Mary’s Track Record of Leadership
Local school districts “have clear decision-making authority over the adoption of curriculum materials and instructional practices.” New York State law requires us to use the Common Core State STANDARDS, but the ways we meet those standards – the curriculum, lesson plans, books, etc — are the responsibility of our local school board.
Commissioner Adams convened and chaired a special committee to look at how common core standards are being put in place in the City School District because teachers, parents and others were raising important questions:
- Are we providing culturally responsive and historically accurate teaching and materials?
- Are we providing teaching and activities that match each child’s learning stage and that bring out each child’s strengths?
- Are standardized tests driving too much of what happens all year, and if so what can be done to make sure leaning is interesting and high quality?
- The special board committee, which includes parents, teachers, college professors, principals and community members, confirmed that there is much work to do.
A new District Instructional Council has been created to ensure that the district as a whole can learn from and adopt the practices and materials used by those teachers and principals who have proven success in engaging and motivating our children to achieve academic excellence. The council will interface with professional development initiatives that include teacher and community members with expertise in teaching children of color. The work will also focus on strategies to elevate the role and impact of the Rochester Teacher Center, the African and African American Studies Department and the Latino Studies Department.