Students making progress, but big challenges remain


The state of Rochester's children is...a little bit better, according to a report issued today (see below) by ROC the Future, an alliance of Rochester-area institutions and community partners working to improve student achievement in the city school district. 

The alliance issues a report card each year that takes a look at 45 indicators of academic achievement. The 2016 report shows improvement in four of 10 key indicators, including a 1.6 percent increase in third-grade reading and 620 fewer truant students. 

The report shows a 3 percent decrease in the number of 4 year olds enrolled in pre-kindergarten or Head Start, but a significant increase — 19 percent — in the number of 3 year olds enrolled in the same programs. 

Problem areas: pre-k data shows that 55.5 percent of students are chronically absent, and 65 percent of students in K-8 do not have access to after-school programs. 

The report also shows the rapid rise of enrollment in charter schools and corresponding enrollment decline in the city school district. In the 2006-07 school year, 761 city students were enrolled in charter schools, while 32,586 attended the city school district. In the 2015-2016 school year, those numbers were 4,629 to 27,611, respectively. 

Only 15 percent of RCSD students who graduated and went on to attend Monroe Community College were college-ready in both English and math, according to report. That number has essentially held steady since at least 2008. 

Particularly striking in the report is the section that breaks down achievement by race and gender in Rochester vs. the state. Statewide, 83 percent of male and 90 percent of female Asian students graduated in 2015. In Rochester, those numbers are 48 percent and 43 percent, respectively. Similar disparities are found in other demographic groups. 

State of Our Children Report Card 2016 by Scott Fien on Scribd