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New majority names Sampson school board president

Mike Desmond/WBFO News

The Buffalo School Board has some new leadership but most of the old problems. As expected, Jim Sampson was elected board president with the support of the new majority while Theresa Harris-Tigg was kept on as student achievement vice president. Sampson says the former city school teacher and now Buffalo State professor who studies academic achievement issues brings background no one else has.

When Jay McCarthy was nominated to be executive affairs vice president, some former issues surfaced with Sharon Belton Cottman attacking him saying he had gone public with information from a board executive session. He was elected anyway.

Another continuing issue is that student achievement issue. Sam Radford, President of the District Parent Coordinating Council, is asking Albany for a "special master" press the district into improving schools.
"Hopefully with the new school board, with the new superintendent we will move in another direction," Radford said.

"But for those kids who are affected right now, we need the State Education Department to respond."

The prior administration had promised 2,100 students transfers to schools in good standing this fall, though there won't be any. Problems worsened with hundreds of students coming into the school system from failed Community Charter School.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.