Sampson Responds to Seals Nevergold, Johnson
by Artvoice Staff (@Artvoice) - posted 2:44 pm, June 19, 2014
Once again we are witnessing adults wanting to fight over issues that are only tangentially related to our collective responsibility to educate the students of this city. The letter from Barbara Nevergold and Florence Johnson once again strives to place blame, point fingers and avoid responsibility. They postulate that if only the Buffalo News did not pursue its journalistic responsibilities or the NYS Education Department did not exercise its regulatory authority, the district would somehow be better equipped to educate children and provide high quality options and equality. By engaging in a debate about who said what to whom, we again miss the mark. It is time to end the fighting, feigned indignation, drama and chaos.
Nevergold and Johnson take exception to me meeting with SED Commissioner John King. It seems as though their greatest concern is that I did not ask their blessing and permission or consult with the Board of Education. They of course lament that over the past year they were not able to arrange a meeting with him. Even though I was on the board over the past year I cannot speak to this apparent inability to arrange a meeting.
I was not representing the board when I traveled to Albany and at no time did I purport to. It certainly was not a secret meeting. Although I have no obligation to talk about our meeting, I would be happy to if the current majority provided the opportunity. The district did not pay my expenses incurred for the trip. There was no agenda and I did not walk away with any “deals.” I did however walk away with a better understanding of SED and Dr. King, his motivations and passion to create educational equity for all students throughout New York State. Anytime that we are able to develop productive relationships with organizations and people who can positively impact the educational experiences for Buffalo children, it should be celebrated, not faulted.
Over the next year, as the drama and chaos fades, I hope the district becomes known for its predictability, dependability and commitment to educational equality and opportunity for all children.