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Tim – 20% of the population in the City of Buffalo is white.
However, I see that changing as the current renovations at the Waterfront, the reopen I g of Main Street, and the development of the Medical Corridor continues. The Buffalo Schools have an opportunity to advertise some of their success stories. There are some tremendous opportunities out there, including guaranteed free college tuition for students who graduate from high school in the city. The programs offered, both vocational and academic, provide unique opportunities not available in the suburbs.
The fact that the school climate in some of these identified schools prevents the students from appreciating and/or participating in a system which will lead to gainful employment is a shame. This climate is not due to the teachers who are working their hearts out, but the attitude of the students who blow off the whole idea of a quality education. Not only that, these same students’ behaviors when they do come to school prevents others from learning.
My solution is to provide more alternative schools for these problem kids, full of counseling and one on one or small group instruction. Once the most disruptive influences are removed, perhaps the rest of the students will fall in line. At least the ones who want to learn will be able to pay attention to the teacher who will finally be able to teach properly (instead of spending class time disciplining unruly students).
And the charter schools have the same issues, they just have the option to literally kick those kids out.
So I see the problem as more cultural than racial. There are plenty of kids, both minority and white, who are attending the numerous schools in Buffalo which provide a pathway to an excellent professional career. It’s those who cater to the “leftover” students which are having issues. Closing the school and renaming it something else does not get rid of these facts.
Minority families often choose the all minority charter schools because they are in their neighborhood. They are no better than the public school, just more conveniently located. So, in this case, I agree that the population distribution does have a major effect on school choice, but with the influx of refugees and the current building spree of high end and loft apartments, I see changes coming down the road.