Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Cognitive Dissonance at BOCES

Everyone by now should have received the mailing from BOCES promoting their upcoming 2/13/07 $38+ million bond referendum. Pay close attention, but don't think too much about what you read: the "cognitive dissonance" may give you a headache.

We are told in one paragraph that Alternative Education students cannot be housed in their home school districts because they "tend to pose significant emotional and behavioral challenges," yet are told in another paragraph that they, along with special education students, will be educated "in an integrated environment with non-disabled peers," and be in "a less isolated environment closer to opportunities ... " What???

We are told that "many BOCES-operated special education classrooms" will remain in their home school districts, but that the BOCES Special Education department "committed to keeping center-based programs for students with intense management needs," i.e., the difficult-to-manage students will be kept at the BOCES facility. Therefore, these must be the students that BOCES plans to integrate with their "non-disabled peers" (see paragraph above) . . . Right?? (This begs the question, if the difficult-to-manage disabled students can be "integrated" with the non-disabled at BOCES, why can't this be done in their home districts?)

We are given numbers to show that BOCES' enrollment is increasing to justify the expansion project. The number that we are not given is a population statistic: the fact that Oneida County has lost more than one quarter of its population since 1970 (about the time the BOCES facility was built) . . . and we know that the loss of young and family-rearing-age adults has been even more precipitous.

The alleged "need" to expand BOCES after losing a quarter of our population is probably the biggest cognitive dissonance of all.

Instead of expanding BOCES, we should be asking ourselves "Why is BOCES growing?"

We will ponder that question in a later post. In the meantime, New Hartford Online is blogging about the project's effect on tax rates and the mailing's veiled threat, so be sure to read that post. You also might want to read this blogger's discussion of how the project hurts students and taxpayers and a possible no-cost alternative.

More later.

4 comments:

Arkangel said...

STRIKESLIP: Superintendent Mettelman, through obfuscation is attempting to sell Oneida County residents the "Brooklyn Bridge." The trouble with this individual he refuses to accept the fact(s) that our population is declining, has been declining and will continue to decline. However, his myoptic condition distorts his depth perception or he is not thinking rationally.

We have empire builders who believe the residents will just say "Yes" in these matters. How stupid does he think we taxpayers are?

What really upset me was the arrogance of Mettelmen who indicated if the BOCES project goes down to defeat; it will be built anyway. If Mettlemen attempts this; then I would recommend to the Oneida County residents that we ask Governor Spitzer to REMOVE him from his position and sanction him from ever holding an office in the educational arena.

Simply put, this man has got to go, retire or just plain quit. We taxpayers cannot and will not stand for this kind of intolerance from a BOCES administrator OR anyone else.

Governor Spitzer said it well, "Funding should be based on PERFORMANCE." I would give Supt. Mettlemen an "F" on his PERFORMANCE to date and a D on his tact and diplomacy with the Oneida County taxpayers.

I would put the Observer Dispatch to ask for some cold-hard facts and too, a breakdown of students by school district, indirect and direct costs of student training, especially, noting what each school district is being asked to pay.

I would bet each school district is being asked of its town residents (TAXPAYERS) an amount that is disproportionate to the aggregate BOCES expenditures. Question too, remains... how were these figures determined?

Residents of Oneida County, on February 13, 2007 - PLEASE VOTE NO!

Anonymous said...

I suggest that all who have concerns/questions attend the BOCES open discussion regarding the capital project on Monday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m.

Your concerns and questions can be addressed there and maybe the misconceptions can be cleared up.

Strikeslip said...

Thanks for the information, anon!

Anonymous said...

You know what's a real misconception? That these arrogant bloodsucker organizations can continue to overhire, overspend and act like the taxpayers are some kind of bottomless money pit to diddle with as they please.