The Board of Education, which has spent months assiduously pushing off a discussion of the pathetically low minority graduations rates reported by the New York State Education Department last March, will meet tonight at a date and time best suited to insuring minimal turnout. And based on the reaction (or lack thereof) among the minority community in New Rochelle perhaps they are right. Perhaps if you live in the South End and are the parent of a black or latino child and are too disinterested to show up and express some concern of there being a 50-50 chance your kids will not graduate on time then maybe your kids really do deserve to be treated like cattle, penned into low-functioning abattoirs they call classrooms, and then "processed" like so much meat, in time to make room for the next batch.Read more
For the very first time, the New Rochelle School Board will address the critical issue of high school graduation. As many of you already know, through the Talk of the Sound, our graduation rate is one of the lowest in Westchester County. The School has never addressed it until I kept bringing it up publicly. The statistics are dramatic, particularly for our children of color. The school will probably avoid the issue and present old ideas that have never worked and more importantly, they will present issues such as how many of our students go to college and where they go. Of course, this does not address the issue, but it is a typical way, as customary, that they will avoid the real issue. Come and watch for your self on Tuesday July 27th at 7PM at 515 North Avenue - 2nd floor. Let's see how transparent our Board of Education really is and how courageous they can be with the facts.Read more
Almost two years ago we reported on the number of students invited to the Full Day Kaleidoscope (gifted and talented program) by building in “South End Schools Shortchanged Again-Kaleidoscope Program.” We decided to re-visit the topic to see if the opportunities to participate in this program had improved for children attending South End schools. This year, a total of 65 students from all elementary schools were invited to the Full Day Kaleidoscope program hosted at Webster Elementary School.
The number of third grade students from each school invited to participate in the 2010-2011 Full Day Kaleidoscope is as follow:
North End Schools
South End Schools
Juan Suarez, an engineer with Dow Chemical in Louisiana, spoke to students in the Young Engineers program at Albert Leonard Middle School today. Suarez, who grew up in New Rochelle and graduated from Iona Prep, is a mechanical engineer who designs and maintains equipment at the Dow plant in Saint Charles parish outside of New Orleans.
Suarez reviewed the many kinds of equipment like complex pumps and turbines used at the Dow plant to mix chemical compounds, generate power and filter water and how engineers have design, monitor and maintain the equipment to keep in functioning and safe. The class discussed safety issues related to mixing chemicals and generating power under high pressure which led into a discussion of what went wrong at the BP Deepwater Horizon oil drilling platform and the ensuing disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.
Charlotte Stadler was an extraordinary teacher. She was a teacher to both my children at Columbus. She developed a math curriculum that opens the world to math for many Columbus children and she made it fun. She and her colleagues are the reason Columbus is always at the top in math scores for elementary schools in New Rochelle. Through her generosity, she financially supported the Chess team that we all work so very hard to develop with Mr. Hegenauer. They were champions in every chess competition in NY, CT and nationwide. The proof is their hundreds of individual and team trophies. We are often blessed with unique and wonderful teachers that make a difference to our children and our community. Charlotte was that one person. We were all very sad to hear that Charlotte passed away recently. We were missing here already after her retirement a year earlier.
The family has setup the Charlotte K. Stadler Fund which they hope will provide necessary scholarships and funding for Columbus Elementary School (see attachment). If you are able to provide any support to the Fund, please contact them at:
The Charlotte Stadler Fund
c/o John B. Stadler
9 Serpentine Trail
Larchmont. NY 10538
Martin SanchezRead more
The graduation rates tell only half of this story. The other half is just how much did the students learn? I highlight our graduation rate because I believe that it is an indicator of our health as a society. For now, my concern is our HS graduation rate in New Rochelle. Note that in NRHS, we have over 3,400 students. Roughly 60% are students of color - that's over 2,000 students. Over the last several years, I have asked questions about our graduation rates here in New Rochelle. I wanted to know what was being done to improve upon these critical numbers. The answers provided were always the same. Nothing new; nothing different. It seemed that no one knew how to address the question from a strategic, short or long term solution perspective. No focus group; no risk taking with different initiatives. Meanwhile, our children languished. Mind you that we are not expecting dramatic improvements, just modest; optimistic improvements and a public recognition that we have a problem AND that we have a plan. Look at these numbers and discuss with your school board.
The Graduation Outcome for 2005 cohort (HS Students who graduated in June 2009 - Note I am only focusing on Black and Hispanic students):
All is not well in the land of Rob and Laura Petrie and taxpayers are fed up.
Gannett/Journal News, Don Imus, ABC's Channel 7 Eyewitness News and Cablevision's Channel 12 News have all now picked up our story on New Rochelle's "Crossing Guards to Nowhere" -- our exclusive investigative report on crossing guards in New Rochelle, NY who sit around doing nothing in the middle of the school day more than a year after the local school district eliminated half-day Kindergarten.
The City says the workers will continue to be paid until the end of 2011 when the current contract runs out.Read more
Talk of the Sound has obtained a copy of an IDA Audit Report of the New Rochelle IDA (NRIDA) which is expected to be released by the Office of the New York State Comptroller (OSC) next month. The document is meant to be public, has been circulated within City Hall but is not on the agenda for the IDA meeting scheduled tomorrow. A brief review of the summary shows why the IDA would prefer to kick the report down the road into the summer months when they hope less people will notice -- it is a devastating report which confirms what many critics have long contended about an IDA with no defined process for approving projects, no effort to monitor ongoing projects and a generally sloppy, make-it-up-as-you-go approach while doling out tens of millions of dollars in bonds, tax incentives and other goodies to politically-connected developers with no particular concern over whether the projects deliver upon promised results.Read more