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Tests shouldn't 'advertise' brand-name products

Monday, April 28, 2014
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Tests shouldn't 'advertise' brand-name products

I was shocked to learn that the Common Core tests had mentions of brand-named products such as Mug Root Beer. It is disgusting to have children exposed to that kind of advertising where they can't turn if off like a television commercial.

After reading "Brand names used on Common Core tests" [April 21 Gazette], I'm beginning to understand why the state rushed ahead to implement Common Core testing. All we have to do is follow the money. "State educators" who feel that advertising is part of life and belongs everywhere are the same ones who made the $32 million deal with Pearson, the publisher that develops these tests.

It's bad enough that Common Core tests are wasting precious classroom instruction time and are frustrating students of all ages by asking questions about things they haven't been taught. It's worse to suspect that we're all just pawns in a political game that has more to do with money than the proper education of real children.

Phyllis M. Decker

Schenectady

They're treating Rev. Young like a criminal

Few individuals have affected the lives of others as powerfully as Rev. Peter Young and his life-long commitment to preserving life, restoring families, and giving dignity, purpose and hope to the disenfranchised in our society.

Peter Young Housing, Industries and Treatment helps thousands of people every day through statewide treatment and residential programs, the promise of gainful employment, housing, education, job training and skill, that creates state residents who are assets to their community and productive members of society.

Rev. Young's success is rooted in humility and selfless dedication. For more than 50 years, his work has strengthened this state, and given back far more than the generous resources that have supported the non-profit agency that bears his name.

The shortcomings of any one weak employee, acting contrary to the mission of the agency, or clerical error, can never diminish the sincerity, integrity and purpose of an established organization and its selfless founder. On behalf of New York, its people, and its leaders, Rev. Young has worked side by side with state government for decades to promote legislation and provide the resources to help those who struggle to become valuable members of the community. "Never look down on someone unless you're helping him up."

At age 84, Rev. Young continues to represent the miracle of life, hope and transformation. PYHIT is a beacon of light for all who struggle, accomplish and achieve. Its lofty mission is rooted in a long-established history of collaboration with state leaders and supporters everywhere, giving testimony to Rev. Young's integrity and commitment. His stature as lifelong advocate for the wounded healer is legendary, with far-reaching benefits and success that is unsurpassed.

Seating a grand jury with the founder and creator of a longtime, statewide support system contradicts the essence of PYHIT and everything New York has committed itself to accomplish over a half-century of collaboration and support.

Barbara Rossi

Latham

Sch'dy parking, snow removal woes related

I'm really tired of going out to my car and finding another parking ticket!

I live on a street that has alternate parking from Nov. 1 until May 1. Sometimes I forget to go out and move the car. When I went to pay my last two tickets, I asked the person at the traffic division what the purpose of the aforementioned regulation was. She said she was told that if there was parking on both sides, it would be difficult to get an emergency vehicle down the street.

I can understand that, but why not have parking on only one side? I wouldn't mind if I had to park on the side opposite my house. The last big storm we had, the plow came down the middle of my street just once! Three weeks later, I was still parking halfway out in the street because they never came back to plow that side. You could see where my car had been buried after all that time!

We pay very high taxes in Schenectady; why are our streets in such bad shape? Because they leave all that snow on the roads and when it melts, the water gets into all the cracks, and when it freezes up again, it makes potholes! Why don't they do like they used to do? Pick it up and dump it in the river!

Guy Caswell

Schenectady

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