Carrie Remis 
Member since Jan 14, 2013

Recent Comments

Re: “Can parents save the schools?

@ ROCparent: Parent Power supports parent leaders in 5 districts now and no, I don't live in all of them. To be clear, we've never claimed to represent Rochester parents, Makita, Ernest and Min. Florence are perfectly capable of that. That's just the old refrain from our critics who are afraid of empowered parents and it hasn't intimidated us.

Our work is to support parent organizations with training, information and a national network, essentially do what a district's parent involvement office should be doing, but doesn't. We believe that strong, autonomous parent organizations are key to a strong public school system. And we believe in local control: each of our parent groups has a unique set of problems they are working to solve.

7 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 04/24/2014 at 8:39 AM

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

George-Love that idea of a newspaper creating a repository of all the accountability plans. Sunshine is the best disinfectant, right? (I think you first mentioned it at a CAFEE meeting many moons ago?) It could be a great way to build community engagement in the school improvement process, informed engagement. Each school and turnaround effort is required to create several plans that describe the "how" and set goals. Theoretically, the public has a seat at those tables. Theoretically. There's lots of information to glean from the plans, if you know they exist. City or the D&C could really help elevate the conversation by making it easier to access those documents.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 03/25/2014 at 2:27 PM

Re: “RCSD budget: layoffs or not?

Great recap, Tim.

I'm concerned about the move away from In-School Suspension at the smaller K-6 schools. Will those students attend ISS at the larger schools, or does this mark the beginning of a shift toward Out of School Suspension or maybe away from suspension of all types at the elementary level? Are suspension rates increasing or decreasing at the elementary level?

It's disappointing that none of the recommendations that resulted from Commissioner White's work with the advisory groups were included in the first round of the budget. It would have been a smart way for the administration to signal its intentions to work with the new Board leadership and listen to the public better. There's still time, let's hope Commissioner White keeps pushing.

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 03/25/2014 at 2:00 PM

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

MichaelO- Andy Rotherham's book, Collective Bargaining in Education Negotiating Change in Today's Schools might be a good resource for you. Available at

Posted by Carrie Remis on 03/24/2014 at 1:45 PM

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

Mark & MichaelO- My point was that outside partners have not been knocking down the door to work with RCSD. Isn't it time we asked why?

While I can appreciate why teachers like the concept of the Living Contract, the other side of the story is that provision is responsible for an ever-expanding scope of bargaining in Rochester. LC is not just in play at the school level, it's also at the district level and results in an almost 24/7/365 state of bargaining. The results of which are not part of the contract proper, but a mountain of MOUs the public never sees.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 03/24/2014 at 8:59 AM

Re: “East's problems mirror an unstable district

Great analysis, Tim. Heartbreaking, but great.

My question is: with each of the options that NYSED has presented, does the RTA contract carryover? Throughout all the decades of reform churn, the RTA contract has been the constant. For all the rhetoric about the RTA supporting innovation, etc. the contract is notorious for it's power to obstruct change--it's very doubtful that outside partners (local or national) would willingly take it on without the power to make changes to it. As far as I can tell, only Commissioner Elliott has had the courage to talk about the need for concessions from the RTA.

6 likes, 15 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 03/21/2014 at 11:23 AM

Re: “Study challenges charter schools' superiority

No doubt, depending on your perspective on charters, you can find a study that 'adjusts' the data to suit your hypothesis.

On the point about the status quo's excuse du jour: student truancy... Is student attendance a cause or effect of good schools? Common sense (and a ton of research) says that truancy goes down when student engagement goes up. And charters--unlike traditional schools--have a strong incentive to engage students. Without happy students, they go out of business.

Charter schools began as laboratory schools. Why should we be so quick to discount their success? Shouldn't we instead try to understand--and god forbid, replicate in traditional schools--the conditions that have resulted in some charter's higher student attendance and achievement? And note I said "some charters", not "all".

And while we're at it, how about some investigative reporting on the RCSD's so-called 'truancy campaign' that has given the district a steady stream of publicity for the last 2 years. Reducing truancy in a sustained way requires more than the superintendent visiting truants' homes ( with the TV crews in tow). Has the district done any evaluation of this signature program? Have schools met their attendance goals? Do they even have goals in their School Improvement Plans?

For all the fanfare, we should be seeing results by now, or at least asking for them.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Carrie Remis on 02/19/2014 at 8:24 PM

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