2002-02-27 / Editorials


Hails Hughes

To The Editor:

As we watched Sarah Hughes skate into the annals of Olympic history we were left in awe of her accomplishment. To come from behind in the short program and then rise to the occasion in the long program was just amazing.

She won the gold based on her skill but also on her tenacious efforts to be the best she could be. She was both brave and tough, as her coach, Robin Wagner, has said about her. She was bold enough to seize the opportunity that was afforded her. How many of us can say the same? Sarah surely is an inspiration to all of us. Even adults can learn from this 16-year-old.

Also, she truly has presented herself as a true model to her peers, who must be impressed by her achievement and I only hope will try to imitate her in some way and make a difference like she has.

In closing, may God bless you, Sarah, in all that you do.

Frederick R. Bedell


Wants Research

A copy of the following letter was received by the Gazette.

President George W. Bush

The White House

Washington, D.C.

Dear President Bush:

Attached please see Baby Frankie [picture attached] suffering from Acute Mylogenous Leukemia.

I firmly believe Frankie and many other children and adults would benefit from Stem Cell research.

Since October 2001 we have been searching for [a] match for [his] bone marrow. So far we have not come up with a match. We can no longer wait. Frankie will have the bone marrow from his mother who is not a complete match. His chances are 30 percent survival.

Very truly yours,

Joan Cervello


Pans District 27

To The Editor:

Well, I can't say that my school (P.S. 105, Far Rockaway, in District 27) is overcrowded but it is definitely among the bottom schools in the Queens area despite our having come off the SURR (Schools Under Registration Review) list January 7 and state list last September. Why?

Well, appearances, appearances, appearances and favors, favors, favors. A certain few people (the elite, the beautiful people, the puppets, whatever you want to call them) are allowed to do as they please and have as much time as they please while the principal insists that we do all sorts of "bells and whistles" type things to make the school look better..like displays.

We have a mandatory way that every inch of our classroom must be set up God forbid someone chooses to have the math center or bulletin board where the principal says the science or literacy or social studies section of the room must be. It is claimed that there is only one way to teach cause and effect and only one graphic organizer that should be used for teaching it.

Writing is not stressed but reading is— as if the two were even separable.

The math curriculum is something called "Trailblazers." It requires that we refer to ones, tens, hundreds and thousands as "flats" "skinnies" "bits" and other names, but the standardized tests refer to them as good old fashioned ones, tens, hundreds etc. We spend all of our time teaching for whatever the standardized test Du Jour or visit Du Jour is [going to be].

If SFA (Success For All) is coming for a visit, we focus on SFA signals and cues and work all the time.

If the ELA (English Language Arts) [test] is coming up everything must stop and we are ELA'd to death. Now that the fourth grade math test and the science fair are coming up, we are mainly focusing on that, instead of doing it year round.

Some people are principal's pets and get out of doing things or get extra time to do things.

Some people (in fact many and I mean many) are not permanently certified. [This is] a big no no for a school that was SURR and [that] was supposed to have only permanently certified people in place (as I seem to recall the scuttlebutt [that was] being tossed around by the BOE (Board of Education) and the newspapers for the longest [time].)

Some children who are repeat holdovers many times over have not and are not going to be referred for special ed testing because "they are almost out of here" and the general idea is "let the next school deal with it."

Then there are the guidance counselors (two of them) who spend the day either talking about or talking to their babies. They share a baby sitter. Every now and then they will pick up a child and let him/her color in their shared office so it will look like work is being done. [But] these guidance counselors are "too overburdened" to call the parents of the fourth graders who don't take advantage of the afterschool program (mandatory for the teachers until June but not for the children). Nope, the classroom teachers have been told to call the parents of the "at risk students" who are not in the afterschool program.

Then there is the "fixed" Santa Claus extravaganza that took place this year. Great for our underprivileged kids but not at all a product of a district wide raffle as was claimed. No our principal (who never was an AP (assistant principal) and went from being a reading specialist to a pencil pusher at the District office to a principal) is the Superintendent's "puppet." (Well maybe not anymore there have been rumblings.)

What about the fact that there is a massive budget crisis in the school districts but our school (with 400 kids at best) has two Assistant Principals...never mind that no one [can] ever tell what anyone else is doing so a teacher can get three different sets of instructions from three different administrators and be expected to click his/her heels and follow said directions immediately without question.

There was no resource room teacher or pull out special ed teacher until late November of this year.

Cattiness is encouraged. If one is "in" with the principal or an administrator one can get away with anything (including barely teaching anything to anyone, ever).

Then there is the absolute disrespect that is doled out by the administration. The way that they speak to the teachers (especially the few that are permanently certified) is appalling.

Veteran teachers are treated like dirt. One has been made a "jack of all trades respected by none." We're talking about a person with 15 years experience being made to "fetch" and "do" and "cover" and whatever else while less experienced (favored) little pashas get to rule with conjecture and a well manicured fist.

I am sure that many other schools are corrupt (especially in this district, Superintendent Matthew Bromme is not well loved and it's with good reason) but this place is the pits and the children are the ones who are suffering. Some of us are there to help. Most are there for the extra money and the prestige of having worked in a SURR school that was "turned around" on their resumes (which is whispered daily in the halls, at lunch, at meetings at staff development workshops..."only XX days until I can leave this place—it's going to look great on my resume."). What about the resumes that the children who are in P.S. 105 or rather the lack of resumes that will come from them?

You'll be reading about P.S. 105 again. I can't promise it will be good. I can almost certainly promise you this...if it is uncomplimentary the current principal will extricate herself quite thoroughly with or without Matthew Bromme's help. Her resume is already padded well enough and her reputation is already shined to damned near blinding sheen. Too bad it's fool's gold

Name Withheld On Request

Via e-mail

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