Buffalo’s dysfunctional Board of Education

To: The People of the City of Buffalo
Re: Buffalo’s dysfunctional school board
By: Carl Paladino

Deja Vu. How many times will we allow the collectively absurd City of Buffalo Board of
Education to make the same mistake before we run them all out of town. We must rid
our City of this culture of insanity that has destroyed our family fabric and is the root evil
primarily responsible for every social ill we suffer and the flight of the working class to
the suburbs. Gang warfare is killing our kids on the streets. What do you think
spawned it? Connect the dots.

First it was Harris, then it was Williams. A decade long slide into the abyss. Then, after
we spent huge resources fighting of our “rich” elitists who could care less about the kids
and fought to keep the status quo we rid the community of the Williams rot and the
Board miraculously appointed Amber Dixon, a talented local lady who is invested in the
City, understands the peculiar nuances of the City’s racial and political landscape and
knows what is wrong and where all the bodies are buried. Nevertheless Amber has
been unable to fire the useless parasites on the half wit and conniving executive staff
because she is shackled by the intimidating and spineless Florence Johnson and her
cadre of double talkers.

Remember that the racist Florence Johnson ( a poster child for term limits and a front
for Buffalo’s number one planarian, Maurice Garner) has said that black children should
have a black superintendent who will better relate to them. That didn’t work before.
Why would it work the third time? Do we honestly think that Board members with her
mindset can objectively select the “best” person for the job?

Amber Dixon has many strong supporters in the system and knows that it will take a
team effort to reform Buffalo schools and give hope to the 33,482 kids who now have no
alternative but to suffer in the most dysfunctional school system in New York State.
26% of the students passed the standardized State English test and 31% passed the
standardized State math test in 2011. New York city schools had double our averages.
They say that 46% (20% of black males) graduate but we discovered that they don’t
count students who say they will attend night school or pursue a GED. The actual
graduation rate is probably closer to 35% for all students.
How sick is that? How bad does it have to get before the lame State Board of Regents
intercedes and appoints a special master. Does the wretched Phil Rumour and his
teacher’s union have to sign off with Sheldon Silver first? What is wrong with you John
King? Don’t tell us about the law. Get a backbone and go to the people to push Sheldon
Silver’s incestuous relationship with the teachers union out of the way. Incompetents
are abusing kids in Buffalo and you only watch the chaos.

The system’s problems have reached critical mass and the hapless Board is following
the same nonsensical process they did in the past to get to a short list. They continue
to do the same thing expecting a different result each time.

They hired a search company to “see who wanted the job.” Who in their right mind
would want this job? Amber Dixon does. She’s been there and done that. She actually
cares about the kids and is not looking for a place to land to pick up a paycheck. We
don’t want a person who is leaving his or her current job because he or she failed. Trial
and error doesn’t work.

Neither of the two candidates from someplace else has any actual experience as a
superintendent. Pam Brown the candidate from Philadelphia was at one time the top
deputy for Philadelphia’s impotent Superintendent Charlene Ackerman who took a $1
million buyout after running the district into the ground and then filed for unemployment.
Even Ackerman, as bad as she was, was so frustrated with Brown’s inability to function
that she demoted Brown at least twice. Brown was turned down by a district in
Michigan no bigger than Sloan, N.Y. She has all the Ivy League credentials on paper
but in the real world she’s a lazy and out of touch elitist, which probably fits the Black
Sisterhood’s criteria perfectly. Who vetted her? The job is about management,
implementation and leadership not theory. We can hire professionals for their expertise.
Ms. Brown offers up no track record or history or specifics of what she will do. It will
take her 2 years to figure out the playing field. Our children have waited long enough
and why would we even consider taking the risk?

The Board has a $965,000,000 budget. Deduct the $80,000,000 allocated to Charters
and they have $885,000,000 which they disgracefully spend denying any reasonable
education to 33,482 children. That is $26,482 / child/ year. How sick is that? The
tuition at Nichols is $16,000/ year. We can afford to hire the best consultants.
We have previously hired unfit people for no good reason other than they were black
and from someplace else. Why? That’s easy. The “Black Sisterhood,” complicit with
Phil Rumor and his band of union opportunists, can control the actions of an
incompetent Superintendent if the person is from out of the area and only there to get a
paycheck. They become the godmothers. It’s all about power, control and petty

Remember that Florence’s team consists of three appointed Board members who are
beholding to her because she jerks the chain of Board member Ralph Hernandez who
is always available to give his vote for anyone who wears a dress and who likes to play
all the bases at the same time keeping Phil Rumor informed every step of the way.
The community must rise up and demand that Amber Dixon be appointed the next
Superintendent and that our Albany legislative delegation be enlightened, at least for
one moment, to demand legislation that will allow the State Board of Regents to
terminate our Board of Education and appoint a Special Master.

About TEANewYork

TEANewYork was established as a resource for many things political, issue-oriented and policy-wise, and for things you can actually do, to actively participate in reforming our severely dysfunctional New York State government. What are you waiting for? Jump on in!
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