The recent past of Buffalo’s public schools displays less than the best model for education. But the city’s new school superintendent, Dr. Kriner Cash, is looking farther into the past at an example that once worked.
Cash says he’s been talking to residents about Buffalo’s Career and Technical Education programs.
“At one time folks said we really had a really nice array of CTE programs," Cash said.
"So that’s what I’m hearing from the community and I think we have capacity within the district to do it, rather than sub that out through a different model that we used a long time through the state.”
Cash says that with the city’s renaissance, he wants to see vocational programs move away from traditional trades, and focus on new ones. He says with programs in fields like solar, medical electronics, and new automotive maintenance, the city can wean off the BOCES program, and align with high quality industries.
The new superintendent laid out ambitious plans at last night’s meeting, and says the district will remain where it’s always been if it doesn’t start embarking on bigger, bolder initiatives.
“I’ll have an array of expectations and metrics for myself that I’ll propose to the board and say, ‘Does this make sense to you?’ And I’ll show the data to back that up, or the gap to back that up, to say I want to work hard on this I want to get more community engagement in this area for this reason.”
Board member Carl Paladino welcomed Cash's aggressive approach.
“We need some confrontation," Paladino said.
"We need some good adversarial dialogue and we need to move ahead. We’ve got to get these impediments out of the way.”
Paladino says the school’s leadership of the past did not have the “intestinal fortitude” to make the major changes that are needed.