Fund's BP losses on comptroller's watch
As an investment manager, I am appalled to read how much money was lost in the $133-billion retirement fund for New York's 1 million government employees, police and firefighters .
I fully understand that private firms manage much of the day-to-day activity of its portfolio. However, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, as sole trustee, should be held accountable for not establishing a "sell discipline," whereby a stock is sold if it drops more than a certain percentage from its peak high, or a certain percentage from its original cost. If he had, the state pension would not be in the position it is today with the sell-off of BP.
No one knows what can happen to a stock at any given time. This is why a mandatory sell discipline must be established to prevent future BP-like losses from happening again. There is a fiduciary duty by any trustee to act responsibly at all times. Comptroller DiNapoli, as trustee, should be held accountable and not the law-abiding taxpayers of the state of New York.
Charles R. Schulman
Tyranny of the test: That it won't be given
A letter writer supposes that the elimination of 5th- and 8th-grade social studies assessments will "free teachers from the tyranny of 'teaching to the test' " . What elimination of these assessments will actually do is free teachers from having to teach social studies.
The assessments, like them or not, guaranteed that students would be exposed to the core values of American society. That guarantee no longer exists. As a social studies teacher and supervisor, I take offense at the notion that preparing students with skills to be successful on assessments - skills that will be beneficial to them in their lives - is somehow meaningless. I can attest that creativity has not taken a backseat to test prep.
Editor's note: The writer is co-president of the Long Island Council for the Social Studies and is president of New York State Social Studies Supervisors.
Plea deal in cruelty doesn't match crime
A Brooklyn High School assistant principal pleads guilty to abandoning his dog in his Freeport home and gets 15 days in prison and 200 hours of community service ?
Outrageous! What about the suffering and pain that this man caused this animal, starving it to the brink of death? Frank Hopson is an educated man who has been put in a position of responsibility, trust and compassion with children. His acts toward this dog betray that trust. The penalty here is disproportionate to the crime.