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State Report Cards Published Today

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It's nice to say, after the fact, that you would have supported such a levy. The fact is, it was offered and was defeated. What was the board supposed to do back then, allow the district to go bankrupt? Maybe we should call those people and ask them.

The deed was done based on the information at the time. To say otherwise is simply wishful thinking. And to blame this board or anybody today about that decision is illogical and unfair.

The other fact of the matter is that there is no way this district could sustain two smallish high schools given the number of students projected. It would have been too expensive and this district is fiscally responsible.

Hard decisions have been made given the realities of today's Winton Woods School District. The antis have offered criticism of every kind without any sort of idea what it really takes to operate a public school district in this day and age. While their frustrations are real, their solutions are simplistic and naive.

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You are probably quite right, Christine, about the beginning of the decline of the village (if there truly is a decline) and its relationship to the consolidation of the 2 high schools. If I recall, though, there was a levy on a ballot back then which, if passed, would have raised enough money to support both high schools and that levy failed overwhelmingly. It was not just a question of loosing a community school, it was about GH kids attending schools located in FP. Just why were GHians unwilling to let their children attend schools in FP?

I have a call out to a Greenhills official with regards to a "levy" that would have kept the schools together. As soon as I hear back, I'll report.

With regards to the unwillingness to merge, I believe each person had their reasons. But, let's put out the reason you want to hear most so we can get that one out of the way, which is race. Yes, I'm certain many people did not want to merge with Forest Park because it is a predominantly black community. Racism does exist in Greenhills today as it did before, and it does exist in Forest Park and Springfield Township as well. But one thing I have learned about the people of Greenhills, they are not the racists you would like to make them out to be. For the most part they are quiet, simple people who want to drag baseball fields, move sheds across Winton Road, paint benches, plant flowers on the Commons, sing at the bowling alley, build a fence for a dying friend and live a simple life. They live here because they enjoy living in a small community where people know each other. They live here because they like to walk to the stores and want their kids to be able to safely walk to the pool, golf course and "yes" the schools. They are people with low incomes and high incomes. They are passionate, some are crazy, but one thing we all have in common is that we love this village. The only thing they ask is for people to be good neighbors to one another and have pride in this village. The majority do not care about the color of the skin, but they do care about the quality of a person.

So think what you want, believe what you want, but the villagers of Greenhills want nothing more than to make Greenhills a place where people can work, play and raise their families in a safe, nurturing environment. All are welcome; black, white, brown, yellow and those with chicken pox, as long as they share that common vision.

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Just why were GHians unwilling to let their children attend schools in FP?

I lived right across the street from the High school and I woke up at 7:00 am, showered, ate and was my first bell class in my seat by the starting time of 7:14 (or whatever it was). That is why people are pissed to have Beechwoods at their front door and have to be bussed to another community or have 3 kids in all different schools. I'm sure some was race, but most loved/love the setting in which Greenhills stands today. Close to everything.

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The antis have offered criticism of every kind without any sort of idea what it really takes to operate a public school district in this day and age. While their frustrations are real, their solutions are simplistic and naive.

ThreeHats, there are people on this board who work with millions/billions of dollars each day. The budget the school works with is the caliber of a small project to some. Don't underestimate the knowledge and experience of some of these people. It only makes you look simplistic and naive. They work with federal and state constraints, rules and regulations just like the school Board does. Somehow, these simplistic and naive people manage to keep their jobs. Please stop making it sound like you have to be the top 1% of your Harvard graduating class to run a school district.

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It's nice to say, after the fact, that you would have supported such a levy. The fact is, it was offered and was defeated. What was the board supposed to do back then, allow the district to go bankrupt? Maybe we should call those people and ask them.

The deed was done based on the information at the time. To say otherwise is simply wishful thinking. And to blame this board or anybody today about that decision is illogical and unfair.

The other fact of the matter is that there is no way this district could sustain two smallish high schools given the number of students projected. It would have been too expensive and this district is fiscally responsible.

The "deed" that was done, merging the two highschools was already a done deal before the protests began. No, you can't blame the current school board, even Warrior fought the merge. There was a very organized group of residents and parents who hired an attorney and even paid for a Miami University study on what the effect would be on the Village due to the merge. It quite clearly stated that it would contribute to the downfall of this community, which was invisioned and built to be a "walking community." That study was ignored by the school board at that time.

Then to appease folks who were admantly against the merge, the 3 newly elected board members decided (after the fact) to put a levy on the ballot to return to community schools. Then you saw what amounted to the ACORN group's tactics today. The communities were scoured to register voters, tell them how much more this would cost them in taxes and even drive them to the polls. The levy failed, and that generation of parents who fought to keep community schools, started packing up and moving out; their kids were finished with highschool for the most part.

That is ancient history. But 2 years ago, the same thing happened again with what was left of the community schools. And again, the decision was made without a vote. The citizens that fought the first merge 20 years ago knew that eventually Greenhills would not have any community schools. They will tell you that, even back then, it was crystal clear what would eventually happen.

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The "deed" that was done, merging the two highschools was already a done deal before the protests began. No, you can't blame the current school board, even Warrior fought the merge. There was a very organized group of residents and parents who hired an attorney and even paid for a Miami University study on what the effect would be on the Village due to the merge. It quite clearly stated that it would contribute to the downfall of this community, which was invisioned and built to be a "walking community." That study was ignored by the school board at that time.

Then to appease folks who were admantly against the merge, the 3 newly elected board members decided (after the fact) to put a levy on the ballot to return to community schools. Then you saw what amounted to the ACORN group's tactics today. The communities were scoured to register voters, tell them how much more this would cost them in taxes and even drive them to the polls. The levy failed, and that generation of parents who fought to keep community schools, started packing up and moving out; their kids were finished with highschool for the most part.

That is ancient history. But 2 years ago, the same thing happened again with what was left of the community schools. And again, the decision was made without a vote. The citizens that fought the first merge 20 years ago knew that eventually Greenhills would not have any community schools. They will tell you that, even back then, it was crystal clear what would eventually happen.

I must be losing my memory. If there was a levy to restore our GH schools, I would have had signs in my yard. I sure don't remember this. I can't imagine the district ever undoing what was done.

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I was involved in the effort, although I was a young mom then, without a child in the system. It was a huge deal between 1988 and 1991. The merger decision had already been made, and in the aftermath, a vote was placed to return the community highschools. It was never going to happen anyway--I believe you are correct saying the District would never undo something. It was really all for show and appeasement.

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Forgive my long windedness here.

I've really been following all the arguments in the school debate with interest.

There are valid points on all sides, and passions are apparent.

Lest we forget - I offer this little glimpse back at history - and occurrences and decisions that were certainly not the doing of the current Board, but that did have the effect of adding their own impact to present issues that have become very complex. Maybe some issues can trace their origin to these events. I am often surprised that not many people have an inkling of what effect school desegregation had on the then Greenhills /Forest Park City School District in a rather "back-door" way. As staff members at GHS during the early 70's when Cincinnati litigation started, we were very much aware of these issues, and how "demographics" were driving District decisions in light of what was going on in the courts (Which is why I asked Christine to explain how manipulating "demographics" was a potential solution to the District's woes). I offer the following:

"In the 50's, the Supreme Court's decision in Brown v. Board of Education, while directed toward Southern schools, had a galvanizing effect on Northern blacks, who seized upon its argument that 'separate educational facilities are inherently unequal'; the phrase offered hope that, whether or not a school district explicitly separated students by race, the courts would remedy instances of de facto segregation....

...After Brown, the fight widened to larger cities and the structural patterns that lay behind educational inequity: segregation in education was tied, through the concept of the 'neighborhood school,' to segregation in housing, and one could not be tackled without the other."

Well folks, eventually - in 1974 to be exact - the fight got to Cincinnati (Bronson vs. Cincinnati Bd. of Ed.).

The standard of measurement eventually applied in the Cincinnati court fight was the Taeuber Index, a measurement of racial isolation never before incorporated into a school-desegregation plan. The index, developed by Karl Taeuber of the University of Wisconsin, measured the extent of desegregation on a scale of 0 to 100, with zero indicating that the racial balance in elementary, junior high, and high schools reflects that of the entire district, and with 100 representing total racial isolation.

By 1984, Cincinnati's elementary schools measured 53 on the Taeuber Index. By 1990-91, under the terms of the decree resulting from the suit, they were to register no more than 36.5.

Here are statements made then (source Cincinnati Enquirer - Feb, 1984):

"'We were not able to agree on a school-by-school formula, so we went to this formula. There are 13 schools in the district that are 90-to-100 percent black. To get to that 36.5, they will have to decrease racial isolation significantly at most of those black schools.'

Asked why the civil-rights organization decided to try the variation in Cincinnati, Mr. Atkins replied, 'Why not?'

Other observers, however, have speculated that the NAACP was willing to experiment in Cincinnati because of its decade-long experience with magnet schools, generally considered one of the most extensive such networks in the U.S."

So what does all this have to do with Winton Woods Schools today?? Read on:

"The NAACP filed its class action, Bronson v. Cincinnati Board of Education, on behalf of 12 children in 1974. Two years later, it added 17 suburban school districts to the case, alleging that those districts committed "acts that contributed to racial isolation" in city schools."

Bonus questions:

1- What suburban school district had two separate high schools in 1976, and what did the racial composition of those schools look like when percentages were compared? (Remember!- same district and "acts that contribute to racial isolation")

2- In light of the litigation then going on, how many of the plans to create balance and show "good faith" do you think the then Superintendent & Board came up with? I can remember a few proposals that were "doozies."

3- What year did "re-districting/ bussing" plans start?

"In December 1984, Judge Rice dismissed the suburbs from the case. Mr. Atkins has asked that they be reintroduced; his motion is expected to be heard after the settlement in the city portion of the case is entered with the court. NAACP officials have said they will pursue individual actions against the suburban districts, however, if that motion is unsuccessful."

So you see, back then it went a bit deeper than just financial considerations (not that they aren't huge) and premeditated racism. All over the U.S., much was expected from the outcome of Brown because many hoped, that ending segregation in schools would make racial inroads into the structure of society. The assumption in the Brown decision seemed to be faith in the institution of public schooling and its power to effect social change. That encompasses the beliefs that public schools are capable of serving as the social balance wheel for a capitalist society; that they create kinship; and that they are the force behind of societal reform. In the seventies - like it or not, guilty or not - schools all over the country had to deal with its ramifications.

I have to wonder if the current "perfect storm" that exists in Greenhills / Forest Park / Springfield Township is reason to doubt that the schools alone can ever accomplish these goals. If there are limits to the power of schooling to effect social change, perhaps we cannot simply reform schools and expect resulting social and political changes.

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guy writes like an English teacher

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"The road goes on forever, and the party never ends" -- Robert Earl Keen

For the past two years, I have posted on this board to answer rumors and to address other issues in our school district from the standpoint of someone that works here. Over that time, I have tried to make the case that our schools are worthy of your support and they are worthy of the communities that thay represent. During this time, I have shown how the state's funding system is flawed, our district is hammered by unfunded mandates, all as our students require more and more. Society expects education to be the answer to every societal malady, with the bill being directly given to the local property tax payer.

We are at a critical crossroads as a district. This levy election will define us one way or another. I can't overstate this fact. The passions by those that seek to destroy what we have are real and sincere. I believe that they are terribly misguided, but this is also America. The burden is on the government to make the case, not the other way around. There is nothing that can be said or proven to these people to change their minds or to persuade them to look at the greater good. Sure, we can make the argument, but the song has been sung.

But these people don't speak for everyone. Not by a longshot.

The time has come to focus energies in securing the votes of our parents and those that care deeply about Winton Woods. I believe that the tide is turning and those that are fighting the good fight should be encouraged. It is a real joy to have met some of the people that care about our schools as much as I do. We are not the failure that some may wish to characterize us to be. We are much more than that. We always have been. We are defined by our success while keeping an eye on doing even better.

However, the time has arrived for me to leave this board. I left one other time but returned as nobody (other than Warrior) was really making the case for WW... at least to the degree that I was personally satisfied. Today, we see a lot of strength from people like Blessed, Paula, NOS, MSteacher, Macho Man, Teacher Man, schouten, three hats, gobucks and others that have lent support to this effort on this board.

I believe that we, as a district, are going to come out of this a much stronger than before. I see the work first hand as I work with our students. I care deeply about them because I see the hope of the future in their eyes. I see the goals and hopes (and fears) of a community of young people that are depending on their neighbors to help them achieve their goals. They want your support not your complaining. They want your faith, not your critiques. I know that a lot of people WILL NOT let them down because we, as a people, don't let children down. If the critics saw what I see, I know that they would pause and think before they speak so carelessly.

At any rate, I feel comfortable knowing that there will be a good core of folks that have no problem defending Winton Woods. The Warrior is not alone in spreading the good word and quashing the fiction that comes from what someone else had heard. We are Warriors and I am proud to be associated with my HS. We are well on our way to being an EXCELLENT HS. That will truely be a happy day.

Some claim that the epitath has already been written for Winton Woods. I suggest that our day is just beginning. BUT.. our work is cut out for us. We have to turn the passion and love into votes. Let's stand for Winton Woods. Let's stand for something bigger than ourselves. Let's stand for our children. Let's stand for a brighter and more promising tomorrow.

It has been a pleasure to post to this board to speak from the perspective of the HS staff. Hopefully, someone else will take up that mantle. This is our defining moment. Let's win!

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Posted · Report post

However, the time has arrived for me to leave this board.

It must be an epidemic.

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Posted · Report post

guy writes like an English teacher

Hehehe...

Take my word for it; Dazed has mellowed since High School. He really is a kinder, gentler person.

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However, the time has arrived for me to leave this board.

C'mon Equalizer - nobody likes a quitter. wink.gif

TeacherMan, thanks for the background. While researching some of these issues awhile back, I happened across a recent dissertation on the evolution of the Winton Woods School district. You are likely already familiar with it, but since I did not grow up in Greenhills, I found the detailed (readers beware: it is very, very detailed) history of Greenhills, Forest Park and the school district to be interesting reading. The author seems to conclude that the changes to the school district were more or less inevitable, but that its hard not to recognize that Greenhills got hosed along the way. Anyway, I think its worth reading, and I'm curious what others who lived through these events think about the history as presented.

Susan M. Smith, The Evolution of an Integrated School District in Southwestern Ohio: The Winton Woods School District, a Case Study.

http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Smith...=ucin1223302164

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cool.gif Thank you for posting that. It was a very educational and informative hour on my behalf.

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Husmant, TeacherMan.

Thanks for the background! Clearly, the current difficulties in this district go all the way back to the creation of Greenhills. Notwithstanding Zane Miller's history of Forest Park, the Susan Smith dissertation is the most in-depth history I have read of the issues within this school district. She shows clearly and with good documentation the problems the occurred with even Greenhill's creating in 1938.

There has NEVER been a time in the history of this district that there have not been issues or problems. One needs to read the entire story to understand this.

The relationship between Forest Park, Greenhills, Springfield Township and the Winton Woods School District are inextricably intertwined and while the uniqueness of each community will never die, the school district has to educate ALL students that come to it. That is its unending goal and the source of all of its difficulties. We all need to understand this. There will NEVER be an easy time for this district.

It is clear that the changes in the communities have impacted this school district and not the other way around, just as I suspected. As citizens today we must face these realities and approach them in an open and honest manner. Our young people need all of us, even those without student-age children, even if we never set foot in our public schools, to do the right thing.

This thread began with the results of the State Report Card. We have seen undeniable improvement in the outcomes of our students' progress. We also have to take into consideration the work that still needs to be done. I can't see how we move forward, or even have the possibility of moving forward if we cannot find a way to support these children. If I can't be a board member, if I can't volunteer my time, if I can't be a teacher, if I can't support the district in any other way, I CAN pass a levy to help ensure that all of the children in this district get the best chance they can get to be good citizens.

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, I found the detailed (readers beware: it is very, very detailed) history of Greenhills, Forest Park and the school district to be interesting reading.  The author seems to conclude that the changes to the school district were more or less inevitable, but that its hard not to recognize that Greenhills got hosed along the way.  Anyway, I think its worth reading, and I'm curious what others who lived through these events think about the history as presented.

Susan M. Smith, The Evolution of an Integrated School District in Southwestern Ohio: The Winton Woods School District, a Case Study.

http://etd.ohiolink.edu/send-pdf.cgi/Smith...=ucin1223302164

Wow. This is alot of informative history. I wish I had skipped the first part "A New Kind of Community". Seems like a paper for an history Doctorate instead of an Education Doctorate. If I had known about all this drama 25 years ago, might have moved somewhere else. Honestly, reading this was depressing.

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