Sound Off To The Editor • Brooklyn Paper

Sound Off To The Editor

To the editor,

Education is supposed to be the great equalizer, but not in New York City. Our city is home to over one million creative, curious, intelligent students who deserve a world-class education that sets them on a path to success and achievement. Our schools should prepare every student either for college or for a career, but they do not. Seemingly, they prepare some for Rikers by dismissing or downplaying crime.

Last year, the city spent more on education per student (about $23,000) than any major city in America and still, a great number of our high-school students don’t graduate and many of those who graduate don’t have the required skills to get a job. It’s a travesty for which Mayor DeBlasio has no answer. Today, 45,000 students sit on charter-school waitlists (the longest waitlist in the nation) and the United Federation of Teachers is blocking charters through the mayor.

NYC schools are strangled by regulation and bad policy that prioritizes liberal ideology and political correctness instead of prioritizing kids. The mayor has increased the number of top administrators, along with their pay, and sold out our school system to powerful unions and entrenched bureaucrats. We need a mayor who is beholden to no special interests and will put children first. Here’s how:

First, we must elect a mayor that will serve our kids.

Second, we must eliminate the disruption and violence factor by bringing back the old “600” schools.

Third, we must give parents real choice with new charters, specialized and vocational schools and improved conventional public schools. Guarantee choice to any student in a district underperforming the city math or reading average. Push for an education tax credit that will significantly expand the number of seats available to low-income children at yeshivas and parochial schools. We need City Hall to support equal funding for students, regardless of whether at a district school or a public charter school.

Fourth, we must open more specialized public high schools. Not enough students, particularly blacks and Hispanics, are reaping the rewards of our specialized schools. Needless to say, acceptance must be earned. We hear so many times that the DOE wants to place kids who “just missed” the cutoff in specialized high schools. Now, those kids and other deserving ones can go to Specialized School B.

Fifth, we must get every school on a path to excellence. The DOE must identify our best schools, principals and teachers, and expand their most successful techniques system-wide. End the disastrous practice of doubling down on failed approaches while wasting tens of millions of dollars on crony consultants.

Sixth, we must demand transparency and accountability. The DOE needs to grade schools and to keep accurate crime stats. Parents and students have a right to know how schools measure up.

Seventh, we must teach students the life skills they need to succeed outside the classroom, such as financial literacy and learning how to fill out an employment application.

None of this will happen under the current administration. It is up to us to elect a mayor that cares about our schoolkids. Will voters help? Will the UFT’s rank-and-file help? Will parents of children in failing schools help?Elio Valenti


A real success story

To the editor (and Mr. Greenspan),

I hope you and every other reader read Lenore Skenazy’s column in last week’s paper, “The Very Great Story of a Very Bad Student.” Dominick Vandenberge’s story proves what I have been trying to say in my letters about our educational system: that every child has some subject that will reach him — be it ancient Greek history or auto mechanics.

Many students just don’t know what it is and will keep failing and getting into trouble until they find something in life that is really meaningful to them. I think it should be the responsibility of everyone in the educational system to attempt to help each and every student find some subject, some field of work, that really interests him or her and to find a place in the world where he or she can contribute and lead a meaningful life.

Elaine Kirsch


Words to the wise

To the editor,

I respectfully disagree with Rowena Lachant’s letter about the descriptions used to describe common criminals. I look forward every week to read those names. The nogoodniks, goons, a baddie, crook, jerk, cretin, fraudster, and so on. I find them funny and humorous, comical, amusing, hilarious, entertaining, laughable, even riotous. Those words just make me laugh, giggle, chuckle, grin, sometimes even howl and roar, even die laughing and roll on the floor and split my side — they have me in stitches. I must say with all the bad news, I appreciate a little kidding, a little levity or jesting and some tomfoolery. So please Rowena, lighten up and don’t analyze, scrutinize, eyeball, study, peruse, watch, and inspect every word used to describe these criminals, mischief makers, lowlifes, scoundrels, gutterpups, scamps, creeps, rats, derelicts, rascals, villains, finks, and shysters. Just enjoy the names used for dem bums.Peter G.Orsi

Marine Park

Anti-Republican rage

To the editor,

How very interesting how the Republicans responded to the shooting of the Republican Congressman. Now that this has hit home I wonder if these same Republicans who oppose background checks for guns would finally have the guts and do something. In the December of this year it will be five years since the killing of children and a teacher from Sandy Hook. What really annoys me [is] when the parents went before Congress and pleaded for background checks the room was still as a mouse. Would they feel the same way if those children were their grandchildren either shot or killed?

So in these past five years I’ve lost count on how many people have lost their lives to guns. Once again the Republicans are only interested in what’s good for them. Go against the NRA and you’re in for a primary fight you’re going to loose. Is there a double standard between Congress and the general public? That the life of Congressmen is more important then the lives of the general public? I don’t think so.John Snow

Brighton Beach

Anti-Democrat Diss

To the editor,

The shooting of Congressmen, aides and Capitol police at an Alexandria, Va. charity baseball game points out how far crazed individuals are affected by rhetoric.

While Democrats incessantly howl Anti Trump and Anti Republican statements, they also complain bitterly about Republicans supporting the National Rifle Association. Was this shooter an insane Republican brandishing an automatic weapon, No… it was a disgruntled anti-Republican, anti-Trump crazy, deeply affected by the Democrats’ poisonous rhetoric.

Shame on you, Democrats, for fostering this kind of hate. The blame rests squarely on your shoulders! One has never heard Republicans carrying on like crybabies, giving ill people fodder to feed upon. One of our old Revolutionary War flags depicts a snake, broken up, stating “Join or Die.” I guess they (the Democrats) would rather choose death than make a unified Congress.

Robert W. Lobenstein

Marine Park

A ‘warming’ warning

To the editor,

The second local news item in Bay News’ June 9-15 edition, “Funds Run Dry For Flood Protections,” ‘No Money for Brooklyn Storm Barrier.’ I am very impressed, most unfavorably. First, when Hurricane Sandy hit Oct. 29, 2012, the (relief) money was allocated to each Borough President to decide how it is spent, as he or she [the Borough President] desires. Would it not be wiser for the City or State Controller to study the needs according to where it [their borough] was hit hardest? Leaving it up to the Borough Presidents, wouldn’t it be more [possible] that the money allocated would be misappropriated? Second, I have to take exception to Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-Coney Island) when he said the transition we need to make is where we eventually get to a point where we can strengthen all of Coney Island’s peninsula. He went on to say, “particularly in regard to climate change or so-called “global warming” is real, sea level rise is occurring, and we know that is when Superstorm Sandy hit. Bill DeBlasio echoed Congressman Jeffries when he said Hurricane Sandy was attributed to “global warming.”

Whatever other arguments might be made in favor of climate change or this so-called “global warming,” they have forgotten there was a full moon at this time that eroded South Brooklyn especially.

Since the moon controls the tides, this could only make a bad situation worse. This was just a tragic coincidence and I frankly wonder how many full moons occurred during hurricanes in the last 100 years. It seems to me left wing politicians are using climate change or this so-called “global warming” as a punching bag. Clearly Jeffries and DeBlasio were very naive.Elliott Abosh

Brighton Beach

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