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Friday, January 21, 2011

From a reader


Greece listed 14 reasons why they wouldn’t renew his contract.  

Superintendant Issues prepared by Frank Oberg and Joe Moscato regarding Steve Achramovitch
 June 2010 evaluation as Supt. of Greece School District. “ This negative evaluation is why, a majority of the board gave Steve notice to seek other employment on June 30, 2010, he would be terminated.  as you read these 14 items, bear in mind that Steve was defenseless and guilty as charged.”

Superintendent Issues
1.  School Visits.. Steve promised prior to his hiring that he would regularly visit schools to find out what is going on.  I have reports that this is not happening with regularity.  For example, one individual said  that he has visited her school only twice since he has been superintendent and one visit was but for a few minutes.

2.  School Improvement Plans…This has been a major initiative of Steve to reform our district.  This not a topic that is reported on by Steve to the Board.  We are in the dark as to the efficacy of the initiative.  We do not know what results or problems or progress is being realized.

3.  Schools of Choice/Signature Schools…Approximately two years ago, the BOE passed a motion (5-3 in favor) asking the superintendent to study and report on the viability of this enterprise.  He was going to establish a community task force.  As of today the BOE has received no report on the status of the motion’s study.  A task force does not exist.  The educational or organizational value of continuing with this organizational scheme has not been reported or discussed with the BOE.  The motion has been ignored.

4.Consulting Hiring…Steve has engaged consultants at GREAT COSTS to the district without a prior conversation with the board.  The most glaring example is the engagement of O’Flavahavan Consulting on reading at a projected cost of $1.6 Million over 8 years.  The BOE was not consulted ahead of time, data on success in other districts was not presented, the program goals were not outlined, and the implementation of the first year efforts got a mixed reaction from the district’s teachers.

5.  Strategic Direction…I do not sense that our superintendent has one in force for the district.  I am unaware of any list that details the major issues within, what actions are planned to address these issues, what the status of these issue might be.  There is not a focused effort to define problems, report out status to the BOE or the public.  We  just seem to bounce from pillar to post as circumstances warrant.

6.Capital Plan…A=n overall capital plan does not exist that details the district’s needs (beyond EXCEL), timetable, nor cost of implementation.  When discussing the superintendents goals in public session, I raised the concern that a plan needed to be added to his goals.  My recollection is that he made a written note at the time but thus far has not added such a plan to his goals nor taken action to prepare one.

7.  Loewke/Brill Report… This report languished without district action other than an inconsequential memo presented to the BOE by Mr. Schroeder.  By STEVE’s own admission he never read the report until it was brought to light in discussions involving structural failures at Longridge School.  There was no action taken to address the concerns raised in the report or report on the status.

8.   Contract Negotiations… This is especially troublesome with regard to GTA.  The negotiating strategy (based on feedback from BOE members present at some meetings)  appeared to be unnecessarily adversarial with a “just say No”  approach.  Counter claims made by GTA were not revealed to the BOE(according to GTA sources).  As HR (Human Resource) experience was presented by STEVE as one of his strengths as a superintendent, leadership in this area has not been displayed.  He has repeatedly asked the BOE for “guidance” but has never (to my knowledge) suggested to the board a contract negotiating strategy that might yield a successful result given our circumstances.

9.   Operational cost vs. Declining Enrollment; STEVE has not “VOLUNTEERED” a plan to bring expenditures in line with the continuing decline in student enrollment.  Any progress in this area has only occurred while under pressure to present a new district operating budget.

10   English Road Pediatrics…  In discussions regarding reappointment of the district’s doctor, the potential engagement of this medical office was raised.  There was a commitment made by the superintendent to discuss possible engagement of this firm.  I am aware that no discussions were ever held with the principal doctor(s) of this practice as promised nor was there any follow up report to the BOE on this commitment.

11.  Jakacovitch Termination..This individual’s termination was never fully explained to the BOE.  A lawsuit now exists against the district.  There is some belief that organized eavesdropping of phone conversations/emails is underway in the district.  This eavesdropping practice may have triggered the termination after a phone conversation was monitored between Jakacovitch and former member C. Hubbard.

12.   Uniform district wide application of the Code of Conduct…There is no evidence that this policy has been uniformly implemented and enforced throughout our schools.  Enforcement appears not to be a priority within the district.  I believe this leads to poor classroom environment which in turn leads to an inappropriate learning environment.

13.   School Violence…Numerous violent and behavioral incident occur within the district.  The superintendent indicated he would establish a committee to study this problem.  I am unaware of this having been accomplished.  The BOE is left to our own devices to determine if the recent spate of incidents is abnormally high, what the root causes are, or what strategies might be employed to bring this under control.

14.   Follow up.. This is a continuing problem on Steve’s part.  To illustrate may I remind you that after Steve’s evaluation sheets were presented to him, he said that he would respond to the various comments made therein.  A number of months have passed since the evaluation was shared with him and a follow up response has not  been presented to the BOE.  Lack of follow up is not unique to this item.

51 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like an excellent selection by the BOE. They clearly did their research when they appointed him. It makes you so glad that they appointed a staff commitee for recomendations and ultimitely did not listen to them, as I understand that they had a different recommendation to the board. Apparently the BOE just wanted to waste people's time and make them feel that thier opinion counts when in reality - they just end up doing what they want to anyway........

And you wonder why teachers are disgruntled.

Anonymous said...

thank you boe... was this really the best candidate for the job? i feel ripped off, thanks again.

Anonymous said...

AS a teacher in the district he has already started some of this crap on us. GO away Steve!!!

Klozman said...

Welcome ye to the world of the ”Old Boys” Club. Achramo, as I’ve speculated previously, was hand picked by Oz to get rid of Lindsey S. because her mother was very likely the only person he had ever run across, during his current tenure, able to confound his attempts to arbitrarily affect a program transfer from HHS to BOCES. Employing Achramo for this dastardly, reprehensible objective is a classic application of plausible deniability. Oz is no dummy...lots of Botox here.

Achramo is one of those pathetic, protected fixtures of the system who knows which asses to kiss. Considering the damning reports that emerged from both Kenton and Greece please, anyone, hypothesize how the Hamburg RSB, collectively, could have appointed him? What a trash collection. Why would the RSB accept a letter, prodded by an aunt from a middling student (who claimed umbrage because she was subjected to a discussion on ethics), as grounds to dismiss LS?...because they knew that their other meager attempts at justification would inevitably be exposed as fabrications. Thank the powers that be for the RSB member who taped the illegal 9/21 meeting. That tape really stopped RSB/Achramo dead in their tracks.

Respice, adspice, prospice (examine the past, the present, the future)

Anonymous said...

Klozman, you are a a bright star in the sky.

Teacher too said...

The links between Huen, Admin, RSB and teachers at Armor Elementary School is abundantly clear. What are the rest of the teachers going to do about all of these people working against the collective? A few rotten apples with a souring stench coming from Armor (home of huen) are poisoning the HTA. Huen did nothing for years, and now he waves his finger at teachers and staff? He has been on this blog? If so Huen, explain youre so angry? You made your money off the tax payers, collect your 77k per year, go buy a mobie home in FLa and worry about getting out in time to beat the early bird special crowd.

revealing the truth said...

Klozman, re: the aunt of the student who cried to papa gallagher about a discussion on ethics. A curious point, its this student has a mother who is a teacher in springville. Yes, a student from a mother and an aunt (armour) who are teachers complained about a discussion on ethics. How troubling. Or perhaps this young lady was defending the made up grades as she was a beneficiary, and acted in conjunction the administraton in a great big cover-up. The teacher who was fired knew too much, and in Hamburg that is the heresy of heresies. Apparently academic ethics are not valued by a family of teachers. This female student also cried to papa gallagher about her roommate on a ski trip to vermont. Wanna guess what happened to her rooming assignment?

Anonymous said...

Why did the BOE let Kerr and Crawford get away with doing almost nothing for the Students or Staff? $150,000 can get a lot done!

B-52 said...

Why do you think that the HTA rented an office around 2004-05? They never had an office before this time. But then again, they never needed a love shack before either.

Village People said...

Concerned,

On Tom Moses webpage as Mayor of Hamburg it indicates he is on the Hamburg School Board "committee". Can you find out what this means? Is there a shadow government in Hamburg Schools.

Anonymous said...

Didnt he teach?

Anonymous said...

Is he also assist supervisor? www.HAMBURGIDA.com/board.php3

Secret Garden said...

Concerned Hamburger needs to set up some internet links to Hamburg IDA, FOUNDATION, SCHOOL HomePage, Etc. so I can click and verify info.

teacher too said...

Secret Garden, I am a doubter too. I have checked every thing that is written on this blog, because it is almost hard to fathom this stuff goes on. Every detail written by the concerned burger guy is verifiable. Its the comments that are sometimes difficult to comprehend. But that is the essence of a blog. Concerned clearly has his/her connections. All you need to do is google and most of the sights pop up.

Concerned Hamburger said...

Please go back and read the posts where I specifically mention Hamburg IDA, state audits, newspaper articles, etc. and there will be a [click here] next to the information referenced. All of the information you need to verify the contents of the post is available at your fingertips. Just [click here].

Anonymous said...

A section on the blog should have a list of links in chronical order...

Anonymous said...

I use my thumbs.

Anonymous said...

why do we need a IDA for Hamburg,

Read and Write said...

Elementary teachers: Read about the program that is getting jammed down your throat.

http://educationnext.org/the-lucy-calkins-project/

"According to Andrew Wolf of the New York Sun, Calkins charges $1,200 to send one of her assistants into a school for one day. In 2003 schools chancellor Joel Klein appointed her and the project, through a no-bid three-year $5.4 million contract, to the task of revamping the way literacy skills are taught in more than 100 district schools, including most of those in Brooklyn and Queens, the project’s mission is to retrain—through onsite workshops, leadership seminars, curricular materials, and an intensive summer institute—primary and upper-grade teachers, administrators from principals up through district superintendents, and central department policymakers."

Laughing Matter said...

I find it interesting that the administrator of this blog deplores the perceived lack of transparency displayed by the Hamburg School Board and administration, yet, hypocritically, hides behind the cloak of anonymity and censors many of the comments posted by readers. Fear not though, most voters and taxpayers in the Hamburg School District are getting a god laugh at this ridiculous website.

Taxpayer too said...

What taxpayer wouldnt laugh at that hilarious video of Dr Calkins working out with Achramo? And I think Laughing Matter, means Good laugh, not god laugh. It is hilarious how these people waste taxpayer dollars. Wait until taxes go up to pay for the buffoons and the raises they have given themselves, I am sure the taxpayer will be crying over their morning coffee.

Anonymous said...

Dear Laughing Matter -- the way I see it, most voters and taxpayers are getting an eye opening experience with each comment. I'd be worried if I were you.

Anonymous said...

The taxes are going to go up because of the teachers pension and benefits you fools and NYS can not afford it anymore. In the next five years, they are predicting that the teacher pension costs will rise from $900 million to $4-5 billion. The private sector feels no pity for the teachers I can promise you that.

Pleasant Ave Resident said...

Thank you Mr Wichlacz for your eye opening remarks on teachers pay. However, if you want to look at the state retirements system, you may want to look at the big fat raises YOU and the RSB gave administrators, and WHAT were YOU thinking paying this new guy 170K. When he retires he is going to be on the state pension dole too, and his FAS we will be paying for this fat cat for years. Were you promised a trip to Africa again? When's your term up?

Pleasant Ave Resident said...

Mr Wichlacz, do you have a job? Last I knew, you were making your money from the taxpayer too. Did you plan events or do marketing for the village of Hamburg? Let me explain, when you do work for a municipality, and get paid, that money comes from the taxpayer. Can you understand this simple concept on public sector funding?

Tops Employee said...

I understand that Mr Wichlacz was fired from TOPS Markets, and his temper is so hot, he was escorted out of the building.

Anonymous said...

So he cares?

Anonymous said...

more, more, more!

Anonymous said...

Different search engines will open up blog fresh and vote can be made. FYI

Pleasant Ave Resident said...

What about Matthew Dils? He is a prison guard and misses more RSB meetings than he attends. He is a blowhard, and has been know to talk about staff. Give him a few beers at Mammosers Bar, and says what ever he wants. He and GW are not BOE calibre. If fact, I heard both of them are anti-teacher, and staff. They just like the idea of being a "legend in their own mind" around teeny tiny hamburg. Go run a boy scout group, boys of the BOE, your minds are as tiny as Hamburg.

Anonymous said...

Is Dils the guy who shouted out at the meeting in May that he would quit the BOE if anyone made him list his phone number and address. I am pretty sure it was him. Who does he think he is...next thing he will want secret service coverage. What a pompus jerk. Vote him out!!!!!

Klozman said...

Laughing Matter...

Me thinks that you are either Stud Muffin (SM) Achramo or an RSB member or part of the third circle that completes their Venn diagram. Were you and your henchmen to acquire the identity of the blog administrator, how would you proceed? Would you relentlessly carry out a series of ad hominem attacks, concoct and fabricate (the forte of Achramo and the RSB), threaten bodily harm, engage a hit man? This person is bringing you no end of negative exposure and grief. For that, and no other reason, you seek an identity. If you are so naive as to believe the majority of voters and taxpayers view this web sight as ridiculous, then you, sir/madam, dwell in La-La Land. By remaining anonymous, just as you do “Laughing Matter” (pot/kettle situation here), the blogger remains immune to your nefarious, despicable, diabolical schemes.

laughing matter said...

Don't kid yourself folks. I do know who the administrator of this blog is and most other people know who she is too. As for you thinking that the majority of voters even know about this blog, let alone care about it, is so naive it is ridiculous. Other than the teachers, administrators, students, and a very few others.....no one has a clue about this immature website. And p.s., Im not on the school board so keep guessing.

Anonymous said...

Orchard Park and Eden are closed, wake up Steve!

Anonymous said...

too cool for school

Anonymous said...

Springvile is closed too, its minus 12 out right now

Anonymous said...

West Seneca Closed sorry Hamburg Walker have fun.

Anonymous said...

Add to the list: doesn't close schools. If your kid got frostbite this morning: send the medical bills to stevie a. c/o hscd

Anonymous said...

If the temp feels like -20 its a no-brainer.

Pleasant Ave Resident said...

Oh Laughing Matter, you are funny. I live in Hamburg and several people other than who you mention know all about this blog. And who care if the author is a he or a she, they are raising great issues that apparently you find immature. You think paying taxes to fund some of the facts exposed by the website is immature. Clearly, you are in a position which has catered to hiding these facts. Laugh all you want, but the truth is on this site. The comments, like yours can be foolish, but dont blame Concerned he or she is just publishing facts.

Anonymous said...

Steve, please close earlier this is dumb, I am turning around to go back home! At least you made a call.

Anonymous said...

Just got to work and found out I have the Day off! Yes!

Anonymous said...

Mr. Fisher probably made the call... Why so late?

The weather channel said...

Great work Achramo.......last minute cancel.....guess you can't make a decision with decisiveness. Some kids were on buses, I'm sure that some teachers were at school. What about parents who have to make childcare arrangements at the last minute? OP,EA and Eden went down early. 3 more yrs of this, nice start buddy.

Joey said...

$170K to waffle about a decision all morning. I bet the number of parent calls to schools and administration build caused the change.

Smokey and the Bandit said...

Laughing Matter, I just got back from picking up my son who was en route to HHS. He insisted on walking the 3 blocks to school. I am not a teacher, administrator nor student, I am a TAX PAYER!!!! I read this blog and have verified every claim made by the author. I dont care if the author is a man or woman, in fact if it were a chimp bringing these issues, that would be OK with me (sorry PETA). Clearly you are disturbed, maybe you or your friends are being exposed. What I fail to understand, is why the Superintendent cant wake up like the rest of us and check the weather and prepare accordingly for the day. He is the charge of almost 4,000 students, and hundreds of staff ( with children), so why at 170K cant he make simple call like cancel schools in sub zero weather. Try to defend this Laughing Matter.

Tom Jolls said...

DID ACHRAMO HAVE TO CALL HARRIS BEACH TO CONSULT ON CLOSING THE SCHOOLS? BET THAT COST US A FEW GRAND. HE IS A NEWS FLASH, THE WEATHER CHANNEL AND WGRZ ARE FREE!

Anonymous said...

I for one am so thankful for this website.I am a parent and a village tax payer.I must admit I knew nothing of all this and will be telling as many people as I know to log on.Thank you for making this blog I truly appreciate it.

Concerned Taxpayer said...

Taxpayers unite! Tell all your friends and neighbors about this blog, and the corruption in this district. Tell them to vote for board members that care about picking up the pieces and making this district honorable once more. Having staff haters on the board won't help solve any of the district's problems. This BOE and administration are so concerned with screwing over the staff that they make poor decisions that ultimately hurt the students. Our new super has been here a few months and is already RUINING the shred of dignity Hamburg had left, and he has only just begun. This is no laughing matter, and it's sad that the BOE views it as one. Someone mentioned a petition. That would be a start. But first things first: get the word out by telling as many people as you can. Parents, students, and taxpayers should be raising hell! See you at the board meeting (AKA circus) next week at the high school.

No Rush... said...

This Blog will always have a home in cyber space and it will exist long after we are gone.

Anonymous said...

HEY Reader; Ask that at the next BOE Meeting PLEASE. Speak up about your concerns bc your not alone.