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Rochester schools have plan to close achievement gap

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School boys
Three boys take a break in the play yard.
Photo by PAUL J.RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images

The Rochester school district has developed a five year plan to close the academic achievement gap. The program is based on the assumption that students can be taught to be successful in any area. 

Superintendent Romaine Dallemand said by 2013, all students in the district will be proficient in reading, math and science, and all will be prepared for careers after high school.

"I always like to say that in Rochester we have a very good school district. However, 22 percent of our students are not proficient in reading and in math" Dallemand said.

In Rochester, those students tend to be low-income students of color. The program will train parents, teachers and administrators on ways to motivate students and monitor progress.

Elementary teacher Lisa Anderson says the efficacy model that the district is using emphasizes that all students can succeed.

"So the efficacy program trains administrators, teachers, and parents and students in strategies for achievement. We have staff trainers that will train staff. We have parent trainers who have already trained some parents and will continue to train parents," said Anderson.

The plan starts next year with seven schools that have the biggest achievement gap.