New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia was in Rochester Thursday, on the heels of an announcement by the State Education Department that 144 schools, in 17 school districts, have been identified as “struggling schools,” or “persistently struggling schools,” and will be placed into superintendents’ receivership.
Fourteen of those schools, including four which have been deemed as “persistently struggling,” are in Rochester.
The four persistently struggling schools in the Rochester City School District are East High School, Charlotte and Monroe High Schools, and School No. 9.
“In these schools, whole generations of students have been left behind,” Elia stated. “As a former school superintendent, I know how important it will be for superintendents to use their new authority to develop robust plans to improve student performance. Superintendents have an obligation to act on conditions that have persisted for too long in these schools.”
Elia met with Rochester City School District officials July 16 to discuss procedures going forward, and the expanded authority which will be given to superintendent Bolgen Vargas under the new model.
Under the state’s receivership model, superintendents will be given one year to improve persistently struggling schools, and two years for struggling schools. Then, if the schools show no improvement, superintendents will be required to appoint an independent receiver from outside the district, and submit the appointment to the state for approval.
In April 2015, the legislature, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo, created a new section of state education law pertaining to school receivership. The Board of Regents approved new regulations to implement the law in June.
Ultimately, of the 144 schools the state identified, 124 have been designated as struggling, and 20 as persistently struggling.
According to officials, 62 of the schools are in New York City, 18 are in Syracuse, and 25 are in Buffalo.