From a speech by Bill Cala, former Superintendent of Rochester City School District (RCSD), who worked as an interim while they were looking for the next Superintendent Jesus who would fix everything:
Let’s go back to those root causes of failure in school.
What is being done to address these issues?
What is our city leadership doing about the health issues facing children?
What is our city leadership doing about teen pregnancy?
What is our city leadership doing about the child abuse epidemic?
What is our city leadership doing about the immigrant population who cannot speak English?
What is our city leadership doing about the explosion of children in the mental health system?
None of these issues have anything to do with school governance!
What have been forwarded as solutions under mayoral control?
Zero Tolerance – Test, Punish, and Push Out – Advancement Project
Recreation centers such as the Ryan Center
Schools open longer hours
Is there one idea in this plan that addresses the dire needs of children and families?
Is there one idea in this plan about how children learn and need to be taught?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My vision for Rochester is for us as a community to think about rescuing our children. Saving our children will rescue the Rochester city schools. This cannot be done without putting children at the center of our efforts. The RCSD cannot do this alone. This absolutely must be an effort of everyone in the community.
What do WE do for the child who is sexually abused at 2 years old?
What do WE do for the child whose father is repeatedly arrested and jailed for selling cocaine?
What do WE do for the child whose family is repeatedly reported to Child Protective Services?
This is the biography of one of our “dropouts” who is accused of murder. Can we understand why such a child would drop out?
Can the RCSD stop this madness alone? I think not.
Read the whole thing. The focus is holistic, not on a few tweaks to schools themselves, and if anything, it’s progressive.