Thursday, December 22, 2011

Congratulations, Babs!

You've Topped Achramovitch At BS'ing Us!

Tuesday night's meeting was rife with examples!
Here's a few that stand out:

Example #1 ~ "The power of the "and" ..."

SCATS ~~ We already have all different kinds of school configurations ~ K-2/3-5, K-5, pre-k -2/3-5, 6-8/9-12, 6-12 ... WE NEED YOU TO CONSOLIDATE!

Example #2 ~~ Will the proposed Odyssey move to Apollo create a combined school or two different schools?
Odyssey will reflect district demographics in fall 2012. It will become one Odyssey 6-12 school. The Administrative Task Force (Secondary Sub Committee) studied two parallel “House” schedules to continue the small school schedule with a larger group of students. This would enable the smaller learning community model to continue. It is anticipated that all middle and high school schedules will be reviewed for the 2013-14 school year as the district prepares to implement Common Core Standards in a fiscally constrained environment. It is anticipated that the incoming 6th grade class at

SCATS ~~ This question begs for a simple answer, but your response attempts to say two different things at the same time! First you say "it will become one Odyssey 6-12 school." Then you say the plan "would enable the smaller learning community model to continue." This is simply NOT possible unless you intend to keep two separate (i.e. "parallel") schools running!

Example #3 ~~ If Odyssey were to move to Apollo, would current Odyssey students be separate from neighborhood students?
Concepts such as Schools within Schools, Smaller Learning Communities, middle school teams, and parallel schedules are all designed to assign students and teachers to groups so relationships can be built and high achievement can occur. There is a perception that Schools within Schools would have Odyssey students scheduled separately from neighborhood students. That is not the case.

SCATS ~~ This is a "yes" or "no" question, but again you've mired us down with rhetoric in an attempt to play to and appease everyone ... which just isn't possible. Worse yet, the parents are going to be REALLY, REALLY angry at you when they find out how badly you've duped them! The "truth" is that while the students might all have the "same schedule" they will NOT all have the same Odyssey experience that is up and running today ;)

Example #4 ~~ "What is the purpose of a school of choice?"
"One purpose is that they've been successful." ~~ Sue Meier

SCATS ~~ For someone with a doctorate degree, you seem to have a hard time understanding simple English. Their "success" is NOT a purpose. And Babs should have stepped up and given a direct response to the question. Everyone knows that schools-of-choice have outlived their intended purpose. Currently, their purpose is to provide an escape hatch for parents who don't want their kids rubbing elbows with the kids who attend Olympia HS and Apollo MS. Their "purpose" is to segregate!

Example #5 ~~ Will Pine Brook and West Ridge continue as Schools of Choice?
It is recommended at this time that Schools of Choice would continue and the selection process adjusted to ensure the schools represent socio-economic demographics to the extent possible. The current proposal is to adjust the lottery system, ensure assignment through attendance zones around schools of choice, and to ensure that incoming kindergarten classes and future classes reflect district demographics.

SCATS ~~ If you actually do all that this response implies, then our K-5 schools-of-choice as we currently know them, will be gone within a few years! You are just grand-fathering in the squeeky wheel people for thes hort term and they will have to hope their kids make it through before the folks at Longridge realize what's going on ;)

Example #6 ~~ "What will happen to open enrollment?"

SCATS ~~ There was no response to this that made any sense at all. Clearly, there is no plan to end it!


Anonymous said...

They could put Mother Theresa in that position and I am sure you would find fault with her. Because there is just no pleasing some people. Why didn't you apply for the position if you think you have the qualifications?

Anonymous said...

Hey, its Christmas time. They're hoping we'll "believe" in miracles!!!!

Charlie Hubbard said...

There is a perfect opportunity here to end this crazy 2 tiered system.
Close the schools of choice NOW.
Open enrollment should stop NOW.

We have room for an alternative school to clean up our middle and high schools.
When I say clean it up I mean CLEAN it up. For those who don't want to follow the rules - get out.

It's time to get back to education and cut this c#@p of trying to be all things to all people.

I asked Tuesday night 'what is the purpose of schools of choice' - yet to get an answer that makes any sence.

I asked today 'what is the purpose of open enrollment' - again no answer that makes any sence.

These two items alone have enormous transpotation costs and these two items have divided our town in a very unhealthy way.

Stop it and stop it NOW.

Order must be restored in all our schools - fix it and fix it NOW.

The product we produce MUST be improved and those being paid 'very well' for producing that product MUST be held accountable.

No more touchy-feely - it's time to get serious.

SCATS said...

To Charlie Hubbard ~~ Very succinctly put! I'd add that we also need to rein in the busing we do to transport kids to/from the babysitters and reduce the number of extracurriculars & sports offered.

It's exactly as you said, Charlie. We can't be all things to all people. And we shouldn't cater to the minority while screwing the majority like we've done the last 21 years. If we really are in the budget crisis they claim, then get us back to basics ASAP!!

Anonymous said...

Another item that should be considered but won't, is Pre K being funded by the tax payers. 10 or so years ago many parents paid (if you chose to do so) to have their children go to a church or other Pre K program offered around town. Then, the district began to offer it, on the tax payer dime, and by doing so put many of those church schools and others out of business. Eliminating Pre K would be a huge savings if those in charge realy wanted change, and people would still find a way to provide that for their children.

Anonymous said...

Can the community sue the district for the segregation and for running what appears to be private schools being operated with public funds? After all, they are operating like charters and claiming their parental involvement is so high...can becoming a charter school be an option put on the table for the schools of choice or would that still continue the segregation but now with a valid excuse?

SCATS said...

To 8:36PM ~~ Yes, if we eliminate pre-K, maybe we can close that extra school ASAP & save even more. Great idea.

To 8:44PM ~~ I have no idea about the legalities of that. You'd probably have to find an attorney with knowledge of NY State Education Law.

Anonymous said...

same shit, different day

Anonymous said...

Pre-k has become the new kindergarten. The kids who have not attended pre-k or other types of 4 year old programs are behind kids when entering kindergarten for several months.

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure eliminating pre-k wouldn't impact the budget at all. It's funded at the state level and not part of the school budget IIRC.

SCATS said...

To 12:13AM ~~ I suspect it costs us something ... if not utilities, then wear & tear on facilities, etc. Again, if the space weren't needed for Pre-K we closed another elementary school sooner ;)

Anonymous said...

You always say there is no data to back up school of choice, but there is lots of data to back up early education for kids, especially low income students. Pre k has educational value and with our current district demographics not all parents can afford to pay for pre k. I currently pay for my daughter to go to a private pre k, but I am glad everyone has the option to send their kids to pre k whether they ave the money or not..

Anonymous said...

I believe NYS Charter school law now requires charters to match the socioeconomic demographics of the district they reside in...

Anonymous said...

My take on this: Watch this play out over a year or two. No one is going to like what they see in two years. I predict all the loud voices will be crying for a change to neighborhood schools. And all K-5 schools

The board will either change to all neghborhood schools or we will have yet another superintendent.

I am convinced that this mess will result in the best chance we have to reduce bussing costs and return to neighborhood schools.

Logic may not get us to reduced bussing costs, but chaos most certainly will!

Anonymous said...

How ticked off would you be if you were a parent whose children were left in PK-2 / 3-5 paired schools, while the rest of the district gets moved to k-5.
I think we will soon see the Holmes Road/Buckman, EV/Lakeshore and Autumn Lane/Craig Hil folks figure this out and get fired-up.

Charlie Hubbard said...

After reading some of the committee reports (worthless as they are) and attending Tuesday nights meeting it was obvious that the preservation of schools of choice is first and foremost on the minds of those in charge.

When I asked 'what is the purpose of schools of choice' it took a while but finaly got one answer which was 'to give parents a choice'.

Schools of choice come with a cost - a big cost - for because of schools of choice we also have 'open enrollment'.
Because of schools of choice we also have 'signature schools'.
Because of schools of choice we transport kids to a school or baby sitter that fits your needs.

The cost of transpotation to provide these services is enormous. The educational benefit (for all) I have never heard. When anyone offers a dollar figure for the transpotation costs associated with schools of choice make sure that figure includes all the extra costs of transportation for all the regular ed kids outside thier home school area.
Also don't let anyone try to make these figures 'look better' by including state aid for 2 reasons #1 there is no guarantee the state will always be reimbursing at the same rate especially after the state is made aware of the extra money we are spending for touchy/feely choice.
#2 the last I knew state aid was paid for by state residents. It is NOT free.

As I said Tuesday night the resident who spoke about having 4busses line up on his street every morning to take kids to 4 different high schools did not believe his tax dollars were being spent wisely. So far that taxpayer has been disrespected and ignored along with so many others.

Anonymous said...

My kids are in the pre k-2 and 3-5 paired schools if it never changes it is ok with me. They are doing fine and for older sibs it fosters some independence when then move on to the 3-5.

SCATS said...

To 2:38PM ~~ They may be "doing OK" but if you knew they do better by being in a K-5 school that provided consistency, wouldn't you want that?

Anonymous said...

The message to Parkland parents is GET OUT we have more important people coming in here.

The message to Apollo students and parents is GET OUT we have more important people coming in here. We'll let you know where to go.

The message to the employees kids and others at Pinebrook your fine we will take care of you.

Anonymous said...

If the district is honestly interested in improving education and saving money, I offer the following.

This is not new, and has been implemented elsewhere.

First it requires only neighborhood schools and only PreK-5 schools.

Re: PreK-K: The objective should be to have all students equally ready when they enter the first grade. No exceptions.

Accomplish this by providing PreK only to students with a demonstrated need to catch up to other students. This is accomplished by a student profile which includes the education background of the parent/guardian; the eligibility for reduced cost lunch/breakfast; language spoken in the home; single vs. multiple parents/guardians in the home.

Any "parent" could choose to opt out. Any other parent could ask that their child be tested to see if they too need some additional help to prepare for K.
My estimate is that 30-40% of students would qualify

Based on the progress of these students in preK and any other tested student, K would be all day the first semester only for those students in need of additional help preparing for the first grade. All K students would attend all day K the second semester. Schools with any concentration of these eligible students would have the smallest class sizes thru the first grade.
The entire school will be graded based on their success in preparing students for the first grade.

These will all be neighborhood school and all will be PreK-5 schools to hold the educators responsible for preparing these students for middle school. There will be no excuse for not prepared all of these students for success in later grades.

Up to 50% of the bussing and PreK-K half day savings will be used to provide the additional recourses needed to insure all students reach the first grade ready for success. Bonuses will be offered to teachers with excellent track records to encourage them to teach in the PreK - K classrooms. Teachers would not be given more than a single year to demonstrate their ability to insure the success of these students (these kids do not have time for a do-over).

Cut out the political nonsense and let’s get on with helping student succeed and reducing total costs. Win-win right?
12/24/2011 11

SCATS said...

To 11:08AM ~~ I guess I'm getting the same message you are. Greece intends to discriminate and segregate further.

To 11:25AM ~~ Your ideas are too innovative, too creative for the majority of Greece employees to accept, adopt or adapt to. I'm sure they'd find a way to get several unions involved, not to mention committees, consultants & studies. By the time they are done, it will not resemble your idea in any way, shape or form. Other than that, I'd say it definitely has its merits ;)

Anonymous said...


I would like to hear from insiders.

It sounds student centered. Any thoughts?

Anonymous said...

You guys know neighborhood schools are more segregated and K-5 schools are more expensive, right? You know the transportation consultant said in open sessions that Greece Central's transportation costs are LESS than those of comparable districts in NYS - who have no choice, right?

SCATS said...

To 10:14PM ~~ More segrated than Odyssey or Pine Brook are? Show me the data. I think you're wrong about that.

As for K-5 schools "costing more" I bet it would be no more than we're already spending now and right now, that extra expense not only deeply segregates the students, it's PO'ing the parents.

K-5 provides continuity that is proven to be educationally beneficial, so perhaps the expense is justified if ALL can have equal access.

Anonymous said...

Greece transportation cost less?
By what measure?

The info Mr. Hubbard provided at the 12:40 posting - are you saying it,s wrong?