Saturday, January 21, 2012

Another Question For Babs ...

Charlie Hubbard said...

I'm still waiting for an answer to my question from several weeks ago - what is the 'purpose' of schools of choice?

The 'purpose' when they were started are no longer. I have no choice but to assume it is all based on touchy/feely. I agree with 3:11 this lady is blowing a perfect opportunity to 'unite' this district and community and she is doing it to make a few self/centered people happy.

VERY disappointed to see the sibling rule and open enrollment continue.

Thanks to this 'half/baked' approch the true 'problem' will continue - yes we seem intent on kicking the can down the road by putting a different shade of lipstick on the pig.  1/20/2012 9:35 PM

SCATS ~~ I'm very curious to hear the answer to this question too ... and what benefit do they bring to the district?  More crickets chirping?


Anonymous said...

If the SOC actually do better on tests and other measures, and if it is the result of some change in teaching method (not just skimming off the best students who would have performed anywhere), then the SOC METHODS should be expanded across the school district. Moving OA to a larger building and expanding the number of students who can be admitted is the right thing to do. Of course, that assumes the performance is die to some real changes in teaching and not just skimming. Even dairy farmers get the cream from the milk by skimming.

Anonymous said...

I attended one of the focus group meetings that were held over the summer. Of the dozen or so people there only two of us were non-SOC parents and a few concerned senior citizens. It was overwhelming. The "good" going on in Greece was SOC according to this group. I did my best to refute them but I can imagine most of the meetings were "packed" with SOC advocates in the same way.
I am concerned that the BOE won't even do this 2.2 million in savings or postpone OA move and consolidation.

Joe Grinnan said...

Charlie, I agree with you but you already knew that. I think we now need to go back to neighborhood schools. I think the elementary school plan is a good solution for today's problem but we need a plan for the future.

I do not like the junior/senior high plan. Mixing 6th through 12th grades in the same location is not a good idea.

I suggest we close Olympia high school. Make either Apollo or Olympia a junior high and the other the Academy.

I believe the academy can be used to put education back in the schools. If you are selected to go to the academy, you are there to learn or you are out.

Instead of reducing the standards for applying for the lottery to meet "look good" demographics. I suggest we set standards for students that have demonstrated that they are in school to learn and not disruptive. I am not suggesting an entrance exam but students that apply for the lottery to show that they are willing to work, passing junior high and have self control.

Do we need a campaign to keep these issues on the burner?

Joe Grinnan

SCATS said...

To 8:11AM ~~ Expanding those practices across Greece was promised when West Ridge reopened as a SOC in 1990 ... and it has NEVER happened! That offer at this point in time is way too little, much too late! Translation: NO ONE WILL BELIEVE IT!

To 11:21AM ~~ As usual, the only folks who show for these meetings are the ones who feel threatened ... plus Gary Elling ;)
If Babs were smart, she'd do what she KNOWS needs to be done. How would the BOE handle it if Babs were to say: "You hired me to do an unpleasant task that you've spent years stirring while it simmered on the back burner. My recommendations to bring equity and good fiscal management to this district are to close 3 schools, sell 2, eliminate SOCs and "choice/option/signature, schools, consolidate bussing, limit transportation to babysitters, create as many K-5 schools as we can to get back to neighborhood schools over time ... And if you don't want to go along with what I believe this district NEEDS TO DO ASAP, then I'll resign."

I bet they'd pee their collective panties ;)

Anonymous said...

With the exception of killing secondary open enrollment, limiting babysitter transportation and eliminating SOC on your arbitrary accelerated schedule, she's already done that.

Anonymous said...

I think (hope) that schools of choice will have to go given the huge budget gap the board faces next year.

I think we might have the SOC folks facing off with the sporties.
May the best team win!

(I thought that Hubbard boy was getting a tan? Do they have computers in Fl?)

SCATS said...

To 1:49PM ~~ Those are some pretty damned big exceptions, nevermind the fact she is closing TWO schools, not three. WR stays "open" which kind of blows my mind ... why move people out of there if we can't close it anyway? Maybe they should move Brookside kids into WR instead??

Given that our always up-on the-situation BOE members were "shocked" to learn of the extra expense associated with retaining all of the babysitter bound bus-runs, there's NO reason to have left that item untouched, if we're in as of a much fiscal "crisis" as they claim. You see, that's the crux of all of this school consolidation stuff to start with ... they are ONLY doing anything because the budget is tightening around their necks!

To 1:55PM ~~ Last spring, I predicted a showdown between sports boosters and SOC supporters was coming ... I think it will be here soon.

By the way Sherlock, Florida even has cell phones these days ;)

Anonymous said...

WR stays open but Barnard closes. Unless you'd like to store all the district records at your house?

Anonymous said...

And they're not "big" exceptions.

Less than $60,000 dollars would be saved by throwing the lives of all the families who depend on transportation to their current daycare or afterschool care provider's location. You just like the thought of causing so many people pain. The monetary savings for that just aren't worth the human cost.

Signature schools are gone. So is elementary open enrollment.

And if you don't think that changing Odyssey to have a large neighborhood attendance zone will mean that the school effectively won't be SOC anymore, you're either being purposefully obtuse or you're stupid. You can call a pig a duck, but that won't make it quack. Just wait for the changes to come at Pine Brook that will be announced next year...

SCATS said...

To 3:51PM ~~ According to Don Nadolinski, shortly before his departure, Barnard was CLOSED already. I know they are storing records there. But let's face reality, why move the chickadees out of WR if they can't close the building until 2020? Why not move the records there & move kids from another building into WR then close that other building? Not only does it make sense, it saves MORE $$!!

To 3:55PM ~~ DO still has NOT said that Odyssey won't be TWO PARALLEL SCHOOLS once moved into Apollo. They've done everything they can to avoid that issue, which is odd since DO is the creator of that idea ;)

You & I both know I'm far from "stupid" and I'm not being obtuse either. Putting lipstick on your transportation pig still makes it a pig. Show me the data that you pulled your $60,000 from. As I recall, the BOE was "SHOCKED" that the babysitter savings would be LARGER than the savings from discontinuing SOC busing. By the way, let's remember that to retain busing for SOCs, you MUST include the cost of transporting those who use secondary option as part of the cost of retaining that service since we HAVE TO DO IT OR GET SUED ;)

Your implication of privileged knowledge about Pine Brook is self-serving at best, and a diversion tactic in all likelihood.

Charlie Hubbard said...

to Joe Grinnan, your best point of many 'you are there to learn or you are out' THAT should be the standard at all of our schools.

We have done a terrible job of maintaining standards of conduct. Sometimes one must wonder who runs the schools the kids or the administration.

Some of us tried for years to get an alternative school to help clean up the conduct - to help focus on 'you are there to learn'. Administration and the majority of the school board lacked the backbone to sign on.

Remember how we got hats out of our schools? We had to embarrass administration to get it done.

Remember the C average standard we had for sports? Administration and a majority of the school board went along with watering it down - LOWERING standards - god only knows how low the standard is now.

My overall point with the proposal as presented is that is does NOT address the problem. Remember you can't fix a problem until you admit what that problem is.

I ask you 'as a district' what is getting fixed by this proposal? Because next year the same situation is going to exist and we haven't FIXED anything in a meaningfull way. So I ask again 'what is the 'purpose' of schools of choice'??? And how does this proposal answer that question?

Anonymous said...

I'm sticking with deliberately obtuse for you.

You're stuck on a recommendation from a subcommittee of the attendance committee. There's only one Odyssey. Not school-within-a-school. That's not part of the Superintendent's proposal and your question was answered.
You asked for yes or no, and you got a yes. You're the one who brought up the verbiage -

Your question: WILL THESE STUDENTS BE COMPLETELY COMINGLED into several, similar heterogeneous groups (blended) as they attend Math, Science, Humanities & other classes in the new Odyssey @Apollo?

The answer: The answer is yes, students will be blended to form one unified group.

Again, you're being deliberately obtuse.

SCATS said...

To 9:34PM ~~ You can stay stuck on whatever verbiage you like. I, too, am entitled to my opinion, one which is shared by quite a few others.

Based on comments received here and conversations I've had with others, the parallel school idea hasn't been denied by DO in the verbiage they've spewed. So, I know I'm not alone in how I view DO's verbiage ... first they try to say the schedules will be the same, then they say it will be a "unified" building. None of that tells us that there won't be TWO PARALLEL SCHOOLS operating inside.

Since Ms. Heiden/Babs are such avid fans of this BLOG, how much effort would it really take to email me with a statement from the Supt. stating unequivocally that there will not be any separation within the "unified" Odyssey? Answer: It should be much easier than it would be to respond to Charlie Hubbard's question about what is the purpose of schools of choice, right? Of course, that's assuming that the response were an honest one ...

Anonymous said...

The mere fact that DO won't come out and fully describe the plan tells me (I guess thiss will make me obtuse as well) that either they don't know what they'll be doing or they don't want to admit what they'll be doing. I tend to believe that it's some of both.

9:34, you want everyone to sit back and ASSUME it's about to get so much better. I would suggest maybe it's you thats being obtuse. Transportation has been out of control for so long in this district. The solution, however hard to digest, is a fairly simple one. Babs had that oppertunity but sold out to special interests. Should you claim this isn't so, please answer one question, it's ANOTHER one Babs hasn't answered: What is the 'purpose' of schools of choice?

Babs has said we are in a financial mess here, yet SOC is a worth while expense. Why then can't she (or anyone else) answer that question? What will the district do when legal action is taken about the removal of open enrollment in a district that continues soc?

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if my daughter who will be attending Buckman Heights next year would automatically go to Odyssey under the current proposal when she enters 6th grade? How does anyone keep up with all this stuff!

Anonymous said...

6 percent of Americans believe the moon landing was faked.

SCATS said...

To 10:56AM ~~ I'm not sure the supt. even knows the answer to that question yet! Unless ... you live east of Mt. Read Blvd. and southwest of Stone Rd. .... if not, I've no idea. She could end up at Olympia.

SCATS said...

To 10:59AM ~~ More than half of Americans can NOT identify a photo of Pres. Obama when they are shown one! So ... what's your point???

Anonymous said...

It depends on where you live, if the plan ends up getting approved and what grade your child is in now.

Next year, all incoming sixth graders who would have attended Apollo will attend Odyssey.

After that, there's a transition plan to add some 6th graders to Olympia.

After the two-year transition at Olympia, the attendance zone for Odyssey will include homes and rental properties east of Mr. Read Boulevard and southwest of Stone Road.

If you don't live in that zone and your kid won't be a sixth grader for two more years, it's Olympia.

Anonymous said...

Charlie will never be happy.....Try to take at least ONE step forward........
(cue the chirping.......)

SCATS said...

To 11:07AM ~~ Thank you. I see I messed up what I wanted to say in my response which was that Odyssey's attendance zone was east of Mt. Read & SW of Stone.

SCATS said...


WHERE IS THE DATA that supports keeping SOC's??


WHAT IS THE PURPOSE of a school-of-choice?

If they can't answer these simple questions then the PROBLEM IS IN DO and with our BOE who constantly bellyache about needing $$!!

Anonymous said...

12:02 the only chirping I've heard is when questions that should not be difficult to answer, are asked. That chirping has been going on for years and years. There is presently an unecessary system in place that costs millions a year to operate. We now have a new Supt. that has basically decided the expenses are worthwhile. Therefore the question remains: What is it's purpose?

You can shoot at the people asking questions all you want, but just understand it doesn't change the guilty party.

Anonymous said...

I betcha the union is standing in the way of Babs plan to have Odyssey take over Apollo. You have seniority issues and scheduling issues. You think Apollo teachers will give up their right to a duty free 30 min. lunch? If the Apollo teachers stay, will they have to change to the "Odyssey non-union way"? Odyssey has their own schedule. I bet Babs can't answer your question until she works over, I mean works it out with the union. Who is going to win this one?

Anonymous said...

Certainly one of these committees would have the answer as to why schools of choice are so important right Scats.

SCATS said...

To 5:17PM ~~ You make an excellent point!! Maybe we could have a fundraiser where the union rep for GTA from Apollo mud wrestles the union rep for GTA from Olympia?? It would help fill that $5 million budget gap ;)

To 6:32PM ~~ I think I have a hairball caught in my throat ... ack!!

Anonymous said...

Unless I am mistaken
SOC began, in part, as way to balance enrollment fluctuations at the neighborhood level. To reduce the chances that school boundaries had to be redrawn.

In a district of 12000 students, and more than 15 schools, it seems that might still be a viable reason.

Perhaps the reason the superintendent does not answer your question is that you come off as a petty child each and every time you call her "Babs". A little courtesy can sometimes go a long way.

Anonymous said...


SCATS said...

To 10:34PM ~~ You ARE mistaken. SOC's began solely (so we were told ... ) to attend to fluctuations in attendance areas CAUSED BY A HOUSING CONSTRUCTION BOOM in Greece in the late 80's-early 90's. People were upset by having to change schools every year or so, due to limited space.

There IS NO SUCH ISSUE IN GREECE TODAY. I can state that with confidence because Greece added DOZENS UPON DOZENS OF NEW CLASSROOMS back in '93 with school additions and the opening of Pine Brook and Arcadia MS (remember the empty classroom scandal?) and then we added more again in 2001. We added enough space to accomodate around 17,000 students! We barely have 12,000 now, thus the need to shutter several buildings ;)

If the Supt's skin is so thin that "Babs" bothers her, then we certainly chose the WRONG person for the job! We need someone with the strength/backbone to stand up to the angry throngs of helicopter parents and sports booster bullies Greece has become known for.

Anonymous said...

10:34 & 11:35, Just to be clear, the question that I asked here (of the Supt.) is essentially the same one asked of her and the BOE by Hubbard weeks ago. I heard him say nothing childish in his language at that time.

What answer did he get to that question then? ...Silence

What answer has he gotten since? ...Silence

Any more excuses?

Anonymous said...

Instead of whining on a blog, has anyone tried calling the superintendent? I know a number of people who have called her office and received direct responses to questions they have asked.
But I guess that might make it more difficult to complain about non response.

SCATS said...

To 10:54AM ~~ Apparently, you haven't kept up on this subject. Charlie Hubbard posed this question to the Supt. & BOE at a recent public informational meeting. There was NO RESPONSE ... other than Suzie Meier saying some ridiculous thing about the purpose of SOC's were they are successful.

Anonymous said...

Apparently you missed my point.

Have you called the superintendent's office and asked her?

Seems pretty simple.

SCATS said...

To 2:59PM ~~ Is there something secretive about the answer that she couldn't respond in public? Why should it take a special call? What is DO hiding by responding only to an individual who asks?

On the other hand, the BOE has heard this question SEVERAL TIMES. They STILL don't have an answer ... and neither does Babs ;)

Anonymous said...

At this point, the SOCs are helping keep the district afloat in regards to state standards. By having successful scores at the SOCs, they are allowing the district to play the shell game by spreading out non-performing students between more schools.

Anonymous said...

2:59- why can't someone answer the question? not like its a new question and it seems pretty simple too (my guess is they can't give an answer that makes sense .....Sue Meyer already blew it)

Anonymous said...

10:54 & 2:59... Are u freaking kidding me!? What the hell is the difference between a question asked publicly and one asked over the phone. You two couldn't sound more pathetic if you tried. I've also heard that Hubbard wrote her directly about the subject, prior to the public forum.

Now what's your excuse? For a lady that claimed she was so accessable, I'm left wondering what's the point? What was the point of these bs forums if questions were not going to be answered?

Don't be too ashamed BABS, u sold out just like the last guy.