Superintendent says principals are using receivership powers

Jan 21, 2016

Buffalo Schools Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash said the district is implementing receivership recommendations issued by the New York State Education Commissioner.  WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley says the changes are happening at those persistently struggling city schools.

Dr. Kriner Cash, Buffalo Schools Superintendent
Credit WBFO file photo

"Every day principals are using the receivership powers," said Superintendent Cash.

Cash said the receivership law is a chance to improve student performance. Cash has the power to reassign staffers. He tells WBFO News they are examining teachers and their work.

Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash discussing receivership with WBFO.
Credit Photo from Sam Radford, President of District Parent Coordinating Council

"We're having teachers being looked at and placed in the best position to help our students, so we're dealing with the ten recommendations or requests that we asked of the commissioner. We are implementing those as we speak," stated Cash.

But Cash said he's not worried about the threat by the Buffalo Teachers Federation that could land the receivership law in the courts.

"I see it more as an opportunity than a threat," responded Cash. "I really think that we can continue to work with our teachers. They are are main partners, so I have an open dialog. I attend to meet with them 
directly in the near future -- call a big summit at some of our high schools to talk with teachers and continue to say we've got to stay on track with this important work." 

Cash was granted the power to impose changes, bypassing the union contract at struggling city schools.  That includes calling to extend the school day and school year at those schools. The Buffalo Teachers Federation has repeatedly asked the district to reduce class size. Cash said he's working on a solution.

"Some strategies and some options for reducing class size. It's difficult. It's expensive, but we have to do it and particularly in the early grades," explained Cash.  

For now the superintendent is using the authority  try change struggling schools.

"We are making a lot of changes everyday," said Cash.