Rochester school board pushes back on Aquino report

Rochester school board pushes back on Aquino report
Rochester School Board members respond to mandated consultants report
Rochester, N.Y. – Members of the Rochester School Board are responding to a scathing report about the district.

Not all of the board members agree with the findings presented in mandated consultant Dr. Jaime Aquinos report, but they do agree on the need to work together with the district superintendent to come up with a plan on tackling the issues the district has faced for some time.

RCSD officials react to scathing report

Board Member Beatriz LeBron says the report should fuel a sense of urgency among her colleagues when it comes to public education. Meanwhile, Board Member Natalie Sheppard says the need for a total reset mentioned in the report could start with taking a closer look at teachers and staff to see if they are effectively teaching students.

We, as a board, we have to get bold, said Sheppard, speaking about accountability within the district. We have to be very bold in what were going to do next, in regards to that. And then we have to make a decision as a collective if were going to be talking about accountability, yes, were going to be talking about what is going to make this system run regardless of who is sitting in these seats on this board.

I think that the board, collectively, sometimes has forgotten what their role is as a commissioner and have become gatekeepers to some of the dysfunction in this district, said LeBron.

School Board President Van White shared some criticisms of the report. He says it was not rich in data to back some of the statements that were made. He added, while a lot of things may not be working in the district, there are many that are working.

If hes (Dr. Aquino) going to be willing to have us accept his honest assessment – I believe it is genuine, its based on his experience – he and the commissioner must be equally willing to listen to our concerns and observations, said White.

On the matter of mayoral control of the district, Sheppard sees it as a drastic measure that would take control away from students and community members.

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