– Rochester’s interim superintendent Bolgen Vargas brought up truancy when he discussed the district’s abysmal graduation results. How can students learn when they’re not in school?
The problem starts in kindergarten. Vargas says only about 80 percent of kindergartners show up on a regular basis. That’s why Assemblyman David Gantt and State Senator Joe Robach have introduced bills calling for mandatory kindergarten attendance in the city. Those kids are already getting a start on a school career marked by chronic absenteeism.
Very few parents will say they don’t value education or want their children to succeed. But putting those ideals into practice is clearly an issue. Many parents of kindergartners are barely out of their teens themselves. Many are dealing with poverty, multiple jobs and housing stresses. Somewhere along the line, the importance of going to school is getting lost.
Vargas can knock on as many doors as he wants to get kids to come to school. But changing a culture is much more difficult.
– How big of a problem is synthetic marijuana? The Democrat and Chronicle goes looking for it in stores and doesn’t find it. It also found few cases of overdoses and severe reactions at local emergency rooms.
– Inmates at Auburn Correctional Facility got their associates degrees, thanks to Warren Buffett’s sister.
– Kodak is putting its patents up for auction. In a court filing, the company admits it has had trouble attracting a bidder. This is not a good sign. Read the filing below.