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Middletown May Need a New Superintendent

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Middletown News Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Middletown May Need a New Superintendent
    Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 10:32am
Now that it is confirmed that Price is looking for a better job, Middletown ought to look to recruiting a better superintendent.
 
One that will work with the board and the community and not take such a dictatorial stance things.
 
A uniter, not a divider.
A leader with a positive attitude toward the business community.
A cost controller who will not spend but rather save by making the painful cuts necessary.
A communicator who always shares their opinions by being more visible on the internet.
 
Is that asking too much?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 10:55am
I think in many respects, Dr. Price is all those things you mentioned. (Except the communications piece).
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 11:20am
Jonathan/ John: I'd like to add- A person who has the skills to change an agenda that is not producing positive results in a reasonable time frame. Price knows that the education methods used for years hasn't worked in producing competitive results in relation to surrounding districts. He sees the year by year results for the proficiency tests just as we do. He knows we are at the bottom of the rankings for testing, every year. We have seen no real measurable light at the end of the tunnel since his arrival. Snails pace progress at best. IF he has attempted to change things (I'm still not convinced he has), it hasn't been radical enough to matter. Curriculum changes, altering teaching methods, after school remedial help/ help the "slower learner" programs, discipline in school- where are they? Has anyone made a trip to a successful school district to gain some incite as to how to do things right and made a comparison of how we are doing things in Midd? You know- emulate success??? Why are we as citizens and the school board, content on seeing this stagnation, year after year, under his guidance??? Do we really think that since 2001 (his arrival) that he's done a good job? Are our standards that low?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 1:05pm
VietVet,

While what yo say is true, you fail to mention the deteriorating demographics in Middletown schools. With little support at home, students fail in school. And this is not a racial thing. A lack of parental support crosses all races.

If Middletown continues to attract people who do drugs, shoot guns within the city limits and commit crimes, the children of these people will be a large part of our school population.

How does a superintendent teach children who have no motivation, are afraid or are on drugs? That's not Dr. Price's fault but he didn't have much of a solution either.

I agree with Dr. Price, its time to move on.
John Beagle

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Middletown News Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 1:29pm
Yes indeed. Once a guy starts looking for a new job, he need to go. Its a process that he started, not the Board.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike_Presta Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 1:53pm

Originally posted by John Beagle John Beagle wrote:

VietVet,

While what yo say is true, you fail to mention the deteriorating demographics in Middletown schools. With little support at home, students fail in school. And this is not a racial thing. A lack of parental support crosses all races.

If Middletown continues to attract people who do drugs, shoot guns within the city limits and commit crimes, the children of these people will be a large part of our school population.

How does a superintendent teach children who have no motivation, are afraid or are on drugs? That's not Dr. Price's fault but he didn't have much of a solution either.

I agree with Dr. Price, its time to move on.

Mr. Beagle:

I do NOT disagree with what you say. In fact, I think that you are spot-on!

However, where I found fault with Mr. Price was in that he either could not or would not face those facts. He kept trying to place the blame in all of the wrong places, and spent (perhaps mis-used or even wasted?) a lot of money tilting at windmills.

A good example was his ridiculous claim that “children cannot learn in old buildings.” I am positive that a very great majority of Fenwick alumni prior to the class of 1967 will not only disagree, but also a significant number were offended. I am sure that many other successful, well-educated people, both in our great country and around the world, who were educated in aged buildings as decrepit as our Old South School (or worse), would likewise both disagree and take umbrage.

New buildings are nice, and replacements for some of the old structures were needed, but many believe that some were still useful.

As with most things in “real” life, problems cannot be “solved” until and unless they are first IDENTIFIED and ADDRESSED! This often also means looking back to identify causes.

Mr. Price wailed long, loud, and often about the wrong problems in order to obtain funds which he promptly used to address issues that had no bearing on the main problem and yielded paltry, if any, results.

“Mulligan said he ... doesn’t believe they necessarily make the return on investment necessary to keep funding them.” …The Middletown Journal, January 30, 2012
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote arwendt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 2:11pm

If this is an accurate quote from D. Price then I hope it's out of context or else it’s just pathetic,“children cannot learn in old buildings.”

And in regards to the problems of our demographics: It's not an excuse. We all work and live in an imperfect world with countless obstacles to overcome every day, our success or failure is always judged within that context.
“Sell not virtue to purchase wealth, nor Liberty to purchase power.” Benjamin Franklin - More at my Words of Freedom website.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bwood Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 2:14pm
"It's an opportunity to lead a large urban district," Price said of the Springfield job, for which he said he was asked to apply. "It has challenges similar to here."

Springfield only has 1,000 more students than Middletown, it sounds like Price just wants to jump ship.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 3:04pm

Working toward Racial Equity.(Administrator Profile: SUPERINTENDENT STEPHEN PRICE)

 
WHEN STEVEN PRICE WAS HIRED as superintendent of Middletown City Schools in Ohio six years ago, he was charged with three tasks: raise academic achievement, fix dilapidated buildings, and address the district's diversity issues.

He's been pretty successful. Middletown's report card grade has risen from a performance index score of 71.4 to 82.5, resulting in a jump from "Academic Watch" to "Continuous Improvement," under No Child Left Behind. And Price hopes for an "Effective" grade.

On the building front, the district demolished in 2003 and slowly rebuilt its elementary schools, with the last one reopening earlier this fall. But addressing Middletown's diversity has become an ongoing process, and it has led to a paradigm shift in dealing with race not only in Middletown but throughout Ohio.

Middletown is one of 21 urban districts in Ohio and suffers from declining enrollment: Families once brought to Middletown by the allure of steel factory work are relocating to places where the economy isn't forcing businesses to close.

About 24 percent of the district's students are minority students, nearly 70 percent of whom receive free or reduced-price lunches. With that diversity has come a gaping achievement gap not unlike those seen in other urban areas. To Price, achievement gaps are in part the result of an inherent discomfort in identifying race--not just economics--as the heart of educational inequity in the United States school system.

"Advocates recognize that the achievement gap is persistent. But rushing to solutions like we've done has not solved anything," says Price. "Great conversations about the achievement gap are about identifying the root causes that are uncomfortable to talk about."

Closing the Gap, Opening Discussion

In 2007, Price and educators from districts across Ohio--including Butler Tech, Fairfield, Lacota, Mason, and Talawanda--and the Ohio Department of Education, in association with Miami University, collaborated to create the Consortium on Racial Equity in K-12 Education, which aims to eliminate the racial predictability of achievement while raising the level of achievement for all students by teaching teachers to better understand (and in some cases, admit) their racial biases, and to break through barriers in the classroom attributed to how teachers-and students--view race. "People want to talk about cultural language, barriers, poverty--but race, we have to be brave enough to confront," says Price.

The consortium is led by a group of nationally recognized professionals dedicated to addressing racial inequity in education: Glenn E. Singleton, a professor, coauthor of Courageous Conversations about Race, and founder and president of Pacific Educational Group, which provides support to school districts striving to meet the needs of students of color; and Circe Stumbo, president of West Wind Education Policy, which provides policy analysis, knowledge building, and systemic equity leadership development promoting a K12 education system that overcomes what the organization calls "historic inequities" in learning. Participants also include the Ohio Leadership Forum. "When I first came, the focus was in a very broad sense on diversity," says Price. But after working with Singleton and Stumbo, his sites sharpened in race and equity.

Through "equity teams" comprised of teachers, administrators, staff members, and a board member, the consortium helps Price give Middletown a guideline for confronting the issues of race and culture in the classroom. Ideas are as simple as changing how teachers refer to racial achievement gaps, and evaluating the differences between "underachieving" and "underserved" students. Price continues m help Middletown shift from discussing "achievement gaps" to "racial disparities."

Five-Year Forecast

According to the Middletown Journal, Ohio's Department of Education stated that black teachers made up 6.2 percent of Middletown's teaching staff in the 200506 school year--more than double that of any local school--and still employs the highest number of black teachers across the county.

Price attributes the district's consortium involvement as a carrot that helps attract more teachers and administrators of color. He proudly promotes Middletown's participation in the consortium at conferences such as the National Conference on Student Assessment, and this fall's Summit for Courageous Conversation. Similar consortiums are being considered by school districts in Indiana, Connecticut and Minnesota.

If the current models prove successful, Price hopes to work with the Department of Education to make the consortium model national. "What a great legacy" it would be, he says: "Strong for Ohio, and for the nation."

Stephen Price

Superintendent for 6 years Middletown (Ohio) City Schools

Age: 53

Salary: $121,000

Students: 6,500

Staff and faculty: 900

Web address: www.middletowncityschools.com

Jennifer Chase Esposito is a contributing writer for DISTRICT ADMINISTRATION.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 3:35pm
Very good point about the buildings. They tore down some buildings that were beautiful and historic.

A waste because they could. Not because they needed. I think we have too many school buildings the way rolls are declining.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote etha08 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 6:45pm
I hate to see old buildings torn down when they just need a little love and attention. I loved that old school at Amanda. BUT for example, there is accessibility issues that these buildings also had that needed to be dealt with and sometimes when having to deal with ADA regulations alone sometimes it is just easier and more economical to start over with a new building. Elevators and maintanance and on pitch ramps and wider doors, those things ad up.
 
There is a lot of things to weigh out in the process and if these were just decisions the process of that should be made public so the community has a little more understanding as to why activities get cancelled.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tony C Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 7:46pm
I agree with John Beagles's comments about demographics. Look a few miles down I-75 and you will see the same thing in Cincinnati. The primary reason I moved from inside the city limits of Cincinnati to the norhern suburbs is for access to a quality public school system. If he takes the Cincinnati job it would be a lateral move on a grander scale.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smartman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 8:36pm
I have had the opprotunity to work with Dr Price many times since he has been here. This does not mean that I always agree with him. Sometimes he really irritates me. John Beaglr is right on with his statements. Let me play devils advocate.
 
Dr Price leaves and goes to Cincinnati or Springfield. We get another Super. Things don't change. Is it the new Supers fault? We want top blame people in power, but don't want to hold those responsible accountable. I do not disagree that administrators and teachers have a hand in it. But the biggest part of the problem is the parents. For example, my daughter is active in many extracurriculars, and is #1 in her class. Did Dr Price do this? No! My wife and I are very active in her life and we see that she gets what she needs to be successful. As a junior next year she will be attending MUM for her classes! My 2 older son's are the same way. One a successfl teacher and the other a successful business man.
 
It is time that the parents in this town are held accountable for their childrens test scores, attendance, and the needs to be successful. Being in a community of 70% free and reduced lunches, I do not see that the scores will change no matter who is in charge. If the parents are not successful, then the children won't be! Children usually try to be like their parents. JMO
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 11:16pm
Beagle and Smartman are both right as long as Middletown is a magnet for Drugs, Criminals, Poverty, Section 8, subsidized housing etc. your school system will never improve to a point to compete with the surrounding areas.  No one wants to discuss these issues because, Oh my god it is not PC, BUT IT IS THE TRUTH.
 
When you have 3600+ subsidized housing units in Middletown and 500+ on waiting lists for those units living in Middletown and a Poverty rate which is probably at 22%+ right now, this is a huge socio-economic problem for a town like Middletown.
 
When the City wakes up and tackles those problems and stops catering to the crowd that doesn't want to admit they are the problem then the City will improve, until then nothing will improve. .
 
Do the Math folks. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 18 2009 at 11:40pm
This came from the Cincinnati Enquirer:

-- Stephen C. Price, superintendent of Middletown, Ohio, schools, applied for the job last summer. After seven years at his current job, he cites “philosophical differences” with the Middletown board. He’ll be leaving a district of 6,700 students, which moved to Continuous Improvement from Academic Watch. He also is a semi-finalist for Springfield, Ohio’s, superintendent position and might be interviewed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 7:06am
John-If deteriorating demographics and the drug, crime, guns,poor academics associated with it was a problem for the schools and for Price, why didn't we see more clashes between the school stance of not bringing in anymore disadvantaged students and the city's stance of the more the merrier on Section 8? Seems like the schools, who have used time and time again, the excuse of an overabundance of poor disadvantaged families in the school system to fight off the critics on performance, would have been very vocal toward city council on the Section 8 saturation in this city. I don't recall Price going to Council to voice his displeasure about bringing in all of these poor people that are driving his school performance down, did you? If it was such a big deal with him over all these years, why didn't he make an attempt to alleviate it by being an advocate for reducing the Section 8? No, he just lived with it, making it an excuse for him not being able to raise the bar on performance since 2001. If you know you have a problem and you know what the problem is and who is creating the problem, doesn't that give you the tools to address the problem???
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 7:25am

Vet it is not politically correct to discuss such issues.  The BOE and Price eluded to this problem when we would get the, Our declining enrollment and falling scores are due to the students who can afford to go elsewhere, going elsewhere.  This economy may have an effect on that one, especially with the Private schools.

It is better to constantly talk about Diversity.  Nothing wrong with Diversity, but it doesn't get to the root of the problem or issue.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote randy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 9:30am
Smartman, you hit it on the head. Until parents become involved in their kids lives and their school work, grades will fall and continue to do so. Yes teaches and the system have a hand in this as well, but it all starts at home. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Middletown News Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 9:47am
...he cites “philosophical differences” with the Middletown board.
 
Hummm, let me think about this one. Which board did these “philosophical differences” start. How long has our super been looking?
 
In the real world, when someone says they are looking for a job, they get sht canned right away. You don't need someone with a bad attitude to influence those who have not yet turned their backs on the elected school board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 9:49am
This is starting to sound like a witch hunt.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smartman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 11:45am
You have to remember that the schools and the city are completely separate. The schools have tried to talk with the city about section. It falls on deaf ears. Our wonderful elected officials do not want to listen.
 
If Dr Price does leave, I wish him well and success. For our BOE, I hope that they hire someone who will not be their puppet and Auntie Ann's mouthpiece. Someone who will stand up to the city and the board and will do what is best for the kids, not the adults in power! Maybe I should of referenced the students as adults and the adults as kids!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 12:41pm
I agree with Smartman's sentiments to wish Dr. Price well.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 3:50pm
Smartman- I can just about guess that if Price goes, the school board will hire a cookie cutter candidate just like Price. For some reason, since the 80's, the current (and past) school boards cannot get out of the mindset of hiring supers that all walk the same, talk the same and fail the same. We haven't had a successful, dynamic, positive influence as super in the Middletown schools since the 60's when common sense and logic was more prevalent in our schools and in our town. As to the schools and the city being completely separate- if your statement is true, then the message that the city and schools have been sending out about supporting each other is a farce with Council in full support of each and every school levy that has been crammed down our throats. With the city supporting Section 8, it seems to be "anti-school" support to me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Smartman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Mar 19 2009 at 4:57pm
To be honest, Vet, the city really did not want to endorse the levy. They were reluctant to give an endorsement. But they had their own agenda with trying to pass their issue. The chamber of commerce was reluctant as well. Bill Triick has issues with Dr Price and gave a half hearted endorsement. Both parties schools and city) need to unite to see what they can do to save this community. People move to communities because of jobs and education. If they do not get together to try to promote each other this town will truly die.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Apr 14 2009 at 2:29pm
Looks like Dr. Price will be around a bit longer. Neither Cincinnati or Springfield was interested enough to make an offer. In the case of Cincinnati, they still haven't decided.
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