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New schools superintendent answers parent questions

Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Buffalo's interim schools superintendent Donald Ogilvie had a chance to meet the public and listen to questions about the system and his plans Tuesday night.

With schools across the state looking at their report cards and preparing to explain the results to students, parents and taxpayers, the superintendent took questions on everything from truant officers (he's not sure they are a good idea) to vocational education (he's strongly for it) to high-stakes testing (he's not sold).

Members of the school board took written questions from the thin crowd in School 80 in the University Heights community and read 43 questions to him.

Ogilvie suggested neighborhood schools aren't such a bad idea.

"Going across the city to me is counter-intuitive. People will interpret that, I'm sure, as Don Ogilvie from the suburbs dictating an approach," Ogilvie said.

"If you like it the way it is, keep doing it. If you think there's a better way and you have the courage and the good will to try a different way, let's investigate it."

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news
A handful of parents and stakeholders were on hand Tuesday night at Highgate Heights Elementary.

Earlier in the meeting, Ogilvie talked to the crowd about himself and his 30 years as a school district and BOCES administrator.

He says his priority will be in the classroom and that could mean taking people out of Central Office in City Hall and moving them out to the schools to help kids succeed.

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.