Greenwich Time columnist: Our schools suck

He doesn’t paint an appealing picture of the performance of our students. We seem to have finally selected a competent superintendent so perhaps that will help. Whatever develops, if you’re a homeowner, you have a stake in this issue because Greenwich real estate values depend to a great extent on our image of providing a quality education to our kids. If we don’t, home prices will reflect that.

18 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

18 responses to “Greenwich Time columnist: Our schools suck

  1. anonymous

    Doesn’t take much analysis to realize that Greenwich (or any CT or most Westchester) public schools are a joke in % of kids who gain admission to top 5 colleges

    But any smart parent knows CT income tax and property tax savings (and Greenwich’s cheap land) more than offset cost of private schools and (tax-deductible) donations to college of choice, so public schools are irrelevant to anyone of means (or 3-digit IQ), sort of like mass transit or public housing

  2. Anonymous

    The quality of the schools have nothing to do with the ethnicity of the children within them. Rather, quality relies on effectiveness of supervision of teachers and their teaching skills.
    From personal observations, the philosophy is of teacher-centeredness rather than provision for students and parents. In other words, the school is run for the benefit of the staff.

  3. Front Row Phil

    Six school superintendents in the past 10 years! What’s the story behind that? Were those hiring mistakes? (Which, by the way, cost us a fortune in consultants’ fees.) Is the job that horrific? Did those ex-supers simply use the position as a stepping stone to bigger and better? I have a feeling the answer would reveal some important truths — truths that may be necessary to examine to fix the mess.

  4. Anonymous

    Sigh….

    We are refugees who fled Communism (California) seeking a better life and schools for our children. While we appreciate the improvement in schools here, relative to the cesspool of government malfeasance, ideology, and incompetence which is California….

    The schools here are so average and starting from elementary they are designed to produce mediocrity (the politically correct language would be: “closing the achievement gap), and it seems skills, achievement, and excellence have been lost as values. Sure there are many outstanding students, but they and their families succeed in spite of the schools not because of them. This quality of education is available in any of a number of spots across the country. Yes, the families, the community, the students, and a few outstanding individual educators make the town special. The school system, especially the early curriculum, not so much.

  5. cynic1

    Finally… someone realized that this Emperor ( the Greenwich public schools ) has no clothes.

  6. Anonymous

    Referencing the Greenwich Time Article, which are the top performing DRG-A schools?

  7. Anonymous

    Those execrable test scores didn’t happen overnight, and they didn’t just happen this school year.

    It was conscious design for mediocrity, and the evil souls who crafted the system have succeeded.

  8. Roger

    If you look through the Newsweek’s top CT schools, Greenwich was beaten out by other Fairfield County schools such as Wilton, Weston, Westport…Darien finished a little behind us.

    As someone said earlier, the high turnover of supers is indicative of something wrong….

  9. Cos Cobber

    Apparently Greenwich could do better. But none of the local school districts referenced is even 1/2 our size. Am I wrong about that? We are 62k+ people. We graduate 700 kids a year. I believe Blind Brook has graduating classes of less than 150. New Canaan and the others are probably less than 300.

    Moreover, I don’t think any of communities referenced as better have “disadvantaged” kids that we do. We have very small, but distinctly lower income pockets within our community. Plus, a good chunk of our best students attend private school.

    I am not arguing for complacency, I am just adding perspective. I certainly would like to see improvement. Clearly we could and need to do better. However, to argue or ignore that Greenwich’s student body is the same as Scarsdale is inaccurate.

  10. anonymous

    According to the op-ed, across the Sound, Great Neck South in New York has a comparable student diversity (i.e. socio-economically disadvantaged children who are typically at the low end of the “achievement gap”) but it is consistently ranked as one of the top schools in the country.

    I think education simply isn’t one of the top priorities for the town of Greenwich. The education budget is always the first one to take a hit whenever the town needs to find more money.

  11. Cos Cobber

    Its true, the town is a bit stingy on the school budget at times. There is too much admin it seems.

    I’d love to hear the real stats on Greatneck South. How many kids per graduating class, how many public housing units are in the school district, a best guess on the percentage of the population attending private schools and what are their expenditures per student.

  12. Roger

    BTW, lets not tar everyone with the same brush. There are excellent elementary and middle schools in this town. Just send your kids off to private schools afterward, like I did, and you’ll be fine.

    I would seriously love to get the ‘inside track’ on what’s going wrong there…..

    Realtors can no longer tout HS ranking/college placement success as an incentive to prospective buyers…and that will depress home prices further.

    Any good news out there?

  13. Sanjay Bigglesworth

    Those rankings are always a bit suspect. Wilton is 800 spots ahead of its New Canaan neighbor?

    Recount the hanging chads!

  14. Riverside Dog Walker

    I mostly agree with Roger above. But I would follow the money. Isn’t the school budget about $100M/yr, and roughly a third of the entire town budget? That is a good sized corporation, in anyone’s book.

    But our school board, while all very nice people and pretty smart individuals, have proven that they are a bunch of well meaning amateurs who can’t run this company, figure out how to cost effectively build a school, nor can they hire a competent CEO to do it for them. All of us are hoping the new guy is ‘the one’ and wish him nothing but the best. But he is also 62 years old….

    The Board of Ed’s idea of cost cutting is to layoff Coach Brown, the proctor in the GHS student center. Any current or prior high school student will tell you what a positive influence this guy is in the midst of the mayhem caused by having 2500 teenagers in one school. These people don’t have a clue about delivering a product (education) at a targeted service level in a cost effective manner.

    If I ran my small business the way these people run their large business (with my tax money), I would be bad shape.

  15. Red

    I think there are fewer “strivers” in Greenwich these days, pushing their kids to excel academically, than there are in other communities. Many local parents are comfortable financially, and are connected socially, and so they know their child will be admitted to some reasonably-selective college as a full-pay student. There is no urgency there to pile up AP credits. The competitive drive has been channeled into athletics. Lots of Greenwich parents are more impressed by Div I or III recruited athletes than by National Merit scholars. Our schools reflect the priorities of the parents and the surrounding community. Remember how much private money was raised for the GHS playing field renovation a few years back?

    Love the school-related topics. You get the best (ie most provocative) comments!

  16. Cos Cobber

    Good points Red. I have observed and felt the same about others in town.

  17. Cobra

    When my oldest attended GHS back in the first half of the ’80’s, my now somewhat faded recall is that the Greenwich school system was pretty well rated vs. those in other geographies. My son’s impression of the school at that time was that if you were a motivated, self-starter, you could really excell and get a good preparatory education. If not, you received an adequate, but not stellar one.

    My perception at the time was that the then GHS principal, David Quattrone (sp?), was an excellent leader with whom the students related and respected. I know I did.

    When my youngest joined GHS for his senior year in 2003/04, monitoring of students’ behavior and resultant discipline on the few occasions when caught were woefully deficient, at least from a parent’s perspective. On-campus drug, especially, and alcohol consumption were rampant and unchecked. As he told me, “Any kid can get drugs there way easier than you can get beer at Westconn. ”

    How times have changed over the past 20 years.

  18. pulled up in OG

    I went through the school system in the 60s and it was pretty damn good. My kids went through 80s/90s and it was pathetic. By then, teachers wouldn’t even correct spelling on English papers because it stifled creativity!