Monday, August 12, 2013

The Buffalo,NY Education Cabal~Connect the Dots


The Buffalo Education Cabal-- Connect the Dots

 August 12, 2013

The Buffalo Education cabal, including Administrators/Principals and Teachers union leadership and complicit Board of Education (BOE) members, has fostered the dysfunction of the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) for years.  
 Our pathetic and spineless State legislative delegation sits on the sidelines hoping the problem will go away so they don't have to go begging to Sheldon Silver, the protector of the education status quo in upstate urban districts who insures that the New York State United Teachers Union (NYSUT) continues to fill his campaign coffers. Every year they fail to pass legislation allowing the State Education Department (SED) to discharge the BOE and its Superintendent to seize the chaotic Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) and to install the best "turn around" Superintendent in the nation.  

 As supporters of the status quo and the incapable and complicit members of the BOE, on whose watch the BPS has decayed into a farcical nightmare, Sean Ryan (as was the case with his useless predecessor Sam Hoyt), Crystal Peoples and Tim Kennedy are as guilty of the failed BPS as the BOE and its Superintendent. 

 The cabal only cares about keeping its friends and family employed and controlling a $965 million budget. The children don't matter to them. 

 45 of 57 schools are failures. 46% graduated in 2012, many of them pushed through. Less than 20% of black males graduated last year. 

 155 students were "dumped" on the streets in 2012, just at East High School.  Obviously that was a policy set by someone in a high place who the Principal of East now seeks to protect and defend by lying.  

 The BOE thinks it is alright to allow illegal non-resident students to attend the few schools of excellence in the system depriving Buffalo resident students of a slot in those schools. 

 The average number of students passing the English SED standardized test last year was 26%. It was 31% in math. This year the averages were 11.5% and 9.6% respectively, which the cabal blamed on "Common Core" standards. All this despite a budget of $29,000/ student. 

 
Morale is non-existent in every constituency of the BPS. Teachers and principals yearn for a stable career, without violence or babysitting where they can actually teach their students. The majority despise their union leaders, elected in rigged elections, but they fear intimidation and recrimination if they speak out.  

 

               NYS Ed law §2554.  Powers and duties of board of education.

            20. To provide, outside the territorial limits of  the  city  school

            district  but within  the  state  or within an adjoining state, for the

            education of children resident within the city school district  whenever

            in the judgment of the board of education, approved by the commissioner

            of education,  the  health  or  welfare  of  such  children  makes  such

            provision  necessary or desirable, and the average daily attendance of

            such pupils shall be included in the average daily  attendance  of  such

            district  as certified to the commissioner in the report of the board of

            education.

 27,000 students were entitled to choose a performing school prior to July 1 and BPS knew the requirement months in advance and did nothing.  Parents of over 2,200 students elected to attend a performing school.

 Finally, on June 28, BPS proposed the initial "Comprehensive Action Plan" without full BOE consultation or approval.  It was rejected by the SED. Last week they submitted an amended plan, again without full BOE consultation and approval. The amended plan illustrates no sense of urgency and only gives 20% of the 2,200 students the right to attend a performing school this year. They will attempt to move 80% over the course of three years, which is an eternity for a child who has been denied the opportunity for an education since he or she entered the system.  

 The BOE has no sensitivity to the plight of the children. When passed, the law did not contemplate or provide reasonable remediation for a school district as bad as Buffalo, but the intent was clear: The BPS children are suffering.  No more delay, act now and if slots are not available, outsource the students.  

 Despite the crisis, obvious to everyone, the cabal wanted us to look the other way so they could slide up to SED their illicit and deficient plan, devoid of any intent or attempt to outsource the children to suburban schools, BOCES vocational programs, Charters or private schools.  

 Why isn't every one of the 27,000 children in the 45 failed schools immediately entitled to a nourishing education? It is interesting that so many parents made no election for their children. It shows that the dysfunction is generational and that the parents are victims of the same dysfunctional school system as their children. 

 Why do the BOE cabal members, who caused the dysfunction, think they have the right to secretly engage their Superintendent, without full BOE input or approval, to dictate a policy, in response to the mandate, devoid of any outsourcing?  Do those BOE members really expect us to believe that the Superintendent made that policy decision alone? 

 Why shouldn't that BOE be punished and fired by the SED for letting things get so bad?

 When will our lame and cowardly legislative delegation engage?  

How bad does it have to get before elected and appointed officials recognize the fraud, waste and abuse inflicted on our children and finally give them an opportunity for an education? 

 

August 12, 2013
 

RESOLUTION

At an Emergency Meeting of the Buffalo Board of Education (BOE) held on Monday, August 12th in the City of Buffalo, said meeting having been duly noticed and approved by this Board, the following Resolution was adopted: 
 WHEREAS:  The Buffalo Public School District (BPSD) has in excess of 27,000 children enrolled in schools that are not in good standing, and,
 
WHEREAS:  Pursuant to federal law requirements, the New York State Education Department has directed the BPSD to provide School In Good Standing placement for every child whose family so demands; and,

 WHEREAS:  In excess of 2,200 families have demanded school in good standing placement for the 2013-2014 school year for their children who are currently enrolled in failing schools and,

 WHEREAS: This Board recognizes the urgency of finding an immediate solution for all of those families demanding  placement in schools in good standing for their children for the 2013-2014 school year; and,

WHEREAS:  This Board recognizes the critical and serious lack of capacity of the BPSD to provide adequate school in good standing opportunities in Buffalo public schools for the 2013-2014 school year to meet the current demand and;

 

WHEREAS: This Board further recognizes,  in view of the fact that there are in excess of 27,000 students enrolled in BPSD's 45 schools not in good standing, that the BPSD will continue to have a serious and critical lack of capacity to offer school in good standing opportunities.   

 

NOW,  after having diligently discussed, reviewed, and evaluated options available to this Board for making school in good standing opportunities available to all students enrolled in BPSD schools, this Board hereby resolves to amend the plan and seek authority from the SED as follows: 

 

1) In addition to spaces in BPSD schools-in-good-standing, the Superintendent and her staff shall immediately make serious, diligent and good faith efforts to locate as many available seats in schools-in-good-standing in outlying suburban school districts, BOCES and in private schools for the 2013-14 school year.

 
2) Upon determining such availability, the Superintendent and her staff shall expeditiously and effectively make known to the families who have requested school-in-good-standing choices, other available school in good standing alternatives in suburban, and private schools. 

 
3) The BPSD shall pay to those suburban and private schools such per student tuition as is reasonably negotiated and/or required by law. 

 
4) The Superintendent shall immediately survey the parents of all 27,000 children to determine those best suited for CTE Programs and enroll those students in the appropriate BOCES program.

 
5) The Superintendent and her staff shall prepare, in time for consideration at the August 21, 2013 BOE meeting, the results of the aforesaid effort and  plans for further public school choice alternatives for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years, which proposals shall include options for closing priority schools and restarting them as both charter schools and EPO-managed schools and, if necessary a Plan for a Federal Court Action by the BOE to allow the placement of students in Catholic and other private schools.

 
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