Parents at failing schools meet to discuss district’s failure to submit turnaround plans

13 Jul

PRESS RELEASE

 

Parent Leaders from Buffalo’s Persistently Low Achieving Schools

Meeting to discuss Strategy to address Districts Failure to submit plans 

Parents invite representative from the U.S. Dept of Education to present at the Common Council Education Subcommittee and Board of Education Meeting

Parent Leaders from Buffalo’s Persistently Low Achieving schools are concerned with the Board of Education’s Decision to submit applications for only 3 of 7 of the eligible schools.

 This is the second year in a row that the Buffalo School District has not been able to do what is necessary to ensure that they qualified to receive all the Grant money they are eligible for.  Last year (2010) Buffalo received Race to the Top School Improvement Grant funds for only 4 of 7 of the eligible schools because of their refusal to move Principals at 3 of the schools.  New York State Education Dept. did not accept Buffalo’s refusal to comply with the Grant requirements.  In an Unprecedented move Commissioner Steiner came to Buffalo and spoke at a Board of Education meeting to make the State’s position clear.  Underlying the District decision not to move Principals was an effort to accommodate Union concerns.

Here we are in 2011 and the Buffalo School District again will not receive funding for at least 4 of 7 schools. The underlying reason is again UNION concerns.  Superintendent Williams and the District Administration spent 1 year putting together a plan to move the Principal and half the teachers at all 7 schools which would have made them eligible to receive all the funds they qualified for.  The Buffalo Teachers Federation publicly stated that they would not support any plan that called for the moving of even one teacher, consequently the District attempted to use the Education Partnership model with only 18 days of planning instead.  Which has led to the District not submitting plans for most of the schools.

Parents are concerned that the District is not being guided by its Mission to – Put Children and Families First to ensure High Academic Achievement for all.  Clearly the district has put the concerns of Unions and Adults ahead of Children and Families.

The parents have requested that the U.S. Dept of Education send a representative to Buffalo for the July 20, 11 am Buffalo City Council Education subcommittee meeting and the 5:30pm Board of Education meeting to give President Obama’s administration rebuttal to the Buffalo Teachers Federation accusation that he Moving the Principal and 50% of the Teachers is playing musical chairs, not based on research and will not turnaround failing schools.  The U.S. Dept. of Education is prepared to stand by the Federal Turnaround Strategies.  Parents are following up on a White house offer to send agency officials to local communities to ensure that Administration resources are able to get to the grassroots.  The offer was made On July 1, 2011 when Vice President Samuel Radford attended a Community Leaders Briefing at the White House on behalf of the Buffalo District Parent Coordinating Council. 

Buffalo Parents feel that the Buffalo School district cannot afford to miss out on the availability of Millions of dollars in Federal Stimulus funds that can be used to Turnaround Persistently Low Achieving schools.  “This is an opportunity that we may never have again” according to Buffalo Parent Leader Patricia Elliott.  “How can we afford to pass up on 6 million dollars to turnaround each of our PLA schools?  It is not fair to students who attend those schools. Teachers, Administrators’ and Board members will continue to benefit whether we get the funds or not.  Only children and families will continue suffer from these decisions, for absolutely no good reason.  We know for sure what we are doing know is not working how can we possibly lose by trying something different with the 6 million per school to do it.”

 

 

Press Conference Following meeting

When:              Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Time:               1:00pm

Location:         Gateway Longview center – 347 E. Ferry St.

Speakers:         Parents Leaders of Buffalo PLA schools


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