Op/Ed by Rev. Michael Vaughn –
Recently there was a report regarding the Rochester City School District (RCSD) that essentially recommended a thorough overhaul of the financial system of the district. We were also told that the superintendent of the RCSD was going to be leaving her post. The changes recommended by the independent reviewer were substantial and left one wondering how could a district full of professionals get in such a mess while they are charged with the education of our young people? The hope is that they took their roles seriously and did not take shortcuts nor do things that were unethical or unwise with the finances that were entrusted to their care.
While there are changes that are going to take place in the RCSD and indeed with the superintendent, I would recommend that the changes do not stop there. The school board and the leader of the teacher’s union need to change as well. The RCSD is in a very bad way and in need of a complete overhaul.
The finding of the independent reviewer is just the symptom of a larger issue looming within the school district. If there is changes that are going to be made, we need to “pull the band-aid” off quickly. A definition that I have heard for insanity is “doing the same thing over, expecting different results”. If we want to see change in the district, there is going to have to be real, significant change within the district. That is not just the financial systems or those maintaining them but the school board, the head of the teacher’s union, etc. All of these organizations have a part to “play” in the horrible state of the RCSD and should be held accountable for the lack of success seen in the district.
As these changes are being made, I am hopeful that those who have the needs of the students, parents and community at heart will emerge as change agents to lead the change that is taking place and will help to properly select the superintendent, influence who takes over the leadership of the teacher’s union and make very strong recommendations as to who should take over the school board.
Rev. Michael Vaughn currently serves as senior pastor at New Wineskin Church in Rochester. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(The views expressed on our opinion pages are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the position or viewpoint of the Minority Reporter.)