– Why did the Rochester City School District, when approached by a benefactor, choose an already-successful high school for more help? A Wegmans executive wants to assemble a community advisory board for Northeast College Prep. The students there will have a longer school day and year and exposure to new activities, such as yoga.
But NE has one of the highest graduation rates in the city – 74 percent. Of those who graduate, many go to college. At 500 students, it’s a very small school. What’s more, NE gets a lot of help already from the College Board. (I imagine the successful students will balk at the proposed mandatory 11-hour school day, even if that time includes extra-curricular stuff.)
It’s also odd that Northwest College Prep, housed in the same building, with the same program and a similar student body and similar academic results, is left out.
Board member Cynthia Elliot smelled a rat, according to the Democrat and Chronicle:
“It seems to me that the people who have the money are going for the superficial,” Elliott said.
Still, (Wegmans executive Paul) Speranza and Superintendent Appointee Bolgen Vargas said they need to start somewhere. The hope is that ultimately they will be able to replicate the model at other schools in the city.
“What we’re trying to show is that this can be done in one school,” Speranza said. “You have to start with one school and have really good results. It’s something we do in business all of the time.”
Update: I visited the school today and the feeling is this intensive program would not work in a school that did not already have buy-in from parents, students and staff.
– Why did the Rochester school board and/or the superintendent want to oust Vanguard principal Carol Jones? In the face of opposition from students and staff, the district backed down. What prompted this. Misconduct? Internal politics? The school has only been around a couple years; it was one of Jean-Claude Brizard’s experiments.
– Bolgen Vargas laid out his cabinet reforms in a great slideshow presentation. After years of controversy and some abuses, he is asking board approval to reduce the size and benefits of the group.
– A local man’s fight with Huntington’s Disease is very sad. He’s only 22.
– Would journalists publish a seriously flawed poll with a huge margin of error? Perhaps they shouldn’t publish deeply problematic teacher ratings, either.