By Raven Brown

ROC the Future released its eighth annual “State of Our Children” report card Tuesday morning.

“Being a part of this year’s State of Our Children report card and address is special to me because with it being the 8th annual report card I have seen tremendous change as I have moved from elementary school to being a year from graduating,” East High Student Reganae Walters said.

Walters said during her time in Rochester City Schools, she has seen the improvement first hand, but admits virtual learning due to the pandemic has been a struggle.

“Some of my experience of being online has been difficult,” Walters said. “I feel like I could be learning more than I want to but I’m also grateful to have an education because some people don’t have an education at all.”

ROC the Future director of research Stephanie Townsend said this year’s report card shows student achievement varies greatly from school to school but graduation is going up.

“The number in 2020 which has not yet been released by the New York State Education Department are estimated to be 68%,” Townsend said. “That’s a 20 point increase since 2013.”

The group said family support for children and youth is strong but the focus still needs to be on child poverty, youth employment, family mobility, housing and access to transportation.

“What we teach, how we teach it and when it’s taught becomes critically important,” ROC the Future Chair Shaun Nelms said. “So ROC the future will continue to lean into our local entities to ensure that what’s being taught in our schools represent our children, their cultural backgrounds, interests and beliefs but also that this work expands out to our county peers.”

Because of COVID-19, the “State of Our Children” address will be virtual starting on Nov. 16 through Nov. 19.

For more information on the virtual address, click here and to view the full report card, click here.

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