Open Letter to Buffalo School Superintendent Pamela Brown,

I implore you to have the decency to resign immediately. You have only added to the chaos and dysfunction of the Buffalo Public Schools (BPS) since your arrival. Morale in every constituency can’t get lower. You do not have the ability to be a Superintendent. On the job training in a dysfunctional district doesn’t work. Your lying and scheming are off the chart. The July 1, 2014 Board of Education (BOE) will discharge you for cause. It won’t be pretty. A buyout would be an insult to the 32,000 children in the district who have had to wait another year for an opportunity for an education.

Mary Guinn has been propping you up and acting as the de-facto Superintendent. Her end game is to have the BOE majority extend her contract, rehire and give contracts to Yamilette Williams and Faith Alexander as principals so as to make it necessary to buyout all three. We all remember that you lied twice to the BOE when asked if it was your intention to rehire Mary Guinn. Some of your other lies, schemes and incompetencies are:

1). You asked me to show you when and where you promised that BPS #115 [Pinnacle] children, staff and parents would be kept together in their own separate building. Maybe the attached will jar your selective memory. The needs and desires of parents are meaningless to you and the BOE majority who were elected to serve them. Sharon Cottman stated unequivocally that former charter school children should be treated {implying punished} as less than equals in the BPS. Today’s BOE motion to combine Harvey Austin and PS #115 will destroy 480 city children.

2). Your “firing” of Debbie Sykes was hideous and exposes the BPS to liability.

3). Your mea culpa memo to the Board, attached, concerning Williams and Alexander along with your current complicity to re-hire them as principals will come back to haunt you. You haven’t yet explained the use of $12,977 in grant money to pay for their education to get licensed.

4). You take no responsibility for your actions. With Cottman, you tried to make Darren Brown the fall guy. You couldn’t get your stories straight. You attempted to cover up the culpability of Mary Guinn, who actually did the illegal original hiring of Williams and Alexander. Guinn sat in on the Williams’ interview to intimidate the committee. When Guinn, with Williams, violated established policy and tried to divert $90,000 in contracts to their former employer Evans Newton (ENI) without disclosure of the conflict, you gave us the lame excuse that ENI was the low bidder.

5). What prior relationship did you have with the incompetent principal at Bennett? When did you first meet him? Why didn’t you tell the BOE that he was not certified when it approved his hiring? Tell us again what unique qualities he had. When did you first learn that he was not certified?

6). Your hatred for Sam Radford and the DPCC has cost the BPS millions of dollars in withheld grant monies.

7). The Special Education program is ineffective, without goals.

8). Your budget management is a joke. A $38 Million deficit remains.

9). Your “sit and stare” policy to punish children was absurd and embarrassing.

10). Your failure to respect the burden on parents by equivocating all night on whether or not to declare a snow day on January 29, 2014 was embarrassing.

11). You awarded a sole source contract for $9500 for highly subjective and vague PR work by Jackson Parker.

12). You continue to have secret meetings with individual BOE members.

13). The central office is bloated and overstaffed.

14). You cover up the terrible violence in the schools generated by giving instructions to reduce suspensions. Without consequences there is chaos.

15). You continue to maintain that attendance is up when you know it isn’t.

16). Student placement is chaotic. By not making Mark Frasier permanent because Crystal Barton does not like him, you scheme to fill Crystal Barton’s BSRA bank account with over $30,000 in penalties, so she can file more grievances against the district and take more vacations. You gave the BOE the lame excuse that you offered the position to a woman who didn’t apply or want the position.

17). You cover for incompetent school principals because they are part of the BOE majority member’s friends and family club.

18). You sanctioned the intimidation and recrimination of Bennett teachers by your Chief of School Leadership and BOE member Cottman at a meeting at the school last week.

The BOE majority have given you a false impression of reality in Buffalo. For years elected and private sector leadership abrogated their responsibilities. It is now time to clean up the mess. The BOE majority seeks to keep a dysfunctional school system with weak, inept and incompetent, self-absorbed administrators because they too are inept and incompetent and seek to keep their power over money and jobs. They say they do it “for the kids.” If that were true they would dismantle the system, expand charters and advocate for vouchers that the child could carry to the school of his or her choice. Education will only improve when there is competition in the marketplace. They are the liberal bubble which seeks to keep the cycle of poverty in our urban centers to perpetuate their own power.

When your BOE majority is gone and you are out of a job, all those BPS teachers, administrators and principals who were reluctant to speak fearing intimidation and recrimination by the BOE muscle (Sharon Cottman, Crystal Barton and Mary Guinn) will testify to the incompetence and dysfunction of your administration. It appears to have already started. You saw teachers speak up over the last month. More is coming. We’ll get their stories and the records and anyone who Googles your name will learn the truth and some of your friends and family club will have a new wardrobe of orange jumpsuits.

Do the one thing you can do to really help the children of Buffalo. RESIGN.


Carl Paladino
Buffalo School Board member and former GOP gubernatorial nominee

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