State of School

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The superintendent of Rockford schools delivered the state of the schools address Wednesday afternoon.

Dr. Alan Brown outlined the challenges and successes of the district.

He calls it one of the most challenging jobs he's ever head. Superintendent Dr. Brown addressed a group of 200 people at the state of the schools says he has a plan to get the school district on the road to success.

In his third state of the schools address, Dr. Brown took a new approach. A power point presentation filled with graphs and photos to provide a picture of the school district.

"We have a lot of work to. I won't deny that but we have a good district. An excellent district that many people would love to have,” explains Dr. Brown.

Brown highlighted numerous accomplishments; such as filling teacher vacancies, obtaining millions in grants, cutting drop out rates and securing a new teacher contract.

"That stability along with the passage of the referendum will allow us to focus on finding a new center for the school district,” Dr. Brown says.

Brown says the district's biggest challenge is boosting test scores. Recent results show about half of Rockford students got a failing grade on the state's achievement test. The district is also facing a $70 million deficit.

"we are making cuts and trying to reduce staffing but it's a challenge for us as our revenue sources dry up,” adds Dr. Brown.

Brown's answer to the district's problems is involving all members of the education community and the city, allowing them to have a say in everything from financial matters to hiring.

Brown says he recognizes it will take a while to change the attitude within the school district but if his contract is renewed he's up for the challenge.