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Links of the Day:

– The shopping mall as we know is it dying. The New York Times wrote about the reinvention of vacant malls across the country:

Schools, medical clinics, call centers, government offices and even churches are now standard tenants in malls. By hanging a curtain to hide the food court, the Galleria in Cleveland, which opened in 1987 with about 70 retailers and restaurants, rents space for weddings and other events. Other malls have added aquariums, casinos and car showrooms.

Designers in Buffalo have proposed stripping down a mall to its foundation and reinventing it as housing, while an aspiring architect in Detroit has proposed turning a mall’s parking lot there into a community farm. Columbus, Ohio, arguing that it was too expensive to maintain an empty mall on prime real estate, dismantled its City Center mall and replaced it with a park.

Rochester is far along the mall-redevelopment track, though the endgame isn’t clear. Midtown Plaza has been knocked down. A developer plans to transform Medley Centre into a “lifestyle” venue, complete with residences, retail, offices and entertainment. It’s clear something had to be done with those properties and we await the outcome.

– The New York State Regents English test has been dumbed down in an effort to create a common standard, reports a columnist in the New York Times:

New York’s last three education commissioners, all leaders in the reform movement, have been suspicious of assessment instruments that rely too heavily on people who work in schools.

State officials have instead chosen to use one English test to assess every high school student in the state, which has caused another fairly gigantic problem: How do you create a single graduation exam for 200,000 seniors when some are heading to the Ivy League and others to pump gas?

– Is it ever okay to leave a child alone? A New York Times columnist says the law is murky.

– Careful, if your kid is late to school too many times, you could be charged with a misdemeanor in some places.

– Serving on a Civil War naval ship was no walk in the park. The Democrat and Chronicle has the harrowing ordeal of a Rochester soldier.

5 Responses to Dead Malls Abound

  1. High quality assessment is very complicated stuff… that some “education-changers” (reform may not be an appropriate term as it implies improvement) want to simplify… especially, “the one size fits all crowd”… an example in the article is the author’s proficiency information… What proficiency? What standard? New York State’s? A “NAEP” standard? Or, something else?

    BTW… many Ivy League bound students take AP exams or IB programs , then forced to sit for the Regents for test validation purposes… silly…

  2. February 6, 2012 at 9:01 am Melissa Chinnock responds:

    I often wondered when I was in high school why students who were taking AP and other advanced placement tests also had to take the regents exams. It does seem silly.

  3. February 6, 2012 at 9:11 am ben Campanelli responds:

    Mall have become inefficient was to sell goods at discount to a bargain-hunting middle class given rise by lower incomes and Chinese imports.

    At work too are the soaring high common area maintenance costs which need to be spread across the leasesmaking it next to impossible for local or small regiona retailers to occupy space in an indoor mall.

    Large well-branded anchor stores with a discount bent find it difficult to rationalize having their brand help other lesser brands. A captured mall audience means far less to them than the ability to caprute their customers inside a stand-alone box or strip mall offering a multitude of retail products at modest prices (Target, Best-Buy, Costco, JoAnne Fabrics, Kohl’s, Sam’s/BJ’s, etc.

    The perfect example we have of this trend here locally is the Webster Town Center with its modular non-contiguous mini-strips and scattered out-parceled retail pods.

    Things change.

  4. I wouldn’t say we are far along the mall re-development track. Midtown was knocked down. Whoopie. Medley is spinning its wheels, thanks to the Congels and the gullible and misguided (I might add desperate) Irondequoit Town Board.

    Instead of the pie in the sky proposal by the Congels, how about parceling out Medley in order to attract a satellite college campus (SUNY Brockport or Geneseo come to mind); a consolidated and updated Irondequoit Town Library; community center; and on and on and on

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