Cosmopolitan Review April 3-9, 2014

Yvonne Delaney Mitchell | 4/3/2014, 11:18 a.m.

Carlotti should have also received the “it” man of the year award, as he is seen everywhere, where one of his stature should be, and he’s always looking good.

If that wasn’t enough, members of the Junior Society of the New York City Mission Society hosted the Champions for Children After Party at New York City’s very upscale Doubles Club. It was a fun evening of cocktails and desserts all in celebration and acknowledgment of the 2014 honorees and the endless accomplishments of the New York City Mission Society.

This year, the New York City Mission Society will provide services to more than 7,000 youth and families in Harlem, the Bronx and Brooklyn. Keep an eye out for their summer in the Hamptons events; this should definitely add a few shingles to their coffers.

Now that it is April, it is also Common Core time for all third-graders attending public schools. Yikes! There has been a tremendous outcry about the Common Core testing from parents all across the country as the standards, testing procedures and results are unrealistic. Standardized testing is always an anxiety-ridden experience no matter who is taking the test, but the pressure forced upon 8- and 9-year-olds to take the test borders on cruel and unusual punishment.

Tests are important for a variety of reasons. We can’t expect to go through life without challenges. Learning the discipline it takes to meet the challenges and overcome them are best accomplished by learning how to take a test. The joy one feels when you learn that you’ve passed a test rates pretty high, no doubt. While the low you feel when you fail a test can be pretty depressing, it can be rationalized by learning what it is you don’t know and what you can do better or improve upon.

As I understand it, the problem with Common Core testing is that it is not testing the children on the level with which they are learning on a day-to-day basis. Instead, within a very short period of time prior to the test date, the children are required to learn concepts they have never been exposed to, with the majority of teachers learning right along with them. Pressure!

We were very fortunate to have enrolled Julia in kindergarten at St. Benedict’s, located on 124th Street and Fifth Avenue, across from Marcus Garvey Park. There, the curriculum consisted of arithmetic, spelling tests on Fridays and homework every night. With the assistance of the very able Ms. Petit, who also operates an after-school and Saturday program at St. Aloysius, at 5 years old, Julia learned how to read; and she was already a year behind the other children who had been at St. Benedicts since pre-K. This, of course, was taught by the traditional method, and all of the children performed beautifully. Members of Julia’s class included Alexander, one of the sons of Shola Olatoye, the new chairman of the New York City Housing Authority, along with the son of Frank Perry.

As a side note, it has come to my attention that this is the last year for St. Benedicts. Quelle dommage! Currently, Julia attends a progressive public school. By “progressive,” I mean the children are taught by what I call the “touchy-feely” method. They learn by exploring, engaging and analyzing. This is good, but when it comes to adding, subtracting and multiplying, we go back to the traditional method to get the right answer. Does Common Core test on that? We will see next year.

Until next week … kisses