Few Clouds 36° Good Morning
Few Clouds 36° Good Morning

On our minds: U.S. needs a raise

Newsday's editorial board spends all week striving to be a reasoned and pragmatic voice for Long Island and its values through our editorials and columns. We debate local, national and international issues and write on those we think will impact our readers.

Some topics come up that don't turn into longer pieces, but are part of the national conversation and worth bringing up. Here's how we're telling you about them.

What changed the world's view of what's possible

45 -- That's how many years have passed
Photo Credit: AP

45 -- That's how many years have passed since the day men landed on the moon, July 20, 1969. The subsequent "one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind," as astronaunt Neil Armstrong famously described it, changed the world's view of what's possible. Apollo 11's lunar module, Eagle, was built on Long Island by Grumman Aircraft Engineering, once the region's largest employer. Budgets are tight and wars are raging, but expanding the frontier of human knowledge through space exploration is a goal worth revisiting and furthering.

Cheating the person who revealed the district's cheating?

Michael Tweed, a former guidance chairman in Glen
Photo Credit: Ian J. Stark

Michael Tweed, a former guidance chairman in Glen Cove city schools, says he blew the whistle on a grade-fixing scandal two years ago at the high school, and that cost him tenure. The tampering was just one of two grading scandals in the district in 2011-12. The other was at Connolly and Landing elementary schools, where teachers supplied students with answers on standardized tests.

According to a lawsuit Tweed filed, he was told he would get tenure before he spilled the beans, then was denied the status at a May 5 school board meeting. Students say he was instrumental in their success. Performance reviews cited in the suit say he was doing a good job.

If Glen Cove is trying to cheat the educator who blew the whistle on the district's cheating, perhaps the problems there are systemic, rather than isolated.

America needs a raise

When the U.S. Labor Department reports on real
Photo Credit: AP

When the U.S. Labor Department reports on real earnings Tuesday, it will likely document the stagnation that American workers have been feeling for too long in their wallets and pocketbooks.

Nominal hourly wage growth has been bumping along at about 2 percent throughout the anemic recovery from the Great Recession that officially ended in June 2009. Such tepid wage growth is a sign that labor markets remain weak, which anyone looking for a job can attest.

Any wage growth is better than none. But consumer spending accounts for about 70 percent of the nation's economic activity. And since people can't spend what they don't have, continued slow wage growth would signal we're not likely to see a return to strong economic growth anytime soon. America needs a raise.