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, 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.

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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