On September 27, 2011 Tiffany Lankes wrote, 924 students have not reported to school this year. Of those, 230 were in grades K-6 with the remaining numbers from the “high school” grades. The report states categorically, “All of them were in school last year.”
Nearly 700 young men and women are refusing to go to school this year and Superintendent Vargas is asking why. Maybe it is because last year they were in high school and this year they were forced, against their will, back into elementary school. The district is willing to offer these students “special” programs but is totally unwilling to rethink their decision to return 7th and 8th grades to the elementary level regardless of student, parent, and community opposition to that decision.
Is it possible that this community is looking at a massive protest by our youth against the forced regression to a level of education that did little to serve them originally? Are we seeing Rochester’s young men and women stand up against the oppressive, dictatorial, decision making of the Rochester City School District?
Whether organized or happenstance, the fact that 700 students have refused to attend school this year as opposed to last year should tell district officials that the problem is not the programs they offer but the failure they promote. In one year 700 young men and women chose to ignore the institution that has ignored them.
In the 2009-2010 school year, 135 students dropped out. In 2008-09, 123 failed to complete high school. One hundred forty-four students dropped out in 07-08, 101 in 06-07, and 230 in 05-06, for a total of 733 students in five years.
This community cannot continue to ignore the devastating effects our school leaders are having on the children of our district. The youth of this city is crying out for adult support and we are failing to stand up for them so they are standing up for themselves.
The question now becomes, “Are we going to support our young men and women or are we going to continue to support the district leaders who have failed them?”
This educational carnage must stop!
Vote for change.
Join the Movement to Save Our Children!