Regents study is reason to push forward with reform, not retreat

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent Gardner

Confronted by a Regents study declaring that only 5 percent of Rochester City School District graduates are college-ready, Jean-Claude Brizard declares the findings “terrifying.”

One of Brizard’s best qualities is his persistent willingness to look the facts in the face. Too often our education leadership—the district administration and the Board of Education—has been unwilling to state the obvious. It is a natural reaction: The task is herculean. The need is desperate. The consequences of failure are tragic. Read more »

Mayoral Control Survey Informs the Community and Empowers Decisionmakers

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Democrat & Chronicles.

Kent GardnerReaction to CGR’s survey on mayoral control, conducted with partner Metrix Matrix Inc (MMI), has reinforced what the survey revealed: Our community cares deeply about this issue and the education of our city’s children. The only prior test of community sentiment was a relatively small telephone survey of parents. Yet parents-to-be, grandparents, resident property owners, renters, and resident business owners all have a stake in the effectiveness of the schools. And all can vote in Board of Education and mayoral elections.

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Empowerment & Accountability: The Rochester Schools Strategic Plan

Posted by & filed under CGR Staff, Rochester Business Journal.

Kent GardnerThe Center for Governmental Research has begun a partnership with the Rochester City School District. We’ve been invited to support implementation of Superintendent Jean-Claude Brizard’s Five Year Strategic Plan.

I’m a planning skeptic. Often the process of planning is so exhausting that we declare, “It’s done!” when the ink is dry. We forget that the plan serves only to lay out the course and load the starter pistol. The plan is too-often ignored. We continue going about our tasks as though nothing had changed. To the Superintendent’s credit, many of plan’s strategies codify activities already underway. In fact, the first of the five years was 2008-09. Like all good leaders, Brizard is impatient about his plan.

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