Friday, June 29, 2012

The Amber Files Part I : Why Appoint Her in the First Place?


O.k. enough diplomacy, time to take the gloves off here friends. On the topic of Amber Dixon's Jane Crow railroading at the hands of the Sorority Majority of the Board of Education, I would like to start at the beginning. Why was Amber chosen to take the reins as an interim in the first place ? Were they hoping she'd stumble and bumble around without a clue as to where she should start mopping up after the big 6 year Frat Party J-Dub threw for himself and his sycophants? Why didn't they give the wheel to Mark Frazier ? He has a PhD and certainly knew where the best parking spots in the ramp could be found. And wasn't he the head of the followship, errr.... leadership academy ? A principal once told me he was forced to sit in a room with MFer and others in Principal apprentice class listening to some music as Frazier grooved and shared his thoughts about how he really dug Williams' style or some such rot.  Forgive me if I play devil's advocate here but let's follow this through. So instead of the obvious choice in many people's minds Amber Dixon was chosen I believe in the hope that she'd follow a more  Hippocratic model doing no harm than an active Superintendent who'd get to work and start doing what needed doing. Surprise number one. Dixon started off drawing a big red circle around some of the dead weight Williams had been stacking up in city hall all but enjoining them to get over to Kinkos with their latest resumes as this here gravytrain was about to pull into the station. The Sisters' Food and Travel Club had its budget revoked and they were abruptly informed that they'd be taking no more "conference" trips on the taxpayer dime as they did in their best year wracking up a $200K bill. How many first year teachers would that pay for a year friends?  At the time Board member Nugent-Pannepinto lamented that the sisters returned from these junkets with tales of shopping and mowing down on mad eats but there was never so much as a pamphlet or a powerpoint shared with the non traveling members to, at very least, justify these uneducationally focused binges. Dixon to her credit and likely her downfall took the job and started doing it they way nobody had done it since the last time a local girl, Marion Canedo, was tapped to run the ship in the absence of an out of towner black male rock star. For now let's chew this cud and I will have more thoughts and observations and a continuation of the farcical search that brought us our shiny Harvard PhD'd new boss, the Mercedes hood ornament soddered to the prow of a hooptied out Buick Regal, crown deodorizer in full view on dash, beaded driver's seat cover, curb feelers and back window perimetered in shiny silver duct tape.  Trunk bungeed half shut so kicker box can blast Wiz Khalifa at a volume and vibratto sufficient to loosen the fillings in your molars. But hot damn that Mercedes ornament looks sweet as hell.  Cause that's how we roll here in the City of No Illusions.

p.s. An hilarious piece from Sorority Sister Flo Jo in today's letters to da Nooze which I will not link to. Instead of addressing her role in this kangaroo court selection process, something none of the Sisters 5 has had the guts to do yet, she decides to explain how complex the attendance problem in Buffalo is. Yeah. It really is. If you're a slug and you are failing to raise your kids for any number of pathetic excuses your kid will not attend school because he has no reason to attend. Thanks for the staggering insights, Flo Jo now back to those Welcome Sister #6 brownies you were baking.
There's an equally outrageous screed from the policy wank at Buffalo DeformEd who has any number of data driven solutions he feels the new Superintendent needs to be appraised of before she begins her Herculean labors here. I think the last thing he scratched out was his analysis of the BTF contract. As a Notre Dame law grad, (did he actually pass the bar ? I notice he claims to have taken it last August but I am not sure of his actual status) he must be eminently qualified to speak on all topics, educational, contractual, economic and of course matters of policy. I suggested he take his lily white arse to Burgard Vocational and run and English class for a month before he tries to tell the rest of us what's up. Love these self proclaimed yet educationally ignorant "reformers" who cant be bothered sullying their hands with the lowbrow business of actually teaching. They all see themselves above that plebian meanness opting instead to swoop in and set policy with their high minded Charterian ideals. Still waiting for them to show us how to run an alternative school for the at risk kids they love to accuse us in Buffalo of underserving.

12 comments:

  1. Pineapple PrincessJune 28, 2012 at 7:20 AM

    Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens! Here are a few of my favorite things... 1. Mary Pasciak coyly dangling her "inside" knowledge of East High's possible charter conversion on her school board liveblog. Adorably arrogant! 2.Flo Jo's tepid explanation of student absenteeism while subtly and in a ladylike manner blaming the schools and teachers. Demure! 3.Jason Zwara's latest useless and limp wonkvomit in the News. Sadly lax.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Oooh P Squared are you trying to double up your chip allotment or your Accolade collection ? Yeah I loved the Flo Jo ramble, wtf anyway. And Mary dangling her insider's intel is just too coy for words. I turned the corner on buying her act when she parked herself in J Dub's green room and had a cat fight with Elena Cala who actually face palmed her video guys lens like a disgraced Congressman coming out of a gay SnM club. She came off pretty well though and sadly for the News she is also pretty photogenic where Mary kind of seemed petulant and jr high-like in her intransigence. ("I'm not leaving its a free country" is what i was expecting to hear) The money shot though was Erin Comerford's drive by where she sniped at Mary for calling her and half the office (rightfully so) "unqualified." It was some of the best theatre of the absurd I have ever seen. Ionesco sat up in his coffin and screamed " Mierde !" I ripped up my Mary P. fan club card that very afternoon and started trolling Artvoice again in the hope of finding credible education coverage. Scroll down to the bottom for the full video
    http://blogs.buffalonews.com/school_zone/2011/06/behind-the-scenes-in-the-superintendents-office.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Sean, Everyday you get better! I think you should copyright your comments! Thanks for the daily "Upper".

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha ha ha. I will need to disavow them when I get hauled in for whatever it is they can charge me with... Thanks for the thoughts.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I know everyone is sad that Amber is leaving, but I was a little concerned about how she handled the suspension issue. I feel like she just overreacted to Radford and his cronies. We got word in our elementary school late winter/early spring that there would be no more suspensions for non violent incidents and no suspensions AT ALL for children in Kindergarten unless there was a serious injury. Which basically means, you could have a violent kindergartener (and yes, they do exist) sitting in your class and until he seriously hurts someone, you can't suspend him. In practice, we didn't see any change in our suspension policy this year, but I'm wondering if the new super is going to enforce this next year. If I was a parent of a kindergartener in Buffalo I would be very unhappy knowing you can't get rid of violent kids until someone gets hurt...can you say "lawsuit waiting to happen?"

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Pineapple PrincessJune 28, 2012 at 10:27 PM

      I feel that she had to handle Radford with kid gloves. She knew that the suspension issue is very racially charged and it was imperative that her first response was in solidarity with the parents. (Radford is a case study unto himself). I think if she had more time she would have been able to address the suspension issue further and more in line with what the teachers feel (and know) is required. Notice how Radford has been quiet? It will be SSOO telling to see how the new Sup't deals with him and his BuffaloReformEd puppetmasters.

      Delete
  6. Yeah I agree and the stance she took agreeing with counting the no show slugs in evaluations was also baffling but I recall a few good administrators essentially reaching out to us in faculty meetings saying sorry folks but we are all going to have to eat some dirt for the sake of the greater good. hese two issues alone could have sunk her boat for her but I think in her own way she was rope a doping Radford, letting him think he had clout in pure Machiavellian form. I also think she was hard pressed to show that she wasn't going to capitulate to every demand Phil and BTF put on her since so many seemed to think that she would. I guess I was willing to overlook a few of these items for the sake of a bigger picture, namely a competent Super who had the kids' good in mind for a change. The suspension issue eludes me I confess because in my setting I think I have had one kid suspended for 2 days in three years. It's not deemed a therapeutic measure in most cases and for the most part I agree in my place it really isn't. I do recall being in rough high schools though where it was all you had short of the psych rider.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You probably have more psych cases in PreK and kindergarten than other grades. Often his is the first time any of these kids have been seen by any kind of professional. The lower grade teachers do a lot of the referring to special ed in this city. We're like the first line of defense. It may not help the kid's behavior improve, but it creates the paper trail you need to get the kid spec. ed services. Taking away suspension in the lower grades (esp. in the rough schools) really ties our hands and is actually dangerous to the other students.

      Delete
  7. PP - agreed. recall the ghettofabulous circus atmosphere they were creating in the meeting about suspension with the handcuffs on kids and morons yelling about murderers -- even though the killer of the student from Lafayette was black and so was the Principal who kicked him out that day as well as the Superintendent at the time, they all wanted to lynch white lady Amber Dixon. She even had to tell Kano to sit down and stfu when he started roaring for security as if he was the Super not her. Yeah they were itching to go race riot the way a certain percentage always thinks throwing folding chairs and left hooks is the most succinct form of diplomacy. And they wonder why their kids simply don't know how to act in public and keep getting sent home.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Pineapple PrincessJune 28, 2012 at 11:06 PM

    Actually, I don't think any of them were itching to race riot. I think the small (in actuality) number of people (not necessarily even parents) were simply being used as props, manipulated by Sam ReformEdford. As usual, a publicity stunt for the cameras and something for the suburbanites to tsk, tsk about when it showed for a minute on the 11PM News. The only person who seemed excited by Sammy's theatrics was Mary Pasciak. For most of the rest of the citizenry of Buffalo it was all a giant ho hum. Now, if Sam had actually followed thru on the hunger strike, THAT would have been entertainment!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Oh God I'd have been circling him with a plate of La Nova's finest and Niagara Cafe's lunch special and maybe even a tray of Amy's falafel until he flipped out and ate every crumb. Funny how that fizzled. Who do you think told him to can it ? ReformED is my bet, too Irish, too Indian, too serious and smacking of the truly oppressed not the situationally oppressed at least until the cameras go away. Can you imagine them trying to spin one of their puppets croaking of dehydration and malnutrition on the sidewalk across the street from Da Vinci? It' simply to coarse and common for their private schooled sensibilities to bear.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Hey, my first troll. well trolls here's the bad news. The only way your clever remarks are going to show up here is if you have the guts to say who you are. Sadly for you the sitmeter has your IP address recorded anyway in case you want to try to escalate your trolldom. Remember kids there's no such thing as being anonymous or invisible on the interwebs. So have some stones if you want to speak up. My name is all over everything I do and I consider it the price of speaking my mind. Unless your mind isn't worth the price, expect that I am going to hold you to the same standards I follow. On the Buffalo News blogs my name comes up as NoReally in case anyone hasn't figured that one out by now. My wife's German immigrant grandfather had a great saying he used to use during pinochle contests which could become quite heated, "God hates a coward," he'd roar. Amen to that, Poppup.

    ReplyDelete