A restaurant in Seattle, WA has started a unique program. It offers a discount for well-behaved kids. The restaurant owner gives servers discretion to offer a discount to customers with quiet children with table manners. The owner does this to reward behaving children due to the fact that loud and antsy kids tend to upset the other customers. What do you think of this policy?
The Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association recently made a decision to eliminate boys’ gymnastics from sanctioned competition. This ruling affects several cities and towns including Y3K Tutor In Your Home’s City of Newton. Both Newton North High School and Newton South High School currently have boys’ gymnastics teams and are allowed to finish up the current season. Beginning next fall they will be unable to officially compete under MIAA rules. Next school year the schools will be able offer boys’ gymnastics as a club sport, however meets will not be sanctioned by the MIAA and there would be no state tournament or championship. Girls’ gymnastics will continue as usual to be MIAA sanctioned.
Another public relations consultant model that some school systems are using are similar to the Concord-Carlisle Regional School District method. As opposed to hiring an independent consultant at inflated hourly charges, they pay an in-house consultant an inflated yearly salary. This is instead of the time-honored tradition of the Superintendent of Schools telling the truth directly to parents. In Concord-Carlisle Regional School District’s case, they pay a PART-TIME communications manager $40,000 per year. Other local hires include Newton Public Schools that hire a Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator for $60,000, Marlborough Public Schools that employs a Communications Liaison for $65,000 and Brockton Public Schools with their Communications Officer making $70,000.
When a crisis flares up, many school districts turn to overpriced public relations consultants to spin the school system’s point of view to the public. Some school systems follow the Lexington Public Schools model by hiring an independent consultant that works for lots of different schools every time there is an embarrassing situation. In Lexington, they pay their public relations consultant an initial retainer charge of $5,000 for 20 hours of work. Then starting with the 21st hour of work, Lexington pays the consultant $300 per hour.
Lexington Public Schools in the past hired a public relations consultant at the above pay rate several years ago when some parents complained about the school system using and promoting a book on same sex families. Last fall she was hired to speak to the public about a calming time-out room that was written about in a newspaper. Now they are back at it again hiring the same consultant to defend the school system’s handling of a controversial athletic director who was placed on unpaid leave. Again the $177,000+ salaried Superintendent and the $150,000 Assistant Superintendents are “too busy” to include communicating with the public as a part of their job description. Tune in tomorrow for entirely different way these money-wasting public relations leeches are bleeding the school systems dry of your children’s tax dollars.
Many school systems are struggling to find money to fund its basic programs. In fact in Newton, MA they will be voting on a Proposition 2 ½ override for more funds while in Needham, MA they are looking at having to cut approximately 2% -3% from next year’s budget. At the same time however, school systems are wasting lots of money on “public relations aides” to speak to the media and parents on their behalf. The purpose of these public relations aides are to give a positive spin on whatever the school system wants you to believe and at taxpayer expense. Gone are the days of the $213,000+ salaried Superintendent defending the system’s position to parents and media. Apparently the Superintendent and all of the other $129,000+ Assistant Superintendents are “too busy” to speak effectively to the parents.
On average 10.5% of incoming college freshman are rejected each year for Division 1 sports because their high school courses they graduated with do not meet academic standards set by the NCAA. To be eligible to play Division 1 or Division 2 sports, incoming freshman must complete 14 to 16 NCAA approved core courses in high school, score a certain level in the SAT or ACT, and have kept up their grade point average. The NCAA approves most high school classes but does deem some ineligible. Their decision for each town varies.
Data from some local Massachusetts Y3K Tutor In Your Home towns is absolutely shocking. For example Wellesley High School in offers 26 classes, Newton North High School offers 28, Concord-Carlisle High School offers 30, and Newton South High School offers 30 classes that do not meet the association’s requirements for a core course. Lexington High School in Lexington MA is in a category all to itself with a whopping 78 ineligible courses. This data is especially surprising as all of the schools on this list are traditionally top ranked schools year after year.
In Newton MA, they will be voting on three property tax overrides to increase taxes by $11,400,000 to mostly pay for school projects. While Newton Public Schools cries how they need new buildings and program funding, they never tell the public about some of their spending. Every time there is a local override vote, cities and towns always whine about how if you don’t vote to raise your taxes, they will cut teachers, police, and firefighters and everyone will suffer. They never seem to threaten to cut or reduce the salaries of the unessential hacks that serve little function in the day-to-day education of our children. In the city of Newton for example, Newton Public Schools hired in 2012 a Communications and Community Engagement Coordinator at a salary of $60,000. Here are some other non-essential Newton Public School officials with outrageous taxpayer funded salaries for fiscal year 2011 that are hidden from the public:
Superintendent of Schools – $254,573.53
Deputy Superintendent: Chief Administrative Officer – $150,540.83
Deputy Superintendent For Teaching and Learning – $72,259.32
Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Education & Special Programs – $141,484.24
Assistant Superintendent for Elementary Education - $140,908.50
Assistant Superintendent for Student Services – $132,750.08
Director of Human Resources – $117,750.08
Chief of Operations – $128,346.19
Director of METCO – $103,190.00
Assistant Budget Director – $89,683.10
Assistant Human Resources Director – $85,149.84
Assistant to Superintendent – $81,259.76
Co-Director of Elementary Student Services – $104,212.40
Director of Language Acquisition – $118,436.54
Budget Analyst/Administrative Assistant – $75,345.08
Data Management Specialist – $88,276.44
Coordinator of Grants – $106,361.52
Can you think of a better use of over $2,000,000 used to fund your child’s education?
Newton South High School in Newton, MA graduates have run into a major problem in their freshman year of college. Some students have been deemed ineligible to play college Division 1 or Division 2 sports based on courses already taken at Newton South High School. The NCAA, the governing body of collegiate athletics determined that incoming college freshman who had taken certain Curriculum 2 classes from Newton South High School were ineligible to play college sports. Curriculum 2 classes are taught at a slower pace than Curriculum 1 and Honors level classes.
The NCAA decision is part of their effort to ensure that incoming athletes are academically ready for college. What is even more shocking is that many other high schools throughout America also offer Curriculum 2 classes that the NCAA have approved. In fact even Newton North High School’s Curriculum 2 classes are NCAA approved.
The problem with Newton South’s curriculum came to light last summer when the NCAA deemed a graduate who wanted to play baseball at he the University of Massachusetts Amherst ineligible. He had taken some Curriculum 2 classes. Newton South High School is currently appealing the NCAA decision. Since last summer, Newton South has been able to persuade the NCAA to accept Curriculum 2 classes in math and Spanish. English, science and history classes taught at that level are still ineligible and under appeal.
A full slate of Advanced Placement (AP) courses in high school does not necessarily save incoming college freshman time or money. Some colleges now cap the number of AP credits they will accept for placing out of classes. Some no longer accept any at all! In the past students could take high school AP courses, take a standardized test, and get college credit without having to take the class in college. Yet at the same time a school like Weston High School places 5th in Massachusetts with 66% of underclassmen enrolled in AP courses.
Most schools comply with the new low calorie limits (650 – 850 depending on grade level) by giving out smaller portions. Kids complain that after they eat lunch, they are not full. As a result of schools putting caloric limits on school lunches, some students have started to protest. Students in Kansas made a spoof video on YouTube called “We Are Hungry”. Many Wisconsin students boycotted school lunches and started to bring in food from home.
With a high school calorie limit of 850, they are not taking into account a student’s weight. For example an 85 lb freshman and 280 lb senior each get the same portions by law. Some students have to purchase 2 meals just to get full. To get the equivalent of the amount of lunch kids got last year, they would have to spend about $6 – $7 now.
These smaller lunch portions were created with the assumption that all students are getting a full and filling breakfast at home before school. Unfortunately in the real world this does not always happen. For some students this scaled back lunch is often the main meal they rely on to get them through the rest of the day. In fact this meal is supposed to hold athletes over until their late night dinner after sports.