I am very troubled by the assertions made in the article entitled “Manhasset, Great Neck, East Williston school home sale values highest in county.”
It appears to be a revelation to the author that high wealth communities have high performing schools; a fact that is less about the school and more about parent’s ability to pay up to $300 an hour for tutors.
The author then uses the “rankings” of an online website to compare the Manhasset and Mineola school districts and reaches the conclusion that Manhasset is better than Mineola. As the superintendent of Mineola, a nationally recognized, high performing school district, I take offense to these assertions. Instead of celebrating the diversity and uniqueness of each district in the county, your paper chooses to rank and sort based on wealth.
Mineola is one of the most diverse school communities in Nassau County. Our demographics continue to change; for the 2018-19 school year, we are represented as 52.6 percent white, 29.4 percent Hispanic, 13.4 percent Asian and 4.5 percent black and/or multiracial.
In addition, more than 25 percent of our students are classified as ENL or have an IEP. Lastly, 30 percent of our students qualify for free or reduced lunch.
As a function of our unique mosaic, we lead the way for innovation on Long Island; Mineola has been recognized as one of 25 most innovative districts in the country. As such, we routinely host tours of our programs for our neighboring school districts.
In fact, both Manhasset and East Williston adopted programs after they visited us. Our innovative and unique programs have been copied and replicated across the state. Moreover, they are very attractive to prospective home buyers.
Parents interested in dual language, full-day pre-K and college to career partnerships will only find these programs in Mineola. Furthermore, our investment in our facilities is second to none- including fully air-conditioned classrooms in every building.
The beauty of so many school districts in Nassau County is they are all locally governed and must answer to the residents. We design programs appropriate for our students and community and the results are evident. We have raised our advanced Regents diploma rate from 60 percent in 2014 to 73 percent last year.
Our high school graduation rate is consistently above 97 percent. We are #MineolaProud of our school district and community.
For anyone, especially a local paper, to represent us otherwise does a disservice to our children and their accomplishments. Come see for yourself – join us on #MineolaProud day Friday, May 10, 5:30- 8:30 at Mineola High School.
Michael P. Nagler,
Mineola School District