On June 25th, Democratic voters in the City of Rochester will choose the four candidates who will appear on the Democratic Party line in the November election for the Rochester Board of Education.
Great Schools for All (GS4A) does not support specific candidates, but urges voters to designate candidates who are collaborative in their approach and supportive of cross-district, socio-economically balanced schools so that more students and families have access to academic and social success.
If our community intends to move forward to deconcentrate poverty in schools, electing school commissioners who are willing to show leadership for systemic change is essential. Candidate information is available at City Newspaper
With the large field of candidates this year, it is especially important for voters to educate themselves about issues and positions. And, most important, to vote on June 25th.
Two approaches to RCSD change
On May 13, the Rochester Beacon hosted an education forum on the future of city schools, with a keynote address by former Newark, New Jersey, superintendent Christopher Cerf.
Two panels of local experts followed Cerf’s presentation. The first panel reacted to Cerf’s address; the second offered specific ideas for reforming Rochester schools. On that second panel was Don Pryor, of the Great Schools Strategy Team. His powerpoint presentation is at the top right side of this homepage.
Video of both panels can be found at the link above.
Below is an excerpt from a Democrat and Chronicle editorial that first appeared on May 31. The editorial urges the state legislature to approve a temporary takeover of the Rochester City School District—the first time the paper has made this call.
The full editorial and a video message from Mayor Lovely Warren can be found here.
We call on New York State Assembly Members Harry Bronson, David Gantt and Jamie Romeo; New York State Senators Rich Funke, Joe Robach and Michael Ranzenhofer; all other elected state representatives from our region; and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to recognize their opportunity to create a life-changing legacy.
We call on them to support Mayor Lovely Warren, whom an overwhelming majority of city voters chose to represent them, in her call for state takeover of the Rochester City School District.
At this moment in time, only our elected state legislators have the power to disrupt our education system. Only they hold the legislative authority and moral obligation to begin the reform that is long overdue. Only they can start to change a broken structure that cannot change itself. If they do not act now, they are failing Rochester’s children.They are also failing our entire community, perhaps for generations to come.
They must pass legislation to replace the Rochester City School Board with an appointed board. Those who claim this will rob city residents of their right to select school leaders are not facing reality. Most city residents have voluntarily given up this privilege already. Voter turnout for school board elections hovers around 10 percent, and campaigns are heavily influenced by unions. City residents do not show up for school board elections because they do not believe their votes will change anything, as decades of experience have taught them. A democracy does not work when there is no positive outcome for those who participate in it.