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

Friday, February 5, 2016

AFT convention

Going to the AFT Convention as a delegate for the BTF


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

The New Federal ESSA Statute: A Step Backward for Fair School Funding

By Michael A. Rebell 
At the end of 2015, Congress finally enacted a new version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, which now will be known as the Every Child Succeeds Act (ESSA). Our highly polarized Congress was eight years late in reconsidering and revising the major federal statute for funding services for students who are “educationally disadvantaged”; the previous version of this law, known as No Child Left Behind (NCLB), was scheduled for reauthorization in 2007. Millions of students living in poverty, and English language learners (ELLs), were, in fact, left behind by NCLB. Although ESSA does in limited ways correct some of the shortcomings of NCLB and provide scope for some educational innovations, on balance this new law ignores the real needs of the students it is designed to serve and so is likely to be no more successful than its predecessor in carrying out the aspirations of its title.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Enemies of public education

What enemy or advocacy list are you on in public education? Before Diane Ravitch had become a spokesperson and writer exposing the reform agenda of several of these enemies of public education, she had been part of the reactionary forces espousing its ideas until like the prodigal daughter returns to be one of its fiercest advocates today.
Here is the list.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Lawsuit accuses Achievement First of failing to provide mandated services

As more charter schools are challenged in courts for failing to provide  students a free appropriate education, their modus operandi have come under scrutiny as parents increasingly become more aware of their rights and the lack of compliance and accountability in these schools.
Achievement First Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York a network of charter schools, along with the NYC Department of Education and NYS Education are named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of five children , alleging the charter school failed to provide mandated special education supports while punished the children for behavior associated with their disabilities.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dr. Kriner Cash, newly appointed Superintendent of the Buffalo City School District espoused innovative ideas about the high school curriculum in this radio interview at WBFO. Listen here...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gary Orfield Statement on Buffalo School Board Plan

"I am deeply disappointed with the response of the Buffalo Board of Education to the recommendations we presented in May as a means of resolving a finding of discrimination by the federal government. Although the Board made a very hopeful response to addressing the very serious problems of inadequate parent information, it failed to address:

  • the findings and recommendations about the criteria, preferential access by students in one neighborhood, 
  • the neglect of students from non-English speaking families, 
  • and, especially, the totally inadequate supply of academically excellent schools.
  •  Nor was there more than the slightest reference to the more structural problems of extremely segregated housing, rooted in a history of city government discrimination, and the need to seek regional collaborations in creating more very strong educational opportunities. 
Our recommendations were not a menu of random items. It was an integrated approach in which the success of each element depends upon the others if the goal is to be achieved. The school district must have a plan that will cure its civil rights violation, either ours or an alternative that research and experience shows is likely to work. It has neither." 

Buffalo News story

Buffalo School leadership response plan to OCR recommendations 

Superintendent Cash response to School Board/Resolution Agreement 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Buffalo Public Schools Restructuring and Takeover

The Buffalo City School District opens on September 1, this year with a newly appointed Superintendent of Schools formerly from the Memphis City Schools, Dr. Kriner Cash, presiding both as a Receiver and Superintendent under the new Bill hurriedly passed in March to restructure and takeover the NYS public so called struggling and persistently struggling schools.

The Bill outlining the restructuring and takeover of the schools is an unprecedented one because it eventually outlines the process for the conversion of nearly half of Buffalo Schools into charters.

This is happening nationwide from Louisiana to  New Jersey,  the wholesale of public school districts to outside entities and the public has taken to the streets to protest it.

 In Buffalo New York, a rally calling for the "Refuse" Receivership has been planned on Wednesday, September 2, at 3:30 PM at McKinley High School, 305 Elmwood Avenue---100 signed up on a Facebook page to attend about 1,000 invited.

While thousands have already been spent on attempting to overhaul the schools through Race to the Top funding , Governor Andrew Cuomo with a mere allocation of $75 million expects to do more or better and schools failing to show "demonstrable" academic gains in one year or less than three are taken over by outside entities.

Sadly, many of the public schools in the City of Buffalo were recently renovated under the biggest school reconstruction project ever in the history of the system, costing an investment of billions of taxpayers funds as much as $1.3 billion described as the buffalo's largest historic preservation project ever.

And at a time when there could  have been  an unprecedented improvement of the schools with the financial resources the state had committed to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in Foundation Aid funds to public schools, though the state still continues to take the Gap Elimination funds imposed in 2010-11, instead there is a coup d'état , a takeover of the public schools in poor communities.

According to An Alliance for Quality Education report August 2014:

"New York State owes its public schools $5.9 billioiFoundatioAid and Gap EliminatioAdjustment funding. Systemic underfunding is leaving a generatioof students ihigh need schools without access to the “sound basic education” which is theiconstitutional right."

A7013-2015 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to the takeover and restructuring of struggling and persistently struggling schools - New York State Senate

A7013-2015 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to the takeover and restructuring of struggling and persistently struggling schools - New York State Senate

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pearson Rakes in the Profit

"A financial analysis for 2012 of the British-based publishing giant Pearson is available online at It tells a very interesting, if frightening story that needs to be more widely circulated in the United States, especially among parents, teachers, and educational policy makers. Something consistently missing in a report that emphasizes growth and profit is students and whether Pearson's high tech snake oil actually promotes student learning.* Pearson is a money making machine, but is this education?"

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