Consultant to help Rochester City School district improve

The New York state education department has appointed a special consultant to analyze and improve schools in the Rochester City School District.

State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia appointed Kenneth Eastwood as the consultant, under the title of distinguished educator, according to district officials. Eastwood, whose appointment is effective April 25, spent nearly 20 years as a superintendent in the Oswego and Middletown city school districts. His services as a consultant will be paid for by the district.

Among the issues Eastwood will address:

• Graduation rates: The district has the second lowest four-, five- and six-year graduation rates of any district in New York State that has more than 30 students in a class.

• Percentage of priority schools: Rochester has the highest percentage of priority schools in the state at 54 percent; these are schools that have been identified as performing in the lowest 5 percent of schools statewide.

Eastwood will conduct an intensive review of district systems, structures and operations with the goal of helping the district to fully and effectively implement its improvement plans for priority schools and develop an action plan to support district improvement.

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