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…)
Students work with iPads in 2012 at Southold High School. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder, file)
There is no doubt that the largest portion of any local property tax bill is the amount funding the public school district. It’s a bill that causes taxpayers agita each and every year.
The 2 percent state cap on year-to-year tax levy increases is a temporary control tactic, not a sustainable strategy. And as we tighten our belts as a result of the cap, there are significant negative outcomes: pre- and after-school program cutbacks minimize opportunities for youth; increasing class sizes to maximum allowable levels results in instruction that cannot possibly address the needs and diversity of any given classroom population; lobbying for “our fair share” produces great photo-ops but makes us look like pigs at the trough; and staff layoffs are temporary fixes and only hand more responsibilities to someone already working at capacity, creating resentment and loss of pride in work.
So, what is the answer? (more…)
Tom Schiliro (left) and Anthony Palumbo, who are running for the second district state Assembly seat, debated Monday night in Riverhead. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
The Women’s Equality Act, and specifically, the parts of it dealing with abortion, was a hotly debated issue between the two candidates for the second district state Assembly seat during a debate Monday night at Polish Hall in Riverhead, which was sponsored and moderated by news website RiverheadLocal.com. (more…)
An adult deer tick, which are known to carry pathogens causing Lyme disease, babesiosis or anaplasmosis. (Credit: Daniel Gilrein Courtesy Photo)
New data outlining the extent of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases in New York State was released Thursday by a state Senate group that also came up with an action plan for combating the spread of such diseases.
Known as the Senate Majority Coalition Task Force on Lyme and Tick Borne Diseases, the task force was organized in October amid rising concerns regarding the spread of such diseases statewide.
Friends and family members had set up a memorial on Route 58 in Riverhead for hit-and-run victim Kristina Tfelt a few days after her death last July. (Credit: Paul Squire, file)
A bill that would increase penalties for those who flee the scenes of serious or fatal accidents passed through the New York State Assembly with bipartisan support Thursday with hours to spare, according to North Fork Assemblyman Anthony Palumbo, who co-sponsored the bill. (more…)
Waterfront homes in Jamesport along the bay. (Credit: Barbarellen Koch, file.)
New construction and any big renovation projects on Long Island would need modern waste treatment systems installed to better filter nitrogen from reaching ground and surface waters.
Registered pesticides that appear in groundwater in “multiple clusters” would be “prohibit[ed] for use.”
And, starting in 2017, no one would be allowed to repair cesspools in certain “priority areas,” of Nassau or Suffolk Counties. Those people would instead have to install denitrification systems.
These are just a few of the restrictions outlined in a new water quality control measure touted by state Assemblymen Robert Sweeney (D-Lindenhurst), during a conference put on by Long Island Clean Water Partnership advocacy groups in Islandia Thursday. (more…)
A mute swan mother with her cygnets in East Marion. (Credit: Katharine Schroeder)
Stakeholders on both sides of a life-or-death debate met in Albany last Thursday to discuss the future of the mute swan, an invasive species on the cusp of widespread population growth in New York.
There are approximately 2,200 mute swans in the state, according to the Department of Environmental Conservation, which are expected to reproduce at a rate of 13 to 20 percent annually. (more…)
Legislation signed in December by Gov. Andrew Cuomo that made school tax exemptions for available to certain veterans took effect with little advance notice, making it difficult for school boards tasked with deciding whether their districts would participate in the program to make well-researched and educated decisions. (more…)