New York state's Rochester City School District faces many of the same challenges as other large urban school districts nationwide--including high student mobility, large numbers of students from single-parent and non-English-speaking families, and pervasive poverty. The district has 34,000 preK-12 students and 15,000 adult students in continuing-education programs, with 3,600 teachers scattered across 39 elementary schools, 19 secondary schools, and several alternative education programs. At the same time, it is subject to increased requirements for accountability, despite its limited resources.

The district's primary focus is on driving instruction through an informed process. To better establish the needs of children


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