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

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

New York State public schools "off the chain"

New York State public schools "off the chain"

Monday, August 26, 2013

Do you agree with the Buffalo School Board vote to deny the recent recommendations of Superintendent Brown?

Cast your vote in the poll on the Buffalo City Express News...

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Buffalo school board voted against recommendations of Superintendent Brown

The Buffalo School Board in an unusual move voted
 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
Link above...

John Hopkins University superintendent of four Buffalo schools

According to a Buffalo news story on Friday, district officials that had been called to Albany to work on four school turnaround proposals successfully completed the plans after an all day session lasting seven hours.

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.

The Buffalo News school zone blog wrote January 2012 how "the group includes an assortment of high-profile names in education, including Manny  Rivera, former Rochester superintendent; Rudy Crew, former Miami-Dade County superintendent; and McGraw-Hill Education. It submitted proposals for four Buffalo schools, but an advisory committee did not recommend that the group be considered to run the other three schools."

The other partner involved with Crew in the plans to turnaround BEST was Dr. Manny Rivera. He left in July one month after Crew to another post in Connecticut. 
 And a blog called Nancy on Norwalk posted the story that "The Norwalk Board of Education is expected to confirm the contract  to bring Manuel J. Rivera, 61, aboard to lead the school system at its July 9 meeting. BOE Chairman Mike Lyons announced Monday that Rivera and the board had come to a contract agreement and that Rivera would begin work on July 18, 2013.

So it appears JHU is stepping in as the new EPO of BEST since the super star consultants Crew and Rivera found  instead lucrative and steady incomes as the former a college president and latter a superintendent of schools. Rivera confessed he tired having to travel so much to make a living.

So a la John Hopkins University we shall all go as the EPO. JHU has had a presence at both Lafayette and East High schools and the roots planted have been supported and welcomed at Lafayette. And the JHU staff have been embedded at Lafayette since the spring even attending the senior prom this year. It appears their work starting with 7 th grade and 9th grade will at least begin to connect the junior high school students to Lafayette that originally they were moved from  School #45 to make up an International school that never happened.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

School board decides on turnaround plans for East and Lafayette high schools

School board decides on turnaround plans for East and Lafayette high schools
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.
Since the EPO model hasn't been piloted in other school districts in the state, it will be interesting to see how well it does in an environment not funded by the NYSED.

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