Tag: Buffalo schools

Jul 18

2022

Monday Morning Read

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Below is the “What I’m Reading” section of WeeklyPost, our Sunday email newsletter. You can subscribe here. Buffalo has a new school superintendent with the appointment of Tonja Williams. I’ve got to admit I was a little stunned when I heard the news.  As we reported in May, she’s never taught at the elementary or high school level. She has little experience as a principal and her tenure at Futures Academy was a failure: academic achievement at the struggling elementary school actually got worse during her time there and she was eventually removed as a result. Sources told us that[...]

Posted 5 months ago

Jun 8

2022

Barton retires as principal following settlement

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Crystal Barton has retired from Buffalo schools, less than a month after the Board of Education approved a settlement ending their long and costly efforts to fire the veteran administrator.  Barton was on administrative leave for nearly five years before the settlement was approved on April 4, permitting her to return to her job as principal. As part of the deal, Barton was granted $200,000 for overtime and other compensation she might have earned if not suspended, in addition to nearly $645,000 in salary she was paid while on suspension.  Her retirement on April 22 was quietly approved at a[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Jun 7

2022

Only 2 of 6 school board seats contested

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Only two of six district seats will be contested in this year’s elections for the Buffalo Board of Education. And they aren’t the two left open by exiting members Louis Petrucci and Hope Jay, the current Park and North district representatives. The deadline to file nominating petitions with the Erie County Board of Elections was May 31; the deadline to accept a spot on the ballot was last Friday. Ten nominees filed and all of them accepted their nominations.  Theresa Drillings-Schuta, former principal of South Park High School who retired in 2020, is running unopposed in the Park District.  Cindi[...]

Posted 6 months ago

May 31

2022

Buffalo superintendent’s mixed track record

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Tonja Williams has some things going for her as she seeks the permanent appointment as superintendent of Buffalo public schools. They start with her people skills. Williams, who has been interim superintendent since Kriner Cash resigned in March, is a good listener and a realist in telling people what she can deliver. She’s familiar with the city and district, having lived in the Buffalo area her whole life and worked in city schools for 32 years.  “She seems to listen to all sides of an issue and doesn’t seem to get drawn into any personal conflict, any ulterior agendas that[...]

Posted 6 months ago

May 23

2022

Easing the path to graduation

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The New York State Education Department has lowered the academic bar for graduating students again this year.  Last week, the Board of Regents approved a temporary policy that broadens the scope in which students are able to appeal and graduate despite failing scores on required Regents exams.  This is the third consecutive year the Board has made changes involving Regents exam requirements for graduation, citing the ongoing impacts and “varied teaching and learning conditions” caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Before the pandemic, students were required to earn a score of 65 or higher on at least four Regents exams in[...]

Posted 6 months ago

Apr 27

2022

School violence not limited to McKinley

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District officials have taken steps to address violence in Buffalo schools since a February  shooting and stabbing at McKinley High School left a student hospitalized. Violence in and around schools isn’t limited to fights between students. There have been reports in the news of students attacking their teachers and administrators. Parents have been involved, too, administrators told Investigative Post, attacking school staff, including security guards.   An Investigative Post analysis of four years of 911 data found calls to Buffalo school locations have increased by nearly 20 percent since the 2018-19 school year, the last full year before the pandemic.[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Apr 25

2022

Billboard boosts Buffalo superintendent

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Buffalo schools have started campaigning for their interim superintendent, Tonja Williams, with a publicly funded billboard. The billboard recently popped up at the intersection of Michigan and Genesee streets, broadcasting Williams’ smiling face and a quote from her:  “It’s a new day for the Buffalo Public Schools. Ensuring safety & educational excellence.” It’s part of an over $72,000 annual contract the district has with Lamar Advertising to tout community schools, parent center programs and adult education programs on 11 billboards across the city — to “help promote these services and continued learning during the pandemic to residents immediately surrounding the[...]

Posted 7 months ago

Mar 17

2022

Buffalo schools shedding administrators

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There’s an exodus of sorts from the ranks of Buffalo school administrators. It started in January when Myra Burden, who earned $145,000 as chief of technology, resigned after only two years. She led the district through a rocky period, including the switch to remote learning due to the pandemic and a ransomware attack that hindered the district’s operations. The position remains unfilled. Elena Cala, who earned $88,265 as special assistant to the superintendent for public relations, was quick to follow and resigned to accept a similar position at West Seneca schools. She had worked for the district since 2010 and[...]

Posted 9 months ago