Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Beware of Appointees Bearing Gifts

Courtesy of NY State Buffalo has been provided with an

a. NYSED spy
b. highly qualified edu professional
c.both a and b
d. None of the above

The Amber unfriendly appointment of Ms. Judy Elliott by the NY State Ed Department raises more questions than my senior year trig class had for Mr. Tita - both times we took it. While the disinterested observer might be prone to say Oh good for Buffalo Schools they got a helper, there are those of us serving in the chalkdust or the smart board particles who might be inclined to look this gift horse in the mouth. It's getting to be the M.O. in Buffalo that we are so weary of the games that we can't help but hate the players no matter how hard we try to keep an open mind. As in the case of our new Superintendent Dr. Brown, who seems like a nice lady and is pedigreed with a doctorate from no less an institution than the same one who graduated our President from its law program, she arrives with the taint of the Sorority Majority, the Alpha Kappa Alpha sisterhood who rule the roost of Buffalo's Board of Education. Yes this is a tale for another day, and another and another, but NYSED too has its own motives which they claim to be "all about the kids" yet anyone with a dryer shrunken BTF t-shirt in a drawer somewhere and even a few without them can't help but throw the stank eye Dr. Elliott's way. It is reported she was bought out in L.A. after among other things seeking to end homework. Take that as one might but if you know anything about parents they do not want to hear that homework will not be part of the regimen, especially in a place like L.A. where parents need some sign that something is going on in their kid's classrooms. One might interpret this move as a subtle lowering of expectations the way Buffalo decided to do away with its attendance policy instead of un-hiring Florence Johnson who blames it on the ACLU. Maybe she's right ? Either way, this city has danced with smudging city exams and cleverly giving big enough chunks of them in advance to make sure everyone passes. And in the end we have a watered down mess that the same kids will still find a way to fail. I am totally open to the possibility that both Drs. Elliott and Brown are going to help lift Buffalo out of its post-Williams miasma - you know, continue what Amber Dixon has been doing for a lot more money than she demanded -- but experience and that unsettling feeling in your gut you should have developed by the time you reach 50 are both telling me something else.


  1. And we're s'posed to trust these people who gave us Jim Williams and those who make excuses for Pineapplegate...

  2. Was there a problem with Mr. Williams ? First I've heard of it. Hmm...

  3. I heard he liked to blow his nose into the cloth napkins at Emerson and then hand them off to the closest BTF member.

  4. Personally, I just love how Commissioner King stated, for very political purposes, that he had to wait for the Buffalo teachers to approve an evaluation plan before he named Dr. Elliott as "distinguished(?)educator" for Buffalo. In actuality, he was waiting for her to cash out, ala James Williams, from her last job. We knew in March that she was going to be named. The timing had nothing to do with the evaluation process but Dr King consistently aims low when it comes to Buffalo. Perhaps the teachers in the City of No Illusions have no illusions about his experience and place little to no value in his tres elegante PHD.

  5. From the Huffington Post
    Michael Bloomberg Announces Effort To Call New York City Parents, Deliver Teacher Evaluations: "We are going to have our schools call every single parent. We're talking about fourth to eighth grade... We will tell you, you are entitled to this information and if you want it say yes right now and we will send it to you."

    I think we should have Mary Pasciak perform this phone calling service in Buffalo. Since she can't publish teacher evaluations in the News, The next best thing would be to call parents directly. I imagine Sam Radford and Mary P. and maybe a few of the BuffaloReformEd guys opening up a phone bank......

  6. From the Pineapple Princess: Since you mentioned Jim Rome yesterday, I'm wondering if you plan to have a "huge call/comment of the day like Romie does?

  7. It will be interesting to see whether Dr. King applies the same criteria to these new Ladies that he will be imposing on teachers. If more kids don't graduate next year will they get a
    warning that their jobs are on the line?
    Since both of them seem to be adept at changing jobs when the going gets tough, perhaps they have already made arrangements to use their frequent flyer miles.