Communitywide Education Summit
I have been quite busy these last few weeks building for a Communitywide Education Summit in Rochester, NY based around achieving fundamental meaningful change in our schools. I’d like to take this chance to invite all our readers and allies to come and participate, as we know this type of dialogue and action is quite necessary in order to improve public education. We at the Community Education Task Force (now a local affiliate of Parents Across America) have been working hard to engage parents, students, teachers, and community members. The debate, dialogue, and resulting coordinated actions will certainly bring out voices and views that I intend to follow up and post about here at Failing Schools. Below are the details for the event, which is free and open to the public.
The Community Education Task Force (CETF), Coalition for Common Sense in Education (CCSE), Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), Green Party of Monroe County (GPOMC), International Socialist Organization (ISO) and Metro Justice (MJ) — known collectively as the Parent and Community Coalition for Educational Change — in conjunction with the Rochester Teachers Association, Rochester Association of Paraprofessionals, and the Board of Education Non-teaching Employees have been working to bring together a broad-based group of community leaders. We are hosting this Community-Wide Education Summit to build on existing momentum toward the development of an ongoing movement for educational change and improvement in the Rochester city schools as well as on the state level.
The summit will begin Friday evening, March 11 followed by a full day of work on Saturday, March 12.
The Friday evening welcoming plenary will feature former Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr. and Dr. Adelaide L. Sanford, Vice Chancellor Emeritus, New York State Board of Regents. A meeting with the Press begins at 4:30 PM, and the Program will begin at 5:00 PM in the East High School Auditorium (1801 E Main St, Rochester, NY), followed by a reception and dinner.
Saturday’s agenda (8:30 AM 5:00 PM at Rochester Plaza Hotel @ 70 State Street Rochester, NY) will emphasize focused working sessions organized around eight Principles for Fundamental Educational Change developed by the CETF as a starting point for the summit’s work (see below). Morning registration will be accompanied by light breakfast, and lunch will feature reflections from distinguished guests. Collaborating groups have convened a broad representation of Rochester parents, students, educators, and community leaders to develop the agenda for the summit.
Organizers aim to launch a movement to fundamentally change education in Rochester and beyond. We anticipate a large turnout of parents, students, educators and other community members who will be asked to identify a focus area of interest to them (one of the CETF’s eight Principles for Change) and to collaborate intensively with others interested in that focus. Each group will be asked to propose two short-term and two long-term goals for fundamentally improving education in city schools. The work will not end there: participants will be invited to join ongoing efforts to implement those goals.
All summit events are free and open to the public. Register now (strongly encouraged) at http://communityeducationtaskforce.rocus.org/ click on “Sign up for the summit” or, go straight to http://educationsummit.rocus.org/
CETF Working Principles In Brief
1. Eliminate racism and establish cultural equity in schools
2. Establish relevant and broad-based parent, student and community involvement
3. Demand measurable accountability for all stakeholders
4. Increase local control and reject further attempts to privatize the public school system
5. Produce widespread, broad-based civic and political engagement of all stakeholders
6. Reform standardized testing
7. Implement effective and proven approaches, including early childhood education
8. Eliminate devastating effects of concentrated poverty