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Public meeting set on Rochester school district's problems 

State education officials will hold a community meeting next week to discuss concerns about the Rochester school district.

The meeting will be from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, January 10, at Wilson Foundation Academy, 200 Genesee Street. 
click to enlarge State  Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia - PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • PHOTO BY JACOB WALSH
  • State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia

Hosting it will be Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, state Board of Regents Vice Chancellor T. Andrew Brown, Regent Wade Norwood, and Jaime Aquino, the Rochester district's state-appointed Distinguished Educator. They'll present the findings from Aquino's recent report, which outlined problems has found in the district's operations.

Following that presentation, there'll be time for questions from the public.

While Aquino’s report noted that the district has made some progress, the graduation rate has improved, for example – he cited numerous problems, ranging from divisions among school board members to the high turnover in district leadership.

The district’s operations, he said, "seems driven more by the needs of administrators, teachers, and parents, with student concerns often taking a back seat to adult interests."

Elia appointed Aquino to the Distinguished Educator position for Rochester, citing the district’s failure to improve the performance in its schools. He began studying the district’s operations late last summer and issued his report in November. The district now has until February 8 to give Elia a response to his report, and Aquino will then stay with the district, at the district’s expense, to implement an improvement plan.

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