In one of her most significant actions as state education commissioner, MaryEllen Elia has granted Buffalo Superintendent Kriner Cash unprecedented power to make changes at the district’s most struggling schools, bypassing the teachers union contract.
Those changes could include a longer school day and year, required teacher training and more control over staffing – all things Cash says are essential to improve student performance.
In a 107-page ruling released Monday, Elia largely imposes Cash’s proposals with some modifications that call for giving teachers more notice of contractual changes and preference for other jobs, should they be displaced from their position. She also recommends that a committee created to assist with staffing at the receivership schools be limited to three or five people, and consist of an odd number to prevent deadlock between union and district representatives.
Ultimately deformers want the power to bypass union contracts in every school, but they're happy for now to start with the "struggling" ones and work their way onward later.
The Buffalo Federation of Teachers plans to sue.
Helluva day - Boston mayor throws a bomb by making a secret deal to close a bunch of Boston schools and Elia gives her handpicked Buffalo superintendent the power to bypass the union contract in the "persistently struggling" schools in Buffalo.