I have to agree with this Buffalo News letter writer from Depew. Don’t be fooled by the Chameleon Schools Project and local scam artist Stephen Polowitz. This snake oil salesman would have you think he was going to go into the Waterfront School and East High School and turn them around.
Here’s what his group would do: They would get rid of all second language students and send them to nearby Buffalo Public Schools. They would get rid of all students with behavior problems and send them to other Buffalo Schools. They would get rid of all well behaved students with low test scores and send them to, you guessed it, other Buffalo Public Schools. The word would get around that the two “new” schools were now decent and a better class of citizenry would apply.Guess where the new students would come from? You guessed it:Other Buffalo Public Schools. In three years, the student body makeup would be completely different than it is today. All the students rejected from the Chameleon Schools Scam would be somebody else’s problem (specifically PS School #31 and Burgard HS, among others).
The only winners in this would be Polowitz and his band of thieves. Have you ever seen the salaries of the people in charge of the Charter Schools? They treat their staff like garbage, strip them of all their benefits, and replace them with people desperate for work. However, they are very generous to themselves. In their world, it doesn’t matter who the teachers are. If the students come from better home environments (which they will), the test scores will go up and they can tell a misinformed public that they “turned around a failing school”. We’re all on to your greedy scam Polowitz. Why don’t you go on TV and sell get rich quick schemes at 2AM?
As one school rises another will decline
Would the Waterfront School be a better school as a magnet? Absolutely, yes. But why and at what cost to the district as a whole?
Would Waterfront Magnet continue to accept recently arrived emigrant children despite their poor grasp of the English language? Or would these students be directed to other city schools? These students take standardized state tests as soon as they enter the system. One school’s rise in the ratings would probably be another’s demise.
It’s obvious that if you are building something, the better the raw materials, the better the product. If you can select the student base, you should produce better results.
David W. Teloh
Plan turns East High, Waterfront into charters