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Overhaul or closure of MLK and Bennett result from scathing state reports

Buffalo school district leaders have been aware for some time that Martin Luther King School and Bennett High School have been in the cross hairs of the State Education Department because of poor academic performance and negative findings by members of a state review team that visited the schools in October.

The district requested proposals to "relaunch" these schools in the fall, but all proposals were rejected by school faculty, resulting in the latest state intervention. As a result, as noted in today's story, the state is now requiring that these schools either be closed or that new schools be phased in. 

Continue reading "Overhaul or closure of MLK and Bennett result from scathing state reports" »

Public hearing tonight on charter school's expansion plans

By Joseph Popiolkowski

The Ken-Ton School Board meets at 6:30 p.m. tonight in the community room of the Philip Sheridan building, 3200 Elmwood Ave. A public hearing on expansion plans by the Charter School for Applied Technologies to increase its maximum enrollment from 1,675 to 2,365 and add a school building will begin the meeting.

Read our Feb. 7 story "Charter School for Applied Technologies wants to expand" and the notice of proposed charter revision.

How many students has your school district lost?

All but four school districts in Erie and Niagara counties have seen enrollment drop since 1994-95. Find out how enrollment in your school district changed between 1994-95 and 2012-13.

A story in Sunday's edition detailed how enrollment changes are shaping the decisions schools are making about the future. Read the story here.

Online Database by Caspio
Click here to load this Caspio Online Database.

The information includes total enrollment figures for each school district for kindergarten through 12th grade, but does not include pre-kindergarten or charter schools. 

Source: New York State Department of Education. Access the data here.

Live blog at 5 p.m.: Buffalo School Board Committee Meetings

This week's Buffalo school board meeting will be for the educational support and student achievement committees.

The meetings come a week after Superintendent Pamela C. Brown's appointment of Mary E. Guinn as her deputy superintendent. If Guinn makes an appearance, it could lend to some interesting exchanges among school board members, who were divided on whether to approve her appointment.

The meetings start at 5 p.m. and we will be covering them live here.

A quick breakdown of BPS students enrolling in college

As noted in today's story, Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown is announcing today that 66 percent of the graduating Class of 2013 enrolled in college this past fall, the highest percentage of students attending college in at least seven years.

Below is a version of her presentation, which is being shared with the Say Yes Buffalo Community Leadership Council this morning. Note that the four-year graduation rate shown in the first chart represents the preliminary graduation rate for August 2013. The on-time (June) preliminary graduation rate is 54 percent.

(Check back here later for a live blog of tonight's School Board committee meetings starting at 5:30 pm.)

-- Sandra Tan

2013 BPS College Enrollment Data

Live blog at 11 a.m.: Buffalo School Supt Pamela Brown introduces Mary Guinn

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About School Zone

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee

Denise Jewell Gee joined The Buffalo News in 2007 and currently covers education and suburban schools. She also writes a column for the City & Region section and previously covered government in Erie County and Niagara Falls. Gee graduated from Boston University with degrees in journalism and political science.

@denisejewellgee |

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes

Tiffany Lankes joined The Buffalo News in 2013 and primarily covers the Buffalo Public Schools. She has written about education since 2003 at newspapers in Florida and New York. In 2008, she was a nominated finalist for The Pulitzer Prize. Lankes is an Amherst native and graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Syracuse University. She started her journalism career writing for the News’ NeXt section.

@TiffanyLankes |

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan

Sandra Tan has been a cityside reporter for The Buffalo News since 2000 and currently covers the Buffalo Public Schools beat. She previously covered the Williamsville school district and was a full-time education reporter for five years prior to joining The News. She graduated from the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism.

@BNschoolzone |

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams

Deidre Williams began working for The Buffalo News in 1999 and currently covers Buffalo Public Schools. She formerly was a suburban reporter on the Northtowns beat and has been a cityside reporter covering communities since 2004. Williams has a mass communications degree from Towson University.

@DeidreWilliamsB |