Sunday, December 29, 2013

Buffalo Brahmin Try to Bribe Superintendent into Quitting

Robert Wilmers Sits Behind David Koch at a Meeting of Billionaire Shitheads for a Third World America Summit

Remember Robert Wilmers? Well he's back from his cheese cave in France where he's been keeping it on the DL since his last foray into Buffalo Public Schools blew up in his face with spectacularly disastrous results. Bordeaux Bob, Vineyard owning Harvard man that he is, offered to pay for the job search that landed human ebola virus James Williams here as Superintendent. While there are some who say Wilmers can't be blamed entirely for the selection as he subbed it out to a search company the rest of us are here to call bullshit on that claim as we know how this shit works. What's really funny is a past board member claims the old skinflint stiffed anyway and never even paid the board the $100,000 he offered to fund the "search."  Well now that Williams has been run out of town in a flurry of Chop House flatware and Emerson Commons linen that he was able to cram into his carpetbag before hopping aboard the 3:10 to Yuma, Old Bob is emerging from the shallows, unrepentant, unbowed and once again waving his checkbook under the noses of the Buffalo Board of Education. This time he and fellow small pond Brahmin Robert Gioia are leading a crusade to bribe Pamela Brown into quitting her job as Buffalo Schools Superintendent. They are shaking down fellow small pond big fish in the basest of ploys to say listen lady we know how "you people" are. Of course they have hired on character actor Old Bob Bennett to shake his jowls and glower in the background making all the expected negative remarks about the dire situation in Buffalo and the "lack of urgency" he and his little puppet King love to prattle on about. I am on record as being no fan of Pamela Brown or the moronic cheerleading sisterhood of the board who brought her here but in defense of the position if nothing else I have to ask these rich old white men why not toss in a few chickens and a watermelon too while you're at it? To try and bribe a professional educator into giving up her post for money is possibly the most outrageously insulting stunt I have heard of in some time. And hell yeah since this "buyout" as they are calling it is sponsored by the oldest richest white bastards in the area I can't help but see the racism in their logic : Give that black lady money and she will go away. Wow. Is this their life experience with women of color? 

Repetition they say penetrates a dull mind. One would hope by now that the likes of Flo Jo and Kapsiak and the rest of the Sorority Majority of the Board of Ed might be casting a stank eye in the direction of this old white banker who helped usher in the darkest era of Buffalo Public Schools history any of us can recall. He showed up to second ed eformer darling Katie Campos precious little broadside on behalf of TFA and waved his checkbook to pay for the privilege of hiring a bunch of 5 week wonders to teach our most at risk kids. The sisters and reformers of the Board lapped it up and fell for the scam like pimply faced army privates swooning over their first hooker. Licata once again proved he actually gets it by voting against WTFA and for some reason Mrs. Kapsiak joined with him in the No vote for what it's worth. The rest were once again bamboozled by the fast talk of the ed reform crowd and the old 1%er whipping out his M&T Bank ID to cover the costs of the first year of TFA's reformy excellence. No offer to pay for anything beyond that of course, but like any good drug dealer knows the first hit is always free and after that they come begging. 

We've all seen this act elsewhere. In Albany we have billionaire Regent Tisch creating her own little educational Blackwater and hiring from her own pocket a precious and perky little band of operatives who work in the shadows tinkering with public ed policy and practice, evaluating teachers, administrators and districts. One of them even wrote to reject the Buffalo School's APPR advising the union and the district that they would have to do it over. Yes Madame Tisch's minions straight outta TFA for the most part and doe eyed and open beaked as only the newly indoctrinated and overpaid can be are sitting at their ipads in Albany sending terse little admonitions like this to people who actually deal in the papers and pencils and broken down bus world of education : 

The state does not consider that letter to be part of the district’s annual professional performance review plan, wrote Julia Rafal-Baer, executive director of the state’s Office of Teacher and Leader Effectiveness, Policy and Programs.
“Accordingly, the department considers void any other previously signed agreements between and among these parties and does not recognize any such agreements as part of the Buffalo Public Schools’ approved Jan. 17, 2013, plan,” Rafal-Baer wrote.

Julia is a poster girl for The Fellows as they are called. She is just too smart and darling for words. Here is a little glimpse into her excellence as referenced by her New York Times wedding announcment. "She graduated summa cum laude from George Washington University and then was a Teach for America special-education teacher at Public School 246 in the Bronx." Of course she was a TFAer. Here's the rest if you can bear to read it. It's not my purpose here to attack the "best and brightest" so called of our ed reforming elite, but are you starting to get the feeling that public education like so much of 21st Century America is falling under control of fewer and fewer people whose only educational expertise seems to stem from their wealth and connections? Like a lot of Americans these days I find myself asking where does this little apparatchik get off telling a Superintendent and a teacher's union president that they need to try again? But such is the world we inhabit now where money buys more and more and the so called democratic process falls to the side like some quaint vestigial structure nobody really believes in any more. 

Ahhh but back to our Good Old Boy Bob Wilmers. Would it surprise anyone to learn that another Old Bob, our dear Regent Flatulentus himself has some serious history and connections to Wilmers? Of course not. Old Bobs of a feather travel together. Turns out Old Bob Bennett served as Chairman of the Board of M&T Bank, the same place Wilmers served as CEO for some time. Hmmm, I guess if you're old rich and arrogant nobody thinks to ask what your true motives for all of this sudden interest in public education might really be. And as a political hack who parlayed his connections into a gig as CEO of The United Way I am still quick to ask where exactly does Bob Bennett get off talking about quality teaching and better planning and more collaboration with parents? He never taught a single lesson or corrected a spelling test in his life but somehow in the spin cycle of the businessman's zeitgeist his various hackery and blustering all translate into Old Bob knowing everything there is to know about quality instruction. Bullshit. He's another old white guy who came up through the good old boy's system and he doesn't know any more about quality education or top notch instruction than a goldfish knows about berber carpet. 

Well we now have Brahmin Wilmers and Gioia shaking down their fellows and Old Bob Bennett doing his best Boris Karloff in the background glowering and storm crowing about the need for change and the data and his sciatica while they are all calling it a "buyout." Well last I looked a buyout is when your employer is sick of you and wants to get rid of you but has to give you money so you can't sue them. You know like James Williams, Fosadele Oladele and Judy Eliot. When a bunch of old loaded liverspots decide they can't stand you and they think you care classless enough to be bribed it's called a bribe not a buyout. What's even more hilarious is their plan calls for the city to pay her a year's salary as her contract states that it's owed her if she is released without cause before the end of her contract. Well that's not exactly the same thing now is it? She wouldn't be "released" she'd be quitting to accept a bribe from a bunch of rich old bastards who like to stick their noses into the business of the little people when it suits them. 

 Pardon me for dallying over the obvious but who the fuck asked these guys to butt in with their checkbooks and start replacing public personnel appointed by a democratically elected board? Again I am no fan of the board or Mrs. Brown but I am even less of a fan of public policy by old man's checkbook. The fact that these old Brahmin don't care for her is something they can grumble about over cigars and scotch on the 19th hole. It's nothing the rest of us need to hear about and they hold no executive privilege in hiring and firing public figures even in this one horse half a newspaper city. You don't like the Superintendent ? Then move into the city and vote for a Board member who will get you a better one. Tough shit if that's not enough for you boys. It's what we all get, even you. 


  1. Warren Buffett and Bob Wilmers are conspiring to control the Buffalo Public Schools so they control the money. Mr. Wilmers might know banking, but he doesn't know education. Berkshire Hathaway owns a lot of stock in M & T Bank. Superintendent Brown won't go along with their program.

  2. Wouldn't it be nice if Pamela Brown suddenly shed her affectless persona and started actually telling the good people of Buffalo how she feels about education? I mean, really started talking? Not in the educratese that constantly spews from her mouth but in language that parents, teachers and students can savor. She is so devoid of life and so afraid to make a mistake. Zombie Superintendent. This could be her chance to shine. I doubt she will capitalize on this excellent situation to take a stand and be heard. I don't think she has it in her. It is certainly not in her job history. Mousy mousy mouse. Sad. She is so deadly dry that I doubt any Buffalonians could tell you where she lives, if she's married, what she thinks about our city.... Just nothing, Nada.
    Well, we will be able to tell one thing now. We will know if she is a total sellout be how she responds to this "offer".