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, May 17, 2011

Masten District Council Member voice support for reinstatement of truancy officers in Buffalo schools

Masten  Council Member, Demone A.  Smith, said the district should reinstate the truancy officers in the Buffalo Public Schools. He was one of the speakers at the rally yesterday in front of City Hall. The District Parent Coordinating Council organized it after a parent boycott of the Buffalo Public Schools where nearly 10% less  students attended  the half day of school on Monday.

In 2005, the Buffalo Schools laid-off 15 attendance officers in a dispute with the Buffalo Teachers Federation over the single health care insurance that took court action to resolve it. Still, the cadre of professional truancy officers were never reinstated despite the yearly dip in attendance rates even though the district had committed to reinstate them.

Meanwhile thousands of school children either failed to show up in school daily or had so many absences it contributed to higher drop-out rates, academic failure, as well as, one of the major causes for the high number of Buffalo public schools on the state "persistently low-achieving" list.

Buffalo News education blogger Mary Pasciak wrote in, Lessons from the boycott:
Despite the nearly universal agreement that the district must take steps to increase student attendance, the proposed 2011-12 Buffalo Public Schools budget does not include reinstating attendance teachers or truant officers across the district.
The attendance statistics she listed from the various schools for May 2, in the district are dismal at best especially at all of the academic high schools, including McKinley, Hutch Tech and Leonardo Da Vinci considered  the top tier high schools in the district.  And Pasciak wrote, " It's hard to imagine how anyone could see that as anything but major cause for concern.
Here attendance rankings of the schools on May 2
When the BTF threatened not to sign off on the Race to the Top grant application to the State Education Department last year,  the district included three truancy officers, but the attendance in the district has decreased  drastically since the truancy officers were laid off  six years ago that additional attendance teachers needed.

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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