Wednesday, June 20, 2007

CENTRAL 7 BUDGET REJECTED--WHAT WOULD YOU DO TO TURN AROUND SCHOOL DISTRICTS REPUTATION?

Central 7 school district residents rejected the school budget yesterday. The Central 7 school district is independent of the town government. The district has their own governing body (school board) and administration.
What would you do to turn around the school districts reputation? How can the town help the district?
Your suggestions are appreciated. A few months ago Vic Leviatin (founder of the nationally recognized WISE program & a former teacher at Central 7) and Harry Phillips of Hartsdale (a Regent with the NY State Education Dept) formed a citizens committee to work with the school district to enhance the quality of education students receive. I have expressed interest in serving on the committee.

44 comments:

Anonymous said...

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A substantial portion of the Greenburgh Board of Education should resign immediately.

Their public displays and lack of professionalism is what is embarrassing to watch on cable TV. The President can say “Bad Press” all he wants when the budget fails again, but the BOE is the very worst advertisement for the district.

I do not know why any of the other Board members are willing to sit and watch Board Member Terry Williams so improperly attack the Superintendent.

Greenburgh will have difficulty attracting a qualified and motivated Superintendent, who is aware of the foolishness that they will need to deal with as far as the Greenburgh BOE is concerned.

Given the current constructs of the Board, Greenburgh may need to lower their sights and settle for a mediocre candidate. To expect the type of change from a less than top notch Superintendent and a BOE that is more focused on their own self interests is really wishful thinking at this point.

Anonymous said...

1) Significantly improve student discipline expectations and consequences at the middle school and high school levels.

2) Eliminate many middle management positions and some clerical positions to increase the number of teachers and counselors at the middle school and high school levels.

3) Market itself in Hartsdale. There are many good things going on. People just assume that Woodlands is the same as it was in the 70s-80s and therefore feel they have no choice but to send their children to private schools (which increases district transportation costs). Here's the link for the state's most recent school district report cards, and Greenburgh Central (officially not named "Central 7" anymore) isn't looking bad academically:
https://www.nystart.gov/publicweb/

Anonymous said...

Give up on the ridiculous system of where elemenatary school children go to school. Go back to neighborhood schools so siblings can attend the same school, teachers get to know families better, families have closer relations with schools and less in-district busing.

Anonymous said...

In many ways I agree with 8:47, especially regarding the cost of busing. But it's a legal thing with regard to racial (and socioeconomic) integration. And we certainly don't want to experience the federal intervention that Yonkers had to endure a couple of decades ago.

Anonymous said...

The cruz of the Yonkers case was that the City deliberately put low-income housing to ensure segregation. I dont know if that applies to Greenburgh.

Anonymous said...

Will someone please explain to me why only two positions are being eliminated with this "contingency" budget??? See todays Journal News. Its hopeless.

Anonymous said...

sorry 4 positions -- 2 admin, 2 teaching.

still not the 10 to 14 they said would happen

Anonymous said...

Let's not kid ourselves. Anyone who has visited the Greenburgh schools (I had a child at Jackson last year) knows the obvious: the white middle class has abandoned the school district. Just look at the numbers- 12% of total enrollment in 05/06 which is hardly reflective of general population. With the rapid growth in the immigrant Latin population in the schools, this process will not be reversed any time soon. The result is the current situation where a large majority of the population is completely alienated and removed from the schools - remarkably few Greenburgh households have children in the system. When there is no relationship between the majority of the population and the schools, this majority will ignore the schools and vote not to spend their taxes on what they perceive as a failing system. The only way to reverse this trend is for large numbers of middle class young families to start sending their kids to the schools - and this won't happen. Even the supervisor has chosen to live outside of the largest school district in his town for a school system with a "better" reputation. No one would blame him for this decision. BTW, Lee F. Jackson has fantastic staff whom, I am uncertain, are unsurpassed in their devotion and talent by any of the "prestigious" districts, such as Edgemont or Scarsdale.

hal samis said...

OK, not having a child in local schools I admit to not having a clue about School Districts: how they are run, what laws govern them, what School Boards are empowered to do.

What I do know is real estate deal structuring.

The problem is whether paragraph two grants me license me to address paragraph one.

And I am perplexed as anyone to read about Central 7 heading the list of spending per student. Central 7? The recent news about the budget vote appears more likely to result in their renaming themselves Chapter 7.

Nevertheless, let me take a stab.
A few years ago three C7 schools were mentioned as candidates for sale upon consolidation of their student bodies elsewhere. Whether that intention remains, I don't know but I suggest the following.

If C7 is facing, by resident choice, dramatic operating cutbacks then they have little choice other than to unlock the value in their real estate. Especially now as it is unlikely that there will not be a forthcoming "hiccup" in rising prices. But they can't sell a building and close a school until they have a place ready to move those desks, lockers and the students that use them.

Thus I propose structuring a sale/leaseback, say for 5, perhaps 10 years. This would produce, albeit a one-time, pile of cash while possibly (according to negotiated terms) putting the property back on the tax rolls. During the period of the lease, C7 would remain in occupancy, pay rent and plan their consolidation.

If selling the buildings is no longer being considered, then I shut-up and gracefully and retreat to other blog topics where I more rightfully belong. However if this is an attractive option, then I represent some investors who would be interested in discussing this in detail.

Jim Lasser said...

Hal -
As a former Board of Ed member (in Edgemont, not Greenburgh Central, but the rules I'm about to refer to are the province of the NY State Education Dept. and cover all but the "Big 5" city districts).

It is my recollection that any real property which a school district wishes to dispose of must first be declared "surplus". If memory serves, this precludes the district from acquiring any new real property for some statutory period of time. (Not a problem if the District acquires the new space first, then chooses to deaccession the old space - but timing is everything.)

Having declared the property surplus, the District must conduct a sealed bid auction. The District must then sell the property to the highest bidder who must post a cash bond for the ENTIRE purchase price at the bid opening for his bid to be accepted. The State Ed folks take this very seriously - regardless of the transaction size.

I am unaware of any changes in State Ed law which would permit a sale and leaseback transaction
despite the attractiveness it could have for a district under certain circumstances. Perhaps the Supervisor would be willing to invest his political capital in Albany to change the law for the benefit of the students in Greenburgh.

This is the kind of change which also "takes three." In this case the three are the Governor, the State Assembly Majority Leader and the State Senate Majority Leader.

hal samis said...

Dear Jim,

Before I shut up on this topic (which I still intend to do), let me ask if you know what the status of these attractive and valuable assets is within the context of the long range planning (such as it is) of the C7 School Board. My only remembrance of their potentially being offered for sale was during the early days of the Greenburgh Library expansion in which the Bailey school came up and up and up as a potential Library site. This would place the first mention in 2005. Since C7 apparently is experiencing some financial pain in 2007, I was just wondering whether the School Board had gone further along the "for sale" road as the solution to their problems. Long range planning, even on a renewing basis, begins at some date so I think the clock on this aspect started when they, not me, talked to the press. It would be alarming to think that their original "suggestion" had been put on the back burner while "Rome" burned. So perhaps some sort of update on what was first mentioned, not by me, but by the then C7 School Board, should be forthcoming so that the Public would be assured that C7 is hard at work pursuing all alternatives other than just tapping into the taxpayers' checkbooks.

Because the taxpayers of C7 are entitled to know whether their School Board is on google maps agressively following all roads leading in and out of Rome, or is instead only driving the road to ruin.

As for writing a check for the ENTIRE amount in cash at the bid opening, in today's world of real investment, this presents no problem.

Finally, you wrote that "(you) are unaware of any changes in State Ed law which would permit a sale and leaseback transaction" but I want to clarify whether or not there is a preliminary statement missing. Do you mean that existing State Ed law disallows such transactions and that there are no CHANGES to that statute's stance? You wouldn't want to send Mr. Feiner off on a wild goose chase or, for that matter, have him invest his political capital in Albany on such a quest if the C7 School Board is not interested in such a transaction.

When C7 shows such an interest, they know where to find Mr. Feiner. Or me.

Anonymous said...

Please lets be careful with "creative" solutions like the Westhelp financing. Everything must be according to state law.

Also, I am annoyed that the teachers contract was approved hours before the first budget vote. As made clear in todays Journal News article on the G7 budget, contracts can stay in place in an "austerity" budget. What a misnomer! Austerity -- they are laying off a $75,000 per year receptionist -- even assuming that the 75 is with benefits, that is absurd. The board is out of touch.

The board will need several years of austerity budgets (which still allow increases above the inflation rate!) before they learn reality.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect to Mr. Samis and Mr. Lasser, whose comments are always very informative, they are talking around the issue which is how to improve Greenburgh Central. I'm sure that even residents vaunted Edgemont aren't particularly thrilled by being bordered on the north and south by two of worst school districts in the county. I really don't understand Mr. Samis' point. How is providing a new revenue stream, via property sales, going to help an abandoned, flailing school district which already has the hightest per cap spending in Westchester? Does he honestly think that such new revenue will lead the board to reduce taxes and not just throw that money into the same pit? The solution (and I don't think there is one) is political and social, not financial.

Anonymous said...

Take a look at the school and the student population.....I am not sending my kids there !!!!

Woodlands is a zoo - where are we , the Bronx ?

Anonymous said...

Anonymous at 10:04 - those are exactly the repulsive racially tinged attitudes that have contributed to the current disconnect between Greenburgh's general population and the school district. What possible good can come from your racist statement? You should be ashamed. How old are your kids and where do they go to school?

Anonymous said...

Where do you expect the minority children to be schooled,if not in the area schools. It seems that no one wants childred bused to other schools since they pay mega school taxes. Well something has got to change.Our school system in Greenburgh has gotten to a point of having children excel in sports, There are too many activities other than schooling ,which require more tax dollars . Cut activities and save tax money to teach the children. Teachers are only interested in getting higher salaries.Teachers in private schools make no where the amount of money that teachers make in Greenburgh schools, i.e.Edgemont. One school system should be able to help another .

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:37 --

What does Edgemont have to do with this? Is this just the usual Feiner, blame everything on Edgmont? Edgmont salary expense, according to NYS, is actually less per student than G7. Edgemont does not provide buses or lunches to elementary students. Athletics at elemenatry level are funded by parents and use volunteers. Volunteers provde many school services, cutting down on aids. G7 taxes are lower as they have many less students per population -- partially becuase many attend private schools (which somehow G7 turns into an expense, becuase of the bus costs).

Anonymous said...

To bring Edgemont into this discussion is pointless. For whatever reason (I don't know the history), Edgemont, unlike its neighbors, Yonkers and Hartsdale, successfully withstood the court ordered desegration drives of the early 70s with its overwhelmingly white, prosperous school district intact. Last year Edgemont's school population was 97% white or asian. Not a single Egdemont student was eligible for the subsidized lunch program. In Greenburgh Central, only 19% of the school population is white or asian and 38% (!) of students are eligible for subsidized lunches. As with all public issues in Westhchester (and America), the great unspoken subtext is race.

Anonymous said...

Central 7 should close all the schools and give each student up to $16,000 to attend a school of their choice and save $9,000 a student and cut taxes at the same time. Also sell RJ Bailey and Highview school to the highest bidder and sell the Warburgh campus to the Town so we can put the Library, Police Dept., Court and anything else we want their instead of adding on every year. Use the open space for fields which are needed very bad.

Anonymous said...

people always use race as an excuse, The problem with the schools are the Parents. most parents in central 7 do not get involved. Edgemont parents get to involved in their kids school life.
Whats the salary for free lunch ? I know lots of people who make alot of money and live in the projects.

Anonymous said...

Hartsdale did not leave Edgemont because of a court order. It left becuase it was too cheap and did not want to pay for the land for a needed high school. Greenburgh had land donated to it (by the Warburgs).

Little tiny Edgemont had to go it alone. With a small enrollment, and a history of many families sending sons to boarding schools, it took on what must have seemed like a hugh financial committment.

Yes Yonkers had to deal with a court order. Other places have and had not. Maybe Ardsley and Elmsford which are now sharing a library will decide to share schools.

I am not certain what any of this has to do with Cetnral Greenburgh.

Terry Williams said...

I appreciate the very spirited discussion, particularly Messrs. Samis and Lasser.

Per Samis’ proposal—As Mr. Lasser said, school district property is not conducive to innovative financing. But it sure was interesting.

Per my unprofessional behavior toward the superintendent—I hold people accountable. That is something you wouldn’t understand since you have chosen to make anonymous comments. I know the impact of my words and the weight of my position, and I gladly choose to state my opinions for all to see.

Generally speaking, in my four-plus years on the board, I have criticized the superintendent on three major issues, all of which preceded my service, but I have inherited. They are:
• The fill-for-fields debacle
• The poor execution of the Westchester Magnet Academy (WMA)
• The proposal to create three K-5/K-6 schools using the School Choice Grant made available by No Child Left Behind

Not much more needs to be said on the first point; just drive up to Woodlands High/Middle School and to the football field to see the piles of fill left by this initiative. We are just now beginning to remediate this situation.

Per WMA, I have always said that it was a good idea that was poorly executed, and I think the record supports that view. The school was booted off of the SUNY Purchase and Manhattanville College campuses—not related to student behavior—and a proposal to relocate to the School for the Deaf was fiscally irresponsible.

Re School Choice—Dr. Moffett and her former assistant superintendent and business administrator tried to convince us that the grant would cover the retrofitting of two of our three elementary schools to allow for the accommodation of increased numbers of pre-adolescent children, and that the new format would automatically result in improved student performance. I simply asked for proof, and that which was provided was not credible, in my opinion.

So where do we go from here? Well, if you attended any of the board meetings you would know that we were about to undertake a strategic plan before Dr. Moffett announced her retirement. That was put on the back burner. Surprisingly enough, that was never done until I proposed it about two years ago. It got fast tracked when Lloyd Newland was elected board president.

The next step, in my opinion, is to hire a superintendent with experience in dealing with and developing programs for low socio-economic populations. If you want a profile of the type of leader I’m speaking about, Google Geoffrey Canada.

Personally, I would love to see more economically advantaged students (black, white and otherwise) in GC-7 schools. But given my charge and the limited time in which to execute it, my primary focus is on those who presently attend. A homogeneous population—not just racially—would certainly make the job easier, but we do have an obligation to educate those who are less than middle class, who come from single-parent household and who may be first generation U.S. citizens, or in some cases, here illegally. It’s not my opinion; it’s the law.

I can say this with complete certainty—for those parents who remain active in their children’s education, the educational experience— due in large part to our strong faculty—will be a rewarding one.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Terry Williams"-

Your long response is...... long on excuses.

Your statement "Per my unprofessional behavior toward the superintendent—I hold people accountable." says it all.

GET THIS STRAIGHT, holding people accountable does not allow you to be unprofessional.......ever.

You see, that is exactly your problem. Your public presentation does not give our community confidence. The district's money is not being spent on achieving true student success and the BOE is emblematic of so many things that are wrong in this district.

Watch yourself over the past year on the videos. Is that something that you would be proud of having our Greenburgh students watch? Is your monthly example, the behavior that they should model? And we get upset when students gang up on another student to "right a wrong".

Is that any different than you explaining that your behavior publically towards the Superintendent is justified, just because you think you are right?

And you know what, stop talking about a strategic plan and do something about it. The community needs action, not someone who is taking credit for an idea.......something that every BOE should be doing. You did not invent the wheel either.

The principal role of the BOE is to 1) develop a strategic vision for the district, and 2) evaluation and counsel for the Superintendent.

Exactly which of those roles have you and the other BOE members who idlely sit by and watch the shannigans of the BOE, think that you have adequately fulfilled?

Now represents a great time for the Greenburgh BOE to exert a leadership role and make critical decisions. "Terry Williams", your past public behavior, and your lack of understanding of the role of the BOE precludes you from that role.

If you are truly interested in student success and not self promotion, then start showing it.

Your behavior on the video, is not what this community needs now.... or ever for that matter.

Terry Williams said...

...and you are a coward.

Anonymous said...

Dear "Terry Williams"-

I guess that you don't quite get the meaning of professional behavior yet.

If you are truly interested in student success and not self promotion, then start showing it.

Focus on true student success....not your ego.

Teresa Thompson said...

Wow.
It's now "self-promotion" to sign your name to your opinion.
No wonder there was no competition for the three BOE seats this year: In the view of many here, it's inappropriate to stand up for what you believe in. Rather, we should all remain "anonymous."
How said.
I hope all of you "anonymous" people aren't raising children to also hide in the shadows of their opinions.

Roz Leviatin said...

It is extraordinary how quickly an otherwise thoughtful conversation on a critically important topic can degenerate into hateful postings by "Anonymous." It might help if a separate "comment" section for Anonymous could be set up for those sharing that surname, and then the people not ashamed of having their identities known could continue to present their ideas and opinions.

Anonymous said...

Focus on true student success....not your egos.

Green Burgher said...

Want to understand an important part of the problem plaguing Greenburghh 7? Look at how the Supervisor titled this section. It asks "...what would you do to turn around school district's reputation?" The question focuses on reputation, not on STUDENTS. That echoes the problem with the budget - it doesn't focus on students, it focuses on adults - their salaries, their perks, their working conditions. If all of the adults - from the Town Supervisor (who really has no business at all intruding in the schools) to the District Superintendent to the teachers, aides, guidance counselors, parents, parents of former students, taxpayers without students in the system - would concentrate on what Greenburgh 7 students need to suceed, we could get started with improving achievement - and with better achievement, the District's reputation would improve.

The question addresses the wrong end of the achievement-reputation equation, probably because it is much easier to bitch and moan than put one's shoulder to the wheel.
The very first step, I believe, towards improving achievement is to make it clear to students that there are no excuses for not trying to achieve. Adults need to reinforce that message by their behavior. Many of our students have learned, they have achieved, and they make enormous efforts to do their best. Many of our adults have failed - by trying to game the system so that it pays off with money or prestige. Teaching kids that anything but real effort will get you what you want is a lie. Scamming the system ($372,000 in salary and perks IS a scam Dr. Moffett) advances only one person - building a community's reputation means doing what is right for the community. Doing what is right for the community can mean not taking what you think you are due - but rather doing what you know advances others.
Teachers are entitled to a fair wage. Administrators are entitled to earn a living. But to improve the educational system means one must put students needs ahead of all other considerations.
Hey, Mr. Supervisor, move out of your gated community (or perhaps off Fox Meadow Road) and allow your daughter to attend school in GREENBURGH! Set an example we can be proud of.

Anonymous said...

Anon at 12:05 -- your right.

Lets start with a program for asking for volunteers, especially from retired people. Library aids, reading with smaller children, etc. Lets get the programs set up and then regularly get the message out on our Cable TV.

Lets also make certain the schools go with Chief Kapica's recommendation -- any violence in the schools must be immediately reported to the police. Violation of this rule can and should result in discliplanary action. I think the teachers would be behind this -- they want safe schools too. Before the violence becomes common and not an aberation.

Lets look at what NYC is considering rewardst to parents/teachers for success.

Anonymous said...

Let's get real. The issues in Greenburgh are not solved by a focus on the money alone.

Castigating the Superintendent for a compensation amount that she negotiated with the BOE, which was approved by a majority of the BOE and is competitive with what other Superintendents in Westchester County pay Superintendents is misdirected attention.

If you paid Superintendent either twice as much, or half as much, it would make absolutely no difference on the measured student success in the district.

One of the BOE members said that the district is operating without out a strategic plan. That sounds like clue number 1 to me.

How can you get someplace, if you do not know where you want to go, and have no way to know if you are even remotely headed in the right direction?

Get a vision, measure yourself against interim goals, focus on student success, provide leadership behaviors for our students to role model, raise the bar of expectations, welcome those from the community with abilities to help and lead. Communicate, communicate, and communicate. Check the egos at the door.

If others like the Town Supervisor have recommendations, listen. Remember, if the district keeps doing what it has been doing, then it will get what it has been getting. Galatians 6:7 says “A man reaps what he sows” (a very Good Book).

Answer the questions that are asked at the BOE meetings, no matter how "uniformed" they may seem. The BOE must understand that the third party validation that comes from the citizens, taxpayers & owners of the school district will always carry more power and credibility than any newspaper article or BOE member’s statements.

Ladies & Gentlemen, this is not rocket science. Get a vision and really care about student success.

PS- Even rocket science can be learned.

PSS - Attacks on the Supervisor will not clear up the issues in Greenburgh C7. He has the right to send his child where ever he wants, just as any other reader of these postings.

Stop blaming others for the problems of this district that were created by the district, not the Supervisor.

There are 24 hours in the day; spend them either tilting at windmills or get focused real fast on the student success. Spending your time railing on at anonymous blogers, or the Supervisor, wastes time at the expense of the potential greatness of our students.

It’s time to make some decisions.

Anonymous said...

No one here has demonstrated statistically that, when taking into consideration the demographics of the student body (not that of the general Greenburgh population) that Greenburgh Central is under performing. Without such evidence, criticizing school staff and BOE for test scores, etc, is both unfair and unwarranted. My experience with my own child is that her teachers at Jackson were wonderful. Now, whether the money taken from taxpayers by the school district is being spent properly is an entirely different matter. The other underlying issue, that is, how to make Greenburgh Central more than an decent "urban" school district, but an attractive "suburban, westchester" district (notice the code words), is a sociological, demographic issue that is much bigger than the BOE or the Supervisor. Demographic trends that have been going on since the early 1970s are not going to be reversed, if ever, for several decades. Just ask the realtors what they tell families looking at the area!

Anonymous said...

"Just ask the realtors what they tell families looking at the area!"

Good point. Before I moved here, I was given a detailed map of the area's school district boundaries. (So odd around here that they don't match up with municipalities.) Anyway, it was made very clear to avoid buying in the Elmsford School District and Greenburgh Central School District. Apparently, so I've come to learn, there is a racial boundary that's been in existance for many decades, and 10607 was the only area in Greenburgh that black people were allowed to live in, and I guess that's just still the norm today. In hindsight, in many ways I wish I hadn't chosen to live in one of the white school districts.

Anonymous said...

SELL THE SCHOLLS AND BUS THE CHILDREN .

Anonymous said...

"No one here has demonstrated statistically that, when taking into consideration the demographics of the student body (not that of the general Greenburgh population) that Greenburgh Central is under performing."

The budget doesn't pass twice, the district has one of the highest opt out rates in the county, the REPUTATION of the school is well known county wide and you need STATISTICAL proof?

If an ostrich keeps its head in the sand, does that mean that nothing is going on in the outside world?

Anonymous said...

The parents of the student population of GC are to blame for the reputation the SD has.

Anonymous said...

Regarding statistical proof, yes, the student performance data for Greenburgh Central is good - not stellar, but certainly good. Check www.nysed.gov and www.nystart.gov for the facts.

The choice of Hartsdale parents to send their children to private schools is related to the district's lower academic reputation from the 70s-80s, race, and socioeconomic factors.

Also, the NYT article pointing out the high expenses of Greenburgh Central probably didn't help the budget vote.

Greenburgh Central is going to have to embark on a marketing campaign in Hartsdale, as well as create a multi-year strategic plan to lower its expenses.

Anonymous said...

Let me give you a hint, the BOE meetings broadcast monthly for all to see, is about as bad a marketing campaign that could ever be created for the district.

As Aretha sings, let's start with the BOE starting to show some R-E-S-P-E-C-T !

So either change the members or have them change their attitudes. You don't need BOE members who explain away their "unprofessionalism".

Anonymous said...

White Hartsdale parents who choose to send their kids to GC where met with whispers in the halls "get out" They did.

You can't market to these folks. It only takes one BOE meeting where a white person questions anything going one at GC to get the message. "Whites need not apply"

The SD is segregated, the parents of the attending students like it that way, it will not change. It's a disgrace.

Anonymous said...

When people talk about Greenburgh Central's "reputation," they are invoking code words for race. As the parent of young children and who moved into the area a few years ago, I can assure you, as have previous commentators, that realtors make it very clear to "white professional" families that under no circumstances can you expect to send your children to Greenburgh Central. I know many families with young children in Greenburgh and everyone of them moved to the area to take advantage of the relatively lower taxes and house prices (compared to the surrounding area) with the intent of sending their kids to private/parochial schools. The only way to possibly reverse this trend is to recreate neighborhood schools so that Highview would attract a k-6 population drawn from neighboring manor woods and college streets neighborhoods. When this idea was raised recently, it was shot down by the BOE.

Anonymous said...

Poster at 1:06,

I think you are right. The BOE needs to wake up and realize that this will not be the first "austerity" budget (which really isnt that austere), and that at some point, people will start running for school board on platform of cutting costs.

Teresa Thompson said...

Did anyone read Page One story in The Journal News Monday? Here's what the problem was in passing the budget: LOW VOTER TURNOUT. If parents and other adults are apathetic about voting (and you certainly couldn't have been ill-informed, since there were calls, letters, flyers, signs and other notices ad nauseum), how can we expect CHILDREN to succeed?

Anonymous said...

To assume that increasing voter turnout would be overwhelmingly in support of the budget is very naive. Most residents have no children. Many with children don't send them to G7. These residents vote in lower percentages than do parents in G7 and any other school district. They often believe that, as was the practice in the past, that school budgets would be revoted over and over. The last thing you want to do is wake up this segment of the voting population to understand that they can cap their taxes by voting no twice. As usual, the JN does a poor job reporting and makes no effort to understand the system. They confuse symptoms with underlying problems.

Anonymous said...

If the Central 7 is going to be turned around it will have to happen in the earlier grades and hope that it can retain the students as they progress throught the school system. The school has passed the tipping point and no reasonable parent who has a choice would send their children there. The school suffers from "white flight" as well as the flight of anyone that can afford to send their children to a private school. It is imperative to bring back the middle and upper middle class to the school. I suggest that if Hartsdale was to have it's own k-6th grade school, that it would be able to invigor the public school system and may have a chance of keeping those students in the school system going forward.

One step at a time......