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Sam Radford & Carl Paladino -- Buffalo Schools

Apr 6, 2014|

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Was a big week in buffalo schools to -- a lot of do we say interesting things happened there. There was a little bit of -- I don't know if you call a full blown scandal but certainly an incident involving some alleged forgery. The district way back when submitted its plans to the state for overhauling. Those plans required. A signature for a parent saying yep parents are on board of best and while the parent that that they sent the signature announced as it was forged district now says now. She just disguised handwriting to make it look like it wasn't really her signature. That debate came to a head this week that of course there was the firing of those two administrators. -- Morrison Alexander and Yemen that Williams both did not have certification for the job they were in. They were both -- removed first by the board in the and the superintendent. -- the board early some members of it in the superintendent said while. We can make them interns as a special category the state has. The board nonetheless this week I've got some legal advice and now don't do that and the entire board unanimously this week. Voted to fire both of those individuals so. I guess if there's a headline there might be that turmoil continues. And then you look at earlier this week as well I think it was on Tuesday maybe it was definitely a while ago. The civil rights project which is part of study group. At the universe UCLA. Came out with a big report that said New York State schools are the most segregated in the nation. If you -- get further into that you find some numbers that a point toward buffalo. Being the most segregated district in the nation as well. A lot to talk about we decided to bring in Sam Bradford for that he is here now president of the district parent coordinating council. Sam thanks for joining us the more days thanks -- -- has settled -- lot just to exit to go with here. Let's start with the the quote on quote and I know why you take the quotes off by probably have to be less. Biased forgery. Or the alleged forgery or whatever it is lays it out for anywhere is a stand right now. -- at this point we're acts in the US attorney to get involved because -- that we believe the district is obstructing justice. And that it is alleging that apparent forced her own signature. Which makes no sense and so the boardroom the administration rationale was. That she tried to do this to sabotage. The board in the administration somehow and and it's really not clear because -- who essentially is I didn't want forgery is actually five forgeries it was a forgery this year and there were four forgeries last year. Essentially what they're saying is that she disguised handwriting a year ago for the purposes of a year later. Well you know falsely accusing the set the principle of fortune -- signature she being tomato growing things that we -- Joan -- some sort it and parent advocate paired somewhere and other parent leader and that's who -- it was the parent of the year -- in terms of her and Bob and her school level so was never a question about her credibility as a matter backseat. She she did not want to come public with this he really try to resolve this behind the scenes and being on the district begin to retaliate against her. The -- simply stop you know you're not gonna retaliate against become something you don't have a right to force my signature she was in the hospital. At the time when her signature was I having surgery there was just no way she could find it over the districts of suggests. That she's forced her own signature disguised handwriting is just ridiculous. So I love of Reading murder mysteries and when I guess the -- -- there's always the idea means motive and opportunity. Mean certainly we can talk about opportunity we enter -- motive to it why would the district if that's what they did forged these papers. Well I mean Obama a lot of affords them ultimately go one issue that we've been raised in right now is 36 million dollars on hold by the state Education Department because the district has map included -- in the development of these plans. So that they needed to create a parent that was onboard so we'll stay here it is not just this year last year what they were doing is they weren't to have an administrative duties plant in the into sound off on this parent's signature because. Obviously when you have information as a parent you're gonna react differently and we don't have information because parents too because a very active parent. She would have acted don't have that information or principled and wanted to have him information therefore decide -- signature. Are because this wasn't missiles missiles plans missiles also use a title one money these beings that administrators are used to make decisions about an eight and -- -- about. Talk to me about want to know what kind of things would have happened if there was more awareness what was in those plants. Parents -- -- you say to me to have Jones would not have been on board. Oh absolutely because ultimately Dole's plan to step taken that travel -- money using it to get more parents involved negated big -- teachers and administrators over time to do workshops and you know people didn't come to -- was really drive and resource to get put more money. If the teachers administrators -- that really increasing parent Obama like the money was supposed to be useful. All right now issue number two earlier this week the school board took action in and basically fired two administrators that did not have the certifications they needed for their position. It is it is mentioned that basically these people are proteges of superintendent brown. They worked together not brown but -- these two. Executives that were fired. Worked together with deputy superintendent Mary win of course controversial figure who was brought back after she was fired as a consultant. Does does this to your mind suggest. That and I know what's leading question but but but -- walked on the path with me. Superman contender and trying to pull the wool over someone's eyes who do you think. Well he knows if it is she'd been pulled over our guys because just issued we've been raised his parents wave before it even a certification issue came up. We've been having this issue way it's far back August when we say that. We are having issues with this administrative team we know and doctor Williams and doctor will be a part of it but we'd never have -- -- before this or that this people who represented the superintendent shall we understood that they didn't understand how things -- New York State. Save then again that you've never had before because. I think anyone can say that there's always been some sort of tension -- turmoil. At least in the past ten years in in buffalo obstacles and not this way you've ever had state Education Department coming in hole 36 leaned out because the school district we didn't. Follow the proper protocol for the release relates to including -- and process. You know doctor Williams you know -- -- -- to -- to -- tennis and most recently we believe we set the table and we worked out we signed off on it we never had -- in even in those problems are resolved as we speak. I mean as we speak right now the state -- case must -- total 36 cleaned house because they -- learning curve to understand how things go in New York State. They still in it if indeed they -- don't understand the -- -- and consequently -- Seles back at least six months to a year trying to help the market. You sound a little bit like board member Carl Paladino certainly. Critic of superintendent brown. He has set off. That this is not the kind of position where you can have on the job training. That's basically we just sad to hear what I'm saying essentially is on behalf of parents and students that you know ought to believe that we can be CO -- district court of deceit and administrators making decisions in the district. -- American consequences of these bad decisions to all the people to get the consequences are parents and students still talk about not -- too bad this is somewhat bad decision after bad this is after bad decisions so clearly as parents we have to jumping in and -- be good enough that's enough have they reached a point where either you was just a guy taking off here. Coordinating council -- for a moment for the council itself. Has it reached the point where either one of those is ready to say. Let's -- superintendent brown. You know and at this point I don't know that ousting the superintendent actually solves a problem opting to promise -- superintendent opting to problem who's the board. I think we need to do what's he was a -- because these are problems that you've also got under previous two clintons in some cases so. Obviously at the district can't coordinating council which chairperson -- -- from the -- -- -- -- -- Level as Sam Bradford -- -- -- -- parents are looking for solutions I don't know that giving readers -- Britain and by itself as a solution I think they're more is more the next model -- simplify it that way because it would actually lead us to a situation we think we tends to -- and we solve the problem and I'm hoping that's the case what else needs to be done. There are problems with the board you're saying oh yeah no question about defectors who could -- ought to lead. Have to monitor what the superintendent does an administrative -- we need more and their benchmarks and Education Department. I think we need to come to terms with the fact that this contract but we have with the teachers are ultimately -- this district. We just met with B control board and I'm reading this past week -- told us that -- we we talk about over almost two billion dollars that we have to look for in terms adjusted did the pension. Don't deny our retirement opened to retirement -- just up one and he is so we got bigger problems and just as superintendent and we need to Saddam as a communion addressed those problems. And this is where politics comes and we're we're certainly talking about a time when there are school board elections coming up in Maine trying to make six. And dubbed the council can't necessarily. Take a position on who to elect but what would you like to see come out of those elections. Again I was like to see people first -- committed to children first -- a lot of will be here right now is just what let me stop you right there because I think. No matter what argument comes up in any school district. That's something that people who are on vastly divergent paths always say. Carl Paladino who doesn't like the superintendent at all. Will say got to put the children first Barbara -- never -- the president who has more of a supporter of the superintendent and then the other camp says he got it yet -- the children first. When you say it what is a little -- as we know that you know it's not meaningless right. What we we know the difference for example we have a a planet we call maximizing parent engagement as the front of the board of education lays out a series of steps that we think -- change the school district the -- and none of the board members have basically embrace that because they cost money it cost -- cause us to redirect resources that now able to administration and teachers. Probably it decrease of the south central administration. Do we know what it looks like when you put more when you drive money to the classroom you make a commitment to children and basically we haven't seen that from the -- what you want to see done what's in that plan. What -- -- it cost was to engage parents in the development of the education plan for their children we call it asset mapping appearance in that -- and asset mobilize in those. All the resources with the teacher -- parents and teachers and partnership to make things better for children and drive and resources to asset -- NASA mobilize. And that would be out of class from -- class classroom by classroom bases where you're right teacher teacher by teacher in it would take to a professional development resources sort of -- them up -- open to settlement central administration it will put him to connect professing -- -- for teachers and parents to help children. So we can get better results for children. 8030930s. And number. I've you'd like to join us we'd love to have you aboard maybe you're a teacher in the district and and would like to talk a little bit about how that's going to play out. Or for that matter up possibly apparent someone who agrees me -- -- what Sam is saying here the idea that their needs to be. More accountability at the top more parental involvement in the bottom Sam Bradford is here he's with the district parent coordinating council. Part of the buffalo school system or an advisory group to buffalo so. Well there was discussion about a year ago -- as to your group's -- let's before we got. Before we go to the phones let's define that. -- -- -- We actually a stakeholder group to bid this exact same way that the union is to stay -- for the teachers and their minister BCS is administrative stakeholder group. We -- forestry -- group 600 went eleven espionage -- in law sets -- up as a -- who were not the -- so I'm not -- maybe you're not part of the -- person -- -- we're not -- of the -- we we we we report to the board just like the teachers -- in the administration war but we are separate stakeholder group with a story to act according and you -- the reason I asked that last year there was some discussion because -- you folks wanted to start to endorse candidates. And that was spike to weigh in pushed away. Cars while you can endorse candidates -- for part of -- you're not necessarily part of and we don't know of course we have to teachers union administration can support -- -- -- we but the issue for us is not about supporting him -- issue for us to support children. All right -- 30930s number what do you think about all this going on in the buffalo school -- what kind of solutions are there. We'd love to have you book weigh in on that -- talked to me about that the whole backdrop of all of this you advocates for parental involvement. And I know a couple of teachers whenever I talk to them they say at the grass roots level. If they have a problem with certain kid learning are now learning. More often than not in a district that has a lot of truancy more often than not in a district that has a lot of poverty. They'll call parents and not get them they'll have parents who aren't involved. I I'm wondering if those are the Al liars and they are more folks involved in groups like yours. Or to what degree is parent involvement in the kid's life. Promoting a culture of learning going to school. Isn't that the biggest problem there overall. And I agree with you is it -- models are more out players likened to real practical terms. The reality is that you got children who live in the neighborhood too cold schooled -- above all we crossed out and read a lot of bluster crossed out because they couldn't get -- Ottawa in the reports in the country would you think that what that means for the content. It -- -- the parent can be engaged is doomed the light in the bus all across town only half the people and what we'll even have transportation so now taken a step further. Every day at 3 o'clock. Deaf school built in their neighborhood it shuts the door blocked all the people that -- -- leave nickel -- want to -- communities that school -- is not a part of that child or Paris or enable -- slightly more and that has nothing to do with the -- stared down at the policy issue that -- going -- -- that is maintained by -- and a government -- is perpetuating. This whole isolation of parents to be involved in the children's -- I don't necessarily want to make -- -- race are -- -- -- class issue. But you're saying that in a community like Clarence. That would never -- why. Obviously because it is a race class and -- -- issue let me -- reality is that even in buffalo -- My children go to City Council second Allstate and all -- you. Parents are actively involved with is also a -- proportionally is is is based on race is more -- students beer. Under an hour white in our blackbeard proportionally based on plastic or more middle class student students give him otherwise so the reality is that we have created a segregated and on equal. On school district in right now until we begin to address that and give all you good education we perpetuate that. I want to read something from the Associated Press by approximately a week and a half ago. The civil rights project at the University of California Los Angeles looked at enrollment trends from 89 to 2010 through the entire state. And they say New York State has the most segregated public schools in the nation. With many black and Latino students attending schools. With virtually no white classmates according to report released Wednesday it wasn't this past Wednesday it was a week because we're talking about weekend and week and a -- They also say that for example. Buffalo Syracuse Rochester has some my major problem increasing segregation there. Some of the numbers deeper on that report I'm reading there are suggestions that. Buffalo is the worst of any segregated school. -- our sponsors and today only 24 point 1% of African American males graduated. From high school and on average go back forty years and -- -- 75% of the population. Up students not graduating are obviously something's not being done correctly so what do we do. So here's the point we make a commitment that we can do so as we can't change the racial makeup of the view that the digital camera make we don't actually change the racial make up only Alison that's based on demographic -- we have to do was commit that we can do something. What we have done is we've made a commitment to secure employees independent of the fact the -- children learn and not so we have to make a commitment debt. Human beings made this possible human beings can solve this problem Indian -- at a scientific method for increasing graduation rates because right now we're not use a scientific -- because we work didn't do result we didn't send the result last flat lie. How do you get rid of segregation. In a district that is. Majority minority. Yeah they're they're very aren't. I'm not -- to go around to spread them out. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Independent of what class become far more -- it would raise the I would just all keep all of a basically if you go to a suburban school district not one difference between one school another school generally could never -- -- -- I was in a suburb suburban school district. Taxpayers I'm not gonna let you take their money and take all the tears a lot of stress and put that one building and everybody else given different education and a different building that oil can happen. When you have people were essentially our press but allows you to -- 80309 there's a number I think there's enough there to call about let's take a quick break and then after that we'll go back to the phones Sam Bradford is here from the district parent coordinating council. And your voices next on hardline. Read the news online. At WB EN dot com. It's hard line on news radio 930 WB and read them especially with so many calls on hold out rather than. Do a huge recap a -- say a couple of things Sam Bradford is here. He's with the district parents coordinating council in the city of buffalo. And if you've been reading anything about buffalo public schools you know there is always a controversy to address or talk to bear the firing of those administrators. The possible forging of some signatures that said parents were involved. And now word that they are that New York State is the most segregated says system. In the entire nation and buffalo is perhaps even worse than that right to the phones they -- 30930. Jon and buffalo go ahead thanks for waiting. And all it seemed that it would disagree and even further according to mr. Redford here and went to. Create neighborhood schools where the kids to me that. The word neighborhood schools. It just code word for resegregation. Because you say the neighborhoods are already segregated. Exactly. What I figured it would work ethic what a lot of people would look at it a problem. And make it worse that is there. Well it's actually the school already re segregated so is not actually going to re -- what I'm -- is more important have they schooled us in proximity of the parents and the children who lived here so that this community come in their -- absolutely no question about it. You are making it even more drastic to segregate. No what I'm saying is that the issue we should not try to desegregate the city by desegregate the schools -- if you wanted to desegregate the schools -- come on what do more integrated city. Did the school -- network that would automatically mean either a lot more magnificent charters or more busting. Right and I'm not and I'm not for more -- -- or -- in what I'm saying is that make all schools good schools in this whatever if -- look across -- street from how it should be no different in one across the proper school you're saying make segregation not matter by having better schools in each community. Desegregated in that order exactly all right John and we feel. I on the -- for -- wanna commend you for being. Asked and actually trying to be part of the solution. But -- who have disagree with. What you are saying and I mean. Most of the problem in the school district as the other two was that the kids in school as governor -- a lot to do with the current. Be unable to get to the building. The problem that the parents are preparing these kids. Except that operations. When they come in the building they help I don't care it's about a change. Order not respect for -- adults and don't. I mean we we've really look at. How we can prepare the children better to -- the school how do you think we've tactical school to make a play and how do you think we can do it. -- -- -- The parents have to be responsible for their children's behavior. Well let me see what the first -- what you you have all lists. When you have what was negativity -- education and -- so there's -- out of -- system Natal. They don't care about education and less common straight from the career. All right it's apparent when you speak to parents. And they are telling you how -- they don't care and how which you'll fall because you're not blow which you should be -- and classical. I would always saying we got to move on now let's -- reaction so far some obviously you know I've been a teacher -- -- up -- make great map I want to principles on into a soft scene from a teacher in elementary side but I am so. The issue is that if parents were in partnership with. The administration -- that if we had a bowl what's worked together for the same goal. We wouldn't be in that situation you talk about a generational problem you talked about 50% graduation rates for the last year so. Over half the cars are parents to -- and have a good experience in school itself. In its sultan was being done to solve the problem is and protect employees within the system to perpetuate the problem we would have figured out something to move past this point right now you're saying that successes. Self perpetuating exactly. However these mobile now -- stop perpetuating job security for employees and not success they're educating children hi Kelly in buffalo thanks for calling. I earned through appropriate well I agree with everything major rule on the have a child at effort you're in public school system. And I cannot believe I -- -- an absolute opposite the beginning how can -- can how well prepared how unprofessional. They are absolutely not only I think even go further. They don't even have programs for kids who need extra help with math -- I want to wish -- nothing after school. Common you like the teacher who has the children released a shot or their gone for the day. I actually called the principal purpose will be operation principle because you can -- -- that. Cripple it's going on April can't even more. Either of the principal or. I'm. In. A picnic -- -- and I think. So if -- is saying we need more parental involvement it sounds like you're saying. At the at the school level there are all sorts of walls that keep you from being involved. Absolutely. 100% believe he sent through the urban schools which actually we will be looking back. Because I cannot believe the optical but the on the -- -- to me after watching his throat or you know the last seven months. How to -- well they it get there and it's almost like they're -- -- appropriate time you'll get a better have a list and then got that like the kids out. -- I cannot believe. How ironic -- to a massive it. And I really wake -- We're not making this stuff -- I mean that's exactly what -- our experience and as we've been trying to tell people -- -- That's because you know -- -- that he would result I have. Another child with an adult I ventured suburban schools and everything how he rarely. In April 1 billion dollars a year. There should be better program these -- It should be you know what these children can actually go we need extra help in war and he just seemed to me. Like nobody really cared about -- just -- -- trying make you -- -- get them out. I can't you know what I wouldn't with Michael I didn't hear it shocked him and I never again just how bad spot it -- you have to be able to realize that. And work just. You know the the left collar with a parent of course you're always going to be situations. Where there are going to be -- and -- you don't care it is not the majority. It is under -- talking about the administrators. Without a triple on down and just what a disservice. -- -- -- And -- great great. Great call glad you're here we do have to move on time is -- -- -- on some important necessary and and because it's only some schools like so for example the criteria based schools in the schools we have active parent involvement. Did do -- -- the do you have to district provide different resources. There's a different experience for the vast majority of schools. Before we get go off to Meet the Press at twelve noon I do -- squeeze in a segment about Fort Hood. We're gonna do -- last -- we had a -- to the end of this hour so we really have to move along quickly here. But remaining moments with Sam Bradford let's also bring in now that I didn't -- this way but Carl Paladino dialed us up Karl as a school board member of course. Developer former candidate for governor and a guy who consistently has talked about some of the dysfunction in the schools Carl thanks for Chiming in what he got today. But I expect. A basic android and and 80% of what he's saying they're the. The problem. The parental involvement does go to. The question of why don't neighborhood schools. Neighborhood school it would definitely. Engaged the parents. Give them an opportunity for engagement as is stamped. Transportation of the problem for a lot of these people are getting there. And then they take isn't it put him at what one on the east side of the city the other and an art than the other and it's all its Infiniti. The way they so the way to assign children to schools. The problem that IC is you know we spent 65 million dollars a year but. I believe that the state Education Department will resent amounts for even if we lower the C. But in my book you know usually I believe that there -- already given us the money will find someway that we concede that money. To help. Lower class sizes are in in our school and the -- -- of programs for the kids. Secretly -- 90% of the cost for the -- But the -- see the bought in and of itself as a nightmare. We put him at some buses for two to three hours -- that's terrible. About culture develops on the Internet they know all the insanity of I could not be worse for it. In the per month ago but in a period of time. Yet the other question -- he embraces. The criterion. Based school to read it first segregation. As it is defined generally is that is that there's there are a lot of white kids in in criterion based schools. Now they'd probably legitimately a dual battery they do and criteria for it negated their achievement criteria. And the question is not breaking them down because if you break down and now you're gonna just yeah. In the light of the urban flight of the working class and and Andy -- middle class in this city. It is what you want to do is bring the other saw. And the way to bring -- -- is by installing. Leadership we have some really -- principals out there. Or appointed head of friends and family club or should not be principles they should even be teenagers they shouldn't even been in the school system. And we've got principles -- don't have. I'm kind of -- schools we got a -- -- right now there's this brought. It never that I. School principal before they understand -- hundred diplomatically -- school until beauty and teachers it is abusing it. It's just terrible that would let go like -- continue. Oh great stuff don't move on the for the sake of time to squeeze in one more quick one. I wonder that I won there Sam. What are since he talked about PR neighborhood schools. We do you address the document the school choice program document from 2005. And two. Whether I hit three thanks to I would like him -- Say something about it. -- loading the classrooms. And the kids from kindergarten through third grade. I would like it to see. Smaller classrooms. I and they get site. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Get the No Child Left Behind school -- -- In an extension -- the trash to a school in the stand and more broadly speaking what happens in the next week or so here how do you see what what's the next to a default or the next action that. You at the apparent coordinating council takes one next Tuesday we -- meeting com with the control board to work with them on to a -- deal with its fiscal issues that we have so people wanna join us next 2 to 6 o'clock at. From companies who will continue to do that work we ought to work with the US attorney to try to deal with this issue to forgery and alternately we're trying to get parents to. Registered your children tickets about a Philly schools open schools -- the -- do you -- the forgery case actually ending up in court. I hope so I hope it ends up in the place where he gets resolved because of that school just to say -- -- a -- force -- Halston -- she says she didn't leave -- unresolved topic we need to get to a resolution all right great stuff thanks for stopping by Sam. Sam Bradford in the district parent -- council and buffalo public schools.