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Letter: Better programs for schools

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream

Many desks inside this classroom at Valley Stream Memorial Junior High School were empty on Thursday, April 16, 2015 as students opted out of the state's English Language Arts test. Tens of thousands on Long Island are expected to refuse the math exams, too. Credit: Newsday / J. Conrad Williams Jr.

Newsday has been reporting on problems in education ["Teacher eval summit," News, April 29]. However, there is one important area for improving our schools that is hardly mentioned: better programs. Good programs can make the difference between successful and failing schools.

In 1978, I came to PS 63M in New York City to help the principal improve the very poor reading scores of the children. Only 23 percent of the children were reading on grade level. By 1985, however, 60 percent of the children were on level.

This huge improvement was the result of a 10-point reading program I had developed over many years of trial and error. It includes such topics as peer teaching, parent training, teacher accountability, special programs and activities.

Irving Gerber, East Meadow

Editor's note: The writer worked for 20 years as a principal and 15 years as an adjunct professor training student teachers.