United Partners want to be part of city education decisions

Nov 17, 2011

Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Amber Dixon and Parents' Group leader Sam Radford are two of Thursday night's scheduled speakers at an information session on possible turnaround models for Buffalo's lowest performing schools. 

United Partners for Public Education in Buffalo will host the discussion starting at 6 p.m. Buffalo's Waterfront School.

"The children in this district are our children.  They belong to the community.  We send them to school to get an education and we expect the educators are going to do a good job at educating our children," said Helene Kramer is chairwoman of United Partners.

The coalition is made up of citizen and organizations striving to make Buffalo Public Schools work for all children. 

Seven city schools remain on the persistently low-performing school list issued by the State Education Department.  

United Partners says it doesn't place blame the parents for the education troubles and looks to the community for solutions.

United Partners demands transparency from the Board of Education.

"We can't work with the district if they're up in an office of the 7th or 8th floor of City Hall and making decisions about our children that they don't let us know about.  Involvement or engagement of the community is very important. So we expect not to have things decided for us or imposed on us.  We want to be part of that decision making process," said Kramer.  

The  Board of Education must submit its turn around plans by January first for the poor performing schools.