It is no secret that the Rochester City Schools are not doing as well as they should be. Graduation rates are at an all time low and standardized test scores continue to plummet. The status quo is not working.
Mayor Robert Duffy is seeking to do in Rochester what other cities have done across the country. In fact, twelve other major cities have undergone the mayoral control of schools removing the typical governing school board. And statistics have shown that this transformation of power has proven to be very positive for the school districts. I am in favor of the mayoral control of schools in our city if for no other reason simply because what we have now is clearly not working and something needs to be done as our Rochester City School District is in crisis.
With mayoral control of schools in Rochester pending I have written a letter to Mayor Robert Duffy stating my support and asking for the opportunity to speak with him about the importance of the performing arts in schools. I figure why not just go straight to the top, the potential man in charge, and lobby for the arts.
Here is my letter:
Mayor Robert Duffy
City Hall, Room 307A
30 Church St.
Rochester NY 14614
April 23, 2010
Dear Mayor Duffy,
I was recently crowned Miss Greater Rochester 2010 and am so honored to be a representative and ambassador for our wonderful city. As Miss Greater Rochester I am working to be an advocate for the Miss America National Platform, the Children’s Miracle Network, as well as for my own personal platform, “Inspiring Young Minds Through the Performing Arts.” My goal as Miss Greater Rochester is to help ensure that every child in our city has the chance of a well rounded education and that includes the performing arts.
I am in favor of the mayoral control of schools in the Rochester City School District. I think it would be a fantastic way to provide accountability and stability to a current system that clearly is no longer working. It is my belief that the mayoral control of schools would put our city’s school district back on the right track, raise standardized test scores, and raise graduation rates. Consequently downtown would surely begin to flourish and slowly return back to all that we know it can be.
With mayoral control of schools as a real possibility, and a positive one at that, I would like to speak with you about the role the performing arts should play in schools. Many people view the arts as a disposable luxury; it is a common misconception that the arts are merely extracurricular. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001includes the arts as a core academic subject and countless studies have shown there is in fact a direct correlation between the arts and other core academic subjects as well as a child’s development. The lack of the arts in a curriculum is just as detrimental to a child’s education as that of math or science. In short, a child involved in the arts will perform better in school, develop self confidence, learn interpersonal skills, and find a sense of creativity, all likely resulting in higher standardized test scores and graduation rates. You and I have the same goal: to see our city’s students achieve greatness. It is my mission as Miss Greater Rochester to raise awareness of the importance of the performing arts and to work so that every child has the chance to reach his or her God given potential.
Should you have the time, I would love to speak with you further about the role the performing arts should play in schools. I ask that you take a deep consideration of the arts when forming a more detailed plan and curriculum for the Rochester City School District. The arts have played a large role in shaping the young woman I am today and I am tremendously grateful for all that has been afforded to me. I only hope that someday every child is given that chance to explore the performing arts and all it has to offer.
Thank you very much for your time and consideration.
Miss Greater Rochester 2010
I will be sure to let you all know should I receive a response and I encourage you all to write to Mayor Duffy and to state your concern in our children's education. Make sure to voice your support for the performing arts!