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, March 30, 2011

Buffalo teachers lose court battle to gain steps lost during wage freeze

 In a highly controversial ruling yesterday,  The Court of Appeals  decided Buffalo school teachers and other employees of city unions wouldn't get salary step increases lost during the 38-month wage freeze imposed back in April 2003, lifted on July 2007. The  district's $75 million in reserve  in the event they  lost the court case puts it in a stronger position now as  they move forward in contract negotiations with the Buffalo Teachers Federation without a contract since July 2004.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Buffalo School officials fail to comply with FOIL

The Buffalo Public Schools stymied the request of the Buffalo News for the contracts of  nonunion administrator's employees resumes.  When the News requested the resumes of the 28 non-union exempted administrators, a district spokesperson invited the press to meet with the exempt employees with their resumes in a group meeting. According to Elena Cala, the district's spokesperson, Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele would be the one bringing the group together for the News to meet with their resumes at which time they get a resume as well.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Buffalo Schoool Board abolished residency rule

Buffalo teachers no longer required to live in the City of Buffalo.  The Buffalo Board of Education abolished the 19-year-old residency rule enacted in 1992 on Wednesday night. Interestingly, less teachers resided outside the city during the time the residency rule enforced it was disclosed in a Buffalo News Education Zone blog  after education blogger Mary Pasciak perused the zip codes on a district payroll list.

Parent called Buffalo Superintendent Williams liar and regreted he supported Board Member Florence Johnson at Meeting

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Public now has access to Buffalo Board of Education committee meetings

Thanks to Buffalo News reporters Brian Meyer and Mary Pasciak, the public now has access to the Buffalo Board of Education committee meetings Student Achievement, Educational Support, Executive Affairs, and Finance and Operations clandestinely held  before on  Wednesdays  opposite from the regular board meetings in City Hall.
Pasciak wrote, "the board and the administration have for years been aware of the lack of public access (I've even heard board members joke about it during meetings) but done nothing about it until now. Why?" 
And what about the committee meetings with the superintendent? When are these meetings held?  
The next Executive Affairs and Finance & Operations committee meetings, Wednesday,  March 16, Room 801, City Hall at 5 PM and 7 PM as listed on the district calendar. Next Buffalo Board of Education meeting is Wednesday, March 23, at 5 PM, in room 801, City Hall.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chickens coming home to roost: School board member Jacobs and Superintendent Williams on the outs

Politics on the Buffalo Board of Education makes for strange bedfellows as Board Member at-large, Christopher Jacobs and Superintendent James Williams  sparred about the issue of exempt employees, the non-union administrators former GOP gubernatorial candidate and businessman Carl  Paladino mentioned when he spoke before the Board of Education committee meeting on Wednesday.
When Jacobs  asked  Williams about  these exempt employees, he referred him to look at the budget,  saying: "We have less administrators than we had when I came here. But we have more exempt employees."
Superintendent Williams told Jacobs he's "sick of his craziness" and called Paladino "ignorant" and "stupid." And he told  Jacobs and other committee members they..."all cater to that stupid stuff. I'm fed up with it. I'm through with him (Paladino). I'm not going there."
Jacobs  frustrated with Williams picks up his things and walks out of the Board  Education committee meeting.
Interestingly Jacobs is vice-president for executive affairs  and chairs the executive affairs committee on the School Board,  where   these "exempt" administrative appointments discussed or was he politically grandstanding?
The Buffalo News education blogger speculated  Jacobs has political aspirations,  he's "...playing to the preferences of some of the most powerful forces Buffalo's business community," such as Carl Paladino.
The question is, what happens now to the former friends now foes?  Williams allegedly told reporters on Wednesday he would leave the district if the salary cap  Governor Andrew Cuomo proposed for superintendents based on enrollments implemented.
Christopher Jacobs has been one of Williams staunchest supporters on the School Board, voting with the faction that extended his controversial contract three times since July 2005.

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