Buffalo, NY (WBEN) There will be a lot to juggle for Buffalo's incoming superintendent of schools, says one former school board president.
What should be Dr. Pamela Brown's top priority according to Marlies Wesolowski is increasing graduation rates and improving test scores. "When you only have 54 percent passing and moving on to graduation, that's not very good. She'll have to spend a lot of time working on improving results," says Wesolowski.
Wesolowski says Brown will also have to deal with adult employees. "I don't believe the unions have contracts in place. In fact, many of the unions have been without contracts for several years," notes Wesolowski, who warns Brown not to keep kids out of the equation when it comes to negotiations. "Oftentimes, what happens is adult issues take over, and as a consequence, the kids suffer," says Wesolowski.
Budgets will be tough too, notes Wesolowski. "She'll have to make some tough choices, and it's likely going to be an ongoing battle, year after year," she says. Wesolowski says Brown received seven votes, and needs to continue to win over board members, as well as parents and the entities that provide the district with much needed funding.
"She's gotta be a good listener, she's got to understand the fiscal side rather quickly, and the big thing is to set priorities," advises Wesolowski.