Opting out, acting out
With no new items on the Council's Education Committee agenda, Masten Councilman Ulysees Wingo, the committee chairman, didn't think he needed to hold a full meeting, but he didn't want to cancel and also, there was something he wanted to say.
So while other committee members were told no need to show up for the Thursday session, Wingo was there to open and close the meeting, and also make a statement on the opt-out movement.
Wingo, himself a parent of Buffalo public school students, thinks students should take the standardized tests, not opt out. The tests, he said, will better prepare them for other rigorous tests in the future. He also said that having children opting out is stressing out teachers.
But Wingo also said the school district must do a better job explaining to parents what the tests measure, how test results are used and how students are being prepped for the test.
Wingo said he was in one of the schools while tests were given earlier in the week, and stopped by the auditorium, where opt-out students were supposed to be sitting down and reading. One of the students was acting out, Wingo said, leading Wingo to say it's also important for schools to ensure children who are opting out, are not acting out.
The other election
Buffalo Housing Authority tenant-commissioner elections don't usually get a lot of public attention, but that's changed somewhat since tenant commissioner Joe Mascia got suspended for a secretly tape-recorded racist rant.
So with two tenant-commissioner seats up in the June election, we learn that five people are running for the two spots. Two others were interested, but their petitions didn't qualify them for the ballot.
Mascia's one of the five candidates, but it's still not clear if he'll be able to run. It depends on the outcome of a hearing accusing him of being unfit for office for his racist comments. A hearing officer is expected to make a recommendation in May.
The other candidates for the two spots are: Rebecca Soto, Dennis Waite, Robin Edwards and Renato Graham.
The election is June 14, and the winners take their seats July 1.
Shakespeare in the Park won a $50,000 grant for lighting towers and equipment.
Countdown to NY primary news
Hillary Clinton campaigning in Buffalo today.
We're told Bernie Sanders is coming to the University at Buffalo's Alumni Arena at 7 p.m. Monday. The National Nurses United "Bernie Bus" is in Buffalo today, stopping at UB, ECMC and Niagara Square.
Also, here's the story in today's Buffalo News on Bernie Sanders' local campaign contributors.
And another on the upcoming Trump rally.
And another on Ted Cruz in New York.
Housekeeping: City Hallways will conduct a presidential primary straw poll starting Monday.