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The Civic Scene: Dynamic social worker brings skills to CB 8

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After he became the director of the Youth Development Programs at the Child Center of New York, formerly Queens Child Guidance Center, in February 2004 and started the Beacon Program at Parsons JHS, he thought it would be good to become more involved with Community Board 8. With the help of Councilmen David Weprin and James Gennaro he was appointed to CB 8, which covers the Fresh Meadows area.He attended Bronx High School of Science, SUNY Buffalo for a B.A. in psychology, NYU for the M.A. in social work and the Baruch College School of Public Administration. He has earned. certificates in youth development, is the lead member for Queens County ACT for Youth Initiative in partnership with Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, lead partner in the New Visions for Public Schools in creation of the new Civic Leadership Academy (high school), and is a non-profit management consultant for such organizations as Asian FM/Media, Inc., Yeshiva Madreigas HaAdam, Young Israel of Jamaica Estates, Young Israel of Hillcrest, Torah Center of Hillcrest and South Asian Youth Action.At the Child Center of New York, Ghosh oversees the operation of services to more than 1,000 adults and 7,500 youth annually. He manages a $5.1 million unit and provides direction to 25 professional managers and more than 200 part-time staffers. He has secured discretionary funds from the City Council and state Senate as well as Assembly members. With these experiences it was natural that he became the chairman of the CB 8 Budget and Finance Committee and works with the Youth Committee.He finds that he learns much from his activities on CB 8. It a training ground because the many volunteer members of CB 8 freely share information with him. What he finds most rewarding is the happenings at CB 8 which motivate him to find ways to get youth engaged now in the work he does at the Child Center of New York. His favorite quote is the one from Martin Luther King Jr's Letter from a Birmingham Jail, "We must use time creatively in the knowledge that time is always ripe to do right."GOOD AND BAD NEWS OF THE WEEKEveryone knows that tests are valuable tools to determine the extent of knowledge someone has attained but in the quest for this goal today we seem to be testing people excessively. The ancient Chinese built a highly skilled government civil service with their examinations. Can we do the same?Some parents believe there are too many tests too often and that teachers teach to the test or how to take tests instead of teaching students to love learning or certain skills. Not only are there too many city and state tests, but the business people who run the city Department of Education decided to write a script which teachers must follow word for word in a prescribed time. Perhaps this is useful for new inexperienced teachers, but veteran teachers should have the ability to be creative. I used to show colored slides from the historic places I had visited relative to the topic I was teaching. I wonder if this would be permitted today? Today, if you deviate you are in trouble! The New York Teacher publication said that many teachers are leaving the profession in spite of the higher salaries. Is this the reason?If a school is a high-achieving school, it may get an "F" because the students did not advance in their test scores even though they are already at a high level. Thus, even if a school starts with students who are doing poorly on tests and not always in class, they still may do a little better on the test and be given an "A." The state and city grade differently.There does not seem to be any consideration for artistic activities or the athletic program in a school when grading a school. One has to realize that athletes cannot participate on a team unless they have passing grades in academic classes and have no disciplinary problems.The No Student Left Behind provides federal money to schools so the children can learn. However, if the students do not graduate in four years the school is declared a failure and it loses the money. Some students need more time because they have so many sociological and psychological problems. The money spent to help them is worth while because the cost of jail is much more expensive and teaches the wrong things. I hope our leaders get it before the rest of our competitors out there surpass us as an innovative nation.

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