Mamie Till Mobley

"There was an important mission for me, to shape so many...young minds as a teacher. God took away one child but...(gave) me thousands. And I have been grateful for the blessing." Mamie Till Mobley

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Supervisor of Attendance still vacant

The posting for Supervisor of Attendance first advertised back on August 14, 2014 and posted two times through October and November wasn't filled in Buffalo Public Schools.
Meanwhile, the NYS Education Department labeled four "time out" schools. And unless plans are designed to turn them around, they face closure.
So, it is  important for the district to fill the position of Supervisor of Attendance to ensure students are attending school daily and benefiting from a free public school education, especially during a period of school closures.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Commissioner King new post

Commissioner John B. King, Jr. resignation appears planned earlier with the impending departure at the end of the year of Deputy Secretary of Education James Shelton, formerly a program officer at the Gates Foundation  Arne Ducan appointed to an innovation post and later his deputy secretary of education.  Shelton's departure was the topic of an  Education Week article in October.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Commissioner John King stepping down

New York State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr.  is finally stepping down to the approval of many critics unhappy with his performance as the top educational leader in Albany.

Besides criticized for  his lack of experience for the job, appointed in 2011, there were many complaints about his overall leadership and statewide public relations fiascos  from standardized testing to teacher evaluations.

As the youngest state education commissioner,  his leadership has come under attack for his  implementation of the APPR  teacher  evaluation system followed by the Common Core Curriculum.

And his interference in the Buffalo Public School System, including his public criticism of former Superintendent Dr, Pamela Brown had caused him problems with the former African American female majority bloc on the Buffalo Board of Education, especially former at large  school board member Florence Johnson.

Interestingly , Interim Superintendent of the Buffalo Schools, Donald A. Ogilvie was pursued by the new  majority bloc on the Buffalo School Board because of his association with Commissioner King. 

And  is the Interim Superintendent Ogilvie still stepping down after one year? And the distinguish educator Judy Elliot, what happens to her post? 

Also, what will happen to the BOCES CTE programs students in two Buffalo schools are enrolled?

And now that he has quit as the commissioner, what will happen to the Buffalo Schools turnaround plans for the four schools and the threat of closures? 

“It is the best early Christmas present I could have hoped for. Hopefully the Board of Regents will take their time and find a commissioner who is able to engage the field and help bring education in New York forward," said Carol Burris, who was named New York’s 2013 High School Principal of the Year by the School Administrators Association of New York and the National Association of Secondary School Principals in a Valerie Strauss article on the Answer Sheet Washington Post.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Bennett High School public meeting for a new school and charters begin requests to locate at Buffalo Public Schools

The public meeting of Bennett High School Alumni's proposal for a new high school  will be held on Tuesday, December 2, 2014, at 7pm in the auditorium.

The proposal features various pathways to graduation from a Regents Honors  to career technical education programs. The building trades are the focus of the  CTE programs.

It is important for the community to attend the meeting to learn about the new proposal for Bennett High School since the State Education Department labeled it an "out of time" school facing closure, if it doesn't propose an acceptable education plan to the district by mid December.

And Interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie has appointed a committee  12 to review  and evaluate the turnaround plans for Bennett, East, Lafayette High Schools and MLK  this month.

Also, the school board majority bloc voted Tuesday at  special board meeting to accept requests from local "high" performing charter schools to either co-exist in a district building with another  charter, or with another school in a district building or take over the building.

Interestingly,  a Calvados comment in the BN story on Nov. 26,  cited an August 19, 2014, State Ed  Press Release with a list  Reward Schools.

"NYSED designates high performing public schools as "Reward Schools. "Reward Schools are either schools that have high achievement or schools that have made the most progress in the state and do not have significant gaps in student achievement between subgroups. For 2014-15, the state identified 354 NY public schools for their list. There are 248 charter schools currently approved to operate in New York State as of October 2014. Only seven of these charter schools appear on
NYSED's list of Reward Schools and none are located in WNY."

Tapestry Charter School visited Bennett last summer and has indicated an interest in the Bennett High School building, while Health Sciences Charter School founded in Tonawanda in 2009, until it renovated the old ECC building and moved to this location on Ellicott Street in 2011, has submitted a request to State Education officials in Albany to open an elementary school at the Dr. Martin Luther King building on High Street in order to offer K through 12.

Back in October, the Buffalo Board of Education principally the Majority Bloc voted for a resolution favored by board member Larry Quinn that would allow any Buffalo Public School to become a charter school. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Michael Brown's High School Is An Example Of The Major Inequalities In Education

Rebecca Klein
Huffington Post
Before Michael Brown became a symbol of racially charged unrest, he was a recent high school graduate days away from starting college.
That high school diploma was hard-earned, his mourning mother has said. "Do you know how hard it was for me to get him to stay in school and graduate?" she told news station KMOV. "You know how many black men graduate? Not many."

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Ned Regan, remembering a true public servant

Ned Regan, remembering a true public servant

He was a product of both public and private education, and I think that made him particularly proud to teach at a public institution that he said attracts “the best and the brightest” from across the city, across the country and, from what I saw in the classes that I visited, across the world. 

What really jazzed him was the fact that he was teaching, and learning from, first generation Americans. He often spoke of their hunger for knowledge and their drive. He loved being part of their lives and they loved him. - See more at:

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Supervisor of Attendance position still vacant in Buffalo Public Schools

Donald A. Ogilvie Interim Superintendent & BPS Board of Education

The Supervisor of Attendance position is still vacant in the Buffalo Public Schools. Why? 

The job was posted on August 14, 2014, the candidate offered the position had allegedly declined and it was reposted on October 25 and reposted on November 7.

I had applied  for the position and interviewed in the first round but eliminated never provided a reason or even told why I was eliminated in the first round of a three tier interview process. 

I  sent an email to the Chief of Talent Management  to inquire about the status of the position when it was first posted. He responded the second interviews had already been scheduled. 

Also, Section 3213 NYS Education Law requires that a Supervisor of Attendance must be a certified school attendance teacher. Besides possessing this credential, I've a school district administrator certificate as well, and the second language preference posted on the job description.

It's shameful this critical leadership position continues empty in a school district with over half  failing or designated focus or priority  schools by the NYSED.

And there are over 9000, chronically and severely absent students in a district with a population of 34,000.  So, despite City of Buffalo residents qualified to fill it, the district rather keep it vacant.

Before schools are closed, it may be better to revamp how candidates are interviewed and offered positions in the Buffalo Schools.   It may reveal the problems are not failing schools but a hiring system that behooves a thorough investigation.

Veterans Day Salute to my Dad

Korean War Veteran : Domingo Rosa Cordero & Aurea Rosa Rey
Korean War Veteran: Domingo Rosa Cordero
Thousands of Puerto Rican youths volunteered for the Korean War.  My dad Domingo Rosa was one of these men. More than 43,000 Puerto Ricans served in the Korean War,  most with the 65th Infantry Regiment, and 3,540 killed. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Education Hot Topic In New York As Election Nears - WBEN NewsRadio 930 : Buffalo & Niagara Falls, NY

The Common Core bashing has both  the Democratic and Republican candidates either critical of its implementation or want to rid it completely abolish it  during a hotly contested gubernatorial election year. The Buffalo Teachers Federation is supporting the Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones, while New York State United Teachers union similar to the 2010 election has not endorsed for governor this year.And a member of local groups have joined the newly created, the High Achievement New York coalition to advocate continuing the controversial implementation of a curriculum that has been troublesome and too costly for cash strapped public schools in cities across the nation.With a list of about 27 members composed of local, state and national groups, it includes the following members from Buffalo: Buffalo Education Reform, Buffalo Niagara Partnership

Buffalo Urban League, StudentsFirstNY

Education Hot Topic In New York As Election Nears - WBEN NewsRadio 930 : Buffalo & Niagara Falls, NY

Friday, October 31, 2014

Green ! Green! Green! Education voting Green...

The Democratic Party has suffered great losses as thousands of former loyal followers aligned themselves to the Green Party in the upcoming  gubernatorial  election.

Diane Ravitch, a leader educator and author of many books on American public education has given her support to the Green Party. 

She said, "I am voting Green because Howie Hawkins and Brian Jones will fully fund our public schools, will stop the over-testing of our students, and will not open more privately managed charter schools. They promise to rebuild our public schools, which enroll nearly 90% of the state’s children."

The Democratic Party has been viewed in the last 20 years as a major advocate for the privatization of the American public schools through the leadership of Democrats for Education Reform, drawing its support from hedge fund investors and  billionaires.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo seen as a favorite cheerleader of the group is expected that many of his traditional constituents are voting  Green instead, while others in the education field even view the Republican candidate as a better choice,

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

More charters to open in Buffalo

Besides a protest rally held outside of City Hall about the privatization of the Buffalo Public Schools before the Buffalo Board of Education meetimg last night, Interim Superintendent Donald A. Ogilvie discussed the timeline for the  so called out-of-time schools, Bennett, East Lafayette and MLK. RFP expected to be issued next week .
While,  by mid December and January, proposals for charters would have also been submitted to the State Education Department in Albany. 
And the school board will be able to enter  into  independent negotiations with these entities authorized to open charters In Buffalo.
All of this of course is not without controversy and the minority bloc on the  School  Board have criticized the State Education Department for allowing only new charter schools to open in the city of Buffalo.
There is concern in the community about the rush to not only open new charter schools in Buffalo but also to convert "any " of the Buffalo schools into charters  as directed in the resolution that was passed at the previous board meeting.
Also there was the issue brought up by members of the minority bloc on the school board about the district own turnaround plans.
In other matters, $1.6 million was approved to hire more teacher aides in  kindergarten in the district and to reduce class sizes.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Charter Schools proposals approved for Buffalo

"Education Department is taking the unprecedented step of opening up a new round of charter school proposals specifically for the City of Buffalo. While it is no longer possible for interested charter school founders to submit proposals for new schools in the rest of the state for 2015-16, Buffalo is an exception."

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Lafayette High School Phase Out Resolution

The Resolution before the Buffalo Public School Board tonight Sandra Tan uploaded to Twitter..Lafayette High School is now considered by the NYS Education Department as a "time out school," because it has not achieved the  level of  academic progress to remove it from priority school status in the three years identification as a PLA/SURR and not implementing the EPO contract with John Hopkins University....

"I find it maddening that the superintendent can put forth resolutions that aren't publicly available BEFORE THE MEETING. How is any member of the public supposed to know what's on the agenda for serious consideration when such big resolutions can be brought forth at the last minute? "
Sandra Tan, BN blogger

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)

Whitney Tilson (3rd background)
"Let’s be honest: we need a lot more well-off, well-educated white folks with a personal stake in both charter schools and education reform in general if we’re going to take reform to the next level, both politically and operationally.Whitney Tilson, hedge fund manager and major funding angel for the school privatizing Democrats for Education Reform, thinks there’s not enough rich, educated white folks.( Preaprez) click photo to his blog.

Arne Duncan

Arne Duncan
U.S. Secretary of Education, click photo