Well once again the Buffalo News is on its heels in shock, awe and horror over news that Mr. Ogilve from BOCES dredged up back when Jimmy Dubz was rolling around calling hisself the CEO of a multi billion dollar concern here in Buffalo. The City Schools are run from an out of touch Central Office whose efforts run the gamut from bald faced incompetence to well meaning and fatally flawed. Principals don't get any support from City Hall or apparently from my favorite band of educationalists commonly known as The Community Superintendents. Under the James Williams regime they accounted for about half a million in salary spread out over 4 of them and a supervisor. Their community outreach was somewhat absent in the Jayvonnah Kincannon/James Daye debacles at McKinley, though Mark Frazier wrote up the counter spin report that endeavored to refute all of what everyone knew had transpired. The Community Superintendent in charge of Lafayette when the suspended student was killed at a bus stop by neighborhood thugs he'd had problems with previously, has been promoted to Chief Academic Officer and the Principal who had the young man suspended was transferred to another school, her fourth now.
The only real eyebrow raiser I could find in Judy Elliott's 39 Steps to a Fitter Buffalo Schools is the part about Principals picking their staff. If anyone thinks they don't all ready have some control over who they bring in and who they keep put I suggest you head down to Starbucks and order the largest cup they can pour you. Any Principal worth his nifty desktop nameplate O.k. I should say most Principals have figured out the tricks to holding positions for favorites and blocking undesirables from transferring into schools. Legally, this process, to my understanding, is determined by teacher seniority but try dropping into any of the showcase or upper tier schools without a letter from a friendly or someone putting in a good word and see if they don't have a way to give the job to a pal or nephew instead. Eliott's plan seeks to take all of these unspokens that Principals all ready use to manipulate their faculty and codify them into the contract. In essence Eliott is demanding changes to a teacher contract nobody has bothered to negotiate for the past 8 years. I wonder if now that THEY want something out of it if they will suddenly decide it's time to talk. I don't expect so though. More likely we'll get another unilateral request like the one from poor little rich guy chris jacobs who demanded teachers fork over their cosmetics rider as a show of good faith in a board who'd hired the Ebola Virus as Superintendent and himself who'd done nothing but dis us, piss on our contract and posture that he was going to kick our union president's arse in an alley. Luckily Chris is directing the Auto Bureau now safe from the need to make outrageously stupid public remarks that did little to prove he had a lick of sense in his finely coiffed head.
What troubles me about this 39 steps to a newer you, aside from the litany of steps, (A.A. only has 12 fer chrissakes to save drunks from self immolation but the BPS need 3 dozen and 3) is the way this report falls under the same old drumbeat of "bad public education" as described by people who have a charter school friendly history. Not that I think it will happen any time soon, mind you, but the appointment of an extinguished educator is one of the items on the list of must do's that must be crossed off before a state takeover can be launched. The fact that she's here at all should not be taken lightly or mistaken for any kind of good will gesture towards Buffalo Schools by NYSED and King. She is here to drive the charter school message that public schools are mismanaged, public schools are failing our kids and can't we all just step back and hand them over to people who have no experience in education, teaching, educational administration or counseling but in banking, lawyering and the market? Why would we hand schools over to people like that ? Well because they are good at making money and the federal government gives a lot of money to education that these people can get their hands on while delivering a crappy education, paying a crappy wage to shittily trained teachers who would sooner wear Depends to work than risk needing a bathroom break with their supervisors watching them. I have no misconception that King being handed this job has any other purpose than to promote the "failing public schools" meme that charteroids use to push their agenda on the unknowing public. Nor do i harbor any fanciful notions that Dr. Judy's victory lap around her "old home town" has any deeper purpose than to reinforce the message that public schools are bad and would be better off in the hands of corporate privatizers.
Let's not get all wobbly and weak kneed here folks, how many of your teacher friends did Dr. Judy talk to ? Exactly.