A mere four years ago, and for decades prior, one could not find any substantial evidence of students opting-out of standardized testing. At first glance, the current, heated, conflict over state testing and the “opt-out” movement appears to be a dispute between those who believe in and those who dispute the value of state tests. But this conflict goes deeper. It is a conflict about what is good for children and adolescents, about how children learn and thrive, and about how to raise young people to enter into and contribute to their communities as mature members of a democratic society. (more…)
No doubt you have heard the news that public education is in need of reform. Gov. Cuomo has said so. Former CNN anchor Campbell Brown has said so. Even President Obama has said so. And what do all these people have in common? Well, a few things. None of them has taught students a day in their life. All of them have received pay or political contributions from the charter school movement and/or testing companies and all of them have wholly endorsed more charter schools. (more…)
County Executive Steve Bellone (center) touts the benefits of the county’s new sex offender monitoring efforts in Hauppauge last week. (Credit: Tim Gannon)
East End towns and villages are now under political and media pressure to participate in Suffolk County’s sex offender monitoring program. This program is operated, under contract with the county, by the Parents for Megan’s Law advocacy organization. Taking a position against a new sex offender monitoring program, here or anywhere, will not help me win any popularity contests. However, I think it’s important for us to take an objective look at this program’s potential impact on the community, its taxpayers and those it targets before jumping on the “Let’s get tough with sex offenders” bandwagon. (more…)
Riverhead Town Board members at a meeting last year. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch, file)
National debate about corporate campaign contributions is endless and abstract. The discussion becomes manageable and much more real if we look at a small, local example of how the practice damages government and hurts taxpayers.
I’m not suggesting, or even hinting, that anything illegal occurred; that does not make the activity any less noxious or offensive. (more…)
The advantages (or disadvantages) of social media include experiencing the sentiments of people in places where you once lived. I’m in Maine now, but in the last month I’ve experienced the devastation of my former friends and family back home on the North Fork. The feelings on the above-average snowfall have turned from fleeting enjoyment to abject horror. I’ve watched and listened with a particular interest as a person to whom several feet of snow has become not only normal, but a source of pure enjoyment.
Regarding Hugh Prestwood’s response to editor Michael White’s column pointing to the “nephew effect” in policing:
What time capsule did Mr. Prestwood just climb out of? Is he that naïve to think that police experiences like the “nephew effect” don’t happen to white people, through which they get the benefit of the doubt from police and society? (more…)
Regarding editor Michael White’s “nephew effect” and its contribution to “white privilege,” I must not have the right uncles, since my white skin has had no beneficial effect when I’ve been ticketed for speeding or once nabbed for scalping tickets or once — most unfortunately — being arrested and charged with a felony. Mr. White uses subjective and anecdotal evidence to validate his own bias: that we whites are “unconscious” racists, oblivious to our “everyday white privilege.” (more…)
Gray shuts out the sun as another winter begins to descend upon the Enterprise Park at Calverton, known as EPCAL.
For 20 years now, the former Grumman property — once a fertile crescent of ideas and action, the place that defended freedom in time of danger and placed a man on the moon — has sat cold and dormant. For 20 years, EPCAL has been long on talk and short on results. (more…)