Friday, March 18, 2011

Greece Central Schools Perform Poorly On Regents

  
Business First provided the cumulative regents ranking for Rochester area school districts, ranked according to their cumulative performances on 2010 Regents exams. In the list, Greece Central Schools ranked 51 out of 67 schools. In Monroe County, Greece Central ranked 17th out of 18.

Why is it that rural poor areas can have a higher ranking than Greece Central? In the Superintendent’s proposed budget to the Board of Education he indicated that the number Greece families below the poverty rate is 6.3%. While 1% is too many, the excuse that we always hear is that Greece is changing and becoming a city. This certainly is not true with the 6.3% number.

Remember, with the Superintendent’s proposed budget 79.5 teachers are being cut, while knowing the low academic ranking of Greece Regents results.

Cut the teachers while keeping three elementary schools open that could be closed to save money.

Trivia Questions:

Why are our Regents scores so low?

Why is it more important to cut teachers than save money by closing elementary school?

Why is it that 13 suburban school districts can rank in the top 22 districts while Greece ranks 51st?

What keeps the excess elementary schools untouchable?

Sincerely,
Doug Skeet

SCATS ~~ You asked some great questions. Unfortunately, our school board members have shown us they don't have a clue about WHAT they are doing, WHY they are doing it, or even that it is THEIR JOB TO DO!

25 comments:

Anonymous said...

Doug,

Problem with your logic. You remark, "Cut the teachers while keeping three elementary schools open that could be closed to save money." If you close three schools, what do you think happens to all the teachers in those schools?? They get cut. For a former principal, you don't seem to understand something pretty basic.

SCATS said...

To 7:30PM ~~ You've failed to understand that MORE TEACHERS WILL BE CUT BY KEEPING ALL THE SCHOOLS OPEN! If we close several schools, we'll downsize appropriately to service the student population we have, instead of eliminating positions to get to the budget the BOE wants to pander. There's a big difference in those strategies, not the least of which is that NEXT YEAR, the BOE will likely be slashing more teachers again. The reason is that until they right-size the district, we're wasting beaucoup $$$$$!!

Anonymous said...

Scats,

You seem to think the BOE wants to keep half-empty buildings open.
Why would they want to do that?

Anonymous said...

Do a little research - rural poor do worse than city poor everywhere in America. There are numerous studys, articles, etc that point this out. I don't want to give anything away while you actually investigate this Doug - but it has something to do with culture.

Anonymous said...

To 7:30 PM

Please, come on. If you close a school where do you think the students go for their education. Close a school with 300 students. For easy figuring, 25 students per teacher or 12 classroom teachers. The district would need to KEEP the 12 classroom teachers. They would NOT be cut. The students and the 12 teachers would be assigned to other Greece elementary schools.

What you would NOT need is the principal, vice principal, librarian, art, PE, vocal and instrumental music teacher, counseler, speech and language teacher, nurse, sec., aides, cafe worker cleaners, shorter bus routes, fuller buses, lower heating cost, lower maintainance cost. Much lower overhead cost. The building could be sold or leased out to produced income for the district. Schools are not efficent when half filled with students.

The buildings were designed for over 600 students. Many schools are between 300-400 students. Kirk Rd. and Brookside are just over 300 students.

Sorry, you are not correct, when you close a school all the teachers DO NOT get cut as you have stated. After a school or schools are closed, the remaining schools are educating the students and at a lower cost per student.

Sincerely

Doug Skeet

SCATS said...

To 8:40PM ~~ As discussed previously, it allows them to continue having schools-of-choice.

Katrina said...

Because they are idiots and don't want to upset "some" parents. And because of this they are tempting to ruin all the kids education!!

SCATS said...

To 9PM ~~ Maybe you missed the part where it says that the rural poor outperformed Greece ;)

Anonymous said...

I wonder what the effect of closing three schools would have on class size in the remaining schools. If the budget situation is as dire as indicated, I bet the class sizes will increase up to the contractual class size limits - and some of the teachers from those three closed schools will be closed. Skeet shooter is wrong. There's no way you close three schools and not lay off teachers. I;'m not sure Greece will want the schools they're left with - I'm not sure that Greece wants the schools they have now - I'm not sure Greece knows what it wants.

Anonymous said...

To Scats at 9:42 and Katina at 9:44,

You actually believe that the BOE is interested in wasting money and ruining the education of the children of Greece?

Perhaps they are just aware that buildings can't be closed because of the increase of special education students and the need to have smaller classes for each of their IEPs. Perhaps they are just aware of the need to keep the building open to account or the expected growth in elementary school population over the next five years.
Perhaps they are just aware that closing buildings and redistricting every two years will be more traumatic and costly than the alternative. Perhaps they can think of something more profound than "schools of choice bad, Charlie Hubbard good"(no offense to Charlie)

SCATS said...

To 9:55PM ~~ How much over the recommended class sizes by O'Rourke are the contractual class sizes? I think he plans to put them very near those limits anyway.
The teachers who get laid off will mostly be teachers of the things Doug Skeet already mentioned: art, music, library, phys ed. etc.

To 11:09PM ~~ What I believe is that the BOE would rather keep quiet the special interest groups that tend to vote yes regardless the cost. School-of-choice parents make up a large group, so they will be pandered to while the entire district is made to suffer.

Anonymous said...

The most vocal and involved parents are the high school sports parents and the school of choice parents. They are the ones the board and administration need to keep quiet and happy. They have succeeded in that with the proposed cuts to the elementary librarians and school day and shorter specials of art music and library. Notice that in the past if there was talk of cutting ANYTHING there would be PTA and parental outcry. Not this time. That is because they have for the most part sequestered and isolated and segregated the most potential complainers into the sacred schools of choice. Even though their specials and school day are also affected they are happy because they still are separate and "better" and feel special. And the sports at the varsity level are untouched so as not to hurt the photo ops when the students sign on to their colleges with the coach at their side.
And the school buildings should be closed and sold. The board is just not up to the task lacking courage and competence.

Charlie Hubbard said...

We are NOT concerned about these educational results - why? - because you Mr.+ Mrs. Taxpayer gave everyone responsible for producing those test scores a raise. SMART!!!

As to the schools of choice; If you think it is good for our community to be divided this way then continue to sit back and do nothing - you'll fit right in with this school board. Thanks to yet another worthless study and more useless and phony committees another year goes by with nothing done.

chubbard005@rochester.rr.com

The emporer is naked said...

According to Greece's web site, "The Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment- Secondary Schools provides support to the seven secondary school campuses on the various programs and services leading to improved student learning outcomes."

How is it that Dr. Ann Mitchel continues to be employed in Greece, given the lack of "improved student learning outcomes"?

Anonymous said...

I hope we all keep in mind that as important as the number of teachers cut, is just which teachers get cut. Unions and state laws which support those unions are the primary decision makers in deciding who gets cut. There is no reason to expect that after the cuts, that the better teachers will remain. Sad, but true. I think changing those kind of rules is a more important banner to wave in the long run.

Also: in the past they have talked about "postions cut". In one recent year, at least one third of those "positians" cut was not currently occupied. In other words, far fewer people actaully lost their job. The language this year is a little loosy-goosie so I don't really know how many tachers may actually loose a job. Perhaps someone in the know, or some reporter can get this cleared up.

Anonymous said...

As a parent concerned with the distribution of resources in our district I agree with Mr Skeet. I can see that some may loos e jobs but many will not. If a PE teacher is already FTE at an elementary school before merging the SOC kids there will be a need for another PE teacher, perhaps a part time or traveling one. The merging of schools does not eliminate all positions unilaterally.

I have a child in secondary option and fully support ending of all choice so that money be retained for educational costs not feel good programs.

Anonymous said...

Scats said:
"The teachers who get laid off will mostly be teachers of the things Doug Skeet already mentioned: art, music, library, phys ed. etc"

Saving money by closing schools could keep layoffs proportional to the number of schools closed.

e.g. 2 or 3 music, art & library teachers instead of 13 music 6 art teachers & 6 librarians.

This could make the layoffs sensible and limited to the "low hanging fruit", and allowing the tree to remain in tact.

The problem, unfortunately, is that despite years of declining enrollments and tough budgets, the district has failed to develop any cogent plan for redistricting in the event of a monetary crisis such as the one we have now.

The children and special area teachers didn't create this problem, but it looks as though they are the ones who will pay the most.

SCATS said...

To 7:28AM ~~ I agree with your observations. I've forgotten to include the sports boosters in with the school-of-choice group. It's just another case of the tail wagging the dog, and everyone pays for it, both educationally & monetarily.

SCATS said...

To 9:09AM ~~ It no longer matters now that she will be retiring in June.

To 10:05AM ~~ After they get their budget in order, all you have to do is compare the number of teachers in the budget to the 1100 they had in the budget this past year. I hear your message though. Using attrition but announcing "cuts" is typical of this less than honest BOE.

To 11:54AM ~~ Proportional is correct. I've stated that before, thank you. You are also correct that the BOE has no "plan." They don't even plan to get a plan, but I can assure you they are willing to study the need to plan to get a plan and might also form a committee, hire a consultant ...

Anonymous said...

Garbage in = garbage out.

Anonymous said...

It will be easier for her to find a superintendent job elsewhere if she can "retire" or otherwise disassociate herself from what she did in Greece.

It worked for Steve A.

Anonymous said...

Math:
The larger the school population the more closly you can optimize the teachers and classrooms. For example: if in small schools you need 1.6 4th grade rooms you hire 2 teachers and have two class rooms. Three of those schools would require 6 teachers and 6 classrooms.

If in a larger school your need 4.8teachers you hire 5 and have five classrooms. That's a 17% reduction in teachers and classrooms. Add on a 50-150% reduction in admin costs and you start to get real big numbers. How about three elementarty schools, one in each of three geographies. Go for it.

SCATS said...

To 11:48AM ~~ Explained well, thank you!

Anonymous said...

3/18/11 9:00 PM Thank you for your suggestion that I do a little research. The point is I have done a little research, as I have stated "Why is it that rural poor areas can have a HIGHER ranking than Greece Central"

SCATS did not have enough room to list all 67 greater Rochester area school districts. I will list a few for your benefit. Remember Greece was ranked 51/67. Now look at the following:
Red Creek 11/67
Bath 12/67
Williamson 18/67
Arkport 21/67
Seneca Falls 24/67
Dalton-Nuda 26/67
Marcus Whitman 27/67
Naples 28/67
Livania 31/67
Wayne 32/67
Lyons 37/67
Prattsburgh 42/67
Wayland-Cohocton 43/67
Odesa-Montour 48/67
Mount Morris 50/67

Please look at some of the school districts list above. They all scored higher than Greece.

Now writer 9:00 PM Let ask you a question, What do you mean when you say that the findings in your research shows that poor rural students perform lower on tests than city students do to their "culture"? What are you really saying?

In addition, please show me ONE academic research paper that says poor rural students don't perform well because of their "culture"

3/20/11 12:40 PM

Nice Job!! Nice Job!! Well written and that is why the K-2, 3-5 orgainization is more cost effective. You have larger student numbers in each grade level, verus two elementary schools orgainized k-5, thus fewer teachers are required as explained in your MATH.

Parents like neighorhood K-5 schools but they are more expensive.

Sincerely

Doug Skeet

SCATS said...

PLEASE NOTE ~~ Doug Skeet is correct. He provided the entire list of 67 school districts but it was bulky to post, especially since GCSD was just one of the 67. Everyone should be questioning our performance, it's pathetic!