Wednesday, February 16, 2011

$750,000 In Transportation Savings Possible ...

... By Ending School Choice

A big decision is coming in Greece that will affect every parent in the school district. The decision? Whether to end school choice - which allows parents to send their children to a school outside their neighborhood.

It has a lot to do with money. The district could save three quarters of a million dollars a year just on busing. But it could force families to make some major changes.

Spend the afternoon at any elementary school in Greece. Half of the kids get picked up by parents, the other half by buses. It's an example that a lot of kids don't live around the school.

"I'd rather there be a choice because some schools cater more to science and math versus just a general all around," Amy Mack said. She has two children in the district. Her son goes to Kirk Road Elementary. It's his neighborhood school only because they moved into the neighborhood. But ending school choice will have an impact on her older daughter, who's in middle school outside the neighborhood.

"She'll be in eighth grade next year and then she has the choice to go onto Olympia (High School) and she will be with those children her whole span of her schooling," Mack said.

"Not if she doesn't have choice," I said.

"Right," Mack said. "So if they take that choice away from me she has to start a new school in high school and how hard it that on a child?"

So why is the district doing it? That's the question we took to interim Superintendent John O'Rourke today.

"It's very complicated. It's hard to understand," O'Rourke admitted. He says says the bottom line is the bottom line. The district stands to save a lot money on transportation alone.

"Our transportation maps almost look like dish of spaghetti," he said. "When you think about all the routes that are there."

"It's a huge decision and I think there could be a lot of unhappy people," parent Laura Sidoti said (even though she's fine with the changes).

"Personally, if you're in Greece you're paying a lot of taxes anyway and I think people should have the choice if they feel that they want to go to a different school," Mack said.

The biggest problem is going to be with young kids and their baby sitters. Ending school choice would mean the district would only bus children to their sitters if the sitters are in the neighborhood. On the other hand -- if a child is in a school outside their neighborhood, they can stay there until they make the jump to middle or high school.

The school board still needs to vote on this. There are going to be public hearings. And even if the proposal is approved, it won't take effect until the fall of 2012. No matter what happens, it will not change school for any family next year. (Source: WHEC-TV )

SCATS ~~ If the Supt. thinks it's so complicated and hard to understand, then maybe we have NO HOPE of resolving anything in Greece. How much are we paying this guy? $800/day plus benefits, right?


Anonymous said...

Can you explain is the 750,000 saving from ending secondary option or school of choice all together?

If it for secondary option alone how did they calculate the projected cost for PS and WR if sibling rule is abolished there will be kids from more household thus requiring more bussing. So any figure that is put out there is not really accurate.

SCATS said...

To 7:49PM ~~ They pull figures out of the air around here, especially this close to budget time. Smoke 'n mirrors, dogs 'n ponys ...

Anonymous said...

If you really want to save money take a look at the budget it takes to run Odyssey. Now, those kids are getting a sweet deal. If we end school of choice we need to end ALL of it PB, WR, and Odyssey.

Captain Obvious said...

This is an absurd issue. Here is the bottom line:

The costs of busing students to a preferred school are no longer bearable by the district HOWEVER (if administration can open its eyes) there are two ways to maintain that choice.

1-The administration could allow parents to provide their own transportation to the school.


2-Remind parents that they can move into the neighborhood that is served by their school-of-interest.

Parents: There are many highly valued programs offered by the Greece Central School District; MANY of which simply can no longer be afforded.

Anonymous said...

If you hold off till next year THIS super won't be around to get the blame. Leader?

Anonymous said...

If they discontinued schools of choice we could probably sell 2 elementary school buildings. Think of the cost savings not having to support those buildings and no basic staff...principal, custodian, counselor etc that come with each building.
Then if we weren't bussing students to schools of choice we would not have to bus any student that chose to attend a secondary school outside of his boundary. We would have escaped that paradigm having to treat like students in like manner. (BTW that only seems to be something we follow in Greece schools with transportation and nothing else).
In fact the parents would have to transport their kids which they usually do. Another idea would be to expand the parking lots at the high schools so that some secondary option high students could drive themselves instead of limiting the privilege.
And then the Odyssey building could be sold and the then 4 secondary buildings could serve the 6-12 students. No school of choice or laboratory to study students at Apollo but just another 6-12. Or apollo could be 6-8 and olympia 9-12 still.
Just get rid of them. We could make money on selling the barnard and hoover drive and 2 other old buildings and house the students in the remaining buildings. Think about the savings in administrative costs alone. The first to go will be the administrators at the schools of choice. And they of course could bump those that have less seniority. And the last to go gets to see the rest before her and her little dog too.
We should start from square one and get out of the box that says all of our decisions about space utilization and delivery of program are cemented in how it all affects the present unfair schools of choice. Pretend they don't exist like in Gates and Irondequoit and Pittsford. Just because they exist now does not mean we have to cater to them in every decision. Think about how much administrative time is taken up agonizing over how to preserve them.

Anonymous said...


The can not offer school of choice with the parents providing transportation. It is a state law issue. IF they offer the school of choice they must bus like they do to any other school in its likeness

SCATS said...

To 9:43AM ~~ Just so you are aware, Odyssey isn't owned by GCSD, so we can't sell it. It belongs to a family and is allowed for use as a school via the codicil in someone's will from years ago. If we ever stop using it as a school, it goes back to that family.

Charlie Hubbard said...

9:43; were any of these ideas dicussed by 'the committee'? You must have endorsement by 'the committee' or it has no merit.
Was this idea looked at by a 'study'? You must have endorsment via a 'study' or it can have no merit.

Let me make something very clear. At the budget vote last year a survey was done. The biggest reason for the budget defeat aside from the tax increase was the excess bussing we were doing. Taxpayers saw waste $$.
After a resounding budget defeat the board said to the taxpayers -screw you - WE are going to increase your taxes anyway. NOW enough delay has taken place so it would appear NO changes in bussing will be reflected in this years budget - we'll do it NEXT year and the taxpayers will be asked to TRUST us.
This demonstrates incompetence, a lack of backbone, and just flat out stupidity.

ps; schools of choice, signature schools, and open enrollment have been on the table over 6 years that I know of. God knows some of us tried.

Anonymous said...

Just read that Deborah Leh will be the new Superintendent of Wheatland-Chili Schools.

Anonymous said...

Again the district can not offer any choice for alternative schooling and not provided the transportation. That is why they are targeting only secondary option. It is a shell game made to look like there will be saving when in actuality it is a small number of secondary option students when compared to the totals at the 3 schools of choice.

Anonymous said...

To 10:29am: The state law regarding transportation of students outside of their attendance zone also states that parents may sign a waiver (when asked to voluntarily do so) that relieves the district of their lawful requirement to bus that child to a specific school. The waiver must be renewed annually and is a voluntary act by the parent. Education law 3635(7). Note that a BOE could suggest that a specific school would be taken off line if 80+% of the parents did not sign the waiver. I suppose that such a "threat" would be illegal, however. But when has that stopped our BOE?

To save a school of choice, parents could become very creative forming carpools or contracting for some form of private pay transportation. In other words, parents could "save" a school under certain circumstances by becoming proactive with solutions that meet the requirements to remain open.

Scats is correct that Odyssey cannot be sold by the district. It is a "use it or lose it" as an educational facility.

Anonymous said...

The odyssey property is owned by the school district as long as it is used as a school. When it is not used as a school anymore the will said it must be turned back over to the Britton estate. Who is to say that the Britton estate wouldn't turn it right back over to the school district as a tax write off for a 2nd time? Then we could sell it and make lots of money. Or Comida could take it and give rich businessman tax abatement. Whatever just dispose of it. Even O'Rourke suggested that.
And also there are still 2 elementary schools that can be shut and sold as well as the barnard building. Lots of bucks. Lots of savings. Christa has an interest in the westridge school building.
And even if the estate wanted the property back we wouldn't have to pay for the upkeep and trying to make it as up to date as the other schools. Not that they are up to date except for arcadia middle and pinebrook. Adding new front doors to buildings does not make them newer anymore than face lifts and botox can make your insides any younger.
Maybe we could sell that unattractive area where facilities and the bus garage are located. That could go commercial and they could put the bus barn on the property north of the town hall or at Hoover drive. Bus barn and facilities are a school function.
They did not look at all options. They just said let's look like we are trying to make changes but we must ensure our schools of choice stay just as they are.

Anonymous said...

Interesting historical perspective. Timeline.

Anonymous said...

More about the Odyssey 5 acres.

I would not believe the story about the use only as a school unless I could see it in print. We are going along with that only on trust. No one has seen the will. It is probably just a story. None of the historical records say that there was a restriction. None.

Anonymous said...

to 12:10
Maybe you should actually read the information that is provided for you.
Secondary Option and Open Enrollment for Signature Schools in elementary are suggested to be cut.
The number of students in the district who currently take advantage of the secondary option is greater than the number of students at Odyssey.
I could not find agood info on the total number of students taking advantage of Open Enrollment at the Elem Signature Schools.
You statement that "in actuality it is a small number of secondary option students when compared to the totals at the 3 schools of choice" is just plain false.
It appears that when they add in the restriction on transportation to BabySitters, there could be some significant savings in transportation costs.

SCATS said...

To 1:53PM ~~ I don't think anyone has the will or a copy outside of the family/estate that holds it. Why would they? However, I am aware that reference to these restrictions has been made by BOEs and supts. going back as far as the late 1980's when Yagielski was supt. in Greece.

To 2:07PM ~~ Do your figures for "The number of students in the district who currently take advantage of the secondary option is greater than the number of students at Odyssey" include Odyssey's figures by chance? What do you have to support your contention that 12:10's statements are wrong? I'd be interested in looking at that info if you can provide it. TY.

SCATS said...

To 1:48PM ~~ Isn't it interesting to note that we comfortably accomodated 13,448 pupils in 1971 which was BEFORE we bought Mooney (Apollo), built Arcadia MS, built Pinebrook and added umpteen new classrooms to the existing schools in the district?

In comparison, we're down to 12,200 students currently. So it appears we very well could and probably should look to close 3 or more schools.

Anonymous said...

OP at 12:10

My point being that these kids are still going to be bussed. Will the distances be less sure for some. The kids are not evaporating in to thin air, they will be at the homeschool like other kids. It may even increase busses need for certain schools based on the location and density of students in certain areas.

ALso with the SOC option eliminating sibling rule the busses will be ALL over the district as now all opening will be from various households so for every 3 kids that are in one family it will require in some case 3 busses to transport that family.

And note that there were no actually figures released for OA is is a "secret" if there are approx. 120 kids per grade that 840 kids in the building. THERE ARE MORE SCHOOL OF CHOICE KIDS BEING BUSSED AS A WHOLE THAN THE secondary option!

Anonymous said...

Again Im the OP 12:10 from the report that OMITTS and number for OA

There were 239 accepted applications, 114 for Pine Brook, 73 for West Ridge, and the remainder for signature schools with 429 remaining on the waiting lists.

This means 52 kids of 239 went to signature schools. MOST are going to SOC, add in the number attending OA and the number FAR out weights that of the Secondary option.

Anonymous said...

This past fall approximately 7,500 applications were distributed to parents regarding the secondary option. Between 180 and 185 application requests were selected by computer lottery, with approximately 1,500 students on acceptance and waiting lists.

Again IF a class and OA is 100 kids that means only approx 85 kids are going to secondary option grades 6-12 and divided by 3 high school means less than 30 and each HS.

Since students can be on duplicate waitlist the 1500 number is not 100% accurate.

( OP 12:10)

Anonymous said...

Willis Britton did not bequeath it to the district in his will. They say he "conveyed" it to the district. It was land that was "conveyed" while he was alive so it was not in a will but maybe he made his wishes known. Or not.

It is only in a document that cites references to the alleged agreement or restriction from what the Koda Vista neighborhood heard from the administration of the greece school district. The deed happened in 1928. So it is only oral history that we are going on. And it is only the administration of greece that says it is so starting in 1990 when John Yagielski wanted it to be so. Maybe we should look for proof.
No one did back in the late 1980's or early 1990's ;they just took John's word as gospel.

Anonymous said...

The figure that is missing to get the most accurate cost is how many of the out of bounds kids are at daycare. If 52 kids got into the signature schools option look at the chart for all kids bussed out of bounds it is well over 300.

The cost for bussing to SOC was not listed in the appendix chart, yet near the end the cost is listed as 375,000.

Using these figures one of the largest group driving the bussing cost appears to be out of bounds daycare. It is not secondary option, nor is it SOC. On a pupil/total student population ( K-5) it is the k-5 out of bounds kids at babysitters and SOC that make up the largest consumers of out of neighborhood school bussing costs. Not the measly 52 a year that get in to a SIgnature School.

And note that many figures for PB and WR are omitted yet again and not numbers for OA at all.

ANother figure in the report:
114 of 184 ( Secondary option/SOC 6-12) all students accepted last year were to OA
That means only 70 kids through out the other 6 schools 3 middle and Hs with the most at ATMS.

So please tell me again how it is the secondary option that is costing more than the SOC.

Anonymous said...

to scats from 2:07
My figures come from the Attendance Committee Report Appendix D.
And it actually does include figures for Odyssey.

Anonymous said...

3:07 Once a student is accepted into their secondary option school they do not have to reapply for the 3 or 4 years they are in that middle or high school. If they get into a middle school in 6th grade they may stay for the 3 years. No application or need to be accepted to 7th and then 8th. If they then want to stay in that feeder they would be given the opportunity to apply for the 9th grade and then if accepted no need to reapply for 10th grade and beyond. So your numbers are probably off way on the low side. Multiply by 7 and you might get the real number attending in a secondary school that is not their geographic school. And of course once one gets into Odyssey they may remain for the 7 years not having to reapply at all. Another inequity of the system.
For example if a student should attend Arcadia like the lady's daughter in the story and is in Apollo under the secondary option, she would have to reapply in 8th grade to continue with her friends she has made in Apollo on to Olympia. Not so for a student accepted into Odyssey. That is considered one big happy family from 6th thru 12th grade.
Even though Athena and Arcadia are on the same campus 6-8 and 9-12 the option students have to reapply in 8th grade to continue on to the 9th in the same building. Why is that? Why is it that odyssey and the schools of choice are so privileged?

Anonymous said...

See page 3 of Appendix D:

Over last 6 years total number of acceptances for OA = 920.
Over last 6 years total number of acceptances for Secondary Option = 1062.

Only one year (10-11) totals for Elementary.
Total Acceptances for PB & WR = 187.
Total Acceptances for Sig Schools = 85.

Doing a little math seems to show that there are about the same number of students using Secondary Option and Signature Schools as there are at OA, PB and WR.

Anonymous said...

3;34 + 3;48
What is your point?

SCATS said...

To 3:48PM ~~ Thank you! I knew I saw those figures somewhere recently. I just couldn't recall which document ;)

Anonymous said...

All the statistics, all the numbers, all the creative ideas to make it work with schools of choice, all the money spent on this system....

And NOBODY has ever showed any proof that it's good for our educational community as a whole. That is all this BOE should be looking at: expense vs. return.

This system has divided our town for far too long. If the BOE lacks the backbone to tell a room full of parents that they no longer get their private education, put it to a vote and let the taxpayers tell them.

Anonymous said...

To 6:49
It has been up for a vote.
Each and every year, when the community votes for it's representatives on the Board of Education.
Apparently the community does not agree with you.

SCATS said...

To 7:46PM ~~ That's a very big stretch for an argument. Let's not forget it takes FIVE votes on the BOE to change anything and only THREE seats are voted on each year ;)

Anonymous said...

Even if you vote for 3 people that say they don't approve of schools of choice, and bussing students like a cat's cradle and they all get elected, they can't do anything for the first year they are on the board. They are sworn in July and school starts in September with the staff all assigned. The only way to make a change is to direct the superintendent to change the structure. And for example there will be a completely new superintendent to go along with the 3 new board members.
It takes time.
Do you know of any board candidates that were openly against schools of choice that lost the last 2 school board elections? Please enlighten us.

Anonymous said...

And you've had your blog up and running for how manually years.
It would take no more than 2 years to demolish this whole school of choice system.
Simply consistently support BOE members who will shut it down.
The fact is that it has not happened. Instead the opposite has happened, as evidenced by the election of a school of choice mom to the board the year.

SCATS said...

To 8:01PM ~~ The ONLY reason a supporter for these schools was elected last year is because Steve Achramovitch tried to do his job at budget time, as directed by the BOE. He wanted to put the 2 lone kindergarten classes at West Ridge elsewhere to phase out (i.e. shutdown) that school in the near future. Why? DECLINING ENROLLMENTS! The truth is, it caught West Ridge parents asleep at the wheel, so they got a one lone candidate to run for the BOE, after they spent a couple of nights literally sobbing into microphones to punish the school board with public embarassment (i.e. drama).

At this point in time, it's pretty obvious that we can't afford schools-of-choice any longer. We need to close several school buildings ASAP to save the $millions we're going to lose in state aid. Doing more with less is the way of business and industry the last 15 yrs. It's time for public education to feel its belt tighten too.

Just remember, we had 13,448 pupils in 1971 which was BEFORE we bought Mooney (Apollo), built Arcadia MS, built Pinebrook and added umpteen new classrooms to the existing schools in the district!

Anonymous said...

The fact that those winning elections in recent years have been almost entirly pro-school of choice, along with the fact that they have gotten GTA support during those elections speaks volumes.

SCATS said...

To 9:04PM ~~ I'm not sure I'd characterize them as "pro" schools of choice, but they certainly haven't opposed them. On the other hand, they haven't had much in the way of competition from other candidates either. As Joe Moscato discovered, you can accomplish much more off the BOE than on it.

Anonymous said...

You are wrong about GTA support.
They supported the CARE and HMO for a few years who paid their own campaigns. And recently the GTA has not bankrolled the winning candidates. The Boily camp has.
The kick-offs in the senior living apartments...remember them? That was not the union. The union does not care at all about schools of choice or each building housing a single grade across the district. They know that it does not matter who is on the board their future is set with the contracts they have which are perpetual step increases.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, Anyone that can look at the obvious waste, discrimination, unfairness, lack of educational benefit, ect. of our present system and not publicly denounce it IS pro school choice.

By the way, I have spoken to the editor of a local web publication called The Minority Reporter. His pen name is Jahaka Mindstorm. He is very interested in speaking with those willing to come forward concerning the unfairness and discrimination of schools of choice and our “lottery” system inparticular. He can be written to through this email:

SCATS, I post this information here with Mr. Mindstorm’s blessing. I have explained to him that do to having a child in the system, I'm not comfortable speaking openly with him. Hopefully somebody here may feel differently.

Anonymous said...

But that is just my point.
If the community is so dead-set against schools of choice, then why haven't they come out and voted that way, or found some candidates to run on that issue.
All you have to you would have to do is get three people on the board this year and you could easily get McCabe and McCabe and Boilly to go along.
Presto Chango no more schools of choice!

SCATS said...

To 9:20PM ~~ I don't think GTA has publicly endorsed any candidate the last few years, have they?

To 9:32PM ~~ You apparently forgot to put the email address into your comment. I'm familair with both the publication and the person behind it. We're Facebook friends ;)

To 9:36PM ~~ I think the "NO" vote shows lack of support, don't you??

Anonymous said...

HA funny Boiley will never support change in SOC his daughter is the principal at PB

Anonymous said...

Why is there not a cost analysis as to what it will cost to bus the kids to their home schools? There will still be a cost, if it take $3 to bus johnny from Latta Rd to Autumn Lane and now it will cost $1.50 to bus him to Paddy hill the savings is only a $1.50 NOT the $3. The report does not account for the costs once the child returns to homeschool thus is not a real cost savings being presented.

Also interesting that the 221,000 to bus PB students is not too costly when I recall we eliminated bussing fro PRE K and it was close to the same amount.

Why are these School of CHoice like Teflon...its politics.

SCATS said...

To 9:47PM ~~ Boily ensured West Ridge would remain open by getting a 2 yr. deal signed to put Steve's pet Family Counseling Center in there with construction by the same good ole boys construction firm we always use, Christa.

Anonymous said...

My suggestion is to let the Odyssey property revert back to the heirs of the Britton Family. (If the move to Apollo comes about) At worst, the family takes it back and has to try to sell it. The District is off the hook for all the upkeep costs. The property is nowhere near as desirable or valuable as it once was. Besides, do you really want kids going to school a few hundred yards from one of the biggest chemical plants east of the Mississippi?
Then, give Barnard to the town for $1. Think of the cost savings in upkeep alone. Instead of looking back at previous expenditures, look forward to the long term cost reductions these actions would produce.

Anonymous said...

"The union does not care at all about schools of choice"

I wonder why then, a group seeking greater compinsation for it's members wouldn't speak to the waste of money that is school of choice. Interesting.

Anonymous said...

To 4:58 They do not speak to it because they get their money no matter what the configuration.
They might be upset if the administration started to mess with the numbers of GTA staff by eliminating many programs, which is the only way we can economize since we are locked into the lucrative contracts. Then it could impact the union dues.
But in the long run the union, whether it is auto or teachers, prefers layoffs to salary concessions. They eat their young. As long as the remaining teachers are compensated mightily,they are satisfied.

Anonymous said...

Everyone knows that Odyssey could be obsorbed into the other Greece schools . "Unless you have a kid that goes there",lets save some real money . Anyone care to figure out what that would save? I tried to but I got I a migraine and my calculater broke!

Anonymous said...

You're right. The 300 at the middle school could go right into the 3 others, 100 apiece. That is 33 per grade level. The 400 high schoolers could be absorbed by the other 3 high schools at 133 apiece. That is 40 per grade level. Hey this might work.

And remember these people really want the private school experience so many of them will go to Aquinas. So that could take care of half the problem of space right there.
Now for the operating costs of the Odyssey academy. You could save the cost of all the teachers since those few extra students per grade level and that would have to go to the remaining schools would not even necessitate the staffing of another Full Time Equivalent with the class size guidelines at the secondary level. So how many teachers are at Odyssey?

And the cost of all the administrative staff there. If those students all are added to the other 3 schools there would not be the need for extra counselors or principals or assistant principals or janitors or cafeteria staff or librarians.
The supplies and equipment of Odyssey could be distributed amongst the other buildings.
It is definitely a more cost effective use of our resources. Adding that all together should come to about 1/20th of our operating budget.
And if the story was a hoax about the deed then we can sell the property. In any case we could sell it to an educational institution if the story is right. And until there is a document produced we should assume the property is ours to do with as we see fit. And if the heirs complain give it back to them and get full taxes from them per year. Win Win Win.

SCATS said...

To 2:13PM ~~ That DOES sound like a very workable idea! Great input!

Joe Moscato said...

After reviewing the report and reading comments generated on this site, I offer my comments and observations. I have a personal stake in this committee’s origin and its results. I invite you to visit Board Docs minutes of 4/3/07 and 8/14/07 meetings. There you will find my motions that had to overcome considerable opposition from some of my colleagues and the superintendent who were opposed to this initiative.

My comments deal with content and the spirit and intent by which I authored the resolution adopted by the Board on 8/14/07.

TIME FRAME – Big disappointment there, but expected. Achramovitch was opposed to this study but was told by his employer, The Board, to do it. He ignored the Board’s directive and in doing so was guilty of gross insubordination. But he had help from board members who did not tell him to proceed and the result, three years passed before O’Rourke took charge.

MAKEUP OF COMMITTEE – My motion called for participation by all parties of interest. That meant representation by those making up the various demographics of our school district. This committee makeup did not address my intent.

STUDY THE POSSIBLE CREATION OF MORE K-5 NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS, REDRAW PRESENT SCHOOL BOUNDARIES – I considered this the most important component of the motion. The spirit and intent was two-fold. Establish more 6 year schools thereby creating the same continuity and educational success enjoyed by schools of choice families and students. I and many other district employees past and present feel this would enhance the learning process by establishing a stable learning community for student and parent interaction. The present K-2, 3-5 does not lend itself to this and students and families are often split by several schools. The second component concerned the savings realized in transportation associated with the establishment of neighborhood schools. Of all the conclusions in this report, this was the most disappointing to me because if done, it would enhance the educational opportunities for all our students as well as the benefit of saving dollars. The statement that to implement K-5 would require the buildings to make changes in the bathroom facilities is a lame excuse. This district “flushes” more money down the drain in the form of excessive, bloated legal fees than the cost of a few more toilets.

OPEN ENROLLMENT – a much needed recommendation three years too late. When this is implemented, it will take several years to realize significant savings in transportation costs due to the grandfather clause which is fair. However, it is a step in the right direction.

It would be fair to say, at least in my case, that overall I was disappointed with the report as it did nothing to enhance the educational opportunities and performance of all our students which was at the heart of my resolution in the first place. Let’s just call it another “lost opportunity” as was stated five years ago by an individual commissioned to study district operation and student achievement.

Anonymous said...

I would ask why has the BOE not addressed any letter I have written in regards to the gross negligence that I see daily with the theory that all kids are "a" students.
Why has the BOE not spoken about the idea that all kids are "a' and the false praise is hurting our kids? WHy is it not OK for a middles school kid to get a "c" but is given extra credit to boost the grade so they feel good about themselves? Why have we diverted from a model of traditional teaching methods and homogenous grouping, much like that of private school and even our own school of choice programs?

The schools may have to educate who they are given, and I do not believe that the inclusion process is to be at the detriment of the majority. Why are we soft on behavior issues, and disruptive students? As a parent with kids at 3 school in the GCSD it a the one commonality that they all share no matter the grade. There are kids in out schools that are causing the learning process to come to a stand still. YOu may not be able to control what parents the child has, what they get at home, but you can create a positive classroom experience by have rules and enforcing them. THe code of conduct in this district is a JOKE!

Kids are not academic equals and should not be taught as such. Roger Boily was a teacher way back at CH when I was there, and we had, god forbid, DELPHI programs. How dare we separate the gifted? I was not in the delphi group, kids were group based on readiness and achievement, that was OK I had good teachers that worked on a lesson until it was understood, it did not seem rushed nor was I being prepped for some state test every 6 months ( exaggerated I know but you get the point) By the time I got to middles school I was taking course 1 in 8th. My point is we had methods that worked and the disruptions, fight and disrespect that infects our schools now was almost unheard of then. Schools can not be all to everyone, it is the job of the schools to educate, deal with the problem students, there is no reason that the majority of kids should suffer because it is psychologically best for the one.
Get rid of the short cut teaching tricks, the push to pass the test just to secure funding, lets suck it up as a district and stop moving forward when kids have not learned what the previous lesson was just to stay on track. Group kids at similar stages together maybe then the kids could really have a chance to grasp and retain the information for longer than a NYS test. And seriously stop letting the parents that want to shelter their kids from the world we live in dictate what is discussed in schools. My kids have had no class discussion regarding Egypt, Iran, and really nothing on current events. We are a global community we should start teaching and thinking like one!

Anonymous said...

Yep. Let's dismantle the only part of GCSD that gets national attention for being excellent.

SCATS said...

To 9:54PM ~~ Don't go insulting J-Mac like that!

SCATS said...

To 9:25PM ~~ Many of the issues you brought up are items we've discussed on this BLOG at different times. I agree with most of what you said. Just an FYI, but Joe Moscato is no longer on the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Make all the Greece schools great and everyone will be happy to send their kids to their assigned schools.

SCATS said...

To 9:23AM ~~ THAT is the root of the entire issue ;)