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Thread: Class sizes: FY09 vs. FY08

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I don't recall my exact words or those of the superintendent, but anyone listening surely understood that the point was to avoid redistricting an "isolatingly" small group of students from any school.
    Actually, I didn't understand then and I don't understand now why you make that leap. Who said anything about an "isolatingly" small group of students"?
    Why would a total restructuring of the bus routes have resulted in an ""isolatingly" small group of students"?
    Presumably, if you're starting from scratch, you can see to it that there is no such thing as an ""isolatingly" small group of students". You can draw it up any way you like, and don't have to end up with any ""isolatingly" small groups of students".


    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post


    "...Rather, my statement above is "substantively" true, in that it captures the outcome and, to the best of my knowledge, the positions of the individual Committee members in arriving at that outcome.

    Any one of you can say anything at any time and it won't carry any weight until you vote. The fact that Louis and Deb stated that if there were a revote, they might go with Loker is meaningless.

    The fact is, there was no revote.

    However they thought they might vote if there was a revote, is irrelevant.

    All that matters is that the committee decided to stick with its unanimous decision to close Loker.


    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Actually, I didn't understand then and I don't understand now why you make that leap. Who said anything about an "isolatingly" small group of students"?
    Why would a total restructuring of the bus routes have resulted in an ""isolatingly" small group of students"?
    Presumably, if you're starting from scratch, you can see to it that there is no such thing as an ""isolatingly" small group of students". You can draw it up any way you like, and don't have to end up with any ""isolatingly" small groups of students".
    Small groups of students wouldn't have resulted from new bus routes, they would have resulted from building redistricting. For instance, if you had redistricted (as a hypothetical example) the Charena Farms neighborhood from Happy Hollow to Claypit Hill, you might well have ended up having just a few third graders (again, as a hypothetical example) being "separated" from their former Happy Hollow classmates.

    This has nothing to do with Happy Hollow or Claypit Hill per se; I would have applied the same thinking had we been proposing to redistrict Yeager Way (hypothetical example) from Loker to Claypit Hill in a "Loker as K-5" configuration.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Any one of you can say anything at any time and it won't carry any weight until you vote. The fact that Louis and Deb stated that if there were a revote, they might go with Loker is meaningless.

    The fact is, there was no revote.

    However they thought they might vote if there was a revote, is irrelevant.

    All that matters is that the committee decided to stick with its unanimous decision to close Loker.
    Again, you're being technical rather than meaningful. The final vote about whether to revisit the initial vote was in essence and outcome a re-vote.

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    Small groups of students wouldn't have resulted from new bus routes, they would have resulted from building redistricting. For instance, if you had redistricted (as a hypothetical example) the Charena Farms neighborhood from Happy Hollow to Claypit Hill, you might well have ended up having just a few third graders (again, as a hypothetical example) being "separated" from their former Happy Hollow classmates.

    This has nothing to do with Happy Hollow or Claypit Hill per se; I would have applied the same thinking had we been proposing to redistrict Yeager Way (hypothetical example) from Loker to Claypit Hill in a "Loker as K-5" configuration.
    OK, I know this sounds really simplistic, but why wouldn't you just draw some lines where all of those who lived closest to CH would go there, and those closest to HH would go there. To be sure, there may still need to be some tweaking, but why doesn't that make sense as a simple starting point?

    Again, you're being technical rather than meaningful. The final vote about whether to revisit the initial vote was in essence and outcome a re-vote.
    I think you've just proven my point.
    That revote in essence negated any talk from Deb or Louis of how they would have voted if you'd taken another vote on which school.
    They could have said anything at that point and it wouldn't have mattered.

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    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
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  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    OK, I know this sounds really simplistic, but why wouldn't you just draw some lines where all of those who lived closest to CH would go there, and those closest to HH would go there. To be sure, there may still need to be some tweaking, but why doesn't that make sense as a simple starting point?
    Because doing that would have redistricted small numbers of students from one school and sent them "alone" to another.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I think you've just proven my point.
    That revote in essence negated any talk from Deb or Louis of how they would have voted if you'd taken another vote on which school.
    They could have said anything at that point and it wouldn't have mattered.
    I would be interested to know if there is anyone (Committee members included) who thinks that the essence of the Committee's late February vote was NOT 3-2 in favor of making Loker the Kindergarten school. My point is that technically, this 3-2 vote did not happen, but in effect, it did.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    My point is that technically, this 3-2 vote did not happen, but in effect, it did.
    And STILL you deny that you spin!

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    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
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    John, your opinion on the issue of "spin" is irrelevant to me. I put the question out to the forum. I'm truly curious to know who thinks that the end result was in effect something other than a 3-2 vote by the Committee.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    John, your opinion on the issue of "spin" is irrelevant to me. I put the question out to the forum. I'm truly curious to know who thinks that the end result was in effect something other than a 3-2 vote by the Committee.
    Jeff, it depends on whose glasses you view it with. Many ways, if I recap some of the major ones I remember here:

    (1) The purported "windows" deal may have made the entire process a charade. No real votes at all.

    (2) Your way -- you strongly considered feedback from the public and then revoted after that process.

    (3) You voted, held hearings, and then refused to hold a revote, letting certain members express a different feeling knowing there weren't enough to make a difference. Some might have even viewed Lou's "vote" as political, knowing it wouldn't change anything but his perception in the eyes of those voters about to potentially re-elect him.

    (4) A pre-determined outcome with the facade of votes using a strategy to keep HH because by doing so, you would "throw a bone" to the precincts that have historically voted against the overrides in town in an effort to get more "yea" votes to pass the one on the table.

    (5) The whole thing was a rush job and since it was "so close," HH's selection was akin to a flip of the coin and the original vote stood because reflipping had no logical backing to it.

    Of these options (I'm sure there are more, but these are the major themes I recall), I know you stand on #2. I'm not really sure, personally, which of the other four I stand by. I think there are probably elements of truth in all of them. I probably will never know. I do know that I don't believe #2.

    By the way, where are the "feelings police" who live on this board? If they were bi-partisan, they'd be lambasting you for calling John's feelings irrelevant....quite uncivil by their definition.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    John, your opinion on the issue of "spin" is irrelevant to me. I put the question out to the forum. I'm truly curious to know who thinks that the end result was in effect something other than a 3-2 vote by the Committee.
    Jeff,

    While I don’t doubt for a minute that you speak the truth in that line, a broader truth also comes through.

    By removing just a couple of words from your statement, we’re left with – “your opinion is irrelevant to me.”

    This just nails it for so many people on what our problem was and is with the entire school committee and administration. This feeling was and is broad and wide among many, many people in this town.


    As to what actually happened that night, here is what is posted in the School Committee’s minutes:
    “None of the Committee members felt that their opinions have changed.
    The Chair ended the discussion on this matter.”

    In spite of safety concerns, which are now a reality
    In spite of overcrowding, which is now a reality
    In spite of unacceptably long bus runs, which are now a reality
    In spite of traffic nightmares, which are now a reality
    In spite of all of the things you were warned about from the parents who actually took the time to look into these things, after the committee neglected to before making its decision, “None of the Committee members felt that their opinions have changed."

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  9. #39
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    I'm curious why you dodged the one simple question that I asked: do you think that the effect of the Committee's 3-2 vote not to revisit the original vote was in essence a 3-2 vote to make Loker the Kindergarten school. I don't remember their precise words, but I'm pretty sure that Louis Jurist and Deb Cohen spoke in favor of making Happy Hollow the Kindergarten school.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Jeff, it depends on whose glasses you view it with. Many ways, if I recap some of the major ones I remember here:

    (1) The purported "windows" deal may have made the entire process a charade. No real votes at all.
    I'm not sure what value you see to repeating a lie. Every member of the Committee categorically denied that there was any "windows deal." To say otherwise is to call us liars. Are you saying that? Or are you just "putting it out there" to complete a list, in a discredited Fox News "fair and balanced" sort of way?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    (2) Your way -- you strongly considered feedback from the public and then revoted after that process.
    That about captures it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    (3) You voted, held hearings, and then refused to hold a revote, letting certain members express a different feeling knowing there weren't enough to make a difference. Some might have even viewed Lou's "vote" as political, knowing it wouldn't change anything but his perception in the eyes of those voters about to potentially re-elect him.
    All of our deliberations were public. There was never ANY mention of a plan or any intent to let certain members "express a different feeling." For all I knew, the vote could have turned out the other way. To suggest this is insulting.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    (4) A pre-determined outcome with the facade of votes using a strategy to keep HH because by doing so, you would "throw a bone" to the precincts that have historically voted against the overrides in town in an effort to get more "yea" votes to pass the one on the table.
    Another fantasy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    (5) The whole thing was a rush job and since it was "so close," HH's selection was akin to a flip of the coin and the original vote stood because reflipping had no logical backing to it.
    No one is denying that the process was faster than would have been ideal. The coin flip notion is just another insult.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    Of these options (I'm sure there are more, but these are the major themes I recall), I know you stand on #2. I'm not really sure, personally, which of the other four I stand by. I think there are probably elements of truth in all of them. I probably will never know. I do know that I don't believe #2.
    Nicely done! You get to list 4 insulting ideas, then don't have the courage to pick one, or even which "elements." Karl Rove would be proud. Take a stand, Jeff, or take a seat.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Baron View Post
    By the way, where are the "feelings police" who live on this board? If they were bi-partisan, they'd be lambasting you for calling John's feelings irrelevant....quite uncivil by their definition.
    What!? Do you really think that anyone would scold *me* for not taking seriously *John's* repeated bullying insults? Up is down. Black is white. Lewis Carroll would be proud of this trip of yours Through the Looking Glass.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I'm not sure what value you see to repeating a lie. Every member of the Committee categorically denied that there was any "windows deal." To say otherwise is to call us liars. Are you saying that?
    I'm not going to call you liars. I don't won't those "polite police" all over my back.
    I'll let the video speak for itself.

    In this video, while seeking the debt exclusion for capital improvements of $735,000 for windows at HH, the Chair of the Finance Committee states clearly, "one thing we did specifically ask the schools about is that if enrollmment does continue to decline and if they do look at combining schools, Happy Hollow is one that would stay open..."

    Whether you want to call it an "an agreement" or a "verbal commitment" or a "verbal assurance" is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the Chair of FinCom notes that she "specifically ask [ed] the schools" about this. She obviously spoke with someone connected with "the schools." Accordingly, prior to her making these statements in March of 2007, a decision had been made by someone at "the schools," presumably either the administration or committee member(s), that HH would not close (or partially close, due to her reference to a combination).

    View the video HERE

    If anyone has trouble viewing, please let me know and I'll be happy to provide the transcript.

    .
    John Flaherty

    Any views expressed are NOT mine alone.
    Wayland Transparency - Facts Without Spin
    http://www.waylandtransparency.com/

  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach View Post
    I would be interested to know if there is anyone (Committee members included) who thinks that the essence of the Committee's late February vote was NOT 3-2 in favor of making Loker the Kindergarten school. My point is that technically, this 3-2 vote did not happen, but in effect, it did.
    As anyone who follows the activities of the Federal and Massachusetts legislatures (as well as Wayland's Town Meetings) should understand, a procedural vote -- like a votew to reconsider -- is commonly an indicator as to how a vote on the merits will come out. So, yes, I understood the late February vote to be a powerful indicator that a vote on the merits would have been 3-2 in favor of making Loker the Kindergarten school.

  12. #42
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    Originally Posted by Jeff Dieffenbach
    John, your opinion on the issue of "spin" is irrelevant to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    Jeff,

    While I don’t doubt for a minute that you speak the truth in that line, a broader truth also comes through.

    By removing just a couple of words from your statement, we’re left with – “your opinion is irrelevant to me.”
    Interesting, I did not know that we were allowed to remove words from the statements of others. What a cool idea! This is going to *revolutionize* the Discussion Forum!

    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    While I don't doubt for a minute that you speak the truth in that line, a broader truth also comes through.

    This just
    nails it for so many people what our problem was and is with the entire school committee and administration. This feeling was and is broad and wide among many, many people in this town.

    As to what actually happened that night, here is what is posted in the School Committee’s minutes:
    “None of the Committee members felt that their opinions have
    changed.
    The Chair ended the discussion on this matter.”

    In spite of safety concerns, which are now a
    reality
    In spite of overcrowding, which is now a reality
    In spite of unaccepttably long bus runs, which are now a reality
    In spite of traffic nightmares, which are now a reality
    In spite of all of the things you were warned about from the parents who actually took the time to look into these things, after the committee neglected to before making its decision, “None of the Committee members felt that their opinions have changed."
    Sorry, I simply couldn't resist! [grin]^tm

    It has wisely been suggested that I edit this post to make explicit the point in my formatting exercise above: it is inappropriate to intentionally alter the words of others as John Flaherty did. I had hoped that by caveating my post as humor, it would be apparent that I was not serious with respect to content. So as to remove any doubt: I was not serious about the substance of my alteration, but rather, serious as to my objection to his doing so initially.

    As for the “None of the Committee members felt that their opinions have changed" quote that you lifted from our 3/10/2008 meeting minutes, well, you're "changing reality" by highlighting the wrong meeting and an inapplicable quote. The re-vote that we've been talking about in this thread took place at our 2/25/2008 meeting. The 3/10 statement was simply affirming the 2/25 re-vote after the Committee had listened to additional public input.
    Last edited by Jeff Dieffenbach; 10-01-2008 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Addition of disclaimer towards the end, in bold italics; softened the "hidden message"

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I'm not going to call you liars. I don't won't those "polite police" all over my back.
    I'll let the video speak for itself.

    In this video, while seeking the debt exclusion for capital improvements of $735,000 for windows at HH, the Chair of the Finance Committee states clearly, "one thing we did specifically ask the schools about is that if enrollmment does continue to decline and if they do look at combining schools, Happy Hollow is one that would stay open..."

    Whether you want to call it an "an agreement" or a "verbal commitment" or a "verbal assurance" is irrelevant. What is relevant is that the Chair of FinCom notes that she "specifically ask [ed] the schools" about this. She obviously spoke with someone connected with "the schools." Accordingly, prior to her making these statements in March of 2007, a decision had been made by someone at "the schools," presumably either the administration or committee member(s), that HH would not close (or partially close, due to her reference to a combination).
    How inconvenient for you that the Board of the Selectmen (4 of 5 members) and the Finance Committee (unanimously) refuted your "deal" allegation.

  14. #44
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    Default Wait a minute...

    Jeff,

    On March 5th 2007 Cherry came before the BoS and, on her own, without prompting or questioning by the BoS brought up the fact that HH would not be the school to close in the case of declining enrollment. This was said because she was asking for $735K to repair or replace windows at HH and (I assume) that she wanted to give assurances to the BoS that if we went for the money then the money would go to an asset which would *survive*.

    The selectman made NO DEAL... but a DEAL walked into the room and that DEAL must have been made prior to March 5th 2007. This is why 5 out of 5 selectmen said that there was NO DEAL between the selectmen and the SC or the FinCom...

    On March 27th I purposefully asked that question of Cherry as a plus two to confirm that what she said on March 5th was still true and real. The tape shows my question and it also shows her answer. Barb was in the room and and she talked about this *windows agreement* at length. Its obvious that some DEAL was already struck.

    At the April town meeting I asked the question again (in a different way) and although nobody had an obligation to answer me, I asked it nonetheless.

    One more time... 5 out of 5 selectmen agree that there was NO DEAL between the BoS and the FinCom or the BoS and the SC. The DEAL that is referred to was the one that appeared in front of the BoS on March 5th 2007 and that (I must assume) was cut prior to that date between the FinCom and the SC.

    Put me on the stand and give me a bible.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Flaherty View Post
    I'm not going to call you liars. I don't won't those "polite police" all over my back.
    The "polite police" are offended, but can deal with it. We have interfered remarkably little on this discussion forum, and make every effort to stay out of the way of discussion. You are all granted wide leeway in being impolite, if you so choose. We would prefer that the discussion remain civil, but recognize that disagreements aren't tea parties.

    If posters choose to "go over the line", that tends to reflect more poorly on them than the people they attack.

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