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Fair,50°
Sunday, April 20, 2014
Letters to the Editor

Maybe Common Core isn’t right

To the Editor:
If Dr. Steven Kussin thinks Common Core is such a great idea schools are just not prepared for, three years after the initiative passed and with almost five between adoption and the first Common Core tests, how much time does he think would be necessary to get ready? (“Common Core: a great idea we’re not yet prepared for,” Aug. 29-Sept. 4)
Perhaps the reasons teachers and schools are so flustered about Common Core reflect on the Common Core itself, and not just the timeline. It’s a big initiative, sure, but, again, five years is a lot of lead time. Perhaps the fact that five years is not enough time indicates that a massive, nationwide reorganization to get U.S. schools on the exact same track is a bad idea in the first place. Towns, schools, teachers and students are unique, after all. One program of learning will inevitably not fit everybody. And that’s OK. America’s diverse education system attracts Asian scientists and politicians who admire the creativity and individualization it fosters, and want more of that in their own schools. 
Of course we can also learn from other communities, states and countries, but perhaps it’s time to consider our variety in schooling, as our variety of citizens, a strength, not a weakness.

Joy Pullmann
Education research fellow,
Heartland Institute

Trump is disrespectful

To the Editor:
I used to do some accounting work for Fred Trump, Donald Trump’s father. Fred, a self-made real estate mogul with a vast empire in Brooklyn and other boroughs, was a modest, well-behaved gentleman.
Donald obtained tremendous real estate experience through his father’s business. In fact, with his inheritance, Donald could make large business bets (and mistakes), and if things worked out poorly (and sure did), Donald could take income tax write-offs in high brackets. Further, Donald could always afford to have a mount of professionals working for him.
Recently, Donald created a for-profit entity called Trump University, whereby he would parlay his real estate expertise to the participants.
New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman recently filed a$40 million law suit against Donald stating that Trump University is a fraud. Donald immediately publically responded by calling the chief law enforcement official a “lightweight.”
Normal people just don’t behave like this. Even if Trump wanted to counterattack with an “it’s all about politics” public relations strategy, he should have done so showing humility and respect for the law.

Steven Atlas
Rockville Centre

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