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Letter: LI drivers have become dangerous

How is it that an 88-year-old woman gets hit by a vehicle and left for dead, and the news story is way back on Page A20 ["Pedestrian killed in hit and run," Dec. 31]?

There is an epidemic here on Long Island. There seem to be hit-and-runs every week, as well as people losing control of their cars, slamming into houses and trees, flipping over.

Everywhere I look, I see about 1 in 5 drivers on their cellphones. Who's responsible? The reckless drivers are, of course, but where are the police?

The only time I see an officer is after an accident. They need to get out there and patrol our roads diligently.

Paul E. Kerns, Bayport

Provide feedback on Common Core tests

I have been following the controversy regarding the Common Core and the tests associated with these new academic standards. I read in "Panel to review Common Core" [News, Dec. 17] that Board of Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch has invited the public to suggest what might work better.

As a retired educator currently attached to a local college, I participated in the scoring of the English language arts, math and science tests given last spring. I have a suggestion that was also raised by a number of other scorers during our breaks.

The way these tests were administered and scored provided no opportunity for the students to learn from their mistakes. An observer would suppose that the test booklets would be handed back to the students and, with teacher guidance, the students would learn why an answer was marked wrong. Many times the student provided the correct answer but did not show the work. They could be taught to better follow directions, for example.

If the process doesn't allow students to learn from their mistakes, one might conclude that it was aimed at some other goal, namely for the state Education Department to gather information. Perhaps the tests were meant to create a baseline to support the need to implement Common Core standards. This possibility can't justify the cost in dollars or the discomfort for students.

Many critics have said the schools were not all trained in the new standards, which resulted in devastatingly poor performances. The basic goal in testing should be for the student to assess his or her own progress; in other words, to assist in learning.

Unfortunately the students do not have the opportunity to participate in this learning experience.

Leslie King, Bellport

Airlines should still ban cellphones

With reference to the cellphone use in commercial aircraft ["Let airlines make the call on in-flight cellphone use," Editorial, Dec. 17], I recall when smoking cigarettes was popular, and airlines allowed smoking in the last four rows. This vexed the passenger in the fifth-to-last row who didn't smoke. A Canadian airline banned all smoking in its aircraft, every flight.

Critics laughingly howled that this airline's customers would flock to the competition. It never happened, and the Canadian airline prospered. U.S. carriers soon followed the example.

Will any U.S. airline step up, bite the bullet, and ban cellphones in the aircraft? Or do we have to wait for the Canadians again?

Jim Grant, Massapequa

Don't release terrorist's lawyer

The release of convicted attorney Lynne Stewart on the compassionate grounds that she has terminal cancer shows no compassion for the victims of terrorist attacks ["Convicted lawyer to be released," News, Jan. 1].

Stewart's client started what Osama bin Laden finished, and he shares equal guilt for the World Trade Center tragedy. By aiding her client, a blind Egyptian sheik, in his communications with his followers, she crossed the line from legal representation to support of his hatred for the United States.

At the time, he was serving a life sentence in a plot to blow up five New York landmarks and assassinate then-Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.

Stewart should die in disgrace, in prison.

Mel Young, Lawrence

Millennials and career direction

Here I sit at 24 years old with absolutely no direction in my life ["Public jobs often tough, pay little," Letters, Jan. 6].

I'm constantly searching for something better, different, that suits me, but I find that nothing truly suits me. Every time I stumble on a newfound career, I dive in headfirst. I look at the earnings potential, how long it would take to get a degree, and the best way to achieve my ultimate end goal.

However, a few weeks go by, and I lose interest, or something else holds me back. My advice to anyone who's feeling a little lost, job-hunting in his or her 20s, or in college searching for the right major, is to stop letting other people dictate what you should do in your life.

Drew Sellitti, Sayville