“ROC the Future,” a group that includes Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren and Congressman Joe Morelle, is pushing for more input with the state on the direction of the Rochester City School District.

Monday morning, they announced they want a seat at the table with the state education commissioner when it comes to the future of Rochester schools.

The group says its aim is to help Rochester students achieve academic success — that is the bottom line.

ROC the Future is planning to create a task force that includes a community petition which would be presented to the state education commissioner in the coming weeks. The task force will serve as a vehicle for the voice of the community to the commissioner to come up for solutions.

“We’re looking for community engagement. We’re looking for a process, a process that isn’t just bureaucratic checking boxes but a process that really gets us to a transformative change for our education system,” said Ajamu Kitwana, Chair of ROC the Future. 

However, Mayor Warren says mayoral control is not the answer.

“At this point in time, I don’t think that mayoral control in of itself is the answer. I think that’s what your hearing today. It’s not just one governance structure that is the answer,” explained Mayor Warren. “However, we all want to be a part of the solution. Partnership in working together is the answer to getting the change that we want to see done.” 

“Some interventions that really talk and discuss root causes. I don’t want any more superficial decision being made. I know that there are some things that may have the law to be impacted in order for us to do it and I’m hoping that happens in the next couple of months,” said Natalie Sheppard, RCSD Commissioner of Schools. 

They’ve also sent a letter to Commissioner Elia and the New York State Board of Regents to lead this effort.

Link to the pledge: http://rocthefuture.org/ourchildrenourfuture/