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Category: politics

08/17/11 06:00- ID#54969

The Buffalo Schools Williams Resigns

So Below I have links and News about James Williams Resigning ..... Now this is kinda my take on that and what he said and how the schools are.... Granted I'm not in school so I can only go by how things where when I was there and how they appear now to me.....

Schools like everything now a days are measured... They look at grades but the big one is drop out rates.... But see these numbers if you go by school as opposed to district are skewed .... The way you really need to see the numbers is by area. It has to be bigger then the city and then look back 10 or 20 and 30 and years.... I don't have the numbers but I'm guessing the % is pretty close... Yes the numbers are up in the city schools and certain schools but if you go buy percentage you also have to look at total number of students... Cause once the the amount of people in school lowers then it would make a drop out rate (the number you are looking at go up)...

My Personal belief is that The reason for the High % of drop outs is math... You have Kids going to charter schools... Private schools and people leaving buffalo.... Now these kids who leave are the good students so that drivers the struggling and bad student Percentages up....

But see this same thing happens at the school level... Good teachers and students go to good schools (not that there aren't bad teachers at good schools and vise versa)... This winds up leaving troubled students in the same school so of course those numbers are bad... I"m sure that good students help bring up Medium level and so on for some of the bad students.... (I feel as if I have written this before if you have read it before sorry) but it has to be true....

-Williams made some good points.....
Students have to be there to learn.... I agree that is one of the biggest problems... How can one fix that though... Will the street call yes but things like Music and art.... Yes music and art need to be funded. They teach you a different way of learning then book learning....Also Sports does help keep problem students away from those problems and can help with team work.... He said not me but I agree with it sports can also help kids get into College not to be a pro athlete but to get into school.....

Said stuff about how People want to stay the same and not change the Status Que.... I agree but don't have much to say about that...

Mentioned that over time (to go along with the above) that everything has changed over time except the school system.... Again another good point......

He Said that not all students should be put on the same path... This has to do with Regents.... There are 5 regents exams you have to take... Now when I was in school you could go Regents or Non Regents.... In fact some of the science classes you couldn't take if you didn't take think it was course 1... Can't remember.... So say you come in with bad skills and you have to take regents then you are all ready starting behind....He makes a great point....

I'm not a teacher but I think What is taught is School isn't what should be.... Yes for those that like history that is great and all and yes it teaches reading but out side in the real world it is kinda pointless... Math is a must... Reading is a must.... Requiring you to speak another language is silly... Like history if you want to you can take this as an extra... Somehow I think the Spanish like the English we speak at the store on a corner at the mall with the valley girls or whom ever isn't what is taught in school..... I'm not saying in High School you should take four years of music but it should be encouraged and so should art and from an early age it teaches learning in a different way.....

How do you fix the schools..... Don't think they are broken I think there isn't the money cause lots of people who own houses and pay taxes moved away.... What you are really trying to do is make it so the kids who have a tough time do better and the kids who don't like it or whom aren't there stay in and do better... Good students would be good students any where but great students in the right school... The real answer is gotta get to the homes but what can schools do.... Yes Parents are important but they can't run the school besides the good ones all ready help there kids.. But still reach out and try to get more parents as part of the system... Hate the term think out side the box what box there is no box.... But maybe put the students first and not your contract?

My thing is it isn't fair to blame him for kids dropping out he can't go to every kid who has a C or D or misses 3 days of school to their home and bring them into school this isn't a TV show or movie.... But maybe there should be a good system so that those kids can come in and make up work they miss some how? Lost my point argh.....

Front Page has where you can listen to Audio of Williams Resignation .......


I did listen to it by the way I think everyone really should..

Link to story on Williams Resignation......



Williams' resignation as superintendent accepted
By Mary B. Pasciak
NEWS EDUCATION REPORTER
Published:
August 17, 2011, 1:18 PM


KEY LINKS
SCHOOL ZONE BLOG
The News' education page
Updated: August 17, 2011, 4:01 PM

The Buffalo Board of Education voted, 7-2, today to accept the resignation of Superintendent James A. Williams, effective Sept. 15, under terms previously agreed upon.

Board President Louis J. Petrucci said the Board will appoint an interim superintendent at a meeting next Wednesday. Several board members have said they would like to see Amber Dixon, who oversees accountability in the district, appointed to the interim post.

"Dr. Williams has been here for the children of the City of Buffalo for the past six years," Petrucci said, adding, "I would like to stress the positive impact he's had on the community."

The superintendent cited academic and athletic accomplishments during his six-year tenure in Buffalo, including increases in English and math scores for elementary students and the district's entry into Section VI athletic competition. Williams said he plans to continue working, but not as a superintendent.

"I'm looking forward to moving onto other things in my life," he said.

Board members said they were not allowed to disclose the terms of his separation agreement until it becomes publicly available in seven days.

The board last week took an initial step to terminate Williams' contract under its no-fault clause. Under that provision in his contract, he would have been entitled to $110,000, or six months' pay, if he were terminated.

It is not clear whether he will still receive such a lump sum as part of the separation agreement that comes with his resignation.

Petrucci would not comment specifically on that, but noted that the agreement would be subject to the approval of the city's control board, which must approve any district expenditures over $50,000.



Audio: To hear what Williams had to say, play the clip to the left or download it here and take it with you



Williams' tenure as superintendent was a rocky one, beginning when he hit town in 2005 and was immediately involved in a battle with the unions representing teachers and administrators in the Buffalo Public Schools.

At the end, he was still in a fight, this time with the School Board, parents groups and with some of the same figures in the business community who brought him here to tame the unions and reverse the district's fortunes. And not only did the lot of Buffalo's students not improve, by some key measures, it got worse.

The Williams' superintendency was a six-year fight with no winner.

Almost immediately after his arrival, he went head to head with the unions. In short order, Williams called teachers union president Phil Rumore a liar and threatened to take Rumore into an alley and beat him up.

Administrators union president Crystal Barton accused Williams of making racist comments against African-American principals.

Six years later, both unions remain without a new contract. The two are still operating under contracts negotiated more than a decade ago.

In recent years, Rumore and Williams had worked out a solid working relationship, with the two talking often about district issues. But in the past week, Rumore has reversed course, calling for the superintendent to step down or for the board to fire him.

The issues during Williams' tenure have not been limited to the unions. During his first few years in Buffalo, Williams' tenure was marred by a number of high-profile incidents.

A year after he arrived, the district hired a Maryland firm, ResulTech, to run Buffalo's alternative high school. Two years later, it became apparent that the $6 million the district spent on the program had not been a solid investment.

The school board fired ResulTech in December 2008, and the program there was deemed an expensive failure.

Williams came under fire for the way he handled allegations of improprieties surrounding a student suspension at McKinley High School. Critics said his response was typical, as he tried to keep the situation from becoming public.

The superintendent also was roundly criticized for ignoring allegations that an aide had molested a child at Discovery School.

And accusations of favoritism erupted at City Honors, calling into question the way the administration handles admissions at its top high school.

For a couple of years, things quieted down. At the elementary level, math and English test scores continued to improve.

In the last year or so, though, Williams has come under fire for a number of problems.

He jeopardized $42 million in federal grants to turn around failing schools by refusing to move the principals out of three schools. That prompted then-state Education Commissioner David M. Steiner to come to town and meet privately with Williams, who then announced he would follow federal guidelines.

Since then, Williams has drawn criticism for doubling the size of his central office staff during years when teachers and other union staff were cut. This summer, board members balked when he tried to add an administrator while more than 100 teachers got pink slips.

He has on several occasions withheld key information from board members either entirely or until the last minute.

Severe student attendance problems continue to plague the district.

Buffalo's overall graduation rate just dropped 6 percentage points, to 47 percent.

The district's parent group in May called for a one-day boycott of the schools, largely in protest of Buffalo's 25 percent four-year graduation rate for black males. The parents have been careful not to criticize Williams specifically. Instead, the parents are demanding structural changes in the system.

When the Board of Education evaluated him this spring, they gave him a 3.18 on a scale of 1 to 5. On June 1, Williams announced he would retire in a year, saying his decision had nothing to do with the board's evaluation.

Since his announcement, both Williams and the board have been widely criticized for negotiating a buyout of the deputy superintendent's contract. Folasade Oladele was given a year's pay and benefits, while her contract guaranteed her only three months' pay.

In recent days, district officials have been working to hash out a revised buyout for Oladele — one that is said to be much more modest than the $215,000 package the board initially approved in June.

The state's release of test scores this week showed Buffalo has essentially flat-lined on English and math in elementary and middle school.
mpasciak@buffnews.com
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54969/The_Buffalo_Schools_Williams_Resigns.html
Words: 2012
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/17/11 06:00


Category: movies

08/17/11 04:46- ID#54968

superheroes

So Last night I watched this Documentary though HBO Called Superheros ... Yes it started out with things animated kinda like a comic book and Stan Lee did talk a bit... It followed real Super Heroes ... They Don't have Super Powers... But they dress up and patrol and try and stop and prevent crime and help others out it is pretty interesting......
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54968/superheroes.html
Words: 61
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/17/11 04:46


Category: movies

08/13/11 04:17- ID#54934

Glee 3D +

So Went to see Glee 3D today.... I think it is the 1st concert movie I've seen at the show but not sure about that but most likely it is.... Now of course how much one likes it or not has to do with song selection.... With out giving to much away they filmed one of the performances of the Glee tour in 3D and then also followed some fans..... So this is kinda a documentary in a way.... I really liked it... Again though based on what song they where doing... Now in terms of the 3D to me it seemed more like High Def? Don't get me wrong it looked great and you could feel a lot of the movement and when you saw the people it was them and the background as kinda two different things hard to explain but I enjoyed it....

The Bit of the downside is that yes it was short well but it was a performance and I'm guessing there was more they didn't show... Or maybe it just seemed that way.... Not sure kinda woke up tired I hate that... I could feel it in my legs as I walked.... I also wanted to see Rise of The Planet of the Apes or some 2nd movie but there was to much time between and maybe could have seen Planet of the apes but didn't want to chance missing any of it.....

I was planning on going to Club Diablo to see Jason and the Punknecks with Hell's Harlots but I think that is out.... Again waking up with low energy or tired is why.... I might be ok to stand for hours and have a drink or two and take photos but doubt it think that is out who knows.... If I was up for it I would have loved to stop at Zillycakes but no way walking all the way down elmwood...... But I did stop into the store at Elmwood and north and they had some football game on maybe I'll watch some of the bills game tonight? Also across the street at that former church there where all kinds of people dressed up... Not sure if it was an event or if they where there for before or after a wedding not sure?

EDIT: I forgot to mention the one thing also is that now with the Fair (Erie county not state) and it being so nice out I felt like I should be there the thing tonight is why I didn't get tickets for the motocross event.... I wonder if having ones heart in two places is why I feel not empty but on low gear? That being said I will go for sure a week from today (ultimate night of Destruction) and just get the moto event ticket there since Tops doesn't sell them anymore not sure who does...... But dragging my self around there might not be the best any ways oh well I guess.....
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54934/Glee_3D_.html
Words: 499
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/13/11 04:23


Category: photos

08/07/11 12:05- ID#54897

Infringing Thanks e:heidi

So Just gotta explain something before I get into the pictures... With work and internet and doing some things as if you read my previous posts you would have seen maybe I have been a bit behind.... So last night I watched a HBO sports show on Derek Jeter That I thought was amazing... So had to post it here and on facebook.... So I see (e:tinypliny) has a post with 85% Dark Chocolate (my the way that stuff I'm sure is very intense that the 65% stuff is .......) and then there is a comment from (the awesome by the way think we would all agree on that ok maybe awesome isn't the right word feel like I'm in Bill and Ted's but the point is given) (e:Heidi) about fire dancing... I don't know much about it but have seen it in the past and it is all ways pretty cool so figured I might go and ....

That being said I'm not in bar shape at all not that it was at a bar... But shirt covered in Cat Hair from having to move the cat before (long story short exposed to a bat so has to get shots) into its carrier.. Not to mention very sharp claws they don't like sharp till they climb you to get away from you and they magically find the holes in the fabric you are wearing (t-shirt)... So the point is I had been sweating all day I felt and felt gross and nasty (one can't smell ones self so whom knows and whom knows what cents people hate or like.... I hate fish and love gas pumps and Cheetos ).... The point I'm getting to is a felt kinda gross and kinda lazy hence just the wave........ Funny thing is when I got there I didn't give where I sat any thought I could have been right in that spot.... Ok Picture time....... And a very short youtube video.....



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Just wanted to add that these pictures pretty much look like how I thought they would.... If one is close enough not me or has the flash set correctly you can hit the darkness with a blast of light and get the person and the fire... How ever (again I'm not good enough to do this) fire is even when not being moved is all ways moving and it is alive (don't mean it has a sole or soul but it has energy and sometimes dances around)... Yes fire is bright on its own but think about when you are in bright room and turn on a burner and can't see it...What makes it look bright is that it is brighter then the dark.. Somewhere there is a level where you can get the fire and see the person being lit by that fire and it is perfect...I'm not at the level I'm sure there is someone on this site that can get that but guessing it still isn't easy... Even though it doesn't seem long that shutter stays open (is it called a shutter on a little digital camera?) longer based on settings or even setting the iso and then it captures the fire moving... So the streaks of light you see is the camera catching the light as it moves (tripod if you have one is great so your hand doesn't shake and make things even worse) and what ever the pattern was for it being open is the streaks you get... I'm guessing that people who are Pros can figure out how long (or what shutter speed to use to get amazing shots of the fire moving of course at a high level the person moves to but that is why they are pros) to keep the lens open for.... Think this works a bit differently on film cause if you over expose it (not sure on this) it could cause problems (again I'm not at that level just do this for fun and play with the settings on the camera no light meters or anything like that)... Think I got at what I was trying to add... This is also how those cool high way pictures look like they do cause the camera has a set freeway and the cars lights it catches as they keep moving and that creates the lines how they get colors not of car lights (blue as an example)... I have no idea....

In any event It was fun thanks to (e:heidi) for the comment and (e:tinypliny) for the post that got it hope ya'll and everyone else (you'll) liked this post as well.....
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54897/Infringing_Thanks_e_heidi.html
Words: 1060
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/07/11 12:05


Category: photos

08/07/11 10:59- ID#54894

Friday Skiffle

So Now at Sportmen's Tavern still not sure if it is with an e or an A and is it owned by sportsmen or is it multiple ones but in any event it is a great place and from what I have heard they get a lot of great bands... I'm sure there are bands I would like that I've never heard of and are not from my Genre of music... The food is pretty good and the drinks are cheap good place for a show... One of these days I need to check out the upstairs since it is now open... Granted the pix are if cause of the light coming in the window but The Skiffle Minstrels are allways a good time... There was an (e:peep) there that I don't know dancing (e:lindyfix) or something like that he teaches dance and has had performers at Music Is Art festival many times so here are the photos.....

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54894/Friday_Skiffle.html
Words: 276
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/07/11 10:59


Category: movies

08/06/11 07:30- ID#54885

Derek Jeter 3k

So as some of you know I'm a big Movie fan... Just watched a great Documentary ... Derek Jeter 3k... It is not only about his quest to get 3,000 hits but also a bit about his life. It is very good....

Now I have a small 22inch HD TV that I thought was 1080p but I think it is really only 720P and my cable box says 480 all the time so I'm a bit lost. Some shows are the right width but don't take up the height so that tells me the proportions aren't the same..... Even with this Baseball and the non baseball parts still look amazing. You can really feel the movement as well it is tough to explain... It is like Jeter is at bat and the fans are right there. It is really amazing to see... I really do think that Baseball is made for HD... I was at Sportsmen's tavern for the first time and they have a Nice HD TV on a wall and Baseball looked amazing it really did... Hard to explain with out seeing it......

Wish I could explain it better but the movie ( hbo special) is great
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54885/Derek_Jeter_3k.html
Words: 195
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/06/11 07:30


Category: photos

08/06/11 03:50- ID#54883

The Sheila Divine

I can admit that there was a time and it still might be true that I had seen The Sheila Divine in about 8 different Venues and that was in Buffalo never did the travel to Boston thing.... They where my favorite band well or right up there with Metallica.... Glad they are back together and like the new stuff (only heard it on facebook)..... First and last Square of the year unless you count going to Alice Cooper.....

The First band was good and called something like Potter's Farm. I'll talk more and try to explain not that I can what I was going through during the headliners...... Well here are the shots starting with sky shots not all of them are from there...

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Now onto The Shelia Divine.....

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With the possibility of Crowd Surfing and the lot I wasn't going to stay up front So I moved and got a drink for Tokyo Police club..... By the way doesn't that sound like a Japanese Animee wonder what if any the connection is.... Doesn't matter really......

There where a bevy of women there.... Oh there was this pretty and short and solid chick in front of me whom I wish I was strong enough just to pick up of course sure with all the text she was taken.......

I'm sure There are a bunch of ladies and guys who come just cause it is free and outside and nice and you can drink and don't care about the band I have no problem with that... I have no problem with the groups of hand holding girls or the dancers...... Now all that being said though all the couples and girls and the generally mellow feel of the music was making feel I don't know how really... Not alone not lonely not like I wanted to bang everyone it was just kinda an odd feeling really...... But it was kinda a down feeling in an odd way......

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Well I know I had a good time next post most likely about Friday The Skiffle Minstrels... Good time and good food... But I do need to put some time into my DVR got a bunch of shows and stuff to watch.....

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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54883/The_Sheila_Divine.html
Words: 632
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/06/11 03:50


Category: photos

08/06/11 02:37- ID#54881

Burlesque Infringing Wends.

So On Wends-day I admit I did have a good time even though I drank to much and couldn't keep it down and got nicely tossed from Nietche's I think if I was the guy I would have let me stay and said... Ok you are cut off.... Keep your mess there and don't get it on anyone else.... Ah what ever still had a great time.... Now the thing with me is I have all ways been a fast eater, Worker, and drinker.... So Tasty fruity drinks go down easy and with the natural speed thing it is easy to get to much to quick... I also don't think the Sminorff Ice that wasn't really cold like it should be may be what spawned this.... But Burlesque a band poetry of the adult kind I mean erotic readings what isn't to like........

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So That was the Hell's Harlots .......

Next up poetry featuring an (e:peep) and the Zombettes or something like that....

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Up Next Mc Vandetta I wrote stuff down as it happened but not 100% then the Boom Boom Bettes (like Betty white or from the flintstones ?) In any event a great time....

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It is dark but there is a wooden cut out statue of Grover Cleveland at the school so I figured see if I can capture that but it was just kinda to dark so.... Wasn't as much fun as I was hoping for but still a good time....
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54881/Burlesque_Infringing_Wends_.html
Words: 630
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/06/11 02:37


Category:

08/04/11 11:35- ID#54856

comment

Day 1 was bad... Worked late lots of stress so to much to drink argh.... In my little cornor covered in puke... I fet fine though really.... Got some pictures saw an (e:peep) doing poetry obnstage so that was awesome... Oh yeah they tossed me out in a nice way.... I had a feeling though something was going to on with this place for some reason still had fun ok time for lucnh then finish off the work day and right to the marina square
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54856/comment.html
Words: 85
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/04/11 11:35


Category: entertainment

08/02/11 05:30- ID#54847

Will I survive?

Next 3 days after work maybe crazy..... I don't like writing about future plans cause so many times things may not happen....But what I'm planning should be a good time.... Assuming with work I survive all this...

Wends. Nietches trying to get there early so I can get a seat and a drink and fire away with my camera of all the lovely Burlesque ladies doubt it will stop at one drink......

Thurs. The Square at the harbor The Sheila Divine... So want to hear the old stuff and don't really know the new stuff but some of it sounds pretty good. If the ear is still plugged up think it will get pointed at the speaker.... Can't make the ringing that much worse can it.... Other two groups don't know the music..... Hoping close so can get photos..... As I rock out...

Fri. Skiffling at Sportsmen's ........ All ways a good time........
Hoping to get there early maybe a spot at the bar where I can see and photo the band... Wonder if there is a menu at the Bar?

Sat. I'm sure there is some movie out but think I will need to pretty much assuming I'm still living get the DVR caught up....
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Permalink: http://estrip.org/articles/read/metalpeter/54847/Will_I_survive_.html
Words: 205
Location: Buffalo, NY
Last Modified: 08/02/11 05:30


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ExBuffalonian said to ExBuffalonian
Most of that dim sum was not vegetarian, but there were a few dishes: vegetable dumplings, deep frie...

matthew said to ExBuffalonian
Peking Garden, Golden Duck, Gin Gin....

paul said to ExBuffalonian
Where in Buffalo?...

matthew said to ExBuffalonian
There are a few places around town. Love me some dim sum! ...