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Mayor offers critique of city schools

WBFO News file photo

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown is distancing himself from the school board and its fight with State Education Commissioner John King over poor academic performance and low graduation rates.

King has long been critical of the performance of city schools and is now pushing to put some students from East and Lafayette High Schools in educational control of the suburban BOCES system for vocational education.

The district is also under orders to find a way for students to transfer out of failing schools and into good schools, though there is limited space available.

While Schools superintendent Pamela Brown has been out-of-town since last week, Mayor Brown says the district needs to explain its vision for moving forward.
"The superintendent doesn't report to me," Mayor Brown said. "But, certainly I think that the answers to those parents' questions should be provided. Parents are concerned about the education of their children and the leadership of the school district needs to speak to that. There is absolutely no question about it."

Mayor Brown says he wants to find out what plan Commissioner King has to improve academic performance city-wide.

Brown says East and Lafayette were supposed to be taken over by Johns Hopkins University and wants to know what's the status of bringing in one of the country's best universities to help those schools.

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.