Yesterday, I posted a letter written on behalf of Governor Cuomo by the director of state operations, Jim Malatros. The governor wants to know what should be done about the bad teachers, especially in “deplorable” districts like Buffalo.

Here is an answer from a teacher in Buffalo, posted as a comment on the original:

“As one of those teachers from a”deplorable Buffalo priority school who has condemned a generation of kids to poor education and thus poor life prospects” I take great offense to Mr. Malatras’ comments. Our school is primarily failing because 70% of our students are ELLs who have arrived at our high school without the prior academics needed for success in high school. 30% of our students have little or no literacy in their primary language and many have never been in a school setting until they enter our 9th grade cohort. NYSED has consistently ignored their needs of first learning the English language, learning to read and acquire math literacy before they take the grade/subject level Regents exams. How about letting us provide our students with a strong foundation before condemning us as “bad” teachers because these students are unable to make the grade? In a school with about 800 students, we have been allocated a single reading specialist. Time and time again, research has shown that it takes 7 years for older students to master English and yet you (NYSED) have only allowed an extra year for our SIFE students to get up to speed in school. How about looking at how your unrealistic expectations have created poor life prospects, along with the poverty and inequity of financing our inner city schools that have contributed immensely to the problem?”