October 29, 2013 - 12:17 PM
Concern over the state's implementation of Common Core curriculum standards continues to dominate public forums on Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.'s listening tour.
The Daily Voice of Yonkers and the Journal News of Westchester County report that hundreds of people attended the second event Monday night at Port Chester Middle School. Of the roughly 70 people who spoke during the three-hour event, most were critical, according to the Journal News account.
The Daily Voice reported that among the speakers were school board members and superintendents concerned about the impact on their districts.
October 27, 2013 - 12:01 AM
A few weeks can make a big difference. Earlier this month, The News learned that a parent believed the principal at Harvey Austin School 97 had forged her signature on the school's Comprehensive Education Plan, an annual school improvement plan that every Buffalo public school must submit to the state because the Buffalo school district has such a high percentage of schools in bad standing with the state.
At that time, parent Timekia Jones had confronted the principal but asked that she and the principal be left unidentified since Jones wanted to keep a low profile and had a previously good working relationship with the principal, Brigette Gillespie. She subsequently filed an affidavit regarding the alleged forgery as part of a larger complaint by the DPCC to State Ed about parents not being involved in school turnaround plans, but declined to speak with reporters. We still wrote about the matter and posted her affidavit, along with examples of the alleged forgery, on the School Zone blog.
Jones changed her mind about speaking out, however, after she said Gillespie changed her schedule on Monday to make it difficult for her to stay involved as a parent at her school, where she has two daughters with special needs. That's when she said she wanted to take further action.
October 25, 2013 - 12:01 AM
On Thursday, Buffalo's District Parent Coordinating Council stated that it's filing legal appeals with State Ed Commissioner John King to force the school district to comply with state physical education and health education requirements.
Also on Thursday, Buffalo Teachers Federation President Phil Rumore said his executive committee would be voting on a motion calling for King's resignation, in the wake of the controversies surrounding the state's implementation of Common Core Standards testing.
While King is unlikely to raise an eyebrow regarding the BTF's call for his resignation, he is much more likely to take notice of the legal appeal asking that he force the district to comply with state laws requiring students to receive far more physical education than they are actually getting in school.
October 24, 2013 - 2:23 PM
The state Department of Education is still working out the details of a planned public forum on Common Core in Amherst.
An updated list of community forums posted on the department's website includes eight stops between today and December, but does not include information on a previously announced meeting in Amherst.
The Education Department's communications office said the list will be updated to include the Amherst event once details are finalized.
State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. is scheduled to begin the public meetings in Albany this afternoon.
The forums were planned after King caught criticism for canceling an earlier series of public meetings in which he encountered angry shouting from participants during a question-and-answer session on the new Common Core curriculum standards.
-- Denise Jewell Gee
October 24, 2013 - 8:00 AM
Last night's Buffalo school board meeting may have been the shortest regular meeting on record since the new board was seated in July. It was 2 1/2 hours long and included a list of only four speakers. There were so few speakers that one of the few people who did get up to speak erroneously accused the board of changing its speaker policy.
If you want the nitty gritty, see the prior post that includes the live blog of the entire meeting. But if you want the summary of important stuff, here it is:
October 23, 2013 - 5:15 PM
Tonight's agenda, which can be found on the Buffalo school district website, appears relatively light. Carl Paladino is hoping to move a resolution to force Board President Barbara Nevergold to resign, but that's unlikely to gain traction. The full board agenda can be found on the school district website.
October 23, 2013 - 10:44 AM
News that state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. had agreed to a new series of forums to discuss Common Core drew praise -- until parents saw the time the first forum was scheduled.
Some parents have questioned why King would schedule the Albany forum at 4 p.m., when many people are still at work.
King told reporters on Tuesday that state leaders have had discussions about extending the time of the Albany forum if needed to allow parents who aren't available until 5 or 6 p.m. to participate.
October 23, 2013 - 12:33 AM
As noted in today's story by Deidre Williams, Timekia Jones, a teacher's aide and former parent representative at Harvey Austin School 97, has alleged that the principal of the school, Brigette Gillespie, forged Jones' signature on multiple documents, including the state-mandated School Comprehensive Education Plan and other Title I documents.
These documents require a parent-representative's signature because each school is supposed to prove that they involved all school stakeholders, including parents, in certain school-based decision-making and planning. Jones states in an affidavit that her school principal forged her name on documents and never involved her in any decisionmaking process, contrary to what is required of School Leadership Teams that are supposed to collaborate in every school building.
October 21, 2013 - 12:01 AM
As noted in today's story, parents who are planning to enroll their child in a new Buffalo public school next year should begin that process now. Below are all the documents you need to register your child. The on-time deadline to register your child for next school year is Dec. 6.
While parents may mail or fax in their applications, we encourage all parents to hand-deliver their applications to the Central Registration Office at 33 Ash Street, where a student placement staffer can review your documentation for any errors and acknowledge receipt of your application.
October 17, 2013 - 12:01 AM
Board member Carl Paladino continued to stir anger and frustration among board members Wednesday night over topics ranging from the superintendent's central office reorganization, to her evaluation, to his interest in promoting neighborhood schools.
Some of his bald accusations were old ones and some were new, but his interrogator-style of speaking is unchanged -- frank, accusatory, and interruptive. He usually has the most firey exchanges with fellow board member Sharon Belton-Cottman. Though both would be loathe to admit it, they share some similar personality traits. Both are brutally frank speakers, and both tend to embrace confrontation over diplomacy when the conversation starts getting hot. In contrast, Superintendent Brown wears her calm composure like a shield in the face of Paladino's accusations.