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Readers sound off on parental involvement in schools, homonyms, and Billie Holiday


Blame Mom and Dad. (Getty Images/iStockphoto)
It’s not racism, it’s the parents

Glen Head, L.I.: The New York City school system is being called racist because it gives students tests they are unable to pass! The central theme of Voicers Amanda Vender and Kemala Karmen’s letter was that tests are unfair to children in certain ethnic and income groups. How can a mathematics test be racist? “Juan has 4 eggs. How many more does he need to make a dozen?” Where is the racist part?

Their entire letter was liberal babble! This is the same nonsense that has infected New York City schools for decades. Any teacher worth his or her salary will tell you that the reason any child of any ethnicity or income level learns or does not learn is parental involvement!

After 34 years in the New York City school system, I can positively state that the majority of the parents of under performing (failing) students viewed the school system as a baby sitting service for their children! Want proof? They never attended either afternoon or evening parent-teacher conferences and they never responded to letters or phone calls. Some parents actually refused to give the school valid phone numbers because they did not want to be disturbed!

If children of any ethnic or socioeconomic background see that their parents are interested in their education, then those children will also make an effort and get involved. If the children see that their parents don’t care, they why should they? Of course blaming parents would be politically incorrect and blow the racist narrative right out of the water, wouldn’t it? Robert Kralick

From a retired cop

Dobbs Ferry, N.Y.: To Voicers Phil Antico and Steven Malichek: I served faithfully for 20 years on the NYPD and a good deal of my arrests were made from complaints that came from the community I was working in, or should I say, the place I swore to protect and serve. So yes, we answer what seems like (trivial) complaints to you. No, we don’t do it for raises or promotions, nor do we have more important things to do. When the community has a legitimate complaint, we answer it. Why don’t you ride along one Friday or Saturday night? Better yet, join the NYPD and wonder if you are going to make it home that night as you race to a call of “shots fired, man with a gun.” To the Garner family, my heartfelt sorrow on the loss of your son. To my NYPD family, God bless each and everyone of you. P.S., I know there will be criticism and I welcome it, however, I will not answer it. Randy Jurgensen

First responder

Cliffside Park, N.J.: To Voicer Oreg Tuttle: As a paramedic who regularly maneuvers an ambulance through crowded city streets, I have to say that you are mistaken. When the city removes a lane of regular traffic and replaces it with a bike or bus lane, that actually makes our job easier. It creates extra open space so cars can move over more easily when we approach. What slows us down is double-parking and illegal parking in the bike and bus lanes. Sadly the city does a very poor job enforcing those traffic laws, making it harder for emergency vehicles to reach New Yorkers in need. Staley Dietrich

Hush now

Forest Hills: I decided to mute my TV on Sunday while watching the Mets play the Phillies on ESPN. Jessica, we all know how to read so there is really no use reading out the stats that appear on the screen. Also, calling a wild pitch way inside? Yeah, we all saw that. As a former softball player, you would do better to announce women’s softball. You have no business in the MLB. Mary Manly

Sloppy mistake

Manhattan: Sometimes, Bradford William Davis, spellcheck just won’t cut it, especially regarding homonyms, those pesky sound-alike words with different meanings and spellings ("Andrew made right choice, a choice others don’t have,” Aug. 28). You ruined the fine sentiment of your fourth paragraph by misspelling “yoke” as “yolk,” which is the yellow part of an egg. So, when you wrote, “Oliver’s advice was most relevant to the students able to fashion football into a tool rather than a yolk,” you essentially said, “rather than the yellow part of an egg.” The wooden device placed on the shoulders of oxen and other draft animals is spelled “yoke.” Such simple, homonym-based errors should have been eliminated from your vocabulary in high school. Elaine Schechter

New York idol

Hollis: In response to Voicer Arlene Amarosa, who voiced her opinion on the erection of a statue to great jazz singer Billie Holiday: It seems melancholy that Amarosa opposes the statue of Holiday because of her drug problem and how it will influence the youth or other adults on what one can achieve despite having an addiction! But what about the statue of the doctor, J. Marion Sims, whose statue was erected many years ago on the east side of Central Park (and just recently moved to Brooklyn). He experimented on African slave women with out any anesthesia! Now, what kind of example is that? Ali-Abdul Perez

Billie’s got talent

Little Neck: Billie Holiday deserves a statue. She did not just have a great voice, as Voicer Arlene Amarosa stated, but rather a gift to convey all the pain and suffering she endured during her childhood right through her adult addictions. She is an American icon who deserves her just place in the history of American music. Thomas L. DiPietra

DiNapoli should divest

Brooklyn: Thanks for covering New York State Controller Tom DiNapoli’s refusal to divest New York State public pension funds from falling fossil fuel holdings (“Lawmakers, environmental advocates renew call for DiNapoli to divest NY state pension fund from fossil fuel companies ahead of climate march,” Sept. 2). It is broadly acknowledged that fossil fuel stocks are falling compared with other stocks in the General Index. Exxon has just been kicked off the S&P 500’s Top 10 list for the first time in the index’s 90-year history. The oil and gas sectors are quite volatile now, creating price slumps and major questions about demand. As more states like New York and California pass legislation requiring transition to 100% renewable energy in the near future and sue the fossil fuel industry for harm they’ve done to the planet and our economy, the demand for fossil fuels and values of their stocks will continue to decline. Why does DiNapoli resist announcing and then starting the process of divesting the state pension funds from risky fossil fuel holdings — all $13 billion of them? Nancy Romer