed to stop sitting on these works he was creating and put them in the hands of actors that could give them life.
Thursday, 17 July 2014 00:00
Even as they hoped the parties would reach a last-minute settlement, commuters across Long Island were scrambling last week to devise alternate plans for getting to work if Long Island Rail Road’s 5,400 workers go on strike July 20. And they were vocal in their anger with the Metropolitan Transit Authority. The strike, it seems, has roused commuter ire over a wide range of LIRR issues, from timeliness to cleanliness to costs.
“I’ll have to figure out a new way home from work,” said Marco Allicastro, a 20-year-old Queens resident waiting for a train home at the Bethpage station after a day’s work at the local King Kullen. “Long Island doesn’t really have a lot of options in terms of transportation. Maybe I should get a new job.”