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Rumore is unable to see beyond teachers’ interests

The students of the Buffalo School District continue to suffer from the failure of its adult leadership. Phil Rumore may be right that Buffalo’s teachers are undercompensated compared to teachers in other school districts. And perhaps the Breakfast in the Classroom program does create crumbs that require teachers to clean up and thus takes away from valuable teaching time. Both matters require solutions and resolution. But to raise those two issues in the media and file a grievance now, in the wake of the district’s problems and dismal graduation rates, demonstrates his lack of good judgment and narrow single-mindedness about education. Rumore seems unable to see beyond the teachers’ interests in a multiparty system. It’s long past time for this guy to just fade away. It would be the best contribution to Buffalo education left for him to make now.

When I hear the School Board members, the superintendent and school administrators say they are doing everything they can to improve graduation rates for students, I believe them. But that is precisely the problem. They are doing their best, and it just isn’t good enough. My impression is of hardworking, serious, committed professional people who go to work every day to do the best they can but are out of ideas and lacking in inspiration, vision, the necessary skills and, importantly, leadership. Competent, creative ideas and solutions don’t seem to flow freely and easily in that system, like reduced blood flow in a clogged artery that evolved slowly over time.

I am on the opposite side of Carl Paladino on almost every issue I can think of, but he might just be the guy to get the blood flowing freely again. Stranger things have happened.

Joseph Donofrio, Ph.D.

Buffalo