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Feedback 6/1 

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Superintendent search should be open

As a retired Rochester City School District educator, I am very concerned about the nontransparent process that the Board of Education has chosen to use for its superintendent search.

One of the board's most important functions is to facilitate meaningful community involvement. However, given the current negative, corporate/politically-driven education environment, combined with the myriad difficulties RCSD students experience, the use of a nontransparent, corporate model to select the next superintendent can be interpreted as hypocritical and disenfranchising to the Rochester community. This is especially true for parents, teachers, administrators, and students.

Surely, those constituencies would have valuable feedback for the BOE regarding the quality of the candidates. Board members are asking the Rochester community to trust them to make the right decision. That's a great deal to expect.

Despite being elected by the Rochester community and being outstanding citizens with education policy experience, these board members generally lack the education backgrounds, degrees, and experience to select a candidate who reflects the standards necessary for meeting the instructional, organizational, and psychosocial needs of students, parents, teachers, and administrators.

It's not too late for the BOE to modify its decision and organize a "Meet the Finalists" forum at which the public could question the board's finalists and give the BOE its feedback.

Standards are important for the selection of a great superintendent, and many local educators and parents insist that William Cala is the "standard" that should be used to assess the BOE's finalists.

If no finalist measures up to Dr. Cala in terms of:

• Experience and knowledge of the research;

• Understanding the implications of concentrated poverty and racial/socioeconomic segregation on children;

• The need for equitable funding, lower teacher/student class ratios, and more personalized learning in all classrooms;

• The need for more racially and culturally sensitive, trained teachers and administrators;

• Assertiveness and skills for intensive, research-based lobbying with the Board of Regents, Legislature, governor, and US education department for more curricular and assessment variances;

• The need to communicate effectively with students, parents, teachers, administrators and the BOE, and the passion for accomplishing all of the above.

then the BOE should invite Dr. Cala to apply for the position.

I urge concerned Rochester citizens to contact BOE members and urge them to implement these processes.


Trump's conservative charade

I have a different take than CITY when it comes to Donald Trump. He does not scare me as much as he does most of my fellow liberals and progressives.

I have done a lot of reading of comments made at sites such as Yahoo. I've noticed that more and more of them are increasingly angry, hateful, nasty, vicious, anti-government, anti-government social programs, racist, anti-Semitic, anti-minority, homophobic.

It amuses me that people who supposedly believe that everyone should work for a living seem to spend all day and night writing hateful comments on their computers. When Trump started spouting his rubbish, my immediate reaction was to say, "Wow, this guy has somehow figured out and tapped into where a lot of Americans are at now and is pretending to believe as they do. I don't think he really believes half of what he is saying."

Yes, I agree that it is very sad and even tragic that so many Americans are full of such hatred and cold-heartedness. But they are.

Yet Trump has always said that he wants to protect Social Security and Medicare. That is not a conservative position. They won't say so, but I believe that this is the major reason why some conservatives won't support Trump. Trump does not appear to be a survival of the fittest, social Darwinist like Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan.

Both of them say they favor limited government. That's code that really means that their ultimate goal is to totally abolish all government social programs that help people. Trump does not seem to be with them on this. This is why they don't like him. This is why he does not scare me like their ilk scares me.


Small class size made a difference

My name is Marne Parmelee and I teach kindergarten at RCSD School No. 2. I want to share something great that RCSD let happen this year. Usually, district kinder classes pack 22 or more children in a room, with one teacher. Our School No. 2 kinder classes each had 15 students this year.

In 27 years of teaching and researching early childhood education, I have never seen students make the incredible gains in literacy skills that our children have made this year. My colleagues and I have been able to focus intently on each student in our small classes, differentiating our teaching for their unique needs.

All educators know how the addition of one student can increase our work exponentially. Keeping our classes small has allowed us to achieve an ideal. Imagine if we could guarantee that all of our kindergarten students could have this opportunity!


Our bland corporate culture

It's always a sad day when art gets thrown away from the public view. ("Removal of airport art causes turbulence," May 25). It is really sad it takes a back seat to advertising. It's in our corporate culture to look the same no matter where you are: the same ads, the same restaurants, the same stores, the same boring landscape. All the malls are the same; do airports have to follow suit?



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