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Buffalo School board wrestles with admission policy

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo School Board still hasn't decided what to do about major problems in the admissions process for the city's criteria schools, most visibly City Honors.

It's a long-controversial process which blew up this year because of students who didn't want to take state tests but still wanted criteria admission. It turned into an elaborate, troubled process of working around the absence of the test scores and the problem of applicants from schools not giving the state tests.

"There has to be some accountability. If you are a director, if you are a principal, you have to know what's within the law and what's outside of the law," said Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman.

"It's unacceptable to be doing practices that we can ultimately end up being sued on."

Schools Superintendent Kriner Cash believes the tests  are culturally biased.  Cash plans to have recommendations in place by June 30. However, some members weren't as concerned about this particular issue.

"Our work has to be carefully directed at what is broke. If it's not broke, fixing it, refixing it is senseless," said Board Member Carl Paladino.

"We have so many things that are broke, we should be focused on what is broke."


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.
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