Rochester CSD leaders respond to state assessment on school performance

Local News

With a report out that lays bare the troubling state of the Rochester City School District, leaders there are trying to make the best of it.

They’re looking at the new group of schools put into receivership — or state control — and asking where have we gone wrong? At the same time, they are looking at the five schools that have come off of receivership and asking: How can they replicate that success?

Despite several school showing large improvement, district officials know there’s major room for improvement.

“You have to say what is it that’s occurring where you have multiple measures that our students are not achieving at a level we would want,” said Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams.

The Rochester City School District still struggled in the new state education report. Let’s look at the categories and where schools fail:

In the targeted support and improvement category, which isn’t good, RCSD has 21 schools. In comprehensive support and improvement, which is worse, there are 13 schools and only 14 schools are considered in good standing.

“That’s part of the challenge with federal and state,” said Van White, school board president. “They are constantly shifting how we are to be held accountable. But, we will roll with it because it’s important to be held accountable.”

So having 34 schools not in good standing is concerning, but last school year there were 38. It was good news for five schools that got off the receivership list including Dr. Martin Luther King Junior School 9 — which was on receivership for three years. The school district credits a new leadership model and increased curricular emphasis on writing and community to have brought School 9 from struggling to good standing.

Deane-Williams says, “Our goal is to have every student by face and name, graduating on time, with the credits and the education necessary to achieve.”

However, 14 RCSD schools are receivership schools and ten of those are new this year.

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