Fri August 3, 2012
Board approves contract for "distinguished educator"
Buffalo schools now have a state-designated "distinguished educator."
While Judy Elliott is a Buffalo native, no one at the top of the school system admits to knowing her and it's not clear why Albany chose her for the new post.
Under a contract agreed to last night, Elliott will be paid $190-per-hour when working on school business and $275-per-day in expenses; she agreed to work 25 days a year while working with other school systems from her Florida base.
The appointment is not popular with board members.
"We really could have given (Superintendent) Doctor Brown an opportunity to observe, review data and scores in the district program and then let her have her impact on things and then introduce the other situation (the distinguished educator," said Florence Johnson.
Four board members held a conference call with State Education Department officials behind closed doors on Tuesday to talk about what Elliott's role will be, with her on the call without saying anything.
Board members say they didn't tape the call but will pass along notes on what occurred to other members.
Superintendent Brown says she will run things, with Elliott's help.
"Her primary role will be to serve as a consultant, to work closely with the district and with me as the superintendent," said Superintendent Dr. Pamela Brown.
Elliott will "develop plans and make recommendations for the development of plans that will benefit the priorities and persistently low-achieving schools."
Board President Mary Ruth Kapsiak told the meeting she hopes Elliott tells the board what's going on as well as reporting to the State Education Department.