You're never too old to ask for help. Teachers are...

You're never too old to ask for help. Teachers are a resource for both parents and students when there is a question about homework, projects or peer relationships. They are there to help problem solve and as a listening ear for everyone in the school community. -- Sycamore Avenue Elementary School in Bohemia Credit: Newsday / Karen Wiles Stabile

"Just too much homework," your "Quick Hit" editorial on Aug. 16, acknowledges the ridiculous amount of homework our children are wrongfully saddled with night after night.

"Youngsters are being deprived of time that can be spent simply being kids," you say. Yet every chance it gets, your editorial board defends the ludicrous Common Core curriculum at the heart of this problem. We're working our young children too hard day and night. You acknowledge that, and yet you might as well be a cheerleading squad for Common Core. And this is despite parents, administrators, teachers and most sane people telling you otherwise.

So make up your mind. Are you for our kids being kids or for them being overworked and overtested?

Chris Barry, Glen Cove

Editor's note: The writer is a teacher at Glen Cove High School.

If 5-year-olds are not doing at least 25 minutes of homework a night, then their teachers and parents are dropping the ball on educating our youth. The American Journal of Family Therapy's recent study on this matter seems a bit precious, and excuses teachers and parents from their roles in educating our youth.

When I was 5, teachers were unafraid of assigning homework and parents never shied away for making sure the work was done. I recall my parents consistently monitoring and, if needed, assisting my three siblings and me in all aspects and complexity of the work.

I was never deprived of being able to be a kid, even in the absence of today's electronic baby-sitting devices. Moreover, memorizing fractions and multiplication tables definitely aided me in my brief military career, and my 40-year adult career in the mechanical engineering field.

Hutch Dubosque, Huntington

Your Aug. 13 editorial lamenting the high opt-out rate of children for state Common Core-related testing is misguided ["School tests get an 'incomplete'"].

Like many poorly conceived and fatally flawed government projects, Common Core is an impressive sounding initiative that lacks scientific validity or common sense.

As the father of a struggling sixth-grade student, I see the stress and anxiety it has caused my daughter and her teachers. "Standardized" sounds good until you realize it is the opposite of individualized -- when individual attention to each student's unique needs is the true core concept of modern education.

Teachers teach to the test. Many students are unable to keep up with the frenetic pace set by teachers struggling to comply with state mandates.

Common Core has been very good for state administrators who have hitched their wagon to political correctness for career advancement, and for the private tutoring industry, which is raking in millions.

Hopefully, next year the opt-out rate will be 90 percent. Then Common Core will be dead and buried, so we can get back to real education. I hope this happens before too many more kids are hurt.

Tom Collings, Bellmore

Elderly residents also need housing

In "Framework for future" [News, Aug. 13], Lee Koppelman, Suffolk's first planning director, points to the lack of affordable housing as a failure. Koppelman should have added that we also have done nothing to enable the rapidly growing number of dependent elderly residents to remain in their homes as long as possible with affordable home-care supports, affordable day care or assisted living facilities. Rather, we leave tens of thousands of middle-class families to the stressful task of caring for the aged until publicly funded Medicaid nursing homes are their only resort.

We need to make the American dream of home ownership real for our elderly as well as our young.

Paul Arfin, Hauppauge

Editor's note: The writer is chairman of the Long Island Chapter of the Social Enterprise Alliance, a membership organization.

Today's mudslinging pretty harsh, too

Opinion page writer Jonathan Zimmerman makes light of Republican mudslinging against President Barack Obama by saying "our political discourse is vastly more elevated than in the so-called good old days" ["Today's mudslingers are amateurs," Aug. 13].

All of the "good old days" examples he lists occurred more than 70 years ago. A more accurate conclusion would be, "Republican mudslinging against the president is the worst we have seen in the last 70 years."

John Fahner, Mineola