May 20


Interview: Robert Bennett

Jim Heaney of Investigative Post interviews Robert Bennett, state Regent for Western New York, on a range of education issues.

Bennett in the interview:

  • Takes issue with Phil Rumore’s characterization of the dispute between the Buffalo Teachers Federation and the state Department of Education over teacher evaluations. Bennett said the evaluations are mandated by state law and there is no room for negotiation. He also said union concerns about the impact of low-performing students with high absentee rates on teacher evaluations are overblown and that standardized test scores account for only 2 out of 100 points on the evaluations.
  • Contended that many Buffalo public schools are failing their students.
  • Said there there are far too many school districts in Western New York and that economics are going to force consolidation.
  • Predicted that a bill pending in the state Legislature that would enable the state to take over local school districts will pass within two years and that Buffalo could be a prime candidate for a takeover.

The video above runs about 5 minutes and includes an exchange between Bennett and Heaney regarding the disagreement between the BTF and state education officials on teacher evaluations.

The complete interview runs about 15 minutes and can be viewed below.

Last week’s interview featured BTF President Phil Rumore.

U.S. Rep. Brian Higgins is scheduled to be next week’s interview.


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