An open letter to state Sen. Toby Stavisky (D-Whitestone):
Let me start by saying I was a high school mathematics teacher for 37 years, so I speak from experience.
In reference to the article “CUNY Law responds to low bar exam pass rate” (TimesLedger Newspapers, Feb. 16-22), you should be congratulated and should congratulate the faculty of the CUNY School of Law for raising academic standards instead of succumbing to the easier path, which is to accommodate the lower-level students and lower the standards, thus lowering the passing grade of the bar exam.
The decision of the state Department of Education allowing calculators to be used in mathematics class from elementary school to high school is one example of the dumbing down of the American student population.
America has strived for stupid and has been proud of it. From the waitress in the diner to the doctor in the operating room, we have an overabundance of incompetent people with poor work ethics in the workforce.
Probably more students than you think do not belong in college because of the education they had in high school. That is why there is an unusually low passing rate on the bar exam.
Just maybe if more people involved in education at the college level began to demand more it will filter down to the high school, middle school and elementary school levels, and then standards throughout the system would be raised instead of lowered. In turn, this would affect the entire nation because I believe New York City education is the benchmark for education in the country.
You did a great deed, senator, by allowing the standards to be raised. I tip my hat to you.