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, August 30, 2011

Attendance teachers coming back to Buffalo schools decided a more pro-active school board as Williams steps down

Finally district officials are recalling laid off attendance teachers from the preferred eligibility list  required in NYS education law after the Buffalo Board of Education in a more pro-active state insisted they rehire the attendance officers and other teachers recently laid-off immediately at a meeting on Monday.  Still a few  board members Florence Johnson, at large and Christopher Jacobs, at-large squabbled about the evils of  the cosmetic rider, seniority and a job description requiring attendance teachers to work  evening hours until district attorney advised hours set in the contract the item had to be negotiated with the union.
Also, the newest board member Sharon Belton-Cottman, Ferry District made troubling offensive comments about the work attendance teachers performed in the past saying they had to really work now instead of "sitting in offices," forgetting it was a contract dispute in 2005 not the job performance of the attendance teachers the reason district had laid them off.
The board voted to allocate $505,000, at a meeting on May 25th this year. Yet many of them were frustrated to see little progress had been done since this period. And John Licata, at-large board member commented, "I'm frustrated we continue to maneuver around the edges of this issue. We're going to be sitting here in October and I'm going to be heavily medicated if we don't have attendance teachers in place by then because that's the only way my voice is going to be calm, while Ralph Hernandez responded, "good point." 
Previously in the discussion Hernandez commented, "As the discussion keeps taking place, time keeps lapsing. Unless there's some law that prohibits the board from hiring these people back, let's do that. Work out the details later."  
There is the issue of the back pay the district owes to attendance teachers and other similarly laid off ones from 2005, especially if they had tenure/contract status with the district as a result of the board appointing them to permanent positions after passing their three-year probationary period. Ruth Kapsiak, West District Rep. said, "If you don't get the back pay, they're still working. Why penalize them by keeping them out waiting to see if you're going to get the back pay when you know you need attendance teachers?"  
Superintendent James A. Williams stepping done on September 15, after a highly contentious and embattled six years at the helm of the Buffalo School finally ceded it was a decision of the Board to hire the teachers wrongfully laid off in 2005 that included 15 attendance teachers. 
What held up the rehiring of the teachers had been Williams insisting the union drop the grievance dealing with how the positions of these teachers had been wrongfully abolished in 2005, in the dispute the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the district had on the single health carrier. Now that Williams is out of the way, things are starting to move forward the attendance teachers rehired from the preferred eligibility list while the district posting the job. And district officials have to settle the old grievance with these teachers because it was wrongful to have abolished their positions when the mid-year crises they had alleged never happened in 2005, while thousands of children stayed home from school in the intervening six-years period from September 2005 to September 2011, under the tenure of Williams who neglected these students in order to continue  pressuring the teachers' union to drop their grievance during a time period the district wallowed in funds from difference sources, allowing the superintendent to increase his exempt employees from 13 when he had arrived to 28. 
Thus, what's so tragic and shameful about this matter is the district had to only settle with a handful of teachers since many of those laid-off in 2005 were recalled, i.e, guidance counselors and librarians, while some had gone back to other tenure positions in the district. And the children in the Buffalo Schools sacrificed because Williams didn't want to settle with a few teachers, while the district had the funds and continues to have it. Many in the community believe for this reason, allowing Williams to have resigned for retirement without holding him accountable for his negligence was wrongful.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Behind the scenes look at board room after School Board goes into executive session to interview candidates for interim superintendent of schools

James A. Williams, Superintendent of Buffalo Schools steps down on September 15, after six turbulent years. The Buffalo School Board interviewed two candidates for superintendent of schools on Wednesday night at a scheduled meeting in  the board room,  801 City Hall at 5:30 PM.  And less than half hour later at  6 PM, the Board announced it was going into executive session.  After,  the security guard asked the public to leave the room instead the Board members left  went into an adjacent area.This video captured the frustration of the audience waiting as they conducted the interviews in private  in a back room behind closed doors in a meeting that lasted for over two hours. In the video are teachers recently laid-off at City Honors scheduled to speak about their plight asking for reinstatement, Citizen Action members signed up to speak about school suspensions, the Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore speaking on a resolution to bring back the laid-off attendance teachers and those recently laid off at City Honors though he spoke before the executive session, as well as other speakers. Adding to the anxiety and frustration of the public was waiting over two hours until after the Board finished the executive session to resume its meetings to allow the speakers on the agenda an opportunity to address them.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Amber Dixon new interim superintendent Buffalo Schools

Although they conducted the  interviews behind closed doors in executive session, the Buffalo Board of appointed a 20-year veteran internal candidate Amber Dixon as the new interim Superintendent of Schools.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Gov. Rick Perry, the public education president?

"Education is a state issue, and the federal government has no business dictating academic standards or curriculum to states...” so goes the thinking in the State of Texas where  Governor Rick Perry announced last Saturday he was running for president. And Gov. Perry sent a letter on January 13, 2010, to U.S. Secretary Arne Duncan informing him that:
"I will not commit Texas taxpayers to unfunded federal obligations or to the adoption of unproven cost-prohibitive national curriculum standards and test. RTTT would amount to as little as $75 per student in one-time funding, yet the cost to Texas taxpayers to implement national standard and assessment could be up to an estimated $3 billion.  In the interest of preserving our state sovereignty over matters concerning education and shielding local schools from unwarranted federal intrusion into local district decision-making, Texas will not be submitting an application for RTTT funds."
Gov. Perry published a book, FED UP!, critical of the federal government role in state matters and has already garnered the support of a group of local prominent Republicans in Buffalo who last Thursday announced their support for his candidacy.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Super Williams negotiated a "sweet" resignation/retirement deal

The Buffalo Board of Education is meeting on August 24, 2011, to pick a successor interim superintendent of schools. After the meeting today to discuss the second step in his termination process.  Williams arrived with his private attorney where he opted to resign for retirement purposes effective September 15, 2011.
Whether this option exists in his contract is not clear, but according to at-large School Board member Chris Jacobs this option allowed Williams to obtain life time health care benefits, something he may not have received if he had been terminated under the "no cause" or "for cause" options in his contract. 
Jacobs commented after the meeting the board could have  negotiated better with Williams because his option to resign/retire, a very costly one to the people of New York State. 
The meeting started at 12 noon and at 2 pm, Williams stepped into his conference room in City Hall to give a press conference.  And as the cameras, lights and microphones appeared in front of him as he stood in the limelight Williams said: 
"James Williams is a household name all over the country. I've received hundreds of calls. I'm very well respected. I'm leaving with dignity. I'm leaving with happiness. With a resume that would stand up against anyone who's sat in this seat in the history of Buffalo." 
"I'm looking forward to moving onto other things in my life. You've only got two bites at the apple, to retire and settle the buyout that was offered to me, based on contractual issues. That's all I can say about the agreement. I need to read it. I'm able to retire and also I'm able to turn the system over with dignity and respect." 
"The mark of a good leader is what happens after he or she leaves. I'll give you two or three years (to decide how good of a leader I was)." 
"Main thing I want this community to recognize, if you are not in school we can't educate you."
"The reason it's not working, those who are coming to school and consistently participate are successful." 
It took Williams six years to acknowledge the importance of daily school attendance, something he had the power to influence and he chose not to, instead  too busy traveling  to conferences around the country  to the tune of 130 days from May 2010 to June 2011 from the cell phone records Buffalo News blogger Mary Pasciak gleaned  from a FOIL request to the district last week. A board member had commented he spent more time out the district beyond the cell phone records. 
After seven days have passed, allowing Williams an opportunity  to review or reject the agreement, the public will have an opportunity know the terms of his resignation/retirement.

Williams retires in September, with health care benefits for's over!

Buffalo School Board voted 7-2, to accept the resignation of Superintendent James A. Williams for retirement purposes, effective September 15, 2011. At large School Board Rep. Chris Jacobs thought the board could have done better because of the life-time health care benefits Williams obtains yearly, a costly expense for New York State taxpayers.. And so that ended the turbulent, embattled termination feud between the Buffalo Board of Education and Williams.
And a meeting has been scheduled for Monday at 4:30 PM to address the issues of the teachers Williams laid-off recently especially those at City Honors. Roslyn Taylor commented she had gotten reassurance from Williams some to be reinstated again.

Williams now wants to resign rumor school board to negotiate a deal

The latest news on the merry-go-round circus like ordeal involving the options  to terminate  Superintendent James A. Williams is that he now wants to resign.  Previously he opted to retire....then the School Board decided to invoke  either the "no fault" or the "for cause" options in his contract to terminate him. But  now the Buffalo News published a story today on the Education Zone blog that  alleged  the School Board might allow Williams to stay on through September.
If the rumor is true, Super Williams gets to keep raking in $611 daily, $3,055 weekly or $18, 333 monthly, while he resigns. Yet, still to  receive his $110,000 six months pay even though he has been out of town more than one-third of the time from June 2010 through May 2011 and graduation rates declined, students in the 8th  and 7th grade had the worst  English proficiency scores and overall district performance described as "flat-lined" in the math and English Language Arts tests State Ed released this month.  The   Board of Education live blog meeting is today to consider terminating his contract.

Commissioner king assigning a "Distinguished Educator" to Buffalo Schools

State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. sent a letter to Superintendent James A. Williams on August 9, 2011 besides rejecting the turnaround plans based on the educational partnership organization model (EPO) the district submitted that he was considering possibly assigning a "Distinguished Educator" to the Buffalo Schools.

" a means to assist you to develop a plan for reconceptualizing the educational program for students at Lafayette High School and building district capacity for supporting dramatic change in Buffalo’s lowest performing schools." 
Yet, the joint intervention team  report on Lafayette High School had recommended the district close the school or re-open it under an education  management  organization group, an option the district had chosen when it selected an educational partnership organization (EPO) until State Ed folks rejected the plan last week. And the turnaround plans Williams submitted previously to the Board on April 13, had caused an uproar among the teachers at the schools who had to be transferred and re-interviewed for other positions in the district. Then, the turnaround plans changed again before the School Board met on May 9th, while Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore would not sign any plans where the teachers had to be reassigned, replaced or transferred out and Williams changed plans again. And finally at its May 5, meeting the School Board accepted the revised turnaround plans that included contracting out with educational partnership organizations to run seven of the schools though in the end three schools chosen in July under this restart model while district decided to wait on the others what had generated an uproar in the community and the wrath of the State Ed folks.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Super Williams absent one-third of time from district

Superintendent James A. Williams has been absent from the buffalo schools one-third of the time from June 2010 through May 2011, according from cell phone records the Buffalo News got through FOIL. So if Super out of town so many days, who did he leave in charge? And if he was out of town when important deadlines had to be met to State Ed for the grants, especially for the low-performing schools, why the "no fault" pursued to terminate his contract with the district? And what about the dismal attendance, graduation, and drop-out rates?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

School board member Licata on News live chat: Attendance teachers need to be in September job decription still to be resolved

School Board member at-large, John Licata, an attorney on the Buffalo News live chat today at 2 PM taking a series of questions as Mary Pasciak passed them on to the computer screen. Mr. Licata answered many questions many about the exempt employees, Superintendent James Williams pending termination, charter schools, etc.

When asked what's happening to attendance? Didn't the Board allocate $500,000 for attendance teachers? When are they suppose to come on board?
 He responded, "We did. There is an issue about job description that it... to be resolved soon. They need to be in place now to have the benefit of getting students in class by September. I share your urgency and expect an update on this on Friday."
Interestingly, Licata offered a clue about who will be the interim superintendent when and if Williams goes on the no fault provision of his contract. He said, "It is my expectation that the interim superintendent will be someone with working knowledge of the district and will have a seamless entry into the post during the search for the permanent replacement."
And he added the Board is meeting on August 17th with a rep from the NYS School Boards Association to discuss the process for a new superintendent search and move forward from there.
A few asked why the Board chose no fault instead of for cause to oust Williams.
The "for cause" is a longer process an appeals  involved while the "no fault" has the benefit of speed and finality, the reason why it was chosen as one of the contractual options for Williams.
His last parting words to the community:
"Education will only improve if we as a community improve the process by participation. Parents have to get their kids to school. The central office has to supply the teachers with the necessary technology to educate; teachers have to participate in professional development to continue to improve their skills. The era of confrontational education has to come to an end. Students are in the schools on a daily basis without any motivation or even sense of why they should be in school at all.
My hope is we can devise an education system that taps into the natural curiosity of children when they are four years old and cultivate that like a flame instead of dousing whatever intellectual pursuit is there in the need to have a rote education that can be measured by the standardized test."

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Dr. James A. Williams Tenure As Buffalo Schools Superintendent : Photo Galleries : The Buffalo News

Dr. James A. Williams Tenure As Buffalo Schools Superintendent : Photo Galleries : The Buffalo News

This  Bill Reinke photo from Dayton Daily News shows a slick and debonair, circa 1999, Superintendent James Williams addressing a School Board meeting in Dayton, Ohio. The Buffalo News arranged a slide show of his tenure in the Buffalo Public Schools after the Buffalo School Board on Tuesday voted to invoke the no fault clause to terminate his contract
Back in"... August 1999... the... (Dayton Public Schools) was awash in crisis after then-Superintendent James Williams and Treasurer Kennon Goff were forced out following a state audit that showed the district had a multimillion dollar deficit." 
Jerrie Bascome McGil who replaced Williams in the financially crisis ridden school he left behind  died 12 days ago credited for  having steadied the school system. And to think she was one of two finalist for the job of Superintendent of Dayton Public Schools, but the board picked Williams and she left the district, to come back a decade later to fix up the mess he left behind. Willilams served as Superintendent of the Dayton Public schools in Ohio from 1991 to 1999 until fired because of a $14 to $16 million deficit that mysteriously appeared in the budget.

Florence Johnson called board meeting to terminate Williams a Kangaroo court, board to meet next week to vote on no fault clause

 While, the motley crew gathered  tonight in room 801 City hall from Carl Paladino to Commissioner John B. King via telephone from Albany, the Buffalo Board of Education  met today at 4PM to discuss issues   from the new buyout package of Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele to terminating Superintendent James A. Williams.
It all happened with a special outside counsel Karl Kristoff from Hodgson Russ that Board President Louis Petrucci sought, while Brendan Kelleher the district counsel formally from the same law firm until he left to work for the district stood at the door of the board room in City Hall with Superintendent James A. Williams absent as per Mike Powers, his personal attorney,  also a judge in Clarence, 
Buffalo News School Zone blogger, Mary Pasciak was taking live questions from audience many questions on who will be the interim successor of Williams.  Pasciak mentioned several names many of them central office or  building principals but the name of  Erie 1 BOCES Superintendent Donald Ogilvie came up again as a possible succssor to Williams. 
Two Latinos, one African-American, two whites mentioned all district internal administrators. John Licata an at-large member brought up the issue to table the resolution to discharge Williams for cause, but Florence Johnson a staunch supporter of Williams interjected she thought they had come to discuss other personnel matters which she said should "have preference." Then, Hernandez said the meeting notice  clearly said they will discuss personnel matters, including anything the board deemed necessary.
At large member Christopher Jacobs, a candidate for County Clerk under the Republican line, voted to second the motion about tabling the resolution to discharge Williams for cause and it passed.
Board President Louis Petrucci motioned to go into executive session to discuss the agenda items begining with the buyout contract for Oladele, but Licata wants the resolution to discharge the superintendent for no cause under his contract moved up , but Florence Johnson opposed the move though it too passes. Licata reminds the board he submitted the resolution in  a timely fashion on Friday to be considered to day, according to Pasciak live blogging. At this point, Hernandez wants it noted in the record, that Superintendent Williams or his legal counsel   not present but the other board members see Brendan Kelleher district attorney standing a the doorway of the Board room. It is at this point that Florence Johnson called it a Kangaroo court. Licata continue to speak said part of the no fault in the contract requires the board to vote on it to invoke it. 
Also, Licata, an attorney in private practice said he believed the voting to invoke the no fault clause in contract to discharge Williams that no executive session applied to it as far as he is concerned. He added discussing the continued employment of Williams "can happen in open session. "  Hernandez reminded the board the no fault clause on table any board member  that they thinks it should be invoked should speak. Licata withdraws resolution until they go to executive session to get legal counsel to voting on whether to invoke the no fault resolution in public. So at 4:22 PM, the Board goes  into executive session to get legal opinion on whether they could vote in public to invoke the no fault clause of Williams' contract.
While Buffalo News blogger Pasciak leaves to talk via telephone with State Education Commissioner Dr. John King, Jr. about half hour later she returns to the live blog, and the board  that went into executive session at 4:22 didn't return until 5:37 PM, one hour and a half later all but three voted to accept the resignation of Oladele and all voted on" Motion to pursue proceedings to terminate Williams' contract. Meeting to take place later this week." 
Only three African-American Buffalo School Board members voted no---the newest Ferry District rep Sharon Belton Cottman, Florence Johnson, at-large, and , East District, Roslyn Taylor.

Buffalo board votes today to terminate Williams contract sooner... while state education department didn't approve funds for EPO turnaround plans

Buffalo School Board is meeting  today to decide how or in what way to terminate the contract of embattled Superintendent James A. Williams. And the State Education Department will not fund the turnaround plans for three of its persistently failing schools--Lafayette High School, Dr. Charles R. Drew Science Magnet, and Bilingual Center School 33-- because they chose the restart model based on the  educational partnership organization (EPO) .
Yet, the state threatened to  revoke the registration of any failing schools if drastic changes were not made by the opening of the school year. It appears the State Ed likely preferred the turnaround model over the restart one the teachers' union advocated it lessened the massive movement of teachers what the union and the teachers had opposed.
And Williams either will be fired for cause or released on a no fault arrangement where he leaves with six months pay, $110,000 and life time health care benefits for himself and spouse at 60% instead of  70% had he stayed until next June 2012. If the first option chosen, for cause, means a suspension immediately,  and  he'll get 90 days pay with benefits while he seeks due process. The super gets over $18,000 monthly, nearly $55,000 during the suspension. And if he prevails in any lawsuit brought against the district, Williams  is surely to leave with much more than the $110,000 originally proposed in his contract. School Board President Louis Petrucci sought outside legal council instead of using the district attorney Brendan P. Kelleher the one the board relied upon for advise when they met to oust Williams in late June but failed to do it.
Also, at-large School Board member John Licata cited his job performance,  that he is an obstructionist and the lay-offs at City Honors, hiring more exempt employees as a few reasons for terminating him, while  president of the teachers' union  mentioned  stalled contract talks , Williams ridiculous offer of 1% raises with 15% pay into health care benefits, the lines of communication not opened as they seemed to have been previously, and teachers laid-off while he continous to increase his cadre of exempt employees.
It may be best to move forward with the no fault termination option in his contract rather than a long drawn out legal process that takes away from choosing an interim successor and there is the  likelihood if Williams prevails legally he'll get a larger settlement from the district. 
And the step case the district prevailed on March 29, this year, where it did not have to pay three contractual steps to teachers, instead they got only one after the wage freeze is not chump change, while Williams at the helm though the Buffalo Teachers Federation is challenging the ruling in federal court.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Buffalo Schools report card figures released today mixed reviews

Stated Ed Dept released new figures today, Buffalo City Schools students, "... Some schools had fewer than 10 percent of students at grade level in some categories, while others had well over 50 percent." And Buffalo Figures though lower than Yonkers and NYC,  tests scores higher than Rochester and Syracuse.

Buffalo school board working out another buyout for deputy superintendent Oladele again

Buffalo News reported today she's taking accumulated vacation time off in July while another buyout package is in the works for embattled Buffalo Schools Deputy Superintendent Folasade Oladele. The first buyout Superintendent James A. Williams worked out for her costing about $215,000, a year's salary instead of the three months pay in her contract caused an uproar in the community. Even Carl Paladino threatened to sue in State Supreme Court if she got the pay while at-large Board Member John Licata took a similar stance arguing another reason. When the case went before the Buffalo Fiscal Control Authority, reviewing any expenditures over $50,000 there were not enough votes to disapprove the buyout package subsequently they sent it back to the Buffalo School Board. The Board is not disclosing the terms of the new buyout package until it's a done deal. Saying the confidentially close has no legal weight,
 "Bob Freeman, executive director of the state's Committee on Open Government, says despite the confidentiality clause in the separation agreement, the board could disclose the terms of the buyout if it chose to."Clearly, if the board wants to disclose this proposed agreement, it may do so."

Friday, August 5, 2011

Williams costly retreat comes at a bad time said school board president

Superintendent Williams  continues a costly tradition he started six years ago at  Beaver Hollow Conference and Leadership Center in Java, NY.

School Board President Louis Petrucci said, "it comes at a very poor time ...all the budget cuts we have to doesn't look good when the district is bringing all these people here to a resort..."
The..." rooms in Beaver Hollow's villas, are priced at $200 to $300 a night with a retreat  tag of over $100,000, as lay-off notices go out to teachers and teachers aides this week. And "partners" vendors who have been awarded contracts to conduct business with the district stay in villas and schmooze with Superintendent Williams.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Jonathan Kozo speaks at save our schools rally

Private donors pay for regents exams in New York may be first in nation to foot testing bill for public schools

Students have to pass  regents exams in five subjects to graduate yet the state cancelled the January exams because the State Legislature failed to provide $1.4 million needed for the tests, an earlier" $8 million short fall in the testing budget." Instead now the tests are only given in June and August, denying students an opportunity to graduate early,  make up failed tests or get a heads on the exams.
Adding to the madness is the Board of Regents voted on a new teacher and principal evaluation system in May this year that not only uses standardized testing to rate the effectiveness of both, but modified what the unions initially agreed to,  upping the ante from 20% to 40% weight on the tests. Unions are challenging this while three Regents didn't vote for the measure because of the high cost involved in developing the objective high-quality tests  not available to perform the evaluations
So NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg telephone his rich buddies asking for the funds. The donors agreed to fund it now the January Regents exams are back again.  The NY Times  called it, "...the nation's first private effort to pay for standardized testing." Bloomberg said,
“They just understand that this is the future of our country, our kids, the future of our city.”

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Superintendent Williams to appoint another exempt employee amid teacher lay-offs

Uncertainty continues to grow as  teachers notified of pending lay-offs in specialized areas such as Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate classes at City Honors, a premier high school in the Buffalo City School District threaten to challenge seniority rules in Albany, including transforming City Honors into a charter school.
Meanwhile, Superintendent James A. Williams continues to add to his exempt employees staff in central office amid the lay off notices sent out to teachers and teachers aides last week  that irked some school board members.  He said the position of executive director for restart and compliance overseeing the persistently lowest achieving schools including Lafayette under an educational partnership organization (EPO)  will be a union job according to Board President Lou Petrucci
Superintendent Williams appointed Florence Krieter, director of secondary schools, a union position,  working in the district turnaround schools office.
Krieter was a former  coordinator, later assistant principal and principal at Burgard High School until removed last year under federal guidelines for turnaround schools 

Matt Damon defended teacher tenure at save our schools rally in DC

"Damon was speaking at Sunday's Save Our Schools rally, where thousands of teachers and educators descended on Washington D.C. to protest the Obama administration's education policies," according to Yahoo News blog.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Truancy most critical and frightening statistic impacting on education of Buffalo schools children

On Buffalo News live chat Tuesday, Phil Rumore, President of Buffalo Teachers Federation said,
"Perhaps what is the most critical and frightening statistic impacting on the education of our kids is the truancy, e.g., 30 to 37 percent of our high school students are absent over 38 days. That's over seven weeks. Similarly in the elementary schools, 43 percent of our kindergarten students are absent four to seven weeks. Ten percent of our K-6 students are absent four to five weeks. There is nothing more important than addressing the staggering absenteeism. You can have the best programs, personnel, etc., however, if the students aren't in school, nothing will improve. Unfortunately, the district doesn't seem to share our view of the urgency of this issue."

Superintendent Williams going to court to challenge latest ruling regarding voluntary teacher transfers

Phil Rumore, President of Buffalo Teachers Federation said on the Buffalo News live chat today that Superintendent James A. Williams is appealing the ruling of the arbitrator last Thursday regarding the violation of the BTF contract when he denied the voluntary requests of teachers seeking  transfers last spring.
Rumore said, "First the superintendent has announced he is going to go to the courts to challenge the arbitration. He will, however, not prevail, and is just creating more chaos. 
However, the superintendent has announced the district will appeal. We will be going to court within a week to enforce the arbitration. Stay tuned."
Also, when asked about the wage freeze and why BTF going to Federal Court on the matter Rumore responded:
"...remember that we had unanimous decisions in the two lower courts that were reversed in the Court of Appeals. The impact on a teacher's lifetime earnings by being kept three steps behind where they should be is as much as $100,000. We believe that we are right and that this is money that should be spent because what was done was wrong."
When asked about the recent lay-offs in the Buffalo Schools, Rumore responded:
"...with a $900 million budget and apparently no exempt administrative positions cut, I don't think any layoffs need to occur." 

Monday, August 1, 2011

To be or not to be? Superintendent Williams won't hire attendance teachers unless union drops wrongful termination grievance

Ah, yes... remember the contingency funds  the Buffalo Board of Education allocated back on May 25th to hire back the attendance teachers? And the contingency funding had to do with all parties agreeing to an attendance program of some sorts. It appears Superintendent James A. Williams idea of contingency has changed  from what he agreed.
That is  why  Board attorney Brendan Kelleher called  Phil Rumore, President of the Buffalo Teachers Federation on Thursday asking the union to drop its grievance on the wrongful termination of the attendance teacher in 2005 or Superintendent James A. Williams won't bring back the teachers.
So it seems we are back to square one again as student attendance continues to plummet in the Buffalo Schools as a plethora of reports from different groups corroborated it, including the attendance report consultant  Hedy Chang the district hired last fall compiled from studying attendance data in the schools. And Williams can't pick and choose which attendance teachers  to hire. He hired one laid off attendance teacher  in 2009 in guidance as a school counselor and three laid-off attendance teachers on the preferred eligibility list returned last year. So district opening itself up to legal challenges if it stipulates conditions  on hiring the others on the list.

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