Capital Region

Letters to the Editor Monday, Nov. 22

PHOTOGRAPHER:

Grading equity is better for learning

I read with great interest and validation the Tribune article (“Faced with soaring Ds and Fs, school ditch old way of grading”) in the Nov. 10 Gazette about equitable changes to grading practices in schools.
I, too, have read Joe Feldman’s “Grading for Equity” and incorporated some of the equitable grading practices into my grading system.
I highly encourage other educators to look into his book and have found that minimum grading and allowing for retakes have impacted my students the most.
Students are more motivated to actually learn the material and engage in the course content.
Equity in grading reflects respect for the very personal process of learning, mastery of goals based on measurable objectives, and brings a greater sense of consistency to account for a student’s individual situation (life outside of school, abilities, and/or any challenges they are facing).
As a teacher (and certainly a parent), there were many lessons learned from pandemic-forced school closures.
This lesson is one that I am grateful to have learned.
Connie Woytowich
Saratoga Springs
The writer is a New York State Master Teacher Emeritus and school board member.

Who wants to live under dictatorship

It’s clear that those who criticize the Biden Administration on a seemingly daily basis, as evidenced by the numerous comments in the letters section of The Gazette, don’t — in my opinion — have a solid grasp on what freedom is.
And that raises the question: Why do these, allegedly, freedom-loving folks want to live in a Trump-run dictatorship?
Walter Wouk
Summit

Biden forfeiting too much of America

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said that $1 billion was set aside to take down racist bridges. He said some bridges and expressways were put through Black neighborhoods and should be taken down.
Does that mean they aren’t necessary? Since the Thruway goes through Harlem, should it be stopped at Spring Valley? Maybe the money might be better spent improving those neighborhoods.
The New York Times said that Biden planned to give $430,000 to each immigrant family who was separated from their child.
He said it isn’t that much, but they deserve something. I’ve read where another bill allows undocumented immigrants to apply for Social Security and claim recovery sums. That’ll stop immigration.
What about the homeless Americans in this country, especially our veterans? Maybe the next step is to give reparations to the descendants of slaves as some politicians are calling for.
We can open the borders and give the cartel the marijuana franchise in the United States.
This will create jobs for the new immigrants and help control the flow.
I’m sure when our grandchildren rank the greatest presidents, Iron Joe Biden will be at the forefront if Russia and China don’t own us by then.
Pete Pidgeon
Scotia

 

Online letters

Commenters to online letters who fail to follow rules against name-calling, profanity, threats, libel or other inappropriate language will have their comments removed and their commenting privileges withdrawn.

To report inappropriate online comments, email Editorial Page Editor Mark Mahoney at [email protected]

Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion

64 Comments

I can give you an example of a racist mall at least. Maybe it wasn’t planned as racist, but it sure ended up that way. Amsterdam Mall cleaved that city in two ~50 years ago making the eastern part very poor, segregated, and severely blighted. It also makes for a traffic nightmare to get around the city and essentially killed the downtown area as well. It hasn’t been a functioning mall in decades so it should be torn down to reunite the two halves of the city. Perhaps people might want to downtown again instead of just heading up Route 30 to the big box stores. That mall was a major urban planning failure from the beginning.

William Marincic

Walter Wouk It wasn’t President Trump that put a mandate in place that if you don’t get a vaccine you can’t work and not only can you not work but you cannot collect unemployment, does that sound like freedom to you? President Trump did not open the borders, does that sound like freedom to you for Americans? President Trump had us energy independent and now we are begging OPEC for oil, does that sound like freedom to you? I could go on and on.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Are you a free person when everyday you go to work knowing you might be exposed to covid19 by a selfish misinformed co-worker, though you have been vaccinated? Following your logic, should we end mandates for vaccines required to attend public schools and expose children to a higher risk of contracting polio, measles etc. because it infringes on the parents’ right to make medical decisions for their children? Refusal to be vaccinated against covid provides a larger pool of susceptible people which allows the virus to spread and mutate into more dangerous and virulent forms. The right has made a medical issue a political issue that they are using to gain support among the uninformed, fearful, bigoted segment of our population. Are you one of them? If you are, you are not a patriot but a dupe who is enabling autocracy in the form of Trump and Trump imitators and sycophants. Immigrants are source of strength for America. Nobody is “begging OPEC for oil”.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“I could go on and on.” …..But most of us I this forum would rather you didn’t because your your beliefs, opinions and political desires are part of a movement that is putting this nation on of a path that is undermining democracy, equality and human sustainability. That’s just my humble opinion.

William Aiken

This narrative of Trump being a dictator is a media creation that was designed to undermine his presidency. Mr, Wouk’s letter is proof this ploy has been quite an effective strategy. Yet, there is no evidence that 45 ever acted like one. Many of 45’s executive orders were shot down by illiberal judges. Every time this happen and it occurred a lot, 45 used the court system to appeal these decisions. Is that the behavior of a dictator? No, a dictator does what Biden did when SCOTUS ruled his moratorium on landlord evictions was illegal. Biden thumbed his nose at the ruling, thus allowing his illegal policy and an injustice of the landlords’ to continue. A President should be judged by their actions and policies, not their bluster or tweets.

ANTHONY J SANTO

He didn’t lie about the election and encourage insurrection in an attempt to remain in power? He didn’t express sympathy for the insurrectionists screaming for the hanging of Mike Pence, who wouldn’t obey Trump’s illegal order that he not certify the election results? He didn’t use extortion in an attempt to get the president of Ukraine to interfere in the election? His illegal executive orders being shot down by courts is evidence that the system he wants to destroy is working; but the question is, for how long, with so many Americans blind to his real goal.

William Aiken

“He didn’t use extortion in an attempt to get the president of Ukraine to interfere in the election?”

One frustrating aspect of being conservative Trump supporter is the double standard we have to live under. There’s video of Biden bragging how he threatened to withhold a billion dollars from Ukraine if the prosecutor investigating his son’s company wasn’t fired. All for the naked eye to see. And Biden never had to answer using the power of his office to protect his corrupt son, Hunter. Just one example of many of a media covering up for Sleepy Joe.

Get your facts straight first.
What Biden did with the Ukraine was to try to force out an openly corrupt government official who was supposed to overseeing reforms in their financial sector. He had the blessing of the IMF as well as the European Union.
What the other guy tried to do was swing an election to his favor through extortion.
You tell us which was the more noble effort and then try to let go of your fantasy.

William Aiken

That you actually believe Biden’s excuse prompt up by a complicit media speaks to your cognitive dissonance.

The vaccine mandate for private businesses is not in effect, so not sure what you’re referring to Bill. Conservatives always say that the gov’t should be run like a business. Well this gov’t thinks it is good business for its employees to be vaccinated.

William Marincic

It sure is for all federal employees and contractors, it sure is for allstate employees in liberal states, it sure is for hospitals and many other places.

Gotcha, so it’s not that they can’t work, it’s just that they can’t work at that specific job in which they refused to adhere to the requirements of the job.

William Marincic

How about my good friend a nurse at a hospital for 15 years, he worked through the pandemic working overtime, he actually got covid from work and today he lost his job for not being vaccinated. Yeah, so I don’t know what you are saying that even borders on normal.

Sorry your friend has all his other vaccinations but decided he’d prefer unemployment over getting this specific, safe vaccine. No wonder there’s a worker shortage in this country, people just don’t want to work!

How about the government mandating those who receive government ‘subsidies’ receive the vaccination in order to get the money? More folks would get vaccinated.

Natural Immunity? Seriously? May as well be talking to a wall to some people about why this vaccine may be the only thing that keeps you from being hospitalized even if you do get a breakthrough case. If your friend fails to understand the overwhelming evidence in the medical community behind this vaccine fact, I have no idea how they passed biology class in nursing school and they should probably not be in the medical profession any longer. I certainly wouldn’t want them working anywhere near me in a hospital.

William Marincic

Wemple There are dozens of scientific reports, the largest one out of Israel that says that natural immunity is better then the vaccination but you know everything you’re so smart if you were so smart he wouldn’t be a Democrat.

In order to have Natural Immunity against a novel virus, you would have to catch it first and survive the infection. Many people would survive, but many others would not and our hospital systems would be overwhelmed with patients trying to achieve this so-called natural immunity. Instead of caring about others’ lives and health your kind has turned this into a political issue. Talking to a wall again basically.

William now you want people to get unemloyment for refusing to work ….Make up your mind. Oh wait it’s just people of color who should not get unemployment ….I truly think you should seek help ….And Fords are lousy cars

William Marincic

Where did you come up with that and by the way I am a person of color.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Red, when you’re blushing as a result of your being embarrassed, as well
you should be? – Yeah, yeah we know you’re “12 & 1/2 percent Black” or “almost 12 percent Black depending on which post we read. When will you realize saying that reinforces nothing you say?

LOUIS RESTIFO

Pgentiluomo, What are you talking about? Schenectady sidewalks are constantly walked on.

Sidewalks in disrepair anywhere are an eyesore, as well as a trip hazard.

I’d be willing to bet that you don’t own a house or business in Schenectady that has a deteriorating sidewalk in front of it, because if you did you wouldn’t be complaining if the city “refurbished” it.

ANTHONY J SANTO

I taught social studies for 32 years at a local high school. I offered students a second test if they failed or simply wanted to raise their grade on the first test. It covered the same material and I would give them the average of the two grades. Thus, a person who received a grade of 50% could earn a final test grade of 75%, if he earned 100% on the second test. A person who had received a grade of 90% on the first test was less motivated to take the test but I felt it was only fair to offer this opportunity to all. It worked very well and made the students realize I was more interested in helping them learn than sorting them out according to academic ability. If you are a teacher, I encourage try this method of grading.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Perhaps you never paid attention in social studies class because if you did you’d have a better handle on racially equality quality issues.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Doth ~ “archaic third person singular present of do”

Archaic ~ “very old or old fashion“. ~ “old and no longer used”

Apparently a great fit for your kind thinking in general.

William Marincic

I wouldn’t expect someone like you to understand Shakespeare or Hamlet

ANTHONY J SANTO

Many do not understand what socialism and communism really are and how they differ. A quick summary: Socialism is government ownership and control of the means of production and the distribution of goods and services. It is an economic system. In a communist autocracy the party attempts complete control with the (pretend) goal of achieving an economy that is governed by the axiom “from each according to their abilities and to each according to their needs.” In reality the high ranking party officials and their allies run the economy in their own interests and the attempts at complete control over the economy fail to deliver the goods and services needed and desired by the people. Communism is a combination of a political system, dictatorship, supposedly of the proletariat (worker), and an economic system, socialism. In a democratic socialist system the people are free to elect government officials and enjoy traditional democratic rights. But, the government enacts laws to blunt the problems associated with unrestrained capitalism. Medicare, medicaid, public education, social security, minimum wage and other types of government economic interventions are designed to provide services better than the private sector or to distribute wealth more evenly or insure that people have access to basic needs even if they can’t afford them. A well run social democracy lessens the likelihood of a communist takeover.

Doug Hampton

Maybe I have missed your previous posts or perhaps you are new but your voice is both appreciated and welcomed. The right wing media has completely destroyed what Socialism in particular actually is. You can tell when posters are just being lazy and repeating what FOX has stated. Well done. Don’t expect , however, a thanks from the right wing posters. They either stop challenging or simply blame things on the left leaning media! Good job and thanks for your years in the classroom! Not an easy job.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Thank you. I appreciate that. I don’t often go to this site because I feel so frustrated by some of the comments.

William Marincic

A democratic socialist system like Cuba, Haiti, Mexico, Italy, Greece, Venezuela? Yeah, a great example of what we want America to look like, with our open borders under Biden it might look that way sooner than later.

I trust that when you hit age 65 Bill that you will forego your Social Security checks and Medicare coverage. Wouldn’t want to participate in all that socialism now would you?

William Marincic

Anthony, Denmark has five million people. So using them is ridiculous.

Matt, I wish I could have had a private account, if so I would have 40 million in it. Social Security is giving me some of my money back, this is not government money, this is my money, and the same for medicare, I have been paying into it since 1972, I’m pretty sure I way overpaid.

William Marincic

Just to add to my comment, Denmark has 5 million people, most work, the tax rate is 49% and everything is expensive. Most people ride bikes rather than drive cars and there are no unions and also their immigration system will not allow low-skilled people with no money to come there. Shall I go on?

William Marincic

Why don’t you tell me ChuckD? If for instance $150 comes out of my check every week for 20 years that’s $156,000 and say another $200,000 for the previous years that is $356,000 at 6% annual return which is very low I would have 1.216 million dollars if I make $2400 social security and live for 20 years of it I get back $576,000 so the government made $640,000 on me and that’s at a lousy 6%. So please tell me what I don’t know, I’m a finance manager.

Maybe you should get your SSA statement and tell us exactly how much you HAVE contributed and what your benefit will be at full retirement, instead of these hypotheticals. You would have had to have earned over $150k per year since you started working to get contribution levels that high.

Anthony, as a child of public school teachers myself, I appreciate your voice here. If you’ve read any amount of the comments here it becomes clear that some post just to see themselves, or to mindlessly provoke. Thoughtful debate with the once conservative world is hard to come by. That is frustrating, but as a past teacher I’m sure you’ve already had to deal with that in the classroom.
And thanks for your service.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Most teachers are dedicated and help their students on off hours. ~ Just wondering how much free overtime you put into you job.

LOUIS RESTIFO

“Iwould that this approach helps with bad grade problem.” No comma after the word Tony, no question mark after first Sentence.

Apparently your English teacher didn’t spend any time with you after school.

ANTHONY J SANTO

Of course I did. These are not mutually exclusive approaches to improved mastery of the subject matter; they reinforce each other.

Doug Hampton

If only you had thought about providing “extra help” to your students you would have been Teacher of the Year! Who could have known! I get your frustration….I haven’t posted for that long, but in doing so, I need a break from the madness so I get it. The brainwashing going on today is simply not the way it was for many years. Not new but definitely over the top and just so many falsehoods being pushed as facts.

ANTHONY J SANTO

William, do you also want medicare abolished, the minimum wage, unemployment benefits? Social security also provides benefits to the disabled and surviving spouses and children. Should we cut them off? Also, most people are not disciplined enough to save adequately for retirement. Do you really want pure capitalism? Should you have paid for a private education for your children?Should you be personally responsible for all your medical needs? How much could you have saved then? What we should be debating is where to draw the line on government intervention not whether or not there should be any. Who would have built the interstate highway system? I think you get the point. But, please, indicate specific government economic interventions you would like to see ended and explain how, not you personally, but society would benefit.

William Marincic

Social Security also supports drug addicts and alcoholics. I have a relative that’s been an alcoholic and a drug addict for the last 40 years do you wanna know where she gets her money Social Security disability and she’s never worked a single day in her life. The system is broken

ANTHONY J SANTO

I ask again, should we end social security for everyone? If not what changes do you propose in addition to ending benefits for addicts? I believe this would necessitate fist determining that addiction is a moral weakness and not an illness.

LOUIS RESTIFO

Sooo… Now days if I’m packing an AR-15 or a shotgun, have a major attitude and get in the face of an unarmed man, for whatever reason, he becomes intimidated, and suddenly has concerns of getting shot and or killed, and in a split second decision attempts to unarm me, I can kill him and get off claiming self defense. Perfect.

Don’t need the gun, the Defence in the Aubery case said Aubery was (can’t make this up) ‘armed with his fists even if he didn’t have a weapon.’ This was against guys with guns. This craziness has got to stop.

William Marincic

Lou that’s not what happened he was protecting a car lot and he was attacked multiple times. He acted in self-defense and the jury came for the right decision whether you like it or not.

Leave a Reply