Why is the cohort graduation rate so low? In part because kids enter 9th grade incapable of doing work even
at a 6th grade level. Social promotion is a MAJOR reason for these numbers.
In the school I'm working at this year; NOT A SINGLE 7th OR 8th GRADER WAS HELD BACK. This includes
one student of mine who earned a 0% for one marking period and less than 5% for at least 2 others. (He
wasn't the only one.) The high schools who are receiving the 8th graders from my school are receiving a
cohort where 7% of them were reading at grade level last year. Far more than half of those students simply
cannot graduate in 4 years due to the Regents requirements. My school is not the only one committing this
(I almost used the word "fraud' but realized that's a legal term I could get in trouble for)
High schools can only do so much against the rushing tide of failed students headed their way every year.
There's only so much students can advance over and above the one year's worth they are expected to advance
(especially when they start out 6 or 7 years behind their suburban cohort).
These numbers skew the blame game away from the designers of this failed policy (administration) and the
failed family/social systems endemic in the impoverished regions of the city and onto the backs of the high
school teachers who are trying their damnedest to create silk purses out of sows' ears.
Until students are promoted based on achievement and not birthday the graduation rate will not improve.
New York State telling Monroe County that its financial condition is "fiscally stressed" is the pot calling the kettle black. And yet the state is the cause of 83% of the county's financial stress in the form of MANDATED spending. New York State is a business-unfriendly tax hell and it wants to make sure the counties follow its example.
I just checked with a Costello representative and he tells me that the number on the website was wrong. Hope that's helpful.
"Costello said the company will invest upward of $1.5 million...to improve the Erie Canal path"....It looks like this has been reduced to $500,000, according to an update on their website.
The Monroe County Fair and Recreation Association owned the old fairgrounds and Dome Arena but it reached an agreement to sell them last year. Media reports from the time of the sale say the Association had been operating the facilities at a financial loss.
Your arguments have a certain amount of logic to them. The problem is that regardless of your anecdotal evidence, the numbers don't lie. They don't lie here in Monroe County, and they don't lie anyplace else in the nation.
The fact remains that if 2 16-year old males are arrested for the same drug possession charge, if they are of different races, the outcomes in the supposedly impartial courts of law will be different far more often than not. The problem is in the entire system - the war on drugs that makes victimless activity a crime (and thus fosters the violence you see as the cause of the disparity), selective prosecution and differences in the quality of lawyers available due to disparity in incomes. Overworked public defenders barely have time to meet their clients, much less indulge in an active defense. Privately paid lawyers have more stake (and time) to engage the court in the adversarial relationship that should properly define the process.
The system obviously breaks down along class lines. Historic events and trends have conspired to leave one race in a specific (under)class. Until the system is fixed, and the laws are made to be actively less partial the disparity will continue and the racism built in to the system will continue. No one person drives the system any more, no more than any one person gets up in the morning determined to incarcerate more blacks than makes any kind of logical or demographic sense.
Until we as a society get our collective heads out of our collective rectums, the problem will persist and the underclass will continue to be far over-represented by African-Americans.
MJN - Unfortunately this shot cannot be taken from Main St... because the hulking, double-deck Broad Street Bridge blocks the view! I like the idea of re-watering it, but I'd just as soon support removing the top section and bringing traffic down to the first level.
This is a big shame. I haven't followed the story of how and why the County opted out of the traditional County Fairgrounds out at E. Henrietta and Calkins. However, that spot is right in the middle of Monroe County, and thus, more fair for all residents who wish to go to it.
Getting rid of the big carnival rides, etc. That is fine, but why do you have to move it? Calkins Rd is accessible by bus. If there's a problem with people parking on roads around the former Fairgrounds, get a posse of deputies together and put up signs saying "You'll get a ticket if you park here" and then hand out the tickets - MC Sheriff and Henrietta Police and volunteers. It takes imagination.
Moving it to Ogden seems to make it remote and separate. What about the pie contests, jam contest etc? Get young people involved in those things -- what about a contest between all high schools to make homemade jams, pies, other things. Because even in the City we grow food or can go to the Public Market and get locally grown cherries, etc. What can we do to bridge the differences between City and non City life in Monroe County?
TIM LOUIS MACALUSO - So you believe that a great wrier like Orwell could only have written a novel such as "1984" because of his medical condition? Does that mean that Ray Bradbury was probably suffering from heartburn when he wrote “Fahrenheit 451” (or when Vonnegut wrote “Slaughterhouse- Five”)?
Hi MJN - I live in the city's northeast quadrant and I see open-air marijuana sales on the corner near my residence continually, despite arrests made just earlier this week. No I don't believe that the sellers or buyers are dumb or blind. I believe that the sellers are well-motivated and accept the risk willingly. Buyers prefer the convenience of being served right in their cars. Both groups likely have a sense of impunity because police enforcement is rare and inconsistent. Sometimes the police will run some low level harassment (e.g. circling around or maybe idling nearby), but very rarely will they exit their cars. The offenders were involved in some street violence requiring an emergency response just this last weekend and the police chief had within recent weeks also called out the specific street name as a known problem spot, these things being what's most likely prompted the recent arrests.
I'm not actually convinced that drug trafficking and use are quite as prevalent outside of the city as within it. Maybe it is, nevertheless it's only within the city that the law is openly flaunted and it's only within the city that the drug activity correlates to ongoing violence.
The truth is that many people do use marijuana discreetly and without drawing undue attention to themselves and those people maybe go undetected for many years. Other people associate with street gangs, commit various crimes open. Especially when violence flares up, police are forced to respond and, after patting people down, oftentimes the thing which police can most easily charge is marijuana possession.
Lincoln DeCoursey – So your common-sense explanation as to why 650% more inner city black youths than white youths get busted for pot possession in Rochester is because there are fewer places to sell weed unobserved then in white neighborhoods so the blacks, completely ignoring how many of their number are being arrested, continue to be more open about it? Must be their eye sight and hearing are also more defective then those faculties in whites because so many of them apparently don’t see or hear the cops coming.
Just think, If Bobby Duffy were still mayor he might have had the roadway torn out and the Broad Street aqueduct "rewatered” by now and we could be listening to frogs croaking in the deathly silence of downtown Rochester.
Nice shot. The full panorama here is really nice.
Have you read "The New Jim Crow"? Have you even taken some time to go to YouTube and listen to Michelle Alexander talk? Have you done the comparative studies and analysis regarding impact of the War on Drugs" and the minority community? The problem is not that the police give some latitude to minor offenses, it's the serious consequences and disparity that happen to some people and not others. Before reading the book, I held the notion that policing was being done fairly across the board. Maybe, maybe not. Numbers don't lie. And please don't quote Abraham Lincoln to me ("Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics"). There are no sets of numbers you can look at to show a different interpretation of the facts.
As for the ". . . favorable consideration in the corner of African Americans - and pretty much only them? What has that done to middle class educational opportunities in the city? And what has this condescension/pity done for African American students?" I can refer you to any number of my past posts and comments. These are issues I've been hollering about for years now. I would NOT call it "favorable consideration." I call it "social promotion", and it is pernicious and evil in the way it has eroded the educational situation in the city. Condescension and pity have only led to our current state of 5% college readiness at graduation. I am 100% behind higher rigor, keeping back kids who can't do grade level work, and getting the quality of our graduates to a point where far fewer of them have to spend all their college financial aid on remediation and fewer than 10% drop out in the first semester (it's over 25% now).
I respect greatly the work of Bill Cosby and Thomas Sowell and William Raspberry and Cornell West. The fact remains that you can preach all the "responsibility" you want. RESEARCH HAS SHOWN THAT RATES OF DRUG USE/DEALING ARE STATISTICALLY THE SAME AMONG THE WHITE COMMUNITY AS THE BLACK COMMUNITY. I intentionally bolded all that, because the point doesn't seem to be sinking in - the laws are race neutral, enforcement is not. Look at the percentage of our population in jail, then do a demographic breakdown. If you want to try to convince me that the black community is that much more drug using and violent than the white community (please adjust for poverty) you'll have to use actual science.
I do not think that very many police or DAs wake up in the morning and say "I'm gonna bust me some black people today." I think that the whole society has been adversely impacted by race and past racism, and that racial stereotypes persist in media and in people's minds causing UNINTENTIONAL bias in action. We see what we want to see, and act on that, rather than taking a step back and asking if we can believe our eyes, or if we've got some sort of impairment that makes our vision blurry - through no fault or our own.
It's not an attack to say "This is happening." It's not me saying "Police are racist." It's me, and Michelle Alexander, and Ice-T, and any number of other people trying to get people to realize the unintentional - but real - disparity and the socially devastating impact this unintentional disparity is having.
End the War on Drugs now! It's been a failure and has resulted in the social oppression (intentional or not) of an entire community.
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