Welcome the Eager Student

14 Aug

Suburban school districts should welcome students from failing Buffalo schools whose families care enough about education to do something about it, so long as Buffalo (or some other source ) covers each district’s cost to educate each student. 

It could be the first step towards convincing people that some sort of regionwide district alliance – if not a unified school district – is one of the solutions to be considered to the rising costs of education and reducing administrative and fiscal redundancy. 

Every kid deserves an excellent education, and we can’t ask families to wait around for substandard schools to get better. Districts should welcome motivated and eager students from failing city schools. It’s really as simple as that. The great societal challenge is to get the people who don’t care, to care. Good luck with that. 


19 Responses to “Welcome the Eager Student”

  1. Ryan Bowers August 14, 2013 at 7:10 am #

    Mr. Bedenko, I agree with your entire point except for the following: “The great societal challenge is to get the people who don’t care, to care. Good luck with that. ”

    The great societal challenge is to make sure all children get a quality education, regardless of whether their parents care enough. The failings of systems, planners and parents should not be visited upon children.

    • Alan Bedenko August 14, 2013 at 9:15 am #

      Alas, you seldom have the former without the latter.

      • Hank Kaczmarek August 14, 2013 at 2:10 pm #

        Amen buddy. Your quoted sentence is reality. Mr. Bower’s reply to it is filled with touchy-feely pie in the sky liberalism. Substance, not Symbolic catch-phrases is what needs to be set as a goal. Systems, Planners (Paid for by tax dollars) AND Parents should be held accountable for their failings. Now THAT is a societal challenge, and should be a goal.

  2. James Hyzy August 14, 2013 at 8:57 am #

    The state spends gobs of money on student assessment exams that, along with measuring the progress of each student, factor into the evaluations of the classroom teachers and individual districts. Should the exam results of transfer students be incorporated into the overall results of the classrooms and districts? Is that fair to either, given the students’ history of coming from underperforming schools?

  3. rhmaccallum August 14, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Having extensive background on this subject myself getting the ones that “don’t care” to “care” is a loosing battle. Those parent(s) that don’t care have a long personal history of not caring and their own lack of education and cultural negative influence are almost impossible to change.
    What we have to do is break the cycle. Somehow find a way to educationally and motivationally separate the child from the negatives of the parent, family, peer group influence that they are exposed to.
    That is not an easy task but it’s more do-able than trying to remake the uncaring parent(s).

    • rhmaccallum August 14, 2013 at 9:28 am #

      Isn’t that a picture of Cheektowaga Central there Allan?

      • Darrell August 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm #

        No that looks a little fancy for Central.

    • jimd54 August 15, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

      What is your opinion on separating troubled students into a more rigidly structured facility? 60 Minutes had a piece a year or so ago about a school in NYC where everyone wears a school uniform and is much more accountable than the usual public school. From what I could see the kids were thriving. Do you think this is a way to break the cycle?
      I don’t think busing kids around western New York is the answer.

      • rhmaccallum August 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm #

        I don’t watch much TV but I did see that piece.
        I think it is as effective a program as a school may devise…but…we have to get to the point where we stop trying to solve these types of problems with-in the school structure alone.
        Troubled, disruptive, tardy, absent, coming to school hungry and all that don’t begin in the school and are not rooted in the school system.
        So far, at least here in NYS Albany’s DOE and our worthy politicians always try solving these types of problems with-in the school structure. But that structure is really designed and operates best when it is expected to present education.
        Commissioner King et. al. see a problem with education and have only the foresight and guts to try and solve the thing with-in the schools. They will put the blame and the responsibility on the administration, the teachers, the union and whatever other scapegoat they can find.
        The real effect of all of this misplaced mandating has been over the years to more and more intrude on the school day, the school resources and in the end only hamper the primary mission of education.
        We have to realize that there are problems created in the home, by the student, by the parent(s) and by the neighborhood peer group. and we have to have the courage to take the fight there.
        Anything less is misplaced, treating the symptom but never the cause.

      • jimd54 August 15, 2013 at 9:22 pm #

        I agree we have to take the “fight there” but that opens up a big can of worms. You are suggesting society intrudes on the family system, which mind you I am not against. It’s just that people don’t seem to be willing to hold their neighbors accountable leaving that monster called the “government” as once again the bad guy. How do we even begin that conversation?

      • rhmaccallum August 16, 2013 at 8:55 am #

        That is a tough one and that is why no governor or slinky Commissioner of DOE broch the subject. Instead the scapegoat teachers and schools.
        Some things to begin the process:
        – Truancy? Pick the kids out on the street up. take them to the nearest police station. Then call the parent(s) and require their presence at the station. Make the kid skipping school and running the streets an inconvenience to the parent. If the parent won’t come send a police car there and require they come. If they still refuse to deal with it call child protective services and press charges. “Contributing to the delinquency of a minor.” This will start people realizing that their children can’t be out running the streets while they remain totally aloof to it all.
        – Child comes to school hungry regularly? Social Services. Follow up. Set meetings, in the home. Again this will inconvenience the neglectful parent…and if they receive food stamps they won’t want “the gubment” looking into why they don’t feed the child.
        – Drop-outs? Dropping out is a hold over from early days when a child was allowed to drop out in order to go to work and help support a family. Now drop-outs seldom work, at least not in something legal. Change the law. disallow a child to drop out before they reach 18.
        These kind of things need to be started. Once started you don’t or won’t have to enforce every single issue. Start with the worst offenders. People will see…and sooner or later get the message.

      • jimd54 August 16, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

        I like your thoughts. How any of this would be implemented is a mystery. Especially when budgets are being slashed to the exact agencies that would best supply these services.

  4. Colin Eager August 14, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    I find this hard to imagine happening, as keeping these groups of children apart is one of the reasons that the suburbs exist in the first place.

    • Hank Kaczmarek August 14, 2013 at 2:07 pm #

      For the first and perhaps last time ever, I’ll agree with you Colin. Alan’s premise makes a lot of sense. Kids who actually want to make something out of themselves and/or have parents who give a damn about their education should be welcomed in any school in the county. If they want to get to where they can get a better quality education they’re not going to school because they’re forced to or to spend their days starting trouble, dealing drugs or whatever. Buffalo suburbs have been getting larger in part because of lousy schools with lousy students, regardless of race. But you’re not facing the NIMBY with this. If you’re in Education, you’re a liberal/Democrat, or a Republican/Conservative in the closet. I’m sure most administrators and teachers would welcome inner city kids with the zeal to learn. Just get it past the school boards…

  5. Darrell August 14, 2013 at 12:48 pm #

    Alan, you’re missing out on comedy gold by not addressing the thinly-veiled racism of the Buffalo News comments in that article. And here I thought racism was dead.

  6. Rondo August 14, 2013 at 3:54 pm #

    Commuting is bad enough for adults, we want children to do it now too?

  7. Nate! August 15, 2013 at 8:24 am #

    Perfect way for Clearance to help close their budget gap! HAHA, like the residents would actually allow that!

  8. Beezelbubba August 15, 2013 at 11:55 am #

    Sure thing, lets start bussing in Lafayette and Burgard students to Clarance

  9. Alan Bedenko August 15, 2013 at 12:09 pm #


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