Monday, February 14, 2011

Why Schools-Of-Choice Won't Be Touched By the Budget Axe

 
I just finished reading the report by the Attendance Committee. What an eyeful I got, especially the comments from the December Forum held on School Choice! For your consideration, I've picked out several comments that are quite revealing about how these schools are viewed by those that work in or whose children attend them. The comments in quotes reveal the underlying threats about why these schools won't be touched.

Comments From Dec. 2010 School Choice Forum
  • A West Ridge parent ~~ more stability (this comment was echoed by the masses.
  • A parent of 4 attending Odyssey ~~ Odyssey is a private school in a public system.
  • Pinebrook principal ~~ planning across grade levels; k-5 structure fosters parental involvement; fewer school transitions
  • Several parents ~~ Would transport their kids or pay more to keep their kids (and the transportation) to a school-of-choice. They acknowledge the greater expense.
From the Written Comments:
  • "If passed budgets are something the district wants, it seems silly to do something completely against what the majority of the pro-budget voters want. Say goodbye to passed budgets with any change to schools of choice."
  • "Do not eliminate school of choice it will be political suicide and more families will move out of the school district."

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good article in the D&C this morning on the recommendations. If they got it right, it is a good start. Of course, the people affected will try to prevent the changes going through, but that is always the case. "Cut the budget, but don't affect me." Except for the lower taxes, of course.
One of the surprising comments attributed to Frank Oberg was, "With no evidence that offering choices enhances academics..." Scats, that's what your blog has been asking the BOE to use as a decision metric for years!

Anonymous said...

If more families will "move out of the district" with the elimination of school of choice, I'm curious were they would be going. In other words, where else would they find such a ridiculous system? To my knowledge, the City of Rochester is the only other local district run the same way.

The system is a scam, and anyone that buys into it is a direct beneficiary or stupid!

SCATS said...

To 8:38AM ~~ Well, Oberg was an avid reader of SCATS until he became BOE Prez and drank the Kool-Aid.

To 9:06AM ~~ It's just part of the underlying threat by the aristocracy in Greece ;)

Anonymous said...

Parents saying they would pay more for the system to stay in place is a joke. Promising that you would be willing to something THAT YOU KNOW CAN'T EVER BE ASKED OF YOU is comical at best.

The other issue about parents willing to provide their kid's own transportation is just more proof that certain demographics are almost non-existant at those schools. Promising to provide transportation isn't such a HUGE commitment from a stay at home mother from North Greece. Ask a mother from English Village, who takes an RTS bus to work, if she would transport her kids to their school of choice!

It is the ultimate class system of have and have not's, and we all get stuck paying for it.

SCATS said...

To 8:38AM ~~ I just read the D&C article, and I'm amazed at how badly the reporter got the whole sibling rule issue confused. She talks about elimination of "the legacy sibling rule" at schools-of-choice. At the bottom of pg. 16 the committee recommends that the sibling rule be maintained for schools-of-choice. Am I wrong??

Anonymous said...

Well said 9:22am. I'd add that the large numbers sitting on the wait lists are duped into silence on the hope their kid's number might come up. They've got a better chance of hitting it big with a lottery scratch off ticket than on a waiting list for Pinebrook. Speaks volumes about Greece, don't it?

Charlie Hubbard said...

I can think of no issue that has divided this community more than schools of choice.
That was the biggest reason Walts wanted to keep it after the 'need' was no longer there.
Divide, divide, divide then you can do whatever you want and there won't be enough of those left over to speak up about anything.
YES - it was by design and it worked.

Anonymous said...

Scats
I sent a note to Ms McDermott and she stands by her claim that the super would recommend eliminating the sibling rule.
I listened to the board meeting last Tuesday and certainly came away with the opposite understanding and reading the posted report seems to confirm that the sibling rule would be left untouched.
But maybe she knows something no one else does

SCATS said...

To 11:28AM ~~ Are you referring to the voices in her head?

Anonymous said...

Good start; I want to urge the board to adopt the recommendations and send the next superintendent back to the drawing board for more changes.

Anonymous said...

First of all no matter what, the budgets will never be passed. Let's hope the governor gets his way and a defeated budget must be put before the voters a 2nd time before they go to austerity.
Then the austerity budget will have a cap. Eventually there will be only students that are bussed to a school with only union employees and there will be no supplies or equipment.
If the unions do not give concessions, there will be no choice except to eliminate all non-mandated programs. Slowly that will happen. The economy is very slowly turning around but we are a wiser group of spenders and will never give away the store the way they have to the unions for the last 30 years. Just because last xmas season was good for the stores, do not think that translates into more generous money for the public sector. Not happening.

Anonymous said...

Apparently Ms McDermott reads your blog.
I received a snarky email directing me to the GCSD Website. And I found there a fact sheet on the recommendations of the Interim Sup.
Apparently he is suggesting an end to sibling priority at Schools of Choice.
I stand corrected.
I am pretty sure the super left that out of his presentation though.

Anonymous said...

The best thing about the D&C is how well it absorbs liquids!

The damn soy ink renders it near useless as a packing material.

Anonymous said...

1:07

Could you please give the readers here a cut and paste of that section? Thank you.

Any recommendations, no matter how satisfying they may seem to the rest of us whose children were not accepted because of the "legacy group" of siblings, will disappear when the interim superintendent is replaced. Especially since he recommended them to start with the 2012-2013 school year. The new superintendent should want to try fix the district on his own.

Also what is snarky?

SCATS said...

To 1:07PM ~~ Yes, of course she reads this BLOG. It's how she gets most of her ideas for what she writes ;) I even have proof of it. As for the fact sheet, it wasn't there when this thread was started and he did NOT include eliminating the sibling rule in his recommendations to the BOE. Had he done so, there would have been a backlash by now.

To 2:50PM ~~ It states:

Eliminate Sibling Priority at Schools of Choice

STATUS:. Proposed

Acceptance to one of the district’s three Schools of Choice would be for one child only. Younger siblings wishing to attend a School of Choice would have to apply and be accepted through the lottery process individually.

SCATS said...

To 1:07PM ~~ I received a snarky email as well. I think I'll be taking it up with her boss, too. It has "Yes, you are wrong" in the subject area with nothing inside except the D&C logo & her contact info. I believ this shows all our previous complaints about her poor reporting were on mark since she never responded to them at all ;)

Anonymous said...

Snide and sarcastic; usually out of irritation.

Snarky. I wonder who is doing the irritating.
And why did the reporter have the fact sheet and not the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

Let me see if I'm getting this straight...We are looking at eliminating open enrollment and bussing outside the school attendance zone in order to reduce the transportation budget, but we will possibly be sending multiple busses to pick up siblings in the same household because they want to do away with the sibling rule?

SCATS said...

To 3:43PM ~~ Anyone who knows me knows my sense of humor is often sarcastic. I can see both sides to most any issue and look for irony.

The truth about the fact sheet is that it wasn't posted until today on the GCSD website. The reporter went back and added it into her online version of today's story on the subject after it was posted. Notice how once again, her story is ONE WEEK AFTER THE BOE MEETING. She waits until SCATS posts a story idea, gathers comments & discussion so she can then easily decide how to write her take on the item at hand. Today, she even lifted her use of the word "legacy" from a reader's comment left this past weekend. Right Meaghan? ;)

Anonymous said...

I see she has been called out in the comment section of the online article. It is a reply to a comment she posted. I wonder if she dares to answer.

SCATS said...

To 4:38PM ~~ If she does, it will probably be to omit the person's comment who called her out ;)

Anonymous said...

"If more families will "move out of the district" with the elimination of school of choice, I'm curious were they would be going. In other words, where else would they find such a ridiculous system? "

Only the schools of choice are on a par with most other suburban districts. So parents wouldn't be leaving for a better "system" - they'd be leaving for Pittsford, Webster, etc. to prevent their kids from having to go to Apollo.

SCATS said...

To 5:40PM ~~ The most dreaded school in town is Olympia, not Apollo ;)

Anonymous said...

I'll be honest - sending our kids to Odyssey saved us a ton of money. They were going to Kearney or Aquinas if they didn't go to Odyssey, or maybe we would have moved. I would not have felt like they would have been prepared for college in the other high schools.

My oldest, who's now 22, was accepted there in 6th grade (not as long a waiting list back then), and my other two children have followed do to the sibling rule. One's in college now and the other is still there, so he's exempt from the change. Nah nah. Thanks, Greece taxpayers for the private education!

Anonymous said...

My biggest question is why keep Pinebrook and Westridge as schools of choice? How are they justifying it? Is it the K-5 experience? If so.... why not open Longridge as a school of choice. I wonder what kind of waiting list they would have.

Anonymous said...

5:40, If they could afford to be in those towns, they'd already be gone.

SCATS said...

By the way folks, it turns out that this "FACT SHEET" wasn't created until today and then it was updated later today! So when we were all listening to last week's BOE meeting, it is true that O'Rourke never mentioned the sibling rule as being potentially eliminated. And where did Ms. Part-time Reporter come up with the notion that Odyssey's student body will be comprised by one-third each of students coming from the three new high school zones created under the plan? I see no reference to that anywhere else, not in the Attendance Committee report or the Fact Sheet.

To 4:38PM ~~ I see that the person doing the calling out is supposed to appear to be a former BOE member. It appears someone has partially copied his name into an ID to use on the D&C site. I'm pretty sure it's NOT him who wrote those comments. It doesn't sound like him at all. In fact, it sounds just like the person who tried to represent themself as "cannedclams2" on here a couple years ago, in a tangle on the same topic (schools-of-choice) and with the same reporter.

Anonymous said...

SCATS, My hope is that you'll delete this rather than post it. I didnt know of any other way of contacting you. I would also prefer you delete the second part of your post at 11:05 on this thread.


SCATS, I wrote the post on the D&C page that your refering to. To be clear, I have never been a member of any board of education. Who you are refering to when you mention that my D&C screen name appears to be similar to? Is that what she meant when she wrote Charlie? I would have thought my earlier mention on the D&C about parents with kids in the district, like me, not wanting to speak publicly on certain issues, would have clarified that. The similarities between my screen name there and that other person are simply coincidence, and nothing more. Honestly I was a little bothered and surprised that you seemed to make that leap, even speculating that I would try to impersonate or copy. I know you said "it appears", but it just comes off looking bad. The canned clams 2 thing lost me all together.

SCATS said...

To 8:17AM ~~ I gave thought to your request to not post your comment, as I've done for many before, but decided against it this particular time. Since you are anonymous, I see no harm coming your way from my decision. It's important for people to not be misled by such similarities, whether intentional or not. I think it's good to know it wasn't the former BOE member who wrote that. By the way, you can always email me at cannedclams@aol.com

Anonymous said...

I am typically a supporter of yours SCATS, but posting something that someone came right out and said they didn’t want up seems low. It seems like he or she was trying to reach out to you to clarify something, and you betrayed them. Looks as though they were trying to explain something to you only. Sometimes asking yourself, “what can it hurt?” isn’t enough. Sometimes you might ask yourself, “what’s there to gain?”. Just saying.

SCATS said...

To 4:31PM ~~ As I stated before, I typically don't post things when that request is made. In this particular case I wanted to be absolutely clear that people knew the apparent "coincidence" was not the person people had presumed that moniker represented. In fact, I'm having a really tough time believing it was just coincidence, also a large factor in my decision to post it. Also, I thoroughly considered the fact that I found nothing terribly revealing in the comment that was posted. Given that, I really don't feel that anyone was "betrayed." That's my opinion. Just sayin' ...

And for the record, once I post my own comments on here, I am not aware of any way of editing out a select portion. I can delete the entire entry, but that's it. I wasn't going to do that so it stays put, too.

SCATS said...

To whom it may concern ~~ RE: Censorship

Yes, of course we censor when necessary. It's gotta be done. We censor for name-calling, bullying, most swearing, speculating about SCATS' and our helper's identities, debating our editorial decisions, naming individuals in posts that have no reason to be made newsworthy, nonsense remarks and/or one-liners, yada, yada, yada. Keeping the focus on the issues in some semblance of a sane fashion is the purpose. We'd also like to avoid going to court, capisce? We realize we can't satisfy everyone all of the time, so at the end of the day, our goal is to sleep soundly. And we do ;)