Letters to the editor, Apr. 3

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Cartoon by Jim Meadows

Charters just an illusion of equality

To the Editor,

Charter schools have an aura of equality stemming from getting their students by lottery but, it seems to me, that is false.

Parents need the energy and ability to tune in on the educational milieu of her/his child to negotiate entering the lottery in the first place. How does a parent of a child with special needs discern if a charter school could or would serve those needs? What about parents whose English is poor and blocking them from “hustling” this particular system?

New York City has more than 22,500 children living in homeless shelters, many with working parents. Are any of these students in a charter school? Then there is the perennial “acting up” student who has always been able to disrupt classes (remember 600 schools? Do they still exist?).

Charter schools can act like private schools and just kick them out… i.e. someone else’s problem. I’m afraid I could go on and on, but the biggest question is how could a charter school fail to score higher than a public school when they do not accept the harder to educate student?

The other question stems from the fact that the organizations promoting charter schools (and paying for the slick TV ads we’ve seen so frequently lately) contain a lot of Wall Street money.

Robert Lewis of WNYC News wrote a detailed report on this on 3/6/14 online if you are interested.

We all know they’ve given Gov. Cuomo a lot of money.

I know educators who believe the longer term motive is to get the contracts (financed by taxpayers) for new educational and testing materials. I have no evidence of this but it’s not an unreasonable suspicion.

Joyce Kent,
Gramercy Park

My introduction to March Madness

Re: It Seems to Me” column, T&V, Mar. 27

As always, I enjoyed reading the editorial. How true! My sole experience with March Madness was akin to that of your mum’s.

My news sources are primarily BBC, The Economist, WNYC, and – of course – T&V.  A bit of local news from antenna TV now and then. I’m not into basketball and have never followed it. I was totally oblivious of the term “March madness.”

Then one day, lo and behold, they had the bracket! I turned in a blank page. But the guy in charge kept insisting I fill it in anyway. So I decided to put down random guesses. But then I noticed numbers listed against each team’s name, and figured they were probably rankings (I follow soccer, so that helped there).

I began estimating likely winners by using both logic (higher ranked) and trying to remember which of two teams’ names I’d heard more often in the news (not always the higher ranked team). And there were guys there who really, really knew all about basketball – the “intelligent” bettors.

I was in dire need of a rain jacket at the time. So I went to Paragon and bought it with the first prize ($150, I think) that I won.

Each time I wear it, and the rain pours down on me, I smile as I remember having heard how furious the guys were on having learned that someone who knew nada about basketball had won the bracket that year.

Thank you for T&V that I’ve truly liked reading over the years. Thanks to Andrea Bucher McAdams, I was able to go to a few of the events she so diligently and painstakingly collated in “Cutting Corners.”

Thanks to her listing, I even had violinist David Fulmer himself hold the door open for me with a beaming smile when I went to watch him play at the Austrian Cultural Forum (I had no idea it was him till he walked onstage later!).

Anita, ST

Can’t take the heat

Dear Editor,

Now that the temperature has risen to the forties and fifties we seem to be getting more heat that we need.  I have checked with numerous people in my building and all say their apartments are too hot. I have thermometers in each room, all the windows open day and night and yet the temperature very often reaches 80 degrees F and above. Something is certainly wrong with the way the heat is distributed throughout the complex.

For instance, why do we get full heat in the middle of the night when the outside temperature is in the upper forties? The heat should come on in the early morning hours rather than in the middle of night.

I do think the heating system needs to be overhauled and adjusted to a reasonable level.

Name withheld,
451 East 14th Street

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