Tue August 9, 2011
Williams faces early termination vote
By Joyce Kryszak
Buffalo, NY – Buffalo School District Superintendent James Williams faces another early contract termination vote Tuesday afternoon. The Board of Education meets in special session at 4:00 P.M.
Little more than a month ago, former board president Ralph Hernandez called a special session that attempted to oust Williams before his planned retirement next June.
That attempt failed and Hernandez vowed to never bring it up again. He is one of three board members, including Chris Jacobs and John Licata, who are once again bringing termination up for a vote. They said they have the votes this time.
More bad news for the district that came in Monday certainly will not help Williams's case. The New York State Education Department issued its report card on English and math scores for students statewide in grades three through eight.
Buffalo school students came in nearly dead last.
Of the Big Five city districts only Rochester and Syracuse scored worse. Only about a quarter of Buffalo's students in grades tested at or above grade level in English. That is down a percent from last year.
Math scores were slightly better - though still not good. Scores went up a percent, but only to 31 percent.
Superintendent Williams did not return WBFO's calls for comment. But in a written statement he said the flat scores are because the state raised the proficiency standards last year.
It was predicted then that the move would hit already struggling urban districts especially hard. Williams said the district is working to align with the new tougher standards.
Still, he said flat scores are not enough and the district is poised to improve student performance.
Meanwhile, suburban schools did much better. Almost all local suburban school districts had half or more of their students testing at or above grade level in both English and math.