In a city where public education needs a big boost, there are potential solutions that must be explored. So often we feel that our hands are tied due to lack of realistic ideas when it comes to how to get the lowest performing schools out of some major ruts. Until now we have been offered few viable solutions, and if something drastic is not done to fix the machine, then we will continue to spin our wheels for years to come. That's why we should take a chance and listen to members of the Chameleon Community Schools Project, Inc. (a local not-for-profit charter management organization) who have offered to provide what they feel are potential problem solving solutions for two of the lowest performing schools - East High School and Waterfront School.
On September 19, October 22, and November 13, 2012, Chameleon Community Schools Project along with a host of community members, will host community meetings in order to discuss turnaround plans for the above-mentioned schools. "There are 26,000 students in failing schools in Buffalo," said Steven Polowitz, a director with Chameleon Community Schools Project, Inc., and founder of Tapestry Charter School. "Half of our students don't graduate; hundreds drop out before 10th grade. This should be unacceptable to everyone in this community. We must provide solutions. There are no turnaround plans in place for these schools. We must act with urgency to fix the problem."
If we are still attempting to navigate the same problems that we have been faced with for years and years, then why not listen to what what this groups has to say? If there is an opportunity to consider a "federally approved charter school restart model" where our lowest performing schools are concerned, then let's at least listen to what they have to say. Plan "A" is not working. For the students' sake, it's time for a "viable and realistic" strategy.
According to Chameleon Community Schools Project "There are 57 public schools in Buffalo and 44 have been identified as "failing." Following a process outlined by the NY State Education Department, the organization and its partners have submitted plans to the Department to restart two of Buffalo's lowest performing schools, East High School and Waterfront School, as charter schools commencing in the 2013-14 school year." Steven Polowitz also stated that, "The restart model will provide students with the rigorous education they deserve and equip them with the skills necessary to become productive and successful members of our community."
The community meetings will take place on the following dates and locations:
Wednesday, September 19, 5:00 p.m.
Buffalo Board of Education
Executive Affairs Committee Meeting
801 City Hall
Monday, October 22, 6:00 p.m.
Community Health Center
304 Benwood Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14215
Tuesday, November 13, 6:00 p.m.
104 Maryland Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14201