Here’s a look at opinion content published in The Journal News since Saturdaya:
Saturday, Jan. 22
Medicaid Reform: Commentary
Joseph L. Guagliano, legislative advocate for the Westchester Independent Living Center, offers a Community View on recent calls for Medicaid in New York. Guagliano argues that while Medicaid is “broken” in New York, any reform must keep the elderly and disabled in mind.
Sunday, Jan. 23
New York’s economy: Editorial
We comment on President Obama’s visit to the historic headquarters of General Electric in Schenectady, where GE engineers are hard at work on a range of turbines. During the visit, Obama named GE CEO Jeffery Immelt to lead a Council on Jobs and Competitiveness. We write:
… New York’s unemployment rate dipped slightly last month, falling from 8.3 percent to 8.2 percent. The state lost some 22,000 private-sector jobs. Acknowledging the slow pace of recovery, Obama said the first two years of his presidency were about halting the free-falling economy. “The next two years, our job now, is putting our economy into overdrive,” he said. “Our job is to do everything we can to ensure that businesses can take root and folks can find good jobs and America is leading the global competition and will determine our success in the 21st century.”
It was clear at week’s end, however, that this future won’t arrive in time to lift all New Yorkers.
Sharing the spotlight with the president was Andrew Cuomo, the new governor, who is trying to close a nearly $10 billion budget gap. He has promised not to raise taxes. According to published reports, the fiscally conservative Democrat may propose eliminating 10,000 to 15,000 jobs in order to balance the 2011-’12 budget, which begins April 1. Asked about layoffs, Cuomo did not deny the news reports.
“I don’t think it’s going to be any surprise to anyone that the state’s economic situation is dire,” Cuomo told reporters Thursday. “The chickens are coming home to roost. The state is in a really dire financial state and we’re going to make corrections. We’ve been spending too much money for years and it has to stop.” Washington, for certain, can’t help us with that.
White Plains: Reisman
Phil Reisman assesses the political landscape in White Plains, where Mayor Adam Bradley, convicted last month on five domestic abuse charges, has been asked to resign by Democratic leaders.
Assessment inequities: Commentary
Responding to a recent report on a spike in property assessment challenges in Westchester and Rockland counties, Westchester County Clerk Timothy Idoni offers a Community View in which he challenges legislators in Albany to address assessment inequities.
Catholic schools: Commentary
Nancy Tadler Winchell, a Mahopac CPA, offers a Community View on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese’s decision to close 27 schools in June, a move Winchell argues will raise local property taxes.
Monday, Jan. 24
Higher Education: Editorial
We comment on the publication of “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” a book that assesses the state of American higher education. We write:
… Nearly half of the nation’s undergraduates show almost no gains in learning in their first two years of college, according to the researchers, who include lead author Richard Arum, a New York University professor.
After four years, 36 percent showed little change. On average, students earned a respectable 3.2 grade-point average, but they did so apparently without breaking much of a sweat. “Students are able to navigate through the system quite well with little effort,” Arum was quoted in USA Today.
Students spend 50 percent less time studying compared with students a few decades ago.
None of this will shock education officials in New York, which last year owned up to the fact that, despite the highest-in-the-nation school taxes and rising scores on state achievement exams, New York school kids don’t measure up on national exams — impetus behind the Obama administration’s push for national standards for grades K-12 and new thinking on how to get students to succeed. …
New Rochelle desegregation: Commentary
In a Community View, Karen Hessel reflects on the fiftieth anniversary of the desegregation of New Rochelle’s schools.