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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “Seeking bus converts

Some people have asked if you need a special ROC Transit Day pass to participate. You do not. ANY RTS fare card can be used. If you already have a monthly pass for example, you can use it to redeem any of the deals at local merchants/restaurants. And if our volunteers see you out and about tomorrow without your car, you could win a free gift.

But don't do it to win a prize - do it because it feels good! Make plans now to leave your car home, walk, bike, or bus tomorrow.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike Governale on 06/18/2014 at 10:10 AM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren to legislators: Don't approve funds for second phase of schools modernization

Great...oversight in redundant fashion as stated by Joe Morelle. Yet, what is the FBI Investigation about and why is it that phase two will go ahead as planned ? What happened in phase one ? Whom is it that lied,stole, rigged bids etc. ?

Craig R. Moffitt

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 06/18/2014 at 9:39 AM

Re: “Teachers' rights challenged

I say poverty is unconstitutional as it has the ability to impede a students right to a quality education - if said students are not receiving proper dental care, are lacking eye glasses if needed and have poor nutrition - I am certainly not implying being poor equates to being unable to learn. But I am stating it can certainly set up some major road blocks - now let's talk about how these factors weigh on on my performance - I'm all for a fair evaluation process but until we stop teacher bashing and focus on quality living conditions you'll never get me to agree to this whole teaching/union bashing fiasco

8 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Lisa DiRenzo Englert on 06/18/2014 at 6:03 AM

Re: “Last-minute deal saves second phase of schools project

Great...oversight in redundant fashion as stated by Joe Morelle. Yet, what is the FBI Investigation about and why is it that phase two will go ahead as planned ? What happened in phase one ? Whom is it that lied,stole, rigged bids etc. ?

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 06/17/2014 at 3:54 PM

Re: “Last-minute deal saves second phase of schools project

Glad to hear collaboration is happening to improve the education of children in our area. As we look at how to re-vitalize Rochester, let’s ask more questions and seek better answers.
• Should income inequality in the United States be a matter of great public concern? Yes. Inequality of the type we’re experiencing now directly threatens our democratic institutions and values. Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Thomas Piketty, French Economist.
• What is the best US return on investment? Early childhood education! Source: Dr. James Heckman, Nobel Economist, University of Chicago, Chautauqua Institute series.
• What do young children need to learn before they enter elementary school? Seven Essential Life Skills: Focus & Self Control, Perspective Taking, Communications, Making Connections, Critical Thinking, Taking on Challenges, Being a Self-Directed Learner. Source: Mind in the Making, Ellen Galinsky, Work/Family Institute.
• How do children learn? Experts find that boys tend to learn best through movement and touch, while girls learn most effectively by talking and listening. Frames of Mind: The theory of multiple intelligences, Howard Gardner.
• What intelligence can we develop in children that will give them a superior advantage in the workforce? Emotional Intelligence. Source: Emotional Intelligence 2.0, Travis Bradberry and Jean Greaves.
• Could educational and income inequality have been prevented in Rochester? Yes. Many cities in the US merged their city and county school systems years ago, saving their cities from rotting at their core, and enabling a strong regional economy to thrive. Source: Hope and despair in the American city, Why there are no bad schools in Raleigh, Gerald Grant, Syracuse University Professor of Education and Sociology.
• What do we know about poverty and how to intervene? The two highest correlations with poverty are family structure and the level of educational attainment. Focus on enhancing the education of mothers and promote an increase in education for young females. Teach story structure and formal language to instill the concept of consequences. Source: What Every Church Member Should Know About Poverty, Bill Ehlig and Ruby K. Payne.
• In what forums are these questions being asked? The Mayor’s Early Learning Council? The Presbyterian fact finding trip to Raleigh supported by the Rochester Community Foundation? The University of Rochester’s initiatives for East High School? Fairport United Methodist and Fairport American Association of University Women’s forums on Poverty?
My gift in this space is a wide-open forum. Join us for the free “Annie” interactive outdoor movie event for the whole family on Wednesday, August 20, 2014 at 1100 Ayrault Road, Fairport NY 14450 (rain date 8/27). A costume parade kicks off the fun at 8:00pm, so be sure to come dressed as your favorite character and be ready to sing-along with Little Orphan Annie. If able, please bring a new or gently used children’s book and/or backpack to be donated to a Rochester city school student.
Pamela Barrett Spiteri, Director, Drama Kids International of Rochester

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Pamela Barrett Spiteri on 06/17/2014 at 1:43 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren to legislators: Don't approve funds for second phase of schools modernization

This last minute letter from Lovely Warren and Loretta Scott is troubling. Clearly, the city was not working closely with Assembly Majority Leader Joe Morelle. Now, the mayor is complaining about not being listened to. Once again, Mayor Lovely Warren is putting herself ahead of the taxpayers, children, and workers she claims to represent.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 06/17/2014 at 1:33 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren to legislators: Don't approve funds for second phase of schools modernization

The solution to mismanagement of funds and other corruption in a government project is not to stop all projects but to investigate, arrest and punish the transgressors. Then to put checks in place to make sure it never happens again. After all failing to repair our schools and refusing to provide these jobs will not make things better.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Alex White on 06/16/2014 at 11:13 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren to legislators: Don't approve funds for second phase of schools modernization

Seems like Lovely and Loretta are not going to put up with the " same old, same old things" in Rochester,NY What really is sad is when men and women try to take advantage of power, money and possible bid rigging to better their own lives instead of the children of Rochester. Is it not bad enough that we have such a poor graduation rate of about 45%; daily murder in the streets; children choosing drugs and gangs instead of jobs (not that there are any good jobs)... more so that men and women that are supposed to be setting the example are allegedly stealing and or rigging bids ; or misappropriating millions of dollars on behalf of the City of Rochester and the School District ? I am sad today and hope that the FBI does indeed arrest and imprison anyone that may have done these things to me and our children.

5 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 06/16/2014 at 9:21 PM

Re: “Regional schools

2 very interesting things in the news today:

-In Rochester, only 1/3 of all children live in a traditional 2 parent family. Third worst in the country. (Buffalo Business First)

-And some good news from California. Union policies protecting tenure have been struck down as illegal. (The Blaze)

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by johnny on 06/16/2014 at 8:26 PM

Re: “The 'war on coal' and the war on the planet

There are good examples of why nuclear is outrageously expensive to build and insure. One example is Fukushima.

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 06/16/2014 at 7:34 PM

Re: “Hunger risk rises in Rochester area

"That’s an increase of 15,170 compared to last year, Foodlink says".

It's like that across the nation. The workforce has shrunk, while the number of people on the dole and getting poorer is up. Maybe rather than ridicule Mitt Romney for stating the 47% FACT, something should have been done to reverse that FACT.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by johnny on 06/16/2014 at 4:48 PM

Re: “[UPDATED] Warren to legislators: Don't approve funds for second phase of schools modernization

Good for Lovely and Loretta...it is certainly time to speak up and get the spending of millions of dollars in the best way possible as well as the fairest ways possible in Rochester,NY. So...we shall halt construction until the FBI Investigation is done. Now...lets make sure those that have stolen or those that have rigged bids should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Craig R. Moffitt

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 06/16/2014 at 2:08 PM

Re: “RTA ticked over testing

I gather that the real complaint is that testing works only too well — i.e., it makes it impossible to ignore the unpleasant reality that some pupils and some instructors just can't cut the mustard. So the naysayers' solution is to slack off, so that everybody can be above average. Provide more fun time. Hand out diplomas based on social promotion, rather than demonstrated mastery. Judge instructors based on fuzzy and irrelevant criteria, rather than actual measured results. In short, revert to the status quo ante that leaves everybody in the dark about why our education system underperforms despite staggering investments.

As for the complaint that "the purpose of education has become tests," well, yes and no. It would be more accurate to say that tests show whether or not the purposes of education actually are achieved. That's a feature, not a bug.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by b.d.g. on 06/16/2014 at 12:40 AM

Re: “The speed wars

Generally, I have never had problems with price and service from TWC, but I am eagerly awaiting Greenlight in my neighborhood. And I will most likely sign up for service. It is not that I need more max bandwidth or but I do want better quality of service (ie more reliable minimum bandwidth). Additionally, with impending merger with Comcast and issues with net neutrality and possible data caps, I see the presence of Greenlight as a mean to keep TWC honest and respect me as a customer. More importantly, the future of internet is more bandwidth (per neighborhood) and better quality of service, and the idea that TWC is going to try to hang on to and squeeze more bandwidth from their coax service, rather than roll out fiber optic (even piecemeal), is sheer stupidity. To put in in terms that anyone from Rochester can understand, coax cable is to fiber optics as film camera is to digital camera. If TWC can't take important lessons from Kodak's failures, then TWC is bound for similar fate.

Posted by Waiting for Greenlight on 06/15/2014 at 9:10 PM

Re: “The US, the super-rich, and the Great Society

It has emerged that a lamestream media organization pays Chelsea Clinton $600,000 per annum for her occasional TV performances in the role of "special correspondent". (For example: A hard-hitting interview with a certain computer-animated gecko.) She appears on average about 28 seconds per week, so her modest stipend works out to about $1.5 million per hour of air time (more than 200,000 times the federal minimum wage). Where's the justice in that? Where are the editorials? Keep this in mind the next time Chelsea or her sleazy parents natter on about "inequality"—or whine about being "dead broke" themselves.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by b.d.g. on 06/14/2014 at 10:22 PM

Re: “RTA ticked over testing

In response to previous comments, of course there are times when teachers push back against administrative or political requirements out of banal self interest. The near universal revulsion by teachers to the new testing regime is not one of those times.

As a science teacher, I value giving assesments and believe that students benefit from the focus and effort needed to do well on tests. That is all well and good. The reality is though that the current pace and stakes involved in testing is actually changing classroom dynamics and outcomes in some very harmful ways.

Reformers claim that there is a mix of criteria that are part of the teacher accountablity rubric in addition to test results. In fact, teachers can be rated as worthy of termination SOLELY on results of state tests, even with high marks in all other areas.

More importantly, a students' ability to pass tests is increasingly becoming a SOLE stumbling block to graduation, which will inevitably force an unnecessarily large number of students to start life with the weight of a non- high school graduate' or "dropout" label hanging around their necks.

Because the definition of high standards means some will not meet them, having no fall back to the unyielding minimum requirement on a wide variety of tests leaves a much smaller than necessary window of opportunity. In the past a variety of options such as the "Local Diploma" existed for students.

The real problem with the increased amount and stakes of state and local testing requirement that is now all the rage is what it is doing to the classroom environment. The paramount purpose of education has become tests, and test results. Some students may respond to these new pressures in ways that improve their school experience. Most do not.. The likeliest outcome in the near future is an even further erosion of graduation rates.

A rebalancing is necessary away from so much high stakes testing and towards time spent on other more immediately meaningful purposes. Consider that experiments have shown students do better on math tests after 30 minutes in the playground oxegenating their brain than by directly working on test review,. This suggests the way to better aacademic performance is not always by pursuing solely academic results but rather by increasing opportunities to access the joy and focus experienced when pursuing tangibly puposeful activity.

Growing food, bulding houses, throwing a baseball, baking a pie, throwing a pot, starting a business, testing a hypothesis, writing a song, programming a computer--- all of these are happening in the RCSD district now, but at far lower levels than in the past -- when RCSD academic resuolts were better.

Testing mania is taking us even farther in the wrong direction. The sooner it goes away, or at least dialed way down, the better off students and this community will be.

6 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by stainton on 06/13/2014 at 11:48 PM

Re: “California decision a game-changer

I disagree that the decision was not good for California teachers. It was a great decision for the competent, hard working teachers that are frustrated by the continued prescience of incompetent, lazy ones in their midst. The interesting thing to me is that the right is celebrating the decision, totally ignoring that the logic behind the decision, the right of poor students to an equal opportunity education, could be used in the future to totally change school financing.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Mike on 06/13/2014 at 10:17 PM

Re: “Can you crowdsource prosthetic limbs? Yes, you can.

Jon, what amazing results from your efforts! Kudos to you and all those involved.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Margie Campaigne on 06/13/2014 at 6:24 PM

Re: “California decision a game-changer

There are multiple truths to this story from both sides. There are many problems that face urban schools. There is no doubt that there are good teachers who are overrun by the overwhelming problems in urban poor neighborhoods. However, this is a discussion for another day. This law is about overturning an unnatural guarantee of employment regardless of performance. There is endless debate about how to measure teachers and the fairness (or unfairness) of every suggestion depending on which bias you already hold. I would suggest a very simple solution for this problem. Teachers should be evaluated like every other non-union employee in this country....your boss gets to decide if you do a good job or not. Thats it, end of story. Its not always fair but that's how the rest of the real world works. In the end, teachers get graded subjectively just like the rest of us.

7 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by concerned citizen on 06/13/2014 at 5:00 PM

Re: “Sun gods: Why solar power isn't just for hippies anymore.

How much of the growth in use of solar power comes from the fact that the rest of us are paying for 75% of the investment cost. Talk about subsidies. COMIDa ,us be jealous. For drivers of electric cars, the subsidies do not stop with the capital investment. A significant part of the price of gasoline/ diesel is represented by state and federal taxes to be used to maintain roads. Electric cars pay nothing, is that fair to the rest of us?

In Germany, the government has mandated increased use of wind and solar based electricity, and they are already paying higher prices for the privilege. Interestingly, the mix shift is to come out of the share of nuclear power, which does not emit hydrocarbons.

8 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Mike on 06/13/2014 at 1:09 PM

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