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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ivy Bound

There have been several remarks on this blog regarding the calibre of institutions which Hamburg graduates attend.  According to comments left, it seems many are concerned that Hamburg students are not getting into top ranked schools, or perhaps they are not trying, I do not know.  I have looked at the Focus every year for years and have Hamburg students attended Ivy League schools (not Leagues as there is only one League, this is in response to a comment)?  Yes, but, according to many hard working, high expectation individuals, Hamburg falls short in preparing students to attend the most competitive schools in America.  Why is this?  Hamburg has some great teachers, so why are the students not setting their goals higher??

 For example, look at the top ten from the class of 2010.    What schools do these students attend?  I understand a young woman is at the University of Chicago, a top rated school, with some of the best Economics and Business programs in the world.  Kudos young lady, you are in a league of your own.   I know students have attended Cornell, but what about the other schools is the Ivy League?  Do kids look at Dartmouth, U Penn, Brown, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Columbia?

I have been told, that Dr. Calkins' daughter a Hamburg graduate and a recent graduate of Yale University has chosen teaching as a profession.  Whether legacy or merit, attending and graduating from Yale is a great accomplishment and says a great deal about this young lady. Of course as a retired teacher, I am somewhat prejudiced learning that she is a participant in the Teach from America program.  However, it must be noted that  Dr. Calkins laments the fact that Hamburg students do not go to the top universities.  Dr. Calkins, as a graduate of top schools, I would ask that you and the Board work on a plan that would serve to support students to reach for the stars in their college chocies.   For sure, you did that at home for your children Dr. Calkins, and the children of Hamburg may benefit from your insight into rigorous effort that is required for entrance into the top schools in the country.  Hamburg needs to set the bar higher.  More AP classes, with kids scoring on average less than a 3, is not the road to success in college. Wake up Hamburg, we need to get our kids ready for the world.

52 comments:

Vanderbilt 2004 said...

Concerned Burger, I agree. I spent hours in the Guidance Department looking for...umm, GUIDANCE? I would have liked to have the exposure to top schools, but it seemed like they only knew about State Schools. In my 3rd year of college with a 4.0 GPA, I transferred to Vanderbilt ( part of the IVY League of the South:-) I likely would have been accepted out of HHS, but wasnt guided. Lets get the kids at HHS to dream BIG!!!!!

Someone who actually has a brain said...

Concerned Hamburger, keep up the good work with giving me something to laugh at every day. Your embitterment towards the district is laughable. Also, you may as well just come out and tell us who you are. You seem to have a lot of underinformed fans who would support you no matter what you said, and you've made your position obvious as it is. You're a retired teacher from the district who seems to have a source who was personally involved in the grade fraud incident last year. You're bitter, and you want to take down everyone. If anyone did some digging and asked the right people who fit this profile, they would tell you, and your blog would instantly lose the anonymity that gives it any sort of credibility.

Concerning the Ivy League topic, I was a student that graduated in the Top Ten last year. I knew every kid that was in the Top Ten, and I know where most of them go to college. I also happen to know that the kids in this group were capable of getting into an Ivy League school, and most of them applied to such schools. Many were accepted. However, this is all irrelevant, because it comes down to the choice of the student. You can say all you want that we need to "raise the bar" and force the kids in this district to go to Ivy League schools. So who cares if they visit the school, don't like the campus, their major isn't offered, whatever. Apparently that stuff's not important to you, you just think that we should force kids to go to schools that they don't like because of Hamburg's reputation. Bottom line is it's the choice of the student where they go, and they shouldn't be concerned with the reputation of Hamburg when they apply. When they graduate, they're an individual. So let them make their own choices.

If anyone tries to call me out on anything I said, I won't be responding. I have better things to do then watch Jib Jab videos on some stupid blog and read comments about taking down the RSB. Good day.

Anonymous said...

I wish I had some insight when I attended Hamburg High School.I was very lost and had no idea how to apply for college or how to apply for scholarships.I wound up not going to college and regret it very much.I stress good grades with my children and am starting to learn about SAT scores and applications for scholarships.I hope the counselors at the High School will also help with my child and give good sound advise.I do not want my child to follow the same path due to my ignorance and lack of education.Well at least I can say I graduated..right?

Anonymous said...

Many students from Hamburg have been accepted to, and attended great institutions. However, their success goes unseen because only the top 10 of the graduating class have their future plans printed in the focus. The achievements of the unspoken are large. "Ivy League" does not necessarily mean the best. Do not sell short some of the outstanding institutions of education that graduates from Hamburg have gone to or graduated from.

A for the Guidance Department. Yes, we can say the Guidance Department did not assist us much throughout our years at Hamburg. This does not negate the fact that it is our life to live, and our decisions to make on how we want to live it. The Guidance Department is there to help adolescences when they are going through a tough time in life, not tell them what school to attend.

Teach them more said...

Someone who actually has a brain....

As member of the top ten of Any High School, USA, it is strongly suggested that you work on your writing, and SPELLING. The top ten of 2010, were not accepted to Ivy League schools, other than Cornell ( the least challenging in admissions). They did not reject the IVY League, it is the other way around. As a teacher in the High School, I know first hand that number one in your class got more reject letters than acceptance letters. I read the Focus that revealed the plans of the top ten, and all I can say is the students need to take the word seriously, and FOCUS. Glad to know that Concerned Hamburger gives you a laugh everyday. Clearly the information on this blog is getting to you, and your made up grades. Study hard, and if that does not work, cry.

student govt 2010 said...

Someone who actually has a brain, I was in your class and you were no where near top ten. From what I remember you were the pain in the you know what and complained about teachers EVERYDAY. You are at a ho hum state school. And you were a miserable failure as a class officer too. Didnt they try to get rid of you for not working?

Another person with a Brain said...

Is there anything wrong with a state school? I go to a state school, and it rivals Cornell in it's academic programs. In some programs, such as biology, I think I could even argue that it is more accomplished. On the point of being guided, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I went down to the guidance office, and they guided me. They are realistic and tell you all of the schools that you can reach, and even the ones that you will have to work a little harder to get to. I graduated with these kids, and I know many who were not in the top ten, who are going to extremely reputable institutions. I am glad the valedictorian got rejection letters, it meant he was dreaming big as the concerned hamburger wants. Getting into any reputable school is an accomplishment in itself, and going to a less reputable school does not make you a less reputable student. If I know who the student with a brain is, then he/she was in the top ten, and is an extremely brilliant person. If you have a petty rebuttal to this comment, it will not affect me, as I too will not be revisiting this site. I have studying to do, because we do that at state schools too.

Anonymous said...

While I agree that every school district requires improvement, I believe Hamburg is doing a very good job with its students. True, not all of this can be said about all teachers, students, and guidance counselors, but what school is perfect?
As one of the top ten, I must point out that not going to an IVY League school is not a sign of a lack of guidance, intelligence, or test scores. Happiness at college is a big factor, and not everyone enjoys the atmosphere at these schools. Also, during the time of applications, we were in the middle of an economic recession. I know from experience that Ivy League schools provide minimal financial aid to students and few, if any, scholarships. Thank you to the many teachers who helped me along the way. I hope to go quite far despite a lack of Ivy League education.

Klozman said...

I, Klozman, a person of measureless appreciation for brainpower, say to “Someone who actually has a brain”...you don’t. Reflecting merely on your first paragraph: your sentence structure is atrocious (take a course in creative writing), there is a complete absence of logical development to your argument, you article is rife with assumptions, non sequiturs and contradictions...in short you are another of these dreary individuals with a deplorable grasp of epistemology. You accuse another of bitterness, yet what I see here is continuous deflection and projection on your part. It would appear that the acrimony dwells within your own mortal soul.

(If you vary your moniker to avoid recognition, you must also change your style of expression.)

Byron said...

How about the ongoing observations of some district employees who see the parents of some students drive their children to and from school everyday when their kids could use the exercise and don't live that far from school? This happens at the middle school and high school ALL THE TIME! Some of these parents are spouses of teachers and some of them are board members! This is silly and sets a poor example. These students should be walking to and from school. Why are these parents allowing these kids to be so lazy?

Class of 2008 said...

The comments thus far have mostly overlooked the financial challenges that face high school students applying to Ivy League colleges. The application fee alone is $75. This means that merely applying to multiple Ivy League schools costs hundreds of dollars. If a student is then fortunate enough to get accepted to such an institution, they are immediately confronted with the immensity of the costs for tuition, room & board, student fees, and textbooks. Harvard estimates that the cost of attendance for an incoming freshman for the 2010-2011 school year would be approximately $55,000. Ivy League schools do not offer academic merit scholarships. All of the aid provided by schools such as this is need-based, meaning that your ability to attend an Ivy League school is primarily dependent on how much (or how little) you and your parents make, as well as on how many third party scholarships you can scrape together. All of my information was obtained from the official websites of Ivy League schools.

I would also like to second a statement made in one of the Anonymous responses which read "'Ivy League' does not necessarily mean the best". Having HHS graduates attend Ivy League schools offers bragging rights for the district as well as what I'm sure are great opportunities and connections for the students in question; however these schools are not the end-all-be-all. The top ten of my graduating class (Hamburg High School Class of 2008) are attending schools such as Notre Dame, Boston College, SUNY Geneseo, University at Buffalo, and Canisius College. While not Ivy League institutions, they are high quality schools that still offer a wealth of opportunities for their students. Before someone turns their nose up at UB and Canisius, keep in mind that one of Buffalo's persistent problems is our youth leaving the area. UB and Canisius are two of the best schools around Buffalo, and offer local connections that might keep some of the best and brightest around.

Claiming that Hamburg grads are not attending Ivy League colleges because the students and/or the district must be doing something wrong is an oversimplification of the issue - most likely in order to instigate polarized responses that would bring further validation to the creator of this blog.

Anonymous said...

Okay, is this blog a joke? Hamburger and teach them more: where did you go to college? I'm guessing since you are teachers you didn't go anywhere prestigious. And wow teaching? Keep dreaming big!

As a member of the top ten last year, I feel that this blog is ridiculous. Teach them more: who are you to attack our valedictorian and the top ten of 2010? I don't know what schools the other members of the top ten applied to/got in to, but if they did not get into Ivy League schools, the problem was not us, but the teachers and the reputation of our district. If Hamburg can't even compete with other schools in Buffalo, how are we supposed to compete with students from the best high schools in the country for spots at top schools? And obviously if we were in the top ten, we were the students that scored the highest on state and national exams. So if you're looking for someone to blame for Hamburg's reputation maybe you should question why the students that were not in the top ten weren't setting their goals higher??

In addition, to say that the teachers at Hamburg are perfect and not at blame them for how their students do is ridiculous. I had a lot of great teachers during high school, but I had quite a few that were unsatisfactory. During high school, I worked very hard and took 8 APs and only scored under a 4 on one AP exam. However, I do not credit the teachers with my success on these exams. In many cases I did not feel prepared for the exams from what I learned in class, and studied the material extensively on my own. Many teachers and students may say things about the Calculus program at HHS, but the teacher was hands down the best teacher I've ever had, and they are jealous of his test results. (I'm not sure if you know this but everyone in Calc BC got a 5 on the AP exam last year, which is unheard of in many schools.) Maybe more of the "great" teachers at Hamburg should follow his example?

So Hamburger, maybe you should get off your high horse, and stop continually attacking the intelligence of the top ten of 2010. I don't know about the other people in the top ten but I know that I have a great GPA in one of the hardest majors you can pursue. Yeah maybe I'm not at an Ivy, but I'm at one of the most respected schools in the country.

On a side note, I was not in the macro class, but it's been more than a year since class ranks were assigned, so if the people who should be upset (people in the top ten who's ranks were affected) aren't upset, maybe the people on these blogs should get over themselves because nothing more can be done about it.

Anonymous said...

Finally, I see the tides are turning on this ridiculous blog. Educated students and non-teachers are making intelligent arguments against the author of this blog and her teacher acolytes.
First of all, any of the teachers on this blog should be absolutely ashamed of themselves if they are cruelly disparaging students. This "we do it all for our kids" mantra has to seriously be questioned when the teachers act in an immature manner and attempt to humiliate the children and young adults they supposedly care so much for.
Second, who exactly are we blaming here if more students from Hamburg are not going to Ivy League Schools? It certainly can't be the teachers fault. No one is ever allowed to blame the parents. It is obviously the administration, the school board, and the new scapegoat, the guidance department's fault. Get real people. And by the way, in a struggling economy, Ivy League tuition does not always fit into every family's budget even if a student is accepted.
This blog, although somewhat informative and interesting in the beginning, has become an absolute joke. The teachers who are posting on here are making a mockery of their profession and seriously hurting their reputation within the community.
I wonder if the teachers on this blog remember why they got into this profession in the first place. It seems to me that they have forgotten. It also seems that they have forgotten that, when they signed on to become teachers in the Hamburg School District, they knew exactly what their salary and benefits would be. People who do not like their job or feel that they are underpaid find another. We wish you well. Trust me, the people in Hamburg do not want teachers who only care about their pay and not their students. Enjoy Orchard Park, Williamsville, or wherever you go. We will be more than fine without you.

Direct and to the Point said...

Most of you missed the point of this post. The point: simply put Hamburg is not sending students to top universities, whatever the reason. Last year is just an example because it typifies every every year.

PublicIvyLeague said...

This makes me very upset. I graduated from Hamburg in 2009 and I attend a SUNY school. I was 21st in the class, and probably could have applied to and been accepted to Ivy League Schools if I wanted to. Except I wanted to, oh I don't know, SAVE MONEY? How dare you look down on my college choice and say the bar at Hamburg was not raised high enough? I know I will come out of school with a great degree and a wonderful experience, but one thing I won't have is tens of thousands of dollars in debt.
Our close family friends both attended ECC, and they currently make more money than my parents. That's right, high school students, you're actually NOT a loser if you attend a community college-why pay thousands of extra dollars when you may not even know what you want to major in? you can take intro to sociology or watercolors ANYWHERE!
Concerned Hamburger, you are doing nothing but perpetuating the incorrect idea that students should look down on their peers for attending a community college. Maybe you should pay attention to the media and read the recent article in the Buffalo News about local 20-somethings who are barely getting by because of their huge debts from "Ivy League" Schools. Maybe you should stop deterring students from potentially wasting money just to give their high school a good reputation. You should definitely start teaching Hamburg High School students that they can dream big, achieve big, and spend little all at the same time.

Administrators for Teachers said...

I think some of the comments are missing the point. Concerned is NOT, from what I can read, looking down on kids who do not go to the IVY League. I read the point as being, that even the creme of the crop at HHS are not making it into these schools. Of course, our local schools and State schools do a fine job, some more so than others. But, HHS is still not producing kids who can get into the IVY League, its a matter of competitiveness, not academic snobbery. For example, I read in the NYS Times, that Teacher For America had thousands more applicants than they did positions this year. ( due to the recession. funny how teaching becomes a career choice when there is nothing else out there?) Most of the slots were filled by, you guessed it....IVY League grads. I guess that Yale degree came in handy for Dr Calkins' daughter, or perhaps her Aunt who teaches at Columbia gave a nudge to her application? Perhaps when the BOE is cutting teaching jobs or firing teachers like they are simply stock boys at the local market, Dr Calkins' will think of her daughter and her chosen career. Empathy is a great motivator.

Class of 2008 said...

Administrators for Teachers...

You, like many others, have been misled by the way that the information was presented. The Focus does not show what colleges students got into, merely what college each of the top ten ended up attending. Other than unsubstantiated statements in one or two responses and the shoddy guesswork of Concerned Hamburger herself, there has been nothing to suggest that students from Hamburg were not admitted to Ivy League schools. The fact that they did not attend Ivy League schools does not necessarily mean that they did not get accepted.

Anonymous said...

The IVY League schools have the reputation of being a good school with a large price tag. The public schools, such as SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Binghamton, and UB all deliver a competitive education that is at the caliber of schools such as cornell and other almost ivy schools. The only difference is its affordability. This blog post is telling kids who may read it that if you do not go to an Ivy school, you fail at life. You can succeed at any institution, and all an Ivy will add to that success is a bill for thousands of dollars. Unless you are from a wealthy family, you will probably have loans to pay, and if you are going to be a teacher (even if the district has reasonable starting salary) you will probably not be able to afford those loans. I go to a public school (with a reputation better than some IVY schools) and I will be able to afford my loans when I enter the job market. Also, it has become apparent that I am not failing at life.

Student said...

When I graduate from Hamburg, I plan on attending a school that will give me a good education at a good price. I'll continue to work as hard as I do now: I want to maintain a high GPA, be an involved student on campus, make good friends and good choices, and have a great experience over all.
According to you, I am not setting my goals high enough. I should aim to get into IVY League schools because they will help me with... wait... what will they help me with? Oh, right. I'll have me a ridiculous amount of debt to pay in my first years as an adult.
I do understand that IVY League schools have a lot of other great things to offer- most people arguing with you do understand that. The issue with your argument is that you seem to think that they are the only schools that a phenomenal student should consider. Phenomenal students are smart people; smart people know that a school with a tuition that is out of their budget isn't worth going to. Sure, kids with large family incomes or great scholarships should go for it! But why should I, or anybody else who doesn't have that kind of money!? State schools are a good choice; New York has very high education standards.
Also, this blog in general is ridiculous. Basically everyone at school laughs about it and has a good idea who you are, 'former teacher.' Please save yourself the embarrassment.
One last thing, 'teach them more': "As a teacher in the High School, I know first hand that number one in your class got more reject letters than acceptance letters....Clearly the information on this blog is getting to you, and your made up grades. Study hard, and if that does not work, cry." You are being absolutely ridiculous. You just accused top students of making up their grades (I happen to know that they worked very hard), and you were a jerk about it, too. I'd love to know which of my teachers at school treats students like that. You shouldn't be a teacher.

READER said...

I have been following this blog since November, I have yet to write anything. I read what the author writes, and I read the remarks of those who leave messages. I think there is some confusion. Some of the messages left are commentaries which reflect the content of other messages left, and not the words of the Concerned one. I think those of you who claim knowledge in the identity of the author of the blog should stop your speculation, you are attacking the wrong people. From what I can gather the author gets their information from information sent by concerned citizens. Attaching the author would be tantamount to attaching Woodward and Bernstein for reporting the oh so accurate information provided to them by Deep Throat, Mr. Mark Felt. It is disturbing to read so many students are upset about the simple fact that Hamburg grads do not match up the the grads of other local top school districts, Clarence, Williamsville, OP, and East Aurora. Once upon a time, Hamburg was in the top league, but from what has been reported this seems to be untrue. The question remains, WHY?

HHS 2009 Alum said...

This is absolutely ridiculous. I was a graduate of Hamburg High School in 2009 and I applied to 9 schools, 2 Ivy League Schools, Dartmouth and Penn State. I would like to inform you that I did get into both institutions, however, I did not choose to go to those institutions because of cause, I don't think you realize how much money these universities cost. Especially during these tough times in the economy, my family did not have the money to pay for a full year at Dartmouth. I hope you understand that this post is extremely insulting to all graduates of Hamburg High School. Until you have compiled a list of where each graduate of HHS applied to, just for maybe even 2010, and prove your point, you will never know. So stop looking down on state schools. Big shot.

concernedparent1 said...

Anonymous 10:39 - Teaching is a very rewarding and fufilling career. Many of the top universities offer advanced degrees in education. Many in the field started out dreaming of something "big" but realized that their was nothing "bigger" than influencing and guiding a child. Think of where you would be right now if you had not had hardworking, well educated teachers. I realize that not every educator is at the same calibar, but then again neither is every doctor, lawyer, or engineer. Teaching is more than just knowing a subject, its knowing how each student learns. So please keep your comments focused on the subject at hand, and try to avoid low, childish blows.

Class of 2008 said...

READER...

Orchard Park, Clarence, Williamsville, and East Aurora are some of the wealthier suburbs around. I will repeat again that just because a student does not go to an Ivy League institution does not mean that they did not get accepted. For all you know, Hamburg students could be getting accepted just as often as students from the other school districts that you mentioned. The fact remains that Hamburg students may be less able to pay for the Ivy League education because when it comes to need-based financial aid, the middle of the middle class misses out big time.

2010 Grad said...

Students can only learn as much as their teacher provides. If you all are concerned about grads not getting into or applying to IV league schools (it's actually IV, not Ivy), then raise the bar on the students AND the teachers. Cover harder material, raise the pass/fail grade, demand more from the AP classes and regular classes alike. Things like this that are low budget and easy to enact will only begin to make HCSD better. But that's just a few ideas. If You want to make Hamburg better, demand more of the people who make up the heart of Hamburg. The students and the teachers.

Megan said...

I feel the need, as one of Dr. Calkins's daughters and older sister of the daughter mentioned in this post, to ask you to please leave Dr. Calkins's children out of this blog.

Dr. Calkins is the school board president and I understand that with that position comes a certain amount of scrutiny and critique. And, I can tell you that my mother is strong enough to withstand it. She is one of the most respected citizens in Hamburg, and she tries every day through her practice and through her position at the School Board to make the Hamburg community a better place. I know that not everyone agrees with her decisions, but her number one interest is making Hamburg a better place.

However, we, her children, are not on the school board, and therefore have no place being criticized on this blog. Yes, my sister did attend Yale University. She was also ranked 3rd in her graduating class and worked her tail off to be accepted. If you believe that she only got into Yale because our family has a reputation of attending Ivy League schools, then you have never met my sister. She is hard working, smart as hell, dedicated, and she earned her way into that university.

As a teacher myself, I know what it's like to be in the classroom day in and day out and I know what it takes to be a great teacher, and I can tell you she is doing an amazing job right now. Again, if you think she only got accepted to Teach for America because she was a Yale graduate or her aunt is Lucy Calkins, then you don't know my sister. Does her Yale education help? Absolutely... because employers knew she had what it took to get into a prestigious university and to be successful while there, which suggests that she will be successful in her work and life. And, I can assure she will and she is.

Everyone is entitled to their opinion, and you have every right to state yours on this blog, but please leave my siblings out of it.

Thank you Concerned Hamburger for recognizing that my mother did and is doing an amazing job with us five children. I promise you she feels the same way about the Hamburg school district.

Perhaps everyone could spend some time inquiring about where Dr. Calkins wants to see the district go and maybe even try to help her see that our schools keeping improving instead of posting outlandish videos/comments of/about her. This just might do everyone a little good.

What the hell?!?! said...

This particular topic is just ridiculous.

Many students do not have the money to attend one anyway - and scholarships are very very limited.

Hell, there is a $100 fee just to APPLY to Harvard. Most families cannot afford to even apply to those schools.

It takes money to get in.......

Anonymous said...

I graduated from Hamburg and am sitting in my dorm room at an IVY league school right now...and besides, many of the top students from Hamburg are simply brilliant, but did not pursue an education at an IVY league school. A student's college decision is based on many factors. Just because a school is prestigious doesn't mean it's best place for a student to thrive within. It all depends on the student, and, as brilliant as he or she might be, not every student is fit for an IVY league school (and by fit, I mean according to factors other than intelligence and academic capability). Perhaps the social or physical environment is not what the student is looking for.

Anonymous said...

Umm.....why does everyone think this post is knocking state schools?

Anonymous said...

Teach them more: Cornell is considered the least challenging in admissions because three of the schools are through the state system and have lower admission costs. The other four are private schools and have much more challenging admissions. As I recall, the student from the top 10 was accepted to one of the most difficult schools at Cornell to be admitted to, the college of Engineering, which is extremely competitive and also ranked among the top schools for engineering in the country (higher than any other IVY league). I do not feel you have the right to make such degrading comments about the achievements of these students, some of whom who have gone on to attend George Washington University, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, University of Chicago, and Cornell University. I personally find this pretty impressive.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget Brigham Young University, Geneseo, and Boston University.

Anonymous said...

Also why does everyone think this post is knowcking the class of 2010? That class went on to similar schools as every other class at HHS.

teacher said...

Megan, maybe you should call your mom and tell her to wake up. She has made horrible decisions, like hiring the super. How does she wanna make hamburg better, by getting kids ready for the ivy league? Anyone that is familiar w teach for america knows it was started by a harvard grad, for ivy league kids who needed community service for their graduate degree applications. My guess is teaching is below the Calkins expectation, just look how dr Calkins and rub has treated hamburg teachers. Talk to your mom and try to instill some common sense. Good luck as a teacher.

Anonymous said...

Really, its IV League? No wonder the class of 2010 was a class of illiterates.

Anonymous said...

Really, its IV League? No wonder the class of 2010 was a class of illiterates.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous class of 09, nice try. Dartmouth is the big leagues, ivy league. Penn state is not. Do u mean u Penn? No wonder u didn't get in.

village taxpayer said...

The first recorded usage of the term "Ivy League" was by a sportswriter in 1933 and was a general reference to the older, and therefore "ivy covered," schools in the Northeast. The Ivy League athletic association was formally established in 1954 and now comprises eight schools: Brown, Columbia, Cornell, Dartmouth, Harvard, Princeton, Yale, and the University of Pennsylvania. While most of these schools are certainly capable of providing a good education, it's what you do with your education that counts.

2010 Grad said...

Anonymous 2:59

If all you can say to me is about my use of IV, then you have some issues. Don't bother reading the other constructive things I said because I can tell you really don't care. All you care about is bashing other people on this blog. I happen to be going to one of those top institutions mentioned earlier. I'm quite literate and I'm very glad I left Hamburg and the state for that matter. I'm never coming back. I'm sorry I have good ideas. I guess I'll take those with me too. So long, New York. Good luck with those taxes.

Megan said...

Teacher...

No one said that Dr. Calkins wanted to change Hamburg so students go to Ivy League schools. I said she wanted to make schools better, that doesn't necessarily mean sending all our students to Ivy League institutions.

Also, TFA may have been started by a Harvard grad for that reason, but that doesn't mean that every person who does TFA is doing it for that reason. You are ignorant if you believe that to be fact.

And, to insinuate that teaching is below the Calkins standard is ridiculous, and if you feel that way it is clear that you have never met my family.

Lets go Quakers said...

OK. I'm not even from Hamburg, but I've read your blog comments and now I'm hearing how the teachers who only care about money should go to other schools like Orchard Park. Well, I'm from Orchard Park. And I had some of the greatest teachers ever in that district. Not only did they teach me quite a bit, enough to get accepted to Ivy League schools and also to various esteemed public and private schools, but they helped me grow as a person, developing moral values. I am quite offended by your negativity towards Orchard Park teachers. And, to be quite honest, I am not a "wealthy" Orchard Parker. I live in Hamburg too, but attended the OP school system because of the layout of district borders. I'm a lower middle class citizen who made the best of what was given to me. In University classes, we are taught to not judge people by their background or socio-economic status. Apparently, this concept has not yet reached Hamburg yet. If you have a problem with one of your own, do not bring Orchard Park into the argument.

collegebound said...

As a student who just finished applying to college, I am appalled by the slander of Hamburg High School's students and graduates. It costs 50 dollars and up to apply to normal private universities today, not to mention upwards of a 100 dollars for Ivy applications. We mustn't forget who we're talking about. These are students coming from families in Hamburg, a modest suburban town. I know my family couldn't afford such high application fees; let alone attend an Ivy League University. Why bother when national accreditation isn't even a factor at these schools? Sure, it would be great to write that I went to an Ivy League on a job application, but it comes down to internships and an accredited learning environment. As a future communications student, my experiences in the field and the accreditation of the institution are what matter, not the name on my sweatshirt.

Former street reporter said...

collegebound,

If you are planning to attend college to study communications, may suggest you not waste your time? There are no jobs in that field and the ones that exist start at minimum wage. If you don't think this to be true, call WBEN and ask how much a street reporter makes. I think you will be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Lets Go Quakers:How is telling teachers to go to Orchard Park because they pay more insulting to Orchard Park. The average salary for an Orchard Park teacher is higher than that of a Hamburg teacher. What are you having a problem understanding? And guess what, if you think that socioeconomic statud does not matter, then why are Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Lackawanna, and North Tonawanda always on the lowest end of graduate rates? Keep studying, you have alot to learn.

Anonymous said...

Hamburg is a mediocre public school system. The Ivy League schools rank schools and Hamburg has slipped in its rankings for the last several years. I am a guidance counselor in a private school, and a resident of the district. I have spoken to admissions representatives and can report that a top graduate of Hamburg does not compare to that of some other public schools in the area and further trails behind the private school graduates. Schools get reputations, and Hamburg has taken a hit the last decade or so. I think they had dropped in the rankings too.

Anonymous said...

In 1996 the majority of the Junior High School Science students failed the State Science test. And forget about catching up with China's brilliance because Coummunism is evil.

Class of 2008 said...

Hamburg does not compare to other public and private schools in the area?
I feel comfortable making the assertion that the trend of AP Calculus test scores in Hamburg's past few graduating classes is indicative of the high caliber of the students leaving that program ( http://www.hamburgschools.org/919208975958940/lib/919208975958940/AP_CALCULUS_RESULTS_-_Public.pdf ) . Those scores are hands down some of the best in the Western New York area, if not the best of an even broader region. Clearly those teachers know how to bring out the best in their students. I wish I could say as much for some of the other AP classes. The success of the AP Calculus program is a sign that Hamburg is headed in the right direction, not the wrong one. If other teachers at the high school follow in the AP Calc program's footsteps, then there is nothing to worry about.

Anonymous said...

The reason why the calc scores are so high are because the math kids are tracked, and the calc students are made to go to good morning math, or they are chastised by their peers. Give all the teachers 2 more hours of instruction. Let all the teachers forbid kids from going to music, and let all the teachers give homework that is done in other classes. Classic example of the ends justifies the means.

NO Grades said...

I take serious ISSUE with the grades being published on line. Why does the district allow the math-calc grades to be published online?

Class of 2008 said...

No GRADES...

Unless you are one of the Calculus students from the class of '07, '08, '09, or '10, and somehow missed out on the part where we all consented to have the class scores on the website, then there's no need for you to be so concerned.

Class of 2008 said...

Anonymous @7:48AM, I will respond to your comment point by point:
“The reason why the calc scores are so high are because math kids are tracked…”

Yes, “math kids” are tracked. However, so are “science kids” (starting in eighth grade with the advanced students taking Biology, leaving more time to take AP science classes in high school) and “English kids” (starting in tenth grade with Advanced English 10). Yet in my graduating class, while in AP Calculus 35/40 students earned fives on the AP exam, only I and two others earned fives on the AP English Literature exam, and only one student in my AP Physics class earned a five.

2. “…calc students are made to go to good morning math, or they are chastised by their peers.”

It is not their peers to whom these students are made accountable, but to themselves. The AP Calculus teachers structure the classes to help the students in being self-motivated. By doing weekly assignments that cumulatively review knowledge learned throughout the year, students can visualize their own progress, pinpoint the topics on which they need help, and gain confidence with the material. Attending Good Morning Math is a choice made by each student, and by each teacher. It is a choice to sacrifice a small amount of time each week and dedicate it to obtaining a higher level of achievement.

3. “Give all the teachers 2 more hours of instruction.”

Before each teacher is given two more hours of instruction, they should probably better utilize the time they already have. AP Calculus and Concert Chorale are the only two classes that I took where the teachers efficiently used every second of class time. In most of my other AP classes, the teachers would breeze through the first two thirds of the year with very few collected assignments and limited feedback to students, realize that AP exams were coming up, and scramble to prepare their students. In AP Calculus both the students and teachers have their eyes on the prize from the very first day of class, and waste no time in preparation. The AP sciences have two class periods a day every other day, but, in my first hand experience, the time is not used efficiently or appropriately.

4. “Let all the teachers forbid kids from going to music…”

A good amount (possibly even the majority) of AP Calculus students also participate in Concert Chorale, Wind Ensemble, orchestra, etc. Obviously it is possible to juggle both and not skip music lessons.

5. “Let all the teachers give homework that is done in other classes…”

This has nothing to do with the calculus teachers, this has to do with the choice of each individual student. The AP Calculus teachers do not assign a workload that forces students to do their work in other classes. I will say that I don’t blame calculus students for trying to do something productive while forced to sit through classes like Life Skills.

6. “Classic example of the end justifies the means.”

True. The means of working hard, sacrificing free time, and struggling with difficult material absolutely feel justified when an AP Calc student receives that 5. The means of achieving a 5 through the Hamburg AP Calculus program are in no way questionable or detrimental to other classes/teachers. Yes, the AP Calculus teachers treat their class like it is especially important. Every teacher should treat their class like it is especially important. That’s called being passionate about their vocations as teachers. Unfortunately too many of them are too jaded or distracted or lazy to give to their students as much as the AP Calculus teachers do.

Ivy What? said...

HS more worried about drop out rate, everything slides...

Anonymous said...

“Give all the teachers 2 more hours of instruction.”

The AP Calc teachers are not given 2 more hours of instruction by anyone. It is the choice of the students to come to good morning math to better themselves in the subject. It is not worked into the curriculum, these two teachers make themselves extremely available for their students and instill a "college like" atmosphere. They set their students up for success and are highly respected by each and every one of the Calc kids.

Anonymous said...

My only option was ECC because of my education from Hamburg Schools. It was cheap at least but I still can't find a Job in WNY.