Friday, April 30, 2010

Required Reading

Fallout from the Massa debacle continues, and perhaps the 29th will lose representation entirely, according to this editorial in the IJ today. Certainly upstate will lose seats in census-inspired redistricting, but any time we're paired off with major cities, we lose influence, too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Required Reading

Gail Collins compares dysfunctional state legislatures.
Meanwhile, a group of [New York] lawmakers have announced plans to go to Arizona and protest the new immigration law by chaining themselves to the border. Given the extremely small chance that they will be needed for anything constructive in Albany, this seems like a good plan. Maybe some state senators from Arizona would like to come to New York and throw themselves over Niagara Falls to protest our lack of a budget.

Monday, April 26, 2010

School Improvement

Can it be as simple as improving leadership? It's hard to believe that's the key to turning schools around.
Two years ago, district administrators adopted an innovative staffing system intended to put the best principals in the most troubled schools — and give them the autonomy they need to succeed. While Charlotte was already one of the highest-performing urban systems in the country, it has made progress since then.
Something tells me this is critical:
Once at the new schools, the principals are permitted to remove as many as five teachers if they consider them to be hostile to reform. These turnaround schools are also given high priority when their new leadership teams request technology, staffing or new programs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

More Pix from North Carolina

This time from Paul's camera.

Friday, April 23, 2010


Paul's running for school board again, along with incumbents Andy Young and BOCES principal Perry Dewey plus newcomers Karen Pastorello, who heads up Gender Studies at TC3, and Dan Wakeman, formerly a Dryden village trustee. There are three seats open. I'll be representing Dryden rather than Lansing on the BOCES board as of April 28, assuming districts vote for me.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reading List

What I brought along to read over spring break:

As tired as I got of the 2008 election, there are still things I didn't know about what went on behind the scenes. This is a rollicking read, because it reads like fiction and is often stranger than.

I tend to avoid best selling fiction, which is why I'm just getting around to this series (just as book 3 comes out in an American edition). I loved it, and I'm loving book 2. Great characters, intricate plot, and an unfamiliar but fascinating setting.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Living Vicariously

For four years, we have lived vicariously through Cornell students Mollie and Becky, who have visited monthly to fill us in on their escapades and share a homecooked meal. Mollie's pending graduation would mean an end to all this. However, this weekend we hosted potential Cornell student Nate and his dad, another former classmate of mine. We tried to convince Nate to come here rather than attending Northwestern (he's also waitlisted at Wesleyan and Tufts and has already turned thumbs down on various schools, including Vassar, Oberlin, and U Mass Amherst). Although the snowflakes today (!) probably didn't encourage him, I think he had a pretty good time. We'll see. . . .

Friday, April 16, 2010

Upstate Screwed Again

In case you need a visual aid to convince you that cuts in state aid harm upstate kids more than others, here's a good one from CNYSBA.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Changes at East Hill Plaza

Our closest shopping mall outside of Dryden Village is at East Hill Plaza, where the P&C has been bought out by Tops but remains open, slowly filling empty shelves with Tops brand products, yet still retaining the PopTart variety that only P&C provides for O's breakfast. Now it seems that the M&T branch there is closing permanently in July. My pal there, who used to work with JZ, has already left for the Seneca Falls branch. I believe that we will soon transfer all our funds to Tompkins County Trust, which has a branch in Dryden as well as at East Hill Plaza. When it comes to banking, convenience is all.

Incentives Cut Positions

There will be a new principal of the HS in place by the time O starts there next year. A variety of other positions in the district will be cut or filled at a reduced cost. And the trimming goes on.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Friday, April 2, 2010

Off to NC

We fly out of Syracuse via DC to Raleigh tomorrow AM (not too early, for once) and drive once we get there to Corolla on the Outer Banks. We're there till Saturday, when we head back to Raleigh to attend the David Lutwak-Megan Latta nuptials. Fun!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Your Not Paying Atention

It's the latest in the grammar wars. It's Teabonics. (Thanks, Kris.)