Buffalo Commons



Good Food Buffalo Policy Brief

Jessica Gilbert — Jun 26, 2018

This policy brief provides a snapshot of the current status of school food at Buffalo Public Schools and several ongoing school food improvement initiatives.

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Performance-Based Assessment for ELLs

Bridget Murphy — Nov 29, 2017

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Coordinated School Health in the Buffalo Public Schools: Statement of Need and Recommendations

Sam Magavern, Jessica Bauer-Walker, Renee Cadzow — Feb 27, 2015

This policy brief on coordinate school health for the Buffalo Public Schools was prepared by Renee Cadzow, PhD, D’Youville College, Department of Health Services Administration and Co-Director of the Center for Research of Physical Activity , Sport and Health (CRPASH); Jessica Bauer-Walker, Executive Director, Community Health Worker Network of Buffalo; and Sam Magavern, Co-Director, Partnership for the Public Good. (February 2015) Acknowledgements: Liese Ness, Community Coalition …

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Buffalo School Board Governance

William Miller — Dec 9, 2013

The Board of Education of the Buffalo City School District consists of nine members elected annually by the voters of the school district.  Six members represent sub-districts within the city in three-year terms. Three members serve in an “at-large” capacity for five-year terms.  A School board member must be a citizen of the United States, qualified to vote, able to read and write, eighteen (18) years of age or older, a qualified voter of the District, and the only member …

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English Language Learners and Standardized Tests

Adam Faeth — Dec 9, 2013

A surge in limited English proficiency (LEP) enrollment became a nationwide phenomenon between 1995 and 2005, as virtually all regions of the country experienced a rapid growth in immigrant population.  In Buffalo, the increase in ELL students stemmed largely from the active resettlement of refugees from around the world in Buffalo.  In 2004-2005, Buffalo had 2,539 LEP students who collectively spoke 46 different languages.  In 2009-2010, that enrollment number shot up to 3,481 …

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Erie County as a Metro-Wide School District

Gabriella Agostinelli — Dec 9, 2013

Studies show that the quality of a child’s education is largely dependent on her family’s wealth, race, and residence.  When a child living in deep poverty is educated in a poor school district, she has little exposure to the opportunities and experiences enjoyed by children in wealthier districts.  Metro-wide school districts attempt to equalize educational opportunities for all students, raise regional academic achievement levels, and generate better relations across …

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Should Buffalo Move Back to Neighborhood Public Schools?

Nicholas Fischer — Dec 9, 2013

It is a school where the majority of its students come from the neighborhood surrounding it.  Aside from private or magnet schools, students must attend the school assigned to their neighborhood.  This is no longer the model in Buffalo or in many cities.  For the past forty years schools have bussed students across the district.  Today there is a debate as to whether Buffalo Public Schools should return to the neighborhood school model.

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Teacher Residency Requirements in Buffalo: Reconciling Community Benefits with Marketplace Realities

Lee Bender — Dec 9, 2013

In 2011 Buffalo Public Schools repealed a requirement that its teachers live in the district — a “residency rule”.  Because the city’s urban population accounts for only one quarter of the metro population, this rule severely restricted the teacher applicant pools.  However, the residency requirement had some benefits to the community — such as providing neighborhood role models and making teachers more aware of the students’ life situations and …

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The Downside of Standardized Testing

Nicole Intschert — Dec 9, 2013

Children in the United States are tested “to an extent that is unprecedented in our history and unparalleled anywhere else in the world.” The federal No Child Left behind Act has triggered a standardized testing “explosion,” the repercussions of which have been felt throughout the nation.  Standardized tests are those where “all students answer the same questions under similar conditions and their responses are scored in the same way, and may include …

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Title I Funds in Buffalo Public Schools: Educating Children in Poverty

Amanda Dermady — Dec 9, 2013

Title I of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides federal financial assistance to public and private schools with high percentages of children from low-income families with the aim of helping children meet state academic standards.  The Act was originally enacted in April 1965 as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s “War on Poverty” and is currently authorized under President George W. Bush’s No Child Left behind Act.  Title I funds are allocated …

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Concentrated Poverty and Public Education

Gretchen Sullivan Apr 17, 2012

The biggest problem facing Buffalo’s public schools is the fact that most of the students live in poverty and segregation.  Western New York school districts, including Buffalo, are similar to public school districts around the nation, in that they work quite well when their students are affluent or middle income.  When their students are living in concentrated poverty, however, there are innumerable barriers to academic success.  Nationally, the close correlation between …

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Education Levels and Low-Wage Work

Dannine Consoli — Apr 26, 2010

Is education the key to getting low-wage workers out of poverty and into higher paying, middle class jobs? In the United States, roughly one in three jobs pays a low wage.  The Center for Economic and Policy Research defines “low wage” as less than 66 percent of the median wage for male workers (the median weekly pay rate for men in the fourth quarter of 2009 was $825).  Employees with higher levels of education do have a significantly lower probability of working a …

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TANF and Higher Education

Leah Hardy — Apr 26, 2010

Welfare reforms in 1996 created the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Block Grant program (TANF).  Under the assumption that a job will provide recipients with a path to self-sufficiency, this program focuses primarily on putting them to work.  Unfortunately, this work-first focus has not resulted in a path out of poverty for the majority of recipients.  New York State must reform its TANF program to provide relevant education and training for its recipients, equipping them …

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