Friday, December 03, 2010

It's About Time ...

  
Article tells how over-stressed and over-booked parents are pushing back at school's requests for their time.

"With the holidays approaching, the call for parental help at school has reached a fever pitch, but this demand is not just seasonal. As local and state economies continue to struggle, budget cuts to rich and poor school systems are increasing the reliance on unpaid parent help. The need is so great that some school districts, like a couple of specialty schools in Prince William County, Va., have made it mandatory to commit to a small amount of volunteer time, and others are considering it."

SCATS ~~ That Steve Walts really knows how to build a "World Class School District" doesn't he? If the Greece PTA's were to dissolve, would anyone other than the few at the top know or care?
  

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

What's "about time?"

SCATS said...

To 1:52PM ~~ That parents are saying no to the demands for their time from schools.

The Greatest Generation said...

What more important job does a parent have than to actively guide their children while they are still young enough to be properly molded (including while they are in the school setting)?

I'll answer that: They have NO more important job.

If they are "over-stressed" or "over-booked" to the point that they can't fulfill their parental obligations, then they have their priorities in the wrong place (and it's doubtful that the sun shines there often).

SCATS said...

To 5:27PM ~~ That is the biggest crock of crap I've heard in a very long time. Being responsible to one's kids has nothing to do with volunteering for PTA, booster club or other fundraisers to cough up money for items that should already be covered in the school budget. We're not talking about showing up for conferences, making sure kids did their homework or providing them with basic supplies, etc.

Anonymous said...

How the hell can a school make parental volunteerism mandatory? This is scary stuff!!!!!!1

SCATS said...

To 7:28PM ~~ I'd like to know the answer to that myself!

Anonymous said...

If you research the successful charter schools you will find there is a parent involvement component that goes beyond helping with homework and showing up for parent conferences. The teachers still have a primary role in the education but when parents take on more than showing up for conferences their children are more successful. I think this is very different from my generation (where parents expected us to go to school and do well) but it is the reality. I am very interested in studying why this is true. So far my research does support the "it takes a village to raise the child" philosophy. I would like to see everyone get on board with helping children to reach a better future - it isn't more money - it is commitment, time, and effort.

Anonymous said...

Mandatory volunteers, jumbo shrimp
militray intelligence.

George Carlin we need you we miss you.

SCATS said...

To 9:31PM ~~ My problem with that approach is that public educators profess that it requires an MS degree to be able to actually teach a child ... then they turn around and say they can't do their jobs without more money, more parental involvement, more supplies, other added resources ...

In the end, the more they have, it seems the poorer the outcomes. Money isn't the solution. I've seen no study showing that mandatory "volunteerism" (a ridiculous phrase if you think about the message it conveys) is the pathway to better student performance ... unless you are looking at home school groups.

Anonymous said...

Teachers don't profess that you need a Master's degree to teach children. New York State requires it. That is not true of other states.

SCATS said...

To 1:13AM ~~ Maybe you haven't paid attention to the arguments they make about why they deserve raises, why parents can't do their job, etc. They do say it.

Anonymous said...

Do the teachers do comp work in their own children's schools if in another district. e.g. Many teacher in greece school live in Irondeqsuoit. Do they volunteer during the school day at their child's school in Irondequoit. Probably not. Not anymore than a factory worker on days can work for free in the school.
The schools base their staffing and budget needs on what the PTA or classroom volunteers can offer. If there are 2 parents that can work in the library that frees up the staff assignment. If the PTA donates 20,000 to the school they can get along with that much less. if it is not expected they will get along without it.
And do they do background checks on all our "volunteers" ?
They are with the children in some cases alone.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, we need a committee to look into this. A field trip is also needed. Perhaps it is once again time to reinstate the finance committee as that committee could help guide the district on how much to cut the budget once we have all those manditory volunteers.

The Greatest Generation said...

When I was in my physical prime, people came to America to become Americans. Not Italian-Americans, African-Americans, Cuban-Americans, Irish-Americans, Japanese-Americans. AMERICANS.

We had a bright future ahead of us because of that cohesiveness. It wasn't perfect, but we were working on it - together.

As a child, when I screwed around instead of doing what I should have been doing, I got a whoopin' (not always corporal punishment, but that was certainly in the arsenal) from several people. My father found out because neighbors who saw me would tell him. I hated it, but I grew to make better decisions because of it.

My parents took an interest in my success; NOT in my immediate happiness. There is a difference, a fact that is overlooked by today's parents and blog administrators.

Oh yeah, I walked to school, uphill both ways in the winter (just to neutralize the inevitable generational comments that are certain to come).

Yes, parental attention is different today, but that's because parents have signed-off their responsibility to properly grow their sperm-and-egg into meaningful and productive societal members.

Parents are "Over scheduled?" and "Over booked?" Who schedules and books? Parents themselves! Get a grip on your own life and stop blaming others with such mamby-pamby spineless attitude. You get no sympathy from me.

SCATS said...

To 1:32AM ~~ Excellent point about the teachers not doing comp time ;)

The fact that schools RELY upon PTA's for extra $$ and manpower is a large part of what contributes to the dysfunction within each school. It also gets magnified 20 times over around the district and makes our budget one big lie about the true cost (and amount of waste!) of running our district.

To 9:07AM ~~ It's obvious you live your life isolated from the inescapable pressures of the real world today. Parents are overbooked largely because in the local economy over the last 15 years those with jobs are doing the work of 2-3 people! On top of that, our schools have become more demanding about parental expectations as they have not grown or changed to reflect the world going on outside their boundaries either! When was the last time you saw teachers agree to spend extra time working without getting extra pay and benefits??

Do you suggest that those with jobs who must put in 55+ hrs/week quit to better supervise their kids by volunteering in school? Talk about messed up priorities!

The Greatest Generation said...

What is obvious is that you have drunk the Kool-aid.

Parents are "overbooked" because they allow themselves to be. A parent in the very link that you cite said so (did you even read it yourself?).

Nobody puts a gun to their head. They choose what is important to them. Plain-and-simple.

It is time for parents to suck it up and do their real job. Raise your kid and quit blaming other people for your lot and feigning that your life is beyond your control.

Parents work 55+ hours a week because someone convinced them that they have to have the latest cars and clothes. They have convinced themselves that such things are more important than their children are.

Get involved in your children's lives and quit listening to the liberal media and bloggers who find every excuse in the book for you to do otherwise.

And yes, son. I AM suggesting that people who work 55+ hours a week need to re-prioritize their time to spend more taking care of the children they created; molding them into citizens that we can all be proud of.

Part (NOT ALL) of that means spending highly-visible time in their child's school.

SCATS said...

To 4:41PM ~~ I don't drink Kool-Aid, never have & never will. Yes, there were times when people worked to have the extras. These days, most are working to keep their heads above water & retain some sort of health care benefits -their children need that! I know for a fact that the people who comprised the "Greatest Generation" did not typically spend time volunteering in their children's schools, so you can give up your false airs of being an authority on that topic.

PS ~~ I'm not your son, I've got my own parents.

Anonymous said...

Well stated Greatest Generation! We have too many parents in this country who seem to think that contributing to their children's education is an imposition on their lives. We've gone from the greatest to the "me first" generation.

Anonymous said...

SCATS is right! People only work these days for basic needs and health care. Nothing else! That's why items like the iphone and flat screen televisions have been such a flop!

Anonymous said...

Greatest Generation sounds like a fraud using a name he chose with the intention to mislead. There are so few survivors of WW II left. Few if any would be reading or writing on this blog.

I think he needs to re-priortize his life and learn to get along without those Social Security COLA increases. Maybe he can get out of the house and volunteer in the schools while he goes back to work to eek out a living for himself too. What a bunch of phoney baloney he spews. If people quit working their over-demanding jobs, they might not be able to afford to pay his share of the property taxes that he gets off the hook for with enhanced STAR, right old-timer?

SCATS said...

To 7:14PM ~~ Flatscreen TVs became a necessity after the govt allowed the changes to digitally broadcast tv. Now, when the wind blows, the signal fades away, unless you subscribe to cable, Direct TV, etc.

To 6:47PM ~~ And in Greece, so many of those "Me First" types are now teaching in the schools ;) Thanks for helping to make my point :)

To 8:52PM ~~ Interesting points! I can't wait to see the responses ... or more than likely, the silence.

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the percentage of parents in Greece DON"T work and still don't invest any interest in their childs education? I know that in some Greece schools (title 1 schools mainly) there are a lot of parents that do not work. However.... I bet those those are the schools with the lowest number of parent volunteers. There is not a single school that I know of that requires parents to volunteer or contribute to anything. It is always an option if you have the time or want to donate to the classroom. It is never a requirement. If a parent has the time and wants to come in to the classroom to help or be a part in their childs learning great. If they can't, that is completely understandable. This is just another thing to complain about on here and it is really just ridiculous.

SCATS said...

To 10:45PM ~~ It can't be any more ridiculous than when Greece schools stopped allowing parent volunteers to work in the library to try to make the point that the district couldn't afford to lose any librarians during a particular budget tempest years ago. Their point was that ONLY someone with their training, education, etc. was competent at checking books in/out when parents had done so for years prior. What's even more ridiculous is the undertones of politics that go into these sorts of decisions. That's completely dysfunctional. If you want to stop BLOGs on such issues, then tackle the demon beneath the surface ;)

Anonymous said...

People go "silent" when bloggers fraudulently delete their from others without so much as an acknowledgment that they were submitted.

It is an tactic used to quell free speech when the owner of the media feels threatened.

Prophesy: "I can't wait to see...the silence"

Fulfillment.

Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with GG on the parents that choose to be overbooked...the kids are as well. Kids in every kind of extra activity, parents work to pay for dance, hockey BB soccer camps....gas to transport, family cel phone plans...if they chose the needs over the wants many could not work day and night. We are a family of 8 on one income completely self sufficient and we are not overbooked, we are happy and kids are too.

Now I do agree also that no one should be made to volunteer, unless you are choosing a co op school or charter/private and its in the rules.

SCATS said...

To 8:13AM ~~ Right ;) You really ought to proofread your posts for understanding if you expect them to be posted.

To 9:38PM ~~ I agree that many students are over-booked, especially with lots of frivolous activities promoted by the school district! I bet that if voters saw a booklet listing all of the different "extra-curricular activities" Greece Central pushes they might understand why our academic performance remains just above the gutter. But even that booklet wouldn't give the entire picture. The district also requires students to fundraise, "volunteer" and participate in other non-academic areas that takes time away from studying.

Anonymous said...

Social Security did not have a cost of living (cola) increase last year nor will it this or next year. So they are already learning to live without those.
And there was the point about people working 55+ hours a week. In many cases there are people on salary that get no benefit for working those hours above 40.They do it because the company has downsized and they are happy to have a job.
And probably most people who are buying those gadgets that are must-haves for themselves and the kids are buying on credit and will be paying for them for years.
And 10:45 you are right IMHO about the unemployed not volunteering. In many cases the old adage about if you want something done give it to a busy person...holds here. In some cases the unemployed are depressed and can't get around to do things like minimal housework let alone volunteer with a bunch of overpaid people. That would be too much to bear. Maybe the teachers could reciprocate and volunteer to babysit when the parents have to go to a job interview.

Anonymous said...

Would it be unreasonable to expect those drawing an unemployment check (free money) to report to their neighborhood school for say 4-5 hours a day to help out with what ever needs to be done?

Anonymous said...

Seems to me they should have plenty of time to interview every day while their children are at school being "babysat" by those overpaid teachers.

SCATS said...

To 11:44AM ~~ I think it is unreasonable. You expect the district to do background checks on these people before letting them come into with the school-of-choice progeny?? Would we continue to pay all other staff, or reduce their numbers for the mandatory volunteers to replace? Lots of issues, so little time or resources ;)

Anonymous said...

3:44 Maybe they have younger children at home? Just making the point that we are expected to volunteer to assist people that are making lots of money. Let them take care of the kids at school and let the rest of us do our jobs or look for a job.
Again I would like to see what the teachers are doing to volunteer besides golfing for a benefit tournament or running for a benefit or cleaning up the roadside once every 2 years. Let us know. And I am not talking about the retirees who are very involved in the community. The current teachers. Thanks.

SCATS said...

A point that's been missed here is that people like "Greatest Gen" and Greece Teachers in general is that they tend to lump ALL parents into the same wastecan.

I'm very aware that the parents who actually do their jobs and do it well get little to no appreciation, at all, ever. In fact, we're often viewed as a threat! Why? Because since we do our job, we might expect that teachers, administrators and others do their jobs well, too. But they have union protection. All we have is our kids and our damaged faith that the system might work. Too often we're left disappointed and the kids are cheated out of a decent education, if not more. Very sad, really :(

Anonymous said...

5:44...why is that you think teachers have so much time to volunteer? Maybe they have kids of their own and when they get home they have dinner and homework like the rest of us. In our school many are young parents themselves. If being a teacher is such a luxurious job with so many opportunities, pay and time to volunteer perhaps you should have made that choice.

Disclaimer I am NOT a teacher just have grown tired of the teacher bashing as a whole. If there are teacher that stink name names, don;t lump them all in together.

SCATS said...

To 8:14PM ~~ There is no 5:44 on this thread, so I'll respond. Like someone suggested earlier, if teachers want/expect parents to make time to volunteer for their kids in the schools, then the same expectation should be made of teachers - many of whom have their own kids. Let them go their own kid's schools. Or let them volunteer where they teach. If parents have the time, then I'm not going to cut slack for a teacher who is also a parent. As you already know, getting them to volunteer (mandatory) will NEVER happen, because they won't lift a finger without a payoff and language to cover it in the contract.

As for making a career in the field of teaching, yes it has EXCELLENT pay & benefits for a part-time job, which it is. I can only speak for my family but we aspired to become greater things :)

If there were so many truly gifted, talented teachers in Greece who were doing all they could, our district's performance wouldn't be so low.

Pot, meet kettle said...

Good advice about proof reading posts. You are quite the superior blogger.

By the way, it was nice to be able to read the link to the cited article after I pointed out to you that it was broken.

It's too bad your faults went unseen by others due to the fact that you simply deleted my message without acknowledgment or reference, probably because it defended the personal attack you took on a previous post.

Anonymous said...

To 8:14 at "If there are teacher that stink name names" no one ever said that. Just said that teachers should be expected to volunteer as much as they expect the rest of us to. It was not bashing. It was just saying that it is only fair. That being said I think no one should feel the expectation to volunteer. It should be "voluntary" whether it is in the schools or your church or at a food shelf etc.
And what about the middle school teachers that come in early and stay late to help the students? Are they compensated for that? Why is there nothing like that at the elementary level? Why do they get to show up at the start of the workday if they choose and leave their dust in the mouths of the children as they board the bus in the afternoon? Maybe we would have better results if problems were addressed at that level. Why can't students stay after school on an informal or occasional basis?

SCATS said...

To 5:57AM ~~ You can get down off your high horse. I was notified about the broken link in an email that arrived before you concocted the venomous comment that was sent straight to the trashcan. Now, I'll await your heartfelt apology, but won't hold my breath ;)

SCATS said...

To 8:02AM ~~ The fact remains that there are plenty of teachers in Greece who do stink. Sadly, instead of putting them on improvement plans and getting them to either buck up or bail out, we give them new contracts with bigger paychecks, better benefits and more protection. I'm hearing that lightning does strike twice in Greece. A name from a past lawsuit has been "targeted" again. I wonder why. Maybe because she can't teach??

Anonymous said...

SCATS
Perhaps you hear from a different group of parents than I do. By and large, the parents I talk to seem happy with the teachers.

SCATS said...

To 12:56PM ~~
1 - Perhaps you don't hear anything bad about Greece teachers because the parents you talk to are all out of the loop and uninvolved in their kid's educations, as some of the posters on here claim. Personally, I don't think that's true of the masses, but what the heck do I know? I've only been paying attention and involved for 2 decades.

2 - Perhaps the parents you talk to are aware of the issue but do not trust sharing their feelings about it with you. If you work for the district or are seen as too supportive of it, they will likely keep their mouths closed in your presence. They don't want to make their children's schooling more difficult than it already is.

3 - Perhaps you've limited yourself to talking to parents whose children attend Pinebrook, Odyssey or even West Ridge schools. In those buildings, EVERYTHING is golden, good and they know better than to rock a boat that has a HUGE wait list. Do principals at those buildings still tell anyone who complains "You're here by choice. If you don't like it, go back to your home school"?