Orfield Report published, meeting today

Gary Orfield of the Civil Rights Project will present his findings to the Buffalo School Board at 5:30 today. The meeting is located at McKinley High School (PS 305) on Elmwood. Board of Ed meeting agenda can be viewed here.

Orfield was hired by the Board of Ed to address a civil rights complaint filed by parents about the city’s criteria schools. Complaints were filed with the US Education Dept’s Office of Civil Rights. You can read the report here, and Sandra Tan of the Buffalo News has summarized his findings here. The Board of Ed cannot reject all of his recommendations, according to their agreement with the Office of Civil Rights. They have until August to inform the Office what they will accept or reject from the recommendations.

The basic finding on criteria schools:

“There was very unequal access to these schools,” said Orfield, adding that a civil rights complaint that precipitated his report “was correct.”

Expanding access to criteria schools, and expanding the criteria schools themselves, as he recommends, could help families seeking better public schools for Buffalo kids, though some parents have expressed concern that this alone will not de-segregate city school populations.


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