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Leonard M. Brock, Ed.D. MPA
Executive for Special Projects
The Children's Agenda
585-256-2620 ext. 2604

A New Report Card Sets Benchmarks for ‘Cradle-to-
Career’ Progress in the Rochester Community

Community Report Card & Website ‘Go Live’ Today; New Leaders Also Announced
Rochester, New York – October 16, 2013 – Today marks the launch of ROC the Future's
community-wide Report Card and website— ROC the Future is a
community-wide initiative to coordinate the work of local agencies seeking to close the student
achievement gap for students in Rochester schools.
10 Key Indicators Identified
With the help of community leaders and stakeholders, the initiative has identified 10 key
indicators to drive ROC the Future's work:
• Prenatal Care
• Pre-K Enrollment
• School Readiness
• Attendance
• Expanded Learning Time Program Enrollment
• 3
Grade Reading Proficiency
• 4
Grade Math Proficiency
• Middle School Achievement
• High School Graduation
• College Readiness
The Report Card accompanying this press release highlights key indicators of “cradle-to-career”
achievement in Rochester. The complete Report Card, which includes 43 indicators, is available
on the ACT Rochester website ( The Report Card
will help ROC the Future and community stakeholders identify best practices and bring to scale
those models and efforts that are shown to work.
ROC the Future will address issues identified in the Report Card by coordinating and aligning
existing resources around a common agenda and shared measurement systems; and by mutually
reinforcing activities, regular communication, and the development of a strong infrastructure to
provide ongoing support for the initiative.

ROC the Future Goals
Part of the nationally recognized Strive Cradle-to-Career Network, ROC the Future is responding
to the community’s desire that children and their families receive the support they need from a
child’s birth through early adulthood.
The goals of the ROC the Future initiative are that every child become school ready, receive the
support he/she needs, be academically successful and ready for college or career at graduation.
According to the most recent NYS Common Core test results, only six percent of Rochester City
School District (RCSD) 3rd and 8th graders read at grade level and just under half graduate from
high school within four years. State assessments also indicate that a significant number of RCSD
graduates are not adequately prepared to enter college and/or the workforce.

ROC the Future Newly Elected Leaders
Dozens of agencies in the Rochester area are currently working to close the student achievement
gap. ROC the Future aims to coordinate these efforts in order to address the critical issues that
children in the community face. ROC the Future has appointed The Children's Agenda (TCA) as
the "backbone" organization responsible for overseeing and directing the initiative. Leonard M.
Brock, Ed.D., TCA Executive for Special Projects, has been named Alliance Director for ROC
the Future.

Monroe Community College is one of the lead conveners of ROC the Future, and the initiative is
a key priority of MCC President Anne M. Kress, Ph.D., who currently serves as chairperson of
the conveners' group. Other newly elected officers of the alliance are: Vice-Chair, Rochester
Area Community Foundation President Jennifer Leonard; Treasurer, Rochester Business
Alliance Vice President Christopher Wiest; and Secretary, Rochester Public Library Director
Patricia Uttaro.
Recent Activity and Funding
ROC the Future' recent activity includes drafting an asset map around third-grade literacy and
helping to launch the community-wide effort to strengthen black males’ achievement. ROC the
Future is also a sponsor of the October 30 educational summit, Grad Nation, commissioned by
America's Promise. The summit will be held on October 30 at the Rochester Riverside
Convention Center.

ROC the Future is funded by leadership grants from the JPMorgan Chase Foundation, United
Way of Greater Rochester, the Rochester Area Community Foundation and the Brighter Days

Note to Media: Please see statements below from four key participants in the ROC the Future
For more information, visit

Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D, Superintendent of Rochester City School District:
“I applaud ROC the Future for engaging the community to support our students, which is a top
priority because—although the Rochester City School District is ultimately responsible for the
education of our city’s children—we cannot do it alone,” said Bolgen Vargas, Ed.D.,
Superintendent of Schools. “The community Report Card can help to ensure that our collective
efforts are driven by analytics, not anecdotes. This will help all the organizations that serve our
students and families to use their resources wisely and improve outcomes.”

Anne Kress, Ph.D., President, Monroe Community College:
Our community must make working together, collectively, to improve educational outcomes for
Rochester's children as its highest priority. The STRIVE Cradle to Career framework has
offered communities like ours a proven model for creating sustained improvement in student
outcomes. ROC the Future has adopted STRIVE's framework for aligning existing resources
around a success agenda, promoting evidence-based practices for increasing student
achievement, and building shared accountability by tracking progress over time. I am honored to
help lead ROC the Future. The common goal of helping our children succeed should inspire us
all to come together.

Maggie Brooks, Monroe County Executive:
“ROC the Future is a wonderful way for community partners and our local schools to join forces
in an effort to improve the academic achievement of Rochester’s children”, said County
Executive Maggie Brooks. “Monroe County remains dedicated to enriching the lives of City
youth through our active participation in the Superintendent’s Truancy Initiative, as well as our
continued efforts in training Rochester City School District staff to respond to students within a
trauma informed set of values. Together, I know we will be successful in improving outcomes
and changing lives for all City of Rochester students and their families.”

Leonard Brock, Ed.D., Executive for Special Projects, The Children's Agenda:
“As a scholar, city resident, former RCSD graduate and parent of two current RCSD students, I
understand the importance of integrating lived, educational and professional experiences and
practices to inform change. ROC the Future is the only viable, systemic approach designed to
allow for this integrated work in a collective response to our community's educational
challenges. I am thankful to play a role in such a worthy effort.”