01/18/15 8:00am
01/18/2015 8:00 AM
Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Chancellor Meryll Tisch (left) alongside Regent Roger Tilles at a Common Core forum in Eastport in November 2013. (Credit: Carrie Miller, file)

Ordinarily, letters exchanged between governors and high-level bureaucrats don’t make it to the top of The New York Times bestseller list. But, sometimes, one comes across a letter that makes one sit up and say, “Whoa, what’s going on here?” I refer to a recent letter about education reform sent by Board of Regents chancellor Merryl Tisch to Gov. Cuomo’s office. (It was also signed by the new “acting” commissioner of education, Elizabeth Berlin.)

What’s striking in Ms. Tisch’s recommendations to the governor is the unstated proposition that there is a big difference between public education and state education, and that state education is far superior. From the chancellor’s point of view, public education hasn’t just failed poor, black and Hispanic children the most, but has somehow even failed kids in Great Neck, Jericho, Scarsdale and Garden City — even though many of them go on to the best universities in the nation.

The remedy? State education. (more…)

01/17/15 8:00am
01/17/2015 8:00 AM

Fans of “Curb Your Enthusiasm” will recall the season seven finale when Larry David, accused of leaving a water mark on Julia Louis-Dreyfus’ wooden table, sets out to discover who really committed the deed. “Do you respect wood?” he asks several of his former “Seinfeld” colleagues. Conversations about wood discrimination ensue — leaving water marks on low-grade wood is OK, Jerry Seinfeld says; Larry expresses his adoration for all kinds of wood — and eventually finds out his wife is the sought-after water mark suspect.  (more…)

01/16/15 10:00am
01/16/2015 10:00 AM
(Credit: Grant Parpan)

(Credit: Grant Parpan)

As you leave the terrace at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., with its sprawling views of the U.S. Capitol, you pass the sign in the above photo. You might encounter this statement — which sums up the importance of a free press and defines the overall theme of the museum — after hours of perusing the many artifacts in the collection that underscore the difficulty and risk inherent in protecting this freedom, both here and around the world.  (more…)

01/15/15 6:00am
01/15/2015 6:00 AM

Bravo to the News-Review and Grant Parpan for his op/ed challenging Congressman Lee Zeldin for not immediately distancing himself from Louisiana Congressman Steve Scalise. Mr. Scalise, the majority whip in Congress, gave a speech in 2002 before an organization in Louisiana associated with David Duke, a nationally known white supremacist who has been associated with the Klu Klux Klan. This organization, the European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO), has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a white nationalist hate group.