How to Fix Buffalo’s Schools

How to Fix Buffalo’s Schools is an occasional series highlighting urban schools across the country that have made outsized progress on some of the seemingly intractable problems plaguing inner-city schools.

The successful schools were selected through statistical analysis of data on academic performance and demographics. The schools chosen are some of the best examples of successfully educating students with backgrounds similar to those in the Buffalo Public Schools.

How to Fix Buffalo’s Schools

How to Fix Buffalo’s Schools is an occasional series highlighting urban schools across the country that have made outsized progress on some of the seemingly intractable problems plaguing inner-city schools.

The successful schools were selected through statistical analysis of data on academic performance and demographics. The schools chosen are some of the best examples of successfully educating students with backgrounds similar to those in the Buffalo Public Schools.

Part 1: In the Bronx, a school for at-risk boys succeeds

June 22, 2014

One of the biggest problems facing urban schools: Black and Hispanic men graduate from high school in far fewer numbers than their peers of other races and genders. With a strong school culture and structure, Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx gets strikingly different results.

Part 2: In Brooklyn, a model for teaching immigrants

July 13, 2014

It is a burning question for Buffalo and other urban school systems: Can a high school filled with immigrants and refugees — some illiterate in their native language — graduate a majority of students on time? The International High School at Prospect Heights in Brooklyn proves the answer is yes.

Part 3: Could a new approach help Buffalo’s Lafayette High School succeed?

July 15, 2014

Buffalo’s Lafayette High School graduates only a quarter of its students on time, and less than 40 percent within six years. With a large immigrant population, some say the deck is stacked against the school. State education officials have no patience with that argument.

Part 4: Newark’s jobs training is a model for city schools

Aug. 17, 2014

Across the country, educators increasingly look to vocational programs to better prepare students for the 21st century workforce. In Essex County, New Jersey, a new approach to vocational education is working for both students and employers. In Buffalo, the graduation rate stubbornly hovers around 50 percent. With a student body similar to the Buffalo Public Schools, Essex County’s vocational schools’ graduation rate is 96 percent.

Part 5: A Buffalo charter school that beats City Honors

Oct. 5, 2014

Buffalo’s Charter High School for Applied Technologies works with the same demographics of students as the struggling Buffalo public schools — yet spends less per student and gets significantly better results. CHSAT has the highest graduation rate of any school in Erie County — higher even than City Honors and all the schools in Buffalo’s wealthiest suburbs.

Part 6: A winning model at Buffalo’s Tapestry Charter School

Oct. 12, 2014

For a model of how to educate impoverished inner-city students, few schools beat Buffalo’s Tapestry Charter School. The school’s student population mirrors the city schools, yet Tapestry graduates 93 percent of its students on time, and 80 percent of its graduates go on to college.

Part 7: At Grabiarz School of Excellence in Buffalo, high expectations and rigor breed success

Dec. 21, 2014

At Buffalo’s Grabiarz School of Excellence, all-star principal Gregory D. Mott has a playbook for turning one of Buffalo’s most struggling schools into one of its most successful: structure, routine, maximizing time for instruction, and reinforcing math and reading skills across all subject areas. It works.

Part 8: In Buffalo schools, absenteeism is rampant

Sept. 20, 2015

Nearly half of the students in the Buffalo Public Schools last year missed more than 18 days — nearly an entire month of classes. Attendance is challenging in most urban districts, but one national expert calls Buffalo’s absenteeism among the worst she has seen.

Part 9: How L.A. gets kids to show up at school

Sept. 27, 2015