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

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Enemies of public education

What enemy or advocacy list are you on in public education? Before Diane Ravitch had become a spokesperson and writer exposing the reform agenda of several of these enemies of public education, she had been part of the reactionary forces espousing its ideas until like the prodigal daughter returns to be one of its fiercest advocates today.
Here is the list.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Attendance BPS Citizen Action Community Meeting

Attendance BPS Citizen Action Community Meeting

Friday, November 6, 2015

Lawsuit accuses Achievement First of failing to provide mandated services

As more charter schools are challenged in courts for failing to provide  students a free appropriate education, their modus operandi have come under scrutiny as parents increasingly become more aware of their rights and the lack of compliance and accountability in these schools.
Achievement First Crown Heights in Brooklyn, New York a network of charter schools, along with the NYC Department of Education and NYS Education are named in a lawsuit filed on behalf of five children , alleging the charter school failed to provide mandated special education supports while punished the children for behavior associated with their disabilities.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Dr. Kriner Cash, newly appointed Superintendent of the Buffalo City School District espoused innovative ideas about the high school curriculum in this radio interview at WBFO. Listen here...

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Gary Orfield Statement on Buffalo School Board Plan

"I am deeply disappointed with the response of the Buffalo Board of Education to the recommendations we presented in May as a means of resolving a finding of discrimination by the federal government. Although the Board made a very hopeful response to addressing the very serious problems of inadequate parent information, it failed to address:

  • the findings and recommendations about the criteria, preferential access by students in one neighborhood, 
  • the neglect of students from non-English speaking families, 
  • and, especially, the totally inadequate supply of academically excellent schools.
  •  Nor was there more than the slightest reference to the more structural problems of extremely segregated housing, rooted in a history of city government discrimination, and the need to seek regional collaborations in creating more very strong educational opportunities. 
Our recommendations were not a menu of random items. It was an integrated approach in which the success of each element depends upon the others if the goal is to be achieved. The school district must have a plan that will cure its civil rights violation, either ours or an alternative that research and experience shows is likely to work. It has neither." 

Buffalo News story

Buffalo School leadership response plan to OCR recommendations 

Superintendent Cash response to School Board/Resolution Agreement 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Buffalo Public Schools Restructuring and Takeover

The Buffalo City School District opens on September 1, this year with a newly appointed Superintendent of Schools formerly from the Memphis City Schools, Dr. Kriner Cash, presiding both as a Receiver and Superintendent under the new Bill hurriedly passed in March to restructure and takeover the NYS public so called struggling and persistently struggling schools.

The Bill outlining the restructuring and takeover of the schools is an unprecedented one because it eventually outlines the process for the conversion of nearly half of Buffalo Schools into charters.

This is happening nationwide from Louisiana to  New Jersey,  the wholesale of public school districts to outside entities and the public has taken to the streets to protest it.

 In Buffalo New York, a rally calling for the "Refuse" Receivership has been planned on Wednesday, September 2, at 3:30 PM at McKinley High School, 305 Elmwood Avenue---100 signed up on a Facebook page to attend about 1,000 invited.

While thousands have already been spent on attempting to overhaul the schools through Race to the Top funding , Governor Andrew Cuomo with a mere allocation of $75 million expects to do more or better and schools failing to show "demonstrable" academic gains in one year or less than three are taken over by outside entities.

Sadly, many of the public schools in the City of Buffalo were recently renovated under the biggest school reconstruction project ever in the history of the system, costing an investment of billions of taxpayers funds as much as $1.3 billion described as the buffalo's largest historic preservation project ever.

And at a time when there could  have been  an unprecedented improvement of the schools with the financial resources the state had committed to the Campaign for Fiscal Equity in Foundation Aid funds to public schools, though the state still continues to take the Gap Elimination funds imposed in 2010-11, instead there is a coup d'état , a takeover of the public schools in poor communities.

According to An Alliance for Quality Education report August 2014:

"New York State owes its public schools $5.9 billioiFoundatioAid and Gap EliminatioAdjustment funding. Systemic underfunding is leaving a generatioof students ihigh need schools without access to the “sound basic education” which is theiconstitutional right."

A7013-2015 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to the takeover and restructuring of struggling and persistently struggling schools - New York State Senate

A7013-2015 - NY Senate Open Legislation - Relates to the takeover and restructuring of struggling and persistently struggling schools - New York State Senate

Monday, July 27, 2015

Pearson Rakes in the Profit

"A financial analysis for 2012 of the British-based publishing giant Pearson is available online at It tells a very interesting, if frightening story that needs to be more widely circulated in the United States, especially among parents, teachers, and educational policy makers. Something consistently missing in a report that emphasizes growth and profit is students and whether Pearson's high tech snake oil actually promotes student learning.* Pearson is a money making machine, but is this education?"

Saturday, June 13, 2015

NYC Deparment of Education Employees Against Gov. Cuomo's Plan

Maria has joined the NYC Department of Education Employees Against Gov. Cuomo's Plan to wage war on them Facebook page.

PRESS RELEASE: Civil Rights Attorneys Lay Out Evidence Against Education Tax Credit

The Coalition for Opportunity in Education daily bombards mailboxes with dishonest advertisements about their advocacy for the Education Tax Credit falsely stating its to "send children to better schools." These "better schools are religious and private,  adding to the theft of public funds earmarked to public schools to educate all children. And it benefits the political coffers of Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his hedge fund donors continuously prostituting public education for their own interests  and benefits.

PRESS RELEASE: Civil Rights Attorneys Lay Out Evidence Against Education Tax Credit

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Vote for Maria Rosa, Executive Committee, BTF

Maria Rosa is running for a seat on the Executive Committee of the Buffalo Teachers Federation.  The Election is in May. Please vote for me when the BTF mails a ballot to your home soon.
My credentials to run are the following:

Past delegate chair, delegate,  past delegate to the National  Education Association  Convention for three year period. 
Elected in 2014 to represent Buffalo teachers at the American Federation of Labor Convention in 2016.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chancellor Merryl Tisch proposal flawed

Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch "...proposal is seriously flawed. First and foremost, none of these teacher evaluation provisions have a research base to show they improve teaching or student learning so we have just upended the system for purely political reasons. 
Second, if the new system is so good, why confine it to poorly performing districts since charters and better 
performing districts (largely the wealthiest for both sectors) also have poorly performing teachers even if their schools in some cases do better; transparency, if this is what this is about, should be required of all. 
Finally, a tiered system of evaluations would forever lock in these misguided policies since legislators from State Evaluation-Free districts would have no incentive to change or eliminate the system on behalf of those districts -- likely with disproportionate numbers of 
students from low-income families -- forced into this scheme by the 
Governor and Regents Chancellor."

Professor David C. Bloomfield

NYSUT Knocks Tisch’s Proposal To Exempt Comments

NYSUT Knocks Tisch’s Proposal To Exempt Comments

“So much of what we talk about is driven by the lowest performing schools, which need to continue to be our very deep focus,” Tisch toldCapital New York. “But what if we started to include in this approach of evaluation our respect for the districts who, for decades, have really done great work? And when I say great work, I mean setting up a rubric by which districts can show that they are worthy of a certain amount of autonomy.” Chancellor Tisch

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Gov. Cuomo educational vision...

“I think the inequity in education is probably the civil rights issue of our time. There are two education systems in this state. Not public private. One for the rich and one for the poor and they are both public systems.
The way we fund education through the property tax system, by definition is going to be unfair. And it is. The state is sup- posed to equalize or come close to equal- izing with its funding. That’s the CFE law- suit that the state is yet to fully fund.” 

Instead of following up to equalize educational opportunities for poor children in public schools, under  Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the state is yet to fully fund CFE law-suit.

What Cuomo attempts to propose is to place public schools under a czar and receivership. Why?

Is Andrew Cuomo for real?

Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent a letter to Board of Regents to review the public school model in St. Lawrence Massachusetts for experimenting with this model in NYS.
Jim Malatras, his director of state operations wrote the letter. Next time ask an educator to write the rational because the data to support what Cuomo has in mind doesn't justify what he is asking in a receivership model. Cuomo aught to have a cadre of educational advisors Malatras is far from one. He may have credentials in political science but not in education.
With the data Malatras presented it would seem the whole state should be under a receivership which is far from the truth in a state among the pack leading in the nation on overall graduation rates.

Receivership schools: is this what Cuomo had in mind for New York?

“What we’ve done in Lawrence is not a traditional district system nor is it a charter school system,” said Jeffrey Riley, the state-appointed receiver of the district who acts as superintendent. “What we’ve done is created a third way of doing business.”
"Charter school operators have contributed to the schools’ improvements, but there are major differences between a school operating under the state’s charter law and one under state receivership that’s being operated by a charter network, officials said."
“Under receivership, when the state takes over, we’re no longer bound by the collective bargaining agreements or the budget and staffing decisions that have operated up until the receivership, so the state had the ability to make changes,” Chester said. “We have complete control over the budget. Where collective bargaining agreements are an impediment to implementing the turnaround plan, we can implement changes … and we have control over staffing."

Saturday, January 24, 2015

The search for a new Superintendent of the Buffalo Schools: to seek or not to seek ?

The North Park School Board member local developer Carl Paladino expressed the search for a superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools in the Buffalo simply as..."Any formal search is dead on arrival as far as I’m concerned,” he said. 
Yet, searching for a permanent superintendent has become an arduous endeavor for the Buffalo Board of Education. 
And  even more challenging now after  a new majority block surfaced on the School Board, viewing the selection process as simply appointing one from the ranks of the school principals in the district rather than a complicated one in a climate where finding a well qualified and experienced superintendent of schools has become in itself a job, one of the reasons for the existence of a. school board in the first place.
“Any formal search is dead on arrival as far as I’m concerned,” board member Carl Paladino said. “We’re going to do the same thing we did with Ogilvie. We know who we want to interview. We know what kind of person we want.”
Since former Dr. Pamela Brown had to step down last June, the School board hastily interviewed and appointed Donald A. Ogilvie who had just retired from BOCES. But he wasn't a consensus candidate four African -American female board members complained about the lack of transparency and didn't agree with the new majority bloc meeting with Ogilvie first and drawing up a contract voting him in as the interim superintendent of schools.

And  "Interims are hired primarily because a superintendent has left the district and the departure did not allow a sufficient amount of time for the board of education to conduct a thorough search and selection process. In fact, while national surveys offer many different reasons for the departure of outgoing superintendents other than retirement -- acceptance of another position, illness/death, discharge, illegal activity, political discord -- one can conclude it’s generally not a positive separation and it usually stresses the system."

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Robert Wilmers Children | All banking is local - Baltimore Sun

"There probably is no other person who has had a greater impact on the city of Buffalo than Robert G. Wilmers.
He's helped turn around a poorly performing urban elementary school, saved the philharmonic from bankruptcy, preserved a house built by Frank Lloyd Wright, worked to shave millions from the city's budget and pledged millions from his own pocket to improve the local zoo."
Robert Wilmers Children | All banking is local - Baltimore Sun

Monday, January 19, 2015

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. On the Purpose of Education

The Purpose Of Education

by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.,
Morehouse College Student Paper, The Maroon Tiger, in 1947

As I engage in the so-called "bull sessions" around and about the school, I too often find that most college men have a misconception of the purpose of education. 

Most of the "brethren" think that education should equip them with the proper instruments of exploitation so that they can forever trample over the masses. Still others think that education should furnish them with noble ends rather than means to an end. 

It seems to me that education has a two-fold function to perform in the life of man and in society: the one is utility and the other is culture. Education must enable a man to become more efficient, to achieve with increasing facility the ligitimate goals of his life. 

Education must also train one for quick, resolute and effective thinking. To think incisively and to think for one's self is very difficult. We are prone to let our mental life become invaded by legions of half truths, prejudices, and propaganda. 

At this point, I often wonder whether or not education is fulfilling its purpose. 
A great majority of the so-called educated people do not think logically and scientifically. 

Even the press, the classroom, the platform, and the pulpit in many instances do not give us objective and unbiased truths. To save man from the morass of propaganda, in my opinion, is one of the chief aims of education. 

Education must enable one to sift and weigh evidence, to discern the true from the false, the real from the unreal, and the facts from the fiction. 

The function of education, therefore, is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. But education which stops with efficiency may prove the greatest menace to society. The most dangerous criminal may be the man gifted with reason, but with no morals. 

The late Eugene Talmadge, in my opinion, possessed one of the better minds of Georgia, or even America. Moreover, he wore the Phi Beta Kappa key. By all measuring rods, Mr. Talmadge could think critically and intensively; yet he contends that I am an inferior being. Are those the types of men we call educated? 

We must remember that intelligence is not enough. Intelligence plus character--that is the goal of true education. 
The complete education gives one not only power of concentration, but worthy objectives upon which to concentrate. The broad education will, therefore, transmit to one not only the accumulated knowledge of the race but also the accumulated experience of social living. 

If we are not careful, our colleges will produce a group of close-minded, unscientific, illogical propagandists, consumed with immoral acts. Be careful, "brethren!" Be careful, teachers!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

DPCC Fighting for a Seat on Buffalo Public School Board

DPCC Fighting for a Seat on Buffalo Public School Board

Although, it already may be a standing committee of the Buffalo Board of Education, and members unsuccessfully ran candidates  for the School Board, still the District Parent Coordinating Council wants a non/voting appointment to the School  Board.

The group had gained recognition under former Superintendent James Williams at times allotted more time to address the School Board, its power waned  under former  Superintendent Pamela Brown. And it has supported causes and groups some view as part of the overall movement to privatize the Buffalo Public Schools such as Buffalo ReformEd.

While, the group is viewed as aligned with the new majority bloc on the board, so for this reason, the idea of it having a non-voting member of the School Board the minority bloc on the Board may not support.

So, a standing committee focused on parents and their concerns appears to be how the DPCC may best be the way to represent parents.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Muskegon Heights charter schools fail to meet state standards - World Socialist Web Site

"Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System (MHPSA), America’s first all-charter public school district, has been found out of compliance on over a dozen issues relating to its special education program. The educational crisis of the entire district is a resounding condemnation of the emergency manager system."

Muskegon Heights charter schools fail to meet state standards - World Socialist Web Site

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