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Parents, community organizing for next step in Buffalo Public Schools

Today's story looks at the growing support for the District Parent Coordinating Council's plans to call state and local leaders to the table to solve problems in the Buffalo Public Schools -- and, if need be, to stage protests to draw attention to the need for solutions.

One thing was clear in my reporting for the story: Parents and community groups across the city had been arriving at the same conclusions, independently, regarding the schools. So when the DPCC's Sam Radford led the call for pathways to solutions, plenty of people were ready to sign on.

One example: VOICE-Buffalo, a social justice group of churches in the city, had already been talking with people in its congregations about their frustrations regarding the schools.

"This was something we were already doing our research on, talking to people in our congregations," said Lisa Crapnell, who leads VOICE-Buffalo's education task force. "There's a real desire to improve education. And then here's this man [Radford] and this group of parents who have been working on this.

"Their momentum is really building. It was like, we really need to reach out to him, because we're on the same page."

VOICE-Buffalo, like so many other groups and people, is looking for solutions. 

The group is sponsoring a meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 26, at the CAO-JFK Community Center, 114 Hickory St., to discuss "next steps" for improving education. The meeting is open to the public.

Kicking things off will be a screening of "Parent Power," a DVD offered by the Annenberg Institute. Here's a brief preview of it:

Parent Power Trailer from Annenberg Institute on Vimeo.


That will be followed by a discussion led by Richard Gray, the director of community organizing and engagement with the Annenberg Institute.

Organizers say they are planning a focused, productive session that's scheduled to end promptly at 8:30 p.m.

- Mary Pasciak

E-mail me at or follow me on Follow  SchoolZoneBlog on Twitter Twitter. Check out the Buffalo News' education page at

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