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Thursday, May 04, 2006

Lawrence District Fails To Meet State Targets

New York State Education Department published their report cards for all state districts for the 2004-2005 school year. And though Lawrence did show some gains in their test scores, especially on the fourth grade level, the results were decidedly mixed. Lawrence is on a list of 33 (down from 46) local school districts that failed to meet state targets for testing - and Lawrence High School seems to be the real trouble spot:

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

Grade 8 ELA

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

Grade 8 Math

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School ELA

All Students

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School ELA

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School ELA

Hispanic

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School ELA

Black (not Hispanic)

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School ELA

Economically Disadvantaged

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

All Students

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

White

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

Hispanic

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

Black (not Hispanic)

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE UFSD

High School Math

Economically Disadvantaged

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School ELA

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School ELA

Hispanic

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School ELA

Black (not Hispanic)

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School ELA

Economically Disadvantaged

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School Math

All Students

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School Math

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School Math

White

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School Math

Black (not Hispanic)

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE SHS

High School Math

Economically Disadvantaged

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE MS

Grade 8 ELA

Students With Disabilities

LAWRENCE UFSD

LAWRENCE MS

Grade 8 Math

Students With Disabilities


This is upsetting to say the least, especially with the unbelievably low teacher-to-student ratio in the High School that I pointed out in this post. And before I get a barrage of comments pointing out that Lawrence has unique demographics and a large number of minorities, everyone will just take a second to peruse the data, and note that targets were not met by all students, as well as by the subgroup of white students, as well as the subgroups of disadvantaged students. In addition, the State's report highlighted per-pupil spending for every district in the State. Lawrence comes out at a whopping $25,654 per student - approaching double the state average of $13,826.

I imagine that those over at the Lawrence Public Schools aren't particularly thrilled with these results either.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Steve Clements said...

Well, I always knew that we were fighting an uphill battle with you complaining about your taxes. Well, I got a better job and can also retire so you have to keep paying my benefits for years to come. God bless tenure.

11:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

obnoxious as----e.

12:05 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHY would ANYBODY outside Lawrence care about this?

12:10 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Commemorations of Holocaust victims, Israeli soldiers killed in battle, Jewish citizens killed in terrorist attacks, celebration of a Jewish State --
all goes unnoticed in the face of 5T education.

3:18 PM  
Blogger MUST Gum Addict said...

Do you look to Orthomom as your sole source of news? Come on, I don't go to ESPN.com to find out the latest scoop on the Iran nuclear crisis. Likewise, I look to OM for reliable information on the issue at hand here. Lord knows I can't find relaible information on this stuff anywhere else.

OM, thanks for posting this information. With everything that's being said about these elections, I don't even know who or what to believe anymore.

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

At least some recognition.
OM has gone beyond the four ells of the 5T before, you know...

4:11 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

It's her blog, she can discuss whatever she wants to. This isn't an official news site, after all. Lighten up, folks.

5:00 PM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

It is, on the other hand, shocking how expensive a Lawrence education is. The per-student spending in my school district (Ithaca) is just about the same as the state average.

5:01 PM  
Blogger red said...

"all goes unnoticed in the face of 5T education."

I object. This is an important issue to us as neighbors, just as those other things are important to us as residents of the planet. Orthomom and I share a few concerns - we're both moms and district taxpayers - and I appreciate this blog as a way to hear the view of someone I wouldnt otherwise get to chat with, even though we're in the same boat. If you don't like the topic, there's plenty more for you to read (that stuff about the Satmars looks pretty juicy). I want to hear what Orthomom has to say.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Charlie Hall said...

'WHY would ANYBODY outside Lawrence care about this? '

We should all care about education, everywhere.

9:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OM-

Just curious why you take such an interest in Lawrence public schools. Do you work in one, or send your kids to one?

If the issue is taxes, then this whole discussion is silly. Every serious study known to mankind has proven that spending more money does little or nothing to improve performance. So just because more money is being spend there is no reason to expect better performance.

12:09 PM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

Why does the sign for 2 candidates representing "all children" list the date of election Lag B'Omer if not a religious code?
What is the religious issue in this campaign? Today I heard 1 Bd member of Lawrence speak in schul about the election. Why? I have no problems in people voting one way or the other-but not formally as Orthodox Jews.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

Yes, mycroft, it's a religious code. It means "remember that election day is on Lag B'Omer so if you have any family trips or family simchas scheduled make sure to plan your day accordingly." It's quite diabolical actually.

12:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I have no problems in people voting one way or the other-but not formally as Orthodox Jews."

You seem surprised that the orthodox community would come together to support a candidate. You're absolutely right - it is surprising that the community would come together for this, given the fact that it's hard to get people in the community together on anything, but when the school board and admnistration systematically screw an entire (Orthodox) community that feeds it ..., the school board and administration has effectively created a voting bloc of people voting "formally as Orthodox Jews."

12:30 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"Yes, mycroft, it's a religious code. It means "remember that election day is on Lag B'Omer so if you have any family trips or family simchas scheduled make sure to plan your day accordingly." It's quite diabolical actually.

12:05 AM "
Krum as a bagel-just the reverse of what Orthomom complained about "about the lawn sign belonging to two of the school board candidates that makes me believe they are not really interested in representing the 60% of the district's children that attend private schools? "

3:04 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"the school board and administration has effectively created a voting bloc of people voting "formally as Orthodox Jews." "

It really wouldn't bother me if an effective voting bloc of people who are Orthodox voted one way or the other. It happens in every school board election. Does anyone seriously believe that the Orthodox Jews who vote in school board elections don't vote at least 95% against the budget anywhere?
Nothing wrong to vote your economic interests-but don't put it as an Ortho Issue.

3:10 AM  
Anonymous mycroft said...

"You're absolutely right - it is surprising that the community would come together for this, given the fact that it's hard to get people in the community together on anything,"

Except for when ones money is at stake.

Of course, the teachers unions get together to lobby for money-but that is their jiob-niot to be moral or a kiddush hashem- The job of teachers unions is to be looking out for the economic interests of its members. No different of course from what the TWU. the AMA, the ABA etc believes.

3:14 AM  
Blogger orthomom said...

Krum as a bagel-just the reverse of what Orthomom complained about "about the lawn sign belonging to two of the school board candidates that makes me believe they are not really interested in representing the 60% of the district's children that attend private schools? "

mycroft, I completely disagree. The signs may mention Lag B'omer as the day to vote, but that is hardly a de facto declaration that the candidates advertised are the "private school candidates". As a matter of fact, the signs proclaim them to be "the candidates for all children" The fact is, election day is a Jewish holiday. To advertise as such with targeted posters and signs to a specific community is done in every single election, all across America. There is nothing exclusionary to another ethnic group if you remind a certain segment of the community that the vote is going to take place on a day that is a holiday for them and only them. That said, it is very rare indeed to see signs in other elections proclaiming a candidate as "the latino candidate" or "the jewish candidate". It is a tactic that is certainly exclusionary, and definitely ill-adcvised if the candidate expects to get many votes from outsode of the group he is advertising that he is representing.

One has to them deduce from the aforementioned lawn signs that Rizzo/Brooks are not interested in garnering any private school votes at all.

8:52 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10:06 AM  
Blogger Krum as a bagel said...

One has to them deduce from the aforementioned lawn signs that Rizzo/Brooks are not interested in garnering any private school votes at all.

This is the message we get from the official, taxpayer-sponsored, LPS mailings as well. The mailing I received yesterday included a letter from the current board president decrying the low turnout among public school parents, as if yeshiva parents' turnout is not important. The clear message from the current board is that we don't even have standing in this election.

10:08 AM  
Anonymous I know education law said...

Did the school district actually send out a letter with that statement? That can be construed as electioneering on the part of the district, making the vote subject to an appeal by the State Education Department. Someone should forward the letter to Albany this week. Even if the budget somehow passs, that letter is enough to get the vote thrown out on appeal to the Commissioner. Plus, it would send Albany watchdogs down on the administration to watch their antics in the future.

12:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"..it is surprising the school board and admnistration systematically screw an entire (Orthodox) community that feeds it ...,"

What is it with so many people's paranoia that they think that the LPS administration is out to "screw an entire Orthodox community". As someone who works in the district, I agree that there are some board members who are more interested in looking good for their particular community group (whether it be Orthodox or not) than they are by doing well by the children. The LPS administration does not feel that way. It seems that many Orthodox community members think they get nothing for their taxes. Would it be surprising to know that there are public school services that many Orthodox students do get from the district??? Would it surprise these people that there are many Orthodox parents and LPS administrators/teachers who collaborate very well with each other for the benefit of their children? Would it surprise you that thousands of dollars are spend annually per student who need special services, for example, or that sometimes the public schools are the only place where some parents can get the support, assistance and understanding for their children that they need? (Some private schools are not that understanding of children who might not score so well on these "important" tests). Would it surprise you that any child, whether he or she is Orthodox or not, gets treated fairly and receives outstanding services from our public school district? Would it surprise you that these services cost lots of money? The LPS administration and teachers are committed to work and help any child, whether they go to public or private school. People, including many who write in this blog, know nothing of how the LPS system works and how much assistance is given to many Orthodox children. They do not come to Board meetings to hear the facts about the reserves, our budget, or the accomplishments of our children. They do not see how so many poor public school children who come from the most dire of circumstances are given a fine education! Do you really think that a fine education can be measured on a test that is given on one day during a year? Does this test tell you anything about how a child can finally learn how to read when he or she did not grow up in the type of home many Orthodox have with loving parents, a rich culture where education is a high priority? Nobody in the public schools are out to "screw" the Orthodox. It is frustrating to constantly hear this. It's easy to make outrageous statements, but harder to take the time to learn the facts. Be careful about the rhetoric from both sides. Just remember that there are children in both the public and private sectors who will be hurt by having the budget voted down again....innocent children who know nothing about the ugly and baseless statements people make about each other...the CHILDREN!!!

9:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just remember that there are children in both the public and private sectors who will be hurt by having the budget voted down again....innocent children who know nothing about the ugly and baseless statements people make about each other...the CHILDREN!!!"

As a taxpayer who clearly does not have the vested interest in passing the budget, that this district employee admittedly does have, I wish to point out that no one gains more from passing the budget than district employees. Furthermore, any cuts to programming for students have been brought on by the fact that teachers and administrators are gobbling up well more of the pie than they should be. So with a $93 million budget, let's not blame taxpayers for expecting more of the teachers and administrators and let's not blame taxpayers for voting against candidates (Rizzo and Brooks) who have already pledged their support in public for teachers' salary increases.

But as a district employee, I guess we know who you're voting for.

As for all other voters out there - Isn't it time we end the corruption?! Is there anyone who could deny that the high salaries and union control of the board have already crippled the district?

11:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I wish to point out that no one gains more from passing the budget than district employees."

wrong. the children of the community gain considerably more.

"union control of the board have already crippled the district"

that's rich. do you do stand up comedy, by any chance?

11:02 AM  
Anonymous neighbor said...

As a member of the Hewlett School district (neighbors the Lawrence district), with many friends in both districts, I have seen first hand what the orthodox community has done. Although LPS does provide many services not just for their students but the community as a whole, the orthodox community seems content washing their hands of it all. They all send their kids to Yeshiva, and could care less about the people who send their kids to public school. If they had a choice, the LPS would be shut down completely. They vote against the budget to save money on taxes, plain and simple. The vote as a group, because it is the smartest and most effective way of accomplishing what you want, which is lower school taxes.

This is not the only problem. Half of the lawrence district is composed of wealthy whites (mostly jews), and the other half is lower income minorities. The taxes that the lower income minorites pay is not sufficient enough to provide for their own children. The wealthy parents are paying for more than their own children, and the poorer parents are paying for less than their own children. Yet the district want to provide services and teachers as if everyone was paying the amount of taxes that the wealthy families pay. Lawrence teachers get paid a lot and I'm sure that they deserve it. Schools pay more to get better teachers, but perhaps lawrence needs to rethink its strategies and maybe settle for teachers a tad under par and instead pay for some strategists to rethink their curriculum. After all, the rich white kids are gonna do well regardless of the curriculum. They all go on to good colleges, etc. The lower income kids, whose parents pay high taxes to live in the district are the ones who are really going to suffer.

5:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend and I were recently talking about the ubiquitousness of technology in our daily lives. Reading this post makes me think back to that debate we had, and just how inseparable from electronics we have all become.

I don't mean this in a bad way, of course! Ethical concerns aside... I just hope that as technology further develops, the possibility of uploading our brains onto a digital medium becomes a true reality. It's one of the things I really wish I could encounter in my lifetime.

(Submitted using NETP for R4i Nintendo DS.)

6:31 PM  

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