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 9, 2011

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.

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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