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

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The hiring of exempt employees lacking proper credentials in Buffalo Public Schools causing community uproar

The Buffalo News  educational blogger disclosed on Sunday how several exempt employees "failed to meet district requirements" for their positions, including two associate superintendents who "have no certification or experience in the areas they oversee." The developing scandal includes the director of human resources submitting a letter of resignation sources told the news.
Responding to the story is Dr. James A. Williams, Superintendent of Schools who said, "there's no one on my staff who is not qualified. Our kids deserve the best and brightest. That's how I operate." "I don't get into years of experience. If you have the certification and you have the knowledge, you can work for me."  
The newspaper posted the resumes of the exempt employees who  didn't meet the requirements of the job postings. But the most troubling  ones cited are two persons serving in administrative positions where one lacks any credentials in school administration though the job posted required the certification, while the other an associate superintendent  can't document ever having been awarded tenure in any school district yet overseeing a cadre of professional employees with tenure  as an asssociate superintendent of elementary teaching and learning with only six years of teaching experience. Also, a person hired as assistant legal counsel not passing the bar or ever working as a practicing attorney before hired in a job posting that required it.
And this is happening in tandem with  the Regents Task Force on Teacher and Principal Effectiveness" report released this month based on the new implementation of Education Law §3012-c, New York State’s teacher and principal evaluation statute tied to  an Annual Professional  Performance Review (APPR) for all teachers and principals. 
And by law, " the APPR is required to be a significant factor in employment decisions such as promotion, retention, tenure..., termination, and supplemental compensation. If a teacher or principal falls under one of the ratings "developing" or "ineffective" a TIP  or PIP (Teacher or principal improvement plan) is created. Under this new law tenure teachers or principals with two consecutive annual "ineffective"  ratings may be charged with incompetence  ushered through an expedited hearing for termination. 
And the law provides that "all evaluators must be appropriately trained." This takes effect beginning in 2011-2012 with full implementation by the 2012-2013 school year. Even collective bargaining agreements must be consistent with Chapter 103 with laws 2010 as early as July 2010.
Thus,  news about the "exempt" employees in  the Buffalo Public Schools is troubling, something that behooves immediate attention as this new law §3012-c takes effect  September 2011. So district needs to "get more into the experience" of its  employees in administration consistent with the implementation of this new law. Moreover,  Central District school board member, Ruth Kapsiak, a retired school administrator in the same news story said, "I don't know how we're going to turn the district around if we don't have the right people in the right places."  And she said,  "I just feel we're paying an awful lot of money for people not to know what they're doing."

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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