Saturday, December 26, 2009

Paladino's Letter to the NY State Board of Regents

I know some of you read the South Buffalo News but I also know many of you don't. Unless there is a picture of one of your kids school activities in it, I don't blame you. I usually glance at it at my mother's house or at the Tosh Collins Community Center.

This week, Carl Paladino took out a full page ad (remind me to do that after I strike it rich) in the paper. The ad was the letter he had written to the New York State Board of Regents. The South Buffalo News doesn't have a website so I've scanned the 12 paragraph letter at the top of this page. Please click on the pictures above to better read the letter. For those with limited time constraints, I'll summarize a few of Paladino's points here.

He basically is saying what we already know about the Buffalo Public School system. That their failure is the single most pressing issue facing our community today. Their policies and past performance are the leading factors people cite when leaving the city for the suburbs. Amongst other things, Paladino :

-Calls for the immediate resignation of the entire school board and it's ineffective superintendent James Williams. He calls for the creation of a Special Master, whose job it will be to look after the school children. Someone who cares about the students:now that's a novel idea. See clip at the end of the post.

-Points out that inept Board members, administrators, union leaders, lobbyists (puke), legislators, contractors, and consultants all prey on money set aside for public education. They fear Charter Schools because they know Charter Schools work and are a threat to their financial gravy train.

-States that Bflo. Charter Schools receive only 75% of the state funding allocation yet are far outperforming the traditional public schools by leaps and bounds. Charters cost $10,000/student whereas Buffalo Public Schools spend $24,000/student. Enough to send each student to Nichols. Where is this money going?

-Believes that the end result of a Buffalo Public School education for many is violent crime, which causes more residents to flee the city for their own safety.

-Reminds us that the School Board election is purposely held in May instead of November. This causes only 3% of the electorate to vote (those controlled by the union).

-Believes that Superintendent Williams was handpicked by former School Board President Flo Johnson and a search company that only looked at black applicants.

-Talks about how disruptive challenged students are mixed in with the general population and continue to disrupt the classrooms. An alternative school for these disruptive students would help solve the problem but the Scool Board lacks the will to change anything. Why should the majority of well behaved students have to be in the same classes as these students that bring serious emotional issues with them to the classroom? Teachers and other students are in a constant threat of danger from these violent students.

Paladino's critics try to paint him as a racist. This is simply not the case. He is speaking out in an effort to help black, Latino, and poor white students. In fact, my sources at the Ellicott Square Building as well as the Bolesario point out that Paladino employs a mix of blacks, whites, and hispanics for all his positions. This criticism is just a smokescreen because some people don't want to confront the real issues. It is not in their financial best interest to do so.

If you have the time, I recommend reading the attached scanned letter. Finally, Paladino is urging everyone to write to the Board of Regents at c/o
NY State Education Department
89 Washington Ave. Room 110 EB
Albany, NY 12234
or email them at

I will be emailing them a copy of this blog post. Please take the time to fire off an email. It is a very serious issue and I wish more people were talking about it. It only takes a few to get the ball rolling...

Here's an interview with Joe Clark. He was the Principal of a high school in Paterson, NJ. He was the guy who used to walk around his school with a baseball bat (see picture from Time Magazine at top of post.).He was the subject of the movie Lean on Me. He says some interesting things in this interview about school choice. The Buffalo School District needs more people like this guy and less of what we got now, bleeding heart fools with their heads buried in the sand...

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