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Stuttering better describes recent actions of the Port Washington School Board than calling them divided. Close to the end of the first month of the 2000 term and still the board's decision-making policies remains stagnant like rainwater in a dredged pond.

Going back to the Sept. 14 front-page story in the Port News, we read that lengthy discussions "forced the postponement of focusing on facilities options to a second meeting." We also learned that Dr. Albert Inserra said "schools open this academic year with 4,440 students, an enrollment which exceeds projections."

This board's infighting, which is continually documented by the Sussman-Zimmerman literary soap opera, certainly will have an effect on student classroom performance. Waiting to read about decreasing test scores may not be a prudent course of action.

In Valley Stream, where I work, the high school district board works as a team and is providing that community with wonderful opportunities and programs for their students. This past summer an $8 million wide area network and 947 computers were installed in the district's three high schools and one junior high school.

More importantly, with their bond issue out of the way and new facility construction almost complete, that board now focuses on raising standards in the classrooms and preparing for a more diverse population.

Sadly, the clock is ticking in Port Washington. Within a few years, many will realize that the community's failure to upgrade school facilities cost Port Washington something valuable. More salient than real estate values, are missed educational opportunities for local students.

Eventually these children will know enough where to cast blame when doors are closed in their faces after having passed through our school system. Maybe someone else will have an answer for them, when we're asked why we spent so much time coordinating rides to travel games and so little on providing educational opportunities. Presently, that one question makes me stutter while searching for an answer.

Robert Remler


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