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Letters: Money, teachers and schools

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday.

Classrooms across Long Island were empty on Thursday. Check our listings of delayed openings, closures and cancellations to see what's in store for Friday. Credit: Daniel Brennan

The New York State United Teachers union president, Richard C. Iannuzzi, offers this insight: "Good tests lead to better instruction and greater student learning" ["Union: Don't rush teacher evaluations," Letters, Sept. 24]. This is a welcome and productive departure from the recent and very excessive teacher and community concerns regarding teaching to the test.

Although the overwhelming majority of end-of-the-year exams and standardized test content are apparently on the knowledge-recall level, knowledge is nevertheless an absolute prerequisite before students can progress to higher levels: comprehension, application, analysis, synthesis and evaluation. That's a hierarchy created by psychologist Benjamin Bloom.

Broad surveillance and overview of current tests certainly can be as beneficial to creative teachers as the most comprehensive curriculum.

Fred Barnett, Lake Grove

Editor's note: The writer is a retired teacher who worked in the Levittown public schools.

I am tired of hearing about cuts to teachers' jobs and student services ["Fighting for funding," News, Sept. 21]. School is about the children and the teachers. Why are all cuts from the bottom?

Long Island doesn't need more than 120 superintendents. How many student services and young, bright teachers could we employ if we cut from the top?

Even if we had a dozen superintendents around the Island, we could save an inordinate amount of money. The business of school should be secondary to the education of children.

Helen Ammann, Smithtown

In response to "Evaluate parents on student success" [Letters, Sept. 26], the teacher who wrote this letter is correct. Parents have a great deal to do with their children's achievement in school.

However, she needs to also consider that many parents have seen their earnings go down and have had to work harder and longer to keep up with escalating property taxes. When we parents roll in on a weeknight at 7 or 8 o'clock exhausted, sometimes we don't have the energy to ask how our kids are doing in school.

The teachers work for the parents. We are your clients. We expect you to do a great job, for which you are well compensated.

Jerry Romano, Sea Cliff

A morning show recently featured another attack on seniority as the determinant in rehiring laid-off teachers. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa declared that seniority doesn't work in schools or anywhere else.

But it was only a few hours earlier I watched in disbelief as the football game between the Green Bay Packers and the Seattle Seahawks ended in turmoil, topping off three weeks of replacement referees who lacked experience and expertise. This directly affected the integrity of the NFL.

There are many examples of the importance of experience in our institutions. Seniority determines important leadership roles in Congress. We are all counseled to seek out medical specialists, especially surgeons, who have significant experience. Lawyers, plumbers and electricians all perform better after several years of practice.

Ed Goldstein, Baiting Hollow