News Release - Statement of Mayor Robert J. Duffy On State Education Department Report

Mayor Duffy with children in the City Hall atrium.City of Rochester

News Release

(Thursday, Jan. 21, 2010) - The State Education Department (SED) today released a statewide list of 57 schools identified as “persistently lowest achieving” and recommended such schools make drastic changes to improve student performance. I was sad to see that of the 57 schools across the state, 9 of them were Rochester City Schools, the most of any city outside of New York City. This represents almost 16% of the deficient schools in New York State. This means the SED has just rated half our high schools as failing, under federal standards for graduation rates and Math/English scores. This report belies the claims of some individuals that Rochester schools are making solid progress.

This underscores my core belief that the current education system is not focused on children and student achievement, but rather on special interests and adult concerns. Under this present system, the buck stops nowhere. There needs to be a straight line of accountability.

We cannot afford to lose another generation of our children. Today’s report reflects decades of failure of the Rochester educational system. We have a 50% graduation rate that is expected to drop back to the mid-40 percentile this year. This is not acceptable and cannot be tolerated any longer. In the coming week, I will announce a series of forums in every corner of our city to meet with parents, teachers, families, neighborhood residents and citizens, to get input to develop a plan to change school governance. There is no more important issue than changing school governance if we are to improve the future of our children and our city. We can do better, and we will.


News Media: For more information call Gary Walker at 428-7405.