Buffalo, NY - Four Buffalo School Board Members felt excluded from the selection process that ultimately led to the new board majority hiring Donald Ogilvie as Interim Superintendent. Those board members put that behind them Tuesday night as they invited Ogilvie to a community forum to talk about how to improve Buffalo Schools.
The four board members who organized the forum abstained from voting the night Donald Ogilvie was hired. Tuesday night, they welcomed the new Interim Superintendent to Highgate Heights Elementary.
"We're having an opportunity to pick up on the kinds of things that we probably would have benefited from earlier," said Ogilvie when asked about his selection process and board tensions.
In about 90 minutes, Ogilvie answered questions from parents and teachers about topics ranging from the Common Core to what he will do this week to improve learning.
"Common Core is not the issue. That's like saying what do you have against excellence? The Common Core is a way for us to get to excellence," he said.
Ogilvie plans on visiting several schools this week.
"I will be in each school, but I can't be pinned down with a frequency. There are a lot of ways to learn what's happening. A lot of ways to influence what's happening. Being in those buildings is a morale booster for kids, for staff, it shows I care, it shows we care," he says.
Ogilvie also addressed going back to the table with the union.
"Efforts are underway to resolve it, but that is a two way street. And there are issues, in ten years without a contract, is, is difficult because a lot has happened in ten years," said Ogilvie.
And, he also spoke about how parents must play a key role in education.
"This is a partnership. A third grade reading level at a high school should not have come as a surprise to that parent, or to that kid, when they're in high school. If you're involved, you know all along," he said.
As far as his critics are concerned he had this to say, "I would not pretend to say that I am as experienced in urban education as others, but I don't believe anyone has the optimism, or the passion, or the affinity for people that I do."
Audience members turned in so many questions, that board members made an announcement saying cards turned in from that point forward would be given to Ogilvie and answered on the web.