BlogDade’s Departure Demonstrates Need for Total Reset

April 25, 20206
Last week’s news of Superintendent Terry Dade’s departure from the Rochester City School District (RCSD) due to irreconcilable differences with the School Board came as a shock to many. But to so many of the parents, advocates, and observers of the District, this was business as usual.


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.


  • Sandy Mayer

    April 26, 2020 at 4:26 pm

    Great comments, Alex. I agree and feel we really need to think outside the box on this. It won’t be a quick fix and a simple solution will mean repeated failure. I, personally, have always been a fan of a metro school district to mitigate racial and socioeconomic disparities and inequities, not to mention the chance of benefiting financially from economy of scale. I’m not sure just having the state send in a whole new slate of managers is the right solution. We certainly don’t need a seventh superintendent to sacrifice at the altar of this incompetent school board. I do think you’re on the right track and feel it will highlight the advantage of your candidacy over that of your opponents. Again, please call on me for counsel.


  • Dale Spafford

    April 26, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    Amen Brother!! You got my vote!!


  • Andrew Bestram

    April 26, 2020 at 9:24 pm

    What’s your plan?


    • Eitan Sirkovich

      April 27, 2020 at 4:21 pm

      Hi Andrew,

      I believe that we must follow the Distinguished Educator’s call for a “total reset” of the RCSD. This starts with reforming the governance system that has failed kids for too long. Read more on my page about Education.




  • Anthony McCollough

    April 29, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Appropriate use of the funds we receive is one of the aspects of effective governance, also pull ourselves away from the initiatives that do not work for our population. Education for all in America doesn’t mean everybody learns the same way or has the same end goal in mind. Im not beating up college here, but the message had been go to college or else…..nothing. But in reality education’s end goal should be to prepare our citizens for the world of work and functioning positively in society. We need to create paths for our folks to get to the opportunities America has to offer, that we all, we all can participate in. Until then we will live separated in disruption, struggling to find our footing and not moving in the same direction.


  • Elizabeth RBakari

    April 30, 2020 at 11:57 am

    If you want MY vote, you have to spell out your plan.
    What is your plan?


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