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District troubles mount as school year starts in Buffalo

WBFO News photos by Eileen Buckley

Protesters plan to target the office Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown as the school system starts the year in turmoil. Battles continue over student transfers, failing schools and weak finances.

The district's plan to transfer students from bad schools to good schools was bounced by Albany again because it doesn't move fast enough to accommodate transfer students in good schools, partly because there are so few.

District Parent Coordinating Council members expect to start daily protests outside Brown's office at noon today.

There is now a new issue, with BTF President Phil Rumore saying teachers are receiving bad report cards based on student performance on the much harder standardized tests.
"A teacher got 60 out of 60 points for the classroom observation and the associated requirements for that," Rumore explained.

"But then they wind up after the state score and the other score are counted in as an ineffective teacher. We're hearing that some teachers got a zero on one part of it. That's almost impossible."

An "ineffective" rating can put a teacher on the path to being fired.

The district did receive some positive news from Albany when state officials gave approval to turnaround plans for Lafayette and East High 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.