Wednesday, September 09, 2009

A New Website

Even as the district wasted our tax dollars by purchasing EducateOlentangy.org, another site was coming online. RESPONSIBLE OLENTANGY CITIZENS (or ROC) is up and running. Take a look.

40 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ornate school buildings? What do you people want, buildings made out of cardboard and tin? There is nothing ornate about these new buildings other than the fact they are new. We could put the kids in tents like they do in a refugee camp.

Anonymous said...

I enjoy reading your blog, but this comment is a bit silly:

"Even as the district wasted our tax dollars by purchasing EducateOlentangy.org"

I think it costs around $30 for the district to buy the educateolentangy.com/.net/.org domain names.

Anonymous said...

"tents" are a little extrme don't you think? The new high schools are ornate. Many people from outside schools (Granville, Newark, Grove City to name a few) have commented on our buildings being like the Taj Mahal! and "where do they get the money" - You must be from a wealthy background. I remember bricks and mortar being just fine in producing an excellent education!

Anonymous said...

I just had two of the little rich beggars from Dublin Gerome at my door. Begging for their band program. I would think all the taxes I pay to their government brain laundry would suffice. I told them just that.

Anonymous said...

My high school was a crack house compared to any of Olentangy's.

They certainly spare no expense. And the Macs kill me (both for the students and administrators). I see iMacs in the administrator offices. I find it ironic that I cannot afford to buy myself an iMac but the administrators buy themselves iMacs with my money.

Anonymous said...

7:14

You are obviously just an old person who doesn't support his/her school. You don't even know the correct spelling of the school....its Jerome

The fact of the matter is that the music programs, especially marching, typically are not funded through the school budget. These programs cost a great deal of money and the students fundraise in order to keep those programs running. Otherwise, your taxes would be higher. It is your decision whether or not to donate. Isn't that what you all want anyway?

Jim Fedako said...

8:22 --

"The fact of the matter is that the music programs, especially marching, typically are not funded through the school budget."

They most certainly are funded through tax dollars. Otherwise, they would never be on a failed-levy cut list.

By the way, the misspelling of Jerome was a form of sarcasm.

And there is nothing wring with older folks. We all hope to be one someday.

Anonymous said...

If you look at the schools "brick and mortar" has gone to cinder block and mortar, brick was deemed too expensive.

They may seem like a Taj Mahal because they are comparing an older building to a brand new building. It is hard to build a new building and make it look worn and used like a 20 or 40 year old building. By any standard; cost per sq. foot, amenities or finishing material, Olentangy schools are not opulent or wasteful.

Jim Fedako said...

9:49 --

Logical fallacy. You need to name your standards. You can't just refer to "any standard" without backing up that claim.

You sound like a district apologist.

Anonymous said...

next time you're in a school take a peek in the computer labs or in the office. There you'll see administrators working wirelessly on their Apple laptops. Can't have Dell--no, no--they're too cut rate. Have to have Apples. They're cool.

Anonymous said...

That IS a district apologist. They're compelled to this site because it's the only place their nonsense is ever challenged. Even they have to leave the safety of their echo chamber from time-to-time to gauge the attitudes and sentiments of real world, and this is the place where they find it.

joy piper said...

The beautiful schools of the district do nothing for me either. One needs to look further than the outside, look what is happening on the inside. People records are public, If you want to read one and I only got 500 plus copes for two years of what really happened to my son, Brett Piper, a special needs student at SMS. you would be awed. I would look at the others, but because as a parent digging up bones persay Mr. Lucas has graciously banned me from all school property and yes the transportation department took a personal vendetta against me to where I am no longer a driver. I can only encourage anyone enough to go visit Marburn Academy on Walden Drive in Cols. U won't see much from the outside, but watch the pride walk in and out and yes the staff will fully explain the program. Already this year we have had three 3 hour sessions, required, between the parents and staff. Wonderful to know what is going on and being included.

Anonymous said...

Jim,

Again, your spin on the "cut" list. The only thing that is funded by the school for most high school marching band is the supplemental contracts and busing to football games and competitions. They do not fund replacement uniforms etc.

Lets take olentangy for example. The music boosters fund 75% of what takes place in the music program. Not what happens for marching band, the entire music program. Choir, band, orchestra....the boosters are what fund this, not the school district.

They just put the music programs on the cut list to scare parents. It doesn't really save them any operating money because there are not very many music teachers compared to other teachers. Just a threat because they know how passionate parents are about their students' music programs.

BTW...if they were to cut marching band at the high school they would save roughly $15000 in supplemental contracts per school. This does not include STRS or medicare because some supplemental contract holders do not contribute to STRS....but this what the district would save if they cut marching band. Olentangy has never really funded any support for the marching band program...everything you see on the field which cost money is typically coming from the booster organization. I don't know how much they would save by not having to bus the students to games and contests, but I am sure it would be negligible in the overall budget. Again....just a scare tactic when trying to pass levies.

Anonymous said...

Let's pretend that my taxes aren't funding Gerome(Jerome) band. So let the parents of those band students pay for their own kid's band activities. Why do those parents allow their kids to go out begging from other people? I wonder how taxpayers would feel if I sent my kids to their doors begging for money for private music lessons? Or how about their begging for money to pay for home schooling books and materials? Since homeschoolers are forced to pay for government schools that they don't use. We would be bad parents if we put our children into those government schools to be indoctrinated.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't every administrator deserve and "Apple" on their desk?

Anonymous said...

The district buys the first set of uniforms and instruments. From that point forward, the boosters are responsible for those items.

My parents purchased my piano when I took lessons. My parents paid for the lessons themselves. My neighbors didn't pay for any of it. Ahhhhh... the good ol' days.

Anonymous said...

7:09

First of all, parents of those programs do pay for students to participate. And lets also get one thing straight. Participating in school band is not private music lessons. Far from it. I am not a teacher..don't want to be, but I do have a Masters degree in music performance. Participating in a full group setting is not private lessons and all of you on here need to learn that. Private lessons is one-on-one....school band is not.

As far as them "begging" for money. All they are doing are looking for support for their program. I don't think they are begging me when they ask for support. I have a respect for music and the intellectual level it takes students to. Research has shown time and time again that students that participate in school music programs score higher on standardized tests. Music stimulates the brain. My daughter, who is 2 years old, recognizes songs by melody and can keep a steady beat. This is because we played Mozart for her since conception. There are not many 2 year old that can do this. She was able to do this at 15 months. She recognized all 7 variations of Mozart's Variations on Twinkle Twinkle Little Star for Piano as Twinkle Twinkle Little Star...including the minor variations. That's just amazing. So to discount music like that is a rude and unjust projection of your opinion. Yes, they asked you to donate, but they didn't force you. Its your choice not to...and you didn't...very rudely...but you didn't....

12:49

They purchase the first set of uniforms (which have a lifespan of about 6 years of use). I'm sure that piano of yours is still in working order. My piano was made in 1895 and plays beautifully. You are not comparing Apples to Apples.

As far as purchasing instruments. They typically only purchase instruments that cannot be brought on buses (i.e. tuba, percussion, baritones...the large instruments). Students who play smaller instruments are required to purchase those. There may be a couple of each of the smaller instruments for students who cannot afford instruments. Its a wonder that more students don't play percussion, tuba etc....because that would be a free instrument...but low brass is hard to get students to play for some reason. Good ole days....band has been in school since the early 1900's....probably before you were born I would assume...

Anonymous said...

5:40 Anon,

I played in the band in the High School. I'm not knocking it, just wanted to point out that it wasn't as "tax free" as you were presenting it to be.

You said:

" The only thing that is funded by the school for most high school marching band is the supplemental contracts and busing to football games and competitions."

and that isn't the truth, yet you make me out to be the villan.

Anonymous said...

Gee, thanks for the encouragement. Now I know my friends and neighbors won't be offended when I send my kids door-to-door "asking for support" (not begging, mind you) for their private Suzuki Violin lessons AND ALSO THEIR GROUP SUZUKI VIOLIN LESSONS. (since group lessons are also part of their Suzuki music education). I'll also have them request monetary support for the monthly rental fees that are paid for the violins. Then there's Suzuki Summer Institute (similar to Band Camp) and it's so necessary for their complete musical education. After all, it raises their IQs and the Community will surely be supportive of that. Be sure and give generously when our kids come to your door.

Anonymous said...

I do not have an apple computer, nor do I want one.

But I also know that schools can get great deals from the company. The company wants to get the next generation comfortable with their product. Many times computer labs are funded by grants and not local tax payer money.

Gahaanna Lincoln has a huge, state of the art, Dell lab. Not one dime of taxpayer money was spent to build or equip it. It was all grant money acquired by their tech dept.

I am not saying that our tax dollars did not pay for the apples, but it would be wise to find that out before assuming.

Jim Fedako said...

So 9:20 --

Where did the grant money come from? Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

The grant money came directly from Dell. The tech department guy worked directly with them and pitched a proposal. Dell set up the entire thing at their own cost. They did not use federal, state, or local dollars.

Anonymous said...

So now we should not have any computers in schools. We should be using slide rules too.

The fact is that Apple is extremely aggressive in pricing discounts for educational computers. They want the students to get used to using their computers so that is what they buy for use at home. Software is also offered for amazing discounts for educational use.

Dells, I don't even buy Dells. They are cheap but so are other brands and they don't have the limitations that Dells do.

As far as metrics on cost on school buildings, take your pick. I tend to look at cost per square foot. Our buildings consistently come in cheaper than every district in the area and cheaper than what the state authorizes.

As far as being an apologist, there is nothing to apologize for on these topics. As far as reality, this is the last place I'll find that, amongst a small group of Libertarian whiners.

Jim Fedako said...

10:32 --

OK. So, what was the proposal?

Jim Fedako said...

10:33 --

And your metrics are what?

The district's state standard analysis report show district HS's having almost twice the state standard. Hmmm.

Anonymous said...

I used the word grant improperly. I apologize for any misunderstanding that caused. Thankfully it was just in an informal comment on a blog.

The proposal allowed Dell to come into the lab twice a year and demo their top products to clients.

But the detail of the plan was never my point. My point was simply that computers can be accounted for in many ways. Schools do not always need to rely on local money to pay for them. And that companies like apple discount their products greatly for schools. It is actually quite lucrative for them to do so.

So the comparison of Apple computers being used is not an apples to apples argument, it's more like apples to oranges.


All of that rambling, and it is not an argument for or against opulent spending. It is about the substance of comments and the complexity of the situation.

Anonymous said...

My metric is the cost per square foot and it is well under the state standard cost per square foot allowed for high schools paid for with state money. It was also significantly below the other high schools built in Central Ohio at the same time.

As to your comment, twice as much what? You need to be a little more specific.

Jim Fedako said...

No, 1:38, you provide the name of the source. You did NOT provide the metric.

Waiting ...

note: By the way, if you had a copy of the State Standards Analysis report from 2006, you would already know all the necessary value. But you administration kept the report from the community. I hold the only copy held outside the administration. Request one. It's eye-opening.

Anonymous said...

No, I did not provide the source. The source was the Dispatch. I provided the metric which was the cost per square foot. That is the name of the metric.

Jim Fedako said...

7:42 --

You did not provide a metric. You provided a phrase that is meaningless without values.

You could have at least Googled your values.

But the state standard does not imply efficiency. Attend an OSFC meeting and see for yourself. Otehrwise, you can only believe what you are spoon fed.

Anonymous said...

6:38

Maybe that wasn't the truth in your "golden days" of music, but the truth complete fact is that with budget cuts, band in school (marching band) typically is unfunded by the school budget. This is a complete fact. The school district does not use taxpayer money for the marching band other than supplemental contract and buses. They do not pay entry fees to contests (paid by boosters), they do not pay for band camp where students learn 90% of the contest show (students and parents pay), they do not pay for individualized staff (paid out of student band camp fees), they do not pay for music arrangement and drill design fees (paid for by the boosters), they do not pay for the truck that carries instruments to the contest (purchased by the boosters and donated to the district)...and that's at Olentangy....and "wealthy" school district....so...don't call me a liar...this is the truth..plain and simple.




8:59

Private lessons - no
Group Lessons - I have no problem with that....sure

Actually...if your child came to my door asking for money for private lessons, I would probably give it to them or donate to the Suzuki school.

As far as the Summer Institute...let's reiterate the fact that students do not get any money from the music boosters for band camp. I don't know about you, but I wrote a check for $350 for band camp. I don't remember the boosters ever saying they were going to help me fund my student's band camp fees, this all came from my pocket or from money my student earned through working at fundraising activities.

Rental instrument...I think we have had this argument on this blog before....possibly two days ago. The school doesn't rent instruments, the boosters don't rent instruments. 95% of the students purchase their own instruments. The others are using large instruments which are very costly or very large, but are an essential part of the wind band. Again, someone not comparing Apples to Apples....lame

Anonymous said...

Anon l0:33pm says:

"So now we should not have any computers in schools. We should be using slide rules too.

The fact is that Apple is extremely aggressive in pricing discounts for educational computers. They want the students to get used to using their computers so that is what they buy for use at home. Software is also offered for amazing discounts for educational use.

Dells, I don't even buy Dells. They are cheap but so are other brands and they don't have the limitations that Dells do."

Where can one even argue with this silliness?

1.) Trying to turn the argument from justifying the purchase of very expensive computers to buying any computers at all is foolish and shows that you have no response.

2.) Apple may have discounts for schools, but Dell and HP have even deeper discounts. There is no sound technological or business rationale to have the more expensive Apples. Apple total cost of ownership is much higher than Dell or HP, and the quality is not higher. They have proprietary hardware which makes them more expensive to service.

3.) If you don't buy Dell, then that's your personal business. You give no sound rationale why the district shouldn't buy them. If Dell is good enough to be the #1 selling computer in the world, then surely they're good enough for Olentangy. Dell and HP have more than 80% of the corporate market. Let me back up here...Apple has less than 1% of the corporate market. If Chase believes Dells and HPs are good enough to use to manage their trillion $ business then they're good enough for Olentangy.

My understanding is that Scott Davis had a fetish for Apples and even went to an Apple event (why?), and that's why we have them. I'd love to know where his district Apple went. Hmm...

Anonymous said...

Olentangy has been buying Apples since long before Scott Davis. You can try and transfer your dislike for a past superintendent to this issue but it is not valid.

It is true the Apple has a small market share of business computers. However, if you look at creative industries like design, Apple has a dominant market share.

Apple has built itself into a strong player in several markets based on their features. These are markets like design and, yes, education. Olentangy is not the only school buying Apples and there is a reason for that.

As far as cost, do you have any evidence that the Apples are more expensive than equivalent Dell's or HP's?

Anonymous said...

10:32 am

Here are some reasons to purchase an Apple instead...

#1 They are just plain better computers. They don't crash like pcs. They use open-source programming which is more reliable than the crap that microsoft puts out.

#2 Dell's ship not only with the software you ordered, but also with a bunch of trial software that, once expires, begins notifying you every three days to renew

#3 You have to purchase anti-virus software for a pc. People don't write viruses for Apples. They just don't.

#4 Actually, Apple computers are designed to be more user friendly to work on. Yes, you can take it to the Apple store to get work done, but Apple also provides service/upgrade instructions that any nimwit can follow. Apple=Simple design=better computer. Dell/HP=Windows=Complicated Design=Viruses=Crashes=Lame! I have NEVER had my Apple freeze up on me, but the PC that we own...I am always working on it trying to fix something. Apples just work better...

Anonymous said...

"Here are some reasons to purchase an Apple instead...

#1 They are just plain better computers. They don't crash like pcs. They use open-source programming which is more reliable than the crap that microsoft puts out."
I have owned two Dell Computers over the last 10 years. I have never had an issue with either one of them.
Plus, being an oss fan, you could always add a stable linux os for free. So you have an inexpensive PC with a stable, virus free, operating system. What a horrible deal!!!

"#2 Dell's ship not only with the software you ordered, but also with a bunch of trial software that, once expires, begins notifying you every three days to renew"

The Dell Computers I have owned did come with trial software. However, I did not install or use it. Actually I deleted it. Oh the agony.

And Dell Computers sold to computer labs do not come with your mentioned software.

"#3 You have to purchase anti-virus software for a pc. People don't write viruses for Apples. They just don't."

You can get wonderful free anti-viral software like AVG or Avira.

But you could also install Linux OSS like xubuntu or ubuntu. There are no viruses written for linux.



"#4 Actually, Apple computers are designed to be more user friendly to work on. Yes, you can take it to the Apple store to get work done, but Apple also provides service/upgrade instructions that any nimwit can follow. Apple=Simple design=better computer. "
I have improved the memory and drive space on my Dell. They layout was quite easy to navigate. This point seems silly.


"Dell/HP=Windows=Complicated Design=Viruses=Crashes=Lame! I have NEVER had my Apple freeze up on me, but the PC that we own...I am always working on it trying to fix something. Apples just work better..."

I have had an Apple crash on me at work. You get a little spinning color wheel that will not go away. Don't pretend like you have never seen that before.

And the Mac server at work, is down all the time. I would rather have on of the PC's, at least I could be more productive.

What a silly discussion full of Mac propaganda. Are their benefits to a Mac? Yes. Are the benefits to a PC? Yes.

joy piper said...

I say everyone here who truly cares, as most of us do, take a day out and visit Marburn Academy and then ask why this district with all funds, land etc, never created the ultimate central facility with people begging to come to it. Really what is the percentage of "normal" people in today's society. I think they are the minority. Truly from my own experience this district is a disgrace and to think when I was a student at Westerville, I took pride in attending functions at Olentangy-why it was rural and when as an outsider teenager I showed up, others noticed.

Anonymous said...

two plain simple basics: give a person enough rope they will hang themselves.
Number 2: go silent-don't let them know your next move.

jj piper said...

Sorry another Marburn challenge. Go compare the laptop computers all high school students get in comparison to any other district.yes believe it or not better than the teachers have themselves.

Anonymous said...

JJ,

Laptops have nothing to do with educational value. Who pays for them? If the answer isn't "the student or the students parents" then I'll pass on a Marburn model. It isn't my responsbility to provide every student with a laptop so they can "learn."

Some of the best education is provided by the poorest districts. They aren't poor as one might think (City of Columbus / Apalachia / Pike County Ohio), they are home schoolers or private christian schools.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon,

I appreciate your opinion and yes many other districts can provide an education, but these also probably have a great concern for each student, learning disability or not. One can examine how many schools have computers and offer classes starting with kindergarten up on. For learning disabilities I feel a laptop is a great educational tool and clearly provides the students with knowledge for the 21st century and a future in the world. How many business persons have laptops? the programs they offer on the laptops extend their in class and out of classroom experiences and a laptop is a technology tool and how many districts receive funding for this?

Have a wonderful day.
JJ