Correction of typo:
Troll Wisperer: Are you a denier of natural, cosmic and planetary causes of climate change?
Troll Wisperer: Are you a denier of natural, cosmic and planetary causes climate change?
The root problem in the RCSD is that the district doesn't understand Maslow's hierarchy of needs. You MUST meet basic needs before you try to address higher-level needs. And they must be done in order.
First, you have to make sure that kids are fed and warm. I know they provide breakfast and lunch (though I admit that I don't know if the meals are actually edible. They might even want to look into that).
Second, you have to provide an environment of safety. This is where the district is failing miserably. The funds that Vargas refers to should be funneled unapologetically to getting the hallways safe. Teachers will do better, students will do better. But most importantly, you CANNOT address educational concerns until you address safety concerns.
Third, the problem starts in elementary school. A problem cannot be fixed from the top down. You have to start with the elementary schools. I know a few RCSD teachers. They face a generation of children whose families do not value education, thus there must be innovation on the part of the teacher....because their job is now not only to educate, but to make learning fascinating. In short, they must be education salespeople. Yes, it's hard. Yes, it's double the work that the suburb teachers have to do. But it IS possible.
@Leo, please provide links to peer-reviewed research that states the earth is not experiencing human-made global warming.
Work lives and personal lives "collide" only to the extent we let them. How about everybody at work focus on the business at hand, keep their nose out of their neighbor's business, and keep their own business to themselves?
As a parent of children attending city schools, I'm all for innovative ideas to improve student achievement and turn around some pretty bleak statistics in some of our buildings. I also have a great deal of respect for our many high quality colleges and universities in the region. When I read about these proposals though, I feel like I'm missing something. Rankings of colleges and universities tend to equate being more selective with better -- they're more 'successful' by screening out lower performing students and educating the best and the brightest. Nothing in that operating model suggests to me any particular competence or expertise with successfully educating lower performing students in an urban environment. Engagement or collaborations with our colleges could be helpful but students in our schools face a myriad of issues and challenges not present in a college or university's typical student. I'll be interested to see what develops but would love to see how this model has played out in other areas before betting the farm on this approach.
"The IPCC is the authoritative voice on climate change." HA! Sez who?
Back in the 1970's the conventional wisdom was that we were heading into another ice age because of global cooling. At some point that assertion was no longer operative; now they say we are experiencing global warming. Ten thousand years ago this area was covered with ice a mile thick. It came and went without the apparent intervention of humans, so it must have been caused by natural effects such as sun spots, solar flares, and the eccentricity, tilt and precession of the earth's orbit. These are much larger effects than we humans have any ability to alter. We should continue to be more efficient with energy and other resources, but let's not allow our judgment to be influenced by fear mongers.
If you take the time to read some climate studies that pertain to our region, especially the ClimAID report, you find that our region, with its fresh water, temperate climate, excellent soil, will be one of those regions that may not get hit as hard with Climate Change as many others.
Folks in the South and West are experiencing severe flooding and droughts that, according to climate studies, will be long lasting. There is more than a good chance that this Rochester region will be a place many will want to come to grow food and get enough fresh clean water—as long as we don’t frack it up. We have excellent transportation infrastructures (which includes the canal that can move heavy equipment) and getting better as the City of Rochester ramps up alternative transportation (walking and bicycling).
One of the thing s to learn about how to adapt to Climate Change in our region is to adapt to more folks coming to this region, where our economy will grow. We must protect the environment we have and ready ourselves for many who will find our region a wonderful relief from wildfires, drought, massive flooding, sea rise, and much more.
Read the ClimAid report: http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/climaid
Millions of former residents eager for a change in climate already have fled New York State and the Great Lakes region. Nobody in their right mind should be trying to keep this dismal climate as it is.
A generation ago we let anti-nuke fanaticism carry the day. That turned out to be a disastrous blunder (one that, incidentally, further increased emissions). Let's not relearn that lesson.
“New York State actually has a few programs in place to encourage that [Climate Change] sort of planning.” And one of those programs is called Climate Smart Communities (CSC) and if you want meet and talk with Mark Lowery, manager of the DEC’s CSC program, consider coming to the Sierra Club’s 2014 Earth Day Forum "Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program" on April 17th, 220 S. Winton Rd, in Brighton, NY. More http://newyork.sierraclub.org/rochester/Fo…
Climate Change isn’t about bumper sticker phrases, it’s complex, the state’s on it, and we need to talk about it. Got questions? Got thoughts on Climate Change in our area? We really want to hear your thoughts and we are ready want to listen. Without the public’s full understanding of what Climate Chang is and what measures will be needed to address an issue of this size and complexity, the public, everyone, must get engaged.
You can't educate kids when 20% of them are absent any given day. No wonder the RCSD is such a mess. The absenteeism figure just speaks to the massive amount of cultural rot in the city of Rochester.
My lengthy post below --- should not have read "this morning's Huffington Post ." City Newspaper's website is apparently configured in such a manner that if comments are not edited within a specified amount of time, apparently it's not possible to edit after the specified time. The article was actually written in 2011, but I am certain, based on conversations with friends in Raleigh --- fundamentally nothing has changed since 2011.
Theoretically, "... a metro district with integrated schools" sounds good. Realistically, it's a very old "dog" that just won't hunt, especially in thoroughly segregated Monroe County. It's merely a pipe-dream, and we absolutely cannot afford to chase pie-dreams. In fact, even the Raleigh NC. experiment is dead. Check the article out, from this morning's Huffington Post (at the following link):
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK-OUT THE ACCOMPANYING VIDEO
It's NEVER going to work, and here's why:
Please see below, an essay, which I first penned more than 12 years ago. It is absolutely amazing that (12 years later) the content is more relevant today than it was at the time when I originally wrote the essay. If you have the interest and time to study it --- I'd be glad to discuss the content with you and / or others who may be interested.
The Struggle Continues...
The Myth Of Dismantling Racial Segregation Within
the U.S. Public School System: Chasing Pipe Dreams
By Howard J. Eagle
This slightly revised article (2004, on the 50th anniversary of the historic Brown v. Board of Education Case) was originally inspired in part by the work of several other authors, which I had read in Education Week during January and February of 2002, including a very lengthy, but limited analysis by a professor named Richard M. Merelman. The central theme of the above referenced authors is a mythical abstraction that they referred to as "resegregation" in public education. In my response, I had argued and maintain that --- although it had emerged (during the early months of 2002) as a topic of "scholarly" debate within some education circles --- there was and is no such thing as "resegregation" within the U.S. public school system. The plain, simple truth is that, despite the U.S. Supreme Court's Decision in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education Case; thousands of citizens' protests, marches, and demonstrations in the streets; massive busing efforts; federal enforcement efforts, including the use of soldiers in numerous cases; sit-ins, teach-ins, and love-ins on the part of liberals, militants, and "revolutionaries" of every stripe, especially during the 1960's and 70's --- the U.S. never even came remotely close to achieving full (defacto, as opposed to dejure) desegregation within the vast majority of its public schools. In addition to numerous court cases, such as the Brown Case and many others, (some of which date back to the 1930's and 40's) the types of street action described above were clearly, largely responsible for helping to produce a relatively small degree of progress (considering the price that was paid) toward equal, public, educational opportunity for all U.S. citizens. However, in the main, such efforts failed to the extent that the exact same, ongoing, fundamental issue of inequitable resource distribution between predominantly white, middle and upper class, suburban, public school students vis-a-vis predominantly black and brown, poor and working class, urban, public school students, is as real and serious in 2004 --- as it was in 1954. This failure can be contributed to numerous factors. One of the most critical and outstanding factors is that accommodations were made for expansion of the black middle class in particular. Many of those who benefited most from accommodations and expansion --- had been former leaders, activists, and participants in the types of street actions referenced above. Amazingly, many of the same people became willing "victims" of calculated, cooptation. Thus, due largely to a great vacuum in leadership, caused by desertion on the part of people who had once lent their skills to organizing and fighting so fervently for justice and equality, (apparently only for themselves), sociopolitical movements that had been effective --- died.
Another part of the hard, cold, simple truth is that throughout the history of this nation --- the overwhelming majority of wealthy and middle class, white parents in particular --- have always made it clear that they are not willing to allow their children to attend schools with large numbers of poor, black and brown children. In fact, wealthy and middle class people of color have also generally chosen to educate their children separately from the poor, black masses.
It is probably important to pause at this point and remind readers of the fact that, with regard to public education, and specifically as it relates to academic achievement, ongoing discussions regarding the potential worth or value of desegregation and integration, are usually fueled by the underlying reality that (decades after the 1954 Brown Decision, and other types of actions mentioned above) generally, so-called "minority" students attending public schools, lag behind their white counter parts by leaps and bounds. Numerous scholars and others continue to insist that desegregation and integration represent important aspects of the solution that will eliminate this so-called achievement "gap."
The idea of desegregation and racial integration representing a remedy relative to effectively addressing the widening achievement "gap" between white students and students of color (anytime soon), is totally unrealistic. This vitally important issue is much too urgent for us to give serious consideration to theories that are seemingly based primarily on peoples' romantic wishes, dreams, hopes and prayers --- as opposed to some type of scientific approach and/or evidence. It is time to stop pretending and romanticizing about this life and death issue, and come to grips with the total reality that surrounds continued, pervasive, racial segregation within the U.S. public school system(s).
Clearly, an important part of the reality is that, while integration may be desirable for some --- there are far more people, especially middle and upper class whites --- who do not, never have, and probably never will support racial integration of public schools. Although this reality applies to considerably more white people, particularly parents, than any other racial group --- it is not (exclusively) a white phenomenon. For example, in addition to hundreds of thousands of white educators, there are many blacks and other parents of color who make their livings by working in predominantly black and brown urban schools, but would never consider sending their own children to the same school systems in which they work (even if there were no residency laws preventing them from doing so). More often than not, urban educators (both white and those of color) live in suburban areas. Although it hinges on sick thinking --- I am thoroughly convinced that it is not far-fetched to believe that many people of color who reside in suburban areas, would oppose full, racial integration of public schools.
The degree and depth of resistance represents the main reason why racial integration is not a timely, practical, nor realistic solution for addressing the hard core, entrenched, massive, educational failure experienced in economically poor, predominantly black and Hispanic, urban school districts throughout the United States. It is precisely due to the fact that large numbers of people, especially people of color, have come to realize and understand the depth and pervasiveness of resistance, that many are no longer willing to spend another 50 or 100 years fighting and struggling to achieve the unlikely and unrealistic goal of public school integration.
For decades, many African Americans have viewed the idea of integration as being a matter of chasing pipe dreams, or a waste of precious time and energy that would be better spent on attempts to improve their public schools now (regardless of the socioeconomic and racial compositions of the student bodies). The latter point represents a major reason why (as pointed out by professor Richard M. Merelman), organizations such as ... "the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, which designed and executed the arduous legal strategy that [theoretically] won school desegregation in the courts, now has difficulty maintaining a public posture favorable to it against an indifferent and sometimes hostile membership" (Education Week, Feb. 6, 2002, p. 52). It is not likely that the majority of rank and file NAACP members are "indifferent" to the serious, deep-seated, widespread failure, and/or other problems that exist in poverty stricken, urban schools. On the contrary --- they are probably quite concerned. Yet, there is no denying that many of them are absolutely "indifferent and sometimes hostile" relative to the idea of continuing to pursue public school integration as a possible, immediate, or near-future solution. They have undoubtedly joined the ranks of millions who are very, very tired of chasing pipe dreams.
Indeed, there is a need to carefully consider what will happen to the generations of predominantly black and brown children who are currently left with no choices, except attending segregated, underfunded, relatively poor, urban public schools. One thing is certain: If their academic well being and progress is dependent upon the unlikely advent of racial integration --- such students will not become beneficiaries of significantly improved educational opportunities. Once again, it is impossible to overemphasize the fact that this unlikelihood is based on thoroughly pervasive, organized resistance --- fueled by irrational racist and classist values and belief systems, especially, but not exclusively, on the part of middle and upper class, wealthy, white parents.
For those who are convinced that integration is, in part, or totally, the solution that will 'fix' the urban education crisis --- current and long range strategy is the key, pivotal issue. This is the most notable area in which staunch supporters and advocates of public school integration fall short. With regard to addressing the crisis, some scholars and others insist that the solution, or at least a significant part of it, lies within the need to "break up concentrated poverty," which is another way of saying, there is a need to integrate public schools. Yet, these same advocates and supporters of integration are lacking, and in fact, totally deficient relative to development and/or implementation of practical, effective strategies and tactics that can be utilized to bring their proposed solution into fruition --- without having to wait another two or three hundred years, which is the worst possible thing that people who are most in need of change can afford to do.
In addition to those referenced above, there are many other people who continue to advocate and fight for urban, educational improvement, but for the most part (understandably so) --- in the face of widespread, predominantly white, well organized, and well financed resistance --- have given up on racial integration as a potential solution. This does not necessarily mean that such people are pro-segregation or pro-"resegregation" (if there is such a thing relative to public education in the U.S., which I maintain --- there is not). In order for something to be reinstated or reinstituted --- it necessarily has to exist first. Since desegregation, and certainly integration, has never occurred on any substantial level within the U.S. public school system, it is not really possible, nor is it historically accurate or intellectually honest to engage in serious dialogue or discussion about so-called "resegregation." Many people who clearly understand the desperate need for fundamental change and academic improvement within urban schools throughout the nation, but do not accept racial integration as a realistic or viable solution, often support the following, or similar position(s): As it relates to urban, public schools in the main, (vis-a-vis overwhelmingly, predominantly white, suburban schools, in which children are generally doing well academically and otherwise) the reality that massive numbers of socioeconomically poor, African American and Hispanic children in particular, are flunking out, dropping out, dying out, and/or being imprisoned at younger ages than ever before --- dictates the necessity of providing major amounts of additional, financial resources, human energy and commitment in order to produce significant, fundamental change and improvement within urban, public schools now! Those who support this or similar positions, often argue that we can worry about integration later --- if at all. They also often insist (correctly so) that it is mainly white Americans (as opposed to people of color) who need to be convinced of the morality, importance, and value of integration. Urban students, as well as all students --- don't necessarily need integration or segregation: What they need is adequate and appropriate education!
With regard to professor Merelman's above referenced Education Week Commentary, the essential argument that the scholar attempts (unconvincingly) to advance is that equitable, educational opportunities and significant academic improvement for economically poor, urban, public school children is totally dependent upon the wealth and deeds of white, suburban parents. He argues that... "white parents have more money than black parents to pay for schools, public or private. Parents are mainly interested in good schools for their own children, not for the children of others. It follows that whites will only support black students who happen to be in school with white children. Thus, only if they are sitting next to white children will black children benefit educationally" (p. 37). This is an incredibly shallow assertion, which seems to hinge upon acceptance of institutionalized racism. The argument completely ignores the fact that U.S. States are bound by their Constitutions to provide equitable educational opportunities for all children --- regardless of race, socioeconomic status, or any other variable. Perhaps the intended point that the author was attempting to make is that --- since predominantly white, suburban parents and communities (vis-a-vis predominantly African American and Hispanic, urban parents and communities) are generally far more wealthy and economically stable, as well as, a lot more organized politically --- the former group exercises considerably more clout and control over local, state, and federal legislative bodies, which are responsible for allocating resources to public schools. Herein lies one of the most critical factors embodied within institutionalized discrimination and injustice, which helps perpetuate the shameful, national, urban education crisis. That is to say, as it relates to resource allocation, nearly every state legislature in the Union has devised indecipherable financial aid "formulas," (usually based largely on property tax) which clearly favor predominantly white, politically well organized, parents and children from wealthy suburban school districts --- while blatantly discriminating against predominantly African Americans and Hispanics, as well as other parents and children from less organized, economically poor, urban school districts. Such legally sophisticated, institutionalized racism and classism has always been an inherent part of the U.S. economic and political systems. With regard to providing equitable (not equal, but equitable) funding and equal, public, educational opportunities --- the overall situation is literally a classic example of "robin-hood-in-reverse," i.e., literally taking from the poor, and giving to the rich.
Until and unless decisive, and probably mass action is taken --- professor Merelman is absolutely correct regarding his contention that... "poor black parents, underfunded [so-called] minority school districts, and low-tax-base, largely black cities [will] continue their losing struggle to come up with educational money they don't have." As noted at the outset of this treatise, U.S. history bears witness to the fact that the only type of action that is likely to be effective relative to helping to secure additional, much needed, and much deserved resources for economically poor, urban school districts is community organizing and civil disobedience, including, if necessary --- protesting in the halls of local, state, and federal governments --- as well as, in the streets. There is absolutely no question about the fact that the cause (demand for equitable public education funding, and equality regarding educational opportunities for all children now) is a just one! The cause is in fact the same one in 2004 that produced the well intentioned, but largely ineffective Brown Decision of 1954. As it relates to prospects for change and improvement, a critical missing element, which existed 50 years earlier, is the lack of bold, committed, courageous, political leadership, particularly within the nation's most depressed and oppressed communities. It is totally amazing that those who are considered and/or have been appointed as part of the official and unofficial, elected and non-elected leadership and "representatives" of urban constituencies --- have been able for as long as they have, (without a firestorm of public criticism and disownership by those whom they claim to represent) to get away with not initiating decisive and indeed radical actions --- designed to effectively produce significant, widespread improvement relative to the scandalous, national, urban education crisis.
Lastly, the remote possibility of racial integration representing part of the solution relative to the crisis in urban, public education, is an issue and question that is largely dependent upon the commitment of its advocates, especially white persons. For those who are serious about their belief in the morality and value of racial integration, and truly committed to bringing it into existence, huge numbers of white people in particular, must necessarily be willing to confront the deep-seated, irrational, racism harbored in the hearts and minds of their mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors and colleagues. It is important to consider that, historically speaking, (in the main) people of color have not been guilty of establishment and maintenance of pervasive, organized, resistance to racial integration within the U.S. On the contrary, there is probably no example in the history of the world in which people have surpassed the efforts of African Americans and other people of color to integrate into a society that has repeatedly rejected them as equals. It would not be morally or ethically right, nor would it be logical to now blame African Americans and/or other people of color for being sick and tired of chasing that which certainly appears to be a pipe dream.
Also, here is a direct link to the article in American Journal of Preventive Medicine: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749379713006223
Thank you for your REALISM. You are absolutely CORRECT, and I wish potentially dangerous , super-liberals, like Ms. Towler, would stop attempting to convince people to continue chasing pipe-dreams.
I thought that Rochester was facing a $28 million budget deficit. So the $6 million won't be used to lower this to $22 million? Is there some law that governments must always spend more than they have. I guess it's great for the big banks.
Help for the poor? That's just some politician talking.
Cuomo turned down Mayor Warren's request for the $100 million but gave her $6 million for "anti-poverty efforts". Does anyone know specifically what "anti-poverty efforts" are and exactly how this money will be spent? I didn't think so. As usual there is no information anywhere about this.
The only local names who support Cuomo's plan are allies or outright flunkies of Assemblyman Joe Morelle, the Assembly majority leader and close ally of Cuomo. None of them deserve a Profile in Courage Award.
Hey, Buffalo is getting ONE BILLION DOLLARS from NYS taxpayers. That computes to $50 million as Rochester's contribution.
High taxes, and then large giveaways is such a silly game and very destructive to our economy.
What amazes me the most(well, not really), is how the DEC is so protective of wetlands everywhere, but now we find that digging canals through the cattails is good???
Actually, it's about time they did something about the Greece waterfront. Braddock Bay has been dead for years. The Long Pond outlet has been virtually unnavigable for years as is the small channel between Long and Cranberry Ponds. Buck Pond has weeds growing throughout the open water. Little Pond also is struggling .
There are at least 4 marinas with close to zero boats in them, Restaurants are closed or struggling. The ecosystem was much healthier when the marinas were full and lots of tax revenue was flowing.
This article illustrates that not only can capitalism and environmentalism co-exist, they must co-exist.
Despite its successes, the Rochester region still has its share of environmental problems.
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