Thursday, December 16, 2010

Pride goeth before the fall

The most interesting exchange of the 12/14 Regional School Committee meeting perfectly underscores the hubris of Amherst--and it came from a member of the Regional Committee who is not even from the People's Republic of Amherst.

Kip Fonsh of Leverett trots out that tired old saw about Amherst educational superiority that may have been true at some point in the past, but certainly those days are long gone. Other than being the only High School in history to cancel a production of 'West Side Story' or allowing young girls to perform the R-rated 'Vagina Monologues', nothing springs to mind where ARHS has blazed a trail--at least with things of educational value.

And even Mr. Fonsh, a major cheerleader for the current administration, seems to indicate study halls are not exactly something worth bragging about. Notice too how Superintendent Geryk and Principal Mark Jackson (Amherst's two highest paid employees) are not overly quick to respond to Rob Spence's question about how Amherst compares to Northampton or Longmeadow on this issue.

"Prisoners of the budget" indeed. With ARHS currently having the highest cost per student in the area, hard pressed taxpayers have to wonder if perhaps those holding cell toilets are gold plated.

Turn the volume w-a-y up on your computer; and yes, I know the lip sync is something out of a Chinese martial arts movie. My $30 shareware editing program is being a tad funky today.


Anonymous said...

"Prisoners of the budget"

Fuck off.

You heard me.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, considering we spend an average of $16,909 per student annually with state average at $13,062 or Northampton and Hadley under $12,000 AND we passed an Override last year to "do it for the kids", Mr. Jackson's suggestion he needs more money to have teachers simply teach rings a tad hollow.

Anonymous said...

Get rid of Jackson. He's a horses ass.

ARHS Parent said...

Gold-plated toilets? Not even close. Have you been to a game at the gym lately and used the restroom? Both boys' and girls' have sinks ripped out of the walls, leaving big holes. They are also missing about half of the doors to the stalls!! It is an embarrassment.

LarryK4 said...

As I said in my previous post, about 90% of the money in the schools budget goes towards salaries and benefits.

Perhaps it is the administrators who have the golden thrones (in their own homes of course)

Anonymous said...

Sinks ripped out may be symbolic over the out of control way the school is managed.

The amount of administrators added to the schools in the past decade was mind boggling to me when I had occasion to be involved there.

And the credentials were quite interesting...fresh out of college "Deans"????

Anonymous said...

If teachers are being paid and required to supervise study halls, why couldn't they just teach a class instead? Why would that require more money, Mr. J?

ARHS eliminated required study halls in a year that the high school cut it's budget so the override didn't allow this change -- the school committee forced the change.

Anonymous said...

Please don't compare Mr. Jackson to a horse's ass. It's an insult to my horse.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. December 17, 2010 11:22 AM

I apologize. You're right. It is insulting to horses.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. December 17, 2010 6:34 AM

Maybe if the little criminals who attend the high school didn't focus their attention on destroying other people's property, the tax payers would take an interest in fixing the place up. Otherwise, let them live with what they have. They destroyed it. Let them wallow in it.

Anonymous said...

What was once charismatic about Mark Jackson has now become simply annoying.

Anonymous said...

When was Mark Jackson ever charismatic?????? Are you kidding??? He's always been a jerk. The turd doesn't even send his kid to Amherst schools. He's done nothing for the high school. And then when things like study halls are brought up, he says that was already in place when he got there. Well????? If it looked like a bad idea, why didn't he come up with the idea to change it! He's useless.

Anonymous said...

"Maybe if the little criminals who attend the high school didn't focus their attention on destroying other people's property, the tax payers would take an interest in fixing the place up. Otherwise, let them live with what they have. They destroyed it. Let them wallow in it."

Ron Bohonowicz is that you?

Ed said...

Both boys' and girls' have sinks ripped out of the walls, leaving big holes.

Umm, exactly how did they come to be ripped out of the walls, and where was Principal Jackson when this was happening? One of the jobs of a Principal Instructor (and that is what "Principal" stands for) is to maintain order in the building.

Dismantling of the plumbing fixtures would constitute disorder in my book -- rather noisy and wet disorder as I doubt that the vandals are either using the proper tools or trained in plumbing maintenance.

So where is Principal Jackson when there are these loud crashes and water puddles coming out the door -- where is Principal Jackson when his building is being destroyed?

Oh, wait, he is off bullying members of the school committee. Jackson is worse than just a horse's arse --- he is a bully of the worst sort, too cowardly to confront the criminals in his own building, but perfectly willing to assault a female college professor.

And here is the jury instructions for what an "assault" is:

What an idiot said...

Want to see what the typical weak, whining, inadequacy ridden, back stabbing parasitic Amherst male android looks like America?

Who knew that sniveling roaches like this could run a town into the ground?

Anonymous said...

Anybody interested in a little moderation?

Anonymous said...

"Thoughts on development and redevelopment

Projects implemented by Redevelopment Authorities can help define a community for a century. The Boltwood Walk project, for example, took more than 20 years to plan, design, and build, and the results will be with us for decades to come. Any new projects of the ARA will need to be appropriate for Amherst in the 21st century. They will need to address the challenges of responding to global warming and peak oil; keeping Amherst affordable, and balancing the desire for economic growth with other quality of life objectives. As a member of the ARA, I will work collaboratively with other members to ensure that these broader issues remain part of the discussion."


Hey Jim, how about you load up your milk crated Grateful Dead album collection, your dusty turn-table and your skittles filled acoustic guitar and GTFO?

How about making that your contribution to a sustainable Amherst?


Anonymous said...

Jim Oddham needs to get out in the real world more. Can you say "throw back to the 60's"???? He's exactly what people from other towns think of when the words "Amherst" are uttered. Some pot smoking, professional student, who has nothing better to do than show his hairy face on ACTV.

Anonymous said...

More kindness from the peanut gallery. Please stay by your computer and stay away from any Christmas gatherings. There's obviously no peace on earth, goodwill toward men (or women) on this blog.

Anonymous said...

Reading this blog is optional. If it hurts your feelings, stay off it or start your own. Oh yeah, that one in Shutesbury about how great the Amherst Schools are (not), the no one reads...maybe you'd like that one better.

Anonymous said...

Larry Kelley's Angry Hearts Club,
Larry Kelley's Angry Hearts Club,
Larry Kelley's Angry Hearts Club Band.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, I used to be an angry young man; "but used to be's don't count any more."

Now I'm older...and angrier.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering: Does the per pupil costs include the special ed kids? I know at one point, some years ago, we were sending a couple of students to very expensive private special ed schools. If we still have a lot of special ed students, or students who require special aides, etc., that could really push up the per pupil costs.

Luckily, my kids are well out of ARHS. However, it was survival of the fittest from Crocker Farm on up. Teachers who couldn't deal with overachieving elementary students, jr. high (at that time)teachers who wanted to eject a student for not studying -- sending a clear message that quitting is best (we didn't quit), and a high school more interested in rules regarding absences than in understanding that some kids and families actually are being educated when they go to Europe -- all were the precursors for this mediocre soup of today.

It's laughable that Irv Rhodes is on the School Committee. Does he enter each meeting with his "Do you know who I am?" attitude?

We have not heard one good thing about Jackson from parents whose children have had contact with him.

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Anonymous said...

"It's laughable that Irv Rhodes is on the School Committee. Does he enter each meeting with his "Do you know who I am?" attitude?"

Irv's great!

Anonymous said...

As a parent of a '10 student, I really want to add some balance to the seemingly endless complaints about the Amherst Schools. My kids had a great education in the Amherst schools, including last year. Please note that I'm not a stooge or apologist, just a mother who attended well-rated public schools in the 60's and 70's. When I compare my education with my kids', I am so impressed with and envious of theirs. Some highlights: the writing programs K-12, 6th grade math, art through 8th grade, chorus in high school, and the broad range of English electives in HS. I can see the merit in a discussion about how high costs are, but bullshit to the argument that we pay so much and get a shit education for our kids. That hasn't been true for my kids!

Anonymous said...

To December 20, 2010 5:58 PM

Ahhhh, and your excellent education also taught you some very colorful language. You sound sooooo well educated (not).

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:58

You are both a hypocrite and a poor debater. You complain about my language, but you don't sound greatly educated either with your use of extraaaa letters. But do you have an answer for my point or not? I totally expect more stupid attacks, so bring it on and prove my point.

PS. Timestamps show that you're a troll too. Less than 1 minute to make a response? No wonder zero thought went into your post.

Anonymous said...

The last comment was aimed at Anon 7:23. Excuse my error concerning the timestamps. However, I stand by calling the poster a hypocrite and poor debater.