Thursday, June 16, 2011

Graduation Rates for 2010 Show District's Division

   
2006 Total Cohort - 4 Yr. Outcome as of Aug. 2010 ~~ Graduated w/Regents or Local Diploma

Arcadia HS ~~ 320 Students ~~ 86% ~~ 6% Drop-outs

Athena HS ~~ 327 Students ~~ 86% ~~ 7% Drop-outs

Olympia HS ~~ 334 Students ~~ 82% ~~ 9% Drop-outs

Odyssey  ~~ 116 Students ~~  97% ~~ 2% Drop-outs

SCATS ~~ Please don't tell me that Olympia's numbers aren't severely and negatively impacted by the fact that Odyssey draws off many of the better students who would otherwise be attending Olympia ;) Odyssey is the escape hatch for those fleeing Olympia's troubles and it has been that way for years!

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PARENT LEAVES INSIGHTFUL COMMENT ON FACEBOOK (posted w/permission, bold added)

As a parent of a child who geographically would have attended Apollo middle and Olympia high schools, I have no problem admitting that is exactly the case. After researching all of the middle and high schools in Greece, I decided the best fit for my child was going to indeed be, Odyssey Academy. I had to apply, like everyone else that lives out of that area, for my child to go there. I made phone call after call to find out exactly when the applications for SOC would be mailed out while my child was still in the 5th grade at Longridge. It was mailed to me on a Friday, I promptly filled it out and faxed it to the school that same day. I received an acceptance letter less that 2 weeks later. Do I believe that he was chosen through a random lottery? Not so much, but he is an outstanding student and I feel his educational needs will be met at this school as opposed to the others in Greece. While I'm empathetic to other parents wanting the same opportunity for their child(ren), I will not apologize or feel badly for my child having it. Had he not been chosen for Odyssey, I would have moved out of the district in search of the best school and education for my child. Perhaps the district should be more diligent in their efforts to make sure only the children that are actual residents of Greece are attending some of these other schools. Maybe then the 'quality' of the other schools in Greece may improve.
 
Shelly Weaver-Reitz  
  

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

You say: Odyssey is the escape hatch for those fleeing Olympia's troubles and it has been that way for years!

I say: Kudos to those parents for being proactive in their child's education and wanting something better for them - whether they sent them to Odyssey, Athena or Arcadia.

Anonymous said...

1:50 i say to you what about the many other parents that too want out of Olympia, are those parents and students just not as deserving as those that win the lotto? Education should not be a crap shoot.

SCATS said...

To 1:50PM ~~ Kudos? Really? Yet in listening to Odyssey parents at the phony hearing, one would come away believing that ALL GREECE SCHOOLS WERE DOING WELL!

What about those poor slobs who also wanted "something better" but end up parked on a waiting list while their kids go to a school that is artificially imbalanced by the extremely high numbers of students who are failing, from poor families, causing troubles, etc? When you siphon off the "best", you get Olympia.

Don't bother taking offense and writing in about how wonderful Olympia HS is! The reality is shown by the stats.

SCATS said...

To 2PM ~~ My point exactly! Great minds think alike ;)

To the person who tried to post a street address, what's the significance?

Anonymous said...

It's not that the education provided at Olympia is bad - but so many in the student body are of an urban culture that places no value in education. Bring every teacher, administrator, and program over from Odyssey and you would get the same results or worse.

The more urban the student body culture, the worse the kids perform (not just in Greece, but all over the country). No one has a solution because it all starts with the families.

SCATS said...

To 2:27PM ~~ "No one has a solution because it all starts with the families."

Should we just rollover & play dead then? Why don't we expect our teachers & administrators to get creative, reach out and try to inspire some of these kids? Greece is so used to playing victim and blaming parents & students. While I know that's certainly a portion of the problem, it isn't ALL of the problem. When was the last time you ever heard that the teachers screwed up? Hmm?

Anonymous said...

there are solutions to the poverty- achievement gap. It does not exist in most of europe and various asian countries to any great extent. It does start at day one for kids and requires a strong social safety net and decent health care for families.

Anonymous said...

Ruby Payne has solved the urban gap issues....google her name -- she is a well known expert in the field of closing the achievement gap for minority and underprivileged students (regardless of race).

Wendy Migliore said...

My Daughter graduated from Odyssey and I truly LOVED that school. My oldest child attended Olympia and because of all the trouble that went on there ,it was hell. I really hope that keep Odyssey open as it is an outstanding school that really promotes furthering your child's education,even AFTER they graduate.

Anonymous said...

Our BOE and anybody else watching this subject must realize that even if nothing is fixed now, this topic of debate isnt going anywhere. The call for change is just going to continue to grow. The financial situation in Greece isnt looking to improve anytime soon. This topic will only be more talked about next year, then the year after that, ect. Eventually it will probably result in some sort of lawsuit that will only further cost us. The racial/financial status of the kids being chosen in a secret lottery smells strongly of potential problems.

Anonymous said...

Great story Wendy, any more insight? Too bad for the children left at Olympia who end up with a greater ratio of fellow students around them, so your little girl can get a private education on my dime. Guess what dear, the girls at Nazarath Academy also get a great education....you know why? Because the kids at Olympia don't go there either.

SCATS said...

To 5:59PM ~~ Let's not bash too hard on Wendy for telling us what we already knew. I do fully understand WHY parents choose Odyssey over Olympia (in particular). Everyone wants their kid to actually survive HS in one piece.

My question for Wendy is: What do you mean by how Odyssey "promotes furthering your child's education,even AFTER they graduate"? What do they do?

Anonymous said...

Nazareth high school closed. Keep up.

Anonymous said...

I recently found out a young man I know went to OA. Nice guy but really OA failed him! There are numerous reasons why I think he did not get a good sound education- very sad. He was/is not prepared for college or work. He is just one 20 something but I'm sure there are others from all our schools. Let's not pretend that graduation equals success even from OA.

SCATS said...

To 7:52PM ~~ That's another dirty, but not little, secret about public education that no one cares to discuss. Each year, thousands graduate, go to college and begin taking classes in ... can you guess? REMEDIAL ENGLISH & MATH!! It's a veritable epidemic too! And then within a couple of years, many of these poorly prepared kids who were urged to go to college by their teachers, the ones who gave them the grades to achieve "high honor roll" status, end up DROPPING OUT! The wasted money on scholarships for kids who do NOT complete college is HUGE! Some politicians are starting to take note.

Anonymous said...

Greece as a town is a failure, stop kidding yourselves that it is any different. If anyone cared they would vote these polple out a long with the clowns at the town hall.

Anonymous said...

I don't have any kids in school
Without engaging in negative stereotypes I owuld like to hear more about the problms at OLympia.

We need a group to form a postive plan to improve Olympia now

Anonymous said...

Compare School Report Cards
We need to speak to the problem of Race and economic status. Everyone is afraid to address the real problems.

2009-2010 Olympia HS
Eligible for Free Lunch - 31%
Reduced-Price Lunch - 14%
Black or African American - 14%

2009-2010 Odyssey Academy
Eligible for Free Lunch - 10%
Reduced-Price Lunch - 6%
Black or African American - 5%

Anonymous said...

Just a thought: Any family that qualifies for free lunch and currently has kids in a school with a high % of disadvantage kids (say over 50%) should get priority admittance to SOC. It would still be families opting-in to SOC and would help the "home" school too.
Another thought: Have three hats for the lottery system 1. free lunch kids 2. reduced lunch kids and 3. not eligible kids. Names should be pick according to current district wide poverty rates. If it is 40% than 40% of the names picked should be from the first two hats.
Low income kids are some of the kids that would benefit the most from a smaller school environment. The sibling rule perpetuates the current racial and socioeconomic disparities.

SCATS said...

To 10:48PM ~~ The problems at Olympia have been simmering for years. Among them, there are fights, problems with gangs, disruptive students, racial tension and higher numbers of students receiving free/reduced lunches due to lower family incomes.

Anonymous said...

It is the concentration of poverty that has the most negative impact on achievement. We need to understand that and realize leaving parkland at 66% disadvantage kids and pinebrook at 11% is simply wrong. Same with Olympia High -over 30% kids on free lunch- not good for anyone.

Anonymous said...

I'm still waiting for someone to prove that there are tons of economically disadvantaged and black students applying for the Odyssey lottery and not getting in. Are they? Maybe. But I'm not ready to jump to a conspiracy theory just yet. I posted a while back regarding my experience at the informational meeting aimed at 5th graders and their parents. While I don't know the finances of the attendees, I can cetainly attest to the fact that there was only 1 black family present. I will also say that my child did get into Odyssey because we are in the attendance area. That said, I have 2 black neighbors with children eligible to attend due to the proximity to the school and they have both declined. When I asked why, it wasn't because they saw the school as elitist (because if any reader thinks the neighborhood is all that, I encourage you to buy my house!) or because it was anti-minority. No, both families would prefer their kids go to a high school where they will have the chance to play football. Again, I'm not saying there isn't a big secret concerning the lottery, but I also think that these 2 families may in fact be indicative of why the school population looks the way it does.

SCATS said...

To 3:13PM ~~ Your entire theory boils down to people, minority people, choosing Olympia for a chance to play football. While your neighbors may have desired that, there are only a certain number that will get to be on the team, so I suspect your theory really doesn't tell us much ... other than what your neighbors wanted ;)

THERE IS NO GOOD REASON FOR HOLDING THE LOTTERY IN SECRET.

I've seen NO CALL to make it public, most especially NOT by Odyssey attendees. Holding a public lottery would be so easy to do and would remove one element of unfairness. The fact it hasn't been changed over 20 yrs. leads me to believe there IS SOMETHING STINKY ABOUT HOW THE LOTTERY IS "WON."

Anonymous said...

Duh! Stressed families do not apply for "special" schools at least not in large enough numbers to be "randomly" picked from a hat. Educational Professionals KNOW this!!! It still does not make it right what has been allowed to happen here!!!!

Anonymous said...

Some people don't want to go where they are not wanted. They don't like to be characterized as wanting the school with the football or with other kids that look like them. Maybe your neighbors didn't want to go to a school where they would have no friends.
And just because you don't like where your house is located does not minimize the elitism of the school that exists in that industrial area. That was the reason that campus was chosen in the first place. There were some accidents at the neighbor just to the north (one involving closing the Greece schools for a day and evacuating) and the building and grounds became suspect. The district wanted to take the facility offline but were too greedy to give it up for free. So that was chosen to house the elite. They figured you couldn't complain about the toxins since you chose to be there. And they were right that many years ago. LOL. Problem solved.
When was the latest lottery held? Were there observers or was it done in complete secret?

Anonymous said...

To 3:50 pm: Maybe you should watch "Waiting for Superman" before you make such an overgeneralization.

Anonymous said...

Well,Olympia ditched a special ed teacher last year who worked on getting students to graduate with all her ability and those students were greatful in the end. That could be why the graduation rate stinks. Another great job by Olympia.

Anonymous said...

The BOE didn't want to make a decision, because they didn't want to be unpopular with the Odyssey group and make Sue Meier mad. However come budget time next year they are going to be facing the same problems again and are going tobe faced with making huge cuts. So when they are forced to look at closing a low enrollment school again and they gasp in horror they can thank themselves because they did not want to take the first step and deal with this mess now. The issue isn't going to go away, they can keep procrastinating but the problems are just going to keep compounding. All they did was keep the loud mouth whinng Oddysey leave our school alone parents quiet for awhile until the next group starts up when you tellthem you are going to HAVE to close their school. You aren't going to be able to keep everyone of your groups happy because a change is going to have to be made with this flawed system. The only group that does not see it as flawed is that small group of 40 people that came out and whined because they were the ones that got in. Why not hold a special hearing for the 1300 others ONLY to come and speak that are on the waiting lists to hear how unfair they think it is in an enviornment where they won't feel like social outcasts or feel like their pictures are being taken for Sue Meiers hit list wall for speaking out in case they ever do get in her private school. I jsut don't see them ever being ready to make any unpopular choices because of public whining, can anyone make them realize they are going to have to? I say grow a set and close a school or two and consolidate if you are too scared to put a end to SOC.