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Talk of the Sound Joins Placeblogger

We have joined Placeblogger - you can learn more about Placeblogger here.

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Special Education in New Rochelle: Keep Costs Down, Assume Parents Will Sue

There are two things parents and guardians must ALWAYS keep in mind when dealing with the Department of Special Education in New Rochelle: (1) the primary mission of the Department of Special Education (DoSE) is to keep the cost of providing for special needs children in New Rochelle to an absolute minimum; (2) the operating assumption of the DoSE at all times is that you will litigate against them; filing an Impartial Hearing complaint with New York State, filing a Civil Rights complaint with the U.S. Department of Education or otherwise filing in local, state or federal court.

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Violence Increases in Westchester Schools

The New York State Department of Education is reporting that public schools in Westchester County reported an increase in violent incidents for the 2006-2007 school year.

The Journal News reports:

Public schools in Westchester County reported a greater number of violent incidents in the 2006-07 term, according to new state data, but because of inconsistent reporting the increase doesn't necessarily mean schools are less safe. Reports of serious crimes, such as sex abuse, assault, robbery and weapons possession, rose from 526 in 2005-06 to 547 in 2006-07, according to data on violent and disruptive incidents released by the state Education Department. Serious crimes involving weapons increased by 11 to 213, and overall incidents involving weapons rose from 213 to 239."

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ACLU, Human Rights Watch Report on Corporal Punishment

A recent report from the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights Watch offers some perspective for New Rochelle parents.

American Civil Liberties Union : U.S.: End Beating of Children in Public Schools: "More than 200,000 US public school students were punished by beatings during the 2006-2007 school year, Human Rights Watch and the American Civil Liberties Union said in a joint report released today.

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NYS Auditor says Tarrytown School District awarded $1.3mm in No-Bid Contracts

Our old pal Diana Costello has a story out today, Audit faults Tarrytowns school district purchasing about the findings of a state audit.

The school district failed to seek competitive offers to ensure the best price before awarding a variety of contracts and expenditures totaling more than $1.3 million, according to a state audit released yesterday.

Our own District here in New Rochelle came under criticism from a similar audit in June.

In a form reminiscent of our own schools honco here in New Rochelle, Schools Superintendent Howard Smith, having been caught with his pants down, has the nerve to blame the State for its findings.

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Transition Complete

We've completed the move from Blogger to the new New Rochelle Talk of the Sound site. Each post and comment was moved over but as there was no good way to export and import the content it was done by hand so there be some minor formatting issues and things like that. Please pardon any such issues and chalk it up to making a move to a new site.

For those Talk of the Sound readers who are new to New Rochelle Community Pulse, please take a moment to read our original post so you get a sense as the purpose of our blog and what we hope to accomplish by having our voice heard here on Talk of the Sound.

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NRHS Students' Top 20 Teachers for 2008; 67 Teachers Make Honor Roll

New Rochelle High School students have once again ranked their favorite teachers on the popular Ratemyteachers.com web site. 67 of 338 teachers made Honor Roll this year. The rankings are based on a raw score total determined by total number of votes cast by students multiplied by overall ratings average for each teacher. The Honor Roll represents those teachers who earned a 4.0 or higher average rating from their students, on a scale of 1 to 5.

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Reader Mail: Focus on PTA, Hire Tutors

A reader going under "KickoffTD" argues that parents should focus their efforts on the PTA and supporting their child at home.

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