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Now What for Buffalo Schools- Former Bd Pres. Lou Petrucci

May 18, 2014|

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It's hard -- on news radio 930 WB and good morning this is Dave Devo. For the balance of the program we're talking about education and for much of it between now on twelve noon we're talking specifically about the buffalo school district once again. It changed on Friday ago. After turning down a buyout offer months ago. After barely. Squeaking by with votes to leave her in office school superintendent Pamela brown on Friday called together the media and says. She's willing to look at stepping aside. She's had her attorney tough with a school district attorney the two of them have -- they have decided to possibly come up with some sort of agreement. That will let her resign or quit whatever you wanna call it. And in the process get whatever sort of deal that she would get from the current board. Rather than aboard that after the next round of elections would be less inclined to be favorable to her. She's asking to resign well if you resign you don't get -- Why wouldn't give -- board money that we don't have to give away well it appears to me -- is a little about your trip to figure out how they can -- shall give troubled production actually and her resignation which you resented the -- That's school board member Carl Paladino certainly no fan of superintendent round. How does this all play out we had tried to reach out to school board president Barbara never -- We're having a communication problem there her phone this morning seriously this is not connecting for us. We hope to bring her point of view to the program at some later date. I also wanted to find out how it goes behind the scenes and that's the sort of stuff. That -- current board member might not necessarily say we turn to a past board member to find out more. Looper -- -- is here former board president Luke thanks for joining us this morning. -- I want new make you relevant to this discussion you were on the board when almost the same sort of scenario came up with doctor James Williams her predecessor irony. Sure and you were one who kind of voted 22 to have him move on. It. -- How did it play out after that instead of just him being fired like their their possibly talking about with superintendent brown. Negotiations began take me through the process. -- one thing that you're gonna by saying that both parties will have their attorneys and and our side. We I believe backdrop responses -- reports he was also the electric eruption and the board for doctor with our separation agreement with doctor -- That the report to go in the direction negotiated settlement because it protects both parties it's protected both support from any future lawsuits. -- who's a clean break. And that when you're trying to bring -- -- -- superintendent that was very important we didn't -- have pending litigation going forward. As were trying to bring somebody new into the district to leave it to a higher standard. You probably are not as familiar with Pamela Brown's contract but in the case about the Williams. Is there anything in there that would have limited his right to sue in his contract. So so I was outside agreement needed why couldn't you just look at the contract and say. Here are the terms of the contract let's go ahead and part ways under the terms of the contract. Because there's more -- because there's been built for the contractors there that there are other little things too that had to do with -- you know upstanding members are. Provides those are closet that had to do it. What the district are responsible with respect to. Health care. Retirement and the results because there's ongoing negotiations with respect -- things. Like they had -- neighbor. And over union contracts and we want to make sure that that doctrine should be available -- needed to. To control and going forward. So consultancy in that case was not just the way of tossing money at them to go away. Actually not actually not because that would noting that they're having worked on -- these things -- not happen. And quickly. And have been an ongoing process and they are actually a very important to districts we -- would hate Israel lost because the former superintendent Iowa State to. Extrapolate to the current situation. Sure the current situation is. It has awful awful I would say the main thing is that. As a district at that revealed that more expensive than it's been reported because you do you have not only are gonna have percent of the separation agreement. There will be at the inherent costs that the percentage of the contract they have returned the position that they negotiate. But there's also the attorney fees that are currently involved -- the districts side and there's also the associated cost with. These search for new superintendent. So all that kind of factors and -- off was that a rich city you know every dollars pressures were awful public schools. If cost is the issue why now wait till load new board comes in. Because that's got membership bonnet that would vote to fire and I imagine a firing comes with last financial enumeration toward her. Yes and no I don't know if -- necessarily agree with that simply because. If you do fire her -- you have the right brings suit against district and that's part at all do you want to have a long protracted lawsuit. And what that would cost districts for negotiated settlement -- The other thing to negotiate -- -- allowed you to controlled situation. As opposed to you know later or earlier achieved a record and having not beside it and put some argue that the district. And or the super hurt superintendent there are no real guarantees that it goes to court. And that's part of the you don't want to have those often those loose and going forward. Don't think it was that I believe that would be very difficult because when -- superintendent candidates come to buffalo if they were to go outside the district recruit. One of the things that they look at -- took a look at -- gonna go through the the local media in the newspapers that are gonna read about how they've treated if you pretend that -- see how the board dynamics are. They're gonna look at the budget they're gonna look at you know anything that that's before the board -- all the succumbed to factor the factor into the decision as to whether or not want to candidate. You know personally I would. Preferred see the or look locally I believe there's a variety of very qualified candidates. And cited district presently and I oh extraction by the kick our look at those people. I want to impact what you just said though about future candidates looking at. The dispute the dysfunction in the whatever you wanna call it hasn't that course already left the barn is and that's self evident won't they see that this is it is a district that. Keep it superintendent for two years and then moves on. I -- that they'll -- part of the -- certain stock to orange lecture for longer Hewitt they charge urban school support and that he was tired for a long time and continuity does allow you to do things that when you only have. Again the average urban superintendent last three years. The people want to it -- challenges that are school districts they are pretty common across interrogation. People want to have changes quickly it is very difficult to get those quick changes. Because a lot of these problems required term -- and make things work at their very large districts they're difficult to turn but it. In terms of getting policy and procedures you have two years in your first budget the superintendent really think yours. Policy and programs are plates are really from your predecessor then you have to put your people your programs or policies in place trying get the district up and running. It did that high level achievement that everybody wants to say. After the break after the news -- -- talk more about the future and what kind of superintendent search you see happening. But I wanna take just a quick minute here and talk more about the process unfolding first. How how involved is the board he mentioned attorney Carl Chris -- Superintendent brown of course has her attorney. Do the two attorneys just pass things back and forth and then eventually come to the board. With a proposal that you have to approve or arc -- the board really have a role. Here. Now is Charlotte the principle -- most likely come to an agreement and then they would bring for the sport for approval. I'm that there I would say that early attorneys without guidance you know these these -- -- do you know how does the board he'll be very I don't. But but it's more between returns with some you know there's an issue that may be. A controversial -- -- not flying. You know that they will control with the board ask you know what what Borchardt canyon. In the case of James Williams to the attorney ever sit down and say. One -- parameters here in terms of salary and and cost what are my parameters here in terms timeframe. -- -- I would say it's more longer that the country has pretty self explanatory you know you do you would you -- a company honestly are you at a summit in place for the next school year. -- you know if not then. And that's very very that you quick turnaround. But then everything you have to -- -- -- -- going to school next year. -- all right I wanna pick that up on the other side should have looked at the clock before I ask you another question. We're late for the news will be back with more loop which route she is here former school board president it's hard line on news radio 930 WB and it's hard line on news radio 930 WVU and good morning this date -- go. We're talking about the buffalo school board and what happens next now that superintendent Pamela brown. Has said she'd like to enter into an agreement to leave basically. The school board new composition that was voted in last week a week before last. Mean includes enough members basically the fire her so now she has come forth and said. She wants some sort of negotiated settlement my words not -- In fact we'll get back to the discussion in just a moment with a former board member -- to -- but let's listen to the words that she said this is our announcement on Friday about her future. Due to the -- persistent and baseless allegations about my suitability for the position of superintendent of the buffalo public schools. After much thought I have determined that it's in the best interest of the children of this district the community and myself. And I attempt to reach an amicable agreement with the school board from my departure. Needless to say my educational background and professional experience are well documented. I want to sincerely thank all of those who have supported it supported our efforts to ensure that every child. Benefits from the silent 21 century education. And graduates from high school fully prepared to pursue college and -- promising career. I'm extremely proud of everything that my teen has accomplished on behalf of all of our students. Working closely with stakeholders. Some examples include. More support for students to reach higher academic standards through professional development for principals and teachers. New curriculum materials. And comprehensive. Afterschool and summer programs. A significant increase in high school graduation rates during the 201213. School year. Increasing the college enrollment rate from 57%. To 66%. The highest recorded by the national student clearing house. Many more elementary student groups meeting state progress standards in English language arts mathematics and science. 83%. Of eligible schools designated as effective or highly effective by the state. Based on student academic world. Despite all this progress it's clear that segment of the school board desires to new leadership. Therefore. I am hopeful that we will be able to reach an amicable agreement that will ensure a smooth. Fair and simple transition. Thank you. I will not take questions. Let's bring back in -- the crew chief former. Board president buffalo school board. A man who was there when James Harris the prior superintendent went through all of his bio or our departure discussions to use her phrase. Lou after hearing that entire announcement what do you take from it is there anything in there that indicates how this would play out. Differently than any other kind of scenario that you've been involved in. Not particularly but just workers doctors -- not to -- respectively doctor Harris -- civilians had. I actually had similar achievement also. And that would be horribly Eric played devil's advocate. That if things that if he -- to reach -- negotiate settle it. And you're go forward with some type of you know if you're going to either -- -- for cause. Get river -- -- person based upon her achievements insurance -- all those things. That's what she has done for the district and how she achieve better briefed on some positive things. I -- and so that's again that's another reason why you wanna come to again agreeable. Summit between the two party. Here's why I was -- doctor Harris a little bit earlier I chatted with my release was allows you one of your predecessors as a presence on the board. She was president of the board at the time that they brought out -- bought out James Harris the superintendent and and the one quote that comes to mind when I talk to her was I wouldn't wish that process on any one. Things will get -- In time consuming. Because which -- trying to do is. Try to battle all the various interest -- all different parties and the what you want accuse you you what you try to incorporate some ample public input. That the earliest point possible now because this is a personal decision. And -- but it's also tradition is also very public decision also so you're trying to battle between itself -- the personal decision. When you reached it's certain limited number of candidates generally treated equally to last time that we had assured the public hearing where people could meet three candidates -- control the questioner. Until that point it was more behind and because. For writing one or can oftentimes candidates they don't want to. One collector. President players now that they are pursuing another position until they're one of the final and that was. Part of the process also just for confidential. Reasons they wanna make sure that they were at one of the final -- they let their present districts now. It generally the board would form a actually search committee which entire board remembers so the border both participate in the search committee. Oftentimes they won't go if you're gonna hire outside the district that they would bring along one of these there's a variety of different companies. That provide these services I imagine that the perspective where are in the mail through our. Doctor now -- -- our board president or other various board members now offering. A very different services when it comes to -- church -- superintendents. Do you picture the next superintendent being a local. I -- had to. I had to hazard a guess. I would say that there are strong sentiment to get somebody local. And I just think it makes a lot of sense because learning curve it's that much shorter. You're familiar with. To various union contracts and the local politics. The local policies and procedures you know hope and what has worked in what has worked in the past. -- -- hit the ground running and Oakley to deliver results. As quickly as possible that network thinks that there's a sense of urgency that people want to see the district perform highly quickly as possible. This is an urban district do you see the next superintendent being an African American. Are -- I would like to think that they were part of the best personal about personal qualified. Let up in an Afghan American maybe it's not a person of color you know maybe it's one of our. Some of -- corruption of the district who has you know English language learner but I would hope that at this point that they're going to look past that just hire the best candidate for the job. Knowing what you know about her contract. Is there any way to anticipate or predict how much money she's gonna walk away with here. Now there really -- it's gonna it's gonna come down to Europe again played don't advocate. Gonna come down she she sure looked forward position and she moved here and now aware -- -- -- and negotiate a little too. An exit so that you can leave early. So they're not into different also when it comes to that and my guess you know that's going to be a percentage to what error and then and then probably a little bit more. All right. We have enough time to squeeze in one quick phone call -- removed the next segment let's bring in Bob in buffalo hi you're on the air. -- district that assumes that. The students are present without taking attendance to make that assumption without any additional information. Question every single numbers that. That the superintendent provides for a so called achievements. I think it's I think -- accelerates to get your question -- to probably work with more than 500000 dollars. To Lou what do you think. I don't numbered either type but I'm just again I would hazard a guess what would be lower than that with respect to that the methodology -- how they're. As to how they're. I'll say yeah. Doctor in the attendance. Yeah oftentimes that that they need to -- actually do that on the parent the school district. The student I can say that oftentimes might well last week I -- marked absent when she was actually -- so. Particularly also. One of those scenarios that has been floated during the campaign for the recent board members was the idea of eventually having. A cooling down period in interim superintendent. Known to be an interim perhaps more of a change agent then them ban anyone further down would be. -- way to reset the board do you like that idea. In terms you know yeah I acute but -- to say that long -- and provide equity don't function. They're not very effective simply because people are hesitant to -- policy. I'm totally different company you on board I will say that you know our past -- -- superintendent and prediction that was very attractive. She was able to bring closure to you know say yes promise neighborhood something that then effective entering the picture around so our -- from can be attractive. But oftentimes once you start reaching want to become evident that there's going to be somebody brought along. They become a lame duck an -- which -- not as effective. She was in the running I think too brief too cute to beat. The superintendent Pamela brown McCain. Do you see her back in the -- Our pattern that she has I know that she's moved on you know make that excuse. Director local institute that the folks to -- education. So I don't know. During a -- interest it's so I know that we do have which in the district of -- it -- like it. Are you talking about people who are currently in the administration or district principals that could move up. Both. Would have straightened -- desolate and critical we have a variety of financial solutions that that. But specialize in educating. You're a -- specialize in education richer western new York and I think at that time that we looked at people that are trained locally people that have come up through our system. I think for a long time we we looked -- side. And it's we're bringing in hired gun I don't think that they have that commitment the district that's somebody that lives here. That works here that has its -- stricker that you know they come up through the system. So that's going to have be held responsible to their neighbors and friends. Not just the product the people that they know and people that they live within Indonesia are. Their grandchildren their grandkids and their kids I think he -- very very different type of leadership. When you have that much stake in the game. All right interest and stuff thanks for joining us live. -- Patricio of former president of the buffalo school board.