The Buffalo News today painted an unflattering image of Buffalo Teacher's Federation President Phil Rumore...
And more and more, the finger of blame seems to be pointing squarely at Rumore, who has been president of the BTF for 30 years. Superintendents have come and gone. School Board members have come and gone.
Through it all, Rumore, 69, has been the constant. And many question whether he is the reason the city's schools have not made more progress.
Does Rumore make the teachers in Buffalo look bad, as the article asserts? I don't think so. Rumore isn't elected by parents or the Buffalo News, or even by me. He is elected by the teachers to represent the teachers. The School Board should represent the students and their families, but most are beholden to Rumore, not to mention afraid of him.
Several politicians and political insiders interviewed acknowledged Rumore's influence, but most did not want their name used in the story.
"For any aspiring Democratic official -- a judge, anybody running for local office or for state office -- if you want another line, you've got to go kiss Phil's ring," said one who has squared off with him more than once. "When they run, they want the line, they want the phone bank, the get-out-the-vote effort that comes with the BTF and the Working Families Party. That becomes a pretty formidable force to reckon with."
Phil Rumore is the reason your kids' teachers are all walking around with big, fake boobs. That should change. However, I don't blame Rumore for the failure of the city schools. The teachers and principals I've seen, are mostly good. In the poor performing schools, it's the students' home environments causing most of the problems. The teachers and schools do the best that they can under tough circumstances. Rumore's just a little dictator, very good at working the system. It's the voters who keep electing spineless school board members intent on prostituting themselves to Rumore.
Why do you think the school board election is held in May? The board members (and Rumore) want to keep turnout as low as possible and slanted towards board of education employees. They don't want parents to vote. They don't want Bloggers to vote! I'm challenging Park Board member Lou Petrucci to suggest at a school board meeting that the next election (after this one) be held in November. Come on, Lou. Here's your chance. Show some guts.