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Topic:  Athens "Rutters" Article

Topic:  Athens "Rutters" Article
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Ryan Carey
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  Message Not Read  Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/9/2023 6:26:28 PM 
Interesting article about Athens city schools and the differences in the kids of the area.

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/ohio-athens-city-...


Ryan M. Carey
BBA 2001

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GroverBall
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/9/2023 10:32:23 PM 
Thank you very much for sharing this article.

Last Edited: 9/10/2023 3:39:43 AM by GroverBall

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giacomo
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/10/2023 8:53:35 AM 
Great article. I had no idea of that situation, but as the story unfolded it made sense.
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Alan Swank
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/10/2023 2:53:01 PM 
This has been an issue in Athens since consolidation in the late 60s. About 25 years or so ago, the school board convened a citizen committee to look into this. Several meetings with a big turnout and the same arguments were advanced against mixing the kids up earlier by the same demographic as happened in 2018. When the idea appeared to be gaining traction years ago, the Board at the time met in secret in an OU west green building only to be exposed and then the committee was disbanded.

I actually did an anecdotal study using yearbooks as a data point that showed the lack of inclusion on everything from sports teams to prom courts to who went to the high school versus who went to the vocational school. When I pointed that out at one of the meetings, a university person said that I had no idea what I was talking about. A future Dover Township Trustee stood up and said bs, that I was the only one who knew what he was talking about.

Full disclosure. Until I did home visits as part to the OWA (Occupational Work Adjustment) program that I was teaching at the time, I had no clue about the disparities that existed.

Anyway, I hope the district has some open and honest conversations about this issue once and for all.
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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/11/2023 12:37:57 PM 
Alan Swank wrote:
This has been an issue in Athens since consolidation in the late 60s. About 25 years or so ago, the school board convened a citizen committee to look into this. Several meetings with a big turnout and the same arguments were advanced against mixing the kids up earlier by the same demographic as happened in 2018. When the idea appeared to be gaining traction years ago, the Board at the time met in secret in an OU west green building only to be exposed and then the committee was disbanded.

I actually did an anecdotal study using yearbooks as a data point that showed the lack of inclusion on everything from sports teams to prom courts to who went to the high school versus who went to the vocational school. When I pointed that out at one of the meetings, a university person said that I had no idea what I was talking about. A future Dover Township Trustee stood up and said bs, that I was the only one who knew what he was talking about.

Full disclosure. Until I did home visits as part to the OWA (Occupational Work Adjustment) program that I was teaching at the time, I had no clue about the disparities that existed.

Anyway, I hope the district has some open and honest conversations about this issue once and for all.


In the meantime, the district has drastically cut programing that benefits this student population.
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Alan Swank
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/13/2023 8:15:04 PM 
What will be interesting is to see if the local press (that's a stretch) will pick this up and if becomes a real and meaningful conversation resulting in action and change.

Money line on that is +2023.
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OhioCatFan
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/25/2023 7:30:55 PM 
Read this article. I have many thoughts about this issue, most of which will probably not be received well on this board, given its general ethos. So, I will summarize briefly some key points of my take:

1. The term "Rutter" as used in this article was not just post WWII, but post 1968. I graduated from AHS in 1962. No one used this term. We had two guys in my class with the last name of Rutter. One was probably lower-middle class in socioeconomic status (SES), and the other was probably in the top 1 percent in terms of Athens County SES. I wont go into detail because I don't want to ID these folks too clearly, though I doubt that either would mind. I will add that I got along well with both Rutters, and just a few days ago got a nice message from the “rich Rutter.” They are both very nice fellows and valued members of our class.

2. My younger sister graduated from AHS in 1972. She was in the first graduating class after the forced consolidation of Athens, The Plains and Chauncey-Dover Exempted Village school districts. The "Rutter" derogatory term apparently started with this forced merger. The big mistake was in the merger in the first place. The Chauncey-Dover system was poor, but they had teachers who were dedicated to teaching kids from that type of background, and they were measures that indicated that they were being somewhat successful. For instance, the high school had a Latin teacher who managed to nearly every year have a few students receive district or better honors in statewide testing. It would be interesting to go back and look at the number of Chauncey students who went to college then compared to now. My money is that there were more before consolidation, and devastating effects of the shameful way that children from that old school district were treated by the Athens snobs.

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.

4. The "Rutter issues" in the Athens School District, post 1968, were not just student-inspired but, as mentioned in the article briefly, were in large part due to an environment created by the teachers and administrators at that time. Even when my children were at AHS in the latter part of the last century, I heard many reports of very insensitive statements made by teachers in front of their classes about the "undesirable" elements of the student body. It was out in the open and very corrosive and something like you might have expected in Alabama in the 1950s in relation to African American students. Very disgusting.

5. In my days at AHS we had two curriculums: college prep and business. While there was some social casting, it was nothing like what developed later with both the school district mergers and the evolution of AHS into practically a "prep school for the Ivy League." My children were told that going to school at Ohio University was kind of a last ditch, if you didn't get into some elite private school, or maybe a prestige state school like Michigan. These two trends fed into each other in a very synergistic fashion. Synergism is not always a positive thing.

Ok, I'm done. I don't expect the slightest bit of understanding of my perspective. So, go ahead and ridicule my attempt to explain things from an entirely different background than virtually anyone else on this board. I feel better having gotten all of this off my chest.

Last Edited: 9/26/2023 3:29:45 PM by OhioCatFan


The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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Kevin Finnegan
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Location: Rockton, IL
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/26/2023 4:48:05 PM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
Read this article. I have many thoughts about this issue, most of which will probably not be received well on this board, given its general ethos. So, I will summarize briefly some key points of my take:

1. The term "Rutter" as used in this article was not just post WWII, but post 1968. I graduated from AHS in 1962. No one used this term. We had two guys in my class with the last name of Rutter. One was probably lower-middle class in socioeconomic status (SES), and the other was probably in the top 1 percent in terms of Athens County SES. I wont go into detail because I don't want to ID these folks too clearly, though I doubt that either would mind. I will add that I got along well with both Rutters, and just a few days ago got a nice message from the “rich Rutter.” They are both very nice fellows and valued members of our class.

2. My younger sister graduated from AHS in 1972. She was in the first graduating class after the forced consolidation of Athens, The Plains and Chauncey-Dover Exempted Village school districts. The "Rutter" derogatory term apparently started with this forced merger. The big mistake was in the merger in the first place. The Chauncey-Dover system was poor, but they had teachers who were dedicated to teaching kids from that type of background, and they were measures that indicated that they were being somewhat successful. For instance, the high school had a Latin teacher who managed to nearly every year have a few students receive district or better honors in statewide testing. It would be interesting to go back and look at the number of Chauncey students who went to college then compared to now. My money is that there were more before consolidation, and devastating effects of the shameful way that children from that old school district were treated by the Athens snobs.

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.

4. The "Rutter issues" in the Athens School District, post 1968, were not just student-inspired but, as mentioned in the article briefly, were in large part due to an environment created by the teachers and administrators at that time. Even when my children were at AHS in the latter part of the last century, I heard many reports of very insensitive statements made by teachers in front of their classes about the "undesirable" elements of the student body. It was out in the open and very corrosive and something like you might have expected in Alabama in the 1950s in relation to African American students. Very disgusting.

5. In my days at AHS we had two curriculums: college prep and business. While there was some social casting, it was nothing like what developed later with both the school district mergers and the evolution of AHS into practically a "prep school for the Ivy League." My children were told that going to school at Ohio University was kind of a last ditch, if you didn't get into some elite private school, or maybe a prestige state school like Michigan. These two trends fed into each other in a very synergistic fashion. Synergism is not always a positive thing.

Ok, I'm done. I don't expect the slightest bit of understanding of my perspective. So, go ahead and ridicule my attempt to explain things from an entirely different background than virtually anyone else on this board. I feel better having gotten all of this off my chest.


Despite your attempts to resist discussion with the 'poor, pity me' bookends of your message, I still will choose to respond. As a school district administrator myself, stand in awe of the Athens superintendent for making these changes and looking to be part of a solution that is ever-difficult and politically dangerous.

OCF, within your response, you list your most recent interactions with the Athens School District coming in the later years of the last century, so more than a quarter century ago, likely. This goes to the oft repeated line in our profession that 'Everybody feels they're an expert in how schools should be run because they went to one.' I doubt you would give an understanding of how the medical field should operate if your last interaction came 25+ years ago. So, yes, I do disagree with your perspective, not because I know the school or the district, but because I am going to defer to the professionals making the difficult decisions in 2023, not those using reflections from the 1960s-1990s to make the decisions.
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J.B.Hoy
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Location: Portland, OR
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/26/2023 5:41:45 PM 
Kevin Finnegan wrote:




OCF, within your response, you list your most recent interactions with the Athens School District coming in the later years of the last century, so more than a quarter century ago, likely. This goes to the oft repeated line in our profession that 'Everybody feels they're an expert in how schools should be run because they went to one.' I doubt you would give an understanding of how the medical field should operate if your last interaction came 25+ years ago. So, yes, I do disagree with your perspective, not because I know the school or the district, but because I am going to defer to the professionals making the difficult decisions in 2023, not those using reflections from the 1960s-1990s to make the decisions.


Very nicely stated, Kevin.
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OhioCatFan
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/26/2023 9:12:56 PM 
It's very refreshing to be dissed by some new folks and not the usual suspects. It's clear that you two have no inclination to understand the complexities of this situation from any perspective other than that of the educational bureaucracy. That's fine. I think you are myopic. You think my ideas are too antiquated to be relevant to the discussion. We can agree to disagree, and I really don't care if you are disagreeable.


The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 7:51:06 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.




Out of curiosity, how do Appalachian school districts currently perform? Presumably they have teachers dedicated to teaching students of similar backgrounds and can tell us something about the efficacy of your proposal.

Was The Plains not already a bit of a test case for what you're proposing? It seems like prior to this administration, the Athens school district was basically divided along socioeconomic lines and school and student performance followed suit.

How's what you're proposing different than maintaining the status quo? What advantages come from turning that into its own district, as opposed to having disadvantaged students at (primarily) the same school?

Last Edited: 9/27/2023 8:07:11 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 10:47:42 AM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.




Out of curiosity, how do Appalachian school districts currently perform? Presumably they have teachers dedicated to teaching students of similar backgrounds and can tell us something about the efficacy of your proposal.

Was The Plains not already a bit of a test case for what you're proposing? It seems like prior to this administration, the Athens school district was basically divided along socioeconomic lines and school and student performance followed suit.

How's what you're proposing different than maintaining the status quo? What advantages come from turning that into its own district, as opposed to having disadvantaged students at (primarily) the same school?


Exactly! It's not! And Kevin, great response.
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OhioCatFan
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 10:54:56 AM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.




Out of curiosity, how do Appalachian school districts currently perform? Presumably they have teachers dedicated to teaching students of similar backgrounds and can tell us something about the efficacy of your proposal.

Was The Plains not already a bit of a test case for what you're proposing? It seems like prior to this administration, the Athens school district was basically divided along socioeconomic lines and school and student performance followed suit.

How's what you're proposing different than maintaining the status quo? What advantages come from turning that into its own district, as opposed to having disadvantaged students at (primarily) the same school?


Okay, now one of the usual suspects replies. My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.


The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 11:06:01 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:


My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.


Sorry, not following how that addresses my question. It seems like you just re-stated some of the other points you made.

My question was how do other Appalachian districts perform, where students aren't "treated like scum" and have teachers dedicated to teaching people from their backgrounds.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.


I also don't understand the relevance here.

It seems like you're a proposing that students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds be given their own district. It seems like there are counties in Ohio where that's the case. Do they perform well? Am I missing something, or is that central to what you're proposing?

Last Edited: 9/27/2023 11:08:20 AM by Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame

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OhioCatFan
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Location: Athens, OH
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 11:16:56 AM 
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:


My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.


Sorry, not following how that addresses my question. It seems like you just re-stated some of the other points you made.

My question was how do other Appalachian districts perform, where students aren't "treated like scum" and have teachers dedicated to teaching people from their backgrounds.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.


I also don't understand the relevance here.

It seems like you're a proposing that students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds be given their own district. It seems like there are counties in Ohio where that's the case. Do they perform well? Am I missing something, or is that central to what you're proposing?



While I've not done an exhaustive study of all of Appalachia, from my observation in Athens County students at Trimble, Alexander and Federal Hocking do better than Chauncey students at Athens High School in terms of graduation rates and attending an institution of higher education.


The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 11:44:10 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:

3. I think that the administrators quoted in this article were sincere in their efforts to help improve the situation for these underprivileged students, but also very misguided. Probably the best thing that could have been done, but this would have required extreme out-of-the-box thinking, as well as tremendous self-sacrifice on the part of the administrators of the Athens School District, was a breakup of the Athens School District. They could have requested a breakup of the Athens School District and a placement of the old Chauncey School District and the lower SES parts of the old The Plains District into an adjacent district -- perhaps Glouster. There these students would not have been discriminated against, and their chances of success would have been greatly enhanced, because, again, they would have had teachers dedicated to teaching students from similar backgrounds.




Out of curiosity, how do Appalachian school districts currently perform? Presumably they have teachers dedicated to teaching students of similar backgrounds and can tell us something about the efficacy of your proposal.

Was The Plains not already a bit of a test case for what you're proposing? It seems like prior to this administration, the Athens school district was basically divided along socioeconomic lines and school and student performance followed suit.

How's what you're proposing different than maintaining the status quo? What advantages come from turning that into its own district, as opposed to having disadvantaged students at (primarily) the same school?


Okay, now one of the usual suspects replies. My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.



Ohio currently has over 700 school districts and 800+ high schools. Consolidation was needed, and honestly in the rural areas is needed again. Your wanting to hold onto a Plains HS, a Chauncey/Dover, etc, would be a tremendous waste of money in personell, and brick and mortor. The approach is working, but results take time.
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BillyTheCat
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 11:45:17 AM 
OhioCatFan wrote:
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:


My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.


Sorry, not following how that addresses my question. It seems like you just re-stated some of the other points you made.

My question was how do other Appalachian districts perform, where students aren't "treated like scum" and have teachers dedicated to teaching people from their backgrounds.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.


I also don't understand the relevance here.

It seems like you're a proposing that students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds be given their own district. It seems like there are counties in Ohio where that's the case. Do they perform well? Am I missing something, or is that central to what you're proposing?



While I've not done an exhaustive study of all of Appalachia, from my observation in Athens County students at Trimble, Alexander and Federal Hocking do better than Chauncey students at Athens High School in terms of graduation rates and attending an institution of higher education.


Curious how you know about the graduation rate of kids from Chauncey? Have you found those statistics? Inquiring minds want to know!
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Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 11:45:49 AM 
This is a couple of years old, but the best I could find quickly: https://www.cleveland.com/data/2022/09/ranking-how-well-s...

It seems like basically all of the Appalachian school districts rank in the bottom quarter of the state. Athens seems to be the only one in the top 50% -- but I just glanced through and that's not super scientific.

There seem to be a lot of school districts that are more or less monolithic in terms of socio-economic status, and there seems to be a pretty direct correlation between that and district performance. That feels like a bit of a dead end, and basically the status quo.
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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/27/2023 12:08:15 PM 
BillyTheCat wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:
Bobcat Love's Sense of Shame wrote:
OhioCatFan wrote:


My answer: because students from Chauncey are treated like scum in the Athens City School District. The article indicates that this new integrated approach from grade school on up is working, and eliminating that prejudice. Color me highly skeptical. And, even if it does work in the very long run, the whole problem could have been avoided if the educational bureaucracy in Columbus hadn't forced the consolidation with Athens in the 1960s. IMHO, that would have saved a lot of heartache and lead to better educational performance over these last several decades for those from Chauncey. Perhaps a merger of just The Plains and Chauncey (sans Athens City) would have worked much better. It's now water over the dam, but I just thought my post might be food for thought if similar situations arise in the future. This whole situation was very badly handled from the beginning.


Sorry, not following how that addresses my question. It seems like you just re-stated some of the other points you made.

My question was how do other Appalachian districts perform, where students aren't "treated like scum" and have teachers dedicated to teaching people from their backgrounds.


OhioCatFan wrote:

Let me add that I have some familiarity with Chauncey going way back to when my sister worked as a head start volunteer there in the late 1960s. Then my wife worked with OHIO students in what they called the "Chauncey project" through the OHIO Department of English in the early part of the current century. And, just last year my Sons of Union Veterans camp put up an historical marker there to commemorate three patriots from there. Part of our idea in doing this marker was to help restore some civic pride to the community by helping them to recall a proud and forgotten part of their history.

Just for your general information, here's the text for that marker. You know I can't resist turning this into a Civil War thread! ;-)

TEXT CHAUNCEY BOYS MARKER

Chauncey Civil War Patriots

During the War of the Rebellion three young men from Chauncey traveled to Parkersburg and Clarksburg, VA., to enlist in what was then the 1st Virginia Cavalry (USA). These "Loyalist Regiments" became West Virginia regiments in June 1863 just before the Battle of Gettysburg. None of these Chauncey Boys in Blue would live to see their 30th birthday. Lt. Sidney Knowles died when a rebel bullet struck his head during Farnsworth's Charge at Gettysburg. Lt. Hiram Robinett was seriously injured in that same charge and had part of his arm amputated. The two who survived the war – Lt. Robinett and Pvt. Robert Edwards – both had interesting but short postwar careers before succumbing to tuberculosis, apparently acquired in the service. Robinett worked for the Freedmen's Bureau in Washington, D.C., whose purpose was to provide food, shelter, clothing, and medical services to newly freed African Americans. Edwards, who received an M.D degree from Georgetown University Medical School in 1868, practiced in Zaleski for a short period before his death. He was Roman Catholic and is buried in Mt. Calvary Cemetery in Athens. The other two were Protestants and rest in Nye Cemetery here in Chauncey. Robinett's obelisk tombstone was paid for by donations from his co-workers at the Freedmen's Bureau. This historical marker honors the patriotism and devotion of three of Chauncey’s finest patriots who gave their all to restore our Union in its darkest hour.


I also don't understand the relevance here.

It seems like you're a proposing that students with similar socioeconomic backgrounds be given their own district. It seems like there are counties in Ohio where that's the case. Do they perform well? Am I missing something, or is that central to what you're proposing?



While I've not done an exhaustive study of all of Appalachia, from my observation in Athens County students at Trimble, Alexander and Federal Hocking do better than Chauncey students at Athens High School in terms of graduation rates and attending an institution of higher education.


Curious how you know about the graduation rate of kids from Chauncey? Have you found those statistics? Inquiring minds want to know!


I said that this was my observations. I have not conducted an exhaustive study. If you have figures showing graduation rates and college attendance rates for Chauncey students at Athens High, please let me know. But, I'd be very surprised if they are anywhere near those for the other school districts in Athens County where the differences in SES is not as drastic as it is in the Athens City District. Alexander probably comes closer to Athens in terms or disparages between families in the district than any of the others.


The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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Jeff Johnson
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/28/2023 1:14:09 AM 
Let me add my 2 cents to this discussion and perhaps also add some historical perspective...I will choose not to quote all the previous post to avoid appending a long essay to a bunch of already long posts.

I grew up in Trimble Township and graduated from Trimble Local High School in 1963, then attended Ohio University, graduating in 1967 with a BS in physics. During this time I was aware of not only the Athens/Chauncey-Dover/Plains consolidation, but also of the consolidations of other districts around Athens County, both through local news reports and through the activities of my father who was involved both with the consolidation of Chauncey-Dover with Athens and the establishment of the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School (now apparently called Tri-County Career Center, High School and Adult Education) that Alan alluded to above.

First, with regard to the use of the term "rutters" that the linked article discussed, growing up I heard that term used in the northern part of Athens County much earlier in my life than the 1965 timeframe that OCF has pinned it, probably as early as I was aware of what people were talking about around me. I did not connect its use as a pejorative with the Rutter family until some years later. Like OCF, I went to school with several Rutter children, and was personally acquainted with members of that extended family who lived nearby. I can honestly say that those that I knew were nice people, honest and hard-working, and none of them that I knew were ever involved in any criminal activities. And they certainly did not deserve the use of their name as a pejorative term for a whole class of people. I will say that I was shocked to hear the term used, many years later, in a nightclub in Fairborn, Ohio (near Dayton and WPAFB).

With regard to the current situation with the Athens City School District, I have no particular opinion because I don't live there and haven't experienced the situation. But it sounds like the school administrators there have been proactive, and hopefully their solution to the reducing the effects of socioeconomic disparity there will work out in time. At this late date, I don't see that OCF's solution of breaking up the Athens school district would solve the problem.

That being said, during the early 1960's there were 2 things going on within the Athens County educational systems that bear on the subject of the linked article.

1. In the early part of the 1960's the Ohio Department of Education was hell bent on forcing small rural school districts, statewide, to consolidate, but particularly in SE Ohio. Their reasoning was well intentioned in that consolidation of smaller districts would improve the cost efficiency of smaller school districts and increase the amount of resources available for instruction. What they did not consider were the effects these consolidations would have on rural communities in which the local schools were often the heart and soul of those communities.

The year that I graduated from high school (1963), there were 13 school districts in Athens County. Ten of these, not including Athens, Nelsonville, and Glouster (which were independent), reported up to the Athens County School District. Within the next few years, multiple consolidations occurred among the county schools, and the number of school districts within the county was reduced to 5 by the end of the decade. As has been noted, Chauncey-Dover and The Plains were consolidated with the Athens City School District around 1965 or so (I'm sure OCF has a better date). Trimble Local School District absorbed the Glouster schools in 1964. I'm not sure of the dates but Ames-Bern, Carthage-Troy, and Rome-Canaan districts were consolidated to form the Federal Hocking District; Nelsonville and Buchtel-York districts consolidated to form the Nelsonville-York District; and Albany, Shade, and Waterloo districts consolidated to form the Alexander district. All of the neighboring counties surrounding Athens County experienced similar consolidations among their schools.

Getting back to the Athens/Chauncey/Plains consolidation, this did not occur without opposition from parents, concerned citizens, and some school administrators on all sides. One of the concerns, as can be inferred from the linked article, was the socioeconomic status of the Chauncey-Dover students compared to the Athens students. (I don't remember any discussion at the time about The Plains students.) Another concern was the emphasis that Athens HS placed on college preparatory classes versus the needs of the Chauncey-Dover students that tended toward vocational classes.

There was a concerted effort at this time to convince the Chauncey-Dover School Board to consolidate with Trimble Local School district. My father (Sam Johnson) was involved in this effort. Many in both Trimble Township and Dover Township believed that this would be best for students in both districts given their similar demographics and socioeconomic status. Whether the decision to consolidate with Athens was made by the Chauncey-Dover board or dictated by the Ohio Department of Education is not known (to me), but the rest is history.

2. During approximately the same period of time, a number of parents, concerned citizens, and school administrators in Athens County, Hocking County, and Perry County came to the realization that the students in their rural districts were not being well served by the curricula available to them at their home schools. Very few of those students were college bound, and the available vocational classes that were available to them were severely limited due to costs and instructor availability. An ad hoc committee was set up, headed by then Athens County School District Superintendent Thomas C. Porter, to write a mission statement and start the application process for a vocational high school that would serve the three counties. In 1965, the Ohio Department of Education approved the establishment of the vocational high school, and the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School was born. (As stated above it is now called Tri-County Career Center.) The vocational school is open to 11th and 12th grade students from all high schools in Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties.


Jeff Johnson '67, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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Alan Swank
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/28/2023 10:10:30 AM 
Very interesting discussion and as Kevin said, we're all experts when it comes to schools because we attended one.

Two things missing from the conversation so far. The current reconfiguration of the Athens City elementary schools is due to the fact that our turn finally arrived to get funding from the Ohio School Facilities Commission. We paid approximately 62% of the cost and the state the rest. Without that infusion of money, we'd still have at least three elementary schools (East, Morrison and The Plains) and perhaps four with West.

Second, in the late 90s, the school board convened a rather large committee to look into reorganizing the elementary schools to bring the kids together earlier. I was on that committee. At a meeting at Chauncey Elementary attended by 75+ people, after hearing comments supporting change and the status quo, I made the comment that if we were talking about Black students as opposed to disadvantage Appalachian kids, the federal government would have stepped in long ago to straighten things out. A university administrator rose and claimed I didn't know what I was talking about. A future Dover Township Trustee told him to sit down and that I was the only one who knew what he was talking about.

Anyway, a few days later, the Board met in secret in a building on the west green. A Chauncey teacher who was on the committee and I found out about It and walked in on the meeting. You can imagine the looks on their faces. They had been caught with their pants down and a few days later disbanded the committee and serious discussion of the issue died until the chance for state money for new schools came up 6 or 7 years ago.

And finally, having worked in just about every school district in SE Ohio from 1984 to 2016, I can say without a doubt, that the socio-economic disparity in the Athens City Schools is unmatched anywhere in the region. Combine that with a high percentage of students taking classes at OU through CC+ and you have, intended or not, a de facto class system.
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OhioCatFan
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 9/28/2023 11:20:13 AM 
Jeff, thank you for your very thoughtful and detailed post. You provided much insight into the whole consolidation process. I found it interesting that you had heard the term "rutter" used much earlier up in the northern part of the county than I had in the Athens City District. It would have been laughed at as pejorative in my class because, as I said, one of the Rutter boys was very wealthy. Both Rutters in my class went to college.

I'd like to comment specifically on one quote from your article:
"There was a concerted effort at this time to convince the Chauncey-Dover School Board to consolidate with Trimble Local School district. My father (Sam Johnson) was involved in this effort. Many in both Trimble Township and Dover Township believed that this would be best for students in both districts given their similar demographics and socioeconomic status. Whether the decision to consolidate with Athens was made by the Chauncey-Dover board or dictated by the Ohio Department of Education is not known (to me), but the rest is history."

I did not know about all of these efforts, but I applaud your father for what he tried to do. It is my understanding that the final decision was made at the state level and not locally. I'm fairly certain that at that time if a plebiscite had been held among the citizens of the Chauncey-Dover Exempted Village School District that an overwhelming number would have voted in favor of merging with Trimble rather than Athens City. The Chauncey-Dover School Board must have been aware of the general sentiment of the people they were serving.

As we both said, it's water over the dam now, but I do think it's useful for people to know the history behind our current predicament. You provided a lot of interesting detail that puts the situation in the proper context. I really appreciate that.

Though I won't quibble over it, I do think that reconfiguration of the districts a few years ago was doable and would have been greatly preferable to the solution that was arrived at that ended the concept of neighborhood schools in the Athens City District. We differ on this point, and that's OK. The Rubicon has now been crossed and there's no turning back.




The only BLSS Certified Hypocrite on BA

"It is better to be an optimist and be proven a fool than to be a pessimist and be proven right."

Note: My avatar is the national colors of the 78th Ohio Veteran Volunteer Infantry, which are now preserved in a climate controlled vault at the Ohio History Connection. Learn more about the old 78th at: http://www.78ohio.org

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BSC 91
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 10/16/2023 4:25:34 PM 
Jeff Johnson wrote:
Let me add my 2 cents to this discussion and perhaps also add some historical perspective...I will choose not to quote all the previous post to avoid appending a long essay to a bunch of already long posts.

I grew up in Trimble Township and graduated from Trimble Local High School in 1963, then attended Ohio University, graduating in 1967 with a BS in physics. During this time I was aware of not only the Athens/Chauncey-Dover/Plains consolidation, but also of the consolidations of other districts around Athens County, both through local news reports and through the activities of my father who was involved both with the consolidation of Chauncey-Dover with Athens and the establishment of the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School (now apparently called Tri-County Career Center, High School and Adult Education) that Alan alluded to above.

First, with regard to the use of the term "rutters" that the linked article discussed, growing up I heard that term used in the northern part of Athens County much earlier in my life than the 1965 timeframe that OCF has pinned it, probably as early as I was aware of what people were talking about around me. I did not connect its use as a pejorative with the Rutter family until some years later. Like OCF, I went to school with several Rutter children, and was personally acquainted with members of that extended family who lived nearby. I can honestly say that those that I knew were nice people, honest and hard-working, and none of them that I knew were ever involved in any criminal activities. And they certainly did not deserve the use of their name as a pejorative term for a whole class of people. I will say that I was shocked to hear the term used, many years later, in a nightclub in Fairborn, Ohio (near Dayton and WPAFB).

With regard to the current situation with the Athens City School District, I have no particular opinion because I don't live there and haven't experienced the situation. But it sounds like the school administrators there have been proactive, and hopefully their solution to the reducing the effects of socioeconomic disparity there will work out in time. At this late date, I don't see that OCF's solution of breaking up the Athens school district would solve the problem.

That being said, during the early 1960's there were 2 things going on within the Athens County educational systems that bear on the subject of the linked article.

1. In the early part of the 1960's the Ohio Department of Education was hell bent on forcing small rural school districts, statewide, to consolidate, but particularly in SE Ohio. Their reasoning was well intentioned in that consolidation of smaller districts would improve the cost efficiency of smaller school districts and increase the amount of resources available for instruction. What they did not consider were the effects these consolidations would have on rural communities in which the local schools were often the heart and soul of those communities.

The year that I graduated from high school (1963), there were 13 school districts in Athens County. Ten of these, not including Athens, Nelsonville, and Glouster (which were independent), reported up to the Athens County School District. Within the next few years, multiple consolidations occurred among the county schools, and the number of school districts within the county was reduced to 5 by the end of the decade. As has been noted, Chauncey-Dover and The Plains were consolidated with the Athens City School District around 1965 or so (I'm sure OCF has a better date). Trimble Local School District absorbed the Glouster schools in 1964. I'm not sure of the dates but Ames-Bern, Carthage-Troy, and Rome-Canaan districts were consolidated to form the Federal Hocking District; Nelsonville and Buchtel-York districts consolidated to form the Nelsonville-York District; and Albany, Shade, and Waterloo districts consolidated to form the Alexander district. All of the neighboring counties surrounding Athens County experienced similar consolidations among their schools.

Getting back to the Athens/Chauncey/Plains consolidation, this did not occur without opposition from parents, concerned citizens, and some school administrators on all sides. One of the concerns, as can be inferred from the linked article, was the socioeconomic status of the Chauncey-Dover students compared to the Athens students. (I don't remember any discussion at the time about The Plains students.) Another concern was the emphasis that Athens HS placed on college preparatory classes versus the needs of the Chauncey-Dover students that tended toward vocational classes.

There was a concerted effort at this time to convince the Chauncey-Dover School Board to consolidate with Trimble Local School district. My father (Sam Johnson) was involved in this effort. Many in both Trimble Township and Dover Township believed that this would be best for students in both districts given their similar demographics and socioeconomic status. Whether the decision to consolidate with Athens was made by the Chauncey-Dover board or dictated by the Ohio Department of Education is not known (to me), but the rest is history.

2. During approximately the same period of time, a number of parents, concerned citizens, and school administrators in Athens County, Hocking County, and Perry County came to the realization that the students in their rural districts were not being well served by the curricula available to them at their home schools. Very few of those students were college bound, and the available vocational classes that were available to them were severely limited due to costs and instructor availability. An ad hoc committee was set up, headed by then Athens County School District Superintendent Thomas C. Porter, to write a mission statement and start the application process for a vocational high school that would serve the three counties. In 1965, the Ohio Department of Education approved the establishment of the vocational high school, and the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School was born. (As stated above it is now called Tri-County Career Center.) The vocational school is open to 11th and 12th grade students from all high schools in Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties.


I appreciate your perspective; thanks for sharing it. My mother and father were attending Trimble and Glouster, respectively, when the merger happened. They graduated in the class of '65.
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Jeff Johnson
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 10/27/2023 11:03:59 PM 
BSC 91 wrote:
Jeff Johnson wrote:
Let me add my 2 cents to this discussion and perhaps also add some historical perspective...I will choose not to quote all the previous post to avoid appending a long essay to a bunch of already long posts.

I grew up in Trimble Township and graduated from Trimble Local High School in 1963, then attended Ohio University, graduating in 1967 with a BS in physics. During this time I was aware of not only the Athens/Chauncey-Dover/Plains consolidation, but also of the consolidations of other districts around Athens County, both through local news reports and through the activities of my father who was involved both with the consolidation of Chauncey-Dover with Athens and the establishment of the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School (now apparently called Tri-County Career Center, High School and Adult Education) that Alan alluded to above.

First, with regard to the use of the term "rutters" that the linked article discussed, growing up I heard that term used in the northern part of Athens County much earlier in my life than the 1965 timeframe that OCF has pinned it, probably as early as I was aware of what people were talking about around me. I did not connect its use as a pejorative with the Rutter family until some years later. Like OCF, I went to school with several Rutter children, and was personally acquainted with members of that extended family who lived nearby. I can honestly say that those that I knew were nice people, honest and hard-working, and none of them that I knew were ever involved in any criminal activities. And they certainly did not deserve the use of their name as a pejorative term for a whole class of people. I will say that I was shocked to hear the term used, many years later, in a nightclub in Fairborn, Ohio (near Dayton and WPAFB).

With regard to the current situation with the Athens City School District, I have no particular opinion because I don't live there and haven't experienced the situation. But it sounds like the school administrators there have been proactive, and hopefully their solution to the reducing the effects of socioeconomic disparity there will work out in time. At this late date, I don't see that OCF's solution of breaking up the Athens school district would solve the problem.

That being said, during the early 1960's there were 2 things going on within the Athens County educational systems that bear on the subject of the linked article.

1. In the early part of the 1960's the Ohio Department of Education was hell bent on forcing small rural school districts, statewide, to consolidate, but particularly in SE Ohio. Their reasoning was well intentioned in that consolidation of smaller districts would improve the cost efficiency of smaller school districts and increase the amount of resources available for instruction. What they did not consider were the effects these consolidations would have on rural communities in which the local schools were often the heart and soul of those communities.

The year that I graduated from high school (1963), there were 13 school districts in Athens County. Ten of these, not including Athens, Nelsonville, and Glouster (which were independent), reported up to the Athens County School District. Within the next few years, multiple consolidations occurred among the county schools, and the number of school districts within the county was reduced to 5 by the end of the decade. As has been noted, Chauncey-Dover and The Plains were consolidated with the Athens City School District around 1965 or so (I'm sure OCF has a better date). Trimble Local School District absorbed the Glouster schools in 1964. I'm not sure of the dates but Ames-Bern, Carthage-Troy, and Rome-Canaan districts were consolidated to form the Federal Hocking District; Nelsonville and Buchtel-York districts consolidated to form the Nelsonville-York District; and Albany, Shade, and Waterloo districts consolidated to form the Alexander district. All of the neighboring counties surrounding Athens County experienced similar consolidations among their schools.

Getting back to the Athens/Chauncey/Plains consolidation, this did not occur without opposition from parents, concerned citizens, and some school administrators on all sides. One of the concerns, as can be inferred from the linked article, was the socioeconomic status of the Chauncey-Dover students compared to the Athens students. (I don't remember any discussion at the time about The Plains students.) Another concern was the emphasis that Athens HS placed on college preparatory classes versus the needs of the Chauncey-Dover students that tended toward vocational classes.

There was a concerted effort at this time to convince the Chauncey-Dover School Board to consolidate with Trimble Local School district. My father (Sam Johnson) was involved in this effort. Many in both Trimble Township and Dover Township believed that this would be best for students in both districts given their similar demographics and socioeconomic status. Whether the decision to consolidate with Athens was made by the Chauncey-Dover board or dictated by the Ohio Department of Education is not known (to me), but the rest is history.

2. During approximately the same period of time, a number of parents, concerned citizens, and school administrators in Athens County, Hocking County, and Perry County came to the realization that the students in their rural districts were not being well served by the curricula available to them at their home schools. Very few of those students were college bound, and the available vocational classes that were available to them were severely limited due to costs and instructor availability. An ad hoc committee was set up, headed by then Athens County School District Superintendent Thomas C. Porter, to write a mission statement and start the application process for a vocational high school that would serve the three counties. In 1965, the Ohio Department of Education approved the establishment of the vocational high school, and the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School was born. (As stated above it is now called Tri-County Career Center.) The vocational school is open to 11th and 12th grade students from all high schools in Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties.


I appreciate your perspective; thanks for sharing it. My mother and father were attending Trimble and Glouster, respectively, when the merger happened. They graduated in the class of '65.


I graduated in '63 from Trimble, so I probably know (or knew) your mother.


Jeff Johnson '67, Albuquerque, New Mexico
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  Message Not Read  RE: Athens "Rutters" Article
   Posted: 10/28/2023 2:04:26 PM 
Jeff Johnson wrote:
BSC 91 wrote:
Jeff Johnson wrote:
Let me add my 2 cents to this discussion and perhaps also add some historical perspective...I will choose not to quote all the previous post to avoid appending a long essay to a bunch of already long posts.

I grew up in Trimble Township and graduated from Trimble Local High School in 1963, then attended Ohio University, graduating in 1967 with a BS in physics. During this time I was aware of not only the Athens/Chauncey-Dover/Plains consolidation, but also of the consolidations of other districts around Athens County, both through local news reports and through the activities of my father who was involved both with the consolidation of Chauncey-Dover with Athens and the establishment of the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School (now apparently called Tri-County Career Center, High School and Adult Education) that Alan alluded to above.

First, with regard to the use of the term "rutters" that the linked article discussed, growing up I heard that term used in the northern part of Athens County much earlier in my life than the 1965 timeframe that OCF has pinned it, probably as early as I was aware of what people were talking about around me. I did not connect its use as a pejorative with the Rutter family until some years later. Like OCF, I went to school with several Rutter children, and was personally acquainted with members of that extended family who lived nearby. I can honestly say that those that I knew were nice people, honest and hard-working, and none of them that I knew were ever involved in any criminal activities. And they certainly did not deserve the use of their name as a pejorative term for a whole class of people. I will say that I was shocked to hear the term used, many years later, in a nightclub in Fairborn, Ohio (near Dayton and WPAFB).

With regard to the current situation with the Athens City School District, I have no particular opinion because I don't live there and haven't experienced the situation. But it sounds like the school administrators there have been proactive, and hopefully their solution to the reducing the effects of socioeconomic disparity there will work out in time. At this late date, I don't see that OCF's solution of breaking up the Athens school district would solve the problem.

That being said, during the early 1960's there were 2 things going on within the Athens County educational systems that bear on the subject of the linked article.

1. In the early part of the 1960's the Ohio Department of Education was hell bent on forcing small rural school districts, statewide, to consolidate, but particularly in SE Ohio. Their reasoning was well intentioned in that consolidation of smaller districts would improve the cost efficiency of smaller school districts and increase the amount of resources available for instruction. What they did not consider were the effects these consolidations would have on rural communities in which the local schools were often the heart and soul of those communities.

The year that I graduated from high school (1963), there were 13 school districts in Athens County. Ten of these, not including Athens, Nelsonville, and Glouster (which were independent), reported up to the Athens County School District. Within the next few years, multiple consolidations occurred among the county schools, and the number of school districts within the county was reduced to 5 by the end of the decade. As has been noted, Chauncey-Dover and The Plains were consolidated with the Athens City School District around 1965 or so (I'm sure OCF has a better date). Trimble Local School District absorbed the Glouster schools in 1964. I'm not sure of the dates but Ames-Bern, Carthage-Troy, and Rome-Canaan districts were consolidated to form the Federal Hocking District; Nelsonville and Buchtel-York districts consolidated to form the Nelsonville-York District; and Albany, Shade, and Waterloo districts consolidated to form the Alexander district. All of the neighboring counties surrounding Athens County experienced similar consolidations among their schools.

Getting back to the Athens/Chauncey/Plains consolidation, this did not occur without opposition from parents, concerned citizens, and some school administrators on all sides. One of the concerns, as can be inferred from the linked article, was the socioeconomic status of the Chauncey-Dover students compared to the Athens students. (I don't remember any discussion at the time about The Plains students.) Another concern was the emphasis that Athens HS placed on college preparatory classes versus the needs of the Chauncey-Dover students that tended toward vocational classes.

There was a concerted effort at this time to convince the Chauncey-Dover School Board to consolidate with Trimble Local School district. My father (Sam Johnson) was involved in this effort. Many in both Trimble Township and Dover Township believed that this would be best for students in both districts given their similar demographics and socioeconomic status. Whether the decision to consolidate with Athens was made by the Chauncey-Dover board or dictated by the Ohio Department of Education is not known (to me), but the rest is history.

2. During approximately the same period of time, a number of parents, concerned citizens, and school administrators in Athens County, Hocking County, and Perry County came to the realization that the students in their rural districts were not being well served by the curricula available to them at their home schools. Very few of those students were college bound, and the available vocational classes that were available to them were severely limited due to costs and instructor availability. An ad hoc committee was set up, headed by then Athens County School District Superintendent Thomas C. Porter, to write a mission statement and start the application process for a vocational high school that would serve the three counties. In 1965, the Ohio Department of Education approved the establishment of the vocational high school, and the Tri-County Joint Vocational High School was born. (As stated above it is now called Tri-County Career Center.) The vocational school is open to 11th and 12th grade students from all high schools in Athens, Hocking and Perry Counties.


I appreciate your perspective; thanks for sharing it. My mother and father were attending Trimble and Glouster, respectively, when the merger happened. They graduated in the class of '65.


I graduated in '63 from Trimble, so I probably know (or knew) your mother.



Her maiden name was Dessie Dial. She married Don McDonald. He played basketball and his nickname was (is) "Donk."
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