Buffalo, NY (WBEN) - Buffalo Schools Superintendent Pamela Brown held the first in a series of press briefings on Thursday to update the public on what is happening throughout the district.
In Brown's one and a half years as Superintendent, she has often been criticized for her lack of transparency and availability. These new briefings might be considered a sort of New Year's resolution. "I’ve decided to publicly announce my resolution for 2014 and beyond. So, here it is. I resolve to do my best to update the press, and therefore the public to those things that matter most to people interested in education and how it works," Brown said in a statement.
She says these new briefings are not a direct response to those criticisms, but will help to address them. "I want to add clarity, to supply the public with real numbers, and to help those with an eye on us, especially parents, to understand the state of the schools," Brown said. "There's a lot of misinformation being circulated out there, and I just want to demonstrate, through transparency, exactly what the situation is in our schools."
It isn't just the media Brown is attempting to be more open with, Thursday's briefing occurred just days after Brown attended a meeting of the District Parent Coordinating Council for the very first time on Tuesday.
Brown acknowledged that she has made mistakes in the past when it comes to relaying information to the public, but says that she has learned from them. "I certainly will continue to do more to reach out to different stakeholder groups in the community, and to build the relationships that will be critical to the success of this district."
Not everyone is impressed with Brown's change though.
"It appears that somebody might have said to them 'hey maybe you should show more inclination to dealing with the parents,'" says School Board Member Carl Paladino. "Maybe that's what she's trying to do right now. It's a little late to try and rectify her incompetence, but this may be her best attempt to try to do something to answer those questions about her failures."
Paladino says that Brown is attempting to do a job that he believes she is not qualified for. "The problems with this district go far deeper than anything she could do to try and repair it on the surface. It's a surface repair of the relationships that have been destroyed, of the morale that has been destroyed, by a person who just does not have a clue what the heck she's doing."
The Superintendent's Briefing lasted over 30 minutes, and she touched on a number of subjects including talks the district has had with the Diocese of Buffalo regarding students who have requested transfers in to schools in good standing. Brown said that the Diocese has told her they have around 200 seats that would be available to city students.
Brown is expected to hold these briefings with the media every week.