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RCSD officials react to scathing report

November 16, 2018 01:06 AM

Members of the Rochester City School Board are reacting to the report issued by the distinguished educator brought in to access the state of the school district. 

Some commissioners are happy for the insight, others say the report does not recognize the hard work and the improvements over the past several years.

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The vice chancellor of the New York State Board of Regents sees the district in crisis and has strong words for school leaders.

"This report is a wake up call to all within the district..." said T. Andrew Brown, a local attorney. 

Brown is talking about the report released by Dr. Jaime Aquino, Ph.D.

The distinguished educator has worked as a consultant since August, and found a total of 106 issues within the district impacting student success. That includes the district's failure to implement past state recommendations.

Aquino made 84 recommendations for improvement. It's what he refers to as a district-wide "reset." But will the district make the changes this time?

"What we would like to see is the board and the superintendent to study this report and the recommendations, and come up with a sensible plan for moving forward," said Brown.

He says there is an urgency.

"If the board can't do it, doesn't have the capacity, then the Board of Regents will have to step in and take a more aggressive role." 

Brown would not give specifics, but said mayoral control is not off the table, neither is receivership. He pointed to positive changes in Buffalo and Yonkers where the state placed the school districts in receivership.

School board members held a news conference Thursday afternoon. 

"As a commissioner, I don't see the sense of urgency, not from all of my colleagues, but most....this district is on fire," said Commissioner Beatriz LeBron. 

"I'm going to be honest with you... and this is not up for debate. The methodology was erroneous. The methodology was, they only spoke to adults...and only adults," said Board President Van White.

However, White did say there are several points made in the report that he does agree with. 

The board has until Feb. 8 to respond to the state with a plan for change.

Click the video below to watch the full press conference where Rochester City School District officials respond to the release of the new report. 

Credits

Lynette Adams

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