Thu September 12, 2013
Education Commissioner says Buffalo district has 'responsibility to lead'
State Education Commissioner John King says he is disappointed there hasn't been more progress on a transfer plan for all Buffalo Public Schools students, as required by federal law.
The district said this summer it would only be able to accommodate 300-500 students who requested transfers from low-performing schools to schools in good standing. That is out of roughly 2,200 requests.
"I try to remain optimistic that, given the technical assistance that we've provided and given their increased clarity about the need for urgency, that they'll be able to move forward effectively," King said.
King says the Buffalo district also got a lot of assistance this summer so it could put in place workable turnaround plans for East and Lafayette high schools.
The Education Commissioner says he hopes the public will watch the administration carefully and hold them accountable. He says it's obvious there is still a lot work that needs to get done.
Asked about critics of Superintendent Pamela Brown, King said it's not the state's place to make judgments about a superintendent's performance.
"The learning outcomes are not in a good place right now. I don't think anyone is happy with where student achievement is in Buffalo," said King.
"At the end of the day, that board and that superintendent have the responsibility to lead, and that's their challenge."
King visited the Amherst High School Thursday morning to hear how that district is dealing with implementation of the Common Core standards and the new statewide evaluation system.