Every child deserves a great school and a great education. This is no pipe dream. Even the most disadvantaged child can succeed once we stop blaming the Rochester City School District alone for widespread failure and commit as a whole community to lifting up every child in need.
Great Schools for All (GS4A) is a citizens’ advocacy group dedicated to evidence-based solutions to the consequences of concentrated poverty in city schools. Its founders include significant representation from the Third Church outreach programs. The group holds public events, reaches out to civic and religious groups, and works closely with school and government officials to advocate for socioeconomically diverse schools.
Why do diverse schools matter?
Research shows that they are the most effective and least costly way to dramatically improve the odds of success for large numbers of students at risk of educational failure.
What is the GS4A plan?
A voluntary network of primary and secondary interdistrict magnet schools that are intentionally diverse – with curriculum built around themes intended to appeal to a broad cross section of students.
Is there any support for this?
Actually, Yes. The New York State Board of Regents and the NYS Department of Education have both acknowledged the value of racially and socioeconomically diverse schools as tools for improving educational outcomes. And a 2016 GS4A scientific poll of Rochester city and Monroe County parents found strong support for such schools.
What about all the other efforts underway to improve city schools?
GS4A supports every effort to improve the educational experience of children, especially those who are most disadvantaged. This includes the work of volunteer tutors, efforts to improve cultural competencies, community schools designed to bring multiple community resources to assist students and build healthy neighborhoods, restorative justice practices, and many more.