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Letter: Bennett redesign plan can turn school around

Bennett redesign plan can turn school around

On Wednesday, the Buffalo Board of Education, in a meeting open to the public, will vote on whether to allow the turnaround plans presented by Bennett, Lafayette, East and Martin Luther King schools to move forward, or to close the schools and rent the buildings to charter programs.

As a proud 1969 Bennett graduate, it is heartbreaking to contemplate the possibility of the school ceasing to exist.

Thanks to a dedicated group of accomplished educators, parents and students from within the Bennett community, the Bennett Alumni Association has offered a comprehensive proposal for creating a learning environment that students in Buffalo deserve. It serves as a blueprint, a starting point – and as important – it offers a fresh vision of what could be – a neighborhood school, offering multiple pathways for graduation, directly partnering with local colleges, vocational and business opportunities. This is the foundation for long-term economic stability in our community, for providing young people the education, choice and hands-on experience so essential for future success. This is exactly what we need in Buffalo!

The Bennett redesign plan makes sense because it aligns with the broad needs of the community. Charter schools have their place, but it is foolish to think that they can provide a sustainable option for the wide variation in learning styles, literacy and developmental needs of students in Buffalo.

If you believe that public schools should remain public, now is the time to show up and speak up. You may not have another chance.

Cheryl Pleskow