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?