Thursday, January 25, 2007

Why Don't We Ever Hear the Postives About RCSD?

As I've said in previous blog entries, I'm sick and tired of hearing how you have to move out of the City when you have children. The schools are so awful, your child won't stand a chance! He or she will become a drug dealer by third grade. The high schools are war zones! I can sum all of this up in one word: BULLSHIT! It is simply not true. Not only is Wilson the top-rated high school in this region, it's among the top 30 nationwide. Wilson offers the International Baccalaureate program which is recognized worldwide as the most rigorous education program available. Through my college years, I had the pleasure of meeting numerous people from all over the world who were graduates of the IB program. You would think with my lofty Pittsford education, I would have been well prepared to match their intellects. You would be wrong. I know I want my child to be educated in such a world-renowned program.

If your child can't get into Wilson, but has a penchant for the arts, don't fret - send him or her to School of the Arts. Unlike in the suburbs, where the arts are the first to get cut; here in the City, we have an entire school devoted to the arts. The education program here is so vastly superior to what is found in the suburbs that there are actually suburban students who make a reverse-commute of sorts to attend SOTA. There are countless opportunities for City students throughout the district to interact with the private sector through internships, co-ops, and classes that are actually taught by successful corporate leaders. There are many positive things happening in the City School District. You just don't hear about them.

Sadly, and I know I'm going to catch a lot of flack for this, but I think those that choose to leave the City when they have children or when those children reach school age do so for other, less Christian, reasons. I think the fact of the matter is that these folks, typically young white suburban-educated couples, do so because they don't want their child to be a minority. They know deep down that it can be much more difficult to get by as a minority in this country and they do not want their children to ever feel "different". They do not want their child to be treated the way they know whites treat minorities. I know it's politically-incorrect to suggest that racism is part of the equation. But it is and there is simply no denying it. When I dare say this, I often hear: "well, Irondequoit is very diverse" or "Fairport has a large urban-suburban program". Okay, wow, so 5% of the student body is non-white? Get real!

Anyways, I'm getting sidetracked. I wanted to point out a story that aired on WROC-TV (Channel 8) last night that provides further proof that the Rochester City School District is a fine place to educate your child. The text of the story follows this paragraph, or you can
follow this link to the video. This raises a number of questions in my mind. Why the heck isn't this front-page news in the D&C or being discussed on any other media outlet? Why do we only hear about the bad news when it comes to our City schools? Is it because the media wants to perpetuate the stereotype? Is there a hidden agenda to keep our City down? Probably, but I won't go so far as to say so. I'll leave that up to my some of my more liberal readers.

Rochester teachers are making the grade

Five Rochester teachers have earned national board certification, joining 28 others recognized as among the nation's top educators. We caught up with reading intervention teacher Roxane Gifaldi, of Roberto Clemente School Number 8 today.

"And it did take me two years, but I'm so glad that Charlie Hoff from #9 school called me on January 27th of last year and said just before the deadline. Come on Roxanne you can do it, do the retake, it'll be great," says Gifaldi.

Rochester has more nationally certified teachers than Monroe County's 18 suburban school districts combined. Rochester also has significantly more nationally certified teachers than the state's other large urban districts outside of New York City.