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New York State Education Department appoints monitor for the Rochester City School District

Emily Hunt
for WXXI News

The New York State Education Department has appointed a state monitor to help oversee the Rochester City School District.

Shelley Jallow was appointed by Interim State Ed. Commissioner Shannon Tahoe, as a result of a recent agreement with state lawmakers which provided a $35 million dollar advance on state aid to the RCSD with the requirement that a monitor to oversee academic and fiscal issues be appointed. 

According to state officials, Jallow has decades of experience in school district turnaround and leadership operations. She most recently served as Senior Director of School Improvement at WestEd., which is an educational consultant. She also has held a number of educational positions including teacher, director of curriculum and instruction and deputy superintendent. Jallow earned her doctorate in education at St. John Fisher College.

“Bold solutions are needed to address the systemic problems that have plagued Rochester City Schools for decades and to achieve educational equity for the children there,” Board of Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa said. “Under Dr. Jallow’s oversight and with the leadership of new superintendent Dr. Myers-Small, the Board of Regents and I believe the district has a real opportunity for a fresh start and a chance to build on recent advancements, if district leaders choose to work cohesively and constructively to make their students the priority.” 

Rochester’s new School Superintendent, Lesli Myers-Small, who just started this week, issued a statement saying that Jallow’s addition to the district, “will be tremendously helpful not only for me, but also the entire district. She is someone who is familiar with urban school districts like Rochester and how a large school system works. 

Among other duties, Jallow will work with the district in developing a financial plan, academic improvement plan, district goals, implementation of district priorities and budgetary recommendations.

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State Ed. Officials said that the school board and the monitor will develop proposed financial and academic improvement plans for the 2020-2021 school year and the four subsequent school years no later than November 1, 2020.

These plans will be the subject of public hearings to consider the input of the Rochester community. Once the plans are approved by the Board, the plans must be submitted by the monitor to the Commissioner for approval by January 15, 2021.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.