Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Public Comment?

Trevor Baptiste, the only minority member of Regional Agreement Working Group at 6/12 meeting

UPDATE 3:00 PM  School Superintendent Maria Geryk has kindly negotiated a live session between Mr. Terrell and concerned parents.  Next year.   And only now is he "developing an outline of his presentations"?!
#####

Tonight's 6:00 PM Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee meeting -- so soon after the Calvin Terrell disaster at the Regional Middle School -- should be nothing if not interesting.

In his first act as the new RSC Chair Trevor Baptiste proposed changing the restrictive "Public Comment" period to allow for more extemporaneous input after the disastrous June 24 meeting cost Lawrence O'Brien the chairmanship. 

The public comment period had become a hot bed of activity around racial issues -- and deservedly so.  The predominantly white committee (7 of 9) was having trouble concentrating on their routine agenda items.

At a June 18th meeting of the Equity Task Force, Chair Amilcar Shabazz purportedly talked about an unreported -- more like covered up -- violent racial incident where three black youths "aggressively and seriously assaulted" a white youth because he was the "greatest student racist they could find."

Unnamed members of the Equity Task Force seemed to think Shabazz violated the (FERPA) rights of all the youth involved, since insiders were well aware of the incident and the names of all concerned.  But us lowly outsiders -- who represent the vast majority -- had no idea the incident had even taken place.

Individual Chairs of the school committees that make up the Region, circumventing the Open Meeting Law, signed a sharply critical memo chastising Shabazz and apologized to the parents of the white child involved.

Lawrence O'Brien Chair (for a day) 6/24 RSC meeting


In response, RSC Vice-Chair Trevor Baptiste called a renegade Regional School Committee meeting without approval of then Chair Lawrence O'Brien to countermand the 7/15 memo pillorying Shabazz.  That single motion passed by unanimous vote of the five members (out of nine) who dared to show up. 

And at the next meeting of the full Committee (8/14) Baptiste was elected chair, trouncing O'Brien (5 votes to 3).

So how is Mr. Baptiste -- one of only two black members of the RSC -- going to handle this sad, sadistic episode where a well-paid black motivational speaker terrorized all too many 7th and 8th graders with violent images of loved ones being gunned down before their innocent eyes?

#####

No controversy is complete without an internet poll (not mine)

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

MS Geryk, please step down

Anonymous said...

Should M Geryk resign?

Vote here: http://www.poll-maker.com/poll152619x7F8f4fb7-6

Walter Graff said...

Why must we have such a dysfunctional administration that these meetings are about everything but what is important - our children's education. I'm with Lee Ohanian, professor of Economics at UCLA right now and let me give you some information:

*The US is now the 34th out of 44 countries in math proficiency

*US math proficiency is on par with countries like Serbia and Slovenia

*The US dropped from #1 to #16 in college completion rate. Most community college students do not finish

*Mass is one of two top states in terms of educational results in the US right with scores. Even so this state is still TWO years behind Chinese students.

When will this town do something to give a future generation an advantage. As it stands this school system is in the bottom third of the state.

Get rid of this administration and the utter waste. Put the money where it counts, in teachers. Start giving teachers bonuses for performance. Merit Pay is the best way to change the playing field right now. Other communities are starting to and it IS making a difference. Paying a ton of administrators millions does nothing for our children. Putting money where it counts does.

Let's start working towards achievement and competition. Let's stop making our children feel special for turning on a light switch. 60% of students in this country can't answer a multiple choice question on fractions.

This is an extraordinary community of education. Let's become a leader and not a lagger. So many parents want the best for their children, but parents need to start that ball and stop expecting everyone else to do it. We are lazy as parents. We focus on the wrong things. We mollycoddle our children.

If you want the best for your children in Amherst then start speaking up and let's change this educational system so our children can excel in life and not end up in the bottom third. Public schools can lead the charge. Let's make this the model for that change.

Anonymous said...

"No - she's my wife" is an option. That's just cruel. Some twat will probably choose that one.

Anonymous said...

FYI.
The public comment policy has NOT been changed. Mr Baptiste did not change anything. No SC member can unilaterally change any policy.
The public comment policy has not been changed.

Larry Kelley said...

we shall see (said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw).

Anonymous said...

What is it that you are going to see?

Larry Kelley said...

Whatever it is, I'll be sure to report it.

Anonymous said...

""No - she's my wife" is an option. That's just cruel. Some twat will probably choose that one."
Well, at least one will...

Anonymous said...

according to MASSLIVE, Ms. Geryk will not be discussing Mr Terrell's presentation and resulting fall-out. I am surprised given the controversy generated that the SC have not requested an oral explanation from Ms Geryk and added it to the Agenda...Are they just hoping (like Ms Geryk) it will blow over?

Larry Kelley said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

But regardless of whether Ms. Geryk will or will not discuss the CT talk, people will still be able to mention the CT talk during the Public Comments section of the meeting, right?

Larry Kelley said...

Yes.

Anonymous said...

"Are they just hoping (like Ms Geryk) it will blow over?"


_________________


What? Is there something that is an issue? Never heard about it. Can't be as important as all the other things that don't involve education of all the students, like the disadvantage of minorities or, the disadvantage of minorities or, the disadvantage of minorities, or maybe how we don't have enough token representations of minorities on the SC, or minority teachers who aren't getting a fair shake. We should focus on minorities. Why bother with ALL the student body when we have minorities. Let's be politically correct and focus on how minorities aren't getting a fair shake. Forget anything else.

Anonymous said...

Here's the crazy part - the SC has a serious issue that is not only very much on the minds of a large percentage of parents, but has not been resolved for many either. Yet, the SC is going to ignore it, which only further infuriates parents, and creates more problems for the SC in the end and further alienates the parents. Really smart thinking process. What's that saying about having ones head up their ass?

Anonymous said...

Interesting poll: so far .0013% of the population of the town of Amherst voted, "yes, she should step down". Wonder how many of the respondents are from Amherst.

Very effective...I wonder when the other 99.9987% of the residents will vote.

Larry Kelley said...

The day is still early.

Anonymous said...

The ARPS rug sure doesn't "lie" right

How many more situations can be swept under with hopes that folks forget.

Anonymous said...

I vote we buy her out of the last three years of her contract.

Anonymous said...

The poll is useless. Even creating a poll creates an instant bias.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the geographical breakdown of where the poll responses are coming from, you'll see they are from Boston, Springfield, Northampton, Agawam, Chesterfield, Ware, Framingham...so the percentage of Amherst residents who have voted yes is probably around half of .0013%, or .00065%, and we could probably guess the names of the people in Amherst who voted "Yes".

Probably says something about where they're from/who all the cowardly anons who bash Amherst on Larry's blog are, too. (Except Walter Graff, who uses his name, and who lives in Sunderland and send his kids to the Amherst schools.)

Anonymous said...

And, oddly enough, the small handful of "yes" votes in Amherst seem to be concentrated in one very small area of East Amherst, maybe even one residence.

Anonymous said...

I say we wait until she does something truly spectacular and then there won't be a need to buy her out or anything....

Walter Graff said...

I agree. This poll is useless. It's biased from the get-go. But don't let location fool you. Servers could be anywhere in the state and could ping from any number of places. Plus, if you open a new browser page you can vote again and again. It's not a very well designed site.

Walter Graff said...

The issues is not Maria Geryk alone. She is part of the problem, but it is far bigger than her. It involves the SC and the government of Amherst. And since the bigger issue is systemic, you can't expect much change, so if you have the opportunity to pull your kids out of Amherst, do. If not then do what you can to make up for what the system lacks. The reality is the system will not change, even if they hire another superintendent. Just look at history of Amherst and the school system in the last 10 years to to prove that.

Anonymous said...

anon 4:43,
curious as to whom you are alluding?

Anonymous said...

Someone in Gloucester has weighed in on the poll re school governance in Amherst.

And so far, from the comments here on Larry's blog, we know of one person, who sends their kids to the Amherst schools from another town, who doesn't like Superintendent Geryk. But that's it.

The poll was obviously started by someone who Kurt called out publicly for being an asshole to other people in town online, and who is too cowardly to respond to him by name.

Anonymous said...

So Wally why do you send your kids to amherst schools? Why don't you take them out?

Dr. Ed (who is not where m IP says I am...) said...

"where the poll responses are coming from, you'll see they are from Boston, Springfield, Northampton, Agawam, Chesterfield, Ware, Framingham"

You want to be careful about jumping to conclusions about that because "location" is the location that the IP address is registered to. It is also the physical location where a connection is made to the actual internet.

For example, in the case of almost all of .umass.edu, that is in the LRGC lowrise, although all the computers would not fit inside the building (let alone the tens of thousands of users) and many are more than a mile away from there.

In the case of someone like Verizon, that uses much of its own network first, this can be many miles (and several communities) away from where the person actually is. At one point (not sure about now) everyone using AOL had to go through a central hub in Reston, VA.

And that's even before people try to mask their locations, use computers in locations other than their own home (e.g. at work.. or the like.

And then, heaven forbid that any of the teachers (who do have a bird's-eye view on the school) might want to see Maria Gone....

They, legitimately, may not be Amherst residents but they may have a valuable viewpoint nonetheless.

And why do I think this issue wouldn't be raised if the poll was the other way?

Anonymous said...

Ed's right, all 60 people, or .0017% of the population of Amherst, who voted "yes" could be tax-payers from Amherst.

I don't blame the petition starter for attacking her husband anonymously though; everyone who has gotten into it with him using their actual identity after they behave like assholes online towards other residents in town ends up looking like complete fools. The guy's got skills.

Anonymous said...

Did you go to the school committee meeting Larry? Was there a mob of Amherst parents mad as hell about the Terrell fiasco, and demanding the superintendents head on a platter?

Or, was it just one Amherst resident who spoke about it, and who actually supported the admin., and told the adults to grow up?

Sorry sad CANs from somewhere else with your lame petition... :(

Larry Kelley said...

Obviously you were not there otherwise you have known I was there.

And one other woman did speak later in the meeting. She is a new board member of the Special Education Parent Advisory Council and told the School Committee that they had problems with Terrell's presentation.

Nina Koch said...

of course, 8:55, there is another option which is not to act like an asshole on line. Then you can use your actual identity.

Anonymous said...

Larry said "School Superintendent Maria Geryk has kindly negotiated a live session between Mr. Terrell and concerned parents. Next year."

He emphasizes "Next year" to imply it's way out in the future, maybe even next school year.

Geryk negotiated a live session between Mr. Terrell and concerned parents to take place this school year, in a couple of months from now, or in about 60 school days.


What's the matter with that, Larry, are you afraid the parents will be less concerned about their kids in 60 days, and the controversy will have calmed, and your reporting of the event will be less sensational?

Anonymous said...

Nina, do you have any idea why you seem to be the only teacher in Amherst who wakes up at the crack of dawn to check Larry's blog and call Ed an asshole?

Larry Kelley said...

And let's hope none of her students come here to see such language.

Anonymous said...

The only skill Kurt has is the ability to put his foot in his mouth. His attempts to ridicule others just make him look juvenile.

Anonymous said...

Gee NIna,
Maybe i Work for the school department and I will get my as fired if I post my name.

Anonymous said...

I like that he seems to know how to get under the anonymous cowards' skin, must suck to spend so much of your free time thinking about someone who you think is juvenile.

The source of the ineffective poll can be found here, (it was started by someone who has created a fake Facebook and Google+ identity so that they can be cowardly and anonymous there too, it's someone closely associated with Amherst Live, probably Oliver Broudy,) and you can also see some of the kinds of commentary Kurt makes publicly in defense of the town's scapegoats, including the elderly, if you scroll through the page, especially the live blogging of the parking meeting.

https://www.facebook.com/AmherstLive

Bravo for taking on the meanies at their own game!

Anonymous said...

I see voters in Portland, OR and Salt Lake City, UT have weighed in with their opinions on the poll...

btw, Jaf BM, thanks for the link, I've voted 11 times now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Kurt, er, I mean Anon 4:26, Jaf BM has been around a lot longer than this poll. Your wording has too. To bad your wife won't let you post under your own name any more.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:14,
Isn't that the democratic way, vote early, vote often!

Anonymous said...

Seeeee... he's getting under your skin again, coward who can't use his own name because his conscience won't let him! He's not even here and you're thinking about him! Is he a hero of yours or something?

Why are you too scared to use your name when you direct comments toward Kurt? Are you a frightened little wussie or something?

Walter Graff said...

Folks, I'll say it again, IP Geo-location for state is only between 50 and 80% accurate. Is someone in Washington state voting? Probably not. That is how inaccurate geo-location can be. It all depends on the IP database used. And no IP tracers can pinpoint IP address to real location address' where you live. Clearly that polling site uses a horribly inaccurate database. I am in the southeast today and tried it and it didn't even register me here.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE ON CAN POLL: "yes" vote rises to .0019% of population of Amherst as of 10/15/2014 at 8:01 PM, many votes still from across the state and country. Stay tuned for further updates.

Anonymous said...

Anon 233:
Nina did not call Ed anything. Her response was directed to Anon 855 and she quoted that person when she used the word asshole. Let's try to follow along more closely.

Anonymous said...

7:57, to be as mature as Kurt, "you use your name, I'll use mine."
Wussie, thats almost as good as twat.

Anonymous said...

I didnt know kurt had a hero complex.

Nina Koch said...

thanks for clarifying, 8:23 PM. You accurately described my intent.

To 2:33, there are quite a few teachers who read Larry's blog. They just don't want to admit it publicly. I think at least one of them is commenting anonymously here. I don't know about the Nitwit part, but I would have to agree with Larry on the Coward part. You walk by me in the hall every day but you need to come on here to say something snide? If your position is defensible, you should be able to attach your name.

Not that anybody should care about what time I wake up, but I do things like checking email, news, blogs, etc while I walk on the treadmill each morning. It's sort of like watching a soap opera. I know it's a waste of time but I still do it. At least I am going for a walk while I do it.

Larry Kelley said...

Soap operas? Yikes! Next you'll be telling us you vote Republican.

Anonymous said...

Nina @5:40 on 10/16 (rather than 10/15,

For you to say that a colleague of yours should attach their name to a post (or posts) in which they disagree with your opinions is either one of the most naive things a person in your position could say, OR, you are dissembling.

She wants, information said...

"either one of the most naive things a person in your position could say, OR, you are dissembling."


Ni Ni wants

information.


http://www.soldusa.com/rainworx/uploaded/416.jpg



-Squeaky Squeaks

p.s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zalndXdxriI

Nina Koch said...

yeah, the soap opera is my secret shame. not so secret any more. I do have a good excuse, though. I was home sick my first year of school. I watched the news at noon on Channel 3 and then when the Young and the Restless came on I was too tired to get up and turn off the TV. That's all it took.

And I did once vote for a Republican-- Bill Weld (to avoid John Silber).

Anyway, Larry's blog is not a complete waste of time -- I just learned a new word: "dissembling."

Anonymous said...

So Nina, did you learn a new word for a practiced tactic, or are you that naive?