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State ed sends a distinguished educator to city school district 

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia appointed Jaime Aquino as a distinguished educator for the Rochester City School District. Aquino, who starts on August 18, has over 30 years of educational experience, including serving in senior positions in the Los Angeles, Denver, and Hartford public school districts, according to a statement from Elia.  
click to enlarge City schools will soon have a distinguished educator to help improve performance. - FILE PHOTO
  • City schools will soon have a distinguished educator to help improve performance.

"The Rochester City School District needs to address many deficiencies in instruction and student support that are barriers to student learning," Elia said in the statement. "Working with Superintendent Barbara Deane-Williams and the district, Dr. Aquino will assess the district's fiscal, operational, and instructional operations and develop strategies for improvement."

Elia listed a number of criteria that were the basis for her decision, many of which are well-know facts about the district:
  • RCSD has the lowest graduation rate of any district in the state;
  • Last year's English language arts and math assessments were the lowest in the state;
  • The district is one of five with more than 20 percent of its schools in receivership because of persistent low achievement.

Also, a monitoring visit to the district identified "issues" regarding support for English language learners and a corrective plan will be sent to the district, Elia said.

Aquino is bilingual and he earned his doctoral degree in curriculum and teaching from Fordham University. He'll serve as a consultant to the district and will conduct an intensive review of the entire operation during the first 45 days. Then he will work with district administrators at developing an action plan that will be submitted to Elia for approval. Once approved, the plan will be implemented with quarterly reports on progress to Elia.

Aquino will be a non-voting member of the school board. Board President Van White said he learned of Elia's decision yesterday. The board still has to negotiate his salary, which will come out of the district's budget.


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