Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Amherst School Super Search: the ethical violations continue

9:25 AM
Umm...Since Michael DeChiara is Chair of the Shutesbury School Committee (you know, the guy who complained to the DA about Catherine Sanderson's blog being a violation of Open Meeting Law) and he used an in-house school email list for this Public Service Announcement and it clearly endorses one of the three School Superintendent candidates (the in-house one) it clearly violates State Ethics Law.
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From: Michael DeChiara on behalf of Michael DeChiara
Sent: Tue 1/25/2011 7:30 AM
To: XXX
Subject: Please Be Counted: Attend Feb. 1 Interview for Maria Geryk

Please attend Feb. 1 Interview for Maria Geryk Jan. 24, 2011

Dear Shutesbury neighbors,

If your child attends the Middle or High School OR if she/he will attend soon,please
read this.

The search for a permanent Superintendent for the Amherst Region is coming to aclose. There are 3 finalists- the two men from out of state who have already beeninterviewed. Maria Geryk, our current interim Superintendent, will be interviewednext Tuesday, Feb. 1.

I believe that Ms. Geryk has done an excellent job since taking over the interim
position last spring. However, it is not clear how seriously she will be considered
by all the school committee members. If you think that she should be given a fair
chance and a real opportunity to be considered, I would urge you to show up for
her interview on Feb. 1 to be counted.

The interview will be from 6-8pm at the Amherst Regional High School library on
Feb. 1. Being there in person is important. At that time, you may also submit a
feedback form to the School Committee members with your thoughts.

*If you cannot attend, you may send an email to the those voting School Committee
members (see below).

**If you are a teacher and are worried about exposing your indentity for fear of
reprisal, you may submit your comments via anonymous form (see below).

Additional information can be found at:



Please share this with others.
Michael DeChiara
A parent of high schooler and 6th grader on her way to the Middle School

80 comments:

Anonymous said...

In my book, the ethical violations began months ago - when Catherine Sanderson and Steve Rivkin declared war on Interim Superintendent Maria Geryk. Their war has been ongoing and relentless and continues to this day.

Anonymous said...

What is really sad about the Michael D. email is that he says Maria is the best and you should go support her. Clearly he does not think she is qualified. If he did think she was the best candidate he would have said she is the best and go see the other two to see how bad they are. He did not so his true belief is clear, she is unqualified and you should only support her because he tells you to, not because his view is objective.

Anonymous said...

Bingo.


Game over.

Anonymous said...

How about becasue she's a proven commodity rather than the usual unknowns that we always get, promising much and deliver little. I guess doing a great job doesn't count for anything.

Anonymous said...

DeChiria is tiresome and can't seem to apply the same righteous standards he applies to others to himself.

Anonymous said...

It's true, we know nothing about the two outsiders. Look at their resumes. So thin. They've done nothing with their careers. Helped no children. They aren't from here. They don't know us. They're -- different. Close the gates!

Anonymous said...

There are many who believe Maria Geryk has not done a good job as interim. She made a poor hire of a highly paid, and underqualified curriculum director, who is doing a lousy job responding to the elementary math issues. She has started no activities in response to the evaluations of the middle school and special education. On the other hand she has implemented an extremely expensive professional development program with a persional contact at UMass. Professional development has not been identified as a primary issue in Amherst.

She has caused much of the tension with the School Committee, playing the hill towns against Amherst and encouraging discord. She has not cooperated in discussions about attorney selection, Union 26, curriculum evaluation, and mandatory study halls at the high school which put the hours of instruction outside of state regulations. She appears resistant to any idea that is not hers, or from one of her loyal supporters.

In addition, prior to her interim position she was responsible for years for a special education program with 40% parent dissatisfaction, stratospheric administrative costs, and uneven results.

This is not a case of a vendetta against an internal candidate who is uniformly seen as successful. This is a case of people who believe she has been a poor to mediocre caretaker leader.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Anon 12:32, what planet do you live on? Your post is so filled with inaccuracies I don't even know where to begin and I certainly don't have the time to address them all. I'll just address the professional development issue. I attended the evening interviews for both of the outside candidates for Superintendent. They both praised the professional developmen initiatives recently put into place by Maria Geryk and said they would continue them if chosen as Superintendent.

You clearly have no clue what you are talking about. In the math review, Dr. Chen said that professional development for teachers was the MOST IMPORTANT thing we could do as a district to improve math education for our students. He even went so far to say that without PD, whatever other changes we would put into place would have no effect.

Maria has caused the tension on the SC????? Are you kidding???? CS and SR declare war on her and she is the problem????? Unbelievable!!!!

For the life of me I cannot figure out why Maria wants the job of Superintendent in Amherst. She would be much better off going to a town that appreciates her and where the populace for the most part has some semblance of sanity. For her sake, I hope she does not get the job.

Anonymous said...

What really gets me, is that this is a no win situation for the Towns and Region. It does not matter who is hired as the next superintendent. The fighting will continue. The neat thing about a fight is that it takes two for a fight to continue. If Maria is not choosen, she and her close staff will chase out the new person just as the staff did to the Co-Superintendents and the Miami Super. But then the goal is to keep school employee salaries up and do what you want. The good kids will do just fine and the others may or may not.

Anonymous said...

And if Maria is chosen, all you nasty people and some SC members will continue to make her life hell and will continue to make vicious uncalled for comments about her. I am so sick of all of this I am considering moving out of Amherst.

LarryK4 said...

Maybe that has something to do with Amherst's high per student cost compared to Hamp or state average:

$16,909 per pupil for Amherst vs. the Northampton public schools at $11,699 while the state average is $13,062.

Anonymous said...

why would anyone say that Ms. Geryk "chased out" Alberto Rodriguez? I don't understand where these rumors even get their often far flung basis.

Anonymous said...

$16,909 per pupil for Amherst vs. the Northampton public schools at $11,699 while the state average is $13,062.

Food for thought Larry.

I know of two very good families to move out of Amherst because of the schools. Once again the people in charge are not listening to those who bring problems with possible solutions to light.

What we got here is a failure to communicate.

-Ryan Willey

Anonymous said...

So let me be more specific. There is NO plan in place to provide content specific math content PD for elementary teachers as Dr. Chen suggested. Just a plan to study the issue for another three years.

Maria was the one who urged the Pelham school committee to sandbag the Amherst Union 26 members by calling a meeting in the middle of the regional agenda, after the original agenda had alredy been agreed to and communicated.

Nobody declared war on Maria. There certainly were angry disagreements between SC members when Farshid Hajir led the regional committee. That has gone away completely with his departure. Has nothing to do with Maria, has more to do with Rick Hood's leadership of good communication and lack of politics in setting agendas. Very divisive issues, and lots of disgreements at meetings, have been discussed with civility over the last year on the regional committee.

Anonymous said...

ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!

"Catherine Sanderson and Steve Rivkin declared war on Interim Superintendent Maria Geryk.

I really wish whoever the idiot who keeps saying this had some idea what would happen if the two of them decided to marshal just half of their resources to actually "declare war" on Geryk. Do you have any idea the networks that the two of them have access to -- or any idea of the amount of dirt they could likely dig up if they ever tried?

They are both way too ethical to do something like this. But just think of all the things they would uncover if the full resources of Amherst College and its alumni network was brought into the mix...

Anonymous said...

Catherine and Steve both used the words "If Maria appoints a middle school principal and curriculum director it will be war." How much clearer can it get. Outrageous behavior for SC members.

Further, no one ever said the math review would take three years. There should be a report later this year. So, nine months from start to finish. I am sure the plan will contain PD as part of the plan. Until we see the report and plan for action I don't see how you can assume anything.

Again, more inaccurate hyperbole that serves no one.

Anonymous said...

"How about becasue she's a proven commodity" --- who will never challenge anyone on anything and just sit there and smile hoping no one realizes just how terribly in over her head she is...

Perfect figurehead for a corrupt organization that cares little about educating children and even less about conserving taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

Go ahead and keep spouting that line while you spend a hundred thousand on a new search and moving expenses every year. Brilliant!

LarryK4 said...

Hey Ry,

And speaking of which, last night Hadley (also significantly lower per cost than Amherst and about equal in MCAS scores) approved a new "Virtual Online School".

Currently Hopkins Academy offers 35 such online classes while venerable Amherst has yet to figure out the future is NOW.

Yet a year or two hence they will by whining about the number of students they lose to the Hadley start up.

Anonymous said...

online classes for teens? wouldn't want my child to be part of that teaching experiment...

Anonymous said...

Anon:January 25, 2011 1:47 PM said,
"Catherine and Steve both used the words "If Maria appoints a middle school principal and curriculum director it will be war." How much clearer can it get. Outrageous behavior for SC members."

I have read and heard rumors of this but have yet to be told a true source of who it was said to and witnessed by,so I am assuming it is just rumor.

LarryK4 said...

I believe ONLY Steve Rivkin said it.

Anonymous said...

That whole parking lot comment is getting old. As it has been explained by others many times it was part of a conversation that started in executive session. So Catherine Sanderson and Steve Rivkin can't and won't talk about the context of the conversation. Farshid, the guy who was going to go quietly away, conveniently uses that comment from the parking lot as a parting shot because it was not said in the executive session itself. I am sure a lot of us would like to know what was said by Farshid or others to elicit such a response. If Farshid had 1/4 of the integrity of the rest of the Amherst committee he would have considered that part of the executive session. Instead he and now many others use that as the end all be all comment to the credibility of SR and CS. I will look at the whole picture which is two people working very hard to make desperately needed change to a bloated system resting on its laurels of decades past.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:55
Precisely the point. Let Geryk go to another town. BUT... who would hire someone with her qualifications ? She knows the answer to that question and that is why she is using every tool she can to hold on to her position.

Were I MG, I would do the same thing. Where else could she earn $140K with that experience?

Anonymous said...

Larry 1:20 PM

According to last fall Boston Magazine, Amherst cost per student is higher than 24 out of the 25 top Eastern MA schools.... where the average R.E. cost well outstrip ours here in the valley....

Eat the young, I say. Keep the status quo and everyone will have to move.

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, and look what happened to Jonathan Swift when he floated that idea...

(Once again I maintain sarcasm/satire require their own special font)

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:11

Appropriate to bring Hajir's memory into the mix. His mix of vitriol and vicious politics is what perpetuated the mess delivered to us by Churchill and Brighty.

We are lucky he left, but unfortunate that he and Geryk preordained the election of Rick Hood to RSC Chair. Hood is a nice man, but seriously outclassed by the politicians who engineered his election to Chair with an arcane maneuver from the Roberts Rules of Order (that put Geryk temporarily in control of an elected body to supervise an immediate election without any discussion or comment).

If you want to know why SC members might be suspicious of Geryk, I suggest you watch that meeting again. I watched it happen with amazement and dismay. She is an excellent political operative.

Predictably, Mr. Hood is being pushed and pulled in every direction. The current assumption is that he is beholden to the Interim - I disagree.

As Chair, I would be surprised if Mr. Hood wanted MG to be appointed knowing that he will be

1) seen as beholden to her; and

2) subject to untold criticism when her incompetence leads to even more divisiveness in the community.

Clearly MG is the most controversial pick of the group. I imagine that Mr. Hood will avoid this controversy in an attempt to heal the District.

However, if he does vote with the Hill Towns for Geryk and against his Amherst colleagues (who represent 85+% of the student population), there is sure to be tremendous upheaval. Amherst may even pull out of U26 and let Pelham pay for its own schools, taxpayers will look into conflict of interest issues in the Superintendent's office, inflated salaries of administrative staff (and friends of Geryk) and poor management, ACE parents will push for real reform of the math curriculum.... In other words, the Chair will end up having to field endless conflict associated with Geryk. The repercussions will likely be huge.

My prediction is that Hood will seek to heal our community by working with his Amherst colleagues and selecting the best and most qualified candidate, trading off short lived political heat (from the MG faction) as preferable to the long term problems and wild controversy inherent in choosing Geryk. Should he choose otherwise his position will become even more uncomfortable than it is today.

Anonymous said...

In other words, anon: 5:55, the mean spirited, "it will be war" politics will win, regardless of who Mr. Hood may feel would best serve the district, separate from those politics. Nice. Kind of makes me fuzzy all over for the kind of representation I'm getting from the Amherst SC.

Anonymous said...

Yeah. But don't dare call C. Sanderson, "aggressive" because you'll be accused of being a hater of smart women. Because, you know, it's impossible to be a woman of intelligence while at the same time knowing how to maintain civil and constructive relationships with others. Especially the others who happen to be major stakeholders in the enterprise you're trying to exercise all that intelligence over. At least that's how the C. Sanderson followers who frequent this blog see it.

Bernice said...

8:24pm: BRAVA!

Anonymous said...

vote for the best looking,your commentary makes it to complicated to differentiate the two.

Anonymous said...

"However, if he does vote with the Hill Towns for Geryk and against his Amherst colleagues (who represent 85+% of the student population), there is sure to be tremendous upheaval. Amherst may even pull out of U26 and let Pelham pay for its own schools, taxpayers will look into conflict of interest issues in the Superintendent's office, inflated salaries of administrative staff (and friends of Geryk) and poor management"

It won't even get this far. If the hilltowns manage to ram Geryk through over the opposition of most of Amherst, someone will "drop a dime" to the US Dept of Justice on the Voting Rights Act issue. And the DOJ will act.

Can they simply order a re-vote based on population (I doubt it), will they take the heavy handed approach of putting the whole mess into Federal receivership (wouldn't surprise me), do I think it will be quite messy (absolutely).

At the very least, you would have Geryk (who is white) having to prove her competence against the presumption that she is the pawn of white racists in the hilltowns. I don't think she is racist, but I also doubt that she is bright enough to be able to demonstrate enough competence to show that she isn't and we might even wind up with desegregation....

Voter said...

I think Mr. Rhodes is the key. He is not happy about accusations of dysfunctionality on the S.C., and he clearly is doing his best to create a sense of collaboration and harmony. But in the end, I do not think he will just go along with C.S., S.R. if it's against his better judgement. Irv is a smart guy (see his list of life accomplishments/activities on his Facbook page) and he will not be made a patsy of. (I have less of a sense of/do not know Rick but I agree he is more swayable.) Irv did NOT seem impressed with Kohn and I believe he will NOT be afraid to speak frankly about his assessment. He will perhaps be the most objective of ALL S.C. members when it comes to the interviews. Irv has been around this town long enough to know that whatever decision is made, it will not lead to "healing"; the divisions, (which really seem to have widened in the past few years,) will not disappear after this vote, and perhaps may grow.

People have really gotten nasty and mean toward their neighbors lately; is there something in the air in this town? (and I'm not counting all the way-out-of-town visitors to this blog, either.)

Anonymous said...

The superintendent candidates interviews are now posted to the ACTV On Demand feature on their website. PLEASE take the time to listen to the candidates!

Kohn's interview:

http://204.213.244.104/Cablecast/Public/Show.aspx?ChannelID=2&ShowID=6912

Anonymous said...

easiest access to the superintendent candidate interviews:

www.actvamherst.com

then click on "Meetings on Demand"

then "Amherst Superintendent Interviews 2011"

Anonymous said...

"At the very least, you would have Geryk (who is white) having to prove her competence against the presumption that she is the pawn of white racists in the hilltowns."

Um, did I miss something here? Aren't all the candidates for Super white???? Why are we picking out Maria and saying because she is white there will be charges of racism in the hilltowns? I continue to be stunned by the stupidty and hatefulness of the people on this blog. In that one sentence you implied that Maria was racist and you said, not implied, that the people who live in the hilltowns are racist. And then you talk about desegregation. Sheesh.
I think I need to stop reading this blog...its way too depressing.

Anonymous said...

To all you who still seem to think that there are only two candidates for this position, I would suggest you watch John Bayless' interview.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Maria should get it but her pay should be commensurate with her experience. So $85K should do it.

Anonymous said...

I actually do think we should only be considering two candidates: Maria and John Bayless. After his interview, why anyone would still be considering Kohn is beyond me. He spoke about shunning teachers in one of his day time interviews and shunning kids in the evening interview. Those two comments alone should make him personna non grata in my book.

Anonymous said...

The reason we should be considering Kohn is that he has a stellar track record.

He was chosen (in Dec 2009) as the Superintendent of the Year by the National Superintendent's Roundtable for his work in Harrisburg, PA. When you look at who selected him, it is impressive. See his resume.

I wrote to that organization to confirm the meaning of this award and to find out about this organization. More info:

1) The Superintendents' Roundatble is..."Supported by the Kellogg Foundation, The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the College Board, ProForum and participating districts, the Roundtable is a nonprofit community dedicated to several ideas: all children can learn, schools can succeed, and no adult, in or out of school, should be left off the hook." It consists of 80 superintendents from 25 states representing a broad spectrum of Districts.

http://www.superintendentsforum.org/


2) Their executive director wrote: "Amherst-Pelham RSD is very fortunate to have a candidate of Gerald Kohn's experience, skill,and national stature under consideration. Jerry is an outstanding educator who is deeply committed to the success of every student. He draws on deep reserves of pedagogical knowledge, leadership skill, and experience as superintendent in several very different communities in Massachusetts, New Jersey and Pennsylvania."

What are we afraid of in our town - someone who would come in and make decisions and change our current trajectory?

We have a choice between excellence and mediocrity. My vote is always for excellence, which in this case may mean shaking up the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:38:

Did you meet Kohn? Attend any of his interviews? Watch any of the interviews online? He was AWFUL in his interview. There was universal disgust by those who attended the interview.

What do you think about his shunning philosophy. Do you want teachers to start shunning kids? That is what will happen under a Kohn administration. I know I want no part of that in our schools.

I also want excellence and I firmly believe Kohn is not the holy grail who will lead us there. He will lead us in the wrong direction. And I am willing to bet if Kohn is chosen as Super there will be a mass exodus from the schools. An exodus of students and families, teachers and administrators alike.

Anonymous said...

Kohn was awful both at his Wildwood meet and greet and in his interview. He has a stellar track record of being unable to deal with changes in school board leadership as demonstrated by his being fired from his last four positions. It is really beyond me how anyone can think that he would be a good fit here given the current contentious state of the school committee.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:50:
There is already an exodus from the schools and more planning to leave due to the mediocrity and spitefulness of the Geryk administration. Look at the high salaries in administration (making over $100K-Maria Geryk, Joanne Smith, Kathy Mazur, Beth Graham.

I would welcome Kohn. I watched his interview last night and thought he was really impressive. He has vast experience in different communities which he can bring to our district.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:55:

Tell me what you think about teachers shunning children?

Anonymous said...

Can you explain the context of shunning?
I have seen a lot of shunning right now because weak teachers are not being mentored, sidelined or removed. Elementary teachers are telling kids that they can't have more challenging math, even without any teacher help, special education students not being given appropriate instruction by teachers...
There's a whole lot of shunning going on and I don't think Kohn would stand for that level of mediocrity, that ceiling on the ability of kids to learn. Why are there so few minorities and low income kids in algebra? Because teachers are shunning those kids and not making sure they have the necessary skills.

Anonymous said...

why would we think it's impressive that a group of Kohn's peers, who would probably like to see their colleague and friend get a job, chose him (in Dec 2009-- was his firing impending?) as the Superintendent of the Year by the National Superintendent's Roundtable. I'm not impressed.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for dodging the question on shunning. Much like Kohn dodged every question in his interview.

Shunning means to ignore completely. Shunning means that you do not engage a person, you do not talk to a person. You totally ignore the person as though they are not there. There is no shunning going on in our schools today. But if that is indeed what you want in our schools going forward, then I guess Kohn would be the best Superintendent we could find. You can have him. Good luck! Charter school, here I come.

Anonymous said...

Larry,
There is an age old say that explains what is and has been going on here for quite some years.

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot.

-Ryan Willey

Anonymous said...

10:27
Yes, if you do not want better education here, do go to a charter school and take Maria with you....

Anonymous said...

See Shutesbury school for how DeChiara and company run their theories. If you don't play along, you're labeled an outsider, if you ask for accountability from the teachers, you are silenced by their vocal opposition; and if you want testing to be done vigouresly, you are subject to scathing remarks about your lack of understanding.

Anonymous said...

This business about the "shunning" comment is pretty moronic. You would need the full context to get what he meant. And, maybe he misspoke. You know, he has a long, distinguished career and one comment shouldn't disqualify him.

But, let's get back to shunning. I would welcome, really welcome, a superintendent who identified the deadwood among administrators and teachers. And EVERY organization has deadwood. If shunning those bad teachers helps get rid of them, if lavishing praise and attention on the really good teachers encourages good teaching, then I'm all for shunning.

We've had years of mindless praise and the false assertion that all our teachers are just the best in the world. It's time for real management and that might mean shunning the bad teachers. Maybe, the super might tell them to their faces.

Let's focus on the good teachers and shun the bad ones.

Anonymous said...

And should we shun kids as well?

Why won't anyone address Kohn's comment that he believes in shunning kids?

Anonymous said...

Agreed.

And don't forget, Geryk is not a one part machine...

The people advising her right now are same ones who brought down Dr. Rodriguez...


LEARN THEIR NAMES, AMHERST.

Anonymous said...

January 26, 2011 2:21 PM comment directed at 1:49.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 2:21

Get your facts straight. Kathy Mazur and Mark Jackson did everything they could to hire Rodriguez because the alternative was Sklarz and he talked about fixing things.

Yes, they then brought down Rodriguez and then installed Geryk.

We need a housecleaning. These people are running things and doing so for their own benefit, not for the kids.

Anonymous said...

Still no takers on shunning students and the good that will come of that philosophy?

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:48

You are right on.

Send them packing said...

@January 26, 2011 2:48 PM


I completely agree.

Anonymous said...

Kentucky just passed the best law ever.. to be on Food stamps, Medicaid ,or Cash assistance for your children or yourself you have to pass a DRUG Test. Now every other state should do the same. If you agree re-post. People that work have to take a drug test so should they... Amen

Anonymous said...

You know the only place I hear about how bad Geryk is is in this fantasy world. Meanwhile in the real world the school's humming right along.

Anonymous said...

If I even suspected kids were being shunned at my kids school. They would have a 280 lb. gorilla sitting in the office the next day.
I think everyone is in agreement that the policy of ignoring any child is inexcusable and if any teacher proven to be doing it, fired on the spot (no crying to unions either!).
As far as ignoring students, I believe it unwittingly does happen. Case example being I was at a parent teacher meeting once and the teacher stated that she was at no way responsible for the intergation, communication between his IEP work and classroom work. So he was on his own for any reading and writing for that year. Unfortunatly I entrusted the Amherst school system and he lost a whole year and is now playing catch me up with an outside tutor.
So, now I make my expectation clear at the beginning of the school year and at every meeting. So much for the "elite" Amherst school system!

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31

I believe that you are too generous. I believe that in Amherst SPED it is common for children who are difficult to be warehoused.

It is clear that senior administrators behave in a manner that responds to stimuli (kind of like nematodes). If you have the misfortune of having a child in the Amherst system on a 504 or IEP and fail to aggressively advocate for your rights, your child suffers.

There is NO EXCUSE for what your child experienced. Absolutely none.
And it was Geryk's responsibility as director of SPED to make sure that did not happen. The problem is there are no controls, no management designed to protect children at risk from malfeasant administration.

Time to clean house.

Anonymous said...

Spoken like a person that had one of those out of control little unholy terrors that you insisted be in the classroom with the rest of the kids so no one got any learning done. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:31:

I think you missed the point about shunning. It is one of our prospective Superintendent candidates, Gerald Kohn, who advocates shunning of children. He will probably be ordering teachers to shun certain kids, not firing them for shunning.

Ed said...

"why would we think it's impressive that a group of Kohn's peers, who would probably like to see their colleague and friend get a job, chose him (in Dec 2009-- was his firing impending?) as the Superintendent of the Year by the National Superintendent's Roundtable."

Sounds like a very good reason to ignore all the people who are saying good things about Maria G. -- her peers who want to see their colleague and friend get a job...

Which is it folks?

Anonymous said...

"The people advising her right now are same ones who brought down Dr. Rodriguez..."

Rodriguez was in complete control of his destiny from the first day he started work here.

Here's how he controlled his destiny: He took all of his vacation time and all of his sick time in the first 6 months on the job.

Who does that? He had a hernia. Big deal. People walk around with those for years. Anyone know a single person who has taken all of that time off in the first six months on any job?

For some reason, Arod didn't want his evaluation to go public? Why not? He chose to quit rather than go public. Must have been something in there he wanted to hide

What else did Arod do so wrong that he didn't want anyone to know?

LarryK4 said...

Well I tried to find out by requesting under Public Documents six notebooks worth of observations from the former Regional School Chair, but the state decided they were his "personal" property.

But as we learned with the recent trial of former Judge Michael Ryan over in Hamp, if you wish to release something "personal" (the video of his arrest)you most certainly can.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this must be part of the world wide conspiracy to set up the Amherst schools and make Maria Geryk the superintendent.

If they wouldn't release documnets to you, Larry, then there must be some uber secret gov't agency really underneath all of this.

Get Ed on it! He knows everything. Hey Ed, which one of your catalogue of conspiracy's does Larry's inability to secrue the notebooks fall under.

E-D, E-D, E-D, Ed, Ed, Ed


Gooooooo Ed!

LarryK4 said...

Yeah, it's always a bad sign when a government official refuses to release documents created during their tenure as a high ranking public official that concerns the behavior of the highest paid public employee in town.

Anonymous said...

Those six notebooks were not A-Rod's evaluation. It's the evaluation A-rod did not want to have made public. The notebooks are just one man's personal musings, not an evaluation.

LarryK4 said...

Either way, they both should be made public. And he would of course have the right to respond.

The First Amendment is a two-way street.

Anonymous said...

I don't always support Larry's position, but in this case he is spot on. Maria Geryk is known for being secretive. Just witness all the conflict of interest stuff that is being revealed.

Geryk pushes the limit and my guess is that if she is selected as Super, some in this town- ie. parents and taxpayers who object to her inside dealings - will go to the next level and request the state examine the school's finances. That ought to make everyone happy ! Especially her friendly (and rabid) lawyer.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 8:18, just to clarify my "unholy terror" has been commended year after year as one of the best behaved kids at his school, and so far every teacher he's had has stated they wish most of the other kids acted and respected them the way he does. I've been on many field trips and I will agree with you there are some major misbehavors in the school system. But I hope you don't assume that every kid that has IEP has some for of mental disorder that pulls the value of your childrens education away. Most of the social misfits aren't even in the IEP program.

Ed said...

Geryk pushes the limit and my guess is that if she is selected as Super, some in this town- ie. parents and taxpayers who object to her inside dealings - will go to the next level and request the state examine the school's finances.

I honestly can't say if she does or doesn't -- I still don't know if she IS qualified because Team Maria won't tell me that -- but should this be true, it isn't just the finances that upset parents and taxpayers can go to the state after.

There are an incredible number of documents which a school system has to file with the state and while the ARSD may wish to keep them secret, the state will gladly give them to anyone who asks nicely for them. You just have to find the right person in Malden to ask, but that is doable...

Team Maria need to be damn careful -- they may touch off far more than they expected....

Ed said...

To Anon 8:18, just to clarify my "unholy terror" has been commended year after year as one of the best behaved kids at his school, and so far every teacher he's had has stated they wish most of the other kids acted and respected them the way he does.

One needs to also remember that there is a difference (a big one) between "Special" education and "Alternative" education and that the vast majority of the SPED kids (IF you have a competent person running your program) are going to be like the girl who needs glasses to see the board, not the fratboy so drunk that he would never be able to see it regardless of glasses.

The vast majority of SPED kids are not only quite well behaved (if their needs are met) but actually quite vulnerable and usually the targets of bullies. Phoebe Prince comes to mind...

Anonymous said...

"For some reason, Arod didn't want his evaluation to go public? Why not? He chose to quit rather than go public. Must have been something in there he wanted to hide

What else did Arod do so wrong that he didn't want anyone to know?"


Something happened. This we know. And we know one side is hiding stuff.


Nuff said.


Wanna cookie?

Anonymous said...

Ed was an unholy terror in the first grade as he endlessly debated the teacher on her qualifications. It was the first time he appeared on the Umass School of Ed radar, a day they came to rue.

Then he wet his pants.

Game over.

Anonymous said...

Hey Nuff said,

I'll take you up on that cookie if you promise to tell me what Arod is hiding. And why is Arod hiding something? Why wasn't he man enough to go through one evaluation?

Geez, Nuff Said, he did show real promise after taking all of his vacation time in the first 6 months on the job. That is exactly the kind of employee we want running the school system. Sure.

Now how about that cookie?

Ed said...

"Ed was an unholy terror in the first grade"

My first grade teacher actually was a friend of the family and her own daughter was in my father's PSSC Physics class at the time, but I digress, ad hominum notwithstanding....

Might I suggest that those seeking to attack me personally for pointing out basic facts that are well supported in the SPED literature actually read the SPED literature or take something like EDUC 325? (And those of you who are teachers -- in many states you would have had to take those 3 credits in "the exceptional child" for recertification.)

The very simple fact is that if their educational needs are being met, the vast majority of SPED kids are going to be the best behaved and most adorable children in your classroom. Remember that AltEd is not SPED -- and that SPED is not supposed to be the "Boom Boom Room" where we warehouse those children too difficult to educate. And that the conduct disorders are really not supposed to be in SPED -- SPED is neither caused by poor parenting nor should it be the dumping ground for the problems caused by poor parenting. (That is what Alt Ed is for...)

SPED essentially consists of three groups of children. First there are physical disabilities ranging from peanut allergies to blindness and not all of this is visible to the public.

Second there are developmental delays (we used to call this "mental retardation", eg DMR) -- for a variety of reasons including maternal drug and alcohol use during pregnancy, these children have a diminished intellectual capacity and the goal is to teach them independent living skills.

Third, there are various sorts of cognitive processing deficits which would include everything ranging from the learning disabilities (eg Dyslexia) to things like ADD/ADHD.

These children are often very bright (Thomas Edison & Albert Einstein come to mind) and they can be exceedingly disruptive to a classroom if their needs are not being met -- if they are being overwhelmed, if things are going faster than they can deal with, they will act out in order to slow things down. (And if SPED children are doing this, it shows the inadequacy of the SPED program.)

But once their special needs are met, particularly if their special needs have not been met in the past, these children will become the most dedicated students in the classroom. While this is in the literature, it also is common sense -- we all have things that are difficult for us and if they suddenly were no longer difficult, well....

A district may misdiagnose the "unholy terrors" as SPED, female teachers often have problems understanding boys (who are different from girls), and there is sometimes incompetence in the SPED field.

But the simple fact remains that if a child's special needs are met, that child will be no more of a problem than any other child, and quite likely one of the best children in your classroom.

Anonymous said...

"I'll take you up on that cookie if you promise to tell me what Arod is hiding. And why is Arod hiding something? Why wasn't he man enough to go through one evaluation? "


Deliver the note- books.


Hajji is only an email away.