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

Thursday, September 29, 2011

A "distinguished educator" during Buffalo School superintendent search process confusing folks a bit

The "distinguished educator" is coming to Buffalo Schools as an advisor to interim Super Amber M. Dixon even gets to sit as an ex-officio non-voting member of the Buffalo Board of Education, Buffalo News education blogger Mary Pasciak wrote on Wednesday.  State Education Commissioner John King, Jr. has the power to appoint one for a year with possibly another extension. The state is suppose to appoint 10 of these consultants in schools across New York with the districts picking up the tab.
Interestingly, not only is the district obligated to cooperate fully with this consultant but, 

"Upon receipt of any recommendations from the distinguished educator for modification of a district improvement plan and/or any corrective action, restructuring, or comprehensive plan, the board of education, trustees, or chancellor shall either modify the plans accordingly or provide a written explanation to the Commissioner of its reasons for not adopting such recommendations. The Commissioner shall direct the district to modify the plans as recommended by the distinguished educator unless the Commissioner finds that the written explanation provided by the district has compelling merit."
And besides the commissioner establishing the consulting fee for those appointed to a school district as opposed to a school, the fee is increased "by an additional 10 percent."
But there was some uncertainty and confusion among School Board members at their meeting Wednesday evening about the role of the "distinguished educator" appointed to the district in tandem with the superintendent search. So it was suggested the board contact the state education commissioner and ask what is the role of this consultant.
It would seem the best place for this person to work is out of the district turnaround office rather an advisor to the superintendent in the Buffalo Schools especially during the superintendent search process.
Some in Buffalo wonder if there is too much intrusion from the State Ed folks in the Buffalo Schools for the small amount of money it was awarded  through the Race to the Top funds.

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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