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OpinionOpEd

You can’t make this up

A first-grade classroom.

A first-grade classroom. Photo Credit: Newsday / John Paraskevas

Good afternoon and welcome to The Point!

Daily Point

New option coming for high school graduation

The state Board of Regents is working toward upgrading a “commencement credential,” which some students find curtails their post-high school options, to a diploma. If the reversal comes after more than two years of protests by parents, it would represent a victory for the Regents leadership over the state Education Department.

Regent Roger Tilles told The Point in an email that there are still issues to work out, but he expects that the 2018 graduating class will be eligible for high school diplomas in place of the very unpopular Career Development and Occupational Studies Commencement Credentials, known as CDOS.

State Ed replaced the local diploma with the CDOS in 2013 as part of its reforms to raise education standards. The CDOS track eliminated Regents Competency Tests, which were given to special education students to earn local diplomas. But a growing number of parents and students said the CDOS is worthless in adult life because many employers and training schools demand some form of a diploma.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia had resisted the change, but at the Regents meeting in July, Tilles said, she raised the need to review the CDOS criteria. Tilles and Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa had been pushing for the change.

“I think it can be accomplished by year-end to make it possible to use for the 2018 graduates,” Tilles wrote of the revamped diploma.

Anne Michaud

Pointing Out

The Oyster Bay drone way

Town of Oyster Bay officials postponed a vote on an ordinance for drone restrictions last week because of protests from model airplane hobbyists and commercial operators of the remotely piloted devices.

But going back to the drawing board to craft a new ordinance might be a waste of time. There’s little chance of the Academy of Model Aeronautics, a hobbyists group, supporting any ordinance. Eric Williams, vice president of the AMA for New York and New Jersey, said legislation regulating drone usage is premature.

“This is an evolving technology. Drones have come so far in just the past few years,” Williams said.

At Oyster Bay’s hearing, users said they wanted town officials to revise the ordinance to create seasonal drone permits rather than requiring users to secure a permit for each drone flight. Drone users also called for dropping the proposed $75 registration fee. Town officials agreed to drop the registration fee, but haven’t commented on other suggested revisions.

Drone hobbyists also want the ordinance to specify where drones land and take off, rather than where they can fly. But that might not work for with Supervisor Joseph Saladino, who wants the law to protect the privacy of residents on town property, such as beaches and parks. But Williams said the privacy argument against drones just doesn’t hold much water.

“A recreational drone is a poor platform for spying on people,” Williams said. “People can go to a public space like a park and have their pictures taken hundreds of times on phone cameras more advanced than drones.”

Melissa Holzberg

Pencil Point

Shock and awe

Click here to see today’s cartoons from around the world.

Bonus Point

The Mooch that keeps on giving

Even out of the West Wing, the Mooch won’t stop dragging Long Island into the national news.

Monday night, the Huffington Post published a story in which Anthony Scaramucci, the briefly presumptive White House communications director, gave a new defense for his on-the-record, headline-making, profanity-filled conversation with New Yorker reporter Ryan Lizza. “The Lizzas and Scaramuccis have been friends for over 50 years. My dad knew his dad from construction, and we were building a personal relationship,” Scaramucci told the Huffington Post.

Lizza responded, “I’ve only known Anthony in his capacity as a Trump surrogate and then White House communications director. We are not and have never been ‘old family friends,’ though I think our fathers knew each other, so maybe that’s what he’s talking about. (The Long Island Italian world in that generation is relatively small.)”

That “Long Island Italian world” is now getting its moment on the national stage. Both men share Long Island roots, and Lizza’s extended family has been involved in a number of Long Island businesses. Lizza himself once ran a hot dog stand here, he told Politico. Maybe the Mooch thought local love would prevent Lizza from publishing the more explosive stuff. It didn’t, and now Scaramucci is out of work, but threatening to “reemerge,” he told the Huffington Post.

We’ll be waiting.

Mark Chiusano

Columns