@Yugoboy,for someone who claims to be a City School District teacher, you sure seem to have an awfully lot of of time to make a great many posts, and long posts, during the work day hours. Must be nice.
Looks like Trip and his county legislature crony Danielle found out that people in the village are not as dumb as they think, especially when they name their party "No to 75 Monroe" when they are actually for the building of 75 Monroe!
PARENTS PARENTS PARENTS!! I never got in trouble in school because I knew that both (yes, there were 2 of them) would flip a sh*t if I got any kind of suspension. Discipline starts at home with the parents. If you can't raise a kid, don't have one! Having a kid isn't some disease that you just catch, we know how it happens and how to prevent it!
Thank you for bringing this topic to people's attention (again).
One of the direct observations people can make when looking at the district's test scores is that the decline in Middle School is universal and dramatic. Our students don't get stupider, the behavior does. Discipline in the middle schools is such a major issue that keeping experienced people in Middle Schools is very hard. It takes a special kind of angel to be able to tolerate the incredible strain of dealing with the behaviors, defiance, and lack of effective consequences that teaching in Middle School requires.
When I describe my students' behaviors to people outside the district (and I refuse to use hyperbole) people still think I"m nuts. The teachers in my school have tried literally everything we can think of short of corporal punishment, and the results have been significantly worse behaviors. Phone calls home are done only so we can say we did them, because it's not like they have any significant impact. Kids don't care about their grades because they know they'll get socially promoted. Even if they don't, they can go to summer school for free.
Until we end social promotions, start charging for summer school, and somehow make parents accountable enough for their children's behavior that they will find some sort of effective discipline for their kids, little will change.
Despair amongst my colleagues is high. We are all simply struggling to get to June. The countdown started weeks ago, and the way people talk about April recess in a couple weeks, you'd think it was prison furlough. From a Vietnamese POW camp.
Thank you for some insights, Yugoboy. I think the problem is more particular, though. Serious behavioral problems are found mostly amongst African American kids and the relevant parental critique is that the parents care very little about their kids (and thus such basics as discipline).
One phenomenon I have seen in working with kids is what I call "The Kiss of Death". Every few months I will get one or more new African American kids from the same family to show up at my table and wanting to do some worksheets with me. Later that day, or perhaps the next, their parent (almost always a mom) will find their kids there working and awkwardly express gratitude to me (and other tutors present) that there is local tutoring/learning help available. That is "The Kiss of Death". I almost never see their kids again.
The larger context is that amongst our tutors we do have many poor kids showing up regularly - quite a few with illiterate refugee parents - and they try and they behave (and it works). Behind it all they appear to have the essential ingredient - a supportive parent or parents.
Short of a significant change of direction amongst a good chunk of the city's African American community - including getting on board with learning (which one way or another can help in the long run and feels good in the short run), RCSD is going to have an ongoing uphill battle.
If Winn companies wanted to save the taxpeyers money then why did they not propose the $57 million deal first? They onyl want the money and are not worried about MCC or the taxpayers. Winn has already recieved COMIDA assistance but apparently that is not enough. Why is Winn begging for MCC to stay? It is obvious Mayor Richards needs to stay out of real estate and focus on the finances and needs of the City of Rochester. Also, a proposed RPD substation is proposed for the Sibley building. Why? RPD is already on East Main street and the surrounding area!
Flashback to 2010. Then Mayor Robert Duffy completes a deal that puts the land surrounding Hemlock and Canadice Lakes into the hands of the state to be protected forever. Read the press release: http://www.cityofrochester.gov/mobilesite/…
Since the state gained control of this land, they need to develop a UMP--unit management plan--for this state forest. The proposed UMP has been released and it allows for the possibility for commercial logging and gas/oil drilling.
YOU need to speak up and prevent these devastating possibilities from happening. It is clear from the city press release that we were told the lakes and land would be “protected” forever. This is a promise the state must keep.
Below is the link to the DEC’s public comment website for the Hemlock-Canadice Lakes State Forest Unit Management Plan. Please submit your comment before April 15, 2013. Please tell the state you want the UMP to state clearly and absolutely that NO OIL OR GAS DRILLING WILL BE ALLOWED. Also tell the state that commercial logging must also be prohibited.
I learned by attending the public hearing that the designation as a State Forest is insufficient for the absolute protection needed for Hemlock-Canadice. So also tell the state to change the designation from State Forest to State Nature and Historic Preserve.
While you’re offering your comments to the DEC, why not contact Lt. Gov Robert Duffy to tell him to weigh in on this topic because he is the one who started it.
The suspension problem in the city would not be as severe as it is if parents began to behave more like parents, and enacted discipline on their kids instead of requiring the schools to do it. There are more than a few students who are remarkably resistant to behavioral modification and make teaching and learning exceptionally difficult for others.
If parents started disciplining their kids in elementary school and took measures that caused the kids to behave in manners more conducive to teaching and learning, the suspension rate would not be so high. The suspension rate is as high as it is, not because schools aren't flexible and haven't tried damn near everything they can think of (they have... I've seen a goofy number of different attempts, only a few with even moderate results), but because the students all over the district, for whatever reason, have decided that they have no reason to behave as scholars, or even allow others to behave as scholars.
The reasons are numerous and come from all sides of the problem. A few:
1 - Students realize their prospects for getting jobs that they can support themselves with is minimal at best, and that a high school diploma won't provide enough help, and that college is an unrealistic goal.
2 - Students have been socially promoted far above their ability level, and rather than make the effort to either get themselves up to speed, or find someone to help them get up to speed, have decided to camouflage their ineffectiveness with unruly behavior.
3 - Discipline begins too lax at the beginning of the school year, and by the time the school catches up to what needs to happen, those horses are out of the barn and running for the hills.
4 - As stated above, parents are not effective enough at exerting discipline on their kids.
5 - The pull of the streets (short-term reward) is stronger than the desire for an education (long-term reward).
6 - Poor diets and too much X-Box mitigate against their ability to sit still for 40 minutes.
7 - Students are fed a diet of unhealthy media that impacts behaviors in very subtle ways, especially when there is little to counter-balance those behaviors.
This is obviously not a comprehensive list, but it begins to give one a sense of the struggle being waged. If a parent decides to appeal a long-term suspension, some serious questions need to be asked of BOTH side of the appeal. Something has gone tragically wrong, and the kids are the ones suffering. (Doesn't mean I want to keep unruly kids in my class, though... I've got too many "good" kids who need an education).
Gordon Osburn - You do know that Hollywood uses blanks don't you? If New York's gun crazies agree to do the same I'd support a waiver for them as well.
If Hollywood isn't willing to follow the same Cuomo inspired gun laws that I am forced to follow, then as far as I am concerned, they aren't welcome here. Cuomo lied when he said that the purpose of the SAFE act was to reduce gun violence. Waiving these laws for Hollywood promotes gun violence. Damed hypocrite.
"Racism" today is never the reason, but the result. Rarely anymore are people overtly discriminated against because of their skin color. However, take a look at the results of the various programs and policies in the area (or the nation as a whole). Certainly no suburban school would turn an African-American kid away from the school doors if the parents have a home in the district. I cannot imagine many suburban parents objecting to their child sitting next to or playing next to a minority kid in their school.
A big reason for this acceptance is the mere fact of the "minority" being just that... a minority. They pose no threat to their child's status, and in fact enhance everyone's status by demonstrating how enlightened and tolerant they are.
There is at least one suburb in Chicago (whose name escapes me) that managed to remain solidly middle class while at the same time allowing African-Americans to move in. So many moved in that it is now very much "majority minority" and it is patently obvious that white flight has indeed occurred.
If you polled each and every suburban family, greater than 90% would demonstrate a genuine belief in their own toleration and progressiveness. See what the actual response is any time Metro Schools gets proposed.
I am indeed a City School District employee, and you would be amazed at the responses I get when I tell people where I work. Far far far too many people respond with pity and an astounding number reveal absolute ignorance of the behaviors of my students and/or reasons behind them.
These kids deserve a fighting chance at success, and current policies and programs both within and without the city are denying them that, ostensibly due to class, but the racial correlation is undeniable.
The belief that "behavior" is the main reason for district or student failures is a cop-out.
I know I and my colleagues appreciate your efforts at tutoring and assistance, but come into the schools and talk to us and our students on a larger basis than just those that need tutoring.
We've managed to replace "race" with "class" as the discriminated group, but again, the correlation is undeniable.
This is a significant topic and City's slant is as expected. But it is Yugoboy's response that deserves attention.
Essentially a solution exists but because "racism" it will never come to pass. It is worth noting that I believe Yugoboy is in fact an RCSD employee.
First, the obvious. The solution has in fact been tried for decades within RCSD. Has there been a bigger - albeit unstated - policy goal than to get "integrated" classrooms and in particular to get poor African American students into middle class/mostly white programs? Look at the history of East High School. And what has been the upshot of this double standards-based effort? The dominant attitude of African American students (certainly by middle and high school) is basically don't study (and sometimes characterized by "don't be white"). I volunteer tutor 4 days a week and this hugely self-evident.
And what happened to those middle class programs? Well some qualified kids had to directly be displaced by this policy. But the secondary effect is creating programs with big differences in the student backgrounds and interests. This is a big problem. What would East High School's basketball program/legacy have been under a policy of integrating several Asian American kids onto teams?
But the deeper issue is honesty. Yugoboy knows this. The accusation that suburbanites are biased against skin color as opposed to behavioral issues is absurd. By the way, for overt racism is there any group that demonstrates more of it than young urban African Americans?
It is good to honest about important issues - even PC-ified topics like race.
What would we do with the students of the dissolved district?
If the answer is to divvy them up between the various suburban districts, we can just end speculation now. That'll never happen. Suburban parents would never tolerate "those" students coming to their child's school. (I don't care how you phrase it, the fear isn't of low performing kids in the schools; that just makes their children look better. The fear is having brown and black kids in the schools with their children. Irrational fear which under a less polite umbrella is known as racism.)
If the answer is to make a Metro/County school district... see above; except the parents would find a way to make "busing" the issue, and kids would be relegated to "neighborhood schools" with the same issues we already have. If that could be overcome, all you'd be doing is promoting a significant jump in charter and private schools and/or white flight to the 5 surrounding counties.
It is an interesting idea to contemplate, and I have long felt that the only really good way to raise the performance of many urban kids at once is to send them to suburban schools. A significant majority of the kids would find a way to make up the gap. The problem is that the parents will never stand for it. Suburban parents would also bemoan the amount of their money would spent on city schools, if only to improve facilities.
As much as I could and would support this idea, it will never come to pass here. That ship has already sailed.
Yugoboy - If as you claim these red light cameras are unconstitutional then some court must have issued a ruling of which I am unaware as only the courts, not you nor I, are qualified to do so. So could you post the link to that decision?
I'll avoid repeating the obvious fact that the violation of ANY traffic law can result in a fine (or worse) and that Rochester's use of red light cameras is therefor no more mercenary or unjust than is the enforcement of any law, and instead focus on those two decisions that plague you when you approach a red light with an attendent camera. You say you have to decide either to brake and risk being rear-ended, or stomping on the gas to beat the light. Out of curiosity, how does this differ from the available options in pre-camera days? Surely you're not implying that you would have violated the law and run a red light in former days because you knew that the chances of being caught were practically nil?
The NY State Assembly has done its part. Now it is our turn to do our part. Contact your NY State Senator and urge her or him to pass the Senate version of the 2 year fracking moratorium.
Find your NY State Senator: http://www.nysenate.gov/senators
Contact NY Senator Joe Robach: http://www.nysenate.gov/senator/joseph-e-r…
The red light camera$ are $uppo$ed to be for $afety. The obviou$ interpretation i$ that the City of Roche$ter $ee$ it$ citizen$ as nothing more than ATM$.
When I $ee a red light camera inter$ection and I think I might be at ri$sk, I take 1 of 2 action$: either I $lam on the brake$ to avoid the ticket, thu$ ri$king getting rear-ended, or I jam on the ga$ to get through before I get bu$ted.
I, for one, do not feel any $afer with the$e uncon$titutional robocop$, nor with law enforcement being done by private for-profit companie$.
(NOTE: Sarcasm Alert !)
Cicero - If as you posit , these suburbanite drivers are going to stay away from Rochester because so many of them will be receiving tickets for running red lights, then perhaps we city dwellers will be a lot safer if so many poor drivers stay off our streets.
The one issue that no one has talked about is that this idiotic red light camera program gives suburban drivers one more reason to avoid going downtown. The city of Rochester desperately needs suburbanites to spend $ downtown in High Falls and the East End. One or two $50 tickets will make them think twice and could be enough incentive for them to decide to spend their hard-earned money at Tinseltown or the neighborhood bar instead.
Think about that, City Council...
How many more illicit tickets need to be issued, and how many more tax payers' dollars must be wasted before Rochester simply dismantles this idiotic program? In LA it was found that because the driver does not sign a promise to appear in court they can simply ignore the ticket without fear of prosecution. LA became so overwhelmed with the backlog of non-paying alleged red light runners that the entire program was ultimately ignored and dismantled by the city officials. Oh, let's not forget how many millions of dollars LA was expecting to earn ended up costing them millions more in unexpected costs while Redflex did just fine. What a waste there, and here, too. For me my vote will do my talking when it comes to upcoming elections, where the fools who bought into this little sham will not get my nod of approval.
One of the problems with the short yellow lights is a traffic engineer explained it to me is the "dilemma zone". That is the time when you are close enough to the yellow light that you have to decide:
1. Do I have enough time to safely stop without slamming into the windshield
2. Should I just do the yellow light since I can't meet #1
Those who say, "well they ran the red light" don't get the "dilemma zone". If you are driving at or below the speed limit you should have time to stop safely. If the yellow light is shortened that time disappears and as a driver you are now stuck with a real problem.
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