Saturday, March 20, 2010

"For the kids?" Or "For the adults?"

Is this how PTA's should spend their $$?

The ad below was printed in this week's Greece Post
and was over 1/4 of the page in size.

SCATS ~~ How nice that the West Ridge PTA can afford to blow big bucks on such a frivolous purchase in these hard economic times. This is just one more sign that schools-of-choice operate as private schools within GCSD.


Anonymous said...

I love that they are so proud of what a great school it is & that they really want your child to be with them... but only if their 4 or 5! Evidentally a 7 year old still on a waiting list to Pine Brook can go pound salt, they (West Ridge) don't want em'. If the author of that sad ad had half a brain, they would think that getting a few older kids into the school might mean getting their siblings in down the road.

Anonymous said...

It's their money to waste as the see fit.

Better that than spending it to promote the budget.

Anonymous said...

At least they are doing something about their situation, not just complaining about it. 8:58--They did at least state that siblings are welcome. Is it the best move financially for GCSD? I am not sure, but once again this proves why signature schools do so much "better" than others: the parents really care about the schools their children go to and will do things to support them!!!

Anonymous said...

That is not a valid use of PTA funds. I saw that ad and assumed that the school ran it. That PTA should be dissolved. Look up the address of PTA New York and National PTA and turn them in. Promoting more students to attend your school is not one of the objectives of the PTA. We will see what happens.
If they do nothing then we will know their guidelines are just phony. Then the NY charities Bureau could be notified so they might lose their tax exempt status. This is finally a great example of the misuse of PTA funds with documentation.

Anonymous said...

The bigger question still remains.

Why should I vote yes to a 7.6% increase in my taxes that supports transporting kids all over town.

There are some people in charge here that need to pony up to reality.
This waste has gone on for too long.
What I am seeing is what looks like a "con" game to keep some select people happy at the expense of all. Anyone with half a brain had to know money from the state was going to be in short supply yet no planning toke place.

As long as we have a two tier system that needs extra money that has long gone unaddressed my vote will be NO.

SCATS said...

To 8:58AM ~~ Though they are somewhat less warm with the "invite" it does say there are openings at all grade levels.

To 9:13AM ~~ WRONG! They have rules to follow. I'm hearing from some parents that they didn't know the money was being spent on running an ad. So I guess a few decided for everyone, just like in the district's other schools.

To 9:24AM ~~ What they are doing appears to be WRONG. I guess they could be future BOE members ... people who don't follow rules, laws, ethics, etc.

To 9:47AM ~~ I tend to agree with you. Since I spend my time running this BLOG, perhaps you could spend some of yours turning them in?

To 10:07AM ~~ The real con is that anyone who doesn't complain to the BOE will suffer the budget ax and/or a HUGE tax increase!

Anonymous said...

from 9:47
I will try. From what I can see online, national PTA does not seem to care how they spend their funds. And the rule about fund raising seems to be a guideline of 3 to 1. 3 parts other activities added to 1 part fundraising. Fundraising should not be their primary activity.
And the nonsense they preach about tax! If the unit buys the product (catalog candy and wrapping paper for example) and then sells it to people they do not have to charge the customers sales tax. What a tax evasion. And they should pay sales tax themselves if that's the case. They do not.
For the book fairs, when the unit never really takes "possession" of the product, they advise paying the sales tax. Yes PTA has to pay sales tax even though they are tax exempt. They just do not have to pay federal or state income tax.
National and some of the states have sneaky ways of allowing the units to buy computers and supplies for the schools. Not saying here in case the units would start employing those methods in Greece.
Bottom line is that the national pta obviously is aware that the main activity of the units is to raise funds to supplement the budgets of the school districts. They realize that they are keeping the fund raising companies (because it suits the pta goals) in business and are skirting the tax requirements that the rest of us have to follow. They promote the same goals as the teachers union and support lobbying efforts of the unions amongst other lobbying to make it look good. Maybe we should just stay out of it and stop buying the overpriced products.
But I will send the ad into the national to get an opinion.

SCATS said...

To 12:38PM ~~ THANK YOU!!

If there is anything I can do to assist with that, let me know. How about providing us all with the address and the details so that maybe others could send in a complaint too? A form letter complaint that people could copy, print out, sign and send might actually create enough of a stir that some repercussions become forced ;)

Anonymous said...

Did you call the paper to ask if the ad was donated? Often times the papers (even the D&C) will do community service ads for groups.

I have no problem with them fighting for what they believe in.

SCATS said...

To 2:01PM ~~ Click on the ad on the BLOG front. At the bottom, the ad clearly states "Sponsored by West Ridge PTA." Your idea suggests that the Greece Post is up to its eyeballs in town politics. Did you intend to convey that impression?

Anonymous said...

sponsored by relates to the event. paid for by would indicate funding. community donations for such events: common and recommended.


Do not put later in former. thank you.

SCATS said...

To 2:26PM ~~ Event? What "event?" This ad promises none! Talk about putting words into people's mouths. I know a lot of folks who love to twist the truth to make things appear different from the reality. I'm sure you're quite experienced with it.

Anonymous said...

What a waste of time and money, obviously their big ice cream social did not bring in the droves of 4 and 5 year olds that they were hoping. SO is this what they were referring to when they asked the Super for the chance to "Market" their school . This is not a good example of marketing, this is a sad display of desperation. Your begging people to send their kids there. If they wanted them there, they would have already chosen to send them there. This is a waste of PTA funds and has just given parents yet another reason not to send them to West Ridge, do you really want your child to go to a school where the same PTA moms and dads were putting on a dramatic crying show in front of the board are now wasting school funds on recruiting ads.?? Hopefully next year when the school is still only at half capacity the board will have the sense to do whats tight and close it. I think West Ridge parents should pay a higher percent of this crazy tax increase, after all they were able to keep their precious school open but at a cost to all the other tax payers.

Anonymous said...

So there are openings at all grade levels and "siblings are welcome"? What happens when there is no space for the child or the child's sibling? How many spaces are available?
When did Westridge become a "signature school"? The signature schools are craig hill and lakeshore and autumn lane. WR is a school of choice. When did its PR change?
This will attempt to draw in preschool parents to take a tour. And it implies that if they sign up the siblings will also be welcome. Welcome to attend? That will increase the class size at the higher levels. Will they hire more teachers to teach those extra siblings? If they refuse the siblings will the district be liable for a discrimination lawsuit. At least they will be guilty of lack of truth in advertising. Did the PTA "sponsor" the ad so the district will not be able to be sued? Is the PTA conducting the tours? Are the tours open to only Greece residents since it does not specify? Are we accepting children from the city to fill up the kindergarten? Will we transport all those children that the ad attracts?

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how much you all HATE West Ridge.

If only this school, which is at full enrollment, would close all of the district's solutions would be solved.

SCATS said...

To 7:20PM ~~ I don't hate WR. I dislike paying extra in my taxes to support a private school setting for the few at the expense of the many.

You are WRONG. WR is NOT at full enrollment. It hasn't been for awhile. If you had full enrollment, there wouldn't be a need to advertise and ruin the WR PTA's image by bringing more attention to the sinking ship whose initial purpose has run out.

Anonymous said...

Based on the district-wide class size avarages, West Ridge IS at full enrollment.

The superintendent tried some shenanigans this year which have negatively effected the enrollment for kindergarten.

West Ridge has had full enrollment since it was opened.

Anonymous said...

Scats, here you are WRONG.
WestRidge is at FULL enrollment. Please check your facts.

SCATS said...

To 7:58PM ~~ Your contention that WR enrollment has been at full capacity since it opened is NOT what the Supt claimed when the WR kindergarten issue first came up ... a whole FIVE DAYS before WR people responded on the Sunday night news! He stated that the overall enrollment for that school had been DECLINING FOR SEVERAL YEARS. When questioned, he also stated he didn't know why. I'd like to see your numbers. Please share them with all of us :)

To 8:30PM ~~ At the same meeting I mentioned above, it was also claimed that nearly all grade levels had room currently. At a different and later meeting, that was mentioned by at least one BOE member as well. This wouldn't be the first time a whopper (or two?) was told in a BOE meeting. So then ... SHOW ME YOUR NUMBERS, PLEASE!Saying I'm wrong without giving the numbers you have proves nothing.

I want to point out that defining "full enrollment" is a lot like shooting a moving target. When class sizes get shifted up or down, it impacts those figures. It appears that weeks after the original panic at WR over the under-subscribed kindergarten came to light there still is insufficient interest to warrant keeping those classes in the buildings.

Feel free to review the BOE meeting videos for the Supt's & BOE member's statements about WR. You folks weren't paying attention, obviously. How do I know? Because I BLOGGED about the discussion over closing down WR FIVE DAYS BEFORE WR parents got the attention of the media and their story out ;)

As an interesting aside, paying attention to this BLOG might have helped WR by providing an earlier warning about the Supt's plans. However, once those plans were known, SCATS was booted from the "Save West Ridge Kindergarten" page on Facebook! That's both ironic and hysterical :)

I love the "shoot the messenger" mentality in this town. It supports the corruption in all those closed and clubby corners and most especially in the schools-of-choice. Even more ironic is the fact some of you came back on here to call me a "hater." LMAO

Anonymous said...

Scats; perhaps I am missing something.
With the geographic location of Westridge it seems closing the school down would be economicly counterproductive.
Putting it back to a neighborhood school and eliminating the school of choice CRAP, NOW we're talking.

Anonymous said...

Touchy, touchy there Scats.

First. I find it interesting that you use, a point of reference, statements made by the superintenedent. Apparently he is only completely incompetent, unless he supports you hypothesis.

Second. Please take an opportunity to look at the enrollment figures. There have been fluctuations in the total number of students at WR. But only when the districtloved individual calls size targets. So the fact is that WR HAS been at full enrollment and continues to be today.

I still have a time understanding why you are against keeping WR kindergarten open. If the district wants to have wholesale dicussion about ending the signature school system which currently exist, then let's have that discussion. Closing enrollment afor kindergarten at one school in order to accomplish some type of systemic change is wrong.

I agree the board is spineless and supt is possibly not the brightest candle on the cake. I also think that a school that offers a K-5 setup is better for my child. If the district wants to move back to neighborhood schools, then let's do it and structure them as K-5. But that discussion needs to be had in the light of day. Not some little budget planning session.

SCATS said...

To 9:02AM ~~ Closing it down in the short run, possibly. Closing it as a school-of-choice is what I meant for the longer run. GCSD NEEDS to explain why we still need all of these buildings after we lost 2000+ in enrollment. It costs a fortune to run all of these redundant operations.

SCATS said...

To 9:03AM ~~ Damn right I'm "touchy!" This town has been arguing over this same crapple for TWENTY YEARS!! It has split neighborhoods. It has pit family against family. It has cost a fortune. It has NOT been shared as promised when WR re-opened in 1990. It certainly hasn't kept the district from an academic death spiral. IT'S LONG PAST TIME FOR THE BOE TO PEE OR GET OFF THIS POT!

The discussion about shutting down kindergarten at WR THIS YEAR is a NO BRAINER! The Supt had it right! With so few interested in attending K there, put them in other buildings and eliminate a few jobs. It is the SECOND time he made a decision that was hard and the right thing to do and the second time a group of whiney self-centered parents grabbed the BOE by the short hairs to get their way. SPECIAL INTERESTS ARE RUINING THIS TOWN!!

SCATS said...

By the way, I'm still waiting for those who disagree with me to SHOW ME YOUR NUMBERS and tell us what source you use.

Anonymous said...

Well Scats.
According to the NY State Report Cards available at, WR enrollment has been:
426 for 2005-2006
416 for 2006-2007
419 for 2007-2008
no info available for 2008-2009 yet.

As you can see the enrollment has been steady. And average class size has held steady at 24 students/class.

The steady enrollement at WR coupled with the expected increase in elementary enrollment(source is the district budget presentation) it makes no sense to close any elementary school unless you are willing to increase class size across the district.

SCATS said...

To 3:02PM ~~ Then I guess the Supt's nose grew again when he made those claims.

RE: "The steady enrollement at WR coupled with the expected increase in elementary enrollment(source is the district budget presentation) it makes no sense to close any elementary school unless you are willing to increase class size across the district."

Do you realize we added new classrooms onto buildings and expanded facilities, especially at the K-5 grade levels, across GCSD back in the early 1990's in preparation for enrollment of some 16,000 students? We're down to just over 12,000 students now. Please don't give me any argument based on "projected" enrollments. We never hit the "expected" 16,000 we built for!

SCATS said...

By the way, an ad in the current Greece Post indicates that West Ridge still can't drum up enough recruits to justify having a kindergarten for 2010-11 ;)

Nice try though.

Anonymous said...

You haven't justified the extra cost of your private school. Why not? Because you can't? The only thing school of choice people ever say is their test scores are better. In the next breath they deny that their buildings lack the same makeup as other schools like Parkland. Its time to tell us what the magic is that produces your stellar results. And you can't say its the parents because you already told us your buildings have the same makeup!

Anonymous said...

Still having a hard time accepting the fact that your math might be wrong scats?

If class size across the district it currently averaging between 22 and 24 at the elementary level and the district decides to close a school(any school) that would increase class size everywhere.
I am sure that you can agree with that.

Are you now advocating for increased class size?

As for the kinderarten issue at WR. Misleading statistics from the supt have certainly had an impact on parents choosing WR. Using history as a guide, there is no reason to believe, that WR would have and may still reach enrollment objectives for this year.

SCATS said...

To 3:29PM ~~ You make no sense! You completely ignore the building capacity issue. You can close a building and ADD classes at other schools because THOSE SCHOOLS WERE SUPPOSED TO BE READY TO HANDLE ENROLLMENTS THAT WERE MUCH LARGER THAN EVER HAPPENED. What the heck did they do with all of the new classrooms (space) that were built? I'm pretty sure they are being used for something other than what the taxpayers funded them to become. Let's put them to use as classrooms and save some $$ by closing a few schools.

You just said that "there IS NO REASON TO BELIEVE that WR would have and may still reach enrollment objectives for this year." I agree!!!

Anonymous said...

To 3:28

what is the cost of my private school?

If you can let me know, perhaps I can describe why it's worth it.


Anonymous said...

Which buildings have extra capacity and how much extra capacity do they have. And please let me know your sources?

SCATS said...

To 3:39PM ~~ Oh puh-leeze! Anyone with common sense can tell it requires more busing to haul the kids all over town. Busing = fuel + maintenance+ driver salaries/benefits = BIG $$!!

The BOE has FAILED to make the Supt. cough up the results of a study they charged him with doing. Do you think Achramovitch wants to embroil himself in a bigger hornet's nest with the folks who bawl into the mic when he already plans yto be gone by the end of June? I know I'd avoid it.

SCATS said...

To 3:42PM ~~ I don't believe that info is online. When Pinebrook opened in 1993, there was a bond issue which not only funded & built that school but the new school at Arcadia. Also, it added 2-3 classrooms onto the other 12-13 existing elementary schools at that time.

SCATS said...

Oh and the addition of those classrooms & Pinebrook was in anticipation of that increased enrollment projection ... as per Pat Howell, who used to work in District Office.

Anonymous said...

I have said it before.
If the district want to restructure and go to neighborhood schools, so be it. I would even support that if the new structure included going to K-5 for all elementary schools.

But until that time. I will advocate for the situation that I feel gives my child the best chance to succeed. Currently that is the K-5 structure offered by WR.

As soon as the BOE finally presents the public with the transportation report, we can have that debate. But until then let's deal with the facts we know rather than what we all think.

Anonymous said...

Still waiting to find out which buildings have extra capacity.
Just because someone says it doesn't make it so.

SCATS said...

To 3:56PM ~~ The number of buses in use in this district (bought, I might add, at considerable expense, too) has grown astronomically in the last decade. I'm well aware of the impact of Special Ed. I'm also well aware of neighborhood kids who live in several houses all in a row who are bussed all over town due to schools-of-choice! If Buckman Hts & Apollo are within walking distance, then please don't tell me we aren't spending extra>$$ bussing kids to Odyssey & West Ridge! It isn't rocket science!

To 4:02PM ~~ Feel free to FOIL the info regarding needing capacity, the bond issue, etc. from the early 1990's. It's ALL in there. Maybe Doug Skeet, Charlie Hubbard, Anne Miller or someone else who was actively involved at the time could chime in on this. In fact, I'll bet you that if you were to call Charlie, he'd be happy to discuss it with you ;) He's certainly posted the number often enough.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that you still don't present a fact to support your position of all the open space in the district.

Again, just because you say it's true doesn't make it so.

You may very well be correct. But to make a claim like that and insinuate that closing a bldg or two will not effect class size and offer no facts in support of that claim is reckless.

If I made the opposite claim you would ask me to support my position, and in fact you have.

All I am asking for is any factual support for you claim
that there is enough room to close some buildings and relocate students without increasing class size.

Anonymous said...

3:56: "But until then let's deal with the facts we know rather than what we all think"

Ok, just the facts then. Fact: I presently have SIX school buses in and out of my fairly small (no outlet) street every morning and afternoon, each picking up/dropping off children somewhere between the ages 7 and 9. I know, I know, I can't PROVE this costs more. Your a freakin' prize! Fact: Each of those buses takes a kid to a PUBLIC school in Greece. Fact: We have neighbors living within 200 yards of my home whose kids are a mystery to me and my kids (except in the summer). Fact: Our districts "lottery" is held on a date and at a location the public is never made aware of. Fact: Our "lottery" schools have the lowest number of minority students, as well as students recieving free/reduced meals at school. Fact: Not the BOE or anyone else has shown any statistics (OR FACTS, since you like the term) proving the taxpayers or students are getting any benefit from this present system, despite the numerous studies/commitees dedicated to researching it.

But hey, it's alright by you since you got what you wanted. Your right, we need to sit back and wait for more "facts"!

Anonymous said...

I hear a lot of complaining about the whining parents and how bad the system is and how the powers that be rig te system at the schools of choice to benefit the few.

Why don't I hear any of you at the board meetings calling on the BOE to correct these obvious injustices?

Why don't I see hear any of you calling the local media to demonstrate the inequities of the system?

SCATS said...

To 5:12PM ~~ You don't dispute the enrollment projections. Nor do you dispute the bond issue and additional classrooms. You just dispute everything which is laughable. I can't afford to FOIL all of the documents for you because I'm much too busy finding EXTRA $$ to pay for YOUR KIDS' private school atmosphere. Here's a clue to help you get started. As I recall the bond vote was held on the SAME DATE (or just a day or so later) as the Ice Storm of 1991. FOIL DO for the details of what that bond issue covered. You can also FOIL them for GCSD's "SPACE UTILIZATION REPORT" which preceeded that vote. You might also wish to include in your request Nadolinski's report on Grade Level Structure and the pertinent minutes of BOE meetings leading up to the bond vote to give you the TOTAL picture. Happy hunting :)

I will not entertain any more bogus complaints about me not having "facts." For school-of-choice people, you've demonstrated a marked lack of resourcefulness, intelligence and logic. But that is typical of a special interest group.

SCATS said...

To 7:15PM ~~ If you are addressing people like myself then I can tell you that I've been there and done that. So have dozens upon dozens of others over the last 20 yrs. If you aren't aware of all that's been said on the subject, then you really should come out of your coccoon and start paying attention to more than what goes on in your private school environment.

By the way, I believe that quite a few of our BOE members are personally invested in schools-of-choice themselves and should be recusing themselves because of their personal interest in retaining them.

Anonymous said...

Enrollment projections from the district expect elementary enrollment to increase over the next 5 years. So, I guess we agree on that.

As for the extra classrooms. I am sure some were built, as you suggest.

What I dispute is your assertion that somehow there is enough extra room currently available in district elementary schools to cover the closure of one or more bldgs WITHOUT raising class size.

Anonymous said...

7;15 if you had been paying attention you would know the board has been made aware of this over and over, over several years.
We now have a situation where sacrafice of education programs are being propossed. We also have a situation where taxpayers are going to be asked to pay 7.6% MORE in property taxes.
One of the reasons for that is the boards failure to reduce the INSANE amount of money we are spending on bussing thanks to open enrollment, signature schools, and yes schools of choice, the private system whose purpose has long past.

If the board choses to put forth this budget and 7.6% tax increase and maintain these 'fetish' programs I can look you and or any resident who would support this 'loonicy' right in the eye and tell you you are a fool.

When fuel was $5 bucks a gallon do you know what the board did about these programs?? nothing.
Lastly, don't show your ignorance by trying to be evasive or by trying to throw out roadblocks like 'letting the board know'.

Anonymous said...

7:15: To your question, "Why don't I see hear any of you calling the local media to demonstrate the inequities of the system?"

I will have you know that I have written letters to several of our local tv news station reporters on the subject. I have written Bob Lonsberry on the subject. I have written the D&C on the subject, and in fact exchanged emails with Meg McDermott directly on the subject. Before her, I placed statistics related to the injustices of our present system, after having found on a New York State educational website. They accurately showed the huge gaps between some demographics (racial, financial, ect.) at our schools. If you had been a regular reader of this site (in May of 09‘), you may remember that our fearless, out for justice, digging for truth no matter the price, local reporter had the following response..."I'm not sure why you think mendacious boorishness will sway me to your agenda". Yea, let's just say people have heard about the issue. It seems it's not "good business" for these people to follow up on the subject, and so a blind eye is turned.

As to your first question, I won't waste the key strokes explaining to you why a parent with kids in the district would be scared to death to put their name on anything "anti-establishment". Quite frankly, there is no reason it needs to be done in a public forum. It's well known that several members of this as well as former BOE(s) frequent this site. They know the issue, and simply refuse to deal with it. They would much rather place their cross-hairs on the messenger than fix the problem! Interestingly enough, it's basically the same thing you did in your post 7:15!

Anonymous said...

7:15, in case you missed your cue, this is when you and others like yourself generally run for the blog's exit door. It's OK, we all understand how scary truth and facts can be, especially when they prove you wrong. Go ask McLame or the BLOB to start up a site where you guys can sit around, with your heads in the clouds, telling yourself how great everything is.

SCATS said...

To 7:33PM ~~ Guess what? Keeping the status quo isn't going to keep class sizes where they were! The Supt. is raising them anyway. You really ought to tune-in to a BOE meeting every once in awhile.

As for district projections, they've been way off base in the past. Like when we built capacity for 16,000 students. We never came close to having that many students.

As far as substantiating the extra space goes, go back and research the Budget & BOE vote of 1993. Anne Miller won with more votes than any other BOE member before her or since. You know why? She exposed the fact that many of the extra classrooms the district had just completed were going to be EMPTY when school opened in the Fall of 1993. GCSD built for 16,000 students and they did NOT come! It was a huge scandal, something we're really good at in Greece ;)

Anonymous said...

In regards to the make-up and performance of student population at the "schools of choice"
Has anyone considerded the possibility that the students represent a sample of the population that is interested and involved enough to make the choice, instead of some evil, nefarious plan to engineer the demographics.

In regards to closing bldgs and class size.
So, since you say there were empty classrooms available almost 20 years ago, that surely means that those same rooms are available now?

The district needs much more than closure of a school or two. It needs a complete do over. It needs the teachers union to stop acting like entilted little brats and offer some assistance to the folks who pay their salaries. It needs the administration to take a hard look at the number is supervisors and administrators there are(we saw how good a bloated middle management work for Kodak). It needs a leader with the guts to stand up and tell the taxpayers of the district that we must restructure the whole system to once again become student centered and learning centered.

SCATS said...

To 7:13AM ~~ And have you ever considered that perhaps the hand-chosen teaching staff at schools-of-choice (they all opened with Supt. approved teaching staff) has CHOSEN to approach their teaching tasks in a different manner because there is this idea that "schools-of-choice are better?" It's a flashback to the old experiment (1950-something?) where a teacher who was told her average pupils were all future MENSA candidates and ended the school year with students who outperformed a similarly comprised classroom of average students where the teacher was told "they are the worst of the worst." I honestly believe Greece teachers think very poorly of the masses, instead of seeing that most students are teachable. It's a great excuse if you don't want to roll-up your sleeves and work hard & with creativity to motivate the majority.

Yes, those same classrooms built for 16,000 haven't disappeared. It's time to repurpose them back to classrooms. That IS the mainstay of the business of GCSD, isn't it?

I agree that GCSD needs a complete do-over. One thing it needs that it's been lacking is for everyone to focus on academics as the goal for all partners, and perhaps eliminate some of the frivolous distractions we can no longer afford either monetarily or educationally.

Anonymous said...

Are there any numbers out there on bussing costs? I've heard we get reimbursed 85 cents on the dollar...anyone else have any numbers?

SCATS said...

To 2:58PM ~~ 85 cents seriously?? Do you realize that if they budget the full amount that when they get their 85% back, it just goes into the General Fund coffers to be used as they wish? Of course that 70% or 85% or however much it is comes out of our STATE TAXES!

Anonymous said...

Ask yourself: what are the positives coming out of the GSD in terms of good press and community awareness?

Schools of choice and sports.

Odyssey is one of the top high schools in the nation (as reported by objective sources) and the sports teams are on TV and in the papers daily - way more than any coverage of actual academics.

So the obvious temptation is to put resources there, because the results are visible. It's much harder and takes more vision to invest in things that do not produce quick or marketable results.

SCATS said...

To 11:03AM ~~ Correction: Odyssey WAS one of the top high schools. They failed to make the Top 100 list last year. In fact, though they made the list a few times, it has not been consistent. As for sports, if we are going to throw our money at that, then we need to change the name to Greece Central Sports Authority. Don't let people confuse us with education or schooling students.

Anonymous said...

Anyone that thinks school of choice is a positive for our PUBLIC district needs to re-think how the student body ends up there. Why doesn't the city brag about the results coming out of McQuaid? Right because it's not a PUBLIC school, even though it may sit within the city limits. Why does McQuaid produce great results? Right, because it's student body is hand picked, have superior parental involvment (as a whole), students are EXPECTED to keep up with one another, and those not interested in learning are shown the door. Are you starting to see the parallels between a school like that and Odyssey, or are you still in denial? With the exception of showing a kid the door, these two schools (like other private schools) have quite a bit in common. Now the typical response to what I wrote is, "But any kid can get into Odyssey, or Pine Brook, it's just luck of the draw. And it doesn't cost money out of pocket to attend, unlike a private school". The money out of pocket argument is a waste of my time even discussing. The bottom line is WE ALL HAVE TO PAY so that your kid can get their private education at Odyssey or Pine Brook. And before you claim it doesn't cost more ask yourself this: Why is it taking our district SO LONG to get their transportation figures SPUN prior to presenting them publicly? How over due are those numbers? Then ask, as I have, when and where the lottery is held? Can we see it take place? Why is it that the only four teachers that I personally know (outside of my kid's school) all won the lottery?

These are just a few reasons nobody in this district should be proud of results coming from any of these schools of choice. As SCATS eluded to, we should be ashamed they aren't better than they are. Their PRIVATE freakin' schools and we all pay the tab. My other "favorite" part of these schools is what they leave behind for the "un-chosen" kids at their neighborhood schools: a higher rate of students NOT interested in learning, and a lowered rate of parental involvement. Thanks Greece, keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Odyssey was indeed in the top hundred least year. Look it up. It's always in the top 1% of high schools.

So imagine the PR nightmare of the district dismantling one of the best schools in the nation. So now instead of one good school and the average ones, we'll have four average ones but save some bus money, of which 85% gets covered. Not going to happen.

SCATS said...

To 1:40PM ~~ I rechecked and found you are correct that it was in the Top 100 last year. That made two years in a row which I think is the first time that has happened. I do not believe you are accurate by saying it is ALWAYS in the top 1%. What school year are you starting with for making that claim?

As far as not going to happen goes ... the time has come when either the other schools must be brought into line with the schools-of-choice so everyone reaps the supposed benefits OR that we eliminate schools-of-choice since they have outlived their purpose. You can't have it both ways forever. If it's better, let's do it everywhere. If it's not, then it has no need to exist :) You should enjoy my latest BLOG ;)

Anonymous said...

"of which 85% gets covered"...

There's more of that miracle math we were talking about! It's free money everyone. With that in mind, I'd like to suggest that my kid's bus driver take longer and different routes each morning, just so the kids can take in the sites. Hell, it get's reimbursed for free!

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 1:40 (anonymous)
Whoever gave you that 85% figure - don't buy a used car from that person.
Show some effort and get off the BS bandwagon. Call Mr. Alaimo's office and get the honest figure.

Anonymous said...

Apparently PTA national considers this to be spending related to "parent education" and "publicity" which are valid budget expenses in their opinion.
And they obviously do not care if fund raising is the primary activity of each unit since there is instruction for which form to use at tax time if the gross receipts are over or under $25,000. What not for profit club or local chapter not connected to children and parents in schools do you know of that has about 20-40 members that makes over 25 grand per year. How about the Northgate neighborhood or the local AARP?
Think about that the next time you see a girl scout or 8th grader going on a trip or 4th grader selling candy from a catalogue at your front door. Dry your tears of "how cute" and say "no thank you".

SCATS said...

To 11:42AM ~~ Are you implying that you asked PTA National about this particular situation?

Regarding your question: "What not for profit club or local chapter not connected to children and parents in schools do you know of that has about 20-40 members that makes over 25 grand per year." My best guess would be the Greece Chamber of Commerce. FYI, the local Northwest AARP group has
500+ members, and probably under $5000 on hand in the best of times. While NGN claims to represent 40,000 people it appears they might have 100 members or so, if you include the groups from the lakefront area. They subsist on freebies.

I agree 100% that parents should save the few $$ of PTA membership. You can still go to their meetings, eat their cookies and drink their Kool-Aid. Keep your kids out of the fundraiser program that trains them to hawk over-priced goods from grandma and the neighbors. Everyone will be much happier ... except the PTA officers.

Anonymous said...

from 11:42
No although I should have.
This information came from guidelines from national and are on various state PTA web sites.

Here is a link to national PTA with some contact addresses and fax numbers

I really think they will not be upset at this ad. The only reason they offer any guidelines about spending and too much fund raising is to preserve their tax exempt/non-profit status.

SCATS said...

To 7:50PM ~~ Perhaps enough attention has been drawn to this issue that it resulted in WR PTA dropping the ad campaign. I didn't see any in today's Greece Post. On top of that, they are having a "PR MEETING" Monday before school ... chilcare provided ;)