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Audio: Tiffany Lankes discusses mandatory kindergarten on WBFO Press Pass

Starting this fall kindergarten will be mandatory for Buffalo Public School children. It is among the many education issues the city School District is tackling under new leadership. In this week's Press Pass conversation WBFO'S Eileen Buckley sits down with Buffalo News education reporter Tiffany Lankes who discusses how mandatory kindergarten could improve a student's future school performance. Lankes also shares a document called Buffalo School Vision plan.


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Read Hamburg Superintendent Richard Jetter's confession

Below is the one-page, handwritten confession signed by Hamburg Superintendent Richard E. Jetter on Monday, where he admits to Village of Hamburg Police that he damaged his own car and filed a false report.

Jetter's Confession by Sandra Tan

How many students with disabilities are educated in Buffalo's public, private and charter schools? Find out here.

We recently asked the Buffalo school district for the number of students with disabilities who attend Buffalo Public Schools, broken down by race and disability type. We received that data and additional information showing how many students with disabilities are educated in the city's private schools, charter schools and other agencies. The updated information provides a different student breakdown than the school-by-school special education numbers we posted to the blog on July 1.

The Buffalo Public Schools educates the vast majority of all students with disabilities, compared with charter and private schools. As of early July, the district enrolled 6,131 such students. Of that total, roughly a third are classified as having a learning disability, the most common student impairment. In addition, 73 percent of all students with disabilities are African-American or Hispanic.

Continue reading "How many students with disabilities are educated in Buffalo's public, private and charter schools? Find out here." »

The state's take on Lafayette

Back in October, a state Education Department review team visited Lafayette High School and provided the district an assessment report. They raised numerous concerns, and gave the school "ineffective" ratings, based on their observations at the school.

Below is their full report. To view the report at full size, click on the gray and white rectangular box to the right of the magnifying glasses on the Scribd bar below the document.

Continue reading "The state's take on Lafayette" »

"How to Fix Buffalo Schools" series: Live chat at 1 p.m.

News education reporters Sandra Tan and Tiffany Lankes will host a live chat online today from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. regarding the stories that have run so far as part of the “How to Fix Buffalo Schools” series.

Lankes will answer questions about her June stories on teaching young black men at Eagle Academy in the Bronx. Tan will field questions about her Sunday story on the International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn and today’s story about Lafayette High School.

Please join us here!

Live Blog "How to Fix Buffalo Schools" live chat July 15

Meet another student from Prospect Heights

This is Manuel Garcia. He's a 19-year-old young man from Honduras.

ManuelGarcia
(Derek Gee/Buffalo News)

Manuel is one of the many students enrolled at the International High School at Prospect Heights who has faced adversity, yet remains devoted to getting an education.

He spent his childhood not knowing his mother.

She had come to the United States to work 19 years ago when he was just 7 months old. As Manuel grew older, his father started asking him if he wanted to join his mother in New York. He kept saying no until he was 15 and decided he was ready to go.

When he met his mother for the first time in his young adult life, it was awkward. He greeted her like a stranger.

Continue reading "Meet another student from Prospect Heights" »

Re-evaluating Buffalo's school admission standards

As reported today by The News, the U.S. Department of Education's NY Office of Civil Rights released its findings and agreement with the Buffalo Public Schools regarding its "criteria-based" schools. The Office of Civil Rights found that the district has admissions criteria at seven schools that appear to disproportionately exclude non-white students.

Based on its findings, the Buffalo Public Schools has agreed to a settlement that would have the district review, revise and/or expand the eligibility and selection criteria for these schools. Below is the Office of Civil Rights findings and the the resolution agreement reached with the district.

Continue reading "Re-evaluating Buffalo's school admission standards" »

Audio: Sandra Tan on Brooklyn school's model for teaching English language learners

WBFO'S Eileen Buckley talks with News Education reporter Sandra Tan, who traveled to Brooklyn to learn about a teaching model for English language learners.

Tan's story, part of an occasional News series examining Buffalo schools' low graduation rates and innovative approaches that are working in other schools around the nation, will appear in Sunday's print editions.


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International High School at Prospect Heights: By the numbers

For those who do not have access to a print edition of Sunday's paper, here's a copy of the chart that ran with the main story, comparing the school data for The International High School at Prospect Heights and Lafayette High School. Click on the gray and white rectangle to the right of the magnifying glasses on the Scribd bar below the chart to view it at full size.

Prospect Heights Chart

Interim Superintendent Donald Ogilvie's employment contract

Donald Ogilvie, the former superintendent for Erie 1 BOCES, will earn $217,500 as the new interim superintendent for Buffalo Public Schools, according to his employment contract, which can be terminated by mutual agreement or with 30 days notice to either party.

Ogilvie's salary is in addition to the pension he will draw from the state as a retired BOCES administrator. The three-page document outlines Ogilvie's pay, benefits and authority. Read below.

-- Sandra Tan

Ogilvie Employment Contract

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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 | djgee@buffnews.com


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 | tlankes@buffnews.com


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 | stan@buffnews.com


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 | dswilliams@buffnews.com

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