Buffalo’s BPS Mess

I’ve argued on the pages of my blog here that the Buffalo Public Schools system (BPS) needs radical reinvention to fix the broken district for what seems like years.  What I would like to see is the district essentially blown up and restarted from scratch.

While it doesn’t appear that’s ever going to happen, I must say it is encouraging to see wheels in motion to bring about wholesale change to the BPS.  This change is coming from report recommendations by Distinguished Educator Judy Elliot.  She was appointed to do exactly that.

The Buffalo News published part of the report. This is from it:

“Buffalo City School District is a centralized system that provides little school autonomy,” she wrote. “The structure of governance has historically yielded poor student outcomes. Priority school principals uniformly voice that they are disconnected, unguided and unsupported due to a lack of service and support from the central office.”

This is an indictment of what has been going in the district.  A top heavy central office which is out of touch with the realities of what it takes to manage schools.

The BPS has an opportunity here.  It can continue down the road the district has been on for years or it can embrace the recommendations in the report.  It is time Buffalo fix its school problem.

We often read about the things Buffalo can do to retain residents or attract new ones.  But you can have all the wonderful redevelopment projects in world take place inside of the city limits and they won’t go as far to help rebuild Buffalo as having a healthy and attractive system to help pull people in.

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