To say it plain and simple: The Rochester City School District (RCSD) will continue to fail our communities most precious resource (students), if critical recommendations suggested in the Final Report of Distinguished Educator Dr. Jaime R. Aquino, Ph.D., are not implemented immediately.
The Final Report outraged the Rochester community. However, it didn’t disclose what they already knew for years.
The credible and widely-accepted documentation of the District’s failures, verified by a well-respected special educator have empowered members of the community including Political and Community Activist Gloria Winston, to endorse those that will support dramatic change such as, Former RCSD Educator and Community Activist Howard Eagle.
“He will not only rock the boat, he will tip it over, just what we need,” Winston says in her weekly column in the Minority Reporter.
Howard responded to Winston’s endorsement in a recent conversation with Southwest Tribune saying, as superintendent he would prioritize engaging parents and their concerns, embrace all of Dr. Aquino’s recommendations and develop a strategic plan around them for immediate implementation. He views the present moment as an ‘opportune time’ for a new superintendent.
“It really is very humbling (to say the least) that well-grounded, strong, wise elders such as Queen-Mother Gloria have endorsed me as a good-fit for superintendent,” Howard says. “And I believe others as well, would place their confidence in me. I have no doubt that I could do the job well. However, I’m a Realist. We would literally have to do this together. The Board is the only one who can choose a superintendent. And realistically, except for Judith Davis, I will garner little support from the current members, because I will absolutely ‘rock the boat’ or if needed, ‘turn it over.’ We got to shake up the status quo and there’s no way around it,” Howard continues.
“The Teacher’s Union have amassed a lot of power in terms of who controls the education system and they will not go quietly. The massive failure of our children produces lucrative kick-backs,” he says.
The School Board he believes is not up to the task and are beholding to special interest groups and some of them are politically supported by the RCSD Teacher’s Union. And at sometimes you wonder, if they know what they’re doing? or If they care?
"Yet, in my humble but informed view, we should remain cognizant of the fact that, within the current, educational-pecking-order, the only positions that are more powerful than that of Superintendent, are the Superintendent's seven (7) supervisors (Board of Education Commissioners),” Howard points-out. “Four (4) "supervisor-seats" are up for grabs next year- 2019. And I can't believe that I'm considering running again. In any case, we need a slate of four (4), which would represent most of the Board. Potentially, we are positioned to change the entire political dynamic, and finally get something significant, concrete, measurable, and permanent done, but the broader community will need to be serious about helping to do the necessary work. This really does represent a rare, golden opportunity for us to be (without any rhetoric) the change that we say we want to see,” he says. “The Struggle continues, and 2019 is the year to smash Gradualism.”