Reinventing the Wheel
The graduation rate for Syracuse city schools is 51%. Our new superintendent is looking for a new direction and has asked for community suggestions. As a former after-school tutor and mentor for two years with Syracuse Catholic Charities, I ask that we heed his call for our children's sake.
History and research consistently show that the most effective way to increase student performance is by providing strong support and instructional rigor.
One way to increase standards is by initiating a Literacy Campaign. Stuart High, Washington DC, hired a reading coach to train teachers how to incorporate reading in every subject area. They also decreased English class sizes, and in six years, the school went from failing ten of eleven state learning standards, to passing all eleven.
Enhancing student confidence through greater personalization and higher expectations has worked in other districts and it can work in CNY. While these changes require significant commitment from the entire community, they can be accomplished with minimal financial costs. Call, write, attend a forum, volunteer. Get involved so that Syracuse can continue to foster young leaders.