ROC the Future members and government leaders came together Monday to publicly call on the Rochester City School District to involve the community in its transformation.
Like many parents, Diana Green says she’s worried about the problems the troubled district faces.
"I hope we get out of the red and get into the black, or the green," Green said. "So we can be one of the top schools in this nation, versus one of the lower schools in the nation.”
The ROC the Future alliance and local leaders voiced similar concerns Monday morning when they called on the district to open the doors to their support.
"We don’t believe [the State Education Commissioner is] looking to do something subversive or outside the community, but the community has to demonstrate that we want to do this together, and this is a way for us to do it,” Jackie Campbell of ROC the Future said.
There have been discussions about the city taking over the school board, but ROC the Future wanted to be clear:
"We are not asking for a state takeover, a mayor takeover, any kind of particular takeover," ROC the Future chair Ajuma Kitwana said. "What we’re asking the state to do is support a community-engaged process, so with the district, with the state and with local leadership, develop a way forward.”
In fact, Mayor Lovely Warren says she isn’t sure that would solve the problem.
"It’s not just one governance structure that is the answer. However, we all want to be part of the solution," Warren said. "Partnership and working together is the answer to getting the change we want to see done."
They have dubbed their initiative "Our Children, Our Future." It's a community partnership that brings all the stakeholders together to help RCSD create a new governance that would transform the district. They've even created a petition for interested people to sign on the alliance's website.
That’s something Green says she can get behind.
"If we can all come together and sit around and talk about it, then maybe we can get stuff accomplished,” Green said.