School Superintendent Receives Positive Marks from School Officials in Evaluation of Job Performance
Three years is a blip on the radar screen in the terms of the time it may take to turn around Buffalo’s fledging urban pubic school district of more than 30,000 students. But in our opinion School Superintendent Kriner Cash has done a yeoman’s job so far and has deservingly earned the support of this community. When he took the helm in 2015 he was faced with 25 schools in receivership; lack of a teacher’s contract dating back to 1999; and a revolving door in terms of superintendent longevity (there had been seven superintendents in the past six years prior to his hiring). At the start of his tenure Dr. Cash made it emphatically clear that his priority was the children. “Everything I do will be focused on the children. I have no other agenda,” he said in an interview with the Challenger when he first arrived in 2015. “There is a lot of good here…and we will celebrate it.” He has held true to his word. Last week school officials gave Dr. Cash positive marks in their evaluation of his job performance. We agree with parent leader Samuel L. Radford who gave him an ‘A’ for leading change and implementing reforms that not only positively impact the children and the schools they attend but parents and the community as well. In fact, in terms of community relationships, his efforts have been unprecedented. He has publically addressed and is working to rectify such critical diversity issues as the lack of minority teachers. He has pressured City Hall for more school funding. He has also rallied the community behind his New Education Bargain with students and parents for success. Elements of the ambitious and comprehensive “bargain” includes rigorous early elementary education; strong community schools/ opening schools to the community after hours and Saturdays for programs; redesigning and launching new innovative high schools, extended learning services for our neediest children, and creating new relationships with teachers to ensure the best instruction for all our children. We also agree with Ferry District Board member Sharon Belton- Cottman who, in her assessment of Dr. Cash, stated, “He’s done a phenomenal job.” Even school board members, with whom he has clashed with on various issues, used words like ‘vison and “Leadership” in describing Dr. Cash’s personal attributes. His outreach and willingness and ability to work with everyone has been praised. Buffalo teachers Federation President Phil Rumore’s remark brings us full circle to Dr. Cash’s declaration of commitment to our children when he first arrived: “…The most important thing I learned is that whatever he does, he’s doing it because he really believes its what’s best for kids.” And while no one will deny that there is still much work to be done, it is clear that Dr. Cash is on the case. He has the vision and he’s working his plan/agenda to the best of his ability for the children.