New York 2014

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caseyotis
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Re: New York 2014

Post by caseyotis » March 12th, 2014, 12:05 pm

winneratlife wrote:
caseyotis wrote:
The difference is that WM should have gotten the registration in on time, but Mr. Miller made a mistake and is punishing the team for that. There's no justification for him. None at all. If a team straight-up forgot and entered late, then too bad. Sorry. But this situation is almost entirely the fault of the state director.

Sticking blindly to the rules - in the face of a team who worked extremely hard to get where they are only to be turned down by an irresponsible director - is in no way an option. This isn't a moral dilemma in my opinion. There's no legitimate argument against WM at this point that I can think of, and if anyone has one, please let me know.
There's the precedent that was set in 2009(?) and 2011(?). There's also the fact that the rule as it currently reads backs Harold up. There's the idea that making an exception this time could lead to a slippery slope that destroys the integrity of the deadline.

Now, I don't agree with any of these arguments. But honestly, if you want any chance at changing his mind, the most important thing is that you understand where he's coming from.
I'm afraid I'm not familiar with these precedents. Would you care to enlighten me?

Where is he coming from?
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Re: New York 2014

Post by FueL » March 12th, 2014, 12:19 pm

In 2011, Great Neck South was disqualified from the tournament because they also failed to submit their paperwork. I believe that in their case their coach was successfully contacted and spoken to before the deadline, however, and they still didn't get it in. In 2009, Bethlehem experienced the same situation but we're not sure of the specifics on what happened.

But regardless of precedents, a bad rule is a bad rule. Ward Melville completely agrees with punishments for failing to adhere to deadlines; however, we believe that in our case, the way and extent to which we were penalized did not make sense considering the error that was made, and more importantly, what Science Olympiad stands for.

We hope to change the rule so that future administrative errors are punished appropriately; with a late fee or less optimal signup times, perhaps. Preventing students from doing what they love, to us, makes no sense.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by FueL » March 12th, 2014, 12:25 pm

Also, for everyone who lives in New York, we were interviewed by CBS, Fox, and News12 (a Long Island news station) today, so we may be on tonight's news if you're interested in hearing from more of us.
Last edited by FueL on March 12th, 2014, 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by gneissisnice » March 12th, 2014, 12:28 pm

FueL wrote:In 2011, Great Neck South was disqualified from the tournament because they also failed to submit their paperwork. I believe that in their case their coach was successfully contacted and spoken to before the deadline, however, and they still didn't get it in. In 2009, Bethlehem experienced the same situation but we're not sure of the specifics on what happened.

But regardless of precedents, a bad rule is a bad rule. Ward Melville completely agrees with punishments for failing to adhere to deadlines; however, we believe that in our case, the way and extent to which we were penalized did not make sense considering the error that was made, and more importantly, what Science Olympiad stands for.

We hope to change the rule so that future administrative errors are punished appropriately; with a late fee or less optimal signup times, perhaps. Preventing students from doing what they love, to us, makes no sense.
And I don't know about other people, but I hadn't heard anything about GNS or Bethlehem getting disqualified in past years until now. If they were more vocal, I'm sure there would have a lot of support for them as well, I certainly would have agreed that it was ridiculous and helped support them.

And as FueL says, just because there are precedents doesn't mean that it's a good rule.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by caseyotis » March 12th, 2014, 12:32 pm

And even with that, the circumstances weren't as ridiculous as they are now. Whatever happened in the past has no place in this current debate.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by UQOnyx » March 12th, 2014, 1:43 pm

I'm not entirely sure if this is still in draft, but I would like to add my name to the petition:
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Re: New York 2014

Post by caseyotis » March 12th, 2014, 1:48 pm

UQOnyx wrote:I'm not entirely sure if this is still in draft, but I would like to add my name to the petition:
UQOnyx, Noor ul Iman School, NJ
There are other threads with the petition(s). Namely, the ones at the top of the "Regionals, States, and Invitationals" section.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by JBoyd-NY » March 12th, 2014, 4:54 pm

First, full disclosure: I am a member of the NYSSO Board of Directors. I am also a current SO Coach (and have been for 17 years), I've been a Regional, State, and National event supervisor, and the New York State Science Olympiad Web Master. I am not here to debate the merits of the policy or the appropriateness of the penalty for missing the registration deadline, but rather to make some observations regarding the discussion of this issue:

1. The policy being discussed was adopted by the Board in June of 2010, and has been posted on the web site since that time (click on the State Policies link and scroll down to June 26, 2010). It was first applied to Great Neck South for the 2011 State Tournament. I find it interesting that when a member of the Great Neck South team posted that the team would not be competing in the Tournament because of a "small" error (see page 38 of the New York thread in the 2011 archive), that post received a grand total of 3 responses (one asking for more information, one stating how sorry the poster was to hear about this, and one stating that the policy was "ridiculous"). If you look through the 72 pages in that thread, you will notice that there were a number of Gelinas and Ward Melville students who were very active in the thread, yet none of the three people who responded to this posting was from either school. Now that Ward Melville has been given the same penalty for the same infraction, the response has been an uproar, requiring two additional threads to contain students' outrage. I just find it interesting that when it was Great Neck South, only one person on the New York thread felt compelled to express his/her outrage over the policy and its implementation, but now that its Ward Melville the response has been so great.

2. Since the policy was implemented in 2010, 7 deadlines for registration for the State Tournament have passed – 4 at the High School and three at the Middle School (the current B State Tournament is not until April, so that deadline has not yet passed). A total of 323 teams have received invitations to compete in those 7 tournaments. Only three teams – Great Neck South, Bethlehem, and Ward Melville – have failed to meet the registration deadline. In some cases, coaches sent in the registration with their own personal check, which was returned when the District check arrived (the Ward Melville coach knew this was an option and decided not to use it). Whatever you might think of the penalty, there is a REALLY easy way to avoid it – get your registration and check to the State Director on time, and the overwhelming number of New York teams have been able to do so. While you may be unhappy with the Board because of the decision to follow our own policy, I see little anger directed at the people who actually caused the situation. Some people have expressed anger with the auditor. How about the person at the Business Office who was informed of the deadline and told the coach there would be no problem getting the check out? Or the fact that the Business Office never informed the coach that problems on their end would prevent them from mailing the check in time to meet the deadline? Or the coach who never bothered, in the two weeks between the time he dropped off the registration and the deadline, to follow up and make sure the check and registration had actually been mailed?

3. Much has been said about the fact that Mr. Miller tried to contact a retired teacher rather than the head coach. While the discussion of this ranges from "she helps out occasionally" to "she hasn't coached in years" the fact is she was included on a registration from Ward Melville as an active coach. The fact that contact information is requested for all coaches listed on the registration should be an indication that these forms will be used when the State Director needs to speak with a coach from the school. The first time the Director would need to speak with any team's coach would be December 15, when the registration cutoff for the number of medals a region will receive to hand out occurs. The next time such contact would need to be made is in February, if there was a problem with the team's registration for the State Tournament. Both of these dates are in the winter, yet it has been stated that this individual spends the winter in Florida, so why would the head coach list a contact person who couldn't be reached on the registration papers? If all of the coaches listed on the three registration papers were legitimate coaches, it wouldn't matter which one Mr. Miller contacted – if he got any of the coaches, I'm sure the information would have been relayed to the appropriate person.

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Re: New York 2014

Post by EastStroudsburg13 » March 12th, 2014, 5:10 pm

I understand your observations, and while they are definitely based in sound logic, I think there is a different side to all of them.

The Great Neck South member who posted only wrote two lines, and although he/she seemed sad there did not seem to be an urgency. Thus the people who posted were sympathetic, but there was no real call to action. Fast forward to now when several members of Ward have shown how deeply they care and how much this means to them, and as a community we are going to stand behind them. Does this mean the policy was fair back in 2011? No. Should we have supported GNS more before? Probably, but the circumstances are different, and cannot be compared. Rest assured that if a similar situation happens in the future, and we are made aware of it, we will respond.

I agree that there are several ways to produce the check, and if the administration of the school had been more on top of things, then this issue would have been avoided. However, why is there a need to punish the students so harshly if the check is late by a day? It seems like an unusually bureaucratic rule for an academic event for high schoolers. Why not allow coaches to voice their intent to go by a deadline, and then have the paperwork filled out? It seems to me that there could be a great deal of flexibility added that would benefit all.

Also, you say she was included as "an" active coach. This implies there were multiple. Why was there no effort to contact all of them? Why was she selected as the only person to contact? In this day and age, it is not difficult to send an email to multiple people, so it seems unnecessarily selective that only the one coach was contacted.

I am not saying that Ward Melville is completely without fault here. However, I don't think their transgressions deserve such a harsh punishment. I think the spirit of the competition is being lost in the technicalities of the rules, and the overall mission: "Science Olympiad is a national non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of K-12 science education, increasing male, female and minority interest in science, creating a technologically-literate workforce and providing recognition for outstanding achievement by both students and teachers" should be remembered. Is barring Ward helping to improve the quality of science education, or increasing interest in science? I do not believe it does.

As a Board member, I respect your decision, and I know you put in a lot of work to run the tournament. But I hope that all differences can be resolved, and even if Ward is unable to compete this year, that the rule may become more flexible in the future to prevent these sorts of events from happening again.
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Re: New York 2014

Post by olympiaddict » March 12th, 2014, 5:20 pm

1. Considering the actions of current team members at Ward Melville compared to those of the past seems not an apt juxtaposition. Ward Melville has also been working extremely hard for the past few weeks with regards to this topic, extending far beyond just the SciOly forum. We've put in the considerable effort necessary to garner support. I also agree that this issue is just as big for any team in terms of their participation in States, whether they usually go to nationals or not.

2. Regarding your comment that the information was clear to students, this is not the case. When I first heard rumors that we'd been disqualified, my response was to go to the State website and see my school listed with a room number and a team number, and I believed that we had already been registered and their were no outstanding problems. If you believe that it is the coach's fault for not discussing with us, it is not the fault of the students, and we are being punished.

Furthermore, you are not privy to the discussions we have had internally in our district regarding the mistakes and shortcomings of our own personnel. These have taken place and changes are being discussed so as to avoid this ever happening to a team again- the same thing we seek from the NYSSO board at this time.

Also, when you state that there was a very easy way to avoid this- this policy has been in place for four years, correct? If 3 teams- 45 students plus alternates who are often very involved- have already been barred from doing what they love in just that small amount of time, does that seem acceptable?

3. I have personally seen the papers faxed back to my school which are alleged to list that coach. However, very clearly it is noted in two places that those are Team 2's forms. Team 1 won the tournament and is advancing to states, Team 2 did not. Thus I don't see how my team's coach was contacted.
Last edited by olympiaddict on March 12th, 2014, 6:01 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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