I have worked as a teaching artist in 13 elementary and high schools in the Rochester City School District, as well as other suburban and rural schools in greater Rochester area. I earned my doctorate in Teaching, Curriculum, and Change from the University of Rochester. I'm a researcher, an Adjunct Professor at Nazareth College and the Warner School of Education, and I manage an educational project at Rochester Institute of Technology. My husband Fred and I have lived in Rochester for 17 years and sent both of our children through RCSD schools.
Through my teaching across many classrooms, I've had the opportunity to see what works well and not so well. Successful schools are those that find ways to build community among their students and staff. Learning communities are eroded by high staff turn-over and scatter-shot programs driven by mandates developed outside of school buildings. School improvement should always be our goal, and decisions on how to go about it should always be anchored by those who know the students personally, understand particular building issues, and have some latitude to implement needed changes. To accomplish this, communities and educators must have options for real decision-making and problem-solving at the local school level.
My priority issues are students' low reading skills, variable attendance, graduation rates, social promotion practices, and the need for stronger instructional leadership in buildings. Because the district serves many families living in areas of concentrated poverty, we must work to increase students' safety and welfare through social-emotional supports, improve parent engagement, and ensure our schools are stable environments. Among other things, I would advocate for reading support at all grade levels, push for collaboratively developed teacher and principal evaluation processes, and challenge the high stakes testing practices that steal precious instructional time away from our children.
Rochester's quality of life and future success is dependent on the schools of our city. As an educator, I would bring my skills as a teacher and academic researcher to the Board. We have much work to do to improve our schools and I would be honored to serve you in this capacity.
Thanks for visiting my website!
Dr. Elizabeth Hallmark
Diane Ravitch, Former US Assistant Secretary of Education and current education policy analyst: Wouldn’t it be great if more teachers ran for school board and for the legislature? Then when policies are written and implemented, there would be an experienced voice at the table, explaining the consequences of decisions made far from the classroom. I don’t know Liz Hallmark, but I am very impressed that she knows teaching and learning, she cares passionately about the arts, and she would be a great school board member.
Bill Cala, Former Superintendent of Fairport and Rochester City Schools: Liz Hallmark has the knowledge and experience to lead RCSD forward. She has a long history of paying close attention to the research that leads to improved educational outcomes for our children. We need Hallmark's passion for children and concern for our community.
Mary Adams, Current RCSD Commissioner of Schools: Liz Hallmark is an experienced educator whose commitment is shown not just by impressive formal credentials, but by her record of community involvement. Her experiences as a district parent, arts educator and advocate for common sense policy approaches will be invaluable.
Don Bartalo, Former teacher, principal, and Superintendent, current instructional coach, author of Closing the Teaching Gap:Liz Hallmark would make a great board member because she knows that the quality of teaching makes all the difference. Give Liz a chance to put literacy and learning at the heart of needed school reform.
Rich Ryan, Professor of Psychology at University of Rochester, and Editor-in-Chief of Motivation and Emotion: Liz Hallmark has the right platform for Rochester's schools and we need her now! She has a depth of frontline educational experience unmatched by other board candidates. Perhaps more important, she has a well-informed and realistic vision of what it will take to improve our challenged schools. She will fight the destructive effects of test-focused reforms, while seeking to enhance school quality and performance.
David Hursh, Professor of Education at University of Rochester,
Liz Hallmark would bring to the board the view of an experienced educator. During this time when educators are increasingly under attack, her voice would be invaluable in presenting the other side. Further, she would counter the current mania regarding test scores and work for implementing real reforms that would improve teaching and learning in schools.
Network for Public Education,