Parents Group Accuses Teachers Union of 'Sabotage'

November 1, 2011 Updated Nov 1, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

By John Borsa

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November 1, 2011 Updated Nov 1, 2011 at 11:33 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - Parents who met Tuesday night to discuss ways to improve test scores at seven low-performing schools in the City of Buffalo accused the teachers union of trying to sabotage efforts to qualify for federal money under Washington's Race to the Top program.

"We believe at the end of the day they're sabotaging the whole Race to the Top program with whatever their political motives are," said Samuel Radford, vice president of the council.

In order the qualify for the maximum amount of cash, Radford said the district must comply with guidelines requiring that teachers be removed from low-performing schools.

But the president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation does not believe shuffling teachers to other schools is a good idea.

"It will not in my opinion improve the education of the students in those schools," Phil Rumore told Radford in front of dozens of concerned parents and citizens who gathered at Makowski School 99 on Jefferson Avenue.

"We can't afford to be fighting," said Radford. "But we also can't let the teachers union hold us hostage to where we're not going to access resources that are available because it's going to create some discomfort for them."

Buffalo's interim superintendent is confident a compromise can be reached.

"I think Mr. Rumore knows what needs to be done. I'm going to keep talking to him about the specifics that we come up with," said Amber Dixon. "So I wouldn't necessarily characterize what he's doing at this point as sabotage."