I am very intrigued by the topic of Rochester’s Mayor Robert Duffy’s decision to take over the Rochester City School District. According to various sources, the mayor is seeking to consolidate the City and the school district. Many parents, students, teachers/administrators, and community leaders have expressed different feelings regarding mayoral control for the city’s schools. I have listened to their comments, both for and against mayoral control, and it is intriguing to me no one has actually seen an outline of what Mayor Duffy plans to do with the schools.
Interestingly, the superintendent of Rochester City School District has regarded mayoral control as a progressive school reform approach for urban schools. I sincerely disagree with the understanding of progressive school reform. I question: what “progressive” school reform plan is Mayor Duffy really pushing?
Mayoral control of the RCSD has been compared to many other urban school districts and the federal Department of Education believe that mayoral control has worked in cities like New York City, Washington, DC, Chicago, and Boston. Recently, Mayor Duffy has released his plan for mayoral control to the city council. According to some City Council leaders, they are slightly perplexed as to what the plan is and would like to know why the plan lacks specificity.
Could it be that the issue of mayoral control is a political and money-driven move? What will happen to the students’ learning process if mayoral control takes effect? Will this plan drastically improve education and graduation rates? Most importantly, what is our plan as educators or should we accept the mayor’s decision?