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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Open Thread


Deuce and the Morning Glories
Originally uploaded by Sally Ann.
Long story short: We sanded the dining room floor, applied the stain, I was allergic to the stain and developed a serious sinus and lung infection from the sawdust and fumes. We had to stop so I could clear up. Lar is going to finish the floor. I must abandon ship! so I'm moving out for the next couple of days or until the fumes flash off and the air in the house isn't so toxic to me.

So I've created a post that in the "blogosphere" is called an "Open Thread" where my readers can leave any comment on any subject that suits their fancy. I will "visit" the blog during the day to check for "nasty remarks" and delete them if necessary. I can stand the fumes long enough to do that.

So......the floor is yours! I'll return to my daily posting in a couple of days.

22 Comments:

Anonymous Marc said...

Sally-I just wanted to say I am so pleased the school's newest option failed the vote. I couldn't figure out how the school could staff and maintain another school when they couldn't afford a late bus for the students. I am sure the late bus for the students cost alot less than all the proposals they had come up with. :)

9:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sally looks like your poll was right

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Air quality is good. Floor's drying.

Marc: About the facilities vote: I think everyone in New York State has had it with high taxes, I know I am. I've been frustrated with the public school system for the last 30 years. I really don't know what the school board is going to do. Frankly, maybe they shouldn't do anything until they can prove they can teach "more than half" our kids to read. If they could do that, then I might be willing to support them.

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Just read Bob Rolfe's column "Return to reality needed in C-PP" in today's paper. I'd link you up but The Leader website doesn't post "opinion columns" anymore. Bob said it best why the Facilities Proposal failed:
"If an old school room is too hot, install an air handler and if that requires rewiring, do it. If a room is too small, knock out a wall. But stop the endless search for Xanadu. The people here simply can't afford it."

Go buy The Leader and read the rest of his column. The 50 cents you'll pay for it is worth reading Bob's wisdoms.

11:38 AM  
Anonymous Marc said...

Sally- Seems like the most sensible soulutions to the schools problems as addressed by Bob are just common sense.Why cant our school board take his advice it would save us all a lot of money and greif .Instead they will come up with another plan simular to the past plans and try to force it down our throats again as the only proper thing to do for our children.What about being thankful for what they have and do the long neglected repairs.These schools were good enough for how many kids in the past without air conditioning.Why the big deal now?I cant beleive with all the factory lay offs and down sizeing that many familys have moved out of the area so where is the increase in childrens school enrollment coming from? It seems to me we all struggle enough just to keep food on the table for our kids enough taxes is enough!

10:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Most of the Depression Babies were brought up with the saying---- Use it up- Wear it out, Make do. We were also taught that if you didn't take care of what you had, you didn't get new to replace it.

My big gripe is that a recently elected member of the School Board was President of the Board while the two middle schools were being allowed to deteriorate. His comment was" he wanted to share his expertise." Talk to anyone who has worked on the custodial staff and they will tell you that the story was -we don't have money to make repairs. I heard this about the NHS roof way back in 1972. So who do we blame??They seem to find money for programs that I believe are frivolous and not necessary to promote a basic education.

Teachers will tell you that there are so many disruptions to their teaching time-that it is difficult to teach.( children coming and going for music lessons, speech therapy, special classes the list goes on)These used to have their own class time structured into the school schedule.

I wonder why today's teachers are not able to teach their classes without so many assistants which adds to the budget. I would find having an assistant, parent,other extraneous personnel in the room very distracting and not conducive to providing a good education.Seems like the more education and pay teachers receive, the more help they need to do their job. Maybe it is time to go back the basics and forget all the" mind broading " activities.
Bob Rolfe tells it like it is..

11:02 PM  
Anonymous Heres A Thought said...

Okay, so the school board's attempt at passing more proposals flopped, again. Do they not see that if they would just leave building a new school off the ballot, that they might have a chance at the facilities plan passing. I think the majority of us agree we dont want CFA and NSB to become into disrepair status and are even willing to probably APPROVE a good chunk of money to do repairs...rationally. However until they remove the idea of building a new school off the options, its just not gonna pass! They should have never closed Painted Post school, maintained the others and they wouldnt be at this point now. Take a little from the administrators pockets if need be. If the conditions are so serious, being that the learning and safety of our children is their main concern, let them take a little less if it helps. Id think they would have offered that already! And...if Corning Inc. was going to give the distict a "break" on the purchase of a building they owned, what about a sizable donation money wise instead?? Its their community too. Their employees children. It would probley even be able to be another write off for tax purposes!

9:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In response to the last comment, I don't visualize a common sense solution coming from the School Board. Check out the credentials of most of them. They are not the Average Joe like us. They dictate from an Ivory Tower and look for a Pie In the Sky. Nice if you have the dough rae-me..

5:38 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Commonsense and practicality aren't part of our tool bag anymore for resolving problems. When it comes to our school system commonsense is as rare as chicken teeth. Every aspect of "education" now has been turned on its head: the teaching methods, teacher and administrator salaries, discipline, curriculum, parent's attitudes, even the kids themselves are entirely different. I can sum it up with one phrase.."entitlement with no accountability". Teachers feel entitled to lofty salaries whether or not kids pass in their classes. And kids feel entitled to good grades whether they know the material or not. Even certain citizens in the area feel entitled to new schools and expensive bells and whistles "for the children". God forbid we should teach our children to "live within a budget". Everywhere I look in the public school system the specter of "entitlement" prevails.

Bob Rolfe wrote in his column: "There is currently a movement to force all school systems to show 65% of all their finances go directly to support the teaching of children, not the maintenance of an administrative upper class. Our governor has proposed only giving state aid increases to schools that hike their tax rates by 3 percent or less."

I was pleased to hear that Pataki is finally drawing a line in the sand, but the chances of this legislation getting passed are remote. Because like Rolfe also said there is a huge disconnect with the school board and politicians with the majority of citizens outside New York City. That's why the vote against the recent middle school proposal should be a big flashing neon sign message to the powers to be, but, again, I doubt they will pay any attention. They never do. That's why we're in the mess we're in right now with our education system.

9:56 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

maybe our local School Board member should share the comments made here with members of the School Board so they know how the local yokels feel about their modes of operation.

12:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's a FAR OUT SOLUTION. East graduated 160 students, West 220. That equals 380 by my Math. There were about 400 students in the classes graduating from West in 1972,3,4. and they were accomodated at West High.The 9th graders went to NHS of CFA. So lets make West the Mega High School that was wanted, use East as a middle school-(sending 9th grade there if needed) The city would have their middle school, Erwin, P.P. would have their high school. Some students go to BOCES, some have early dismissal,some elect to take courses at CCC,some go to the elite high school or to the Christian School So probably the only time all Seniors would be in the building would be for attendance taking.
Has anyone a figure for the number of students graduating in the next 4 years.?

10:58 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Wow!!!! I'm glad someone else "remembered" that past East and West senior classes had "400" students each consistently for several years. My husband and I were talking about the graduating numbers when The Leader ran stories on the current East and West graduating classes this past week. East and West were built to accomodate the huge "baby boomer" student population. This fact has "confounded" many of us for years when current school boards have been trying to "solve" an overcrowding problem that "didn't exist" in the minds of many. The boards argument was: Overcrowding (number of students in the classrooms) was the drawback to receiving a quality education. Too many kids in a classroom so the state mandated that less than 20 students per classroom was the optimum number for a teacher to handle. But...and this is a huge "But"...reducing the class size DID NOT PRODUCE SMARTER KIDS...IT DID THE OPPOSITE!!!! Studies have proven that after 1964-65 SAT numbers dropped and kept dropping until they "dumbed down" the SAT test and general testing grades from 65 to 55. But school officials always use the "class size" to justify adding more space in school districts to justify a more effective teaching environment! Ai....yi....ai!

I am convinced that when any school board wants to add space it's not for the kids, but to "house" the seemingly excessive number of "teacher's aids and assistants-for-everything-conceivable". There may only be 160 seniors at West, but there's 300 teachers, administrators, assitants and aids needing "office space".

11:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doessn't anyone remember the double sessions for middle schoolers in the 60's. If we could do it then why not now? I am confused by the numbers. When our children attended high school there were more graduating than now. So why is there need for more space? Both East and West have had additions which were paid for by BOCES. Of course back then there weren't computer labs in the schools but even with those rooms in use there still shouldn't be a space problem. One thing to take into consideration is the rooms rented by BOCES for the special ed classes. At present there are two at East, none at West and two at NSB. There are several at the elementary level and the district gets good money for the use of these buildings. Oh an ddon't forget the sacred cow, sports. I bet more money goes to sports than to computers and books. Remember all the sports fields proposed in Option 2? No longer is the focus on education, it is on how many sports teams there are. I bet the numbers don't even come close if compared to supplies for actual learning. Something to think about since only a few get to play any given sport. One sane board member can't do it all by herself.

4:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Both of you are so right. Having seen the campus at Canadaigua- I think this was the model for Option II Bigger ,better athletic fields .Did I miss something? I thought schools were for readin, writin, and rithmetic- maybe a little English tossed in for good measure and into today's world, of course Science but not all this extra for sports . What was wrong with BOCES having all the special ed classes on their campus. Some of the parents cried foul-we need our children mainstreamed to the detriment of other students at times. And they won. What's the old saying- time to take back control. We lose more every day.

5:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One sane Board member can carry the comments made here back to the Board and let them know how we feel. Doubt we are not alone in these thoughts and comments.

Think it was interesting that one Corning resident voted against the option this time because he felt the Board jumped the gun in naming the school in an effort to secure more votes. Wonder how many more felt this way? Certainly was a variety of reasons it didn't pass.
You'd think the Board would get the message that the voters have had it with the Board's shenanagans and that until they come up with a practical solution that doesn't affect the voter's purses to such an extent,nothing will pass.

10:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To the people who read these comments and did not attend the west high graduation at the stadium you missed quite a sight on how mrs. staples and the school board members that were on the stage really feel about our children. First let me say not all of the board was there may be the board member from lindley and some other board members were not invited or may be they are not in the right click. During the passing out of diplomas the whole crowd applauded each and every student who got a diploma Mrs.Staples and Mr Wexell remained silent lets see pouting or just do not care ? Seems like they could have applauded these kids as we the common people did. maybe they did not want to be there and if so we do not need them there we can give these kids a proper send off with out them. This shows a little about how Mrs. staples and a few board members care about us and our kids.

5:27 AM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Maybe Mrs. Staples and Wexell were in a deep depression from having lost the Facilities Proposal by such a huge percentage. But your comment about "not caring about the kids", even though on one level is not right, I do believe the School Board cares about the kids, on another level I think your right. How's that for a confusing sentence. I'll try again. The School Board and administrators care about the kids, but they care about their own agenda more. This happens all the time with political agendas. Another way to put it is: They can't see the forest because of the trees. And now I'm speaking about the disconnect between school officials and the community. This happened to the Democrats during the past presidential election. The Democrats lost the election because they were not in touch with the majority of Americans. And like the School Board the Democrats were caught by surprise when the "values issue" did them in. In some respects the debate over the Facilities Proposal can be considered a "values issue". The basic tenets of the "value issue" are adhering to "traditional values and principles". In the case of the school district, it's trying to convince them to "Get Back to Basics". But, as in the national election, it broke down along party lines...Democrats versus the Republicans. We have the same situation with the school district. The majority of school administrators and teachers are Democrats, that's why their union, the NEA, is so large and powerful and they've been calling the shots for a long, long time. The teacher's union donates 80% of its union dues to the Democratic party which is the "tax and spend" party. So what we have is an "island" (the Corning-Painted Post School District) inhabited with a "tax and spend" mentality that has "gotten its way with the voters for years" because of apathy...most voters don't care about what the school district does even though registered Republicans outnumber registered Democrats by a wide margin in the district. The Republicans could have stopped this "tax and spend outrage" years ago if they'd been motivated to do so. I think they're motivated now because we've hit the proverbial wall of high school taxes.

10:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are so right about the NEA and now there is talk of the other teacher's union joining ranks with NEA.This would make a terribly strong group of lobbyists,etc. Like any union,members join because there in strength in numbers to get the benefits they wish. However,I think the NEA has overstepped its original intended purpose and is sticking its nose into areas it has no busineess minding. But what teachers forget is that the union doesn't follow them into a voting booth and if they disagree with the Union platform, they should vote their conscience. I am beginning to see the same type of methods being employed by AARP. Once they get a foothold, there is no end to what they attempt to do -membership be darned.

4:28 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Received the C-PP Special Edition newsletter "Best Of" Quantum Leap Update and of course I read the whole thing. Came across an article iside the cover entitled "International Baccalaureate Progress Report: Further Defining What We Mean By An "International Education." I was anxious to read it because I've been trying to figure out what IB is, exactly.

A portion of the article said-- The IB programs feature an "international-mindedness"--a theme which is based on the following:
1.) Appreciation and knowledge of student's own culture first is essential in fostering their sense of identity with their own traditions, customs and mores.
2.)Cultural roots are as important as our basic needs for survival; they dictate our relationships with our family, community, nation and the wider world.
3.) Developing cultural awareness is critical to promoting an understanding of and relating cooperatively with others. The IB programs are designed to enable students to develop an awareness of themselves first, while recognizing that others are different and that others can be right in being different.
4.) With an understanding of the importance of diversity of culture in human life and an openness to cooperative sharing of knowledge, students develop tolerance and an acceptance that civilized life must be sustained through living with each other peacefully.

Okay...Then I came across this paragraph in the article "QL Comes to Life in the Arts and Physical Education" under the headline "Visual Arts":
"During the winter, C-PP's High school Learning Center and the Rockwell Museum collaborated on a student art exhibit that integrated the arts with art education, American history and the English language arts. The IB project engaged students in hands-on activities to examine personal and socially complex issues like identity, genocide and stereotyping."

If the International Baccalaureate program isn't a "Liberal agenda" I'll eat my hat. Does my opinion sound "extreme"? Do you believe there is a movement by the Left to implant their ideology into the public school systems?

12:00 PM  
Anonymous Sallyann said...

Yesterday, as luck would have it, I asked a recent graduate of West High his thoughts on the International Baccalaureate Program. He said that many of the students who are enrolled in the program are finding it difficult to maintain their academic studies because the IB program requires them to do "COMMUNITY SERVICE". My graduate said it takes too much time away from the classrooms.

Since when does requiring "community service" have anything to do with learning how to read and write? Obviously, since the IB program was introduced.

1:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe the community service has been included in the curriculum quite a few years before this new" state of the art theory". Actually, limited community service is a good concept. It introduces some of the couch taters and ritzy citizens to the real world of work.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous kathyb said...

Wow, Sal- Sorry I haven't been here in the past few weeks. Obviously, you have quite a discussion going.

You hit it on the head, for sure. I, too, got the newsletter in the mail and, believe it or not, got chills! It would seem that our Education system has become far more concerned with destroying a system that worked and convincing us all that we are insensitive idiots who can't be trusted to know what our children need. They are hellbent on creating a system that would further their liberal mindset and that requires NOT teaching children to think for themselves, but to listen to the "educated" folk who know the "right mindest".

The Education system is just an extension of the Mainstream Media, not a place of learning anymore. You want a real fright? Go park by the high school, or take a walk through the mall. What percentage of the teens you see are "expressing" themselves in a self-destructive manner? When we have to install metal detectors and starting allowing fast food restaurants to replace cafeterias in our public schools, something is extremely wrong! What percentage of the up and coming population has the basic skills or work ethic to maintain our current standard of living? (Based on my experience in HR management, it is frighteningly low and we should all be very, very afraid!)

Look at what they have been spoon-fed from the Media (and lack of supervision by parents) through their formative years- MTV, TV shows that embrace violence, irresponsibility and apathy. What has the education system done(and parents allowed) to combat this trend? Everything they possibly can to take away parents'and teachers rights to maintain order and discipline so that children can learn. In the process, we have managed to completely undermine our children's understanding of parental and societal expectations and their very sense of self and the world around them.

What percentage of the graduates can produce a research paper that would stand up to the standards that were in place in 1972? Want the answer, just check with any of the community colleges (where the greatest population of college bound graduates attend) and ask what percentage of entering high school seniors have to take remedial math and english courses, before they can take college level courses.

Since when does the school district have any business teaching our children about traditions and cultures? Excuse me, but how many generations have grown up in this country, having learned their cultural traditions from their parents and grandparents, and learned about other cultures and traditions through their friends? I know I did.

All the fancy dressing in the world (fancy sports fields, new facilities) cannot disguise the problems that exist within the education system. Not sure about everyone else, but the very lack of "fancy dressings" as a child, spurred my imagination and desire to learn -better put, "Neccesity was the mother of invention". Having "things" to take the place of my imagination, meant that I had to accept someone else's perception of what I envisioned that "thing" to be, instead of being free to really be creative. We need to fix the "structural foundation" of the education system first and really "get back to basics". The education system has, itself, become as undisciplined and incorrigible as our children are rapidly becoming, and we, as parents share in the blame.

My solution to the Options issue - I have chosen to home school my elementary school-aged son. It took some real soul searching to make the decision, but I know it is the right one, for my son and for his future.

The only way to really force a change is for all of us to stand up and say "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" We started down the right road with the 2004 election - let's keep the momentum going!!

10:16 AM  

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