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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

PLEASE, our babies know this is not what education is about! They know the process of the RCSD will not and can not work for them. They need our HELP! Have any of you been to any of these schools? They'r not schools! Cattle get better treatment even when it comes to the food! IT'S TIME for us to either Take our kids out of the RCSD, or Take the RCSD! NOTHING WILL GET ANY BETTER WITH THOSE WHO ARE IN CHARGE NOW! ONLY their pockets will get bigger and that's all that matters to them, not our KIDS! The State can close this school system and we can use the funds to home school our kids, which can't be worst than what we have now!

2 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by John L. Norris on 03/29/2014 at 10:52 PM

Re: “Warren asks Cuomo for $100 million for downtown arts center

Strange request, but, powerful! If I understand the Mayor's point of view, there are two points that are important...first, she wants the PAC downtown, that one is obvious. Second, she is taking advantage of the gridlock at Medley Centre.
What is not so obvious is why the gridlock exists. Let me propose a reason. Assemblyman Morelle represents the geography of Medley. Might it be that his calls for an investigation of the EZ status is actually him trying to kill the project to the benefit of Wilmorite...a huge political contributor and his son's employer?
Last night, in a bar in Irondequoit (not proposing that is a good place for fact gathering) a patron proposed that the agenda was just that. He pointed out that the entire Irondequoit board and supervisor are Morelle folks and, suddenly, it appears they are trying to kill the mall.
Is that possible, or worse, true? I hope that this is not a coordinated effort to kill Medley to the benefit of a company that stiffed the city for a lot of tax money at Sibley! And, by the way, Assemblyman Morelle was silent about that. Perhaps City should investigate this series of events.

16 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by clint on 03/29/2014 at 7:15 PM

Re: “New report shows stark divide between the city and the region

I agree that something needs to be done about poverty and accompanying racism.
If we are serious then just look a the Governor's proposed budget. Areas where addressing some of the issues re poverty include fully restoring progressive income
taxes , reject the proposals to end the bank taxes, collect the stock transfer tax. These would allow the defeceit to be paid and cover needs addressing poverty including education, neighborhood development, housing, job opportunities , transportation and green energy. This means electing representatives who do not stay with the status quo which is designed to keep the problems at the talking but actually do little level. The media needs to cover political progressive alternatives with greater depth and frequency. Look at the onniGreen Party platform on line. Come to the meeting which will address these issues on April 10th 7p.m. at the Flying Squirrel Center 285 Clarissa St.
Bonnie Cannan

0 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Bonnie Cannan on 03/29/2014 at 1:54 PM

Re: “Dozens speak out about East High's problems

Dr. Vargas stated that the graduation rate would be about 10% higher if the district had done a better job of record keeping. Well if you eliminate the records clerk, the book clerk, the guidance secretary, the attendance clerk but add more administrative staff, whose is going to do the tasks of the positions that were eliminated?

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by vega on 03/29/2014 at 12:29 PM

Re: “Restoring balance to Braddock Bay

I question statements that there is not enough variability in the water levels since the existing plan was put in place in the 1950's. On the contrary, ask anyone who lives on the lake or owns property there - we have had many years of high water, and many years of low water, as well as years in between. The new plan would allow much higher highs, and much lower lows. The plan is designed to follow "nature's way" in allowing these fluctuations. But nature is not often even handed - what if nature gave us 5 consecutive years of extremely high water? Wouldn't the wetlands become "drowned" then? And if we had 5 consecutive years of extremely low water - wouldn't the wetlands be starved of water? Goldilocks would certainly have a hard time with this...

Posted by Lake Lover on 03/29/2014 at 9:33 AM

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

A FEW CRITICALLY IMPORTANT POINTS IN THE ARTICLE --- ARE AS FOLLOWS:

"East's problems reflect a much larger, systemic issues. A teacher who asked to remain anonymous says that student misconduct in many of the district's secondary classrooms borders on chronic mayhem. And she's not alone in this observation."

"Though strong on what needs to be done to positively impact student outcomes, the presentation was weak on how to get it done. There were few of even the most incremental timelines."

"It's abundantly clear that the district suffers from interminable management problems, and an inability to successfully complete even the most basic tasks and policies. And now well into his term, Vargas is causing some people to worry that his plan, whatever it is, isn't working."

3 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Howard J. Eagle on 03/28/2014 at 11:10 PM

Re: “It's not East High's fault

Maybe Maggie Brooks will help Lovely Warren break up the concentration of poverty. That ain't gonna happen.

0 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike Bruton on 03/28/2014 at 6:07 PM

Re: “New report shows stark divide between the city and the region

How many more of these reports do we need? Everyone knows what and where the problems are. Imagine if all of the time and resources dedicated to creating these reports/convenings/conversations, etc...was actually used to do something about poverty?

11 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by LRS on 03/28/2014 at 10:11 AM

Re: “Warren's handling of the Redon crisis shows progress

Did I say NA? I meant NR.

Posted by Mike Bruton on 03/28/2014 at 2:20 AM

Re: “All eyes on Ted O'Brien

The Funke operatives are working it already.....Ted is a good man and serves the District very well.

7 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by Go Ted on 03/27/2014 at 10:06 PM

Re: “All eyes on Ted O'Brien

Ted O'Brien is in a tough spot he created for himself. The article didn't mention O'Brien voting for Cuomo's so-called NY SAFE gun control law, passed behind closed door with no public debate or input. Why doesn't O'Brien mention that as he lists his votes with his "fellow Democrats"? You see plenty of yard signs calling for the repeal of the law in O'Brien's district. Those folks won't vote for O'Brien.

8 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Angus on 03/27/2014 at 9:48 PM

Re: “New report shows stark divide between the city and the region

It is too bad that city is unwillingness to inform readers that the region ex rochester has a child poverty rate of ~10%, and the reason for the huge difference versus the city(47%) is that 68% of households in rochester with kids have on,y one parent whereas the corresponding figure for the rest of the region is ~25%. Why not expect people to behave responsibly?

13 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mike on 03/27/2014 at 6:24 PM

Re: “It's not East High's fault

How about we hold parents accountable for neglect..lack of support or interest in THEIR child's education. Parents that don't respond to calls..letters or attempted visits from school staff..parents who don't check their child homework much less bother to look in their bookbagd with weeks or months worth of work and notices..parents that care more about fashion and cool gear rather than the fact that their child cannot read or do math at grade level..parents that refuse to accept that they have raised disrespectful..spoiled..lazy children that they can hardly handle yet expect teachers to turn classrooms full of them into geniuses...and let's not speak of those that will never miss a chance to scream obscenities at their child's pop warner football game yet will not show their face at a meeting for their child..THAT IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM..you wonder why other programs and districts work?? Its not then money or lack of...its thay when you hold parents and children accountable first..all others will follow.

18 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by midge1824 on 03/27/2014 at 4:41 PM

Re: “It's not East High's fault

How about a metro district with integrated schools?
Works in Raleigh NC.

http://www.amazon.com/Hope-Despair-American-City-Schools/dp/0674060261/

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by rocparent on 03/27/2014 at 3:04 PM

Re: “Warren's handling of the Redon crisis shows progress

Mayor Lovely Warren: Crisis Management A+; Leadership N/A.

Posted by Mike Bruton on 03/27/2014 at 1:53 PM

Re: “Restoring balance to Braddock Bay

Question: Buck Pond is quite different from Braddock Bay which has two strong-flowing creeks emptying into the bay - Salmon Ck. and Buttonwood Ck. The bay has a 'naturally-formed sand barrier' unlike the other ponds which are bounded by the ancient sand barrier now Edgemere Dr. How would putting rip-rap along the eastern mouth of the bay prevent erosion of the marsh edge [now cattails] - 'slowing down' of erosion? I can't see it happening. This mono-culture is directly caused by the water level ups-and-downs caused by natural events and the St. Lawrence Seaway hydro-manipulation. To get shoreland diversity you have to maintain less extreme water levels to get native plants to take hold thus increasing animal, amphibian and other species to increase including fish.

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Barbra Ann on 03/27/2014 at 8:03 AM

Re: “Warren's handling of the Redon crisis shows progress

Clarification, she didn't "try" to lie about the speeding violations of her uncle, she did lie.

And I agree that it's a step forward how she has handled the situation with Mr. Redon's DWI arrest, although that case is far from settled at present.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Rochester Musician on 03/27/2014 at 7:48 AM

Re: “Warren's handling of the Redon crisis shows progress

Rather than being disappointed, most of us are happy that she has finally done something right. Let's hope the trend continues. As regards Redon, we should want to see him handled by the legal system as we would be handled. No worse, but no preferential treatment either. The problem with the multiple traffic incidents involving Warren and her uncle is that he received preferential treatment. And of course, she tried to lie about it.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mike on 03/26/2014 at 10:28 PM

Re: “The high-risk stakes in Crimea and Ukraine

To his credit, President Obama today flatly and forcefully debunked Putin's pathetic attempts to equate his seizure of Crimea with the allied liberation of Iraq.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by b.d.g. on 03/26/2014 at 7:48 PM

Re: “It's not East High's fault

It is interesting that you note PreK is a potential positive and it will be if the program focuses on building the social, emotional and basic developmentally appropriate academic skills but the name of the game in the district now is Core Knowledge and NYEngage curriculum. Couple these two with the pressure of Common Core and we will likely see PreK students being taught using methods that would more closely resemble Catholic schools 50 years ago. Get it or get out. Nothing the district seems to do lately makes any sense so more resources may not mean a thing.

East as brick and mortar may not be the problem but the people in it as well as everyone who works for the district and the whole community are the problem. We all know how bad the schools are and yet no one is marching or banging on district doors. The people in East could have told their story but they are justifiably afraid of losing their jobs. Unfortunately fear driven complacency in the face of injustice is not acceptable. It is immoral and everyday the citizens of this community turn the page or look the other way we are condoning the injustice.

The district has the power and resources to make all of their schools better. They may not become the Harley School or compete with the best suburban schools but every Rochester City school could be dramatically better. There are well known organizational best practices that are found all around the world that we can implement but this is not done. Why not? Because innovation often requires autonomy and with this freedom comes confidence. School staff might wake up one day and ask themselves why they need a central office or union at all. This scares the hell out those currently in command.

There is no good reason at all that the district does not have a portfolio of alternative schools like Boston's Pilot schools. Leaders do not promote these because schools that have unique and more successful programs (SOTA, School of Inquiry, School Without Walls and others) also have engaged parents who are likely to hold teachers and administrators accountable. This is the other fear. Great schools often encourage and develop strong parents and nothing is more powerful than a few hundred angry parents.

You want to fix East? You want to make other schools better? Put an ad in the paper that challenges people in the community to take over schools but promise them there would be no ties to the unions and central office. They could pick and choose their support systems and the kinds of relations they have with other groups. The line would be from here to Buffalo. To fix the schools we need to remove all of the dirty cooks who currently control the kitchen.

2 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Gotta Say It on 03/26/2014 at 6:53 PM

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