Saturday, January 30, 2010

GCSD & the BOE Are Out of Touch ...


While scanning an article about girls hockey, several mentions of how other districts are handling tough economic times caught my attention. It's interesting to me that their emphasis is on retaining academic programs. Not so in Greece, where sports wags the dog. Here's a few excerpts:

"Among the many challenges facing varsity girls hockey: the rising costs of forming a team, a lack of nearby competition, uncertainty with the number of interested girls and shrinking sports budgets."

"It's going to be hard to add new sports when (school districts) are canceling or eliminating programs." ~~ Nina Van Erk, Exec. Dir. of NYS Public HS Athletic Assn.

"Athletics tend to be one of the first targeted areas in a down economy like we're in," said Pound, a Pittsford resident who helped bring girls lacrosse to Honeoye Falls-Lima in 2001.

"When schools are faced with potentially laying off teachers, they'll be looking to cut extracurriculars before cutting the instruction."

Q ~ Why do Greece Residents continue to settle for sub-par education over sports?
A ~ Dysfunction (and a lack of self-esteem) is our way of life!

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

That picture is worth a thousand words. Of course, nothing will change. This is Greece - home to the masses who fear change.

Anonymous said...

Scats:
You just don't get it, do you? Sports brings good press to the district. It's about their only opportunity to get any, so of course sports won't get cut. They'll ax middle school first.

Anonymous said...

Participation in sports does provide benefits just as participation in orchestra, band, school plays, etc. All of these require commitment, teamwork, practice: all good benefits. Research shows that children who participate in these activities are less likely to get into social or legal trouble.
That said, sports and these other activities need to be kept in balance. They are supplements to education and should not be made more important than education. Many of the benefits of sports can be realized without the emphasis they get in our schools. The sports boosters have used (and misused) the benefits of sports as a way to increase the funding for sports. Maybe we need a group of eductation boosters!

SCATS said...

To 7:26AM ~~ Maybe we need education boosters!??

In the realm of extra-curriculars, you'll get much more educational bang for your buck from music than from sports. Research shows that, too.

IMHO, there's already too much emphasis on "teamwork" in the classrooms. Group projects are often completed by the brightest student who fears receiving the "group grade."

Let more of them learn about practice, competition and all that other stuff by participating in the National Spelling Bee, Geography Bee, Chess Team, Math Olympiads, Science Fair, etc. These activities cost a lot less to fund than anything requiring a field, track, gym or pool. They could help restore district pride as academic outcomes rose. But I DO realize those activities require DEDICATION from a teaching staff who is in work to rule mode because their contract went stale.

Anonymous said...

Sports are the only way Greece kids can get scholarships to colleges. They sure as heck can't get them the other way.

Anonymous said...

And what high ranking members of the entertainment and sports world should we put before the children as role models? Sure the teachers and coaches probably are good to emulate but at the level of "practicing" musicians and sports figures the students should not try to copy. Consider golf stars or rock bands back from their 5th rehab or basketball players feeling entitled to affection from unwilling young women or sports heroes that admit to steroids or actors who take drugs or have eating disorders. For that matter consider most politicians.
The phys ed classes are screening for the teams which are screening for the sports scholarships and college scouts which are screening for the professionals. The musicals are vehicles for the top students to be in productions so they can get music scholarships and then be in professional productions. Athena does not even try to pretend they are doing anything else. They weed out the not-so-talented or attractive from day 1 for the show choir. This will never change as long as there are parents who think their child will be a star. And the community supports it because they can't say no. And the unions like it and they really control the schools and politicians and the sports and the entertainment industry. It is so much easier to control people when they are mentally murky because of addiction. Hey whatever works.

Anonymous said...

And we wonder why or country ranks 26 out of the 30 countries polled in academics. The whole education system is flawed and is in need of a complete overhaul.

Anonymous said...

Apparently your children do not participate in Sports SCATS...Many positives can come from a student being involved in sports, team work, balancing work with practice schedules helps them structure their time. My child has been involved on a school team where the coach was less than par and clearly had favorites, after all some parents feel participation in sports boosters guarantees their childs playing time. The coaching can clearly make or break a students desire to be part of a team. But sports is just as important part of a childs school experience. I dont feel sports should be cut, but as many parents I would be willing to do more fundraising for my child to have this experience. Academics should come first but you seem to have a bug up your but when it comes to sports. You should be more open to some of the positives that come from it, not only the negatives.

SCATS said...

To 5:20PM ~~ Apparently, you enjoy operating on your unfounded assumptions ;) Not to mention that the exact same skills you mentioned can be learned in many other ways. The idea that every child must participate in sports is as ridiculous as saying every student should go to college. It's also ridiculous to think that participation on any team will be a positive experience since the message in Greece is that we must win at any cost. That's not a message some parents relish exposing their kids to.

Re: " ... you seem to have a bug up your but when it comes to sports." Yup, I sure do. I believe the primary purpose of a school district is to EDUCATE KIDS! Sports should not be "untouchable" at the expense of academics. The article shows that is not the case in other districts. Most of those other districts happen to be out-performing us in the area of academics, too. I've said it before, but will repeat it here:
Every line item in the budget is a VALUE STATEMENT made by our BOE. If they value academics, it will show and parents won't be coming to the BOE complaining about a lack of textbooks every year, our graduation rates won't embarass us and our test scores will keep us off State watch lists. If they don't and cut academics while retaining the same level of spending for sports, it HURTS EVERY CHILD.

And for the record, I've never said to cut sports totally. I'm promoting a back to basics core group of offerings that is more affordable.

Anonymous said...

Who ever said EVERY sport in Greece is founded in the must win at every cost ?....If your kids participated in some sport you wouldn't be making the ASSUMPTION that that statement is true. You shouldn't call people out on making assumptions when you just did the same thing. How can you say that unless you have gone to at least one game in every sport at every school that that is how it is? And I don't remember ever saying all kids should participate in a sport. I have 2 that do and one that has no interest whatsoever. But then again your the only one that can voice an opinion on sports, after all its SCATS way or no way. I never said that sports comes before academics, but the two certainly can compliment each other and help form a well rounded child. All extra curricular activites are positive experiences , not all students have the same interests, but you seem to have a huge problem with sports.

SCATS said...

To 8:03PM ~~ I made no assumption at all. The school board said it when they overturned the Superintendent's CORRECT decision based upon the district's policies & regulations during the hockey coach mess. Since then, the Supt. doesn't pee unless the school board tells him what color and how far.

Your statement "All extra curricular activites are positive experiences" is nothing but pure unadulterated BS. There are many extra-curriculars that are little more than an added bonus to a teacher's pay stub. I suggest you review a few lists of stipends the BOE has supported this year to see for yourself.

By the way, we know that textbooks are an issue every school year because of continued parent complaints to the BOE. This has been going on for close to two decades that I'm aware of. On the other hand, we never hear of anything lacking related to athletics, or any other extra-curricular, aside from lighted Astro-turfed fields. So then, I think a strong case can be made to say that Greece Central School District supports athletics OVER classroom academics. Currently, we're talking about increasing class sizes, reducing the number of teachers, possibly cutting back on certain classes and floating the idea of phasing out West Ridge School beginning with elimination of their Kindergarten class in Fall of 2010. We're NOT talking about ANY reductions in athletics (the BOE doesn't like the Supt's idea to cutback modified sports) so I guess pretty soon GCSD will only graduate kids who can punt a ball at the expense of ones that can read, write and do math. I'm sure parents like you will have no problem letting little Johnnie shack up in your basement through his adult life, since he will be unable to support himself even if he gets that athletic scholarship. Since you probably supported technology propositions with as little real knowledge about the subject as you have about sports vs academics, he will be able to still enjoy computer porn if you keep his Road Runner account going.

Anonymous said...

There you go again with YOUR assumptions, really little Johnny in my basement??? Come on...because I don't believe that positive attributes can come from sports by NO means can you say that I am a parent that will allow my children to be non productive citizens. I have children who are on two total ends of the spectrum in school, their grades and interests are in no way alike. One has great grades plays sports and things come very easy. My younger one struggles , things do not come easy and he has no interest in any extra curricular activites, which is fine because more time can be spent on the areas that do not come easily. My point is not all children have the same interest , some clubs or events that you do not find beneficial or intersting some students may. And I will say it again not ALL sports are run by coaches that do not care or read between the lines to bend the rules to meet their ethic compass. Yes I think the hockey debacle was a shame. I do not agree with what the coach did , nor do I think the board should have overturned the Supers decision. He did the right thing yet they disregarded it because people were upset. But that does not mean all the other coaches and sports are run the same way. And I agree, we do have a shortage of textbooks and things are lacking in the classroom but you cant blame that soley on the fact that modified sports werent cut. As far as Kindergarten being eliminated at West Ridge, if the enrollment isn't there then that is a good place to cut. It should be that way at any school if there isn't enough attendance.

SCATS said...

To 10:50PM ~~ You need to calm down. I've got you so flustered, you've written: "Come on...because I don't believe that positive attributes can come from sports by NO means can you say that I am a parent that will allow my children to be non productive citizens."

I strongly suggest you take your views and express them during Resident's Forum at the Feb. 9th BOE meeting. Tell the BOE they SHOULD cut Kindergarten at West Ridge. Tell them cutting academics at the risk of eliminating the entire school (no Kindergarten in 2010 means no Grade 1 in 2011 and so on) BEFORE touching sports and other activities makes sense. I want to watch while the West Ridge parents tar, feather and possibly lynch you for spewing such heresy ;)