Wednesday, May 05, 2010

The Supt. Search ...

   
Where do things stand? The community has been told NOTHING since we were asked to provide questions to the search consultanta many weeks ago. The BOE has been interviewing prospective candidates (exceutive session meetings posted at the last minute from what I've seen). Is the search serious, or just a cover for the majority's plan to keep Achramovitch as outlined below?

Anonymous said...
Greece Residents - Are you ready for another three years of Steve Achramovitch? Hold on, didn't he announce his retirement? I believe all that can change on May 18th.

If the people of Greece are stupid enough to elect three more "Roger Robots", this is a stark reality. The Boily, Rotary and C of C candidates of Smith, O'Connor and Mack will team up with Boily, McCabe and Stenglein to make it happen. Here's the scenario.

The current board has been considering candidates for the Superintendent job. They will probably announcing results very soon. Boily's present boboble heads will vote no on Steve's successor. - No votes by Boily, McCabe, Smith and Stenglein and Yes votes by Tydings, Oberg, O'Toole, VanOrman and Ferrington. So what's the problem, it's a 5-4 vote for the new super. The problem is that any self-respecting candidate will not accept the job without a unanimous vote, let alone a split vote. Only a desperate candidate would do so. Achramovitch took the job with a 5-3 vote because he was desperate. He had been given his marching orders in his former school district.

Simply, this means that on June 30th, no new super. On July 1, Roger's Robots control the board 6-3. At the reorganizational meeting, they vote to rehire Steve for $210,000 and he gleefully retracts his retirement papers.

Unless O'Tool, Grinnan and Race win on May 18th, it's another three years of the worst superintendent in the history of Greece (Yes, even worse than Walts). Vote no on his insulting budget and vote for an end to Roger Boily's political control of your school board. Vote yes to improve the education of your children and reduce spending.   5/05/2010 10:22 AM

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Walts was much worse and we are paying him still!

Anonymous said...

I would like $200,000 a year to fail.
And I am very qualified too
Next stop would be wall street

SCATS said...

To 4:41PM ~~ Qualified to fail? Well, isn't that special ;)

Anonymous said...

At least Walts did something - I hated what he did, but it was something. Achramovitch has taken the money and sat on his arse for three years, referring all his duties to consultants. The only thing he did properly during his entire tenure was to fire the coach of the hockey team - and we all know how that turned out.

The board has never held his feet to the fire so he sat on his lazy duff and took home the money, laughing all the way! Maybe he's not so dumb after all.

Anonymous said...

@4:41
Yes its a gift
I also do offshore oil drilling
and strip mining.

To be serious for a minute. Are there any good super candidates that would want the GCSD job. I would guess a lot are scared away.

SCATS said...

To 7:31PM ~~ Steve did TWO things right and BOTH times, the BOE undid them! The first time was with the hockey coaches. The second time was elimination of kindergarten at West Ridge.

Anonymous said...

There are few times that I agree with SCATS, however tonight is one of those times. Your 8:02 statement is so true. It is so frustrating watching this BOE do absolutly nothing! I had high hopes for some of the members, however over the last 8-9 years every elected member has had personal agendas rather than education of students as their goals. And that includes FO, JM, and CH along with the current BOE.

Anonymous said...

No to S.O.& B, yes to G.R.& O.
SOB no more, but lets GRO instead.

Anonymous said...

GOOD CANDIDATES DO EXIST. But the board will have to look beyond the education community to find them. Retired military officers would be a good place to start looking!

Anonymous said...

Check out headline on page 5B of today's D and C re: Greece. Do you think that is preview of what will happen if the Greece school budget passes or the budget is rejected but the board passes a similar contingent budget? Could be!

Anonymous said...

Where can I pick up signs for Race, Grinnan , & OToole?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Candidates Night!!

Ok so I attended the forum last night.

Let me start by saying I am glad to see the Mr. Smith could get there on time and stay for the entire thing.

All candidates did a good job with the exception of Mr. Smith. He was bumbling answers. It is also not a good sign when a sitting board member says "I don't have enough information about this to answer". If you are currently on the board and not sure what is going on why would we want you back.

The other candidates did fair pretty well. I am concerned with the focus of Ms. Farmer. I understand that she is a teacher and wants to look out for the Greece teachers. This could be an issue. She will need to put the District first and this could be a conflict. Mr Grinhan seems like he has a great background. Finance, Auditor and so on. This could help the board. Mr. O'Connor seems level headed but is part of the Boily crew. The same with Mr. Mack.

Ms. O'Toole is committed to the students of this district. She has put in the time and knows what is going on in the schools. We should give her another 3 years to try and help us move in the right direction.

Ms. Race had some good answers last night and also seems student focused. She would be a great addition.

Overall I think that the public needs to stay AWAY from the Boily crew. This would be putting the Town of Greece running the school district. We all know how the Town government is doing these days. Let's vote 5, 6, 7 and have a chance next year of getting a new Superintendent and start moving in the right direction.

One more thing, I heard a lot of people talking about the Schools of Choice last night. They were throwing out numbers saying we could save $800,000.00 to $1,000,000.00 by getting rid of 2 schools. I know this looks like a lot of money. Think about it though. That is about .5% of the budget. I think there are a lot of areas we can look at that will save a lot more money.

SCATS said...

To 7:16AM ~~ Or ... get rid of the S.O.B so GCSD can G.R.O. :)

SCATS said...

To 7:30AM ~~ I don't get the paper edition. What was the headline?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Race, Grinnan , & OToole do not have the Money that the Boily crew has. The signs are limited. We can make our own though!!

SCATS said...

To 8:10AM ~~ I'll try to find out.

To Jeffrey ~~ I believe the figures you heard pertain only to the transportation aspect of that issue. That is the only aspect that has been "studied" as far as I'm aware.

Let's face it ~~ Greece added space in 1993 to accomodate around 16,000 students! Our enrollments never reached those levels. Instead, they've shrunk to just over 12,000 students. There are no projections showing significant growth! That being the case, you must remember several things.

1 - Schools of choice have outlived their reason to exist! Boundary issues have disappeared along with high enrollments.

2 - Schools of choice have shown no overall (keyword) educational benefit TO THE SCHOOL DISTRICT (more keywords). Anything "special" about them related to academic performance SHOULD BE REPLICATED IN EACH SCHOOL ASAP. Doing so will then entirely eliminate ANY remaining reason to keep them around!

3 - With enrollments down by so many AND with budgets ballooning due to salaries & benefits, utility costs, etc. AND with state and federal aid shrinking, WE MUST START CLOSING BUILDINGS TO SEE SOME SIGNIFICANT COST SAVINGS! We should have closed 2-3 buildings this year. The BOE is a gutless group, so we're stuck with a 7.6% increase in the levy, translating to about a 7% increase in the tax rate! At a time when we're trying to attract a new Supt. it appears we are going to attract a budget that goes THUD!!

I pity the person who comes here to try to "lead" this district! The BOE ties their hands six different ways and then says: "Can't you lower the budget?" It's ridiculous!

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey @10:32AM ~~ Are you their spokesperson? I emailed one of them directly to get the answer, so I'm just wondering ... ?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Not the spokesman. I talked to Gale O'Toole last night.

SCATS said...

Thank you ;)

Anonymous said...

Why is 9:08 so interested in keeping the schools of choice? He wants us to believe the extra spent on 2 schools is inconsequential so we should just suck it up. On the other hand he wants to get rid of the board members that would seem to cherish the schools of choice.
Having your cake and eating it too makes for strange political bedfellows in mixed metaphor politico land. Maybe he is priming himself for a run next year when the field has been plowed for him.
And as far as who is the superintendent...we have learned that it does not matter who the super is, we are always in trouble. Superintendents and their yes men all have the same CYA "me first" mind hidden in different faces. Bureaucrats wandering from place to place until they retire. They preside limply over contract negotiations ensuring the staff under them make substantial incomes , thereby guaranteeing themselves and their peers enormous salaries. And then they move to the next town to make more money ,(switch your partner dosey do) acting as if they are a hot commodity and will not work for less. We are all fools to play their game.
But school board members feel good about adoring and honoring superintendents saying it's "for the kids". And after all they get to have luncheons and banquets with these traveling medicine show doctors buying their particular miracle elixirs. And it makes them feel important .
So don't dangle the thought of replacing the superintendent before us to make us vote for your candidates that you chose even before the candidates show.
All the candidates seem qualified so vote for who you like.

SCATS said...

To 11:09AM ~~ 9:08's children attend/attended Odyssey ... a school-of-choice ;)

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Yes My daughter does attend Odyssey. This does not make my decision though. I think we should study the practice and see if there are any gains to be had. If we can take what works form the schools and move to other schools this would be great.

There is also something to be said for having the children in the same school for 6 - 12. I think this helps certain students.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey ~~ I think it would be very difficult for you to say that having your daughter in Odyssey in no way clouds your views! Your suggestion that "we must study the issue" is part of the "keep the status quo, form committees, conduct studies" mentality that has landed us where we are!

Are there "benefits" of having one's kids attend the same school for several more years than at the other buildings? OF COURSE THERE ARE! And it doesn't require rocket science (or studies) to realize this! A basic premise in child psychology is that being CONSISTENT matters a lot, whether it's with schedules, discipline, chores or other things. Children who grow up in environments that are consistent feel safer. ALL STUDENTS SHOULD GET THAT ADVANTAGE. K-5 schools will bring it to the masses at the time in a child's development where it matters most. Offering a private school within Greece Central is something we can no longer afford.

SCATS said...

Regarding the candidates ~~

Some items of note that caused me concerned included:

1 - Ms. Farmer stated her family moved back to Greece FOLLOWING THE TIME WHEN HER KIDS GRADUATED HS. Sounds like Greece schools weren't good enough for her kids! Since she is a city teacher, I guess she knows a decent school district when she sees one & she gave GCSD a "no confidence" vote.

2 - Ms. Race discussed her longtime involvement in West Ridge School. Is it merely coincidental that she's chosen to run for BOE when that school's future became jeopardized? I suspect not. On top of that, she opposed the budget because of the reductions!


3 - Mr. Smith made a miraculous statement to the effect of how his children's educations "were identical whether they went to Pinebrook or to K-2/3-5 schools." That being the case, he's made a great case for eliminating the need for schools-of-choice: the education is IDENTICAL.

4 - Mr. Grinnan specifically gave goals he wants GCSD to attain related to increased graduation rates, reduced drop-out rates, etc. The idea that he recognizes GCSD's lack of EDUCATIONAL GOALS gets my vote!

5 - Mr. O'Connor wants to go back to the mid-1990s and start developing a "strategic plan" once again. We've wasted LOTS of time on this in the past. It went NOWHERE. Let's not repeat history again.

6 - Ms. O'Toole talked about "perceptions" of the district. This sounds too much like the old "image" issue resurfacing. By now, we should be beyond worrying about the image and/or perceptions and into solving problems and addressing Greece's poor performance in areas that matter: test scores, graduation rates & drop-out rates. On top of that, she opposed the budget because of the reductions!

7 - Mr. Mack - Be wary folks! His slick talk makes him the penultimate politician. Do we really need more politics in the BOE room?

Anonymous said...

Superintendent Finalists:

This just in - the 2 finalists are:

Dr. Kim J. Dyce Faucette has more than 20 years of educational experience. During her career, she has worked as a secondary social studies teacher, an assistant principal, and a principal. Dr. Dyce Faucette is currently chief of staff for the Rochester City School District.

James G. Feil has spent more than 25 years in education with a background in finance. He has served as both an assistant superintendent and a superintendent. He is currently the superintendent of Traverse Area Public Schools, a district of about 10,000 students located in Michigan.

Anonymous said...

The "status quo" group says that the regular schools do not need to be k-5 because it is not any better and because it will upset boundaries. The schools of choice are both k-5. Why? Of course because it is preferable.
If k-2 and 3-5 is ok for the rest of the schools then Pinebrook should be k-2 and Westridge 3-5. Or if k-2 3-5 is not palatable for the schools of choice it should not be acceptable for the rest of the children.
Either all the elementary schools should be k-5 or they all should be split.
The present system is just not fair. And anyone who says it is, probably is a school of choice parent or grandparent.
Solution : make all the elementary schools k-5 and get rid of schools of choice and close a really old school. Get rid of Odyssey. Let the building return to the estate. Stop hoarding it. Make the other secondary buildings Apollo , Olympia, Arcadia, Athena all 6-12 schools not of choice. See I have already eliminated 2 sets of principals and staff and lots of busses. That has to be a savings.
Possibly allow secondary students to choose a different school only if they can get themselves there by parent or walking and there is space. If that's the case and there is no district bussing of any "out of neighborhood" students there would be no legal sanction against the district forcing those students to transport themselves. See the legal point was students in like circumstances have to be treated in like manner. If the district is NOT bussing anyone out their home area they don't have to bus everyone that is attending out of their home area.
Add the idea of centralized bus stops to the mix and there would be another saving on transportation. Many people drive their children to bus stops now since they don't even live in the district ...but that's another story.

SCATS said...

Well said, 2:12PM. The savings of closing two buildings and eliminating transportation out of boundary areas would be HUGE! Lower utilities. Fewer library books to buy. Fewer janitors needed. One less cafeteria to operate.

Think what we could SAVE by closing two buildings, eliminating out-of-boundary bussing, getting the daycare bussing under control, etc. Think of how much improvement might be had if all schools were K-5! Parents would be less stressed, more involved. Students would experience continuity. Teachers could be held more accountable for results.

My God, I think we're onto something here!

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

2:12 Ok I see your point about saving the money. I am all for trying to save money. Here is my problem with it. The only school in this district that has great test scores is Odyssey. Why? because the staff is committed to the students. IF and it is a big IF, we could get the rest of the teachers to use the same principals and teaching styles that are being used at Odyssey this will work. If we can't we are closing our best performing school and not putting our students first.

You can go back to FMO and they had meetings at Odyssey to see what it was that was working.
It is the staff there.

Other teachers and administrators would have to agree to make this commitment.

Analogy - If you had 4 stores. 3 big stores and 1 little store. The little store make the most profit for you. You need to save money on the bottom line. Why would you close the best performing store?

It is not that we need another study. it is we need to to a detailed cost analysis with all of the pros and cons. Then we all can make an informed decision.

Anonymous said...

What is FMO?

Jeffrey Cagwin said...

Sorry I meant HMO!

Anonymous said...

The scores are always going to be better there because it is a way smaller school, actually it is a fraction of the other high schools. The more kids you have there are always going to be a group that just does not care or they do not have the support at home so of course that is going to reflect in overall performance. If you close some schools and move kids to other schools you are still going to need the staff to accomadate the new influx. So the savings costs mentioned in previous posts are not entirely accurate. You would still need more teachers.

SCATS said...

To 4:01PM ~~ Please specify what you mean by "So the savings costs mentioned in previous posts are not entirely accurate." I stand by everything I wrote. I didn't mention teachers at all. What inaccuracies?

Anonymous said...

At last night's forum, Jeff Smith, a three year "veteran" came across as the most uninformed board candidate that he is. He ha a lot of gall asking us to elect him for another three years.

I'll take O'Toole over him anytime. She at least does her home work. Smith on the other hand, is a no show even when he attends a few meetings a year. What a joke a/k/a Bill Russell.

SCATS said...

To Jeffrey @3:27PM ~~ You stated "The only school in this district that has great test scores is Odyssey. Why? because the staff is committed to the students." What study was done to show that cause & effect? Or is that YOUR opinion?

Assuming the two are connected then: WHY is Odyssey staff committed? Why aren't other staff committed? Maybe we really NEED to spread that committment (those staff) about the district so everyone can "catch the fever."

By the way, your analogy doesn't apply to schools which is why we can't run them like a business, remember? Just ask GTA, they'll tell ya ;)

It didn't require a study or a cost/benefit analysis to create schools-of-choice. They were created to provide DISTRICT-WIDE RELIEF FROM FREQUENT BOUNDARY CHANGES! The masses were supposed to benefit from their existence. That's no longer the case. Only the minority benefits which is why they must be closed. Closing schools-of-choice and opening K-5 district-wide will give everyone the same advantage. Odyssey is the oldest operating building in the district ... a bit of a money pit ... and should be given back to the family that owns the land it sits on.

Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, in response to your qoute, " If we can take what works form the schools and move to other schools this would be great", I wish to agree whole heartedly. I'm just wondering how we can get ALL OF OUR SCHOOLS TO BE MADE UP OF HAND PICKED STUDENTS? That's what school-of-choice does that the others don't, they eliminate a HUGE percentage of half-wits in the classrooms. They also eliminate almost all minority students and those who qualify for for reduced/free meals at school. When you can figure out how to get that in other schools, then we'll talk. The "lottery" is a joke, and any attempt by you or anyone else to defend this sytem is laughable.

SCATS said...

To 4:42PM ~~ Don't forget, school-of-choice staff was also hand picked by the Supt. before they opened.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine the audacity of Jeff Smith actually believing he is worthy of reelection to the school board. There is a common thread between Smith and Achramovitch and that is that in three years niether one has contributed one iota to iproving the education of my kids. It's time for them both to retire.

Anonymous said...

I would argue that staff in schools other than Odyssey (and Pinebrook/Westridge) are more committed to their students since they aren't working with the cream of the crop. Any decent teacher can educate the best students effectively. It takes real commitment to work with students with challenging needs.

Anonymous said...

I have complained in the past about all the busses coming down my street taking kids to schools all over the district and nothing has been done. Now you want me to pay 7% MORE in taxes. You have got some nerve.
I did not vote before but you can bet i'm voting this year.
I know of no other way of getting your attention.

SCATS said...

To 6:19PM ~~ You make a good point!

To 6:44PM ~~ Adding insult to injury, they also want you to approve buying more busses to haul the kids to schools they didn't have the guts to close and to continue bussing that wastes an admitted $1 million/year, according to a study.

Anonymous said...

This just in: MCC has decided they want to look at what Yale and Harvard are doing different than MCC, and apply those changes to achieve the same results at MCC.

Come on Jeff, you and others that think like you may be decent people, but are you freakin' kidding me or what? Since you support this crap, how about addressing the increased rate of poor students in my neighborhood school, so that your daughter can have a private education on my dime. I guess my kids just aren't as important as your, right?

As to 6:19, who stated, "It takes real commitment to work with students with challenging needs" as a part of their rah-rah post... thanks, but no thanks. I don't send my kids to school to be around your heart-warming, verbal painting of teachers in the "other" schools, I send them to school for RESULTS. Tell me 6:19, what are the results out of these "other" schools? You know, the one's that you would agrue have all the "commited" teachers. This ain't Hollywood, and you know as well as anyone (I assume) that the results at those schools SUCK! But hey, we got the "commited" teachers! Great.

Anonymous said...

Let's send all the Harvard students to MCC and the MCC students to Harvard and see what happens!

Anonymous said...

6:19 The cream of the crop statement may be right if you are referring to the parents. At a school of choice the parents have gone through a process which requires planning. They have to put the name in the lottery. When their child is picked they feel "chosen". This is a big plus. Those people feel entitled now.

In a school of choice the number of students is not a surprise to the teachers and principals nor is the educational background of the students. This is an advantage. They can plan almost like a controlled lab experiment.

An example of a typical eastside Greece elementary school could be parents moving into the district a day before school opens or a custody change mid year and the child shows up to register in the office. Of course this in not the majority of the families but it could and does happen. This would not happen at a school of choice. They are protected from these events. Their teachers never have to deal with the jitters of a new student mid year.
Can anyone think of any other circumstances surrounding a school of choice?
Like a Jeff Foxworthy ....If you know who your teachers will be for the next 5 years....well, ya might be in a school of choice.