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Comment Archives: stories

Re: “Campbell Brown is winning the education PR war

An Open Letter to Stephen Colbert Regarding Campbell Brown

I’m a fan of your show, but I’m disappointed that you gave Campbell Brown a platform to discuss education policy. She taught for one year and hasn’t ever taught in U.S. schools. She doesn’t have an Education degree. Until very recently, the 46 year old was a journalist far removed from students. You may as well have invited an angry Jets fan who’s never coached football to present his map to the Super Bowl.

Sure, she’s the spokesperson for a frivolous lawsuit filed on behalf of seven people. But hey, New Yorker Frank Fazio filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc. because Siri didn’t work as he thought it should on his iphone. He didn’t get to appear on your show.
While you landed a few light jabs, I expected you to absolutely own her claims and lack of experience in Education. As a host, you have a responsibility to make sure your guests have credibility and at least a semblance of a clue what they’re talking about. Or, when they don’t, you should nail them like the excellent satirist you are for their lack of credentials and truthfulness.

In June of 2013 Brown founded the “Parents Transparency Project”, but said, “I’m not going to reveal who the donors are” when you asked her who funds her new “Partnership for Educational Justice.” That’s about as transparent as your desk. She sits on the board for Success Academy Charter Schools, a group in favor of profit schools that would benefit from ruining teacher tenure laws by firing experienced public school teachers and replacing them with low-cost inexperienced teachers. Tenure laws exist for many reasons, the most obvious is to prevent administrators from firing effective senior teachers and replacing them with cheaper new ones. Brown’s case should be dismissed like a lame CNN news show.

If you’re looking for a guest who has a clue about Education Policy, I suggest New York education expert Mark Naison. If he’s not available, I’d be happy to oblige. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I’ve taught in an urban setting for 12 years, have two Education degrees, the students in the grade I teach at my school had the highest math scores and second highest reading scores in my school district last year, and doggone it, kids and parents usually like me.

As for Brown, it’s really nice that she’s taken an interest in Education. She could start by serving as a substitute teacher. She could also review the “research” she discussed on your show. For example, teacher turnover is actually highest in high-needs schools and teachers only account for up to 20% of what makes a kid successful. And while I’m not a journalist, when Brown stated, “EVERYBODY thinks these laws should change” she lost any resemblance of a reasonable argument.

Please, please, please stop giving air time to Education charlatans unless you’re going to absolutely lambaste them.

Chris Hansen, Michigan

12 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Chris Hansen on 08/06/2014 at 9:52 AM

Re: “Sandra Parker: No apologies

Please. Mrs. Parker, the "business" woman's "business" woman along with the rest of Rochester's Illuminati supported the Fast Ferry without having a shred of common sense OR business sense. They (Parker, Morelle, Doyle, et. al) gave their full-throated support to the project when they were flimflammed by Bay Ferries. Once it was clear the project was untenable (which to those of us with a shred of intellect in our heads was the day it was announced) they stood by silently and let Bill Johnson take all the blame (I believe mostly b/c "He understands the urban community", or in non-suburban code, b/c he's black). She doesn't have the business sense God gave a green apple. As long as she gets a cushy six-figure retirement, I doubt she cares, like the rest of Rochester's Illuminati.

16 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by sean on 08/06/2014 at 9:45 AM

Re: “Sandra Parker: No apologies

The only thing that makes "good common sense" to me are the criticisms of the Rochester City School District by Parker. As well as criticisms about COMIDA by Parker. It will take about 5-10 years to turn around the RCSD and insert Mayoral and Council control over how $155,000,000 million is spent on children in the School District. The revolving door of Superintendents over the last 30 years could be a key indicator to the Board of Education and the Teachers Union that principles and teachers need to have some type of control of their students... East High has partnered with the U of R but the Board of Education still has final say... not a good plan in my opinion. Parents, teachers, principles are the are the is the answer... City of Rochester and the County of Monroe working together is the moral lives is the answer..

Craig R. Moffitt

10 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by crm135790 on 08/06/2014 at 7:04 AM

Re: “Campbell Brown is winning the education PR war

Brown failed to disclose that her husband sits on the board of the New
York affiliate of Michelle Rhee's education lobbying group. Makes you wonder why these "journalist " didn't confront her directly about this. Her hubby Dan Solar also: co-founded the investment firm Rosemont Capital LLC[2] before joining Elliott Management, the hedge fund firm owned by Paul Singer, a billionaire Wall Street investor who has given millions to Republican political campaigns and neoconservative advocacy groups.( from Diane ravich's blog)
Tell me again whose best interest she has?

6 likes, 6 dislikes
Posted by kamakazee78 on 08/06/2014 at 12:57 AM

Re: “Feedback 7/30

My husband and I were fortunate to be able to send my son to school in Wake County, North Carolina. Although he was automatically assigned to attend his neighborhood school in the suburbs, we chose to send him to one of the magnet schools in downtown Raleigh which had 40% low-income students. At the magnet school fair, we could choose from schools with A+ Arts, Great Books, bilingual Spanish or French, STEM, and Montessori, among others. We ended up applying to a school with an inquiry-based curriculum, similar to the several Expeditionary Learning schools in the Rochester CSD. We were one of the lucky families -- several of my friends' children were waitlisted and they had to attend their second-choice schools (their neighborhood schools). The low-income students who lived in the inner-city neighborhood where the school was located were also lucky because they were automatically assigned to that school without having to go through a cumbersome application process.

I know that many parents worry about sending their children to the same schools with large numbers of low-income students, but what we discovered was that, rather than the low-income students pulling the middle-class students down, all the students were pulled up by having access to the resources and connections of the middle-class parents. When we moved back to Monroe County, we searched for a similar environment for our children, and actually found it in the Rush-Henrietta school district, which has a similar percentage of low-income students without sacrificing a high-quality education. I would welcome a county-wide school district because it would increase my children's choices, while at the same time decreasing the flight of middle-class families to the suburbs, which is killing the City of Rochester and will eventually be the death of the whole Greater Rochester region if we stick with the status quo.

Posted by Kathleen Cali on 08/05/2014 at 10:34 PM

Re: “Campbell Brown is winning the education PR war

I guess I am a little ignorant on this subject. Could you please explain how having due process rights will prevent talented teachers from succeeding? Are you saying that we have thousands of incompetent teachers in the city school district who just keep hanging on to their jobs because of tenure. If only we could fire them all and replace them with the thousands of talented teachers just waiting around for the chance to work in the most dysfunctional district in the area. Getting rid of due process is simply a means to break the union and finish the privatization of urban education.

14 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Chris on 08/05/2014 at 9:45 PM

Re: “Campbell Brown is winning the education PR war

Perhaps the city school board member should explain why experts such as him/herself have completely failed I their responsibilities to provide a decent education to city students. Look no further than Easy high. The "education establishment" has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. Getting rid of tenure will not make the schools perfect, but it will certainly help by enabling the system to get rid of the dead wood, opening up opportunities for talented teachers to succeed.

7 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Michael on 08/05/2014 at 9:09 PM

Re: “The most important meal of the day

Also, don't forget to visit Lettuce B. Frank at the Brighton Farmer's Market on Sunday mornings - great vegetarian options as well as some seriously delicious Irish bacon sandwiches! :)

Posted by Carrie Lindstrom on 08/05/2014 at 6:36 PM

Re: “County's algae solution: suck it up

My husband and I recently took our 4 yr. old grand daughter to the Charlotte Beach. It smelled like a sewer with gobs of gunk on shore. I can not believe the Mayor wants to do anything to this area before cleaning up the beach. I lived on Beach Avenue back in the 50's & 60's. It was a beautiful beach and crowds of people would go there. If Ocean communities can use machinery on a daily basis to clean the sand and water's edge then why can't Rochester turn our Charlotte Area around so people would go there. I was embarrassed to think tourists come to Rochester and then go see the dump, called the beach.

Posted by Sherry Montgomery on 08/05/2014 at 5:36 PM

Re: “The most important meal of the day

Hey everyone....thanks for the comments!

A few responses:

Tom: I definitely enjoy VM's bagel sandwiches with goat cheese but didn't want to make the article too Market heavy. Wouldn't mind doing a market only piece at some point though!

Justin: Good info. For whatever reason I've never stopped into Zimmerman's. Have to put that on my list!

HeyBuddy/Colin: Hard to write an article about I site I hadn't seen before, but I like your site a lot and will be following it in the future. Impossible for me to cover everything in a short article and your site seems to hit a lot of interesting places!

Kate: Union Street makes a solid sandwich as well but it fell into the same area as Scott's so I didn't want to double up on that style.


3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Chris Lindstrom on 08/05/2014 at 12:40 PM

Re: “Environmental moves make good business sense

I applaud Mr. Bechtold for following his convictions and not forcing OTHERS to support and subsidize his beliefs.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by johnny on 08/05/2014 at 10:25 AM

Re: “RIT student takes on climate advocate role

Why these infantile attacks on Al Gore?

0 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Troll Whisperer on 08/05/2014 at 10:24 AM

Re: “RIT student takes on climate advocate role

Al Gore has gotten rich by promoting this theory, living in a 10,000 sq ft house, driving large SUV and flying massive jets all over the world. Why isn't all of his riches going to the "cause"?

I have always liked solar and wind power, but until they become sustainable let's stop with the subsidies. Why not rebuild our carbon based economy, and from the tax revenue, invest in R&D?

It seems foolish to subsidize the manufacturer, and then subsidize the purchaser too. And currently, even subsidized, solar doesn't come close to the 20 year payback lifetime.

And yes, people are still buying cars to get to work, so they can support others with the already high taxes. For most people, once you buy a car, you can't afford much else, no less solar collecters, but a very typical comment from the " highly intelligent" left.

6 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by johnny on 08/05/2014 at 10:10 AM

Re: ““True Blood” Season 7, Episode 7: “This May Be the Last Time”

The end sex scene between Bill and Sookie reminded me of a line from a Patton Oswalt bit.

"He lays on top of his beloved like a pile of laundry on top of another pile of laundry..."

8 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kara Austin on 08/04/2014 at 9:21 AM

Re: “RIT student takes on climate advocate role

Al Gore's money has nothing to do with doing something good for the environment. For the price of an average new car today, you can fit your home with solar panels that will provide all the power you need. There are so many people buying new cars these does not seem to be that big of a problem for many people.

4 likes, 8 dislikes
Posted by Tom Janowski on 08/02/2014 at 11:35 AM

Re: “Environmental moves make good business sense

For everyone who believes wind turbines are noisy, I invite you to drive up to Harbec and park next to one of the turbines. What do you hear? Just the traffic on 104.

Posted by Tom Janowski on 08/02/2014 at 11:32 AM

Re: “A hostel for Rochester?

Heck yeah ! Put a " HOSTEL " in Rochester. We have one in Syracuse and it attracts, the young and the young at heart. It's in the beginning of our " Sedgewick " area, our answer to Rochester's " Highland Park " neighborhood. As of now, the cheapest place in downtown Rochester is the " Cadillac Hotel ". NUFF SAID !

2 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Alex Frazier on 08/01/2014 at 10:12 PM

Re: “The most important meal of the day

This is disappointing on many levels. I thought it was an article about
It is not. is original.
This article is not.

10 likes, 5 dislikes
Posted by Colin Lawton on 08/01/2014 at 7:28 PM

Re: “The most important meal of the day

HeyBuddy, great blog! And great article, CITY!

HOWEVER, I am a devotee to the Union St Bakery at the Public Market. Best breakfast sandwich. Best no-frills Rochester atmosphere. Best coffee -- dark roast, $1, free refills!

Open every day!

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Kate on 08/01/2014 at 2:23 PM

Re: “The most important meal of the day

Did someone say breakfast sandwich?! A couple more to try:

20 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by HeyBuddy on 08/01/2014 at 1:35 PM

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