"... Rumore says the No. 1 impediment to progress in the district is not him -- it's staggering student absenteeism. He works daily with district officials to improve the schools, he says.
"Did I block the stupid 50 percent solution [to move teachers]? Yes. That's the only time I had any kind of power at all," Rumore said. "I really wish I had the power people think I have. I don't. I really don't."
This quote appeared in the Buffalo News story today " A Growing Divide."
Yet what the article in the Buffalo News didn't discuss is the on-going contract negotiations of Buffalo School teachers that expired in 2004. Phil Rumore the Buffalo Teachers Federation President has the most power during contract negotiations, a topic woefully neglected in the Buffalo News story.
And he has the power to do something about absenteeism in ensuring adequate staffing in the buildings, including class sizes.
So in the case of student absenteeism Rumore has the power to negotiate with the district that a certain number of attendance teachers are needed in order to ensure daily school attendance of Buffalo Schools students especially after the Regents Reform Agenda proposed and the Board of Regents adopted the new principal teacher evaluation system where teachers will be evaluated on the academic progress of their students.
No matter how highly effective a teacher is in the classroom if a student is absent daily, it has an impact on their academic achievement and progress as well as how they are rated.
Therefore, it's important the attendance teachers are adequately represented in the staffing of school buildings particularly in those designated failing schools. And more Buffalo Schools 14 were added on Monday after the state education department released its latest list of failing schools.
Therefore it is imperative for the head of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, Mr. Rumore to insist and to include an adequate number of attendance teachers in the Buffalo Schools in contract negotiations, otherwise, many teachers will be wrongfully evaluated because of student absenteeism, while he has advocated it as a fundamental problem.
Several times an attendance teacher asked Rumore to consider it as a topic in contract negotiations but he continuously has said he can't do it.
So it's time Mr. Rumore revisited this timely topic and consider negotiating attendance teachers into the contract talks, otherwise, what happened on August 2005 when the district laid-off most of its attendance teachers may happen again not only jeopardizing the career of good teachers but the instruction of Buffalo Schools students.