Letter: Student concerned over ed cuts

If the changes that won unanimous Board of If the changes that won unanimous Board of Regents approval Monday, Oct. 20, 2014, win final approval from the Regents in January as scheduled, they would first take effect with teenagers who entered ninth grade in 2011 and are due to graduate in June 2015. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

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As an incoming junior at Ward Melville High School, I have growing concerns over the state of public education and the general populace's tepid reaction to it.

For the last decade or so, education, not just in the Three Village school district, seems to be decreasing in quality and quantity. For instance, just this past year, despite the budget passing by a landslide, the district is still facing tremendous cutbacks: 58 teachers are losing their jobs, special education programs are being gutted, more than 90 electives are being reduced or eliminated, and Regents-level class sizes are increasing. Meanwhile, mandated curriculum based on the Common Core is a centerpiece.

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I addressed these grievances at a recent school board meeting. Administrators confirmed my suspicion that education is no longer being directed by teachers and the community, but rather, controlled by politicians and special interests.

I am surprised that few others share my concern. Few seem to mind that the programs where students could find and learn about themselves were being defunded, in place of bureaucratic mandates from the state and federal governments that basically preach that education comes from recitation and regurgitation rather than critical thinking.

Many are treating this reduced quality of education as if it is some sort of natural disaster, something that we need to make the best of and which will go away in time. This sentiment is unfortunately symptomatic of the submissiveness of contemporary American society.

Thomas Resnick, East Setauket

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