State should rethink its new testing rules

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI read with interest the Jan. 23 article about new accountability rules for New York’s schools. Having taught for over 30 years in this state, I’m used to seeing regulations come and go. Some ideas have clear and appropriate goals. Others seem to have been created on the fly.Particularly difficult for me to swallow in the new batch of rules is the directive about districts being held accountable for student participation in state tests. This strikes me as lacking any clear thought and being another case of the state passing the buck to districts, as it so often does.The opt-out movement is an example of democracy at its best. An important constituency (parents) realized that something was wrong and took action.There’s a complete lack of logic in holding districts accountable for increasing participation rates. How on Earth can they be expected to do this when there is a concerted effort to the contrary by parents? The state obviously has no answer, so it just kicked the can. Why would the state try to quash a well-organized and thoughtful act of resistance? We try to teach students to be active participants in our democracy. When we try to suppress actions, we are sending a contradictory message.The state Department of Education would do well to include all stakeholders in a comprehensive and inclusive discussion of what is really wrong with testing in the state. Forcing districts to be bullies is not the answer.Martha MeskutoveczGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Bus driver shortage is being caused by fear

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRecently I read an article about the shortage of school bus drivers. Why is that, you ask? They pay between $17 and $24 an hour. If you’re full-time, you get health insurance. You are also eligible to participate in the very lucrative retirement system.The answer to the question is fear.The schools are afraid of the poorly behaved students and parents, so they will not back the drivers.How would you like to be responsible for the safety of 40 students and deal with a few bad students? Would you like your child on that bus? Don’t believe me? Ask a school bus driver. How do I know this? I have been driving school buses and motor coaches for close to 40 years, .Peter J. GrippoRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborCar hits garage in Rotterdam Sunday morning; Garage, car burnEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Identity politics is tearing country apart

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Today, the issues seem much more pervasive and at the same time much less well defined. We are caught up in identity politics spearheaded by the radical left and antagonistically fragmenting people along often imaginary ethnic, racial and sexual categories.The process involves leftist ideologues, with help from the media, supposedly addressing social problems. The effect is the opposite. People’s emotionally based problems — family breakdown, abortion, school shootings, drugs, poverty, etc. — are displaced and acted out in politics on all social levels.The real responsibilities of politicians, including maintaining American military strength, border control and immigration, are systematically ignored.These politically motivated actions and inaction perpetrated by leftist extremists, according to Charles Konia ( “Neither Right Nor Left”), result in “evading recognition of the underlying emotionally conflicting forces plaguing people” and they are tearing America apart.GEORGE HUGHESBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? America is more divided than in any time in its history since the Civil War. At that time, the conflict was over states’ rights and slavery. The cost was 600,000 American lives, both on and off the battlefields.last_img read more

Marble Arch Tower filling

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Waitrose is the latest to tuck in at Canary Wharf

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Crossed lines

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Chelsfield loses Earls Court bid

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BIDs await government nod

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Swim against the tide

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The five-year plan

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