Focus on Education
9:35 am
Fri May 16, 2014

Regents chancellor calls school board dysfunction 'a sideshow'

New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch delivered a strong message to the Buffalo School Board after touring three city schools on Thursday.

Tisch was asked about the ongoing dysfunction within the district and board member Carl Paladino's repeated requests to remove Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown. She called the fighting "extra noise" that is not serving the needs of students in the classroom.

New York State Regents Chancellor Tish appears at Grover Cleveland High School in Buffalo Thursday.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

"In my mind, it's a sideshow. I believe that the adults in the room are going to have to figure out their politics. I have absolutely no interest in helping them do that because I think it really needs to be done at the local level and you cannot impose order on a school district," Tisch said.

"I would urge them to come together sooner, rather than later," she added.

Tisch joined State Assemblyman Sean Ryan and Regents Chancellor Emeritus Robert Bennett in a tour of International School 45, Lafayette High School and the Star Academy at Grover Cleveland High School. They discussed the needs of refugee and immigrant students as English Language Learners.

Grover Cleveland High School, Buffalo, NYCredit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Tisch is calling for approval of federal waiver that would loosen the rules for when non-English speaking students would need to take and be counted for standardized testing.  The waiver is now before federal lawmakers. Tisch says Buffalo is a perfect example of a why they must focus on ELL students.