Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Everything Is Wonderful Inside the Greece Central School District

  
Residents' Forum ~ No speakers, no one has any beefs ... all is well ... nothing to see here ;)

Only GTA leadership spoke (out of all of our unions) and Don Pallozzi had NO BEEFS for the first time in 4+ years. As we've reported before, this means A NEW GTA CONTRACT IS COMING SOON!

School enrollment is 12,300 students, so far. I'm sure we will fill all of the buildings by Halloween, thereby saving West Ridge and any other under-enrolled school from closure ;)

Consent Order ~ Lifted ahead of schedule!

Whistle Blower Update ~~ Again, there's nothing of importance to see here ;)  The theft of time via time cards was just a misunderstanding ! Phew!! We're so relieved to hear that policies are being followed ;)

Fire Safety Report ~ NO discussion, not even a comment by our firefighter board member;  it was adopted along with the rest of the Consent Agenda!

School Resource Officer Update ~ BOE approved an inter-municipal agreement with the Town of Greece. This agreement was NOT read and there was no discussion!

Board Goals ~ Supt. O'Rourke's "goal" is to fit the title of the committee overseeing issues about Schools-of-Choice/Signature Schools/School Options/Neighborhood Schools into the small matrix allotted on his spreadsheet. The moniker "School Attendance Committee" was chosen and "transparency" was assured ;)

The BOE Prez. Oberg, Interim Supt. O'Rourke & several others met with Chamber of Commerce and other community representatives to discuss concern over the impact of SCATS on the search for a new superintendent for the Greece Central School District and on home buying & other business concerns. It was agreed that the C of C folk will each help pass along all of the district's white-washed news to 10 other people each in an attempt to counter the negative news reported on this BLOG. (Of course, that's not what was actually said, but it sure sounded like it was what they meant!)

The meeting was adjourned after just 1 hr. 45 min. Soon they will be as efficient as Uncle Auggie's closed, clubby & corrupt group ;)

41 comments:

Anonymous said...

So..... The SRO Plan is looking good on
paper and sounding good on TV. I thought
Intermunicipal agreements included genuine
sharing of resources, personnel, parameters of
PROGRAM DESIGN, management, and
execution, programmatic responsibilities &
expectations. Guess not. No mention
of benchmarking other SRO Programs,
performance indicators or anticipated outcomes.

SCATS said...

To 8:47PM ~~ EVERYTHING is just fine! Move along now. NOTHING to see here!

Anonymous said...

Frank Oberg sounds like he drank seconds on the Kool-Aid district office serves. I can't believe he's hob-nobbing with the Chamber crowd. What a sell-out!

Anonymous said...

Plenty of zzzzzzzzzzz, er, I mean discussion
regarding updates, committee formulation,
and potential board retreat dates.

Anonymous said...

Can someone please get Sean McCabe some crayons and a sippy cup. Apparently he is trouble following along.
I know Julia can be a little long-winded, but aren't we all adults.

Anonymous said...

Scats, if you are right about the attempt to spin news by the BOE, you will need to be extra vigilant in creating threads that foster discussion of the real news in Greece! Sounds like they know you are working to keep the people aware of reality.

SCATS said...

To 11:03PM ~~ By all means feel free to suggest specific threads if you see the need for a particular topic.

Anonymous said...

Since we all know that the GTA leadership and the district have reached an agreement about the new teachers contract, why has there been no announcement? You would think they would be proud of the agreement and that there will be peace. Why are they hiding the new contract? Is it because it will cost us more than we budgeted for? Or did the budget plan for this increase all along and it was hidden in reserves?

Anonymous said...

If only they knew how few people read this!

Anonymous said...

How about trying to find SOME positive as well as reporting the ugly real negative. Potential superintendent candidates do due diligence when deciding whether to apply to a district or not. This blog IS informative - but it IS all negative and could potentially make a candidate say "NO THANK YOU". Running a district is challenging enough without a "vigilante group" in the community to contend with out of the gate (that's not a criticism, SCATS - it's just how this BLOG is likely viewed by an outsider). Please consider balancing news/information to share the qualities of Greece (community, business, attractions, and yes, even the school district) that would help a qualified candidate understand why they may want to be in the pool of applicants.

Anonymous said...

I know for a fact, I have seen the time cards, that this woman is submitting that are inaccurate! She is claiming to work with a particular student when that student is absent. Wouldn't it make sense to cross reference the student's attendance record with the time card? Or should I say move along....nothing to worry about .....small amounts of money being taken are nothing......
So sorry that I live in this District!

Anonymous said...

to 6:24 am......What is positive about Greece? Can you name 3 things?

Anonymous said...

Scats - my sources tell me not to worry about the GTA contract. Many of the members are not happy with it.

SCATS said...

To 1:35AM ~~ Good questions!

To 5:16AM ~~ You wish! The reality is that the number grows weekly, as does the number of SCATS' Facebook and Twitter "friends."

To 6:24AM ~~ Finding something "positive" is very difficult in a district that devalues academics and a town that fosters corruption. It is my understanding that Odyssey has another National Merit Scholarship finalist that is to be announced later today. That will be all of the "good news" we're likely to see between now and the end of the year ... unless Chief Todd wrangles that flasher ;)

SCATS said...

To 6:53AM ~~ I can name three "positive" things about Greece!

1 - I'm "positive" our police dept. still harbors corrupt cops.
2 - I'm "positive" our school district still discriminates and gets hit with lawsuits for doing so.
3 - I'm "positive" both the Town of Greece & GCSD are in denial about items numbered 1 & 2.

Anonymous said...

9:15 AM That would be equivalent to naming
all the great things FEMA did following
Katrina.

SCATS said...

To 6:54AM ~~ Is that why the GTA Prez. had NOTHING to say about a contract last night? You mean things aren't as wonderful as they sound inside GCSD? Hmmm ... why do I feel hoodwinked? ...

SCATS said...

To 6:51AM ~~ You want GCSD to use common sense? You expect them to admit any wrong doing? You think they would dodge another lawsuit to save taxpayers money? I have faith that what you claim is true. Sooner or later, your contentions will come to light. It's just a matter of time ... ;)

Anonymous said...

Bring in the National Guard...nine of them
would accomplish more in a month
than this BOE will in a year.

SCATS said...

To 7:22AM ~~ Or we could reduce the BOE from 9 to 5 members. It would cut half of the rhetoric, if nothing else.

Anonymous said...

To 6:24 I totally agree. We should stop complaining and pretend nothing is wrong here. We should keep quiet while someone takes the job thinking this is Pleasantville.
The candidate will think he has taken the best job in the happiest most education friendly school district in the nation. Camelot....where it never rains till after sundown, by 8 the morning fog must disappear. yadda yadda yadda.....and then when the first scandal takes place we can all jump out of the shadows and yell....SURPRISE!!!
Psst...I think the police chief may already be finding out it is not so easy to be green in Greece.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWCncZrUZww

Anonymous said...

Did anyone see the D&C regarding the RCSD partnering with RPD to implement truancy response teams? Proactive response? Nice! Addressing the NUMBER ONE indicator (at least according to U.S. DOE, DOJ, and OJJDP) of whether a student will succeed or fail in school? Even Nicer!

THIS IS THE COLLABORATION WE NEED HERE IN THIS TOWN...Not last June,
Not yesterday...NOW!!!!

A one year SRO Program ain't going to cut it!!!!!!!!

SCATS said...

To 8:35AM ~~ Yes, I saw that article. Unfortunately, to be proactive requires admitting that a problem exists. I don't see that happening, do you?

When Uncle Auggie eliminated the Youth Bureau, our truancy officers went bye-bye. The school district hasn't seen the need to close the gap left by that budget reduction. In fact, it was several years after the truancy officers were gone before GCSD even realized there were none. Cutting edge we aren't.

Anonymous said...

To SCATS @6:54 AM:

"National Merritt Scholarship"? How nice of our dearly departed Chief to leave such a legacy!

Anonymous said...

And yet RPD is willing to address the issue by its officers accepting more responsibility without an increase in manpower or money. That is true commitment. To me its a win-win, crime prevention plus opportunity for academic intervention. What could be wrong with that? Parties involved are realizing that to deter the level of crime we are seeing in the city it is going to require a hell of an effort.

Anonymous said...

7:46 If you read a little more carefully, I asked for SCAT to achieve a BALANCE. Nowhere did I say we should pretend nothing is wrong. But, apparently we are content to pretend nothing is right.....so you will get what you attract. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

to 6:51 am and Scat
The woman works in the Spec. Ed. Dept. Huh go figure, Dr. Deb Hoeft's department. Dr. Deb must be trying to dodge another law suit she amazingly got herself and the district into.

Anonymous said...

Consent Decree was lifted ahead of schedule? Don't worry someone in District Office will screw something up soon that will cost us more money.

SCATS said...

To 3:39PM ~~ You're asking me to do the impossible. Achieving a balance in a town/district where everything is so far out of balance is impossible unless I begin supporting the status quo. Since the status quo isn't really working out too well, I'm not about to support it. However, I am more than willing to report "good news" but it must coincide with my definition of what would be truly good news for our school district.

Topping my good news list is anything related to true academic achievement, like when Odyssey gets on the Top 100 Schools list or when a student becomes a Natl Merit Scholarship Commended Student or Finalist.

I simply refuse to recognize any "academic achievement" tied to sports, music or some other extra-curricular. Those items make academics a mere appendage of the extracurricular programs, instead of academics used as the foundation for everything else.

The district and media already gloat about the extracurriculars ad naseum, largely because we don't have academic achievement that's newsworthy! I'd like to see our National Merit Scholarship students get those TV interviews that are reserved only for the sports-minded. I know it will never happen, so I recognize them on the BLOG when I hear about them. Greece Central needs to remember we are a SCHOOL DISTRICT first and foremeost. Improving education should top the list of everything done by district office. Sadly, it rarely makes the list.

Anonymous said...

SCATS: I understand the challenge; believe me, I do. But how about wording it the way you just did (which was much less venemous than how things are usually discussed). This way, a potential candidate may think, "Hmm. Here's someone willing to confront the brutal facts about this school system, but seem to be able to do without spite and revenge. Maybe I can work with this person and his/her associates to address these issues and improve the school system." It's all in the presentation, SCATS. By all means - tell the truth. But doing so in a manner that engenders respect from people who know NOTHING of the system will go much further than the insults and invective that are usually bandied about here. After all, I thought your goal was to get improvements.

Anonymous said...

An earlier poster mentioned the NUMBER ONE predictor of success in school - attendance. Several months ago it seemed we had a brief discussion here about the BOE directing the Supt to create a list of early indicators for academic success (graduation on time, etc). The the Supt could work on programs to improve performance on those early indicators. It takes too long to see graduation rates increase, when the things that may need to change start in 3rd and 4th grade (like reading scores) How can we reward a Supt for an improvement in Graduation rates when he/she probably had nothing to do with the rate for the years they are here?

Anonymous said...

3:39 OK What would you want to add to the blog that would reflect "good news" about math or language arts or science in the schools, not in extra curricular clubs? Are we at the top of the charts for math scores or sat scores or language arts writing or science scores in achievement tests or AP tests? I didn't think so. Let the online community know so any people that want to apply for superintendent job can know what the district profile is like.
Are you implying that scats should fabricate good news or try to find pathetic good news about clubs or elite groups and their parents?
Well we know we are tops in raising funds so the students know all about grifting and conning.
This seems to be a free blog as long as you do not mention names so go to it and give us the story on Greece schools academic accomplishments.

Anonymous said...

8;21
Perhaps one of the questions for a new superintendant candidate should go to thier thoughts on "social promotion" which I believe is at the root of what you describe. yes?

SCATS said...

To 8:10PM ~~ Part of the trouble with the written word is how each person interprets what they read. If I use a headline like "GPD Catches Flasher In The Act" some will criticize SCATS for focusing on crime in Greece. Others will say that it shows GPD is doing their job. So instead of trying to please everyone else, I try to stay true to the "mission" of this BLOG: to inform readers about Greece ... good, bad or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

8:45 So, in your mind, the only good news is that which makes us #1? Certainly, that is a goal that should be put in writing, with strategic steps articulated to get us there, monitoring mechanisms to identify mid-course adjustments when needed. BUT, the path on a strategic course is typically riddled with steps forward as well as steps back. How about we discuss the GROWTH (no matter how minimal - it's progress in the RIGHT direction) that happens on the state assessments. How about we ask administration to supply concrete indicators that happen on a DAILY basis (not just high stakes test results) that demonstrate the progress and achievements of our students? All I'm saying is that when we focus on "good news" being defined only when we are at the top of the heap in Monroe County, that is short changing efforts and accomplishments, YES - instructionally, that are happening. How about SCATS (or his/her designee) interviews the Principals and selected students in each school and reports back on what THEY have to say? I sincerely doubt that will happen, but it's a start.

SCATS said...

To 5:39AM ~~ You're right, it's not happening. First of all, am I supposed to show up for those interviews with a bag on my head? Secondly, perhaps you've forgotten, but this is VOLUNTEER WORK on my part. I contribute enough time as it is.

SCATS said...

By the way 5:39AM, you should like today's BLOG about the Greece Police Dept. who has been doing an outstanding job lately. I have given them kudos a few times this year.

Anonymous said...

5:39 You could volunteer to do the interviewing of the principals and teacher leaders and let all of us here on the blog find out about academic improvements. Please let us know about the efforts and strategies at the middle and high schools where anything other than extra curricular sports and music are rewarded with lots of parent volunteering.
And the request for information of accomplishments "top of the charts" was not where we are number 1, but only not the bottom 16th out of 18 that we are now academically within Monroe county. We usually come in ahead of the city schools but are at the bottom in the county suburban districts. Moving up to 5th from the top would be great.
The good news from the school board deals with special clubs and music productions they have attended and sports divisional wins. We would all be ecstatic if you could prove us wrong and tell us about the improvements and accomplishments that are supported by the district regarding academics. Again that would be math, language arts and science.
Looking forward to your first report.

SCATS said...

Just for the record ~~ If someone has to go out and dig, interview, research, etc. to come up with good news, then maybe it isn't such good news after all ;)

Incremental increases in test scores and the like have consistently been reported by our most recent supt. but our standings in the test scores in Monroe County didn't move in a positive direction. Therefore, reporting such small gains may be giving false hope to all.

Anonymous said...

SCATS I was wondering wher I could look up info (test scores, rankings, ect.) for districts in Monroe county. A web site perhaps? I would appreciate any help you could give me.

SCATS said...

To 9:41AM ~~ Test scores can be found on the NYSED website. You will have to look up each county individually. There is some info archived on this BLOG. Doug Skeet has provided it from time to time. Archived info on such things should be located under "State standards" if it appeared on the front of this BLOG. You might also want to search the terms "ranking" "state test" "ELA" and "math".