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

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:

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Memorial Servce for Edward V. (Ned) Regan

Memorial Servce for Edward V. (Ned) Regan

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

Sunday, September 7, 2014

State ousting school boards, the New Jersey story.

In 1995, "State education officials took control of the Newark Board of Education's headquarters today, dismissing top school executives and assuming responsibility for the day-to-day operations of New Jersey's largest school district." After the superintendent arrived home in his school district issued limousine, the state took it away.

Buffalo Public Schools and post Katrina school reforms

As the Buffalo Public School District moves forward in implementing a new vision of the schools, it helps to read about the experiences of other school districts  in some of the areas outlined  for an overhaul such as a Recovery School District (RSD), more charters, and vouchers to learn what happened.

 " New Orleans will have only five public schools—those operated by the Orleans Parish School Board. Everything else will be charters. The post-Katrina path to almost 100 percent charter education began with the post-storm shutdown of the city’s struggling public schools and the firing (recently declared illegal) of some 7,500 unionized teachers and other school employees, predominantly African American women. The assault was accelerated by a massive infusion of foundation and entrepreneurial investment in new charter schools, and years of state and federally supported deregulation and privatization."

Today, the  New Orleans Parish schools are privatized made up entirely of charter schools, and research about the experiment indicates that students are no better off  than when it was operated by the Orleans Parish School Board before Katrina hit in 2005.

In a public school system that enrolled 60,000 students today, it's a mere 33,000 and there are thousands of children never enrolled. And "one 2010 study found 4,000 teens, about 10 percent of the city's student population, not enrolled in school at all."

For example, the Recovery School Districts, a statewide school district set up to turn around schools the state labels failing started before Katrina in 2003, when 107 schools out of 128 were transferred to  the RSD.  While,  the state acquired the buildings, bargaining unit teachers disappeared to be replaced by Teach for America recruits and nearly all the charter schools hired teachers from TFA too. Yet, in "2011, 79 percent of these RSD schools were rated D or F."

Once this happens, it is difficult if not impossible to reinstate schools under democratically elected control through elected school boards.

In an attempt to reclaim schools that were not failing back into democratically elected control through the old Orleans Parish School Board, the court rejected its bid. Although the post Katrina law limited schools under the RSD to five years, in 2010, this was amended to allow each charter the right to decide if they wanted to return to local control and most of course opted not to return.

And  children with disabilities were seen as liabilities by the charters that hired inexperienced teachers many of them with limited experience working with special education children such as TFA recruits.

Yet, the 2,500 students awarded vouchers didn't do any better than those in the RSD, while this voucher pilot failed, still it was implemented statewide.

"I tell people that if you believe what has happened in New Orleans is OK—stripping away our right to be self-determined in public education by taking our schools away—are you ready to say that America should not operate on democratic principles? Because that’s where this leads."

New view of Finnish Schools

A new look at Finnish Schools not the top world education many led to believe.

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