Robert Cox's blog

District Fences with FOIL Requests

November 03, 2008 - 21:31

The City School District of New Rochelle and various interested parties including the Mayor and the head of the teachers union have repeatedly claimed that there is no "inequality" issue in New Rochelle between North End and South End schools in the wake of an article in The Journal News last summer. Given the claims by the District, it seems reasonable that someone would have studied the issue of performance of students from the various schools within New Rochelle. Perhaps the most obvious analysis would be a comparison of students from Isaac E. Young Middle School and Albert Leonard Middle School at New Rochelle High School.

How Cheating on High-Stakes Testing Works

November 03, 2008 - 16:47

The New York Times ran a story over the weekend about the sad case of MiShawna Moore, the former principal of a public school in South Carolina. Moore had been widely praised as a miracle worker for her leadership in turning around students at a low-performing, largely minority school in Charleston but is now facing possible criminal charges for cheating on standardized tests.

As test scores rocketed at her school, Sanders-Clyde Elementary, the city held her up as a model. The United Way and the Rotary Club honored her, The Charleston Post and Courier called her a “miracle worker,” and the state singled out her school to compete for a national award. In Washington, the Department of Education gave the school $25,000 for its achievements.

Isaac Young Teacher Disputes Criticism, Defends Fellow Teachers

November 02, 2008 - 20:42

Regina Simoes, a seventh grade teacher at Isaac E. Young Middle School, says teachers aren't the problem at Isaac Young and then singled out parents for criticism, admonishing them to play a more active role in their children's education. She went on to say that Isaac is hardly unique in having problems, claiming there are problems at both North End and South Schools that are not disclosed to parents or the public. That officials at both schools hush up incidents is hardly comforting news for New Rochelle residents.

Simoes, responding to recent criticism of the District, defended teachers and shifted responsibility to parents. "You make it what you make it", she said. She had a blunt message for parents who would complain.

Isaac Young Board Meeting, Failure Every Which Way But Loose

October 30, 2008 - 16:19

Only in the bizarro planet world that is the City School District of New Rochelle could school board members applaud presenters who spent two hours misstating basic facts, torturing data to put forward conclusions diametrically opposed to reality and otherwise misleading the board and an audience compromised primarily of district apparatchiks and assorted hangers on. I have been to quite a few board meetings lately but this one really took the cake.

Isaac Young Math Department Chairman Struggles with Basic Calculations

October 30, 2008 - 14:10

I thought I had seen it all at these through the looking glass school board meetings but Mr. Bongo, the principal at Isaac Young saved the best (i.e., worst) for last night when he presented Michael Galland who is, believe it or not, the Chairperson for Math & Technology at Isaac Young Middle School. Word is that this person is paid over a $100,000 a year to run the math program. I think the tax payers are getting taken for a ride with this guy.

Given his obvious lack of basic math skills the massive improvement in math performance for black and hispanic students at IEYMS described last night is even more incredible.

I have FOIL'd this particular slide so will soon have the actual slide but I can recreate it in a text version here. I do not know how to make tables in HTML so bear with me.

Board of Ed Seeks to Suppress Criticism of Superintendent Making False Statements to the Press

October 29, 2008 - 18:40

At the board meeting on October 7, 2008, I read from prepared remarks about a disturbing incident which came to light here on Talk of the Sound at the New Rochelle Community Pulse blog. It was while making these "controversial" remarks that School Board President Cindy Babcock-Deutsch and board member David Lacher repeatedly interrupted my remarks on the grounds that the "privacy rights" of the Superintendent of Schools were violated. Please note that I was commenting on statements to the press by a public official where no such expectation of privacy exists.

The Journal News reported that two classes of students from Trinity were forced to walk the perimeter of the playground for about 25 minutes during recess one day during the spring of 2008.

Free Speech Rights Suspended by Board of Education

October 29, 2008 - 16:34

At the end of every board meeting there is a public participation period which is described as follows in a lavender brochure distributed at the board meeting:

A portion of the agenda of each regular meeting is reserved for public discussions. During this time, members of the audience may express opinions or ask questions about any aspect of school district operations or procedures, except personnel. In order to protect the rights of those involved, all personnel matters should be referred to the Superintendent of Schools via the proper channels. Such matters are discussed by the Board in Executive Session.

I asked two board members about this policy and both stated that they were told by the District's lawyers that there was a law that prohibited the discussion of personnel matters in public session. I searched the New York State Code. I could find no such law. I contacted the New York Civil Liberties Union.


Latest posts from Robert Cox

Federal Litigation in New Rochelle Over Past 20 Years

I was researching the noose case and pulled up a list of all federal lawsuits using the keyword "New Rochelle" that were in the court systems electronic database. Since I paid the 24 cents it costs to get three pages of records I figure I may as well publish it here. If anyone finds an interesting case that warrants greater scrutiny let me know and I can pull up the actual complaint.

Bankruptcy Cases
Bankruptcy Name Search Results
129 Total Case matches for selection NEW ROCHELLE for ALL COURTS
Thu May 7 07:47:25 2009

Name Court Case No. Filed Chapter

NEW ROCHELLE FORD, INC. A NEW YORK CORPORATION nysbke 00-20235 04/05/2000 7
NEW ROCHELLE GULF nysbke 02-05222 02/25/2002
NEW ROCHELLE HYUNDAI nysbke 00-20174 03/09/2000 7
NEW ROCHELLE MANOR nyebke 92-84095 04/06/1992 7
NEW ROCHELLE RESTAURANT SUPPLY, INC. nysbke 00-41065 05/04/2000 11
NEW ROCHELLE SHOE-INN CORP. njbke 94-25015 07/20/1994 11

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NRHS PTA President Emery Schweig Says Economic Crisis "Temporary", Demands Voters "Suck It Up" and Approve Budget

BBFD58A8-B745-4F09-8495-560354D5CA6C.jpgIn a contentions school board meeting, residents, parents, school board candidates and PTA officials appeared for the New Rochelle School Board to comment on the district's proposed $230mm budget, the largest in the history of New Rochelle and one of the largest ever in Westchester County.

The most impassioned plea came from Ms. Emery Schweig, current president of the New Rochelle High School PTA and candidate for Member, Library Board of Trustees; New Rochelle City School District. In her remarks last night, Schweig referenced concerns expressed by New Rochelle residents over the past several school board meetings - people who have spoken of their fears of losing their jobs and their homes in what President Obama has called the worst financial crisis of the Great Depression. She proceeded to ridicule those concerns by calling the current economic situation "temporary" then emphatically demanding that voters to "suck it up" and approve a budget loaded with wasteful spending, expanded teacher pay and benefits, and millions of dollars in new programs.

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Present and Accounted For: In Wake of TOS Exclusive, School District Vehicles Fill NRHS Parking Lot


Vans, pick up trucks and other assorted vehicles, including the infamous Fan #60, are now being parked in the lot between the new wing at the high school and the tennis courts near North Avenue.

New Rochelle Carpenter Says "No One Told Him" Could Not Take Vans Home, District Silent but Sends Letter to Employees

EXCLUSIVE: Carpenter's Late Night Use of School District Van Questioned


Van # 60, second from left.

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CNN Comes to New Rochelle to Cover Chrysler Bankruptcy

Last week CNN parked a large truck on Route 1 in New Rochelle, in front of our local Chrysler dealer. CNN's Richard Roth did live shots throughout the day - before and after President Obama spoke about the Chrysler Bankruptcy.

Although they say they are in Larchmont, the dealership is actually on the border and the truck was parked in New Rochelle.

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School Board Meeting TONIGHT 7:30 PM (new wing at NRHS)

Last chance to comment on the school budget. We encourage everyone to come and be prepared to raise some of the issues we've been raising here on Talk of the Sound. Everyone gets 3 minutes to talk.

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VOTE TODAY!!!! Absentee Ballots for School Board & Budget Elections Available Now!!!!

FD6B9BB8-E643-4997-9470-DEB5DB4BA80E.jpgIf for ANY REASON you will not be able to vote at the various School District Polling Places between 7:00 AM and 9:00 PM on May 19th you are entitled to VOTE NOW!!! If you have friends, neighbors or family members forward them a copy of the Application Form below or print it out and hand out to to them.

2009 Absentee Ballot Application for New Rochelle Schools & Library Election

If want to stop by the Second Floor at City Hall you can ask the clerk to provide you an absentee ballot and vote right then and there.

We need EVERYONE to vote this year not just the 3,000 to 4,000 who have been voting in previous elections. Every vote counts!

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New Rochelle's Got Talent - Local Kids Ham It Up for the Camera

We have our Talk of the Sound YouTube Channel where we upload videos and also favorite any New Rochelle videos we come across. Here are a few of local residents hamming it up for the camera...

Kids Dancing at Local Restaurant Part 1

Kids Dancing at Local Restaurant Part 2

Kids Dancing at New Rochelle High School

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