A Buffalo Story on Silencing and Intimidation
by Eve Shippens, Buffalo/NY BAT
East High School was one of the 4 Buffalo schools deemed "out of time"
by the NY State Dept of Education in 2014/2015 for failing to make AYP
within the "turn-around" time frame. However, its educational partner
pulled out (John Hopkins University) after spending the School
Improvement Grant (SIG) monies, and their current data (2014 & 2015)
did show them making AYP. The principal fought to keep it open because
he could prove increasing graduation rates. (Last year the 4 "out of
time" schools - mine included - submitted redesign plans that were
rejected 2/13/15 due to their expense.) After these plans were rejected,
the school began being phased out (no freshmen class). A phase in plan has
not been accepted for the building.
East High School is a fully
renovated building and has the best science labs in the district. It
sits a block from MLK park (an Olmsted park), the science museum, the
expressway, and it's within walking distance of the expanding medical
corridor (thanks University of Buffalo 2020 Plan & Cuomo's Buffalo
Billion). East sits in a poor black neighborhood that has been starved
of HUD funding for poor homeowners, so it has become dilapidated.
However, tons of monies have been spend by the city and state to improve
its infrastructure (gas, electric, water, sewer, sidewalks, cable,
streets). The neighborhood is poised and ready to be flipped!
have a new superintendent in Buffalo - Kriner Cash - hand picked by State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia. Cash is the receiver on our 25 (out of 57)
receivership schools. About a month ago, I ran into the principal of
East outside a Board of Ed. meeting. He was very excited because Cash
wanted to look at their redesign plan and ask commissioner Elia to
waive the requirement that the principal be transferred.
days later, the principal, 2 guidance counselors, and a special
education teacher were removed and put on administrative leave
indefinitely while the district and state investigate the impossible
I just talked to an East High person today. Without
these key people in the lead, the SIG grant will not be implemented, so
the district plans to send the $2M back to the state. East is a 1 year
receivership school, so if it doesn't meet "demonstrable progress" it
will be under independent receivership. This allows for a charter to
Apparently, there is a charter operator from Rochester who has already been chosen to come in!
Lafayette High School's ("out of time" school) principal failed to get tenure.
Riverside High School's ("out of time" school) entire social studies
department (5 teachers) is on administrative leave over the exam grading
this past June. The assistant principal made multiple mistakes in
scheduling and testing protocol, then called the teachers insubordinate
to cover for this. One of the social studies teachers is also out-spoken
on student attendance issues, school violence, and suspensions, and how
that should not be held against teachers for APPR. This costs the
district $25K every 2 weeks!
Tell Superintendent Cash and the
Buffalo Board of Education on 1/13/16 that this is not right! Call to get
on the speaker list 716-816-3570.