Whenever criticism of Rochester Schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas arises, his supporters cry, “You’re focusing on adults when you should be focusing on students!” The truth is, without strong leadership from the adults who run the district, our schools can’t improve. And our students pay the price.
On February 11, 2014, the Board of Regents adopted emergency regulations to address concerns raised by the field and stakeholders to adjust and improve the implementation of the Common Core Standards and teacher/principal evaluation. The approved regulatory amendments to the APPR are intended to help districts and BOCES reduce local testing and ensure that the amount of testing is the minimum necessary to inform effective decision-making. At its March 2014 meeting, the Board of Regents made a series of technical amendments to the regulations to clarify the requirements for districts and BOCES that opt to use an assessment that is not a traditional standardized assessment for grades K-2 for purposes of APPR.
Rochester Schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is denying tenure to the district's principals, assistant principals and other administrators at the highest rate in the last 10 years, a trend he says is dictated by poor student performance and a need for culture change.