Monday, December 30, 2013
Thursday, December 26, 2013
Monday, November 11, 2013
Sunday, November 3, 2013
In Philly there is money to build prisons that cost $100 a day to house a prisoner yet public schools allocated $145 million less in the same period.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
Saturday, October 5, 2013
Sunday, September 29, 2013
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Friday, September 20, 2013
A Buffalo news story said Superintendent Pamela C. Brown appointed Schultz because she " became convinced that the district needed more resources in community relations because of the volume of requests she gets to speak and respond to the community, Guinn said. “She gets multiple requests on the same day, at the same time, for many, many media and community outreach activities,” Guinn said.
Dr. Mary Guinn is the consultant hired last spring as an interim deputy superintendent brought here by Say Yes another consultant company the Buffalo Board of Education hired to conduct the superintendent search one year ago.
And Carl Paladino Park District School Board member has criticized the hiring of Dr. Guinn and her reorganization work in the district. Her salary at $179, 000, has been questioned as well though initially paid for by Say Yes and foundation money, it is now coming from a state grant.
Although, Guinn was supposed to have left last June, she is still here, while Paladino complained at last school board meetintg that he had been informed she is supervising central office administrators though Superintendent Brown defended her consultant work for the district described her as a "coach" not a supervisor. On Tuesday Dr. Guinn accompanied Superintendent Brown to the lecture Dr. Pedro Noguera presented at Westminster Charter School both leaving later in the district chauffeur car.
Several school board members have criticized the appointment of Schultz to the newly appointed Chief of public relations asking why the position is needed in the first place since there already is a staff in central office Elena Cala Buscarino assigned this role.
Others question why Lorey Schultz hired when the public relations office in the central office in City Hall if it needed another staff member perhaps it would have been more appropriate to appoint somebody who better reflects the demographic make up of the students and community not a former anchor who until one year ago was a resident of Amherst.
Schultz was the assistant director of communications and marketing in the communications office in the Buffalo City Hall who previouy she worked for 17 years as a reporter at WIVB-TV Channel 4.
Mike Blake's Unbalanced Opinions: Letter to the Control Board re: Lorey Schultz hiring
Friday, September 6, 2013
The National School Boards Association Support for HR1386, "The Local School Boards Governance and Flexibility Act," is a bill in Congress that limits the power of Arne Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education. It's about time!
Unless specifically authorized by Federal law, the Secretary may not issue a Federal regulation, rule, grant condition, guidance material, or other requirement pertaining to a State educational agency or a local educational agency that— and so on and so forth......
Introduced on March 2013, if this bill passes, the NYS Board of Regents will have to be rein in too awaken from its deep slumber at the switch limited as well from imposing unrealistic requirements and mandates to the education of NYS children such as abolishing the local high school diploma that has been a major contributing factor for the lower graduation rates in the State that particularly had an impact on black and Latino students, commencing with the freshman cohort of 2008.
Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Monday, August 26, 2013
Sunday, August 25, 2013
3 in favor to 4 against the recommendations of
Superintendent of Schools Dr. Pamela Brown to extend
the probationary period of four school principals and
deny tenure to one assistant high school principal.
Read more about this story by clicking on the
Regent Robert Bennett in talking with the News said, "The proposals that were worked on Friday involved a team from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) acting as the operator – or superintendent – of the four schools, while the Buffalo Board of Education will be the monitor, Bennett said.
The four schools cited included Highgate Heights, Buffalo Elementary School of Technology (BEST) Lafayette and East High Schools.
JHU initially was supposed to be the educational partnership organization or EPO of all the above schools except Buffalo Elementary School of Technology under Global Partnership Schools, Dr. Rudy Crew headed until 2011 but remained associated with it until the Board of Trustees of The City University of New York appointed him president of Medgar Evers College, CUNY in June 2013.
Sunday, August 11, 2013
Thursday, August 1, 2013
Although funding the option continues to be a problem, the Buffalo School board voted yesterday afternoon at a special meeting to allow John Hopkins University (JHU) to serve as the Educational Partnership Organization (EPO) for both Lafayette and East High School.
The Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) will also partner with JHU to offer career technical training to students at both Lafayette and East High School.
The NYS education Department last month sent a letter to district officials that mandated it partner with BOCES as the EPO for both East and Lafayette.
This option wasn't feasible because the two high schools had previously formed a relationship with JHU that started last fall and they wanted to continue it with support from the local community, faculty and the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF).
Still, there is the problem of how the JHU program as the EPO will be funded now that the State Ed did not approve the district grant application.
And district CFO Barbara Smith responded the total cost will be between $2.2 million and $5.2 million. News blogger Sandra Tan reported Smith explained the funds will come from "reductions elsewhere in the budget, use grant funding, spend from the contingency budget and use some assigned fund balance for things like unsettled union agreements, contracts, etc., " Also, the additional funds for five positions JHU requested will come from sources such as building based budgeting, Title 1, III, and Contract for Excellence funds.
When questioned about possibly funding the JHU project with funds the district set aside for contract negotiations Smith sheepishly responded doesn't think it will happen.
So, JHU prevailed as the EPO though the district has to find a source for funding the project.
And new board member Carl Paladino asked a JHU representative what prior experience they had with the student population over 60% international and ELL enrolled at Lafayette High School.
Monday, July 22, 2013
Sunday, July 21, 2013
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Remember the 2008 freshmen cohort that graduated in 2012-13, unless a special education student, they didn't have the option of a Local Diploma that contributed to lower graduation rates across the State especially among blacks and Latino students.
Now, they have to write a Regents Research Paper to graduate because of time constraints on the examination that can't measure writing standards for college and career readiness skills and Common Core Learning Standards. Once again the class of 2016-17, fewer students will graduate. Is there a hidden agenda here?
Regents Research Paper – The Committee discussed proposed regulatory amendments to Commissioner’s Regulations that would establish a Regents Research Paper requirement as an opportunity for students to demonstrate necessary college and career readiness skills and CCLS writing standards that cannot be measured in an examination setting due to time constraints. The regulation would require the completion of a Regents Research Paper for graduation with a Regents or local high school diploma, beginning with those students who first enter grade 9 in September 2013 or thereafter. Committee members requested that more detailed information be provided to guide the discussion when the proposed amendment is submitted to the Board of Regents for adoption in September. [P-12 (D) 1]
Saturday, June 29, 2013
Thursday, June 20, 2013
Some in the community blamed the low rate on newly appointed Superintendent Dr. Pamela C. Brown such as incoming board member Carl Paladino.
Yet, NYS students graduating in 2012 (who were 9th grade students in 2008) are the first cohort of students required to take all five Regents Exams with a passing score of 65 and obtain a Regents Diploma in order to graduate.
In the past before the Board of Regents changed the playing field, school districts offered the Local Diploma that nearly 15% of NYS public high school students received in 2009. But the graduates most impacted when Board of Regents eliminated the Local Diploma as a pathway to graduation was the class of 2012.
So if you entered as a freshman in 2008, unless classified as a student with disabilities, the cohort was not offered the Local Diploma as a pathway to graduation. This is one reason why the graduation rates in Buffalo Public Schools fell below 48%.
The local diploma as a pathway to graduation must be offered again in NYS. In 2009, nearly 40% of English Language Learners (ELL) and students with disabilities obtained the Local Diploma, while the overall State figure was nearly 15%. Now the dropout rates are higher for these students since the 2008 freshman cohort no longer offered the Local Diploma as a pathway to graduation.
Even the appeals process is challenging requiring students to have attained within 3 points of 65, a 95% attendance rate and other such requirements to get a Regents Diploma. While before NYS students had the Local Diploma now all must meet the requirements of a 65 passing score on the Regents Exams unless it's a students with disabilities still offered a local diploma passing with the old score of 55.
In the BPS other policy changes have impacted graduation rates such as when the School Board eliminated social promotion causing a higher number of students to remain in elementary school until they become overage and drop. Another contributing factor is the School Board policy that required students to stay in school until they complete the school year when they reach 17 instead of the State compulsory age of 16.
Thus, more pathways to graduation are needed because the cookie cutter one the NYS Board of Regents created aggravated the dropout rates in the State stifling the aspirations and dreams of hundreds of students who otherwise could have graduated. Now the pipeline to prison is more of a reality.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Sunday, May 12, 2013
Saturday, May 11, 2013
They deserve a less punitive teacher evaluation system, as well as their tenure rights.
Tuesday, April 30, 2013
Sunday, April 28, 2013
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms - YouTube
Ken Robinson lectures on the need to shift the paradigm in public education from one based on standardize testing to divergent thinking.
Thursday, April 18, 2013
Tuesday, April 16, 2013
|Maria Rosa, Editor-in-chief, |
Buffalo City Express News
Leave a comment here if you know of any event in the community about the School Board Elections, happenings, forums or fundraisers and don't forget to check out the banners in the advertising section for real time exposure online at the Buffalo City Express News.
Sunday, April 14, 2013
Check out as the endorsements are coming in for the candidates running for the Buffalo Board of Education elections so far this year. And view the profile pages of three new candidates in the Park, West and North Districts that appeared on Facebook. Find out what is the most contentious School Board battle ground this year... in the Buffalo City Express News powered by Zoom Village.
As far back as 2009, a memo surfaced warning Michelle Rhee of widespread test cheating in DC public schools when she was chancellor. Instead of investigating the findings of the high erasure rates across the district, Rhee fired teachers and principals for the student low scores on DC assessments.
Rhee was too busy awarding perks and bonuses to those with the highest gains in the assessments that were really erasures according to the newly released reports.
The public wonders when is Michelle Rhee going to be held accountable for this in as much as she still in the limelight as a school reformer through her newly created Students First organization better named Rhee First?
Wednesday, April 10, 2013
It appears the charter school proponents are just as aggressive as in previous School Board elections though it's hard to determine who they are except for James Sampson, president and CEO Gateway-Longview/and chairman of the county's control board. He was a founding member of the West Buffalo Charter School and President of Buffalo ReformED. And he was an unsuccessful former candidate for an at-large School Board seat and board member of the Buffalo Niagara Partnership.
One thing for sure it's a smorgasbord made up of challengers from the District Parent Coordinating Council, Citizen Action, Buffalo ReformEd and others.
The race is a highly politicized one with prospective candidates either supporting charter schools or for public education. There appears to be an aggressive move by the charter proponents to carry out their agenda of turning Buffalo Public Schools especially those the state listed as low performing or "priority" schools into charters.
But it's not time to speculate what is going to happen yet in a race where certainly challenges to many of the petitions especially of the newcomers on to the school board races are disqualified for one reason or other. So expect, the legal battles to play out in court until the candidates are whittled down and the school board forums begin and until the voters elect either the incumbents or new candidates to the Board in May.
Interestingly, Brown is looking at the "exempt" leadership model criticized during the tenure of former Superintendent James Williams for being too top heavy at 28 employees in this category. It provided Williams flexibility to hire a team that he liked but that did not necessarily meet the requirements of the postings, because these positions did not need Buffalo Board of Education approval.
During the tenure of Interim Super Amber Dixon she promised to whittle down the exempt employees, while some left others were shifted to other positions with less pay but contract status in the district. Nevertheless, Super Brown has other ideas to "reduce inefficiencies," and to "do more with less." Her plan involves building a central office leadership team more responsive to the principals and school buildings in her effort to change "inefficiency and low morale."
The present cabinet members term expire in June and Brown and Dr. Mary Guinn, her newly appointed interim Deputy formerly a Gary Indiana School District superintendent whose term also ends on June 30th is helping interview the prospective newly hired cabinet members for central office. And a national search for candidates for these positions is in the works as well. Also, four newly created positions for "supervising principals" were created with a focus on an earn autonomy model. It's an ambitious plan, so it's now a wait and see what happens to how Super Brown new at being a superintendent of schools herself is successful at molding and shaping the Buffalo Schools in the direction she best believes it should go.
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Sunday, March 31, 2013
Michelle Rhee moved to Nashville, Tennessee closer to ex-hubby a states education commissioner, while She enrolled one of her own children in an elite private school. When an online newspaper asked whether her children attended a public or charter school three months ago, Rhee responded simply that She was a "public school parent."
Public education reformer Michelle Rhee not completely a ‘public school parent’ http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/public-education-reformer-michelle-rhee-completely-public-school-parent-article-1.1302949?localLinksEnabled=false
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Saturday, March 16, 2013
Monday, March 11, 2013
Thursday, March 7, 2013
The Buffalo School Board election is in May.
New for voters this year was the redistricting of the School Board. So, it's important for voters to be aware of this change to know their district and where to vote.
Here is a proposed map. It appears all the incumbents are running except in the Park District.
And the nomination petition drive is underway now.
As of the last week in February aspiring candidates had the chance to pick up the nominating petition forms at the Erie County Board of Elections or the Buffalo School Board.
Six district seats will be up for grabs this year. And with ex gubernatorial candidate and local developer Carl Paladino announcing he is running for the Park District seat, the School Board race will be a lively one drawing more voters to the polls. The recent media hype about a security officer escorting Paladino out of the last School Board meeting and later attacking the leadership of Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore makes what would have been a mundane School Board elections a politically heated one as well.
Here is a letter Paladino sent Rumore on March 6, published in the Buffalo News. And a War of words between the two men on WBFO88.7 Park District Rep. Lou Petruccie,the incumbent, is not seeking a third term.
West District Rep. Ralph Hernandez recently had a fundraiser so he is seeking a 4th term.
Other incumbents are: Mary Ruth Kapsiak, Central District, Sharon Belton Cottman, Ferry District, Rosalyn L. Taylor, East District, and Jason M. McCarthy, North District.
And John Henry Grant announced his candidacy for the Central District through a Facebook page he opened on March 6.
Here is a YouTube video about Grant.
John Henry Grant on Urban Legacy TV - YouTube
Monday, March 4, 2013
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The College and Career Girls Prep Charter High School letter of intent approved expected to open 2014
Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Monday, February 25, 2013
Friday, February 22, 2013
Thursday, February 21, 2013
Monday, February 18, 2013
Wondering why there's so much testing? Here is one reason: A new report sheds light on the influence of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s education foundation and its corporate backers on Oklahoma’s education leaders and latest policies. Through public records requests, a Washington, D.C.,-based advocacy group released a report called “In the Public Interest” that shows the Foundation for Excellence in Education is writing and editing education laws and regulations in six states in ways that could benefit its private funders. The group contends the arrangement is essentially a “pay-to-play” scheme in which corporations can influence policy and then reap the profits.
Saturday, February 16, 2013
Friday, February 15, 2013
Gonzalez: Bloomberg's iron grip on city will be felt years after leaving office http://www.nydailynews.com/new-york/gonzalez-bloomberg-iron-grip-city-felt-years-leaving-office-article-1.1264861?localLinksEnabled=false
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we've made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers can't keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it's our job to make sure that they do. So, tonight, I ask Congress to change the Higher Education Act so that affordability and value are included in determining which colleges receive certain types of federal aid. And -- and tomorrow, my Administration will release a new college scorecard that parents and students can use to compare schools based on a simple criteria: where you can get the most bang for your educational buck. Now, to grow our middle class, our citizens have to have access to the education and training that today's jobs require. But we also have to make sure that America remains a place where everyone who's willing to work -- everybody who's willing to work hard has the chance to get ahead. Our economy is stronger when we harness the talents and ingenuity of striving, hopeful immigrants.
OBAMA: Tonight, I'm announcing a new challenge, to redesign America's high schools so they better equip graduates for the demands of a high-tech economy. And we'll reward schools that develop new partnerships with colleges and employers, and create classes that focus on science, technology, engineering and math, the skills today's employers are looking for to fill the jobs that are there right now and will be there in the future. Now, even with better high schools, most young people will need some higher education. It's a simple fact: The more education you've got, the more likely you are to have a good job and work your way into the middle class. But today, skyrocketing costs price too many young people out of a higher education or saddle them with unsustainable debt. Through tax credits, grants, and better loans, we've made college more affordable for millions of students and families over the last few years. But taxpayers can't keep on subsidizing higher and higher and higher costs for higher education. Colleges must do their part to keep costs down, and it's our job to make sure that they do.
Let's also make sure that a high school diploma puts our kids on a path to a good job. Right now, countries like Germany focus on graduating their high school students with the equivalent of a technical degree from one of our community colleges, so those German kids, they're ready for a job when they graduate high school. They've been trained for the jobs that are there. Now at schools like P-TECH in Brooklyn, a collaboration between New York public schools and City University of New York and IBM, students will graduate with a high school diploma and an associate's degree in computers or engineering. We need to give every American student opportunities like this. And four years ago... (APPLAUSE) Four years ago, we started Race to the Top, a competition that convinced almost every state to develop smarter curricula and higher standards, all for about 1 percent of what we spend on education each year.
Early childhood education works boosts graduation rates, reduce teen pregnancy even crime said Prez Obama
Every dollar we invest in high-quality early childhood education can save more than seven dollars later on, by boosting graduation rates, reducing teen pregnancy, even reducing violent crime. In states that make it a priority to educate our youngest children -- like Georgia or Oklahoma -- studies show students grow up more likely to read and do math at grade level, graduate high school, hold a job, form more stable families of their own. We know this works. So let's do what works and make sure none of our children start the race of life already behind. Let's give our kids that chance.
"...study after study shows that the sooner a child begins learning, the better he or she does down the road. But today, fewer than three in ten 4-year-olds are enrolled in a high-quality preschool program. Most middle-class parents can't afford a few hundred bucks a week for private preschool. And for poor kids who need help the most, this lack of access to preschool education can shadow them for the rest of their lives. So, tonight, I propose working with states to make high-quality preschool available to every single child in America."
And to make sure taxpayers don't shoulder the whole burden, I'm also proposing a Partnership to Rebuild America that attracts private capital to upgrade what our businesses need most: modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children.
Wednesday, February 6, 2013
States Lack Data on Principals, Study Says Most states lack data on school leaders' training, evaluation By Sarah D. Sparks While principals increasingly are moving to center stage in national debates over school improvement, a new study finds most states have little or no information about how their principals are prepared, licensed, supported, and evaluated.
Sunday, January 27, 2013
The Tax Relief Act of 2010 (“TRA 2010″) carried over the ability to continue to deduct interest without regards to
date the loan was taken out. But, like many of those “extender provisions” passed last year, it is not permanent. After 2012, the tax law will revert back to the pre-EGTRRA rules and interest on a student loan will only be deductible for the first five years of repayment.
Saturday, January 26, 2013
Student loans in Australia and United Kingdom not same as USA, Congress should not pass student loan payroll deduction bill
There is an income threshold in both countries students have to meet to start paying back the loans. In the UK its over 21,000 pounds that converts to over $32,000 in USD.
Does Australia Have the Answer? - Brainstorm - The Chronicle of Higher Education
In Australia "Currently, that threshold income is around $45,000 per year and as soon as the borrower meets that threshold, whether it is while the student is still in school or even years after graduation, repayments begin. The monthly payment amount is not based on the size or term of the loan, but instead on the borrower’s level of income, with students at the threshold level paying 4-percent of their earnings in loan payments and those earning higher wages paying no more than 8 percent of their earnings. Unlike in our Income Based Repayment program, interest does not capitalize and the total amount due does not increase just because a longer repayment term is in order (unless the economy is so strong that CPI increases dramatically over that period of time, in which case one would assume that wages would maintain a similar rate of growth). Perhaps most importantly, there are no defaults in the Australian student-loan program. It is the Australian Tax Authority that collects student loan payments, not the Department of Education, and the borrower has the option of either making payments through routine payroll deductions (similar to the way in which Americans pay their FICA and other taxes) or through annual tax assessment." https://www.gov.uk/student-finance/repayments
Hispanic graduation rates 71% a 10 points increase, the highest from other ethnic groups in NCES most recent figures.
Graduation rates improved for every race and ethnicity in 2010, but gaps among racial groups persist. Asian students had the highest graduation rate, with 93 percent of students finishing high school on time. White students followed with an 83 percent graduation rate, American Indians and Alaska Natives with 69.1 percent and African Americans with 66.1 percent.
National high school graduation rate reaches a four-decade high : http://wapo.st/VWyNNQ
Friday, January 25, 2013
How to privatize a public school system? Hire DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson.
D.C. Council members fear schools near tipping point as students flee : http://wapo.st/Um1xhX
Thursday, January 24, 2013
Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Congress will consider overhauling debt collection in the $100 billion-a-year U.S. student loan program, replacing it with automatic withdrawals from borrowers’ paychecks tied to their income -- a system used in the U.K. Legislation that Wisconsin Republican Representative Tom Petri plans to introduce as soon as this week would require employers to withhold payments from wages in the same way they do taxes. Payments would be capped at 15 percent of borrowers’ income after basic living expenses.
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Prince George’s County continues to struggle with late school buses : http://wapo.st/W9k8yu
In analyzing the breakdown, both sides said a major cause was disagreement over how long a plan should be in place before it sunsets, or has to be renewed. City officials said their vision was for any deal to never sunset. City officials criticized the union for seeking such a clause for 2015, just before any potential dismissal process could get under way. They called that bad public policy that they would not enact even if money was to be lost. But Michael Mulgrew, the president of the union, said the process for dismissing a wayward teacher could continue even if the tenets of an evaluation plan subject to collective bargaining were in need of renewal, a position echoed by Mr. King. More than 90 percent of districts whose evaluation plans won state approval had plans that included provisions to sunset after a year. Henry L. Grishman, the superintendent of the Jericho School
On Friday, in a letter to Dennis M. Walcott, the city's schools chancellor, Mr. King said he would have no choice but to withhold or redirect federal money unless the city submitted plans by Feb. 15 showing it was working toward putting a new teacher evaluation system in place. Specifically, Mr. King said, the city should focus on training teachers and school leaders in carrying out any new plan - something he said had not been done yet.
However, making federal loans easier to discharge through bankruptcy would be politically thorny, given that taxpayers would pick up the tab if those debts were shed." - You picked up for your American Corporate Greed debts; but you do not want to pick up for your children??
Just about every student has legal standing for suing the US government for negligence, and for violating the RICO statutes. Participating in a known fraud, is a criminal act, and the US government is accessory to it all, because they allowed it, in fact, they made it happen.
"If I had been one of the crooks who diverted funds out of a savings-and-loan bank in the 1980s, loans insured by the Feds, I would no longer have any obligation to pay those debts by now --- the statute of limitations would have tolled. Indeed, I could have bankrupted on them at any time. But I borrowed a student loan and have no option until the day I die. Fortunately, inasmuch as I am aging and in poor health, neither the Government nor their collection goons is going to be able to get much out of me. It is a pity that the olnly alternative to debt-slavery is death!"
"Student loan borrowers have been unfairly targeted so that the bankers can profit at our expense. There is absolutely no logically fair reason why Student loan repayment is held to such a high standard. They should be dischargeable in bankruptcy, lenders should have to restructure defaulted loans for those who need it and they damn sure should not be allowed to garnish wages without a judgement! Not allowing any kind of restructuring of loans is utterly stupid and counterproductive. It doesn't get the loan paid back. It doesn't help either party. It's merely punitive towards the borrower who took out the loans in hopes that they would find a decent job once they gained an education. In MANY cases this does not happen. When they stop sending jobs overseas and stop expecting folks to actually live and pay bills on $10 an hour, MAYBE we can buy the BS they're selling. (...and I say "they should stop sending jobs overseas, because the corporate crooks are in bed with the legislators who do nothing to help the folks who put them in office!)"
....and don't you just love how the government wants to BAIL OUT the private loan companies on top of everything else.... Obviously with taking away bankruptcy and wanting to bail out these companies the goverment obviously doesn't care about its citizens, at least not the ones who TRIED to do the right thing and go to college, but obviously failed in a failing economy.
The US government has bailed out Wall Street and big business repeatedly at the expense of once again low to moderate income American tax payers. It is beyond time for the predatory student loan industry to crumble while students forced to borrow student loans receive relief instead of government sanctioned knighthood into perpetual poverty and credit unworthiness.
Saturday, January 19, 2013
Court Upholds $1M Award in School Race-Harassment Case
By Mark Walsh
on December 3, 2012 5:50 PM A federal appeals court has upheld a $1 million jury award against a small New York state school district found to be deliberately indifferent to persistent racial harassment of a high school student by his peers. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, in New York City, ruled unanimously in favor of the family of Anthony Zeno, who is half-white and half-Latino and is described in court papers as "dark-skinned." Zeno was 16 when his family moved in January 2005 from Long Island to the heavily white community of Pine Plains, in Dutchess County, N.Y. At Stissing Mountain High School, where racial minorities were less than 5 percent of the student enrollment, Zeno quickly encountered the harassment, including students calling him "nigger" in the halls and telling him to go back where he came from, according to court papers. A student ripped a necklace from Zeno's neck and referred to it as Zeno's "fake rapper bling bling." There were also direct and implied threats aimed at Zeno, and references to lynching.
January 12, 2013- The Hamburg Teacher's Association (HTA) voted overwhelmingly on Friday to turn down the district's APPR plan. The vote results were announced by Superintendent Steven Achramovitch, at special meeting of the Hamburg Central School District Board of Education, at the administrative building, at 4:30 P.M. The substance of the meeting is as follows:
The Vote was a Vote of No Confidence Against
Achramovitch While it is true that the Hamburg teachers are opposed to state testing being used to evaluate them, Achramovitch being the judge and jury in the appeals process and APPR in general, most Hamburg teachers voted against APPR because they do not trust Steven Achramovitch. Achramovitch strong armed the teachers into taking a wage freeze last school year by threatening to "cut teachers." Once the teachers agreed Achramovitch laid off most of the teachers anyway. Achramovitch has demonstrated that he can push around the HTA leadership (Mrozek and Garra) but the teachers followed their real leader, C.C., and drew a line in the sand.
Hamburg Teachers: Stop Threatening Us Posted by dianerav The Hamburg (NY) teachers union has refused to agree to a deal on teacher evaluations that would give all power to the superintendent; they want an independent person to make the final judgment when a teacher appeals a bad evaluation. Negotiations broke down when an administrator threatened that teachers would be fired if no agreement was reached. Remember that the deal is about getting $450,000 for the district to comply with