Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 15, 2013

Falls school board candidates spar over testing, taxes and residency requirements

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — On the issue of the first proposed increase in school taxes in 19 years, all the candidates except Lewis said they supported the tax hike. 

The issue of requiring district employees to live in the Falls was a little more divisive. Paretto, Dobbs, Gawel, King and Lewis all supported the requirement.

Barstys said he supported requiring new employees to live in the district, but suggested that after 10 years of employment they be allowed to move outside the city.

The candidates divided deeply over school district rankings, published every year by a local business newspaper. The rankings are based largely on tests scores and place the Falls 92nd out of 97 local school districts.

“I think we should be concerned,” Dobbs said. “But the rankings aren’t fair rankings.”

Dobbs complained the rankings compare “apples to oranges” saying a “poor” district like the Falls is stacked up against more “affluent” districts.

Gawel shot back, “This is why I’m running (for the school board). All I hear is excuses (for underperforming schools).”

Barstys, an administrator in the North Tonawanda School District, agreed with Dobbs. He said he thought the rankings were flawed.

“These are not excuses,” Barstys said. “(The factors affecting test scores) are facts.”

Paretto jumped on the use of standardized tests for students and the implementation of standardized teacher evaluations. He opposes both.

“(Teacher assessments are) hammering people who have a right to make a living,” Paretto said. “It’s a bogus test. A teacher has so much to worry about, he shouldn’t have to worry about being in the unemployment line.”

All the candidates also said they opposed the expansion of charter schools in the district.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
House Ads
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page
Poll

Do you think cigarette sales to non-Native American customers should be taxed on reservations?

Yes. Items should be taxed like they are everywhere else.
No, the indian reservations are sovereign land and they are selling them on their land.
Not up to me. Native Americans decide the rules on their land.
Don't care. Smoking isn't good for you.
     View Results