Military Academy Report a Sham
Joey Flowers responded to WXXI reporter Veronica Volk's story Report Finds Rochester Community Favors Potential Military Academy.
What a bunch of malarkey. Having read the actual "report", I can say, without a doubt, that its conclusion was determined before the committee was even formed and comes directly from the desires of Van White, Todd Baxter, and other interested parties.
Nearly half of the committee was comprised of those with military, police, fire department background. Of the ten "key community leaders" who were interviewed, one was Klein Steel (educating children is a lot like selling steel after all), another was the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, then there was the Junior Reserve Officers Training Corps Instructors, as well as the Leadership Academy for Young Men, which just happens to have a JROTC component.
Got all the military and sympathetic business leaders in, but "Time and scheduling constraints prevented the Committee Co-Chairs from interviewing the RCSD Interim Superintendent, members of the Rochester City School Board, and the surrounding town supervisors." Don't remember seeing any parent groups listed either... And "When asked about other types of school options that should be considered, key leaders [read military and business] suggested boarding school and charter school models." No surprises there.
Support for this (non)-idea comes overwhelmingly from the suburbs (83%) according to surveys. Survey participation was also 19% Black, 14% Hispanic, 41% White. RCSD breakdown is 60% Black, 26% Hispanic, 10% White. Not exactly what I'd call representative. Thankfully, the committee took the time to get input from a completely unbiased group of RCSD students. "The student group was made up mainly of JROTC cadets.." Oops...
The report also claims to have the support of RTA President Adam Urbanski. Except, according to Adam Urbanski, RTA only supported the participation of RCSD on the committee. Semantics, semantics...
I could go on and on, but here's the kicker: "What did the Advisory Committee determine to be the best configuration for the military component of the school? Answer and Results Summary: Submit an application for a National Defense Cadet Corps (NDCC), which results in a full RCSD cost-incurred plan..." That's right, according to this report, we need this military academy so badly that we ought to assume the full cost ($25million+ over first 4 years) rather than apply for funding and suffer any delay! Of all the programs we could be putting our money into this is the big idea proposed by our school board's president? I'm disappointed to say the least.
What you can do: Get involved! Come down to the next Rochester City School District Board meeting and give 'em hell! The Board meets at 131 W. Broad Street 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Conference Room 3A. You can sign up to speak by calling the board at 262-8100 before noon today. But even just having people there to show support will be helpful.
See the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/243261486061536/
Read the REPORT OF THE RCSD SPECIAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO EXPLORE EDUCATIONAL ALTERNATIVES Military-style High School Feasibility Study below:
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