Second City Honors school suggested by consultant

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Researchers at the University of California-Los Angeles have spent months studying how to improve what they see as a civil rights disparity in Buffalo schools.

Buffalo Schools were ordered to conduct this civil rights project (see 88 page report) after a Federal complaint that too many students were unfairly being left out of the City’s best schools.

On Wednesday evening, the study’s author unveiled his recommendations.”We recommend that the School Board create three new schools a year from this fall, one of them would be a second City Honors.” said UCLA Professor Gary Orfield.

The Civil Rights Consultant found that too many black students are rejected from the City’s top three schools. Non English speaking households are ignored by the district, and there should be more black teachers. “It’s obvious that there’s a tremendous scarcity of high quality schools throughout the city.”

Board Member Carl Paladino doesn’t think it was worth the $63,000 this expert advice cost the district…

“This guy’s from California. He goes around, he gives the same speech all over the country. Do we want to solve that problem? Of course we do. We have 27,000 kids in non operforming schools.”

Board Member Sharon Belton Cottman questioned Orfield’s recommendation to  create three more criteria based schools so more students can get in them.

“I can’t envision how this trickles down to the children who are not eligible for the criteria schools.” said Cottman.

Orfield says having even a few more schools that excel might even attract suburban students to a regional type school. “Success is contagious just as decay is contagious.”

Buffalo Parent Carolette Meadows is skeptical.”Maybe if you gave non-criteria schools even 50% of the resources available to criteria schools, this district wouldn’t be in the state that it’s in.”

Buffalo’s School Board now has until August to decide whether or not to take the advice of the consultant and report back to the U_S Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights.

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