Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Another School Choice Meeting ... More Elitism ...

   
From YNN: Paul Hodges, a parent, says he has two students at Greece Odyssey Academy, a School Choice school. He believes the program should stay the way it is.

"Sibling priority allows families to stay together and when families aren't able to stay together that becomes really a constraint upon the family," said Hodges. "I think the School of Choice program as is, should stay quite frankly."

'WAITING FOR SUPERMAN' ~ "There is this unbelievable willingness to turn a blind eye to the injustices that are happening to kids every single day in our schools, in the name of harmony amongst adults." (Michell Rhee, Chancellor Wash. DC Schools)

SCATS ~~ Last night, we heard a large group of highly paid public school administrators, all possessing advanced college degrees, work cooperatively to construct dozens upon dozens of hurdles, roadblocks & other obstacles in an orchestrated & concerted effort to PREVENT CHANGE in Greece schools! After 2 hours of time in the BOE meeting room, the ONLY "good news" was they had uncovered the lie we were told years ago about our elementary schools having been retrofitted (bathrooms, chalkboards heights, etc.) when the change was made to a K-2/3-5 grade structure.
     

59 comments:

Anonymous said...

Typical coming from one of the "chosen" who won the lottery. Your family doesn't have to deal with the mess of having kids in different schools that the rest of us, "common folk" do. It is unfair and unnecessary. Back to K-5 or 6 neighborhood schools!

SCATS said...

To 10:18AM ~~ Yup, interpreted his remarks mean: " 'F' you! I won the lottery & with one stroke of luck, ALL of my kids are winners too." Nice, huh?

Anonymous said...

The reality is if parents choose not to attend a SOC the siblings stay together so the sibling rule is mute. If you choose for something out of the norm home zone school then oh well. I am so sick of the SOC issue end it once and for all!

SCATS said...

To 12:46PM ~~ The reality is that the sibling rule is very much a factor in keeping a couple over-subscribed schools (esp. Pinebrook, but now Odyssey, too)full to capacity with a wait list of MANY hundreds who will never have that option.

Another reality is that we have a lot of uneducated people shooting their mouths off on a subject they don't fully understand.

And the final reality (for today) is that every time you write in, you use the WRONG WORD to express your thoughts, thereby detracting from any point you try to make. Please look up "mute" in the dictionary. Then phone a friend and ask for help ;)

Anonymous said...

There's even better whiny quotes from SOC parents in today's D&C, not to mention O'Toole spouting off that it will be only saving "a few pennies on the tax rate". By my very rough calculations only 12% of Greece's students benefit from this arrangement. I don't understand how this very small (but loud) group can sway opinion that much.....

Anonymous said...

These folks don't want their kids rubbing elbows with minorities. The proof is in the numbers that fled Parkland and Brookside when Pinebrook opened. Check it out.

Charlie Hubbard said...

Just a reminder - schools of choice were started to eliviate boundry changes - those problems no longer exist. So now they are no longer 'needed' but are 'wanted' (by some). We know there are additional costs - does it matter how much? Would it be wrong to include into those costs the cost of open enrollment? Open enrollment came about as a result of schools of choice. Law suits were looming because the district was providing transportation to those who 'chose' to go to a school of choice but when others wanted to go to another school than their home school they were told they would have to provide their own transportation. Some parents said WHOA whats gives here and the district showing their usual lack of respect for taxpayers said go whereever you want WE will provide transportation HOWEVER no sports at Odyssey to counter the additional transportation costs - which of course became yet another lie.

So you can dance all you want but choices are going to have to be made. Do we want more lay-offs or spend our 'limited' money on transportation?
Are we going to address our 'needs' or our 'wants'?
We have kicked the can down the road far too long. The time has come to grow a backbone.
Time to make a decission.

Anonymous said...

Michelle Ree has been discredited and fired.

SCATS said...

To 6:28PM ~~ You're wrong. She was NOT fired. She resigned her position and then formed a new organization called Students First to promote educational reform. It is true that she is scorned by the teacher's union. What else is new?

Anonymous said...

They make no effort to reach minorities when schools of choice are decided. They also do not point out that Pinebrook scores better on math and science tests than do "graduates" of the "math and science" school of choice.
Only those smart enough to look at the data know enough to sign up for which school. Come on now!

SCATS said...

To 5:14AM ~~ You mean you don't believe admin. who claims they even made visits to homes trying totwist people's arms into applying?

A comment I saw posted on the D&C site yesterday about SOCs rang true in a rather evil way: " They are more in demand because the thugs don't have the ambition to get into them." Today, I see someone has spoken back to this person.

Anonymous said...

a new mayor was elected in DC who made it clear he would not keep Rhees.

SCATS said...

To 4:59PM ~~ So then it was actually political pressure that caused her to resign. That's quite a leapfrog away from getting "fired."

Anonymous said...

1 in 5 ( 17%) charter schools do better than traditional public schools. That means that 83% do worse or no better than traditional public schools.

http://credo.stanford.edu

Stanford, CA – "A new report issued today by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes
(CREDO) at Stanford University found that there is a wide variance in the quality of the nation’s
several thousand charter schools with, in the aggregate, students in charter schools not faring as
well as students in traditional public schools.
While the report recognized a robust national demand for more charter schools from parents and
local communities, it found that 17 percent of charter schools reported academic gains that were
significantly better than traditional public schools, while 37 percent of charter schools showed
gains that were worse than their traditional public school counterparts, with 46 percent of charter
schools demonstrating no significant difference".

Anonymous said...

We have 2 children at Odyssey, one in 6th and one in 9th grade. It was our choice to have the children in this school and we are glad for the decision. We do not get anymore advantages than the rest of the middle and high schools, in fact there are fewer electives. But that does not bother us as we are so pleased with the academics.
Maybe those of you that are displeased should try to get the board to create another school of choice. That should be easy since it doesn't cost more to educate in this school. And I have heard from my PTA that the Apollo building is going to be used for Odyssey in September 2012 so that should increase the enrollment. The children currently at Apollo will be housed in the empty areas of Olympia.

Anonymous said...

Please add spell check to help few of us out.

Anonymous said...

Re: Rhees - fired of quit is semantics. She failed in DC and they wanted her out. Her numbers, much like those of Brizzard, were fudged and have since crumbled under scrutiny. Brizzard was a Rhee disciple.

"Waiting for Superman" has been discredited as well. It could not be nominated for an Oscar as a documentary because it was determined that many scenes were staged and some of the data was fabricated.

SCATS said...

To 7:15AM ~~ I'm not sure who/what you are responding to with that info. If you look through the myriad definitions of "What is a charter school?" most have elements that are very specific to Odyssey ;)

SCATS said...

To 8:32AM ~~ Re: " We do not get anymore advantages than the rest of the middle and high schools ..."

That's hogwash & you know it!
Here's a few advantages Odyssey got/has:
1 - Teachers hand picked by supt. when it opened
2 - Teachers willing to accept terms outside of the GTA contract to teach there
3 - Classes of no more than 115/per grade level to start (most shrink and stay smaller with graduating classes struggling to attain 100)
4 - Fewer electives, NO sports and fewer other extra-curriculars is one of the agreements made when this school opened to keep the focus on core academics! It IS a huge advantage! Sadly, the lie about NO sports was quickly revealed ;)
5 - District Office doesn't "plan for" ANY Special Ed students in grades 9-12!! (Must be that luck of the draw lottery thing again lol)
6 - I could go on & on ... but don't need to reiterate the scores of special treatment items bestowed upon Odyssey.

Re: "it doesn't cost more to educate in this school."

That's a load of crapple again! We know for a fact it DOES COST MORE!

Re: "I have heard from my PTA that the Apollo building is going to be used for Odyssey in September 2012 ... "

That's far from a done deal, at this point! Oddly, this very BLOG SUGGESTED THAT Odyssey be moved to Apollo several years ago! :D There is NOT adequate room at Olympia "to house" Apollo students. For this year, there are over 1800 students attending the 2 schools. No one school in Greece was ever designed to accomodate that many students ;)

Anyway, please educate yourself before putting fingers to the keyboard in the future ;)

SCATS said...

To 9:36AM ~~ Spellcheck is NOT going to pick up mistakes of the illiterate. Confusing "mute" for "moot" is just that!

To 10:04AM ~~ Semantics? Gee, when I said Achramovitch was "fired" I was "corrected" by hearing he "retired." It's a public school system. What we know for sure is that almost no one is ever fired from a public school job! In the movie they stated that:

1 in 57 doctors ever lose their licenses

1 in 97 lawyers lose theirs

1 in 2500 teachers ever lose theirs!!


Many public schools "fudge numbers." Greece is no exception there either, so most of the individual messages in the movie apply anyway!

Anonymous said...

11% free or reduced lunch kids at Odyssey...
40-50% at other schools in Greece...
Best predictor of student achievement is parents income level...
Nothing is different at the Schools of Choice - we just need to get rid of the poor kids at the other Greece schools and then they too would have better test scores... makes me sick...

Anonymous said...

SCATS at 2:42 It is a done deal about the transfer of the Odyssey to Apollo building. Plans are being made for the use of the bigger space. The students already in Apollo that will move up to 7th and 8th will stay as Apollo but there entering 6th graders for Apollo Sept 2012 will be offered the choice of going to Olympia with their classmates or starting at the bigger Odyssey. Also any of the students at Olympia may apply for the new set-up.

SCATS said...

To 4:18PM ~~ PLease note what I said earlier: "District Office doesn't "plan for" ANY Special Ed students in grades 9-12!! (Must be that luck of the draw lottery thing again lol)"

No Special Ed kids to pull down the performance measures ;)

To 5:20PM ~~ When O'Rourke was asked about the specifics involved with the overall idea and its logistics at Tuesday's meeting, none were forthcoming. He didn't have them. The BOE has NOT voted on any such plan so it can't be "a done deal." What you likely mean is it was a BACKROOM DEAL. That's shady, under-handed, illegal and a hallmark of GCSD's dysfunction so if you want to gloat about that, it doesn't paint a very pretty picture of your character.

Anonymous said...

10;04 Michelle Rhee was by no means a failure. She was in fact a true success.
The teachers union bought and paid for a new mayor to get rid of Rhee because she was making teachers accountable for the product being produced.
Imagine that, making people accountable.

Anonymous said...

Name the successes of Michele Rhee?
What did she do that you would call success?

Firing teachers and fudging test scores does not equal success in my opinion.

Anonymous said...

7:08- She exposed the teacher's union for what they represent..... selfish, arrogant, unbending .. the list is long.

She eliminated lots of BAD teachers, people who shouldn't be near kids.

Anonymous said...

That's just an opinion? No hard facts. Did this improve student achievement?

Anonymous said...

7;37 Nice posting and thank you.
Little by little people are starting to see the damage these unions are having on our kids.

SCATS said...

To 7:45PM ~~ The statement that she did nothing but fire bad teachers is also just opinion. However, it's a whole lot more than anyone has bothered doing to improve education in GCSD in a long time.

Anonymous said...

When it was tried in Greece the offending teachers cried foul and ran to the eeoc. Administration at the time was painted as evil and continue to be berated six years later...often on this very blog. Just because the cases were settled does NOT mean these people were competent educative..it DOES mean that the management of their cases could have been more respectful and dignified. Just because you don't hear about the dismissals that occur or the tenure that is denied doesn't mean it's not happening.

Anonymous said...

Why aren't the parents at Apollo being told about this plan?
So the kids in 4th grade now at Buckman will not go to Apollo for 6th grade in 2012? Unless they get into Odyssey?

SCATS said...

To 8:34AM ~~ I agree with much of what you stated. I would say that Walts' downfall was being too aggressive too fast, instead of following "the rules" better. I'd also say that at least 2 of the teachers who sued deserved to be fired as incompetent. So did Pagano-Fuller! I'm not sure that Meg wasn't evil ... I'm still not. She was definitely icy cold, not the type I want near young school kids. And last but not least, I do disagree with your last statement. When DO & the BOE want us to know someone is dismissed or denied tenure, they find a way to let us know making it a power play on their end.

SCATS said...

To 10:34AM ~~ I don't think this "plan" as stated exists. Maybe Suzie M. is brainstorming in an effort to save her school. Like I stated earlier, O'Rourke had NOTHING SPECIFIC to tell the BOE about how moving kids to Olympia, given the lack of space there to accomodate 1800+ students, would unfold. To build any addition at Olympia would take longer than the time between now & Sept. 2012 due to the permits SED would have to provide and the amount of time the architects/engineers need. All contracts must be put out for bids too.

By the way, I'm not seeing that this idea does much to shorten the wait lists.

Anonymous said...

Scats- What constitutes incompetence in your eyes? How would you know that the two teachers were incompetent? Do you even know the teachers?

How to skin a SCAT? said...

So what do we all REALLY think the vote will be at the BOE vote on the 14th?

- Will sibling priority be eliminated?
- Will Schools of Choice remain?
- Will the structure remain K-2; 3-5?
- Will transport to day cares be crutailed?
- Will ODY move to APL?

Not what you WANT to happen, what do the THINK will happen?

SCATS said...

To 12:56PM ~~ I'm fascinated that you've asked me to defend my labeling of the teachers but not of Pagano-Fuller. Let's just say I I knew quite a few of the players in the EEOC dealings.

Let me ask you:

Is it "incompetent" when a teacher sends home a handwritten spelling list where half the words are misspelled?

Is it "incompetent" when the test on that list of words is returned to the student with correctly spelled words marked wrong because they didn't match the teacher's misspellings on the handwritten list sent home?

Is it "incompetent" when that teacher refuses to adjust that student's grade and correct the list used?

Is it "incompetent" when a teacher tells a parent "I've taught the exact same curriculum for grade X for the last 10+ yrs" ... as their defense against teaching inaccurate math methods that the parent questioned?

Is it "incompetent" when a teacher "discovers" they've wrongly taught students a group of concepts in a specific subject, but are too lazy to go back and undo the damage done, even when they know those concepts lay the groundwork for all future dealings in said subject?

I could go on and on and on ... I think you'll agree that all of the above are incompetent, especially if all are attributed to one employee in a few months time. I am aware that each of those things have happened in GCSD classrooms.

However, the purpose of the examples is to show you that I can recognize incompetence, and are not meant to demonstrate that any of the individuals under discussion here necessarily did these deeds ... but then again ... ;)

SCATS said...

To 2:15PM ~~ Maybe I missed something ... has the BOE announced they plan to vote on something specific at the June 14th meeting? WHAT ?

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the examples.I will agree with you on the incompetence, but my intial question to you was if the EEOC players were incompetent? What was their incompetence (the EEOC players)?

SCATS said...

To 4:14PM ~~ I don't know all of them, but for the ones I knew, similar educational atrocities were bestowed upon their students. Were those atrocities what got them into trouble, I do not know. I wasn't the one who observed them, documented the issues, etc.

Anonymous said...

Scats- Thanks

How to skin a SCAT? said...

As I understand it the Board is to have a public meeting on the 12 School of Choice recommendations on June 7th and they will vote on them on the 14th before O'Rourke and Oberg boogie. Assume that is correct for now, back to my earlier post, what do we think the outcome will be?

Anonymous said...

Hodges has a point, what works should stay.

SCATS said...

To 5:52PM ~~ You're welcome.

To 8:34PM ~~ I don't deal with something based upon multiple assumptions, sorry. You'll have to find someone else to skin.

To 8:36PM ~~ Who is Hodges? What is his/her point? What are you saying is working?

How to skin a SCAT? said...

Not asking for just your thoughts on my earlier post @ 2:15pm. Was wondering what the entire blog feels the outcome will be of the board vote on the School of Choice proposals will be. Whenever that takes place if you refuse to believe or refuse to assume it will be on the 14th...

SCATS said...

To 10:06PM ~~ Where and when did the BOE state they were voting on the proposals at the June 14th meeting?

Anonymous said...

Could we have just one more meeting at which it is laid out exactly what the educational benefits are of the schools of choice. And please share the data to support those claims.

I suspect this would be final meeting ever needed on this subject.

Anonymous said...

Who is Hodges? A better question is Who is John Galt? :

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
SCATS said...

To 7:42AM ~~ You got off on the wrong foot with me by attempting to "correct" things I stated accurately to begin with. That's insulting, at best! Much of the rest of what you say is hogwash, so I'm not posting it until you "correct" it. Here's the lowdown:
1 - I said "when it opened." WHAT'S YOUR BEEF??
2 - Comparing Odyssey to other out of district schools and then concluding that what Odyssey does differently than other Greece schools is "not a contract violation" is an apples to coconuts comparison!
3 - The fact that Olympia has MUCH HIGHER free/reduced lunch numbers is largely because MORE OLYMPIA BOUNDARY STUDENTS GO TO ODYSSEY than from other schools! ODYSSEY IS THEIR ESCAPE HATCH!! That drives up Olympia's free/reduced lunch percentages AND IT IS A HUGE CONCERN, esp. for those who could not escape!
4 - Check out the district's PROJECTED SPECIAL ED ENROLLMENTS for Odyssey. They DO NOT PLAN FOR ANY AT HIGH SCHOOL. They do not mirror our other schools at other grades.
5 - Odyssey opened under the premise there would NOT be sports to help offset the busing costs! At times, Odyssey has offered sports other Greece schools did not have!
6 - Because Odyssey is a school-of-choice, they aren't bothered by mid-year arrivals/transfers. When students depart, the numbers go down, the classes shrink as time goes on. When has Odyssey graduated anything close to 110 students in June? THEY NEVER HAVE!

BOE VOTE, OR NOT, THIS SORE SUBJECT WILL NOT GO AWAY UNTIL IT IS APPROPRIATELY & EQUITABLY RECTIFIED.

Anonymous said...

Scats 3rd bullet..Are you saying that those who get out of Olympia are paying full lunch prices at Odyssey and those that remain in Olympia are on the reduced lunch? Why else would you propose that the opting out of OL students to OD will up the percentage of free lunch at OL? Do you think those that can afford full price lunch are the ones that apply to OD or they are the ones that win the lottery?

SCATS said...

To 11:41PM ~~ Yes for the most part, and I'm saying both. In order to win the lottery, you must first be willing to opt out, right? There was an admission by DO admin Tuesday night that they could do more to try to get poorer students to apply. The question is, why haven't they? If nothing else happens, they will now be forced to do so, thanks to a few squeeky wheels ;)

Anonymous said...

I wonder if some of the financially less fortunate families do not apply to the schools of choice because they do not identify with the current (elite) students or families there and don't want to be separated from those they know in their home school.

SCATS said...

To 10:12AM ~~ I'm sure there is some of that, but I suspect it is small in scope. People tend to stick to what they know, especially culturally.

Anonymous said...

The whole conversation about who may or may not apply to this or that school is a distraction and waste of time when you factor in the behind closed doors process by which students are "selected". Basically everyone knows a family or two that smuuuzed their way into being "selected". It's a waste of tax money and continues to divide our district!

SCATS said...

To 4:21PM ~~ Come now. Surely you believe that board member, employee and politician's kids are luckier than the darker skinned kids in town ... don't you??

Anonymous said...

Once the Odyssey building is closed there will be 4 6-12 school campuses: Athena Arcadia Olympia and Odyssey at the Apollo Building.
The attendance boundaries will be redrawn so that the schools are at capacity and we will save the operating cost of the Hoover Dr building and campus. Then we can unload both that building and the Barnard building.
The Apollo building has a capacity of 1200 so the Odyssey concept can be expanded to 160 per grade level.

SCATS said...

To 8:57PM ~~ If that happened, it would resolve less than 1/3 of the school-of-choice problems. Pinebrook makes Odyssey look like a second string selection.

How to skin a SCAT? said...

I will post my discussion starter again as 8:57pm At least started to answer my original post questions which were...

So what do we all REALLY think the vote will be at the BOE vote on the Schools of Choice initiatives?

- Will sibling priority be eliminated?
- Will Schools of Choice remain?
- Will the structure remain K-2; 3-5?
- Will transport to day cares be curtailed?
- Will ODY move to APL?

Not what you WANT to happen, what do the THINK will happen?

What are folks thoughts on these?

Anonymous said...

8:57 Hoover Dr doesn't belong to the district. We won't get a single penny if we give it up but we'll lose its use forever.