Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Whose Schools? Our Schools. Who Decides? We Decide.

Buffalo Schools Are Not for Profit, Not for Sale and Not for 3 Old White Guys to Ruin

The idea that Gateway Jim Sampson, Carl the Churl Paladino and Leisure Class Larry Quinn are fit in any way to make large scale decisions for 30,000 school kids in Buffalo is laughable at best. Their "education guy" Sampson, is exclusively invested in the for profit charter school culture as a Trustee of one charter and a former Grand Imperial Wizard of Buffalo Reform Ed which is essentially a charter school lobbying group funded by the corporate ed reform movement. Of the three, Sampson's their "go-to-guy" on matters pedagogical yet he appeared flabbergasted to learn in the middle of a Board of Ed meeting that teachers receive standardized test scores at such a late date that they are of no use in planning and have no diagnostic or prescriptive value whatsoever even if they were received the same day. Sampson didn't seem to know this yet he's the one they like to pass off as their resident  edu-expert.

After screwing Gateway Longview out of a few million passing no bid contracts to cronies and backscratchers and gorging himself like a pig at the public funding trough with phone and car and social club expenses Sampson skeedaddled out of Gateway Longview before the state could get their auditors in there to reveal his full greed and gluttony. And because he's connected to Cuomo and it was a Cuomo driven audit there was no penalty or follow up for his disregard of the public trust and the shameless feeding frenzy he and his fellow moochers engaged in on the public's dime. Sampson came to Gateway Longview after a career in the Wisconsin State Prison system. Anyone seeing what a mismatch this transition was? Oh, you used to be the Chief Screw in a Prison so let's put you in charge of a supposedly therapeutic school for troubled children...

 Kind of like turning over the pet store to a guy who worked as a butcher because he knows all about  animals?

I throw Sampson on the fire or under the ed reform bus not because he's any worse than Carl the Churl or Leisure Class Lars, but because of them all, he is the most likely to claim that he has some facility in the operation of schools. My point being if this is the best they have, they haven't got squat. Now Carl and Lars have shown their impatience, their arrogance and contempt for teachers, for other board members, for unions and for parents. And come on folks, if this is how they feel about parents and teachers they're giving us a pretty clear picture of their disdain for kids too. As a board member, if you are willing to look a parent in the eye publicly and tell her you have no time for her or any group she might belong to and NO she is not going to have one word of input on who the Superintendent will be, you are telling her kids the exact same thing. Sit down shut up and take whatever I say you are getting because I said so. End of discussion. Does any once else hear Matilda's head mistress Ms. Trunchbull saying "Because I'm smart and you're dumb, I'm big and you're little?"

While Sampson will  try to play the educational insider the other two will proudly declare their ignorance of education seeing themselves as firebrands and Special Ops contractors who've slain all the dragons and climbed all the mountains property development and NHL mismanagement could put in their path and now they are going to parachute in and show these stupid teachers that the best answer to any problem is to "run it like a business." Yeah. They will try to use merit pay as an incentive in spite of the reality that it has been tried over three decades at very least and dozens of scholarly studies have proven it to be a miserable failure at best and a gateway to the kind of cheating scandal in Atlanta that resulted in teachers getting jail time. Merit pay works in car dealerships and shoe stores. It very likely works in a lot of places but not in schools. Ah but I digress.

The issue at hand is these three installing their own rubber stamp Superintendent in the form of Emerson Principal James Weimer. They tried and missed when they hired Ogie, thinking he'd shut up and follow his script enabling them to forward their corporate ed reform agenda of longer school days, lower teacher pay, fewer benefits and tons more charter schools. They hired Ogie because they were inclined to believe he'd deliver on all of these items. When he didn't they wanted him fired, yesterday. And now that Weimer appears to be locked and loaded as RubberStamp Plan B. I can only ask what possible reason does any sentient being have to believe Weimer has promised them anything other than complete compliance with all of their future demands? Why would they take a chance on getting Ogilveed again when they can push their own guy through with the 5 vote majority? There is no way they'd fight as hard as they are to hire a guy who showed even the slightest inclination towards independent thinking or any aversion to following the script put on his desk every morning.

So if you think this is not going to be good for Buffalo, that allowing these three who never had any interest in education previous to the Ed Reform Gold Rush we've seen over the past decade to do whatever the hell they want with our public school system in Buffalo, I suggest you make some noise. Start with the Board of Ed meeting tomorrow night at Performing Arts. Let them know you aren't going to stand by and allow three wealthy old white men to turn the Buffalo Schools into their own private plaything. Carl can go shoot his guns for fun and Lars can schooner up the Great Lakes and Sampson can squeeze in a nap before the Early Bird Dinner Specials but Buffalo Public Schools are not for their profit and amusement. They are unfit to make this decision and their motives are anything but transparent. They need to be shown that this community will stand up to them and fight them for every step they take. Public education won't stay public for long with the likes of these three trying to drown it in a bathtub.

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