Friday, November 14, 2014

School Board Member Larry Quinn Tells Teachers What He Really Thinks of Them.

Education Expert Larry Quinn

Enquiring minds have been told that Buffalo Board of Education members Larry Quinn and Carl Paladino paid a visit to Lafayette High School the other day. Onlookers reported Carl's demeanor was subdued and friendly for the duration of the visit. Larry Quinn, errr... not so much. It has been reported that Quinn was overheard in a loud clear voice referencing teachers there as "clowns" whom he did not want to meet with. This from a guy who, when he was helping drive the Buffalo Sabres into the ground -- You don't have one of those nice Briere or Drury jerseys I hope --  snatched Art Wander's toupee off his head and flung it across a roomful of people. Maybe the Tiny Tot of the Kilowatt hit a nerve with his hockey commentary? I heard that story from an on air local sports guy years ago and it never quite left me as a signpost of the Quinn's character deficit. Clowns. Nice.

Found an hilarious old rant about him too when he was "helping" the Sabres. It's called Why the Hell Does Larry Quinn Talk? Funny how some things never change. 

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Election Deja Vu in B-Lo

Election day was something of a deja vu for us in B-lo's Ed Scene. Back in May we had a school board election that ousted one majority and swept in another in an eerily similar manner as the country witnessed on Black Tuesday. 

Nationally it seems President Obama was bitchslapped by an angry, impatient, potentially racially charged voting bloc that seemed hellbent on throwing Democrats out of office simply because of their association with him, his policies and the merest hint of a connection to him or his office. I'll admit I have little sympathy for Democrats in light of what John Stewart called their Chickenshit Strategy.  Their spinelessness aside I have also grown weary of these neoliberals trying to out-Republican the GOP on everything from The Keystone Pipeline to Education Reform so called. It's not that I look forward to the onslaught of privatization, pollution enabling, bank deregulation, destruction of public educations and vilification of unions that the incoming crew promises to unleash on the morons who voted them in. Not at all. I dread what's been turned loose. But I loathe and despise the do nothing Democrats who helped create the leadership vacuum wherein the GOP and its operatives could stand up on their hind legs and howl their way into office. Pissed off voters headed to the voting booth with an anybody but you mentality did not appear from the ether. They were spawned and tweaked and agitated and ignored over and over again until they eventually morphed into the mindless fuckyoubots who scribbled in the fuck you circles and slammed their little ballot into the computer with a grimace and a grunt.

Here in B-lo we endured a similar dynamic with our own Board of Education election in May. The prevailing majority of last year and many years previous was made up of African American women, affectionately known as The Sisterhood by one of their loudest critics who now sits alongside their remnants on the board. Carl Paladino couldn't get out of his own way when he ran against Andrew Cuomo for Governor. His love child, hushed up for some 10 years, emerged from the shadows, his racist, perverted emails were handed over to all the right sources (some say by the staff of his cousin in law Congressman Brian Higgins.) Carl completely lost it one night on the campaign trail and threatened Fred Dicker of the NY Post saying "I will take you out." In short he was a train wreck whose machismo played well in South Buffalo but not so well in parts of the state where he couldn't walk in and buy drinks for the house.  But like any other broken clock Carl had his moments, especially when it came to The Sisterhood and their endless repertoire of shiftless appointments, inexplicable dismissals and a seemingly interminable ability to treat themselves to conferences and perks and catered meals all on the taxpayer's dime. When Amber Dixon was working as Interim Superintendent after James Williams was finally run out of town, it was common knowledge that the board majority had no plans whatsoever to allow her to remain in the job. Furthermore it was also repeated as least once by a fellow board member at the time that there was no way in hell they were going to allow a white woman to be Superintendent. And they didn't -- in spite of the fact that Dixon was a local who'd come up in the system, knew the system, its strengths and weaknesses and had a plan on where to start undoing their boy Williams' damage. The Sisterhood sent her packing and brought in Pamela Brown, PhD Harvard, who dithered, hid, lied, colluded and was eventually run off same as Williams after reportedly writing all of her own letters of recommendation which she was to present to future employers as though board members had penned them. Without spending a lot of time with all the days and ways of the Sorority Majority's manifest misdeeds let's just say they polluted the air, land and water with their antics and truthfully set the stage for anyone to come in and "trow da bumzout!" Well, not just anyone, but you get the drift.

Sadly, the so called White Knights of Buffalo's Board of Ed are exactly that. If not royalty, they are used to life at court and being surrounded by lackeys who do their bidding and taste test their drinks. On Board of Ed election night their official newsletter aka The Buffalo News reported with fawning admiration how freshly elected member, Larry Quinn, former part owner of the Sabres was sipping wine and snorkeling shrimp at an elevated table in Bacchus wine bar, chatting with local developer/charter operator Frank McGuire who also happens to be Paladino's partner in the charter that used to be Holy Angels School. Coincidence? James Sampson another member of the Caucasian Caucus as I will dub the pale knights, happens to be the Vice President of West Buffalo Charter School where Paladino is also the landlord. Are you starting to hear them banjos yet boy? It's gettin just a hair incenstuous if ye gather my drift.  And recently Paladino gave a little speech were he promised as a sitting board member to a group of local businessmen that he was going to dissemble the Buffalo Public Schools, promote charters, hand out vouchers to private schools and essentially do everything in his power to end public education as we know it. Yes he said this as a board member who leases properties to no fewer than 3 charter schools currently with one for sure and another likely in the pipeline. 

Yesterday I was on the twitter and I noticed a tweet directing readers to a blog written by one of the Board's former majority. While I agree with her message about Paladino and the dire outlook for Buffalo's schools I have a really hard time feeling too bad for her or any of her remaining holdovers from the old Majority. Here is her blog and this is the comment I left for her: 

 Unfortunately, the board's last majority so thoroughly enraged voters with a litany of shiftlessness, terrible hirings and the persistent appearance of anti white bias that you created the environment where Paladino and his privileged white cadre could breeze into office. He couldn't have come to power without your help.

I kind of think they deserved it more than Obama did but I'll reserve my tears for some worthier cause, like the men's room running out of paper hand towels. It'd be different if they simply ended their own careers by pissing off the meager percentage of citizens who vote in school board elections. But in reality they have gambled with the future of public education and in losing they've handed it over to the rich white guys all for the sake of hiring their pals and pocketing the petty rewards to be gotten from abusing the public trust. I hope it was worth it ladies. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Your Union Dues Hard At Work Just Not for You

After Sheriff Andrew had his angry little snit with the Daily News editors explaining how he was going to crush the teachers and their unions if re-elected I'll bet you can only imagine the red hot rhetoric boiling from our various firebrand union leaders. Ahem.

Yessirree Old Karen Magee -- whose name I am not even sure I am spelling correctly -- but truthfully I give about a rat's ass which is one rat's ass more than I have seen her caring about the rank and file teachers looking to her for support -- came out swinging. Well, maybe not swinging exactly. I guess we might agree she came out. No, that's not really true either. O.k. let's say she cracked the door an inch and declared bravely that Cuomo's comments were "unfortunate and a distraction." Yeah. Hellz Yeaaah. Fuckin A Kar, way to lay into that bastard. Big Bill Haywood is sitting up in his coffin about now asking "Who is that gal ? "If I was a radical she's a goddamned square root."

But it gets better folks. Labor is Dead you say? Pshaaw. Did you see the love letter Corny Karl sent to anti-tenure, anti-collective bargaining, anti-Triborough Amendment candidate Rob Astorino who brought Scot Walker here  fresh from destroying the State of Wisconsin as a fund raising attraction? Yeah, Astorino is banging his hands bloody on the Anti Common Core drum -- even creating a line on the ballot for Stop Common Core -- This ingenious gesture has proven quite the shiny object in the path of far too many otherwise reasonable and intelligent people who've got in touch with their recessive Teabagger gene and decided to throw their vote to this odd, shrew faced little man because they really think he's going to be good for teachers and education in spite of the company he keeps and the obvious anti teacher postures he's struck. Did I mention he's also a fan of charter schools same as Cuomo? Here's a peck of the soul kiss NYSUT laid on Astorino:

On behalf of NYSUT's 600,000 members, we thank Rob Astorino for his Oct. 29th open letter expressing support and respect for teachers and public education in New York State. While we differ on a number of issues, we wholeheartedly agree with his statement that teachers deserve respect and that strengthening New York State's public school system should be our shared focus. And we pledge to acknowledge all leaders who similarly commit to statements of respect and support.

Did I say it KEEPS getting better? While NYSUT was busily slobbering on Astorino, AFT President Randi Weingarten was reinforcing her singular place in labor history as possibly the most useless and widely despised Union President of all time in attempting to walk back comments Cuomo himself has made no attempt to distance himself from. 

Taking on the role of the idiot aunt who has no sense of why children behave the way they do

 -- remember folks this human was never a teacher like you are. She never ground out a long March in the classroom between Winter Recess and Spring Break or sat in a hostile parent conference where you were pretty sure calling the cops was the right call afterward. No, she never walked 5 feet in your shoes so don't bestow the title or honor of "teacher" on her. She is and always has been nothing more or less than a lawyer. As such she likes to think she has mastered the art of the cleverly turned phrase, the surgically omitted detail, the lie that you'd swear was the truth if you didn't know better. But the truth is she's not very good at these things. She kind of sucks at it but she brazens it out and does it anyway. You've heard her agreeing about the disaster that is Common Core then she throws in her little spiel about implementation negating the larger point that CCSS blows goat.

 But I digress. The idiot aunt explanation when a kid behaves like a bloodthirsty savage? Oh, he's just tired, the poor dear. And when faced with Cuomo's declaration of war on teachers and public education as a whole, what does our fearless union lightning rod have to say on the topic?

“We’re in the political season. At the end of the day, … I’ll chalk it up to politics,” Weingarten told Capital on Friday when asked about the governor’s comments earlier in the week...

Yep, Randi gave Cuomo a mulligan. In as many words she said he's just tired. It's the political season and he's just not himself, he's saying mean things and being grumpy so let's all forget what he said and let him get a nap, a juice box and a crustable so he can be nice again.  As my role model and colleague RealityBasedEducator has pointed out on PerdidoStSchoolBlog Randi would rather chase the paper tigers at Time Magazine demanding a meaningless apology for their teacher bashing cover last week than address the snarling sociopath prick in the Gubner's mansion here in Albantucky. Or is he staying in his Westchester house with the upgrades done without building permits or tax adjustments? Hard to keep track of Sheriff Andrew is,  Saddam- like in his ability to remain a moving target.

While Rome burns our union leadership alternates between roasting marshmallows over the flames and saying things like "at least it's not raining." That loudmouth at the end of the bar down at Sully's Tavern saying "Unions are all corrupt, the leadership is a bunch of sellouts who don't give a damn about none a yous dues paying guys?" That loudmouth lately is looking like a McArthur Fellowship winner. In case you didn't realize it,  that makes him a genius.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

NYSUT and VOTE COPE: Dumb and Dumberer

If you weren't impressed yet with the yield of your Vote Cope donation here's yet another piece of their high octane strategerizing. Apparently the Vote Copers can't afford a spell check option maybe because they've dumped what? half a million plus into Marc Pannepinto the convicted voter fraud's campaign? Well, if you felt a little shortchanged by the battered woman ad that suggested Mark Grisanti would step over her with reptilian detachment on his way to a fundraiser then maybe this Mike Ranzenhofer slam is more your style:

Those Teutonic surnames can be tricky but this is Western New York where people ask reflexively when they learn your name -- What is that? Meaning, is it Polish, German, Irish, Cambodian, Sierra Leonean? We are ethnically obsessed and we can handle these euro names with ease. But the noobs of Vote Cope whoever the hell they are come stumbling into town and they can't even spell "RANZENHOFER? More to the point, they can't even spell LOSING? And they claim to be the political wing of the largest Teacher's Union in New York State? 

So Vote Cope shakes down hard working, tax paying, dues paying teachers for donations. Mind you these teachers are under siege from a sociopathic Governor who just yesterday declared he planned to break the teacher's union if and when he is reelected. I hesitate to mention that said Governor wears the emblem of the Democratic Party jackass, the one NYSUT pursues their abusive relationship with in something of a textbook abusive relationship tableau. 

...Curious to observe also that during the Governor's debate, Kathy Hochul sat with County Executive Mark Poloncarz (who is on record as saying Vote Cope should be embarrassed at their Abused Woman/Grisanti ad) and Byron Brown, Mayor. They sat away from the rest of the rabble in a direct eyeline with Cuomo. Meanwhile the two Dumbocrats who showed up at City Hall to express their deep concern for education were seated in another section. Sean Ryan sat a few rows ahead of us (Green Party invitees) and Tim Kennedy  sat in the seat to my left.  It struck me that these two are not part of the cool kids club and they won't be either as long as they keep up this pro-teacher posturing... 

These aforementioned teachers are also under fire from a Dumbocratic Party federal government that cheerleads the destruction of unions and plays open favorites to charter schools and the powers behind the school privatization movement. So when teachers hand over their hard fought money to a group that claims it will act in their best interests wouldn't you expect that they'd get a little better representation than a picture of a battered woman and another of a generic yogurt container with Halloween letters and two misspellings.

Instead of handing over your hard fought salary to these jackasses I suggest you invest in lottery tickets or take it the casino. The odds can't be any worse than what's coming out of NYSUT these days. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Could NYSUT Suck Any Worse?

Hey kids it's Vote Cope season in case you didn't get an email or a text message. And here's a handy suggestion for how much you should donate: Take the first two numbers of your annual salary and add a zero to them. So if you make $550,000.00 like AFT President Randi Weingarten does just send Vote Cope a check for $550.00. Why would I donate to something that sounds like a pain reliever for the election season? you might ask. Well, if you do you can claim your little piece of the brilliant strategery our bright bulbs at NYSUT's political wing are cranking out. Here's a sample:

I know you'd like to feel special that NYSUT took the time to smear a local hack whose reputation includes switching sides and parties more often than an Afghan warlord not to mention that embarrassing brawl he provoked trying to stick his nose into an argument between two Native Americans in the Seneca Niagara Casino. Ahh but don't get too carried away Western New Yorkers, NYSUT isn't that into you. The Mensa members of NYSUT's New York Post JV team used the same ad against two other candidates downstate Republican Sue Serino and Republican Terrance Murphy. I wonder if Sue and Terrance are polling better than Grisanti whose Republican endorsement was yanked in a primary by a self financed lawyer guy who goes door to door dressed like a character out of an F. Scot Fitzgerald novel, one Kevin Stocker. The overkill employed against Grisanti is vile enough on its own demerits. To imply that he'd blithely stand by checking his email and Facebook via iphone while battered women crawled at his feet pleading for help is the stuff of mudslinging with broken glass in the mud. 

And the real payoff comes when the Buffalo News and everyone else who's looking for a cheap shot at teachers gets hold of the ad, finds local Democrats like County Executive, Mark Poloncarz to denounce it for the rot that it is. This was his reaction to the flier Thursday morning on Twitter:

“Came home from debate to find this in the mail. Horrible. This makes people hate politics. Vote-Cope should be embarrassed.” ( I saw him at the debate sitting next to Kathy Hochul and Mayor Byron Squarepants).

Marc Panepinto, who has a  2000 conviction for voter fraud involving invalid signatures is the Democratic Party candidate to whom NYSUT is funneling hundreds of thousands of Vote Cope dollars this cycle. According to the Buffalo News, "Panepinto’s campaign said that it has nothing to do with the flier but did not take issue with it." “Our campaign has nothing to do with independent expenditures, including this shameful mailer,” said campaign spokesman Conor C. McMahon. “But it’s clear that Grisanti’s ultraconservative opposition to women’s equality is out of step with Western New York voters.”

So they admit it's shameful, deny and any association with it but try to piggyback a free plug in making a follow up statement that actually elaborates on the message they just referred to as "shameful." 

In case the Fullbright Fellows of Vote Cope aren't aware, Buffalo Schools are currently under siege from nearly every corner of the globe. The Buffalo Board of Ed is now run by a majority of wealthy white men with friends in the charter school business. The titular head of the parent group in Buffalo just co-authored a letter to the editor clamoring for more of the wealthy white mens' agenda, more charters, more closings, more teacher and union bashing. Board member Carl Paladino was recently heard explaining his educational philosophy to a group of Erie County businessmen in the following terms: 

By no coincidence school closer, charter promoter, non educator "Education Expert" Dr. Terry Ross is coming to Buffalo to share his vision of closed schools, high graduation rates through attrition and mandatory entrance exams to anyone willing to show up at Waterfront School on a Friday night or Saturday morning in December. It's been said Eva Moskowitz is looking to gain a foothold for her despicable "Success Academies" here. In short, the few of us left who get it and are willing to fight find ourselves in something of an Alamo situation. 

One might expect given the current climate, with teachers in desperate need of all the friends we can find that our state union would refrain from doing something so egregious, so completely stupid and reckless that the average jerk on the street would be hard pressed to disagree when The Buffalo News unloads in one of their trademark teacher bashing editorials under the headline:

Teachers Should Be Ashamed of Union's Unseemly Efforts to Unseat Grisanti followed by " is rare that Western New Yorkers are subjected to a campaign as vile and devious as the one leaving its trail in the 3 way race to represent the 60th Senate district and driving the dishonest and distorted contest are New York's school teachers or more specifically New York State United Teachers the largest of the state's teacher unions." 

A friend the other day made what I took to be a darkly comic remark when he said it. I am now re-thinking the comedy end of it and looking at the possibility that he is onto something. Do you ever wonder, he asked, if Buffalo is being offered up as a sacrifice?  Now I am not one for conspiracy theories and I have always gritted my teeth when the end of the bar gasbags pronounce all unions to be corrupt and in league with the powers they are supposed to be doing battle with. It's getting harder and harder to argue with these kinds of gasbags when even the Buffalo News is able to pimpsmack teachers then qualify it later by saying "Oh, we meant their union, not them" it's pretty hard to see where my union has my best interests at heart. Their motives are their own and they operate in a thick layer of insulation from anyone I know. Call me conspiracy theorist, call me "divisive" as they do any time you object to Mulgrew or Weingarten's self serving hijinx. Just call me in a really loud voice cause my tinfoil hat is going to have some gigantic earflaps. This is Buffalo, it gets cold here. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

Buffalo Board of Education A Confederacy of Abomination

Charter Supporter Rallies His Troops

Rarely have I found myself with so much to hate in a given post that I almost couldn't write it. Today my poetry club girls wanted a topic or theme to write about so I suggested "Ambivalence." Since these are bright motivated kids they quickly dove into it. I am not enjoying the same quick acceleration as this is beginning to remind me of why I haven't watched one episode of House of Cards, Season Two. Namely, I find all of the characters unbearably Hobbesean, insufferable and odious. Hate waits for no man as I well know though so let's get this party started.

Commencing with a crazy exchange of correspondence I tripped across in a scurrilous little blog operated by a rich kid opportunist (Matthew Ricchiazzi)from what I can gather and aided by someone named Mike Madigan whom I saw described thusly in Artvoice by the inimitable Michael Caputo (with whom I suffered through a UB class called Literary Journalism back in the Dark Ages) :  "Mike Madigan is a crazy scumbag, a lying piece of shit, completely clueless about politics, convinced 9-11 is an inside job, and clearly knows absolutely nothing about the League or much else. He's the guy who protested about abortion while selling fetal stem cells for a living. No self respecting Republican would be caught near him and I wouldn't wipe my ass with him if he was 2-ply. Fuck him."

O.k. now that we've got that ball rolling... MM and MR operate this bloggish enterprise called The Buffalo Chronicle whose gothic scripted masthead recalls the age old banner of the Courier Express or Pac's Thug Life tat depending on your frame of reference. There's definitely a right leaning odor coming off this thing but I can't say it's Republican, Caputo won't for damned sure. I can't exactly call it Libertarian either but maybe that's closer than anything else. I have recently coined the derogatory term Teapartarian to describe any sensibility that tends to towards anger, intolerance, excessive violent over reaction and am irrational execration towards anything that could be construed as "liberal" or "Democrat." Tom Bauerle, pm drive time rightie of WBEN AM's suggestion that the Canadian government videotape the Ottawa shooter's body being stuffed inside of a pig carcass and interred somewhere on the steppes of Manitoba is a good example of the Teapartarian pulse. This, according to Tom is meant to offend his recently converted Islamic sensibilities and deny him a respectful burial. As it were.

The "Who Do I Hate More?" daisy petals begin to fall with one of Carl Paladino's (School Board member, Charter School Landlord to the 3rd power with no less than 2 more charter leasees in the pipeline) lawyers sending a Buffalo School Principal a letter on Paladino's Law firm stationery and identifying herself as a lawyer using an Ellicott Development email address. The contents of the letter essentially challenge the Principal for telling a parent active in the Opt Out movement that she is no longer welcome on school grounds. Oh wait now. I do think Carl is a scumbag but where does this Principal get off telling a parent such illegal, bullying garbage? The Principal in question, Tonja Williams, served as administrator of Home Instruction for a few years, a  job usually given to someone of marginal talent with a few years until retirement. I am not aware of her chops as a Principal nor her acquisition of that City Hall shortcut doctorate the dreaded EdD by which one is able to ascend the payscale without incurring much of the edification ordinarily involved in a real doctoral program. As director of H.I. she existed on paper but operated in full stealth mode invisibility and nobody was calling her "Doctor."

To fully enjoy the byzantine depths of invidiousness of both sides in this ping pong of the malignancy one should really read the exchange in all its  putrid entirety HERE. If you fear for the moments of your life you will surrender and never get back I can tell you the Principal forwarded the letter to the Board of ed attorney's office who then wrote back to the Carl's employee who forwarded that letter to Carl who responded to the Board's attorney asking:

Rashondra, I would assume you have some unusual  legal basis for your response.  The State allowed opt out.  What did Mary Bishop (parent)  do wrong?  Does Tanya Williams set her own policies?

I found this pretty reasonable even coming from a guy who sent horse porn to his friends. The Board lawyer responds and CC's Interim Superintendent Ogilve as well as all the other Board Members. And now, it is, as they say on the corner, officially "ON BITCHES!"

Nevergold calls out Carl for using an employee from his private practice to essentially intimidate an employee of the school district for which he serves as a board member. She exhorts Carl's Majority Ally James Sampson the current Board President to address the matter. At this point Carl is out of rational cards to play so he creates a verbal mural like one of those bizarre billboards he slaps up along the 90 downtown on the side of his building. I think the last one was Brian Higgins dancing marionette like on Pelosian strings. Here is the Carl money shot in all its glory:

Ms. Nevergold, you never cease to amaze me.

You have in the past looked the other way when your sisters Ms Cottman and Cassandra Wright acted as the sisterhood muscle to intimidate those teachers at Bennett who dared to speak up at a Board meeting to denounce the incompetent Principal.

Now you complain and blindly defend when one of your sisters is asked why she ignored State Law giving parents the right to opt out of testing and why she imposed sanctions on a parent. In the recent past, the Administration had been impossible to approach, incompetent, dysfunctional and not transparent. As a result,  many parents, administrators and others contact Board members with their problems. We get a huge amount of complaints and I try to answer every one of them.  My assistants always carry themselves professionally.   In this case, I was approached by a parent regarding an incompetent principal, who achieved tenure only by way of chicanery, administered the lowest rated priority school in the district.  She is so unskilled that it has been necessary to pay a full time assistant to follow her around and tell her what to do. She had specifically instructed teachers not to take attendance.  Violence is rampant because there is very little discipline.  She is obviously part of the sisterhood friends and family club.  She was given a fraudulent, exaggerated and incomplete APPR and recommendation for tenure by a Chief of School Leadership who has in the past lied, schemed and acted as the muscle for the past majority/present minority. Intending to respond, I was in the process of getting both sides of the story necessary to do so.

You should find something else to do with your time.  Any Board member who would take money and support from the union, the chief adversary of the Board, and not see it as a conflict is seriously lacking in good judgment.  Your actions opposing matters involving charter schools clearly indicate that you are a pawn of Phil Rumore.  If you really wanted to help the kids you would get Rumore to give up the management prerogative that paralyses the Administration’s ability to function.  You refused to appoint me to the Joint Schools Construction Board when I was the only person on the Board of Ed who had any experience in Construction and now we find that the real reason for not appointing me was that you and Florence Johnson violated the public trust as fiduciaries and were complicit with others to deny transparency on the lack of any reasonable due diligence before certifying payments to the Program Manager during the entire term of the 12-year $1.4 billion contract.  Although the lack of such reasonable due diligence and oversight demands a complete and through independent audit that any knowing and responsible fiduciary would recognize, you chose to lead the minority of the Board to vote against the audit.  Your motivations are highly suspect.  Last year when the Board was considering the discharge of Pamela Brown, you , as President of the Board, conspired to pack the Board meeting with your friends and family club and allow a number of your trained activist friends to spew venom and racist remarks at me during the public speaking portion of the meeting.

I recognize that it is difficult to become irrelevant but the system failed dramatically under the watch of you and your former majority cohorts’.  You are blind to your incompetence and the dysfunction that your racist and union oriented  attitudes brought to the Buffalo Public Schools.  You are obviously more interested in enjoying the power of the office than doing anything positive for the kids.  You should resign.

The Sorority Majority has pretty much been rendered toothless by the May election results where Carl's developer pal and former part owner of the Sabres Larry Quinn breezed into office on a "throw the bums out and bring in the rich connected white guys" ticket. The Sorority Majority were a shiftless, cronyistic and race driven coven, make no mistake. The real damage they did was in creating an "Anyone but Them Mentality" among the 2% of people who actually vote in school board elections. Nobody bothered to ask why Larry Quinn all of a sudden gives a flying fuck about education. Nor did they ever ask Patty Bowers Pierce if she'd ever had an original idea in her vacuous head or if her only contribution to the children of B-Lo would be to vote however Quinn, Sampson and Carl told her to vote. Nobody gave a shit. All voters wanted was to unload this corrupt, self serving, race card playing Sisterhood as Carl loves to call them. They chalked up a 6 year reign of terror hiring thug jackass James Williams and two more years of circling the edu-drain under Pamela Pearls Brown, PhD Harvard. They stuffed their faces on catered meals before and during meetings, they took trips to conferences other members described as shopping and restaurant tours with no report on the conference materials and no feedback to other members who weren't part of their junkets. They hired multiple unqualified incompetents and ran off Amber Dixon a competent knowledgeable Super because she wasn't black. And now they've made it possible for a cadre of moneyed pompous asses to start making deals with Rookie Commissioner King, with Frank McGuire and likely Steve Polowitz and his Chameleons as well. Word has it Eva Destruction and her Suckcess Academy is probing the possibility of a Buffalo franchise. The Sorority Majority's legacy of sucking continues even though their own influence is dead and gone. As I told you a while ago, there is almost too much here to adequately despise all of it. But we'll give it a shot.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Ed Reformers/Charter Profiteers Put on Notice in B-Lo

Assemblyman Ryan Shortly Before M.O.B. Brought the Thunder

Today's rally against the corporate takeover of Buffalo Public Schools was a good old fashioned (and long overdue) shot in the arm for me and I think a lot of other people who are weary and wary of the creeping creeps who've emerged as the "New Majority" of B-lo's Board of Education.
It was good to hear that so many other people are hip to the games being played behind closed doors among the NYSED friendly, wealthy insider's Caucasian Caucus.
I was glad to hear others laughing out loud at Larry the Liar Quinn's lame assertion that neither he nor any of his Brahmin associates has had any talks with charter school operators. Hearken back to school board election night as the Buffalo News reported breathlessly on Quinn sitting in an elevated table at Bacchus wine bar shoveling prawns and scallops down his gullet seated alongside Frank McGuire, the guy whose company is teaming with Paladino's to convert the Holy Angels building to a charter school. Yeah, that's who he's chilling with on election night but we are all supposed to believe that they haven't been sharing spread sheets on Lafayette, Bennett and the rest. Get real.
It was great to hear the teachers and Principal Naomi Cere from Lafayette, the kids from Lafayette with signs in Arabic and Burmese asking Can You Pass this Test?
It was good to hear someone point out that Carl Paladino a sitting board of education member is collecting over a million per year in rent from just one of the three charter schools he leases property to. I am not happy about it but I am thrilled to hear a Parent Teacher Group representative talk about it. Curious too that the Buffalo News wrote a fawning fellation of said school for Sunday's feature yet somehow neglected that tiny detail in their reportage.
I enjoyed watching idiot Dumbocrat Assemblyman Sean Ryan being eviscerated as he tried to talk by local educational loose cannon and gadfly Michael O'Bowen. Ryan didn't seem to know what to do as Michael strode toward him his trade mark top hat and monopoly character costume in full effect roaring "You are a disgrace! You don't stand for kids! How dare you stand up here!"It was a little like watching Beth Dimino of PJSTA lay into Tisch and King and tell them to resign last year during their star crossed and ill fated barnstorming of the Empire State. Phil Rumore eventually intervened to belly bump O'Bowen aside but not before Michael made his point. I truly hope the smattering of people who tried to shush him have looked into Ryan's antics on both sides of the argument to comprehend why Michael ambushed him as he did. It more than paid for my downtown parking.
I am no fan of Dumbocrat Sean Ryan's as he invited Dowager Empress Tisch here last year supposedly to prove to her that our international schools are thriving and the failing schools myth is exactly that. At least that's what NYSUT Regional Poobah Deely told me when I asked for his support in organizing a protest against Tisch showing her face on B-lo turf. He is bringing her here to show her that the failing schools story is bullshit, why protest that? Deely wrote back. But when the day came and Ryan went to say something to Tisch she interrupted him, attacked low scores of Buffalo's immigrant kids and said I know what success looks like, come to Brooklyn. So instead of putting her in her place, he got punked by Tisch and silenced like a twerpy bell hop with a wave of her imperious hand. Fortunately, loose cannon Bowen was once again on hand outside to fling monopoly money in Tisch and Bennett's faces as they scurried like rats to their CIA-ish black Suburban.
After Ryan we heard from South Buffalo blogger and political analyst Mike Blake's favorite chewtoy, NYSUT darling and Dumbocrat Tim Kennedy. Kind of comical that Phil Rumore had to introduce Kennedy as some stalwart friend of public education when any sentient being in the 716 knows Phil is a dyed in the wool Betty Jean Grantophile to the point that NYSUT's ensorsement of Kennedy and their nifty $10K donation to him last cycle likely had everything to do with Phil's eager endorsement of the current crew of stooges running NYSUT as it offered a chance to bury an axe in what remained of outgoing Prez Dick Ianuzzi's career. Ianuzzi, the story goes, is the one mainly responsible for giving the nod to Kennedy instead of Grant. Custom previously allowed the local Prez to make the call in such matters but for whatever reason, Ianuzzi put the wood to Phil and handed it to Kennedy over Rumore's objections. And while Timmy bloviated his way through a list of memorized data bullets, essentially hitting all the right notes for the assembled crowd, it was not lost on the assemblage that this SB resident may have overdone it with the bloody blarney. For all of his public education blather Tim surely hoped nobody remembers as far back as a week ago when a charter school proposal with his big fat Imprimatur all over it was shot down by NYSED.  Here's a little quote about the SMART charter getting denied from our champion of public schools Timmy K: Senator Kennedy said, "The indication that we've gotten is that the application is not only viable but very strong and that the denial should not have happened, and we're trying to figure out exactly where the application went wrong and get those answers over to those folks." Mmmm yeah. I am thinking of an old Pete Seeger tune about now can you guess which one it is?
In spite of the gasbaggery and specious blarney from Ryan and Kennedy, the other speakers were highly energized, on point and eager to take the fight to the boys' club who are looking all too eager to cozy up to rookie amateur John King and privatize as much of B-Lo as they can sink their hooks into. Once the politicians were disposed of the message was loud and clear. The energy was good, the focus was 20/20 and the kids from Bennett and Lafayette were a joy to behold. We are apparently stuck with the Dumbocratic Party and NYSUT in a strangely selective symbiotic waltz. I say strangely symbiotic as it only seems to benefit the hacks who've attached themselves to teacher's unions and the hacks who serve as administrators of those unions. Double strange that the governor himself claims to be a Democrat but could give Scot Walker a run for his Republican money on any given day. I look forward to reclaiming our unions, reclaiming our schools and ridding ourselves of parasites who show up for photo ops and to collect endorsements and donations then run out and work very very hard against us. If we can keep this moving and maintain a shred of the energy I felt this afternoon in Niagara Square I believe the Rich Guys' Charter School Club may be headed for the dustbin.

If you're looking for your next fix or you missed this one you will have to attend A Forum on Corporate School Reform and a Public Vison for Public Education on Saturday November 15 at 12:30 pm. The location is the Karpeles Library Manuscript Museum 453 Porter Ave. Buffalo NY. Be There and Bring a Friend. Local educational savant Professor Mark Garrison and NYC Parent Advocate extraordinaire Leonie Hamison will share their invaluable insights into dealing with the ed reform class.