Opinion

As we approach yet another year of debate surrounding the increased cost of educating our children, we are faced with both the dwindling assistance received from governmental sources despite the increasing demand put upon us by our legislators as well as the shouts from the rooftops of those who refuse to pay a dollar more in taxes because the burden has already grown too high for them to sustain the lifestyle to which they believe they are entitled. I urge the Port Washington School Board to consider the following proposal in order to reduce its budget and assuage the members of the Port Washington community.

First, close all of the school libraries. They are filled with books that can be found in our Port Washington library. As you are well aware, the Port Washington Library is considered one of the best on Long Island. Why not put it to better use? By closing our school libraries, we would be saving the cost of updating the resources that are used by our children (not to mention the salaries of the librarians and support staff) and the children would still have access to our local library. So what if we would have to drive them there, spend time waiting while they do their work and drive them home. The savings would far outweigh the inconvenience.

Second, modify the subjects that our children are taught and eliminate the areas of education that take too long to teach. For example, teachers have a difficult time teaching adverbs to children in elementary school. It is a long painstaking process and few children truly grasp the concept. Why take the time? It is evident in our daily lives that there is little necessity for adverbs. Take for example the Half Hollow Hills School District. They erected a sign at their elementary school that states "Drive Slow." When pointed out to those in charge, the response was "does it really matter, it works." Clearly a school district such as Half Hollow Hills has no use for adverbs, why does Port Washington really need them? Another elementary subject that is extremely difficult is division. The fact is anything you can divide you can conquer and conquering is not politically correct in the 21st century so why start down that path in the first place. If you simply stopped teaching division and adverbs, you might save sufficient time in a teacher's crowded schedule so that you could combine two years of elementary education and perhaps be able to close one of the elementary schools, thereby saving the taxpayers additional money. If this works, think of the other possibilities: You could combine home economics with shop (you have to shop to run a home don't you?), Spanish with English (it is happening anyway - press "one" for Spanish), music with gym (no need for two rooms and why do we need instruments ... didn't you see the Music Man?). And science with religion (it's working in Alabama).

I would also recommend removing the Industrial Revolution from the curriculum. It's boring and most children really don't care about this time period. Aside from the fact that there were a few people making great sums of money, is there really much to learn? Teachers could talk about the Dotcom era and impart the same wisdom.

Finally, have you ever sat through a physics course? Certainly it was one of the most difficult classes that I have ever taken and I'm not sure I learned anything. Why put our children through such misery? Once again, we save our children from certain boredom while at the same time save our fine citizens a tremendous amount of money (at least enough for a cup of coffee at Starbucks).

I caution you, however. You will be tempted to accept my changes but there will be those who will want you to replace these unneeded classes with other types of learning. You must resist. Fiscal restraint must be applied at all costs.

Edward M. Rosenthal


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