On August 24th, 2015, Buffalo Board of Education members unanimously voted to appoint Dr. Kriner Cash to serve as Superintendent of the Buffalo Public Schools. Superintendent Cash came to the Buffalo Public Schools at a pivotal time when the District had 25 schools in State Receivership, had seven superintendents in the last six years, and the last contract with the Buffalo Teachers Federation (BTF) was ratified in 1999. He acknowledged the complex issues faced by the District and offered, “Where there are great challenges, there are even greater opportunities.”
Since his arrival, Dr. Cash has aligned the leadership team and launched the New Education Bargain with Students and Parents. Through the New Education Bargain, adopted by the Board in January of 2016, the District has instituted Rigorous Early Elementary Education with significantly reduced class sizes in the early grades, launched ten New Innovative High Schools and programs, 16 Community Schools, and, after 16 years, ratified a new contract with the BTF (Teachers Union) and the BCSA (Principal’s Union).
Meanwhile, graduation rates are climbing from 57% to 64%; grades 3 -8 proficiency rates in ELA & Math are rising; number of schools in good standing are rising from 14 to 24; 24 of 25 Receivership Schools met Demonstrable Improvement Index Targets during their first two years in Receivership; 20 Priority or Focus schools have increased achievement levels of students and moved into a higher performing accountability level.
A lifelong change agent and advocate for high quality education for all children, Dr. Cash brought to Buffalo over 20 years of executive leadership experience in education. He has been responsible for successful outcomes for children as past superintendent in Memphis, Tennessee and Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts. He also served as Chief of Accountability and System-wide Performance for the Miami- Dade County Public Schools in Miami, Florida, where he and his staff designed and developed a leading- edge Human Capital Performance-Management System for the 4th largest school district in the country, contributing, in part, to M-DCPS winning the Broad Prize for Urban Education.
“I’m a Children’s Rights Activist when it comes to the work of providing an equal and high quality education for all children.” Dr. Cash said. He earned a Doctor of Education degree in Cultural Diversity and Curriculum Reform from the University of Massachusetts, a M.A. in Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford University, and a B.A. in Political Science from Princeton University. Dr. Cash points to the importance of unleashing the genius in each child, and teaches administrators to set their own high goals and standards for student achievement, to use data as a powerful tool for decision- making and policy, and to be passionate and reflective about their work.
Dr. Cash and his team are also collaborating with parents, regional businesses, the judicial community, higher education institutions, civic organizations, health care partners, faith-based institutions, and all levels of government to spur continued gains in student achievement. He recognizes the extraordinary recovery that is taking place in the City of Buffalo. “Buffalo is seeing a renaissance on the way to being fully restored as a City of Choice,” Dr. Cash said, “and the children that we educate now will fuel the human capital pipeline and economic growth for Buffalo well into the future.”
Click to Watch - CONNECT:NY - The achievement gap in New York schools. Graduation rates are on the rise. So why do white students remain more likely to receive a high school diplomas than black or Hispanic students? State education commissioner Maryellen Elia and a panel of experts, including Superintendent Cash, weigh in.
Click to Watch-CONNECT:NY-Receivership of NYS Schools
This episode of Conversations That Matter To You, hosted by WCNY’s Susan Arbetter, provides a closer look at school receivership and what school superintendents are doing to turn around at risk schools.
Click to Watch-CONNECT:NY-Interview with School Superintendent Kriner Cash
Dr. Kriner Cash has been charged by New York State to turn around five persistently struggling BPS schools in receivership. The Superintendent spoke with Connect: NY about the job ahead and the challenge he faces.
Click here to view Dr. Cash's 100-Day Plan and Guiding Questions.