Over the past 10 years, the School Board has run 6 superintendents out of town due to their micromanagement and erratic behavior. Each time this happens, our District is destabilized, and our kids suffer the most. When I announced my campaign, I said that one of the main reasons I’m running is that Albany legislators, most notably Assemblymember Harry Bronson, have failed to act in the best interests of our kids. Their main priority has been to protect the School Board and our broken system, leaving the kids out to dry. In return, most School Board members have endorsed Assemblymember Bronson for re-election.
In the coming months, the School Board will likely start a search for a 7th superintendent this decade. The question is not whether we will find the right person, as many thought Terry Dade – or the previous 6 – would be. The question is whether we as a community are going to step up and say clearly: enough is enough.
The Distinguished Educator’s report clearly outlined the need for a “total reset” of the Rochester City School District’s governance and operations. But that total reset can only happen if our elected leaders are willing to step up and make the tough decisions and put our kids’ interests first.
We know that our schools face many issues: structural racism, poverty, and trauma just to name a few. Fixing RCSD’s governance failures will not fix everything. But if we truly want to address those other issues, we need a system that will work for our kids. And that requires having hard conversations about how our schools are governed – not running away from these conversations.
I pledge to work with parents, teachers, faith leaders, advocates, and kids to help bring about real, meaningful change that will work for them. And while we should all be outraged by the School Board’s latest transgression, we should only be outraged at ourselves if we let it happen again.