Rochester Mayor Lovely Warren said in her State of the City address tonight that she has asked the state education commissioner and the Board of Regents to let her have a role in the plans for improving struggling city schools.
The Rochester school district has a number of low-performing schools that could end up in receivership. That means that the city could end up with more than two-dozen schools with more than two-dozen different turnaround approaches, Warren said.
She called for the creation of a receivership district with a comprehensive strategy to improve all of the struggling schools. A local person should work with state leaders to ensure that there is consistency, structure, and accountability in the improvement efforts, she said, and who better than the city's mayor?
"Let me be clear," she said, "this is not mayoral control."
Warren said that she would also seek to turn School 17 in the JOSANA neighborhood into a beacon school, which means that it would serve as a neighborhood center and offer expanded learning, parental support, and programs to meet residents' needs.
Warren broke other news, tonight, too. She said that she would seek money to start filling in the north end of the Inner Loop; the east section is being filled in now and the city is soliciting development proposals for the land.
And she said that she wants to revive the long delayed La Marketa project on Clinton Avenue.
A couple of notable omissions from tonight's speech, which was given at the Genesee Brewery on St. Paul Street: though Warren praised the Rochester police department and mentioned the upcoming body-camera program, she did not mention the police reorganization. The omission is odd because the reorg has been touted as a community-supported signature accomplishment. But the initial reorg did not include new neighborhood buildings, which has put Warren at odds with the police union, so maybe she didn't want to court that drama on a night reserved for cheerleading city accomplishments.
And though Warren talked about the completion of the marina at the Port of Rochester and progress at the terminal building, she did not mention the controversial private development planned for the port. Some Charlotte residents say that the development, which includes a hotel and condos, would be too big for the site and that it doesn't mesh with the character of the neighborhood.
Warren letter to Regents and ed commissioner