Comments by schdyres1
Posted on July 16 at 11:35 a.m. (Suggest removal)
I agree with Regent Judith Johnson, that this is an "unconscionable" solution to the shortage of substitutes, particularly in urban school districts. I have heard of UNcertified substitutes, in fact paras, with little or no credentials in the content areas of math, and science, as well as teaching, subbing in such classes in middle schools for a nearly a semester. This is an incredible burden to place on a para, and an unbelievable disservice to the affected students, some of whom may be taking Regents exams.
To make matters worse, these paras are paid as though they were performing their para jobs. This saves districts money, no incentive to seek out qualified, certified substitutes.
In the first place, the State Education Dept. and the State Legislature, and the Governor need to finally address the underfunding of urban schools. Providing the necessary funds for smaller class sizes, and more support services for students will improve school climate. Urban school districts also need more money to compete with the substitute scale of other area school districts.
Secondly, why not have area colleges that have graduate and undergraduate degrees in Education, make it a part of their programs to encourage their juniors/seniors be be available to substitute?
There are certainly other better ways to solve this problem, rather than just applying a "band aid," that in reality lowers the quality of Education at a time when higher standards are supposedly the goal.
Posted on July 14 at 1:52 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Please do not compare the job of educating the diverse student bodies of urban school districts with the student bodies of private schools. Private schools often have entrance exams on which to base their acceptance choices. They often do not have the same, if any, proportion of ENN learners, and Special Needs students. If students present behavior problems, they can be told to leave.
Public schools are for every student who arrives at the door.
Posted on June 30 at 12:59 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Why wasn't this letter in the print version of the Gazette?
Posted on April 25 at 10:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Why is the Schenectady City School District's deadline for nominating petitions always so late, compared to other school districts? This year it is April 27, 2016, which is particularly difficult because there is no school this week, and many families are away. Has always seemed to be an advantage for incumbents, as it shortens the time for name recognition, and pre-election activities. The late date should be changed in the future.
Posted on April 25 at 9:46 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Sounds like this area needs more police surveillance, day and night. This kind of violence here did not happen suddenly; it's become worse through the years. I fear for the children, and decent people who live in the Cental State Street neighborhood.
Posted on April 6 at 8:20 a.m. (Suggest removal)
If all schools were private, how many parents would be able to afford that? What would happen to students whose parents could not pay for private education with the subsidy they might receive from the State in lieu of taxes? We would return to education for the elite of hundreds of years ago. As for schools for profit, take a look at what's happening all over the country in many for-profit charter schools. Communities are rising up against many of these schools because of their poor performance, cherry-picking of students, and financial drain on public education. All of this, while making a profit in the name of education. It will be a sad day when communities ignore their role in supporting families raising their children who will be our future leaders.
Posted on April 5 at 9:47 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Fred Barney, it is disappointing that in this enlightened age, when research has shown the real difficulties faced by educators in today's high-need, low-wealth urban school districts, you would place so much blame on teachers. For decades, NYS legislatures and governors have turned their backs on the inequitable way these schools have been funded, despite court rulings that have said that must change. Hopefully, with some of that Foundation money being allocated, urban school districts will be able to provide smaller class sizes, more programs, and more support staff for their students. These schools have been forced to cut programs and staff each year, but have been expected to perform like their high-wealth, low-need counterparts. If you don't care about the society in which you live, then public education is not important. But if we want students to develop into productive citizens, with the skills necessary to be self-sufficient in a constantly changing marketplace, it is our duty, as a society, to provide quality public education for all children. It does take a village...
Posted on April 2 at 8:15 p.m. (Suggest removal)
Gplante: What Charter Schools are doing is limiting their acceptance, and retaining of Special Needs students, ELL, and behavior problems, and sending them back to the regular public schools when it is time to take the Common Core tests. They many times do not replace those students who leave, resulting in fewer of their students taking the tests. The public does NOT vote on the charter school budgets, though the money they spend is public money raised from YOUR taxes. The public also cannot vote on who becomes a member of the Charter School Boards. All of this has been well-documented, especially in the past few months. Does this sound like a democratic process to you? If NYS continues to financially support urban schools like Schenectady, test scores, and graduation rates should continue to increase. If NYS financial support to urban schools waxes and wanes, as it has for decades, expect more of the same. The glass is half full...
Posted on April 1 at 8:14 p.m. (Suggest removal)
The Schenectady City School District does NOT pay more per student for each of its 10,000 students, than other School Districts in the area. Please post the data upon which you base that opinion. Even if that opinion were correct, one would expect it would cost a school district that had a student population with many more ELL students, Special Needs students, and students living in poverty than average schools, to spend more per student. Instead, the SCSD cannot spend as much per child as the surrounding school districts, resulting in larger classes, and fewer support staff members. GPlante you have hit the nail on the head! When you say "why should I support...with six kids and their inherent societal problems to come," that is exactly why public schools need to be adequately funded, particularly high-need, low-wealth districts like Schenectady. Public Education, if adequately funded, can provide such students with the knowledge, skills, and attitude necessary to be productive members of society. Maleckij12, parochial (private) schools do not have to accept all students who come to their doors. They can eject students who are disciplinary problems. Do they have the same percentages of Sp. Need Sudents, ELL, students living in poverty?
Posted on March 30 at 9:58 a.m. (Suggest removal)
Thank you for writing about the plight of poor school districts. Your points are well-taken. One would have thought the State Legislators could connect the dots, but it appears not.
Please do not refer to schools as "good schools," and "bad schools". This just reinforces the complaints of some people that think the problem is that teachers aren't doing their job in schools whose students are struggling. In reality, teachers in those schools work very hard to help their students make academic progress, in a most caring way, but with a lack off sufficient resources. Those resources would be equitable financing which would lead to smaller classes, more programs, and more people on staff that could support students. It is crucial that the NYS Legislature and Gov. Cuomo make this year THE year of positive change in education funding for low-wealth, high-need school districts, such as Schenectady. Indeed, it would make a big difference in the economic growth in Schenectady. This should be a focus of the Chamber of Commerce.