If newly installed State Senate Majority Leader John Flanagan (R-East Northport) is really serious about his educational reform agenda, then there are many avenues that must take priority ["The unexpected Senate leader," News, May 17].

First would be the reduction of the 124 Long Island school districts into, for the sake of argument, one for each town. If superintendents are paid about $250,000, and each district has two assistant superintendents at about $160,000 each, the savings would run to the millions. Add to this coordinators, administrators and other staff, and more savings could be realized.

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Next, Flanagan should support the Common Core and its associated testing. Education and assessment are neither parent-centric nor teacher-centric. Subject matter requires uniformity for the majority of students. Associated examinations can be used to determine both subject mastery and teaching effectiveness over a large base. Of course, the results must be part of a student's grade, not simply measurement tools.

Our country is pathetically low on the world totem pole of education. The failure of the educational establishment is obvious. Common Core, a nationwide initiative, is the first remedy to make any sense.

It requires improvement, and yes, it should have been introduced in stages, but it's essential to upgrading our less-than-stellar system.

Richard M. Frauenglass, Huntington