Saturday, October 01, 2011


Greece Central School District's 2010-11 scores on NY State required English Language Arts & Math tests for grades 3-8 defy explanation! To say the results are dismal is a gross  understatement of the reality! I urge every parent to take a close look at the "Results Book" produced by the district to address this topic. It makes some stunning revelations.

For English/Language Arts (ELA), the percentage of students displaying proficiency fell in 4 out of the 6 grade levels tested, remained the same in 1 and rose slightly in another. Worse yet, the percentage of students displaying mastery fell in all 6 grade levels, with numbers plunging from 20% achieving mastery in grade 3 in 2009-10 to merely 4% achieving it at grade 3 in 2010-11.
(pg. 9) How is this possible???

The figures for grades 3-8 on the Math tests aren't much better. The percentage of students displaying proficiency fell in half of the grades and rose in the other 3 grades. The percentage of students displaying mastery fell in 4 of the 6 grade levels and rose in the other two. (pg 10)

According to a memo by Deb Hoeft, GCSD's achievement was BELOW the state average for ALL sub-groups in the ELA results. Compared to the 19 districts in Monroe County, our best showing was 16th place! (pg. 16)

According to a memo by Eric  Blask (Director of Mathematics), GCSD's overall results on the Math exams showed a slight (2%) increase "but remain at approximately 70%." Grades 3 & 4 ranked 10th, grades 6 & 8 ranked 14th and grades 5 & 7 ranked 15th out of the 19 districts in Monroe County. (pg. 37

Other results are given for Regents, AP & SAT exams. There are definite problem areas in these upper level tests, too.

How does anyone explain numbers like these without firing those responsible for producing results that FELL so dramatically as these did when additional resources were used in an effort to improve the results!? "Continuous Improvement Plan" seems to mean we'll need to remediate everyone within another 5 years if we continue this program!


Anonymous said...

Not original on my part but obviously more raises should be the order of the day.
Thats what we have been doing, right?

Anonymous said...

Why is college and career readiness determined for ELA with an 11th grade exam while for math it is determined with an exam students take in 8th or 9th grade?

Anonymous said...

No suprise district solution.........give us more money and we will fix the problem.

These test scores show us there are "educators' who should be sued for Educational Malpractice. How bad does it have to get before a group of parents step up and sue??

This thread will now be dominated by those same "educators" blaming the shameful test scores on parents.

PLULEEZZEEEEEEE.............there are WAY too many kids failing to blame the parents on this one.

Anonymous said...

And we are paying Deb Hoeft how much to make the comment that work will need to be done? She also states that schools were disappointed with their marks. Who wouldn't be with those results?

Anonymous said...

I see that ATHS is a target group for ELA. To start the teacher should be teaching the entire block, not just half then a study hall. Perhaps phones and ipods should not be allowed during class either. While the admin states this is not happening many good students are complaining that it is. The class block has longer periods and should be used for educating not for homework and socializing.

In the MS my child did not have one book report, or one assignment in 3 years that actually would have improved reading skills. There was project after project. When a there was a written assignment there was nothing in the rubric about grammar, punctuation, spelling and so on...perhaps this is an indicator or no set curriculum and that the subjective NYS standards allow for this type of instruction.

Any advancement in ELA for my child came from the work at home and the standards that we set for education i our home!

Anonymous said...

Kudos for their honesty. You can't fix a problem until you take a realistic look at what that problem is.
I see from reading the Report Card, there are also identified goals for progress and pulling those scores up. Finally, there's targets to hold them to.
Interesting too, was the edict that everyone must read "Teaching with Poverty in Mind."
I thought being poor was just an excuse for poor school performance.

Anonymous said...

1. Longer teaching day with more instruction time
2. More days on the school year
3. Participation in extra curricular activities depend on grades
4. Classes divided by ability so students get level appropriate teaching.

I can almost hear the whining and rebuttal before I hit the publish button! These ARE tough, but students don;t learn if they are not in class, and students are students FIRST and athletes and actors and singers second.

Anonymous said...

I think someone needs to investigate whether or not the cafeteria workers are adding "stupid powder" to the milk they serve. How else can these pitifully crappy outcomes be explained in light of Steve IIs "continuous improvement" no holds barred plan to make magically scores rise?

Anonymous said...

A well known definition of insanity states that doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a good descriptor.

Well D-W has only a very short period of time to decide whether she is going to be the administrator of the GCSD asylum or close it down and hire rational, talented motivated leadership people.

The parallels to the Kodak debacle are truly amazing and terrifying. Both were premier organizations about 15 years ago. The digital age and years of bad management is doing Kodak in. The Sony Mavica was the beginning of the end of Kodak.

The day that Steve Walts set foot in Greece was the beginning of the end of GCSD as we knew it. Only our schools were 99% the victim of horrible leadership and management and the fall off the cliff cannot be blamed on the digital revolution.

Both organizations made value-destroying decisions but promised that every new decision was going to make a huge + difference in achieving future success. That is when both organizations did not chose to ignore or hide the reality that performance and results had deteriorated.

Now GCSD has fallen to new depths of achievement results and the only thing that stands between the inmates of the asylum perpetuating the fall to even lower depths is D-W.

Note to D-W........Please do the right thing. Save our kids! Do it now, do it with a clean sweep, and don't be fooled by the inmates when they are having a lucid "good day" and appear to be capable of good leadership. They have failed, they will fail again and again and again. DO SOMETHING!

Chan Gailey isn't enjoying a 3 game Buffalo Bills winning streak because he kept the inmates of the Bills coaching asylum in place when he took over. No, he shut the asylum down and brought in leaders who know what it takes to win and how to execute to a winning plan.

D-W....are you "our" Chan Gailey? Can we start winning the game of life and turn this educational hell-hole into something that will deliver the education our kids deserve and we are paying for?

Anonymous said...

I have to agree with 9:33.
Although my child was in 5th grade, the only HW we ever got was math. How in the world can they improve their ELA skills if they never have an opportunity to practice?

SCATS said...

To 7:35AM ~~ Maybe to give them as long as possible to try to get up to grade level on their reading?

To 9AM ~~ I would bet that a gift of $1 BILLION wouldn't fix most of the troubles that ail the Greece Central School District ... but it would make some employees feel VERY good about trying ;)

To 9:06AM ~~ Ms. Hoeft makes a hefty $135,101 in salary.

To 9:33AM ~~ Apparently Babs has discovered the inequities in time on task at various schools. Let's hope she is aware of what you are saying ... or reads this BLOG so she can look into it.

To 10:10AM ~~ If you are poor in Greece, you've been labeled "unteachable" according to those who utter that mantra at the monthly BOE meetings. If you aren't poor but do poorly on your state exams, you have bad parents ;)

To 11:23AM ~~ Your first 2 items I agree with but require renogiation with GTA since it's not in their contract. Of course they will demand more $$ for the lousy job they've done. Item 3 is sort of in place, but the BOE watered it down so that a kid can be failing and still practice for football. What should we expect with a bunch of hockey moms running the district? Your item #4 would likely be called discriminatory ... not that I disagree with it.

To 11:43AM ~~ You might be onto something there! Check it out, Ms. Hoeft!!

To 11:51AM ~~ You are correct. Babs' first 100 days are almost over. She promised us action, so we should see some changes coming before the month ends.

To 11:53AM ~~ They just blame it on you for being a lousy parent ;)

Anonymous said...

I'm considering the mcquaid/mercy option! After the first few weeks at Athena Middle I'm already feeling that the focus isn’t what I was hoping for! The discipline or lack thereof concerns me! I need to know that my child is safe and getting the best possible education, even if I have to pay a fortune for it!!

Anonymous said...

11:23 All good ideas but first you have to have people teaching language arts and reading and writing that understand how a human learns. Just because someone graduated with a liberal arts degree and a semester of student teaching...from another twin....doesn't mean they know how to get skills across. They do not know when the average or particular child is ready for certain concepts. What is a concept they may ask. What objectives are necessary to be presented and acquired for progress in reading to be made? Many of the elementary teachers everywhere are only following the directives of the school district and building administration and presenting assignments in a certain order. As long as we could speak English any of us could step in and present the material and instruct the young ones in how to do the copied assignments. They explain things to the students but do not have a clue as to why a student or group of students aren't catching on. They just figure they are slow and not that the teacher could present the material in another way. That is just one example. Most of the elementary and ELA teachers are responsible for this problem because they do not understand science and psychology. Yes even if they are certified in Special Ed too.
How can we fix that? It is not a problem only in Greece but we seem to be targeted here which is ok since it is a Greece blog.
And do you realize that most of the elementary teachers in Greece (and elsewhere) hardly know math beyond the 6th grade level. Let's see if they could pass the SAT or math AP tests now 10 or 20 years after they took it themselves. They should be tested on these skills themselves every 3 years. Renew their certification.

Anonymous said...

3:00PM Do it. I did. Three times. Yes it is costly but the education is priceless. When an 18 year old thanks his parents for sacrificing to send him to McQuaid because "they taught me how to think" that is the payoff. So you don't buy a new car for a couple of years. You have one chance to educate your children. If you are willing to settle for the unionized mediocrity that is delivered by the GTA so be it. The schools you reference do not tolerate poor teachers because the parents who pay the bill will not tolerate poor teachers. Why do they put this stuff out after I just wrote the check for my school tax bill. You see the Chamber of Commerce the GTA and the Rotary have been funding the campaigns of people they want on the school board so they will keep putting lipstick on this pig. Lipstick or not it is a pig literally. Palozzi you reading ?(he is the GTA prez).

Anonymous said...

You can't blame GTA for any of this. This is clearly an ADMINISTRATIVE policy or position in this district!! It will take years for this to get on track. So many children have been harmed because of the current GCSD Administrative staff's inadequate understanding of their job.

For example...Didn't Debbie Hoeft lose a Million Dollars to inadequate Medicaid billing this year!

SCATS said...

To 8:44PM ~~ While I'm sure there's plenty of blame to around ... even as far as DO, you must realize there's been a HUGE turnover of top staffers. Besides, Hoeft isn't in the classrooms sucking the knowledge out of the kiddie's heads on a daily basis. GTA is ;)

Anonymous said...

Scats, your point would be funny if it weren't so close to the truth. D-W needs to keep a close watch on Hoeft and revamp quickly. There must be an effort made to make sure a new leaf gets turned over, or else the purging in district office will be for naught. Let's hope this super can do what it takes to get the kids' needs met. Keeping GTA under wraps will only help.

Anonymous said...

To 8:44PM 10/2/ are kidding right????????? Not blame the GTA for these test scores????

I do blame the union 100%. If our curriculum is so bad and is resulting in the failure of pretty much every kid in our school district then the union members should have a moral if not professional obligation to speak up LOUDLY. But THEY DON"T. Why????? Because the union members only care about themselves. And I don't want to hear that the GTA union is afraid of "Administration." The union is large enough to push its weight around if it collectivly wanted to on this mess but they won't. WHY.........cuz they want a new contract and they ain't getting one.

WAKE UP PARENTS!!!!!!!!! Your child's teacher is sitting there allowing this educational malpractice to continue. Demand change.

Anonymous said...

The Walts family tree of instructional leadership continues to thrive.

Steve Walts begat Meg Keller-Cogan.

Meg Keller-Cogan begat instructional Directors and Coordinators who both decimated instruction with unproven new programs AND "rooted out" truly bright and visionary people (often dragging their names through the mud along the way).

Two of the Keller-Cogan children were Ann Mitchell and Deb Hoeft. When Keller-Cogan left, they continued the legacy.

What was the first thing Ann Mitchell did when she was promoted? She bought a book called "You're in charge, now what?" presumably because she didn't have native leadership skills.

Then, Ann Mitchell (as the instructional top dog) promised to "study" the poor results in 2006 and here we are today. She got her Ed.D. and has apparently retired with a fat pension.

With no longitudinal executive memory (how many Superintendents?), Hoeft (according to posts here) mismanaged her way to take Mitchell's place in the Ivory Tower. Now SHE is going to "study" the results.


The Steven Walts legacy is alive and well today. It will take a strong leader to change things. Other than reshuffling the deck a little, I don't see much change afoot. I hope I'm wrong.

SCATS said...

To 7:33AM ~~ Are you giving GTA a complete pass on this mess? I don't think that's logical even though I get your point about administrative paralysis. Sadly, Babs named maybe a dozen committees that are up & running back in August. More studies are sure to come.

Anonymous said...

I'm certainly not making any excuses for GCSD's results, because obviously something isn't working. But, I would be interested to know the stats on a couple of other things: First, I wonder how many of the high performing elementary students (earning 3s and 4s) move out the district or begin attending private schools before reaching the upper grades in Greece. Second, I'm curious what percentage of the low performing students have been attending GCSD their entire achool careers. At least in my neighborhood the past few years, we seem to have attracted families with kids transferring in from the city schools. While the teachers need to be able to catch these kids up, I wonder how difficult it is to do when the education these kids are coming in with is lacking (that's not to say all students are poorly educated in the city schools, but the kids I've interacted with in the neighborhood generally do not seem well-prepared). I will say that my kids have gone through one of the historically lower-performing elementary schools since day 1 yet have never scored lower than a 3.

Anonymous said...

Aw for the love of
Why can't you people just accept the reality that children attending religious and private schools are genetically superior when it comes to learning?

Admit it, your love trophy is a slug. Beyond making GTA members happier 1 on 1 instruction in your kid's room wouldn't make him/her a learner. The kid is a slug.

Besides, GTA has no incentive to make your kid smarter, if kids paid union dues the focus might change, but kids don't and there is no real hazard to a Union teacher's job. It's Civil Service with whipped cream and a cherry on top.

The union knows parents will buy any crap they sling, and they employ well paid crap slinging advisers. What have you got in your quiver to fire back at the Union?

Wake up and admit you stepped in dogcrap. Your kid can't learn and it ain't the teacher's fault. It's your fault. Pay teachers more.

Never mind telling me how little Lance memorized everything on SpongeBob or Sessimy Street, that was before Union teachers got their hands on Lance and worked their magic. Lance is a slug, he'll be a slug when he graduates, and 13 years of teachers will get fat paychecks for making Lance a slug.

It's the system. It's been in place since the 60s, and it won't change. Get over it!

Anonymous said...

You had to live through the obscene HR practices to fully realize the nature of the professional oppression that was wielded.

I give GTA a significant pass. The jack boot "motivational" tactics pressed upon GTA (and others, btw) left no choice but to do things the Keller-Cogan way or suffer the consequences.

GTA gets *no* power that isn't granted by administration.

SCATS said...

To 11:57PM ~~ I just can't buy into the idea that GTA was victimized by Keller-Cogan and her cronies, unless it was by way of their own self-inflicted dysfunction (i.e. silence). They never speak out or up unless it's about their contract or layoffs. They have one of the most powerful unions in the entire world backing them nationally. Sorry, but they created their own pain, IMHO.

Anonymous said...

The union has been an accomplice in all of this. The teacher harassment and discrimination under Walts. They only got involved to look good when they offered their lawyers for donlon.