The City of Buffalo Public School systems inability to correct or adjust to the teacher’s contract dilemma, school absenteeism, student conduct and appropriate school funding, are equally responsible for the districts lack of academic progress; but the Buffalo School Boards twelve year run of dysfunction is as equally or more so responsible for the districts lack of progress as any of the other four. With the election of charter school advocate and education reformer Christopher Jacobs in the 2004 to the Buffalo School Board and the hiring of union buster James Williams as superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools a year later the battle lines were drawn, at stake the presumed control of public education in the City of Buffalo. I say presumed control because both sides; reform and union, have lacked the ability to maintain control for any sustained amount of time, causing more dysfunction and hurting the city’s most “At Risk”. Over the past six years the Buffalo School District has had five superintendents under contract and two on an interim basis; all with their own plan and ideas on academic improvement, three in conflict with the school board resigned. The lack of sustained leadership hasn’t allow for consistency and stability in its operations, and publicly presents a lack of professionalism; all of which have led to having the worst school district in Western New York for decades.
The voters in the City of Buffalo have a clear choice. They can either vote for a school board candidates that will continue the dysfunction that has lasted for decades, or vote for candidates that want to work on crafting a common vision based on the needs of the many, not just a few. We need individuals that can look to the future and not dragged down by the past. There are individuals that will work out their differences providing broad based solutions based on compromise and respect, not a rammed through a narrow minded majority.