Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Buffalo News Gets Righteously Indignant About Political Patronage, Well Some of It Anyway....

When County Executive Mark Poloncarz handed a sweet gig at the Water Authority to his brother,  a Wegman's trained chef, the howl from the Buffalo News was enough to wake Alan Ginsburg to add a few more stanzas. The Buffalo News editorial Board got up on their hind legs in righteous indignation and yapped. Denise Jewel Gee weighed in with a who's who of patronage hires and  Donn Esmonde the intrepid columnist shook his head in disgust pining for the water authority to get an enema. You'd think from the uproar that they were filming and distributing Satanic kiddie porn not watching for turds and dentures in the filters. Before the News shut down their comments section one guy summed up the entire situation succinctly in two words : Lackawanna Democrat. As far as I know the appointment stands for the nones. As the game is played there appears to be no way the chorus of sanctimonious grievance from the News and others is going to put Chef Poloncarz out of the job his brother has given him at the Big Patronage Hall by the Lake.

Flashback to the abrupt resignation of NYSED chief Steiner who has since gone onto greener and more lucrative pastures in the EduBiz world. The plan to hand the top job to his charter acolyte sidekick John King was put in place and never challenged. By anyone. In spite of the fact that King lacked the requisite minimum of teaching experience, 5 years. In spite of the fact that his teaching experience was all in charter schools where an entire separate reality thrives and the troubled kids we deal with in urban public schools often don't last past the Columbus Day holiday, King was green lighted and had the rules bent to accommodate him because he was Steiner's Gilligan. Never mind all of the capable souls in New York State and elsewhere who could have had a shot at this position. It was never really open to anyone but the guy the fleeing commissioner wanted to hand it off to. We may forgive The Buffalo News this gaffe as maybe they just weren't that into it. But when Katie Campos of BuffaloReformEd by way of Democrats for Ed Reform was handed the number two position in NYSED as Assistant Secretary (a made up job) in spite of the fact that she has never taught anywhere EVER; she has no background in educational administration counseling or pedagoguery; in spite of the fact that she has no advanced degrees but possesses a B.A. in Political Science. But somehow she ingratiated herself to Sam Hoyt who went to bat with Governor Cuomo to land her the job in Albany.

Did the Buffalo News object to her scanty resume, the fact that she has no educational background or teaching chops? Did the News pound their fist on the table and demand an explanation from the Governor and Sam Hoyt as to how a total neophyte could be put in such a position of power where she would be turned loose to create teacher evaluations for people whose boots she isn't fit to lace?  Did the News notice that public school teachers but not Campos' pals in charter schools would be the only ones subjected to this moronic evaluation system? The News in yet another paroxysm of their particularly effete brand of hubris found a silver lining to all of the trouble those nasty Buffalo teachers were causing in refusing to be evaluated on the test results of empty chairs. Yes, the News beamed, our own unqualified, uncertified, charter school cheerleader Katie Campos played an instrumental role in creating yet another piece of bureaucratic horseshit on paper that will ultimately be used to punish public school teachers. Armed with enough specious "data" people like Campos and King will drive the Privatization stake into the heart of public education until all public schools are somehow found to be "failing" and in dire need of "rescue" by wealthy corporatists who've figured out the Federal Government's education funds are the latest cash cow ripe for milking. 

So keep braying about a Lackawanna Democrat appointing one of his friends or family to a sweet gig at The Water Authority while ignoring the damage done by political and corporate interference in ALL of New York's public schools. To think that a chef being handed a water job is more offensive than the entire Department of State Education being turned over to a pair of  greenhorns from a special interest group, one of whose primary interests is profit not proficiency, is only possible at The Buffalo News.

P.S...    NYSED has recently advertised for temps @$50.00 per/hr to help them get through all of the APPRs they demanded from every school district by July 1. As it turns out applicants are required to have 5 years teaching experience plus a master's degree in order to help "correct papers" as it were. Don't you think it's a news story that neither Katie Campos nor John King NYSED's top 2 power brokers are qualified to hire on as temps and review the papers they demanded from every school district in the state?  Isn't that a NEWS story? 


  1. Speaking of "newsworthy", the "BN idiot" editorial today harps again on mayoral control of the Board of Education. Our local 1%, those education privatizers, are just salivating to get Mayor Brown/Casey all riled up. They are doing everything short of telling him he needs to pop some Cialis and man-up and seize control.
    One thing I find humorous in this: All of the uninformed people who think that the movie "Won't Back Down" is pro parent power are have been so sadly hoodwinked. Like Mayoral Control, The parent trigger actually removes parents even further from the "control" of their children's education.

  2. Can you provide the link...so, I can apply for that job? I meet all the requirements! :@)

  3. Mayor Brown knows how to avoid the cow plops in the meadow...to his credit.

    Mayor Bloomberg thinks the Creator put him on Earth to run everyone's personal life from his office.He has done a great job privatising the schools in New Yok City for his fellow millionaires.
    He is paid a dollar a year for "servicing" the people of NYC. Way overpaid!

    Wherever the Mayor picks the Board of Education, the people lose any say in what goes on. Chicago, NYC) We used to have that situation in Buffalo. I guess the folks who voted to end that perk didn't want to give one guy (mayor) their right to have input in decisions made by the BOE.

  4. Mouse,
    Have you seen the "Sequel to Won't Back Down" ? It is funny and full of links to sites worth a click. From one of Diane Ravtch's daily posts...


    Take a look :)

  5. Again today the News is cannibalizing their own shite putting the cart before the horse as they refer to the editorial mary Pasciak wrote Sunday all tarted up like a news story about Mayor Brown's ten foot pole approach to the politically contagious petri dish we call the Buffalo Schools. The editorial board while pretending they are referencing a news story simply extends the metaphor Pasciak began with her droning tale of angst that Byron refuses to try to take over the school board. It's pretty clear the 1%ers of Buffalo are back in the same saddle they used when they brought James Williams to town in the hopes that he could bulldoze the landscape and flatten the BTF opening up a clear path to charter school valhalla. Anyone at the News want to blame Phil rumore some more while exempting the CEO of M&T bank Bordeaux Bob Wilmers whose search team flipped over the necessary rocks to find Williams fresh from destroying the schools in Dayton OH and leaving them a nifty 18 million dollar shortfall nobody even knew about until Williams and Chris Jacobs (now erie county clerk) were toasting each other at the Chop House. Isn't it great they waty these privileged fucks can step into something like education and screw it up worse than it all ready was then disappear like Gatsby into their money leaving the mess for the rest of us to worry about. Still waiting for Wilmers' apology to Buffalo students and families not to mention Board of ed employees who were abused by that jackass for 6 years.

  6. Lady J,
    If you get the link,I'll drive.
    We can get the jobs and evaluate the submissions really fast.
    ( We don't read them...it's nonsense anyway.) We praise everyone for their great work, and save a few million dollars because the data would have been useless after a year of reading and working on it anyway.
    We tell Andrew he is handsome.( makes him happy) Tell John that he is really smart,( he becomes happy too) and tell Compost that she is very insightful (also happy).( They always lie, so its Ok for us.)
    The "Suits" think we are wonderful, and the teachers can get back to teaching the kids.
    Everybody wins... and no more trees are wasted on the stupid stuff that NCLB and RttT have mandated. ( I hope I have this dream again.)

    It's a five hour drive to Albany... we can come up with more ideas on the way...