If she garners the necessary votes from a nine-member Buffalo Board of Education, Dr. Pamela Brown with twenty years of experience as an administrator in public education and nearly the same amount of time as a bilingual educator is expected to be named the new superintendent of the Buffalo Schools.
Her background stands out from the other candidates, having obtained a doctorate from Harvard University, and experienced in large urban public schools such as chief academic officer in the Philadelphia schools.
But what places her ahead of the other finalist all being well-qualified to be superintendent is her experience serving on a negotiation team in the Philadelphia schools where a fair contract had been negotiated according to Jerry T. Jordan, president of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Jordan described Brown in a Buffalo News story as "smart, serious and focused." He added how veteran teachers "...found her "quiet knowledgeable and felt she was comfortable in their presence when she visited classrooms." That Dr. Brown, "...didn't interrupt...wasn't overbearing or officious.
Buffalo teachers have been without a contract since 2004, the last one negotiated in 1999 and teachers anxiously await a superintendent that is considerate of their point of view and experienced in contract negotiation. Dr. Pamela C. Brown no doubt stands out from the other two finalist in this area.
This blogger engaged her in a conversation in Spanish and found her to have native language fluency.
The other two finalist, interim Super Amber Dixon is a formidable candidate has done an extraordinary job as interim especially ensuring Albany released funds to the PLA schools it denied back in December and for hammering out an "approvable" teacher evaluation plan with the union for the Albany bureaucrats. Likewise, Dr.Edward Newsome, Jr had impressive credentials as well. But Dr. Brown stands out in both her credentials, professional administrative experience and her background in bilingual education and multilingual education well suited for the Buffalo schools. The last school she served as chief academic officer in Philadelphia had 180,000 students almost mirrors the ethnic demographic enrollment of the Buffalo City School District.