Saturday, May 31, 2008

And The Winning Word Is: Guerdon*

Sameer Mishra wins the 2008 Scripps National Spelling Bee in Washington, D.C., Friday.

*"something that one has earned or gained"
STORY

(This word was "easy compared to some that came earlier!)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Joe Needs Your Continued Help

Joe Moscato said...
A quick update about our attempts to get at the truth and accountability.
To date, I have received numerous letters at the post office box I set up for “whistle blower” information and for this, I thank you. On the downside, many of them are repetitious and vague. I need more specific information including, names, times and dates (approximate) to put together a strong enough case to proceed. So keep them coming.! Again, the address is Box 105, 3177 Latta Road, Rochester, New York 14612.

Last week members of my team met with Deputy Chief, Bill Mackin. He indicated that the Greece Police Department was not interested in getting involved, which was good. However, it was obvious to us that he had been in touch with Roger Boily as he had information that only could have come from Boily or Achromovitch and this is why I didn’t want to the GPD involved because of the obvious politics already in play. They suggested that the State Police be contacted.. Please note, Mackin admitted he had already discussed my intentions with the officer in charge of Troop E in Canandaigua. Who asked him to do that? And what slant did he put on our efforts. In spite of this, we will talk to the State Police anyway.

To overcome possible resistance, we will begin a petition drive asking the State Police to conduct an investigation. I hope to show up with at least 500 signatures and will notify you of the availability and location of petitions if you care to sign one. If we are going to get to first base, I am going to need your help. 5/29/2008 2:42 PM

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wednesday Evening Meeting Reminder ...

The Northgate Neighborhood Association will hold its monthly meeting at Aldersgate Methodist Church, 4115 Dewey Avenue at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 28.

Guest speakers will be Supt. Achromovitch and Board Prez, Roger Boily discussing the audit. There will be a Q & A session.

One Arrested After Olympia HS Fight

By Colleen M. Farrell, staff writer
Greece Post
Greece, N.Y. -
One student was arrested at Greece Olympia High School after a fight May 21.
District spokesperson Laurel Heiden said the school went into lockdown at approximately 8:50 a.m. after two girls got into a fight during class-changing time.


“School security and other staff members broke up the fight, but the boyfriend of one of the girls involved did not like the way the girls were separated and pushed one of the security guards,” Heiden said.

The boyfriend, Miguel Zamora, 17, was arrested and charged with harassment, according to Greece Police officer Jim Leary.
Zamora was issued an appearance ticket and will appear in court June 3. No one was injured, Leary said.

Why Does BOE Credit Achramovitch With 87% Graduation Rate?

They cite an increase to 87% which SED hasn't collaborated, up from 83% in 2003. The only trouble is, Steve didn't land in Greece until Nov. of 2006 ~~ a year for which the rate was just 80%!

WHAT has Achramovitch done to cause ANY jump in Greece graduation rates? If he got graduation rates up to 87% from just 80% in 2006, why isn't the BOE screaming this HUUUUU-JAH success from the rooftops??

And another blogger questions the technology component cited in the last sentence of the Supt. Goals which states: "The district will initiate the development of a comprehensive Technology Plan."

Anonymous said...
Greece taxpayers approved an EXCEL bond with a significant portion associated with technology purchases.
Despite several attempts at getting specifics about those expenditures, nothing was ever presented.
Now, read the last sentence in this document (the Superintendent's goals): http://web001.greece.k12.ny.us/files/filesystem/Superintendent%20Goals%202007-08.pdf This is just crazy. 5/26/2008 9:29 PM

Monday, May 26, 2008

Supt. Performance Based On BOE Research

"We really researched how to assess educational leaders. We want to see some target numbers and data." ~~ Julia VanOrman
D&C Story
Supt. Goals

A Blogger Questions

D&C's Figures:

George Hubbard said... (comment edited)
D&C article states, “Greece schools have seen significant improvements... graduation rate increased to 87%, up from 83% for 2003...”

To D&C: for what year does 87% figure apply? What is the source?

NY/SED figures confirm 83% in 2003. However, SED has never reported 87% for Greece for any recent year... and does not expect to report grad rate for last year (2007) until Jun/08. 5/26/2008 12:03 PM

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

SCATS Suggests: Maybe the BOE Can Create Some Specific Goals For the Supt. In A Timely Fashion Next Year! Once Again, They Are Operating Outside Their Own Stated Policy. ;-)

Friday, May 23, 2008

George Kisha Abruptly Quits In PWC

"Prince William County school officials said yesterday that two top-ranking administrators have abruptly resigned, effective immediately. George Kisha, associate superintendent for finance and support services, and Melvin J. Brown, an associate superintendent who oversaw 20 schools have left the school system. School officials would not explain why the officials left, citing the confidentiality of personnel cases. In a recent interview, Brown said he was leaving to become principal of a Spotsylvania County middle school. Kisha who could not be reached to comment, was brought in by then-new Superintendent Steven L. Walts in 2005. Both had worked in Upstate New York. Prince William has the state's second-largest school system, with more than 73,000 students."

Source: Washington Post Metro Section, May 23

Education Commissioner Halts Double-Dippers

Waivers Suspended For Retirees
Returning To School Districts

"We know there are problems. For example, the level of compensation in some instances is an issue that warrants further review." ~~ Comm. Mills
D&C STORY

How many have benefitted in GCSD From Such Practices?
Mike Henry (CARE Video Fame) Comes To Mind

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A BUDGETARY "PROMISE" TO THE BOE ...

Anonymous said...
The budget did not pass because of community SUPPORT. It passed because the NO voters stayed home. Look at the totals and this will be obvious compared to years when the budget was defeated.

And a defeat will happen next year if the board does not use all of the budget surplus (including any FAIR money) to reduce the tax rate in August. I hope board members are paying attenition.
All it takes to get the budget defeated is a mailing costing $1500. I will see that that happens if the board again sticks its head in the sand.
5/22/2008 1:01 PM

Maybe we'll get a PayPal account & take up a collection to help. Could be very interesting ... Meow :)

Teacher As Target Motivates Odyssey Students

Catapault Designs To Be Graded
On Accuracy, Presentations

"There are not too many chances you get to shoot your teacher." ~~ Marshall Ling, 14, a ninth-grader whose team created a spring-powered catapult.

"I think it's definitely a help for some of them. Anything that throws something to hit something is motivating, but with me as the target, it's upped things." ~~ Teacher, Terry Kurtz
D&C STORY

Kurtz's Idea Engages
Kids To Learn!
SCATS Awards Him The First
"Cat's Meow" Award :)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Odyssey Student Dies In Sleep

Junior Rachel Woodland Remembered

MPNNow

Moscato To Ask Greece Police To Recuse Themselves In Audit Investigation

“I want this to be as clean as possible. I don’t want any politics in this thing. Either there are criminal actions here or there aren’t. I don’t care which as long as we get a definitive answer from a qualified law investigative agency.” ~~ Joe Moscato

“The Board of Education does not have investigative powers but if there is information of any kind of wrongdoing on the part of a previous superintendent or anyone else ... I don’t think anybody on this Board of Education would be afraid to pursue it.” ~~ Roger Boily

“The question that I see that the board is going to have to wrestle with is what can a forensic audit do for us versus what it’s going to cost for us to do it.” ~~ Pat Tydings

MPNNow

If You Missed the CARE Presentation Last Fri ...

Anonymous said...
The CIP Fairy Tale can be

viewed tonight, Thursday

and Friday of this week at

7:00 to 8:00 p.m.

on Channel 15 (not Channel 12).
5/21/2008 9:29 AM

Supt. & Boily To Discuss Audit

Northgate Neighbors Meeting Planned
Wed. May 28th, 7PM
Aldersgate United Methodist Church
4115 Dewey Ave

MPNNow

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Fox News Reports The Budget Passed

Anonymous said...
Budget, Propositions Approved, McCabe, Ferrington, and Oberg Elected

The Greece Central School District’s 2008-09 budget and two accompanying propositions were approved by community voters today. The budget vote was 4,247 in favor and 3,086 against. Proposition 1, authorizing the district to establish a building capital reserve fund, was approved by a vote of 3,972 in favor and 3,338 against. Proposition 2, authorizing the district to establish a bus purchase reserve fund was approved by a vote of 3,706 in favor and 3,137 against. In the Board of Education election, the following individuals have been elected to Board seats, each serving three-year terms beginning July 1:
• Sean McCabe with 3,952 votes
• David Ferrington with 3,613 votes
• Frank Oberg with 3,437 votes
5/20/2008 10:01 PM

Monday, May 19, 2008

Would A Forensic Audit Examine This?

Anonymous said...
Oh, it is worse than you know. Try this on for size: I suggest that a V-A-S-T majority of the new computer technology that was JUST installed, lies UNUSED.

Add to this, the fact that there is no Director of Technology any longer. KI quit to go to VA, ET resigned and JJ was fired. I wonder who is qualified to spend the EXCEL technology money in a way that will benefit anyone.

Wake up, taxpayers. 5/19/2008 12:48 AM

Anonymous said...
To 12:48 AM:
You hit a home run on your statement! There is no leadership at the District level guiding technology! That leadership was dismantled by the Greece Administration. It appears that all the EXCEL Aid funds will not be spent correctly or on time to improve student achievement. I would ask Steve A. and his group when they plan on installing that new student management system that was promised to the community. It has also been noted that there isn't a system in place to track all the technology inventory as it walks out the door with staff and students. Millions of dollars worth of equipment with no understating or accountability on where it is located or how it is being integrated into the curriculum. Let's spend some more dollars on technology for our student's when there is no technology plan or leadership in place to leverage it. Just another dysfunctional day in Greece. 5/19/2008 8:42 AM

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Odyssey Academy Ranked #108

CONGRATULATIONS!!
Odyssey Makes Newsweek's List
Of Nation's Top High Schools

LINK

Does Greece Handle Textbooks Any Better Than The City Schools?

Reading about the mismanagement and wasted textbook problems plaguing the Rochester City School District reminded me of many similarities to Greece over the years. These include:
Parent complaints about the lack of textbooks
Teacher complaints of insufficient texts requiring students to share
Storage closets in some schools filled with books slated for shipment to Third World nations
Students losing or damaging texts without having to pay for them
Teachers shunning responsiblity for distribution of textbooks to students or for receiving them back at year's end

In my years of involvement in Greece Central, I've never heard anyone discuss any fund totals paid by students for lost or damaged textbooks. In a district this large, that total annual number would be sizeable if the monies were collected, in my opinion. Can anyone prove me wrong?

Saturday, May 17, 2008

BOE Candidate Endorsements Favor Ferington

On Wed. May 7th, SCATS Endorsed David Ferington and suggested a "bullet vote" for this candidate. Since then, others have followed our lead :)

"Citizens for Accountability and Reform in Education is endorsing Ferington and encouraging a bullet vote for him."

"The Greece Teachers Association is backing retired Greece teacher Dave Ferington and incumbent Frank Oberg."

"The Association of Greece Central Educational Professionals is supporting Ferington, Oberg and Northstar Christian Academy administrator Christopher Boshnack."

MPNNow

Friday, May 16, 2008

Contingency Budget Tax Levy Questioned

Anonymous said...
CATS Can we start a new thread re:: the BUDGET NOTICE? See below!
Re: The school district budget notice.

This notice states that the tax levy would be the same under the proposed budget and what they call the contingency budget (which I am sure can only mean the maximum contingency budget).

Please do not be led to support the proposed budget thinking your taxes would be the same under either budget. That can't be the case.

The district offers an explanation for the same tax levy under both budgets on their web site. Click on the budget item and look for budget notice update.

Their explanation left me more confused. Can they actually spend the money set aside for buses on items not included in the contingency budget?

Are current board members in agreement with this presentation of the data and the explanation? How about candidates? Were the assumptions made by the finance office agreed to by the board?

I am also confused as to the minimum reduction to the capital component in under the contingency budget given more than $2 million has been removed for buses. Maybe I'm just a little dense today. 5/16/2008 4:24 PM

C.A.R.E. SHOW CONFIRMED ...

C.A.R.E. PRESENTATION ON AUDIT
CABLE CH.12 @7PM TONIGHT

MOSCATO INVITES INFORMANTS TO HELP

GETS P.O. BOX TO COLLECT ANONYMOUS TIPS
Joe Moscato said...
When reading some of the comments posted here, it is obvious to me that some of you are district employees. It is also obvious that some of you are in possession of information that could be helpful to me as I move forward through the law enforcement and subsequent legal system.

In order to facilitate and obtain more relevant facts, I have set up a Post Offiice Box in the hope that you will forward to me any information that could be beneficial. If you do, please try and be as specific as you can and include, to the best of your knowledge, times, dates and names of those involved.

I promise to keep any information confidential if you choose to identify yourself. However, anonymous information will be acted upon. If you would like to meet with me one on one, so indicate and I will make it happen. This Post Office Box is at the UPS Store in Wegmans Plaza at Latta and Long Pond. I am known to them and I have instructed them to verify the fact that this box is in my name.
Please respond to:
Joe Moscato
P.O. Box 105
3177 Latta Road
Rochester, New York 14612
5/16/2008 10:53 AM

Thursday, May 15, 2008

***UPDATE *** CARE SHOW WILL AIR @7PM TONIGHT

Brian said...
For those who have asked, there will be a program tonight airing on cable 12 at 7 pm with Bev Strehle of Care speaking on audit issues. It will be followed by a video requested to be reshown from 2006 concerning the audit.

I will probably run this several other times when I can schedule it in.

For those who want to see the school district candidates night which has aired several times on cable 12, watch channel 15 from 2-4 pm today and this weekend. 5/16/2008 11:12 AM

MOSCATO MAY ASK STATE POLICE TO INVESTIGATE

Anonymous letter provides "a place to start" a criminal investigation into audit and the multitude of CIP change orders

D&C STORY

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

MOSCATO RESIGNS OVER AUDIT MISHANDLING!!

“I no longer wish to be associated with a school board that is politically controlled by its leadership and superintendent and is non-responsive to the concerns of the community. The district’s reluctance to seek an independent investigation by the proper police agency concerning the allegations of wrongdoing in the Comptroller’s audit is a prime example of this fact.” ~~ Joe Moscato ~~~~~ D&C

"What happens, in my opinion, is that you have negativity being fostered by a board member or sometimes two and that often times creates the idea that everything in Greece is negative and it's not." ~~ Roger Boily

“(On) our board you’re either on one side or the other. And if you’re on the other side they’ll just castigate you.” ~~ Joe Moscato ~~~~~ MPNNow

Attention Gale O'Toole:


IT'S ILLEGAL "TO STALK" A SCHOOL BUS,
EVEN FOR A BOE MEMBER ;-)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rev. Vince DiPaola Confronts BOE On Internet Survey, Threatens Action If They Continue Inaction

“They bombard our kids with sex. They were asked lewd questions about their porn use and even if parents sat and watched with them.” ~~ Rev. DiPaola To News10 Last Week

SCATS ASKS: WILL HIS CONGREGATION'S WRATH BE FELT IN THE VOTING BOOTH?

News10 LINK
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Moscato Shows BOE It Doesn't Keep Track Of Postponed Business
In Final Minutes of Meeting, Joe Reintroduces Tabled Motion Related to Audit Investigation From Previous Meeting
Boily & Crew Caught Off-Guard Again
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Donlon (As Union Rep.) ~~ Endorses Oberg & Ferington (corrected info)
Was Anyone Else Disturbed By Mary Donlon's Endorsement of Oberg GIVEN Her UNRESOLVED EEOC Suit Against GCSD & Oberg's Role In Reinstating Her To Her Teaching Position?

Monday, May 12, 2008

"Audit Aftermath" Brochures Mailed "To Clarify"

Democrat & Chronicle Characterizes District's Fiscal Mismanagement As:
"Financial Slip-Ups"

SCATS Asks: How can they call the illegal spending of $2.5 million just another "Oops!" ??

D&C STORY
Audit Aftermath

Sunday, May 11, 2008

No Exec. Session Planned Before Tues. BOE Meeting??

With So Many Contracts Awaiting Action, Why Aren't They Talking?

05/13/2008 Regular Meeting, 6:30 pm

Topics To Include:
Fund Balance Report
Textbook Approvals
Update on Social Promotion
Update on K-5 Regoranization
Elimination of Secondary Option

Policy Matters:
Second Read Policy 5672 Security Breach
First Read Whistle Blowing Policy
First Read Policy 7631 Appointment & Training of Committee on Special Ed
First Read Policy 8130 Equal Educational Opportunities
First Read Policy 7632 Appointment & Training of Committee on Preschool Special Ed
First Read Policy 7640 Student Individualized Education Program (IEP): Development & Provision
First Read Policy 7670 Impartial Due Process Hearings/Selection of Impartial Hearing Officers
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Anonymous said...
How can you trust the BOE when they posted the March minutes and then removed them? The BOE minutes were in the April agenda, voted on and approved. Then they were gone. What was in the minutes they didn't want on the web site? Yes. It is a function of the Board Clerk, but she reports to the BOE. When all other minutes are posted and this one removed, there is something suspicious about it. 5/11/2008 9:32 AM

Friday, May 09, 2008

Propoganda Piece Readied To Soothe Taxpayers

"We are also pursuing legal recourse where allowable." ~~ Supt. Letter To Residents

IS IT A LIE?
Our "healthy dose of skepticism" wants to know ;-)

Link

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Article Explains How Walts Got His Healthcare Benefit

"A 2004 deal by Walts and former Board of Education members included Greece Central paying for his health care, even if he stopped working in the district." ~~ MPNNow

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

CANDIDATE'S NIGHT ~~ 7 to 9pm Tonight

FERINGTON
BOSHNACK
HURWITZ
McCABE
OBERG

Just Coincidence?
or
Planned To Fool Voters??

***** ARROGANT BEYOND WORDS *****

Unbelievably, The Greece School Board Opts For Internal Policing Over Getting Law Enforcement Involved In Audit Investigation
They Plan To Let GCSD's Attorneys Do The Job!

IN SUMMARY~~ Our Current BOE Is Trusting:
1 - Our Former BOE Prez Who Oversaw The Walts Disaster To Advise Us On Our Current Budget (via committee) and
2 - Our Attorneys Who Failed To Catch Any Problems With The CIP Or Walts' Healthcare/Contract Are Going To Investigate The CIP & Healthcare Issues For Potential Criminal Wrong-doing By District Employees

THIS MIGHT BE AMUSING
IF IT WEREN'T SO PATHETIC!

SCATS ENDORSES:
DAVID FERINGTON
for SCHOOL BOARD
(We Recommend a Bullet Vote)

SCATS RECOMMENDS:
A "NO" VOTE ON
THE BUDGET &
ALL PROPOSITIONS
(It's a vote of "No Confidence" and it won't "hurt the kids" any more than they've been hurt by the incompetence of current and past administrations.)

Monday, May 05, 2008

SPECIAL MEETING ON AUDIT: TUES 6:30

MEETING WAS NEVER SUPPOSED TO BE A "STUDY SESSION"

Joe Moscato said...
Please note that tomorrow night’s meeting is not a study session as has been described.
As a board member and consistent with board policy and the State Education Law, a week ago I asked President Boily to convene a special meeting of the board. Consistent with board policy 1520, a special meeting must have a specific purpose and agenda items of concern to any board member. I requested a special meeting, not a study session, for the specific purpose of discussing my motions requiring board action regarding the findings of the Comptroller’s audit. As a result of my protest, the agenda has been adjusted to reflect my original request.
At Tuesday’s meeting (May 6) I will be introducing two resolutions, one is an official request that the district sign a complaint with the District Attorney and Attorney General asking for an official investigation of the findings of the audit. The second motion deals with immediate action to suspend taxpayer supported health care for a former superintendent.This meeting is no longer a study session, as advertised. 5/05/2008 9:48 AM

Sunday, May 04, 2008

BOE To Discuss Ending Walts' Health Care, Criminal Charges

"And my answer is, 'I never would have voted for something like that.'" ~~ Boily on Walts' Health Care Perks

"A number of board members suggested maybe we have a special meeting/study session to discuss the audit and come up with some ideas to look at where we go next." ~~ Boily

MPNNow ~~ "Some critics have suggested the district and board should pursure criminal charges against Walts and past administrators. But the board "has no indication whatsoever" that the Monroe County District Attorney's office will do so, Boily said."

SCATS ASKS ~~ Mr. Boily, why don't you call the DA and tell him that Greece Central's Board of Education WANTS THE DA's OFFICE TO PURSUE CRIMINAL CHARGES??

Friday, May 02, 2008

Some Really BIG Salaries!

2008-09 GCSD Administrative
Compensation Information

Superintendent: 207,366 + 42,317
Deputy Super: 140,289 + 31,469
Asst Super Elem: 140,288 + 32,146
Asst Super Sec: 140,288 + 32,558
Exec Dir Suppt Serv: 135,519
MS/HS Principal: 133,604
HS Principal: 128,870
Exec Dir Special Ed: 126,256
HS Principal: 123,957
Dir Strategic Planning: 121,874
HS Principal: 121,487
Dir Physical Education: 118,984
Elem Principal: 118,186

Thursday, May 01, 2008

THE SILENCE IS DEAFENING!

WHERE IS THE OUTRAGE?
WHERE IS THE ACTION?

WHO WILL "RIGHT"
THE "WRONGS"?

Anonymous said...
Joe: Why don't you get a petition circulating through the community, one that compels GCSD to pursue this audit mess on all the different levels. If I were you, I'd start by asking the people who signed your petition to run for school board. I'm sure you'd find some helpers out there too!
Joe, PLEASE CONSIDER DOING THIS! We can't afford to let the Boily crew undo the good that's been done over the last few years. It's time to send a clear message. I'd bet lunch a petition will get the desired movement fast!! 4/29/2008 4:44 PM

Anonymous said...
Unless the public demands that something be done, they will sweep this whole mess underthe rug. The silence that we hear is roaring in my ears.
I cannot believe that this district will do nothing to try to recoup our losses. That is the very least they could do. Instead, they blandly say they are correcting their procedures and this will not happen in the future - and if you believe that, I know a bridge you can buy cheap in Brooklyn.
The public must come to board meetings and forums, write letters to the editor, go to the media and most importantly, vote NO on the budget to send a message to this arrogant board and administration that you are not falling for their bull----! 4/30/2008 9:19 AM

Anonymous said...
I talked with two different people today who said they spoke with Ms. Whitman in the DA's office and she told them exactly the same thing she told Joe.Unfortunately, they are not doing anything until they receive a formal complaint from someone. It should be the school district. 4/30/2008 6:13 PM

George Hubbard said...
The SCATS lead topic for these postings states, the DA Office claims... “The district has only asked for a review.”
Q#1: Was the GCSD request for ‘a review’ in writing... has anyone seen the document... what’s the date... who’s the author?
Q#2: Were copies distributed to BOE members? 4/30/2008 10:46 PM