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No secret which schools rank highly

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There is no need for any detailed analysis or algorithm to determine which are the highest-ranked schools [“LI schools made grade,” News, April 21]. Just look at the prices of homes, family income, and parents’ education and you will find the best school districts. All of the highly ranked schools are, not surprisingly, in the wealthiest districts.

Regarding poorly ranked districts, note how many families live in poverty, how much of the housing is rental, or publicly subsidized, and how many parents lack higher education or are not fluent in English. These “underperforming” schools should be praised when their students show progress every year while the highly ranked schools should be held accountable when their privileged students do not achieve.

Let’s merge neighboring districts Garden City with Hempstead, and Bellmore/Merrick with Roosevelt and rank these combined districts two years after the merge and see where the rankings are. Since that won’t happen, stop publishing school rankings.

Bill Toumey,

Long Beach

Reading that Long Island high school officials have canceled spring sports makes me think back to when I attended high school back in the ’50s in Manhattan [“No spring sports for public schools on LI,” Sports, April 22]. High school “sports” comprised three Ping-Pong tables and playing handball against the side of the school building. How we ever managed to grow up to become responsible citizens is beyond all understanding.

Thomas W. Smith,


TR’s philosophy can be applied today

For those of you who are fighting the good fight I give you the words of our 26th president, Theodore Roosevelt: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Paul McDermott,

Glen Cove

Gov, staying at home is no ‘luxury’

Just when I was starting to appreciate Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo for some of his efforts to help the state economy, I read his new statement [“Gov: Workers should get ‘hazard pay,’” News, April 21]: “‘The economy did not close down. It closed down for those people who frankly have the luxury of staying home’ while essential workers kept showing up to work, he said.” Did he dream this or, better yet, he must have had a nightmare. Who has the “luxury” to stay home? Maybe some chief executive, certainly not your average blue-collar worker.

The 40% of front-line workers whom he mentions regardless of their color or ethnic background are the lucky ones! They collect a salary. Yes, they are working very hard, but whether they are police officers, firefighters, nurses or doctors, they are there for emergencies, not just easier work. I have family and friends in that front line. I pay homage to them. Perhaps I’m not one of the reasonable people that Cuomo mentions.

There is not enough money for testing, so he says, and he wants to cut school funding 20%. Get everyone back to work and off unemployment and, I believe, he will not have to beg for money from the federal government.

Enrica Bilello,


Cuomo has one big feather in cap

A letter writer complained that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo will raise taxes [“Differing views of Gov. Cuomo,” April 19], but Cuomo put in the tax cap. To me, it’s the only thing a politician ever did to help the public. Go figure out what taxes you would be paying if he didn’t do it. He has done plenty of things wrong. So has every politician.

Randy Perlmutter,


Four decades later, Congress is the same

I enjoyed Newsday’s April 13, 1981 Classic Edition that I received at home on April 18. The best part was the Viewpoint piece about border protection and immigration reform [“To open the door on a new migrant policy”]. I guess Congress still cannot get its act together after 39 years. What does it take for the American population to realize that it is getting no return on its tax dollars? We need term limits!

James T. Rooney,