Not long ago, Buffalo Rising received a notice from Buffalo ReformED, stating that the organization “urges the Buffalo School Board to comply with the Commissioner’s directive to immediately pursue Erie 1 BOCES (E1B) as the Educational Partner Organization (EPO) to manage East and Lafayette High Schools.”
The two schools in question are performing far below acceptable levels (20% decline in graduation rates), with less than 2% of those students performing at college ready levels. Hannya Boulos, Director of Buffalo ReformED, has stated the it’s time to hold the education system accountable for the steep decline and the schools should be moving towards a strategy that selects teachers and implements performance evaluations (while being held accountable by the State). “The State’s call for action should be of no surprise to the district,” states Boulos. “The district has tried and failed for 3 years to create a successful improvement plan for East and Lafayette and the result has been a sharp decline in graduation rates at both schools. The focus now must be on providing immediate options for the students and East and Lafayette while creating a long term plan for improvement with support of the parents, teachers, and leadership at these schools.”
*The only recent developments have been the forums at East and Lafayette, and The News posting The letter SED sent to the district regarding the shortcomings of their proposals for East and Lafayette .
At this point, Buffalo RefromED is requesting that the Buffalo School Board allow Erie 1 BOCES to “manage these schools with full autonomy and flexibility to best meet students needs.”
From Buffalo ReformED:
Buffalo ReformED urges the Buffalo School Board to comply with the Commissioner’s directive to immediately pursue Erie 1 BOCES (E1B) as the Educational Partner Organization (EPO) to manage East and Lafayette High Schools.
Buffalo ReformED urges the school board to:
1) Allow E1B to manage East and Lafayette with the autonomy and flexibility to implement its program with fidelity, including selecting teachers, implementing performance evaluations, and fully adopting the role of superintendent;
2) Allow full access to BOCES CTE programs based on parent and student choice; and
3) Allow John’s Hopkins University to provide staff professional development.
Some history on the issue from Buffalo ReformeED
The district’s original plan to partner with JHU as an EPO to turnaround these schools was rejected by the State because the district did not demonstrate the ability to create the environment for JHU’s success as EPO. The plans did not specify how this model would improve student outcomes. For example:
· The District’s plan did not include any performance expectations of the EPO.
· The District’s plan gave responsibility to the BPS community superintendent, who reports to the Superintendent, to report the EPO’s progress to the Board of Education when the EPO is to operate independent of the District.
· The District’s plan gave responsibility of the evaluation of the schools’ principals to the BPS community superintendent with input from the EPO rather than giving this responsibility to the EPO.
· The District’s plan was vague, at best, concerning the scope of services the EPO would provide for these schools.
· The District’s plan did not provide any details on the expectations for teachers, including performance and scheduling.
“We urge the Buffalo School Board to act swiftly to provide our students with an opportunity to access the E1B Career and Technical program and to pursue E1B as EPO for Lafayette and East High Schools with the freedom and flexibility needed to drive academic outcomes. Our students must have better options beginning in the 2013-14 school year. They simply can’t wait.” – Buffalo RefromED