Third Candidate for Superintendent Makes Visit

June 4, 2012 Updated Jun 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM EDT

By Allen Leight

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June 4, 2012 Updated Jun 4, 2012 at 5:23 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The third and final candidate to replace Dr. James Williams as Buffalo School Superintendent made her visit to Buffalo on Monday.

Dr. Pamela Brown, a graduate of Harvard University's Urban Superintendent Program and former teacher and principal toured a number of schools this afternoon before meeting with the media and various stakeholder groups.

Brown was principal of three schools where she was tasked with turning around their low performance, which she says is experience that will serve her well if she were named superintendent in Buffalo.

She also served as Assistant Superintendent for the Philadelphia school system.

But aside from her professional background, Brown also shared her vision for the Buffalo Public Schools while meeting with the media Monday afternoon.

"My dream is to work with the community and the district to develop a model urban school district. One that has all students performing at high levels. No achievement gaps," said Brown.

The disparity between persistently low-achieving schools and top city schools like City Honors is an issue that has plagued leadership for years, and her experience in managing low performing schools and managing teachers is something that District Parent Coordinating Council President Samuel Radford III says is extremely important.

"We need somebody with some background and experience," said Radford Monday.

"We need somebody who's been a principal, who understands how to manage a teaching staff and a school building."

Brown and fellow candidate Edward Newsome Jr. are the only two finalists who meet those standards, however Radford went on to praise the job done by Interim Superintendent Amber Dixon, who is also in the running for the full time job.

The DPCC will meet Tuesday night after meeting with Brown this afternoon and discuss the candidates before making a final recommendation to the board of education, which Radford says could very well be to continue the search and not hire any of the finalists.

Dr. Brown will have her interview with the board, who ultimately makes the final decision, on Tuesday.

Brown is also meeting with the public at an open reception at Waterfront Elementary School from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. tonight.

If she were to get the job, Dr. Brown says her greatest test will be to improve student performance and the inequity among the city schools.

"I would focus on first on improving student achievement. I would look at it as overall as well as closing achievement gaps," Brown said.