BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - Under the new Buffalo teacher evaluation system, the school board has agreed with the teachers' union, not to fire any teacher this school year, even if that teacher's evaluation is rated ineffective.
Buffalo school board candidate Carl Paladino is critical of that plan, saying, "I think that sort of defeats the whole reason for having standards and having a process."
Buffalo teachers' union president Phil Rumore says the new system first has to be fairly tested out, and that Albany has not objected to the deal.
"School districts across the state, not just this one, have said this is a trial period. You know, let's not bring up a teacher on charges because this is something new that's just being implemented," Rumore explained.
Paladino countered, "If there's a side agreement between him and the Board of Education, that they will not properly execute the evaluation and standards, well then, we want to know about it."
Paladino also has a problem with a number of Buffalo principals given awards for improved attendance figures. He doesn't believe the numbers.
He says the school board implemented a new attendance system that assumes a student is present if a teacher does not specifically mark that student absent.
"That's a far cry from a teacher being mandated to take attendance every day in every class, to illustrate the student's presence," Paladino argued.
Rumore strongly reacted to the notion that some teachers may not follow through on attendance.
"To suggest otherwise is to first of all, insulting to teachers that they would do something like this, because it's in their interest to keep a direct attendance," Rumore said.
The new teacher evaluation system factors-in students who don't show up for class. That's why Rumore says it's in the teacher's best interest to document those who are absent.
Buffalo Police have arrested 26-year-old Nicholas Finnegan of South Buffalo and charged him with pushing Russ Ross to his death.
Police say there were 32 burglaries, 20 in Albion, five in Medina, four in Oakfield and three in the City of Lockport.
A seven-year-old Buffalo girl got dropped off more than three miles away from the bus stop where her mother was waiting for her on Wednesday.
Police, FBI agents and a bomb squad all showed up on a quiet residential street in North Buffalo overnight.
The Niagara County Sheriff's is on the scene of a suspected meth lab in Cambria.
Authorities say they're investigating the deaths of two inmates at New York's maximum-security Attica Correctional Facility.