Current District response to OCR

Okay, we are almost caught up. At the Sept. 23 School Board meeting, Dr. Kriner Cash presented the Board’s new response. Here is the Buffalo News report on the new response, from this article on Sept 23 by Sandra Tan. Quoted below. You can read the full report/response on the District’s web page here, and you may submit your comments and thoughts to the District there, too. (It wasn’t clear to me whether the Board had to review and vote on the response, or whether it’s official as of this time).  PDF link to response here:

“Federal education officials previously rejected the School Board’s proposal to answer recommendations made by consultant Gary Orfield of the UCLA Civil Rights Project. A letter from the Office of Civil Rights noted about 10 specific problems that the board’s plan failed to address.

Other critics of the original district response said that it did not go far enough and failed to address the most dramatic recommendations, including one to open a second City Honors School and another to eliminate neighborhood preference for those living in Elmwood Village to attend Frederick Law Olmsted School.

The new response by the district accepts 15 of Orfield’s recommendations and modifies nine others. The first response accepted only five of Orfield’s recommendations, rejected one and modified all the rest.

Superintendent Kriner Cash said the new response to the Office of Civil Rights is more detailed and pursues a more aggressive timeline for implementation. While the district’s original response was 12 pages, the new one is 40. And unlike the previously submitted response, the new one also explicitly lists which district administrators are responsible for shepherding through each priority.”

What struck me, in scanning the report, was the District’s sudden ability to use this response as a way to update, redesign, or reframe some of their grade schools beyond clinging to the criteria schools as the only “good” schools. There’s mention of an Arts based elementary school at ECC; there’s talk of creating several other dual language schools or immersion schools. In short, there’s real thought and effort in this response.



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