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, December 8, 2011

Educational partnership organizations and turnaround plans discussed at Board meeting last night

Interesting things happened last night at the School Board meeting on what educational partnership organization plan the advisory committee selected for the seven persistently low achieving schools in the Buffalo Public Schools district.
For one thing Futures and Drew Science no longer have an EPO as an option and they have to write turnaround plans. The EPO's that submitted plans to run the two schools didn't meet the expectations of the Board advisory group reviewing the proposals. This advisory group is composed of the following members: Kapsiak, Helene Kramer, Lloyd Hargrave, Richard Jurasek from Medaille, Casimiro Rodriguez, Phil Rumore, Blythe Merrill, Deb Sykes, Thomas Vitale. It's slightly different in composition from the one reviewing last spring.
Buffalo State College Foundation appears to be out of the running the group preferred the proposal of John Hopkins University experienced in working with public school districts in other cities such as Baltimore, Chicago and NYC.  Florence Johnson employed at Buffalo State College asked if the School Board can override the decision of the advisory committee and Debra Sykes the district administrator overseeing the plans responded "yes."
So it appear both East High School and Lafayette advisory committee voted in favor of moving to the next phase of the selection process with John Hopkins as the EPO. Still there are turnaround plans for both schools the School Board might consider of these schools as the faculty votes Friday for what they see is best for them.  Sykes said the School Board to get the packets on Monday with the information on the schools, statements and reasons why not selected.
While East High partnered with Niagara University on their turnaround plans Lafayette had a grant writer from the district helping its plan.
Buffalo Elementary School of Technology (BEST) PS #6 committee voted in favor of Research to Practice a group from NYS though they had put in to run four schools now district has to ask if they are interested in only one and revamp their fees designed for four instead of one school.  The Waterfront School committee favor Canisius College as the EPO.  Canisius is already partnering with Forham University in NYC to work with over 29 schools an anonymous person following the live blog commented.  And Bilingual Center #33 school has a turnaround model that is being seriously considered along with one of the other EPO.
The finalist whether turnaround or EPO the boards selects next week and the proposals chosen sent to Albany by December 23.
What has been a positive thing throughout is Interim Super Amber Dixon allowing for the entire community to be part of the process including the schools.

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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