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creativity is key to any successful school district. And I applaud the suggestion for a nationwide search. However, I do not think the right person or group of people cannot be found within Youngstown. Catale should not only develop search committees, but require that the local leaders on the committees commit to collaborating with the city schools in the future on any type of project. Community collaboration is key for successful schools.
I once worked at an amazingly successful city school out the area that required that new teacher hires give a sample lesson in front of their potential students. The students (high school) then wrote feedback on the cards on how they responded along with the school administration. It would be wonderful in the selection was open to the public and feedback could be given, and it would another way for the school board to rally collaboration.
I also think the mayors office should look into the New York City's mayoral control of the schools which is credited with the drastic changes in their educational system.
May 16, 2010 at 10:57 a.m.
I still contend that Wendy Webb is just one person in the whole system, and one person cannot fix the youngstown city schools. She is very intelligent and had great intentions, but alas, intentions do not equal results. My only hope is that youngstown will LUCK out with her replacement, because my kind words for Webb do not apply to the school board, which is unexperienced, unprofessional, and not well read on educational policy!
May 12, 2010 at 5:39 p.m.
There are many assumptions in this letter that need to be addressed. No where in the country is there a "qualified" school board. Why? Because the school board is an elected position making administrative and political decisions. There are twenty somethings on the school board, like Catale and Hanni, who are undoubtedly using their position as a spring board to further political careers. There are also members who are construction workers, water department workers, (that also send their children to private schools) who use the post in other ways.
While Catale may substitute teach or be working toward certification, he would not be allowed to teach and be on the school board, conflict of interest. Not to mention trying to get a teaching job with his political background would be impossible, no principal wants a rival.
And furthermore, I think anyone living in the city limits would work to send their children to private schools if financially feasible... because the city schools and the charter school ARE NOT performing. It doesn't matter if you have heart or if you really care.
Sociologically speaking, a child's academic success is based on a variety of factors, and teacher and school quality are just a few of them. Youngstown needs to address a multitude of factors in order to help the schools and the community. Wendy Webb talks about how hard it is to educate a child when they are moving every nine weeks (because of evictions and bad housing). If you have ever moved, you could imagine how hard that would be for any parent or child and then to navigate switching schools.
Before getting a permanent position, I worked as a substitute at Eagle Heights, and it was not very different from any city school in curriculum, mood, or performance. Because of all the factors listed above.
Schooling is a societal issue, and until it is treated as such, we will continue to have this banter.
May 2, 2010 at 12:11 p.m.
A close family is a freshman english professor at YSU and she can attest that the YEC students do NOT lower the standards of the university. While those students may not be academically superior, they put in the time and energy the general college freshman population does not.
The YEC is the primary example in the debate regarding the Youngstown City Schools. Because it proves that the problem is not one of culture or discipline, but management.
I'll say it before and I'll say it again, Youngstown has the worst schools in the state but an over abundance of teachers... something needs to be done about this discrepancy.
February 26, 2010 at 2:51 p.m.
While I sympathize with Stan, if a parent refused to bring food to their child who wouldn't leave their bedroom, they would be arrested.
The state should be held to the same standards.
February 26, 2010 at 2:44 p.m.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, the blessing of the vindy.com message boards. However, please do act as though THOSE people are foreign and not part of your world.
Crime does not stop at city limits, and blaming will not stop it from overflowing into the lily white suburbs.
The facts are Jamar Houser is 18, he was failed by his parents, his schools, his city leaders, his teachers, and his community and then he failed himself. And that community encompasses the SUBURBS!
February 26, 2010 at 2:39 p.m.
trash talkers on vindy.com = no social life
February 24, 2010 at 8:45 p.m.
I think community gardens and having home owners build their own homes are fantastic ideas, and they work. And your assessment of slum lords is dead on. However, both ideas, and many more sensible solutions are simply ideals in our area due to governmental mismanagement and general misunderstanding of the poor.
I'm not reacting to the idea of work, I am reacting to a clear assumption that the poor and hungry to do not work or have a sense of an entitlement.
Kudos to your upbringing, however, many people are forced into governmental programs. How are we to expect a child born in poverty, taught in failing schools, and then entering in the workforce in our area where unemployment soars to create a sustainable existence and be motivated to farm? Especially, when the gap between the rich and poor is greater in America now than during the Great Depression.
Clearly the present state of America proves that hunger rates rising and unemployment rising is a societal issue, not entitlement of the poor based on handouts.
February 12, 2010 at 12:12 a.m.
To assume that people who go hungry do not work, or simply expect food from the food bank is a classist assumption. Working full-time for minimum wage is barely enough to keep one person going, let alone a parent.
American capitalism is inherently structured to have between a 4% and 10% unemployment rate, which is why unemployment doesn't become a big news story until it hits double digits. Therefore, our society is based on having organizations/welfare to account for those capitalism left behind. Thus, when our economy goes through "cycles" such as it is now, there should be safe guards to guarantee those worst off do not suffer.
In fact, those that think that "everyone should have a job and work for what they have" are the most socialist of all, because capitalism doesn't work if everyone is succeeding.
AND, upkeep of a garden paulb is talking is almost a full time job, I'm sure we wouldn't advocate for those hungry to quit the jobs they have to tend a garden. Anyone who has ever tended a garden knows what I am talking about.
February 11, 2010 at 11:09 p.m.
I wonder how this will fit in with the grey to green initiatives? We can't afford park and recreation programs, but we want more parks...
February 11, 2010 at 5:52 p.m.