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Blackboard awards at Batavia schools

By Philip Anselmo

Mark Potwora brought a news item to our attention that was posted up on the WBTA Web site late this morning. It tells of an award ceremony that was held today at Robert Norris School to honor the Batavia City School District with the Torchlight award from Promethean Inc. In other words, the company that supplied the schools with their high-tech blackboards is honoring the school for using them. Or at least, that's how it sounds. Dan Fischer writes: "We expect to find out later today just what the designation means for city schools."

Potwora has an idea what it might mean. He has this to say: "I would give a school an award also if they bought my product..Is this a nother way to over hype something."

Patrick D. Burk

Torchlight Districts are chosen as districts that provide Excellence in Education and integrating Technology. Phil, I would have thought you would have checked with someone from the district to get your answer?

The Award to The Batavia City School District is an honor and since Mr. Potwara is well aware, it also is a way for the district to recieve a very large donation from Prometheum for classroom technology...or perhaps we should go back to slates and chalk and let our children in Batavia no longer have the technology required to succeed. It is true that we have some of thier product in the district BUT the award is based on product use and student access as opposed to "hype". He probabaly thinks our selection as a National School Board Technology Site is hype as well...or our VERY POSITIVE BUSINESS FIRST REPORT this year...or our REBATE BACK TO THE TAXPAYERS of funds that were in excess. Seems like Mr. Potwara complains about our schools and then when the proof comes along at just how well we are doing here in the city....well he doesn't like that. One last thing to complain about. Heaven help him if the schools should win some honors.

Since Mr. Potwara is so concerned about this honor and the FREE CLASSROOM EQUIPMENT that came along with it, I am wondering if he would rather we raised his taxes to pay for the FREE CLASSROOM EQUIPMENT that was part of the award. Once again...the FREE CLASSROOM EQUIPMENT...If that is hype well....Gee thanks... I like HYPE that gets our students in the city the BEST POSSIBLE CLASSROOM EQUIPMENT IN THE WORLD AND once again.....IT WAS FREE!!!!!!

I am hoping for lots and lots more of Mr. Potwara's "Hype" in the future. I AM PROUD OF THE CITY OF BATAVIA SCHOOL DISTRICT..... EXTREMELY PROUD.

Oct 9, 2008, 4:18pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

Pat if all the equipment was free then why didnt WBTA report it that way.I got the information from thier web site. The way it sounded, was the school district bought these new blackboards from the company and they gave the school an award.Don't get on Phil,because he read the same article..Why didnt the story state that this equipment was free,I as a taxpayer would be glad to here that..It did seem like some kind of hype to me after reading that..So i am to assume that the school district hasn't spent any money with Prometheum.Also if there were rebates back to the taxpayer that means that you took to much in the first place..Im sure these new blackboards will work much better then what most of us remember the teacher using when we were in school.Its just like the rock climbing wall they needed to get the students in better shape..Im glad your proud,you should be your the president of the school board.I forgot ,what is the drop out rate in batavia.
So is this what we do when a school taxpayer makes a statement thats not praising the school system.Make that person sound like he some kind of anti school,screw em all type....Your dead wrong. I bring these issues up because i believe they should get the best education that we can afford.The word here is afford.The lastest tech isnt always the thing that makes these students better..All i ever here is if we only spend more money the kids will be smarter.There
are alot of privite grade schools,and also home school children that do as well or better than those with the new blackboards in the public school.You would think they would be at the bottom with all the old equipment they have top use..Notre Dame ranked higher that BHS..Why was that.I dont want to get into some kind of arguement because i read a story about the school , that i saw as hype..I hope you can get more free stuff for the schools..I'm sure we will hear about it in that Newsletter we all get telling us how great our school system is..Whats that cost to send out..Save the cost,spend it on new equipment..
Just for the record according to the Business First Report you cited..
Elementary schools ranking
146-Robert morris
147-John Kenndy
out of 289
62-Batavia Middle School
out of 211
8-Notre Dame of Batavia
62-Batavia Sr.High
out of 211
Sounds like a postive report to me..I'd be proud of that...

Oct 9, 2008, 5:54pm Permalink
lazario Ladou

whatever happened to that saying there is no such thing as a free lunch
Free. How do they make money?

"or perhaps we should go back to slates and chalk and let our children in Batavia no longer have the technology required to succeed"

Perhaps we should
you don't need technology to get smart so you don't need technology to succeed. That's just plain wrong. Perhaps the admins like to see their name alongside new technologies making their way into the school so they can say they're trying their best

National School Board Technology Site
Never heard of it. Not impressed. Don't care.

you mean the C grade? Well, inflated B-

Bring in 25 senior kids to this site
chosen at random
ask em to point to Vietnam on a map
I got $50 on more than half -like near 70%- unable to
I'll even take a bet of $50 that more than 25% of the smart kids can't do it

electronic boards in HS? MS? GS??
Dry-erase was too much
I wouldn't want taxes going to that junk
makes me wonder how exactly that $8000 is spent
In fact, tell me

We'll get it turned around! ..we're going to throw money at it! we're going to give kids money for going to school! this will work if you just believe!
sounds a lot like religion

Huge, beautiful churches full of people that for the most part have no idea what the place actually stands for

I'm all for giving schools money
Should receive more than they are
But it can't be FREE

schools won't get more money, though
Education isn't important to us
If it were
Teachers would be getting fired all over the place
Cost of gasoline/war in iraq/economy would not be "the issues"
Education is the real Universal Health Care
Education is Green Fuels
Education is Economy
Education is quite possibly the end of Conflicts

Too difficult

Oct 9, 2008, 7:55pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

OMG ! there is too many line breaks and people are responding with too many words.
Delete delete delete it doesnt fit in with the biased website.

Oct 10, 2008, 12:12am Permalink
John Roach

GeeDave Dee,
He writes the way he thinks and That's way we ignore him. He doesn't have a clue and does not have the manners to be taken seriously.
We say "don't feed the Troll".

Oct 10, 2008, 5:00am Permalink
John Roach

Since you’re on the blog, I have a question. Why do we still have that “Exit Project” for Seniors? For those who don’t know about it, this is a project where the student is forced to pick from a list of subjects and do a presentation on it. And, it’s mandatory, don’t do the project and you might not graduate. It is supposed to take in and tie together many subject areas and each year, the School tells us how great this requirement is. But every year I hear from kids what a waste of time it was. They point out that nobody would voluntarily take it if it was an optional course. Now I know this was an educational “improvement”, but year after year kids say it was a waste. Is this a State mandate or an in house idea? Has this project ever really been reviewed by your school board? If not mandated by the State, why is it mandated by the school? Is this a good use of school resources and my tax money? Would anyone do the project if not forced?

Oct 10, 2008, 5:39am Permalink
lazario Ladou

you took hundreds of words to ask about one thing
Half of that is flowery, self-congratulatory or useless

Multiply this kind of effort and no wonder only a handful of things can actually get accomplished

I could sum that up in one sentence, John

Here it is
What is the Senior Project good for?

Why are you aksing someone else if it's a good use of your taxes? haha
shouldn't you draw your own conclusions rather than base your decisions on what the persons taking your tax dollars have to say

Would a kid clean their room if not forced?

that's critical thinking

Senior projects are all about personal growth
and they're bullshit
and full of fluff ..just like 70% of the rest of the "performance" school year

The other 30% we're systematically dissolving because people can't cope with the letdown of not being nearly as smart as their inflated grades would lead them to believe
SAT/Standardized/Real Intelligence is the "cornerstone" of that 30%

bullshit homework accounts for MORE of your GPA than test/exam scores

this is clearly evidence that SCORES are more important than knowledge
We are drilled this from an early age

Do a ton of "extra credit" in MS and you get a higher grade than you should have received

Kids fill up on "extra credit" and do poorly on exams

It's NOT because some kids inherently "take tests" better than others
That these "test takers" are being taught how to take tests while anxiety-ridden "non-test-takers" in the same classroom "somehow" missed the ongoing lecture that year
"Our kids are different from your kids" mentality
85% of this is plain wrong

Do away with exams
Do away with grades altogether
Uhhhh turn an 80% into some kind of low A
Forget the A+ that makes A students feel bad
Focus on the positive!
Focus on the fact that that kids can read a few pages and then actually answer a few questions based on those pages of material while their books are open in front of them

Why don't we just give our kids a box
A box from wal-mart
A box containing an entertainment center
Hand them the instructions
See how %^#&* up or not their centers turn out
Grade em

nevermind the fact this furniture is built mostly by inserting round things in round openings
pegs in narrow openings
screws in pre-drilled screw holes

What are these manners you speak of? I believe I've asked twice now
non-descript bullshit once again from you

You're EXPECTING an answer in this thread cause you asked a quesion
So am I, John

Oct 10, 2008, 6:53am Permalink
Tom Gilliatt

lazario how come you never post your own blog like 99.9999999% of everyone else here does??? You only reply to other peoples blogs (posts)!!! Don't you have something to say??? Instead you reply to others in most cases in not a nice way (my opinion)... I my self would like to see an opening statement from you ( A blog )that way we mite get to see a better point of view from you, of coarse this is only my opinion and I'm not trying to put you down in anyway I'm an admin of my own forum/website and I just want to get a better understanding of whats what in peoples own posts and not just replies.

Thanks and I appreciate your time!


P.S Laz you should stop the big line breaks too (my opinion) it just makes people lose interest what you post and say you post SPAM so basically how would people understand what you post if they lose the interest in reading it because I can see there point sorry I feel this way.

Oct 10, 2008, 11:44am Permalink
John Roach

WBTA seems to have cleared by the award question on their radio broadcasts today. The school district did a fine job winning the award. You have every reason to be proud.

Oct 10, 2008, 11:38am Permalink
Howard B. Owens

John, I tried sending a private e-mail to you, but the e-mail address we have for you in your registration doesn't seem to be working. The message bounced back. Write to me at howard at thebatavian dot com and I'll resend. Can you update your account with your current e-mail address, please.

Oct 10, 2008, 4:00pm Permalink
Patrick D. Burk

Thank You John...I appreciate your kind words and acknowledgement for the district. As far as Exit Projects go....??? Do they work for all kids, well lets just say that some do have a problem with seeing the need or the reason until they are in a college or job interview etc.

I was like you and questioned the value.... then I started sitting in on some of the exit projects and ajudicating them. Many times it is the first time a student has concentrated on a cause or a current events issue. You should come hear a few. Are they for everyone???? Probably they better prepare many of our students....definitely YES.

I used to say the same thing about Algebra when I went to school...who knew I would use it every day in my career. Exit Projects will never be a perfect program but I do feel it is a good program that should be continued.

Thanks for listening again John. We are doing some very great things here in Batavia.

Oct 10, 2008, 4:30pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

Thats funny. It seems like you are not able to hold back a response so I guess you are feeding the troll ?
If you write the way you think then you need to brush up on your skills.
I did not realize that you speak for everyone but good for you.
I will keep posting and you keep ignoring.

Oct 10, 2008, 4:41pm Permalink
lazario Ladou

I don't post my own blogs because I don't
I say what I need to when and where I want to
If 99% of people jumped off tall bridges should I also jump off bridges
Don't see what it is that you're trying to say, Tom

I'm not mean/not nice
I'm one of the nicest you'll ever have the pleasure of meeting
I will not apologize because people refuse to see clearly/attempt to see me at all

Better point of view?
You want to see me in a different light
you want to see me in yours
This is all you want
Better lol

If you truly want to know me
try to understand me
I don't need people that put in no effort to count me as one of their friends

That said
Everyone here I consider a friend of mine

If I needed the attention as others have asserted in posts
I would be blogger extraordinaire

People are dumb, dude

People lose interest because they never were interested in the first place

People in general are looking to GAIN interest ..not keep it

That might not be worded quite well enough but if you try to understand it
It should work out

Nothing I say is spam
I don't care for these peoples opinions enough to change who I am in any way

I'm not playing by others rules to gain approval and then sit back with em
coffee in hand
and talk about why we need to change the rules that have made us who we wanted to be in life

There will never be any REAL change because REAL change repudiates "their" way of life

I'm not 1000% right
I'm not 1000% wrong

Oct 12, 2008, 3:32pm Permalink
lazario Ladou

you say "see the need/reason"

You HAVE TO tell us what that reason is now

" or job interview"

How do these projects help?
Gotta say how exactly, man

"..on a cause or a current events issue"
Why is this important
What kind/level of concentration

"better prepare"
For what?

".algebra ..who knew I would use it every day in my career."
This doesn't tell me what's its -senior projects-"goodness" is

"Exit Projects will never be a perfect program"
"I questioned the value"

If you ask me when something has this kind of supposed influence
It had better be pretty damn infallible

You're basing it's value on the fact that some kids seem to
care about the world more afterwards ..or

What is it good for?

Oct 12, 2008, 3:26pm Permalink
John Roach

When the "exit project" was first started, wasn't it optional? My information on this is old, so I am not sure. I was told that few kids would sign up for it, they made it mandatory. Is this accurate? If it is, would the school board consider making it optional again? If it was never optional, can it be?

This issue may have been delt with already, and if so, I good with that. I pay more attention to city council than the school board, you guys do a better job than them.

Oct 12, 2008, 3:51pm Permalink
Mark Potwora

If you question what the school board or school system does you will be labeled anti education..anti children..Not some one who would like to see them become no 1.I guess middle of the road is fine for them.

Oct 12, 2008, 6:59pm Permalink
lazario Ladou

Why don't you answer, Tom
Why doesn't anyone truly answer a question

You know why
We see this everywhere

14 year olds say whatever when they don't feel like thinking/talking about or admitting to something
Sorry, bro
It's not on my end
I'm not the one who has never risked anything here
I don't do one hit wonders
I don't even agree with the definition of "troll" being negative

All people do (90%) is attack me personally ..even when they're trying to be smooth about it
Do I complain to Howard or other admins? I just point it out to you.
What happened when Howard points it out to you
You all fall in line for ten minutes all apologetic

All this talk of "manners" is for baby-kissing politicians and parents who have never made it possible for their kids to trust them
It's not real manners

People talk about debate here
Debate is not accepting all POV as OK
Argument is not Negative NOR Mean

You can have friendly conversation or debate
They can mix
In the best of friendships they often do
But you cannot accept the mixing on your terms only
that's garbage

Why can't you even try to answer a question
They are easy questions to answer if you have one
Easy enough to just wing it if you don't

How are you annoyed by me and not your lack of answering ability

I'd be pretty pissed at myself
How can a person even respect themselves

Talk all the time about lack of respect for you and people like you
have no or few opinions to share with the class on how to actually TRY and change things for the better
because I don't think you really want change globally
don't want to work for change
work as in fight
You want TO BE changed other people who have no need to see the rules changed

Never going to work out for you or those like you
Playing by the same rules but on opposite ends of the spectrum ..too bad for you you're not the end in power
You just want all the "good" things given to "them" given to you
Not Change

Mean? No, not really
Harsh? Eh

Can't win anything by saying whatever
some sort of false bravado

Oct 12, 2008, 10:17pm Permalink
Tom Gilliatt

OK Howard but an IGNORE feature like on mine and most forums would be nice! This would be easier then scrolling past all the unwanted stuff that make no relevant sense to the topic.


Oct 13, 2008, 3:51pm Permalink
lazario Ladou

I feel the walls closing in and the sky falling

What did writing my own blogs have to do with the torchlight awards, Tom?

Don't invite and then slam the door

Oct 13, 2008, 6:17pm Permalink
John Roach

Tom is right. if you had an ignore feature, we would not ahve to put up with scrolling past LAZ to see what other people have to say.Just think, we could "ignore" the silly breaks. Who knows, your site hits might go up with being to skip people like Laz.

Oct 13, 2008, 6:21pm Permalink
Gabor Deutsch

Why not just ignore what everyone has to say and read your own posts ?
Is it the silly line breaks or you just dont like other people posting comments that you dont agree with ?
If it is that bad dont bother scrolling thru the site and start your own, I am sure everyone will agree with you and flock to see what you have to say.
Just make sure you set your site up so nobody is allowed to post any comments.

Oct 13, 2008, 6:33pm Permalink
John Roach

It's the line breaks, and deep down you know it. As for people posting things I don't like, I either comment or pass them by. But the line breaks and comments that make no sense are a waste. I have taken hits on this site and in the Daily News for years, so that does not bother me (except if the lie).

Oct 13, 2008, 8:03pm Permalink
John Roach

It's the line breaks, and deep down you know it. As for people posting things I don't like, I either comment or pass them by. But the line breaks and comments that make no sense are a waste. I have taken hits on this site and in the Daily News for years, so that does not bother me (except if the lie).

Oct 13, 2008, 8:03pm Permalink

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