Thursday, March 18, 2010

Who Is Running For BOE?

Edward Gartz Has Decided Against Running

Parent Beth Race Is Circulating Petitions

Former BOE Member Bill Russell Seems To Be Testing The Waters Again ...

What About The Incumbents?


Edward Gartz said...

A note from Eddie Gartz.
Part 1
Thank you for your interest . Before I start I want to warn the editing team that I may miss spell and have syntax errors, etc. I still thank God for the person that invented spell check and I’m willing to admit it. I feel bad that I will not be running but I had an epiphany at the last board meeting and it made me realize that my time would be better spent creating SNAP prevention teaching opportunities. Although issues such as drugs, gangs, guns, plague our schools the fight does not have the good will and notoriety that donors look for so our students are last in line for funds and I feel I need to stay in the fight.

The epiphany; I can thank a very articulate mother and an exceptionally prepared presenter from AGCEP as well as a few others. A mother of a future PreK student asked that the Board not cancel bussing for PreK. In my estimation this request should never have had to be made . PreK for some of our communities future students is a must, an imperative in my estimation, and may be the only thing that will help them get the start they need for Kindergarten. Yes PreK may be their only chance for success. If they start way behind in Kindergarten they may never catch up. The ones that will suffer will be the ones that need bussing the most. So why was it necessary to even consider canceling bussing. Why, because the board has so little influence on the budget that they need to get cost out wherever they have the influence to do so. In the mean time our Superintendant protects positions that other school districts do not have the luxury to have. So my first fight as lone Ranger would be to get the Superintendant away from the table and sitting in front of the board answering questions on cost, grades, discipline and most realize that there are few on the board that would ever allow that big of a change. We protect our traditional ways to the death. Even the death of educating our youngest.

Odyssey; We are already double bussing to get students to the Odyssey school. A bus can pick up a student on a street to go to Athena and another to go to Odyssey. Costly? Yes, so why do we do it. Perhaps because Odyssey gives a student a better education and therefore gets our averages up across the district? That’s an opinion that is circulating. Did we hire better teachers for Odyssey? NO not a chance, Odyssey has great teachers and so does the rest of the district. Our teachers are the best don't let anyone tell you differently. Could it be that because the population of students is sifted from across the district by use of the school of choice methodology. Schools of choice can keep out students that are disruptions simply because they don't apply or their parents don't apply for them. These schools have fewer fights, fewer behavior problems and a better learning atmosphere, could all that be the case? I don’t know but if it is, it is another issue that has been overlooked and must be addressed. If that is the case perhaps we could save dollars by getting rid of the recalcitrant students that cause the problems and have all the schools equal in regards to having the best atmosphere for learning. I’ll bet the teachers would help if the Superintendant backed them instead of kowtowing to the parents and NY State bureaucrats who want the dropout and expulsion rates low. Perhaps we can bus our recalcitrant students to their school district, you know past their pools and country clubs. We allow the few, to draw in many more, to make our schools a poor educational environment. Get rid of the few and the rest will get into shape. If they don’t send them packing also. By the way I am not talking about the Eddie Haskell's that’s what being a teen is all about. I’m talking about the gang bangers, fighters, drug-ees, and gunslingers. STOP THE BS AND GET THEM OUT!

Edward Gartz said...

From Eddie Gartz
Part 2
AGCEP. A person from AGCEP presented. I’m very sorry I do not know her name but I wish I did. If she is reading this I hope she calls me I want to congratulate her. She told the saga of over 2 years of negotiations with the Board . Two years of canceled meetings, changes of Board personnel on the team, starting and stopping and going backwards to catch up the new players and even the need to cancel because of AGCEP. She even took a little of the problem onto her team although it was a very small piece in regards to the AGCEP side. I WANTED TO JUMP UP AND YELL THEY ARE NOT REALLY NEGOCIATING, everyone is wasting their time. Meeting after meeting and everyone had to know there would be no contract. The Board has no wiggle room, no money, no chance to settle unless all are willing to take less or the district is willing to lower its costs starting with Central Office, not teachers. Is this the Boards fault, Yes some of it and No not completely. Greece has had dollars taken away by the state, the state by the feds and the feds have lost dollars due to loss of revenues/taxes. Yes, a great deal of our problem comes back to the recession we are in. Why, because the damn fools we have in Congress and the Senate made laws that allowed companies to prop up other nations while pushing our wages, benefits therefore our expendable income down. Do you think that people would yell very loud if taxes went up if they had jobs and a few dollars to spend. But that's not the case our past Presidents, Congress, and Senate, sent our jobs overseas and now they wonder why employment is poor. Did the really think that the rice farmer now working in a factory making serf wages would buy our products. You know the ones we make in China, etc.. Our country is involved in a new form of Slavery, the 2010 version. A new Slavery that lets others do the work for pay so low they are exceptionally poor even with a job. I guess that's OK as long as we can pants at Wal-Mart for $8.00, right.

There needs to be an overhaul of the system and the stress it would cause me trying to go against the grain without the support of all would be more than I want to take on as a volunteer. Yes there are great Board members but too few to make a difference and the real problems (in regards to cost) must be solved in Washington. If I was rich I’d run for Massa’s seat and try to get this country back on track. Not by spending on health care but by making sure our countries citizens had jobs before we try to employ the county of China, India, or Mexico. Did you ever think what the world would be if China, India, and Mexico were the only land masses on the planet. Would they not be able to survive on a globe by themselves. Is it necessary for the USA to lead them into prosperity by giving them our jobs because they can’t do it themselves. We have our young men and ladies fight for the freedom of others that don't even want us in their country. We employ people that don't buy our goods and call ourselves the land of the free but make laws that box us in so you have to get a permit to dig a hole. Last but not least I have had word that at least one Board member was working to keep me off. That was intriguing because I do not know anyone on the Board with the exception of the two that have asked me to run. I almost changed my mind because of that. I hate that people can judge the book without opening the cover and after 34 years at Kodak of dealing with people that work only for themselves and have no commitment to the well being of others I have no desire to put up with that BS in my retirement years.
Yes, that was a trip around the globe just to answer your question but it was more complicated than it would seem and I wanted all to know what's in my heart.
With great admiration for the people in our community and the teachers that work so hard to educate our youth I bid you farewell.

Anonymous said...

Let's face it taxpayers, no matter how qualified, not matter how dedicated to education, no matter how interested in saving taxpayer money, NO ONE gets on this board without the approval of the Rotary, Chamber, Roger Boily-led nincompoops on the board right now. That is, not unless you have about $20,000 you don't know what to do with and can invest in a campaign that can beat the know-nothing, power hungry group that has controlled our kid's education for the past four or five years (think Jeff Smith and compare him to someone like Mr. Gartz).

Unless people get off their duffs and start paying attention, we will soon become the laughing stock of the State of New York, not just the County of Monroe as we are now.

(By the way, I heard that the blob has withdrawn his petition).

Anonymous said...

Unfortunatly Mr. Gartz you make no mention of the 7.6% tax rate increase being proposed.
If you don't have a problem with that it is too bad you are not running you could have fit right in.

SCATS said...

To 12:15PM ~~ A bit of an update. I've been informed that Bill Russell has decided not to run. Joe Grinnan who ran last year is trying agian.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to Edward Gartz; a couple of provocative questions.
Since the start of preK have our educational results improved? How about since we started all day kindergarden?

When you speak of our teachers being the best, based on what? I don't necessarily disagree but heard similar statements from the gta but after asking them the same question - show me - never got an answer.

You make the statement that the board has so little influence on the budget. Contracts make up 75-80% of the budget and every one of those contracts are approved by the board. Add bussing to the boards discression and do you still think the board has 'little' influence on the budget???

You make mention of the added bussing for schools of choice and make no mention of added bussing for signature schools and open enrollment?????

I will say your comments about Odyssey (if I am understanding correctly) are on target. It was started based on a 'need' based on enrollment. That is no longer a problem. What is a problem as you point out is a need to get 'disruptives' out of our schools. THATS what Odyssey should be used for. I have heard it over and over how staff spends 95% of their time on 5% of the kids - the disruptive kids. We need to redefine the use of this building for the betterment of ALL our students. It would take however a backbone.

Anonymous said...

Aren't any of the current board members running for re-election?

Edward Gartz said...

To those that have commented from Eddie Gartz.....
To Anonymous, who's note started with "Lets face it…."
Right On! You have my vote for President.

To Anonymous, who's note started with "Unfortunately…."
I have a huge problem with the 7.6 increase in tax. Can we reduce the number of Assistants to the Superintendent or assistant Principals?
To: Charlie Hubbard: The contracts are the lions share of the budget. My problem is that the Board does not have true access to all the people under contract. If we had less people the contracts wouldn’t be an issue because the total cost would go down. At Kodak I took over departments that had a person for every task. Not efficient and everyone knew it. I gained some notoriety for getting cost down. The fact is the people in the department showed me exactly where to cut cost. I wasn’t smart enough to do it by myself from the top down (as the Board has to do). People would then take on multiple jobs. The fact is that they got it all done. At least the important stuff. Now that sucks as an example. I hate using Kodak while trying to make a point but you get the picture :). It seems that Greece Central Office never reduces it only expands.
Charlie, in regards to using Odyssey as the place to send the disruptive students. DARN I WISH I COULD TAKE CREDIT FOR THAT IDEA. If done we could put some strict rules in place and if followed you can get back to the regular school. If not YOUR OUT. As said on the movie “Lean On Me” your all Expurgated. Great Idea Charlie....

SCATS said...

Regarding the idea to use Odyssey as a school for disruptive students ~~ The idea dates as far back as the early 1990's when former school board member Edward Causyn suggested it might even be modeled after Edison Tech. My, how times have changed.

Anonymous said...

To Charlie Hubbard: Put a bunch of squirrels in a cage and what do you have? Let's face it, getting the "disruptives" out of where they are now and jamming them all into one location makes a bad situation worse. Know why prisons have to have so many guards -- and protective equipment?? That is not what an educational evironment should look like. Also, the adage, "Build it and they will come" comes to mind. TRUST me when I tell you that for every child removed from a classroom for whatever reason, you have now created a "new low". What that really means is the next "misbehaved" cherub will look like he is inappropriately placed in regular education because all the OTHER misbehaved children have already been removed. It's a vicious cycle and one that will require creative thinking, dedicated professionals and supportive parents to address...simply removing them from one environment to another does NOT meet our obligation (federal and state) to educate ALL children. Different solutions MUST be developed.

SCATS said...

To 2:23PM ~~ I'm having trouble following your logic about creating a new low. I disagree about removing the disruptive students in that the well-behaved students deserve to be educated, too. Maybe not all students will learn even if they can.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 2:23 (anonymous)
If we could sacrafice the 5% to improve 95% I would do it tommorrow.
Just the idea of the 95% feeling safe in their enviroment is worth it.
With the 5% gone maybe - just MAYBE the adults will take charge, set some standards and stop blaming everybody ELSE.

Anonymous said...

Scats: Thank you for questioning the clarity of "the new low" statement. Let me take it out of the behavioral realm and discuss it through the lens of academic acheivement; maybe, that will help to clarify my position. If you have a classroom of 25 students and your "lowest performing" 5% are removed to special education, you now have a NEW low of the lowest performing 5% (that were not considered low before because there were LOWER performers capturing the attention). I have been in education for over 30 years and I promise you that teachers will ALWAYS have something to take issue with regarding the make up of their classes. SO, my point is that little Johnny, who may have not been considered a behavior problem when little Markie, Little Susie and Little Becky were in the room will suddenly become THE problem when those 3 are removed.
It's a vicious cycle and I've seen it time and time again. Teachers are preprogrammed to "teach to the middle" but trust me when I tell you they will narrow the field by eliminating the outlyers to the left and right until all they have is one student left that they are responsible for.
Does this help? This is why Charlie's logic -- although understandable -- won't work. If it is applied, all you will wind up with are alternative schools full of "misbehaving" children. It's how special education gets out of control. Before someone jumps on me for that, allow me to clarify. I have been a proponent of special education my entire career and absolutely believe in the necessity of it. BUT, when teachers try to divert a struggling child to another professional in the name of "special education" when it really just requires some creative thought, energy and TIME on the part of the teacher - well, that is just plain unethical. And it happens.

SCATS said...

To 9:05AM ~~ That makes perfect sense to me now. Thank you for taking the time to explain it. I completely agree about how the teacher looks at a roomful of students, too. From my experience and those shared by others, I get the sense in Greece that children are expected to be LITTLE ADULTS from the day they arrive on the bus. Similarly, I've met a lot of very prissy teachers who seem to turn their lip up whenever they have a boy to deal with it and their favoritism is known by all. Worse yet, the girls will capitolize on it in the classroom.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to 9:05 ( anonymous)
I never said anything about putting them in special ed.
Where did that come from?

We are talking about disruptive kids that are making others uncomfortable and preventing the leaning process. What are we doing about it? Nothing

I'm just throwing out some ideas and yes I may not have the best solution.
One thing for sure these so called 'professionals' say and do nothing for what ever reason.
I hear alot of bitching with zero solutions. excusses, excusses

Anonymous said...

I didn't say you said anything about special education. It was an ANALOGY. You always accuse people of being unable to read for meaning......
And, as an aside, many students who are diverted to alternative programs for behavioral difficulties GET THERE through the special education channels. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to remove a child from general education or to an alternative setting such as the one you describe without the Committee on Special Education process, comprehensive evaluation, etc. And that is as it should be so that teachers and administrators don't play God with removing kids at their whim.

The disruptive kids who interrupt the learning process are a problem, for sure. We are in agreement on that point. I was just suggesting to you that removing them to a location (like turning Odyssey into a repository for them) won't work. That's warehousing and that isn't what education should be. Teachers need to be better equipped to deal with these youngsters. Actually, the best behavior modification plan that I know if is interesting, meaningful, relevant instruction. Will this resonate with ALL Kids -- heck, no. But might it draw in the bored kids who challenge the system through disruptive behavior - I offer a resounding yes. It may even "hook" the kids who believe "it's better to be bad than stupid, because bad is within my control" -- there is much more complexity invovled in this decision and in this solution than is being given credit here. We are not on opposite sides of the issue, but suggestion that they be grouped together in one spot because they are difficult to manage and disruptive to the learning process is just as unhelpful as the individuals who suggest to others in the Greece community to move if they don't like the circumstances.

SCATS said...

To 3:11PM ~~ I think I am the person who accuses people of not reading for meaning.

Re: "But might it draw in the bored kids who challenge the system through disruptive behavior - I offer a resounding yes."

Here is where I have a HUGE problem with how Greece schools handle kids. In my mind, we're supposed to be able to teach to a wide variety of abilities, at least that's what I've heard teachers say. Sadly, I've seen myself and heard from other parents that LOTS OF KIDS ARE BORED TO DEATH! There is a lack of challenging work on an intellectual level. There is an abundance of busy work that is challenging to complete for the sheer boredom it invokes. There should not be students complaining of boredom due to the latter. That is a sign of failure by the teachers to do their job of challenging students within the classroom.

About removing disruptive students to a "repository" ... students who are well-behaved should not be subjected to interruptions of their right to an education at the expense of true trouble-makers. Athree strikes and you are out policy reviewed by the proper personnel could be very effective in preventing your worst case scenario, while making the average classroom more hospitable to those who want to learn.

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

I think the idea for putting the disruptive students in a different building is a good idea. I am not sure that Odyssey is the place for it.
Also we would have to hire teachers that can handle these students and also now that we are losing the resource officers this would be a challenge.
We cannot expect "Teachers" to have to discipline the students. They are there to teach.
We would need to have guards in the building that are in communication with the police department.
This idea has legs just needs to be thought out.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ From the time schools began in one-room schoolhouses, teachers have been charged with addressing discipline. They are in the classrooms. They see it happen. They must deal with the after effects. It IS impossible to eliminate them from involvement in the issue.