Your Stimulus Dollars at Work: Giving Columbus, Ohio Teachers Days Off For Workshops at Fancy Hotels & Convention Centers


From the Columbus Dispatch:

In a three-day effort to teach its teachers, the district is renting banquet halls, high-end hotels and conference centers—using almost $145,000 in federal grant dollars.

Many schools also will be used as sites for workshops, but the external locations were needed because sessions will go on all day and cafeteria benches would have been uncomfortable, spokeswoman Kim Norris said. Also, classroom desks might have been too small for adults, she said.

The district will pay up to $8,000 to rent Villa Milano, a marble-clad banquet hall with enough "classic elegance" that "you will think you have been transported to a romantic Italian Villa," according to the hall's Web site.

Bonus for parents who are out of work and so can just hang out with their kids: School will be canceled on the days that "all district educators" gather around to learn "about the college-admissions process and the SAT and ACT exams" and other topics. A district spokesperson said the district had to rent outside spaces because 4,000 people would be attending various sessions and the district's own buildings couldn't handle that sort of crowd. According to the Dispatch's report, no single session will have more than 250 people attending.

The Columbus School District has over 64,000 students. I wonder where they hide them all when the Villa Milano is booked.

Whole tale here.

Hat tip: Veronique de Rugy, Reason columnist, Corner blogger, and Mercatus Center economist.

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  1. The kids should all get together on their days off and raise hell and generally embarrass the shitty of Columbus.

    1. the what of Columbus? What is that compared to, asshole?

      1. Defensive about your city much, TAO?

        1. Yes, especially since Columbus is better than its other-Ohio-city counterparts.

          One might say that's akin to winning the Special Olympics (I won't defend the whole state), but Columbus is the best city in the state.

          1. ComeBlowUs Rocks!!!

            Not really, but heh it's that Cleveland, Toledo, or Cincinnati. I'd say Columbus is in the running with Cincinnati.

            Out near London was okay. But that was just and south of BFE.

            1. I can't speak to Columbus schools, but Franklin county schools were pretty bad.

          2. I'm partial to the north dide of Boling Green, OH.

    2. Why would the kids want to do anything that would discourage days off from school?

  2. Creating and saving bartender and waitress jobs at swanky hotels.
    What's wrong with that?

  3. More wise usage of education dollars:

  4. This is an embarrassment to my profession.

    1. To be fair to teachers (I am assuming that is your profession), I don't think I have met a single teacher who did not think that the teacher training/workshop days were anything but a pointless waste of time. This shit comes from administration and school boards.

      1. They are, for the most part. It is critical to stay abreast of major changes in policy, standards, and college admission practices, especially when you work at my level (high school). However, I am certain that most of those updates and changes could be adequately conveyed via newsletters or small group discussions.

        One of the things I hear over, and over, and over again is that the "old ways" of educating kids - ie, sticking them in a "patriarchal didactic environment" (rows) and using a teacher centered format (I talk, they listen) - does not work. And yet, most PD days feature this EXACT flippin' format to "teach" the teachers.

      2. Interesting I always assumed it was the teachers union that pushed for these to be held during the school year.

  5. How about instead of sending them all off to be told these things, someone just send them an email and they be told to read the friggin' pdf. New ways to waste money really piss me off.

    1. I don't understand why in 99% of professions, changes to standards, policies and practices can be conveyed by team/company meetings; but teachers need sabaticals and weekend-long conferences. I know its not the same as other professions, but come on.

      1. They're slow.

        1. You know the saying, "Those that can..."

  6. Do you suppose that a better time to send teachers and administrators for training might be during their three-month summer vacation, rather than canceling classes during the normal school year?

    1. Careful, db. Don't let the NEA find out you said that. Summer vacation is a right, damn you. A right! It is not a negotiable contract item!

    2. With the low rate of pay for many teachers they use the 3 months of 'Vacation' to work another job. My Mom used to spend 4 or 5 weeks in the summer at week long music camps as an advisor. She enjoyed it and it was a few extra bucks.

      1. Of all my public high school teachers, only one had a summer job: the chemistry guy worked at a local dairy to keep his lab skills fresh. They were paid well enough not to need extra work. My mom, on the other hand taught in Catholic schools and was paid crap. This kind of thing is what early- or late-summer in-service days are for. Don't cancel classes in the middle of the school year for a workshop at a luxury hotel.
        And especially don't do it when the kids' parents employers are canceling these kinds of events because of the economy. That is just rubbing salt in the wounds. "look at what we're doing with your taxes, SUCKERS!

  7. Workshops are hard!

  8. Speaking of the AVT. Our daughter got a 33. And a full ride to a local University.

    1. ACT ACT sheesh

      1. Heh heh, very nice. The last couple posts tells me her dad couldnt've scored that high. 😉

        1. You are absolutely correct. My wife is very gifted and it seems to have negated my genes in our kids.

          1. For you purists, she isn't certain of a major, just that it will be math based. She loves math. The more difficult, the better.

            1. Has she considered government accounting and economics?

  9. In a three-day effort to teach its teachers, the district is renting banquet halls, high-end hotels and conference centers?using almost $145,000 in federal grant dollars.

    Because nothing spells "Stimulus" better than throwing lavish get-togethers on the government purse.

    Welcome to Obamanomics - the road gets worse from here, so wear your Wellingtons very high...

  10. The Columbus School District has over 64,000 students. I wonder where they hide them all when the Villa Milano is booked.

    It will be just like any other "service" day for the teachers. Dump them on the parents during the work week, so they can do whatever it is they do on those days.

  11. You want waste? Try this one on for size.

    I'm paying for cell phones, stipends, food stamps, free "Tims," and free health care. For this fucking clueless dingbat.

    Food stamps, WTF, fucking food stamps. Getting food stamps has gone from something shameful or not desirable to something that some dipshit suberb barbie is excited to get.

    fuckit, I give up. Sign me up for some food stamps and free "Tims." Might as well join the throngs of retards and be happy.

    1. Yeah, but she's also hot.

    2. Hmm,"For this fucking clueless dingbat." She's a typical kid and btw, you are acting like a typical old bitter man.

  12. I agree with TAO. Ours is a Very Special city.

  13. Be afraid. The paranoia center of my brain tells me this is the carrot by which your State Education Agency Pony will be led to adopt the new federal curriculum.

    It is coming. I reviewed a draft of the revised Federal Curriculum Content Standards last week. Chilling. An entire nation of homogenized minds that will aim to achieve the same standards and be assessed by the same tools.

    1. Huh. And I want to break into this whole teaching gig.

    2. So, I should continue with my plans to homeschool, then?


  14. Huh. And I want to break into this whole teaching gig scam.


  15. Columbus is a capitol city with a huge university. Of course people living there, benefiting from the humongous teet, will think it's nice.

  16. $145000/4000 attendees = ?


    (Haha, this tripped the language filter! muahahahaha!)

  17. I'm not having a big problem with this.

    The use of federal dollars works out to barely $12 per teacher per day... Pointless, certainly. Expensive, not really.

    My advice is to not get too worked up about $145k expenditures on education in Ohio... focus on the multi-billions of tax dollars that are being given away to developing countries by your President right now in Copenhagen.

    1. Exactly. Frankly, I am GLAD to see teachers being treated like professionals, rather than having their conference in a school cafeteria.

      1. See my comment above, I'm which I note that most private professionals are having these kinds of boondoggles canceled because of poor business conditions while our tax-fed overlords live it up on our dime.

      2. But business professionals are discouraged from meeting in, say, Las Vegas.

        Fuck you and your horseshit, Chad. This is about spendind TAXPAYER money on lavish crap, not PRIVATE funds.

        We all know how much you hate the private sector, but do you have to constantly remind us of your proto-Marxist leanings?

  18. I agree with TAO. Ours is a Very Special city.

    I concur.

    I once dated a woman who was a fanatic OSU / Browns / Indians fan, (and this was after dating and breaking up with a different Indians fan. Slow learner.) I learned to hate Ohio, especially OSU. (I was very disappointed with the last game).

    However, since Columbus was (is?) the home of Victoria's Secret, and since Ohio has the most intelligent laws in the nation regarding marijuana, I am forced to say that it has some very positive attributes.

    Just stay away from its women.

    1. "disappointed with the last MU - OSU game"

      1. At least you didn't date one o' them OSU/Bengals/Reds fans. Those chicks are crazy.

  19. Still is the home of Vicky S's, BP. And who is MU?

  20. Speaking as a Columbus educator. It is most district's policy, or at least it was in the past, to allow certain days for Teacher inservice. Students were off school and teachers and administrators had the day to catch up on grading, lesson preparation, clearning classroom clutter, and meeting with one another to address issues in the school. Keep in mind that the average educator works much more than the 8 hours a day we are paid for. Grading, clean up and preparation cannot be accomplished while teaching, especially in schools rife with discipline issues. The 50 minutes a day alloted for these activities is woefully inadequate. Unfortunately these days were abused as holidays. Teachers and administrators alike would leave school or not show up at all with a mutual understanding and no accountability other than to eachother. These professional development training days were to address these problems. Teachers still had the much needed days off of teaching but they are required to attend classes to further their professional training and their attendence would be monitored. It doesn't work though, accountability is still spotty, professional development days often provide even more work for teachers to somehow get done, and time for much needed classroom work without students present is lost to those who desperately need it.

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