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Letter: Rumore should welcome Teach for America’s help

Rumore should welcome Teach for America’s help

People jokingly say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again while expecting different results. For the Buffalo School District, this is no laughing matter and, more to the point, things are truly insane.

The yearly budget to run this district hovers at $855 million. That’s not a typo folks – nearly $1 billion a year. What do we get for that? Four out of every 10 students will not graduate. That dismal statistic falls even lower if we’re talking about students who identify as people of color. What is Buffalo Teachers Federation President Philip Rumore’s answer? More of the same.

Rumore wants the board to reconsider its unanimous approval of the Teach for America contract. The approval was met with his attack stating that “this program is fools’ gold and detrimental to the students of the district.”

Teach for America brings in dedicated, passionate and talented individuals. These are the best of the best – some are Harvard graduates – who chose to work in the underserved areas of our community because they saw and understood the need for change. What Rumore failed to mention is that some of these teachers not only have their master’s of education degree but have already received their doctorate. Teach for America consistently provides support throughout the year through professional development workshops, coaching, resources and sharing best practices. All this is in addition to the professional development workshops that all teachers attend.

Rather than attacking these dedicated professionals, Rumore should be waiting on the steps of the school with a cup of coffee each morning welcoming them. Parents and taxpayers should be doing the same.

Detrimental to the students? When is the last time Rumore actually spoke to a student? To quote Neil Strauss, “most attacks come from fear.” What is Rumore afraid of?

Richard Sandler

West Seneca

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