When students in the Rochester City School District begin the new academic year next week, they will be getting more classroom time and support in a longer school day.
School Board President Malik Evans said he wants to see improvements as a result of those changes in the next two to three years. If those improvements don't come, Evans said "more dramatic" action needs to be taken. He said he would consider a model used in Memphis, Tennessee, where schools in poor-performing districts were placed in a special state-run district. "I don't think we're at that point yet, but we are at a tipping point when we look at the numbers of students receiving free and reduced lunch and we look at the poverty numbers in the district. At some point, we're gonna have to say 'where do we go from here.' In Monroe County, that could be a modified Memphis plan or it could be something similar to Memphis." Evans responded to comments made by Governor Cuomo, who told reporters that poor performing schools should face a "death penalty" if they don't improve. Evans said many students in the Rochester district feel that they have been given a death penalty because of the effects of poverty and segregation. Evans said he is focused on the resurrection of the city schools.