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Dr. Leon Botstein on the Public Good, Tuesday, May 5, 1pm

Uncategorizedon May 4th, 2015No Comments

Tune into WUFO-AM 1080 Tuesday at 1pm for a discussion with multi-faceted genius Leon Botstein, the president of Bard College. President Botstein will be speaking on “Arts, Justice, and Innovation” this Friday, May 8, at 7pm, at the Albright Knox Art Gallery. On Saturday and Sunday, President Botstein will be conducting the Buffalo Philharmonic.

On the Public Good show tomorrow, host Sam Magavern will be asking Botstein about his innovative and controversial views on topics such as reducing standardized testing, doing away with the final two years of high school, and providing a liberal arts education for prison inmates.

At the age of 23, Botstein became the nation’s youngest college president.  Since 1975, he has served as president of Bard, developing many innovative programs, such as the Bard Prison Initiative.

Film and Discussion of Temp Labor, May 6

Events, Newson April 22nd, 2015No Comments

WNYCOSH, a PPG partner, will be hosting a film screening and panel discussion on temporary labor on Wednesday May 6th from 6-8pm at the Niagara Branch Library on Porter Ave. The event will focus on the exploding temp economy and the dangers and predatory practices that are inherent in an intentionally obscure employment relationship.  PPG issued a detail report on Temp Work and Poverty in Buffalo in January, which you can find here.

WNYCOSH will be showing Permanently Temporary: The Truth About Temp Labor, a film by ProPublica and Vice and having a panel discussion with Erin Hatton, Assistant Professor of Sociology at SUNY Buffalo and author of The Temp Economy, Jeff Conrad, Executive Director of Center for Employment Opportunities, and temp workers sharing their experiences in the temp industry.

Snacks and light refreshments will be served.

Join PPG for an evening with Leon Botstein

Events, Newson April 22nd, 2015No Comments
President of Bard College will be in Buffalo speaking about the Arts, Justice & Innovation. This event is sponsored by Partnership for the Public Good, Open Buffalo, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Albright Knox Art Gallery.
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Peaceprints appear on the Public Good

Events, Newson April 20th, 2015Comments Off

Tune in to the Public Good with Sam Magavern on April 21, 2015 at 1:00pm to hear Cindy McCeachon from Peaceprints talk about the challenges ex-offenders face in rejoining the community on WUFO 1080AM or stream live at WUFO Live Stream.

Innovation Lab Releases “Getting There” Report on Improving Buffalo School Attendance

Events, Newson April 14th, 2015Comments Off

BUFFALO, NY – As classes resumed and minds were re-engaged this week following Spring Recess, the Buffalo Public Schools, unfortunately, were lacking in a core component of the community education process – a sufficient number of students. The struggle to raise BPS attendance levels is widely known. But, how bad is the problem? How do low attendance and truancy affect student performance? What more can be done?


Getting There: Improving Attendance in the Buffalo Public Schools,” a unique local research report released today by the Open Buffalo Innovation Lab, answers these questions and gives up-to-date context to Buffalo’s attendance troubles. More importantly, the report, written by Partnership for the Public Good, offers evidence-based proposals to turn this negative trend around.


(Find the full report online here.)


In Buffalo, the combined Average Daily Attendance (ADA) for elementary and secondary schools fell from 91% in 2002-2003 to 88% in 2013-2014. The figures for chronic and severe absence are even more telling. In the 2013-2014 school year, 43% of BPS students were chronically or severely absent, meaning they missed more than 10% of the school year – 18 or more days. Fourteen percent were severely absent – missing more than 7 weeks of school.


Several difficult issues contribute to the low attendance in Buffalo, including poverty, segregation, mental and physical health challenges, access to transportation, and problems with school climate and student engagement.   Partnership for the Public Good Co-Director Sam Magavern said, “As with so many school issues, the concentrated poverty that affects so many families is the biggest concern.  It makes every aspect of education more challenging, starting with attendance.”


Authors of the “Getting There” report suggest a multitude of strategies that BPS and the community can use to improve attendance numbers and student success in Buffalo. These suggestions include:

  • Increasing number of attendance teachers in BPS to at least one full time staff per school;
  • Fully staffing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (“PBIS”) teams throughout the district to increase support to students and families and identify and address the root causes of absenteeism;
  • Expanding Ready Freddy to all elementary schools and tracking the attendance before and after the program is implemented to evaluate how well it works;
  • Improving accessibility of transportation to and from school by expanding the “walking school bus” program and reforming the current arrangements with Niagara Frontier Transit Authority (“NFTA”) for student access to public transit;
  • Improving school climate by increasing the emphasis on Social-Emotional Learning (“SEL”) and incorporating SEL into all academic programs; and
  • Ensuring full implementation of restorative justice practices at all schools and promptly providing training in restorative practices for all school staff.



About us:

Open Buffalo is a civic initiative to make major, long-term improvements in justice and equity; it is an unprecedented collaboration among a diverse group of partners; and it is one of three projects in the nation chosen for the Open Places Initiative of the Open Society Foundations.


By building Buffalo’s capacity to generate new ideas, do original research, draw more effectively on local and national best practices, share information more broadly, and draft new laws and policies, the Innovation Lab is one of Open Buffalo’s key initiatives to boost social justice crusades in the Queen City.

The Partnership for the Public Good (PPG) builds a more just, sustainable, and culturally vibrant community through action-oriented research, policy development, and citizen engagement. PPG is a core partner in the Open Buffalo collaborative, and a major contributor to the Innovation Lab.



For more information on the “Getting There” report, please contact Sam Magavern, Co-Director of Partnership for the Public Good, at (716) 852-4191, ext. 117, or



Buffalo Arts Studio and Peaceprints on the Public Good

Events, Newson April 13th, 2015Comments Off
Don’t miss the Public Good, Tuesday, April 14 at 1pm on WUFO AM 1080 and, when host Sam Magavern talks with Alma Carillo of Buffalo Arts Studio about social justice and the arts and the upcoming TriMania event.  And tune in again on April 21 to hear Cindy McCeachon from Peaceprints talk about the challenges ex-offenders face in rejoining the community.

The Public Good with Bishop Michael Badger

Events, Newson April 7th, 2015Comments Off

Tune in to the Public Good on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 at 1:00pm, as we chat with Bishop Michael Badger of Bethesda World Harvest about starting a Charter School in Buffalo on 1080am WUFO.

The Public Good chats with Citizens for Regional Transit

Events, Newson March 30th, 2015Comments Off

Tune in to the Public Good on Tuesday, March 31, 2015 at 1:00pm, as we chat with Doug Funke and Lynn Magdol of Citizens for Regional Transit about getting better and more affordable bus and metro service in Buffalo on 1080am WUFO.

PPG’s New Policy Brief on Community Policing

Events, Newson March 27th, 2015Comments Off

PPG has released a new brief, “Poverty, Race, and Community Policing in Buffalo.”  PPG Co-Director Sam Magavern and Open Buffalo Executive Director Franchelle Hart are speaking on the topic at the Buffalo Poverty Research Workshop, March 27.  You can also view a short video of the PPG interview with resident leader Sam Smith discussing the policing of Buffalo’s public housing.


NFTA Reform on the Next Public Good, March 31

Events, Newson March 24th, 2015Comments Off
Join host Howard Patton as he talks about better transit with Doug Funke and Lynn Magdol from Citizens Regional Transit Corporation.  This plank from PPG’s 2015 Community Agenda include four ways that state and local government can supply fairer and more adequate funding for public transit in western New York.  The Public Good airs Tuesday at 1pm on WUFO AM 1080 and streams on