WXXI AM News

democrat & chronicle

When the Democrat and Chronicle launched its Time to Educate project one year ago, its reporters and editors could not foresee the current debate waged over a possible state takeover of the Rochester City School District. Time to Educate was designed to help the community find solutions to improve Rochester’s failing schools. Throughout a year of reporting, the team learned that solutions won’t be sustainable without deep, systemic change. Could that be a state takeover?

We’re joined by D&C reporters and educators who discuss what they learned through their work. They also weigh in on plans released by Mayor Lovely Warren, Assembly member Harry Bronson, and Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy. In studio:

  • Julie Philipp, senior engagement editor for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Mike Kilian, executive editor for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Justin Murphy, education reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle
  • Erica Bryant, columnist for the Democrat and Chronicle

Local students of color are speaking out about the challenges they say they face in suburban schools. Reporters Georgie Silvarole and Justin Murphy from the Democrat & Chronicle recently sat down with students from across Monroe County to discuss their experiences with racism and academic hurdles. Their investigation revealed that, on average, minority students are more than a year behind their white counterparts academically; that they face higher out-of-school suspension rates; and that they say there is persistent racism on the part of students and adults in their schools.

This hour, we hear from students, parents, and a school official who share their experiences and their ideas for how to make suburban schools more inclusive. In studio:

  • Kennedy Jackson, senior at Penfield High School 
  • Kidane Malik, senior at Greece Arcadia High School
  • Kimberly Melvin, parent of two Urban Suburban program students, member of the Pittsford Central School District PTSA, and member of the Urban Suburban Parent Advisory Committee
  • Jessie Keating, community activist
  • Ty Zinkiewich, assistant superintendent for instruction in the Spencerport Central School District
  • Georgie Silvarole, suburban trends reporter at the Democrat & Chronicle

The story of what the late Assemblyman Bill Nojay did -- his scams, his lies, his theft -- is only known because of the work of reporters Steve Orr and Gary Craig. They pushed to have records unsealed, and they chased down many threads to a strange and sad tale of deception.

Steve and Gary join us to explain how they pulled the entire, complex story together, and what questions they still would like to answer.

We explore some of the 89 proposals submitted for the Democrat and Chronicle's Unite Rochester Challenge. The goal is to find an idea that is feasible, attainable, and something that would make our community stronger, especially as it relates to equality and opportunity.

One idea echoes Ferguson, which was found to have targeted poor black people in traffic stops as a way to raise money. Is there a way to make sure that doesn't derail the progress made by people in Rochester? Other ideas focus on art, education, and more. We examined quite a few. Our guests:

  • Julie Philipp, senior engagement editor, Democrat & Chronicle
  • Ken Warner, former executive director of UNICON
  • Shawn Dunwoody, visual consultant, DUNWOODĒ
  • Karen Morris, Brighton Town Judge 
  • Brad VanAuken, adjunct professor of marketing, RIT Saunders College of Business; president and founder of BrandForward, Inc.
  • Elizabeth Laidlaw, associate professor of philosophy, MCC
  • Annette Ramos, executive director, Rochester Latino Theatre Co; associate director of education and community engagement, RBTL
  • Ruth Ann Rowe, principal broker and certified appraiser, Rowe Realty

The Democrat & Chronicle has a new senior engagement editor. The position manages the Editorial Page, the opinion section, social media, and community outreach. Julie Philipp will fill the role that had held by James Lawrence, who retired several months ago. We’ll sit down with Julie to ask: What is the future of newspapers? Does the Editorial page still have a significant public impact? What will her role be?

James Lawrence is retiring from his position as executive editor of the Democrat & Chronicle's editorial page. We sit down with Jim to talk about his career in the newspaper industry -- how it's changed, and what he thinks are the biggest issues facing Rochester now and in the future.