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Cuomo’s scorn for public schools and teachers is obvious

Thursday, September 5, 2013
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Cuomo’s scorn for public schools and teachers is obvious

In an Aug. 27 Daily News article, Gov. Andrew Cuomo crossed the line in his diatribe about New York state’s public schools.

He had this to say: “There is going to be have to be a death penalty for failing schools ... where we say the children come first, before the bureaucracy.” Cuomo told reporters during a stop in suburban Buffalo, “If the school fails, the school has to end.”

Cuomo said options for failing schools include a takeover by the state or a takeover by a charter school. “I don’t want Albany to sit there and tell communities how to run their schools, but I do feel comfortable sitting in Albany and saying failing schools is not an option.”

It is time for all educators to ask for Cuomo’s resignation. He says that he does not want Albany to tell communities how to run their schools; however, he has meddled in schools more than any previous governor, including causing the state Education Department to renege on an agreement that had been negotiated with the teachers’ union regarding teacher evaluations.

His comments show how little he knows about the public school system and the people within it. They show how he continually tries to simplify an extremely complex issue, which goes well beyond the walls of the schoolhouse and reaches all areas of the community. The comments also show how little he cares about public schools.

His use of the term “death penalty” when referring to our schools is beyond hurtful and thoughtless. These schools serve our kids. They are also staffed by many very talented and caring individuals who want nothing but the best for their students.

I am proud to be a teacher and a school administrator who worked in outstanding public school districts in the state for almost 40 years.

It is laughable that one of Cuomo’s plans is to replace failing schools with charter schools, or have the state take them over.

When are we going to start seeing the results of Mr. Cuomo’s personally crafted teacher evaluation program? I have not heard a peep out of him about that lately. That is because it will soon crash and burn, like all other school improvement plans authored by politicians.

Cuomo’s comments have nothing to do with improving public schools. They have to do with his outright disdain for public schools and public school teachers and administrators.

John Metallo

Slingerlands

Don’t like the name? Don’t patronize truck

Self-described Italian-American Gary Guido’s Sept. 1 letter about the Wandering Dago illustrates how tolerant we have become about expressing foolishness.

If the author paid more attention to American culture, he would know that flag-burning is protected by the First Amendment. Thus a food truck named “The Wandering Dago,” by extension, is legally permissible.

The author has expressed that because he has taken offense when none was intended, others should take his neurotic sensibilities into account. My suggestion is for him to clear his mind, with or without help, of the mental debris that impedes his ability to correctly assess social situations.

In all the discussion about “offensive language,” the idea of coping behavior that displeases the letter writer by not buying food from the Wandering Dago has not been voiced by the discussants.

As for myself, since the food truck owners’ interpretation of “dago” came from one of the owners’ grandmothers — and I find people who respect their grandmothers my type of people — I will buy food from them every chance I get.

Fred Barney

Albany

Poisoners should all be treated equally

Is the fossil fuel industry’s poisoning of water, air and people, with fracking toxins, chemical warfare? Should they be bombed for their crimes? No.

More innocents would be hurt. Rather, they should be investigated, arrested and tried for their crimes.

Similarly, anyone who committed chemical warfare in Syria should be investigated, arrested and tried for their crimes at the International Criminal Court.

Let’s kill no more.

Peter Looker

Glenville

School supplies should not be an added expense

With a new school year approaching, my daughter received a long list of school supplies needed for her two children in middle school.

It turns out the list of supplies is not just for her children. Each child in the classroom needs to bring in the same amount of supplies, all of which are placed in bins for the school year. When supplies start running low, a message is sent home with students that more supplies need to be sent in.

At the end of the year, the school keeps the leftover supplies; nothing is returned to the children.

My daughter spent close to $100 for these supplies. If you multiply that by the number of students in each classroom, it turns out to be a sizable amount.

I guess I’m looking back at my school days, when all you had to buy was a loose-leaf binder, paper, pencils, pens and a few notebooks for your own use (not the entire classroom). I’m just sitting here wondering how school tax money is being used.

Interestingly, I keep seeing an ad on television regarding “home schooling.” If you choose to home-school your child, all supplies are provided free. Who is paying for this option?

With school taxes going through the roof, it seems as though a portion of the budget could be used to purchase classroom supplies, while the children could purchase a few items for their own, personal use.

Donna Hart

Glenville

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