From: Dan Drmacich [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]
Sent: Saturday, March 18, 2023 at 11:28 AM
To: David Long, Sean Smith, Dave Atias, Eileen, David Kurtz, and 81 more...
Subject: 3/17 Rochester Coalition for Public Education Meeting Minutes
Attendance: Joe Simson, Diane Watkins, Cindy Butterworth, Chojy Schroeder, Don Bartalo, David Hursh, Howie Maffucci, John Boutet, Lee Loomis, Ed Donnelley, Dan Drmacich
(Who did I miss???)
Discussion & Decisions:
1. Ed & Dan reported on a 3/17 meeting with the Supt. & his cabinet, at which they and other members of a committee of International Academy School supporters, discussed a proposal to transform the current International Academy into a high school with Regents Exam flexibility to more effectively meet the needs of ELL students. One of the options being considered is having the Academy become a School Without Walls "satellite." The Supt. was intrigued by that possibility & will study the options with his cabinet. The IA supporters will continue to send the Supt. supportive information. (See attachment used in presentation.)
2. Joe, Cindy, Bart, John, Chojy, Diane & Dan shared that the RASE Education Committee is developing a community survey to identify which of the Education recommendations are immediate priorities. They also reported that Diane & Dan were representatives that presented the RASE Recommendations to the Monroe County School Districts Regional Education Network, which consists of all Monroe County School District diversity, equity & inclusion officers. Much interest was shared & their participation in the RASE Education Recommendation advancement was encouraged.
3. David shared that he and Coalition member, Tricia Gonzalez, will participate in an upcoming three- day meeting of the NYSED Blue Ribbon Committee for developing new graduation expectations and assessments for NYS students. He also shared that he is concerned about the Regents commitment to this goal & the work of the committee since there have been supportive statements made by Regents members for maintaining a high-stakes standardized test-driven education system.
Dan share that he sent a letter to Regents Chancellor, Lester Young, the Regents members & the Commissioner in response to the Chancellor's supportive statements of standardized testing, and David shared that he has done so as well. (See attachment)
We agreed that Dan should invite Regents members Wade Norwood & Adrian Hale to attend a Coalition meeting to discuss their positions on the Blue Ribbon Committee impending recommendations and the Chancellor's statements.
4. Bart shared that he has a meeting scheduled next week with the Supt. to discuss the Supt.'s suggestion to have an advisory council consisting of reps from all Rochester-area education activist organizations. Please send Bart any suggestions for what organizations should be included. Dan shared that his personal recommendations for such an advisory council are:
- The council would meet minimally on a monthly basis,
- The monthly agenda would consist of:
A. Requests by the Supt. for feedback on key issues, proposals & initiatives, and
B. Requests or proposals by the attending organizations for RCSD action.
5. We discussed our positive impressions of Isaiah Santiago's RCSD BoE campaign & suggested that those of us who are so motivated to send personal donations and/or assist with his required petition signings. Isiah's email address is: Isaiah4rcsd@gmail.com
6. We shared that we are interested in learning more about the backgrounds of the new RCSD Supt.'s cabinet members. We look forward to their critical thinking & creative problem-solving.
7. John & David shared that they attended the 3/11 "Anti-Racist Conference" & were impressed by the large attendance of over 400 & the presentations.
8. We agreed that we should obtain information on the following:
- Which of our 2 local Regents members is the geographic rep & which is the "at-large" rep?
- What is the process for selection of each rep?
- Would there be a more democratic system for their appointments?
Dan will seek info from Harry Bronson's office.
9. We discussed U.S. Congressman Jamaal Bowman's bill for nation-wide flexibility for ESSA requirements for use of high-stakes standardized testing & have enthusiastic support for it. We agreed to have David seek advice from NYS Parent Group organizers & others for advice on this. Dan will seek information from Urbanski on RTA & NYSUT support. We'll also send Coalition & individual letters to Morelle & other area congress reps. (Bowman's Bill attached)
10. Dan shared that the RCSD Professional Development Office was impressed with the 2/11 Student Motivation Conference that our Coalition co-sponsored, and is interested in replicating it with other RCSD staff and other workshops on how to implement intrinsic motivation teaching & learning strategies in the classroom. Dan is discussing possibilities with the PD personnel.
(See link below for 2/11 Conference recording. It starts at approximately the 6 minute mark. Unfortunately the screen Rich uses for his presentation is not visible, but Rich's delivery makes up for it.) Also, the Q&A with Rich is great.
11. We agreed to meet again on Friday, March 31 @ 4:00 pm, by Zoom.
Dr. Ryan's talk at SJFU: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1blVWchWkMarKlRjWAAPFjpFkjlBN8ZsN?usp=sharing