As the city that ranks third in poverty among the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Rochester, New York, has witnessed not only increasing child poverty and homicide rates but also declining quality of education. Rochester City Schools (RCSD) are dubbed as some of the worst schools in the city of New York, with a significant percentage of students failing to graduate.
Dr. Paul Miller, CEO of Charter Champions of Rochester (CCR) and recipient of the President's Lifetime Achievement Award in 2022 at the CBC African and Caribbean International Leadership Conference, was no stranger to Rochester's impoverished and violent environment. Born and raised in Rochester, he recognizes the crucial need for education equity for students, especially among the youth of color in the city.
Dr. Miller pursued his life-changing dream of becoming an educator. During his early years in the academe, he witnessed the persisting issues in the education system, further magnified by the lack of systematic leadership. This situation prompted him to become an education leader. With a fervent belief that more can be done to improve teaching and learning by creating a shared vision and mission, the renowned education leader organized and assisted in the development of Team E Foundation, a non-profit organization providing deserving high school seniors scholarship opportunities.
In 2012, Dr. Miller became the principal and CEO of Green Tech Charter Schools, Albany, offering a safe and focused learning environment for young men to thrive. He played a pivotal role in achieving a remarkable average graduation rate of 93.4% from 2012 to 2022 and an astounding average college acceptance rate of 100%. Through his passionate efforts, Dr. Miller successfully created a culture conducive to Black and Brown kids’ learning.
Working in the urban public education sector for more than 20 years, Dr. Miller recognizes the distinct challenges that charter schools face. Together with a group of like-minded people with the same vision and mission, Dr. Miller spearheaded Charter Champions, a non-profit organization supporting 25 charter schools and partnering with businesses to ensure education equity for students and families.
Powered by love for the children in Rochester, Charter Champions aims to unlock the potential of the charter schools in the city to achieve educational excellence. Charter Champions, in response to the persisting issue of teacher shortage, aims to improve the educator pipeline by increasing the presence of educators of color in schools. They achieve this by enhancing teacher certification training programs, recognizing that many educators are not fully equipped with the skills required for effective teaching. In addition, Charter Champions implements an incentivization approach, creating affordable, high-quality housing options for educators, complemented by improved benefits and pension plans, all for the goal of attracting and retaining highly skilled teaching professionals of color.
The education leader’s dedication to cultivating educational excellence extends beyond his practical involvement. As a published author, his work 'We Need to Do Better 2.0 The Teachers Guide: Changing the Mindset of Children Through Community, Family, and Education' further showcases his commitment to showing the importance of partnerships between communities, parents, schools, and students to ensure the success and development of children in urban areas.
In his relentless mission of addressing the issues affecting students, especially the youth of color in the city of Rochester, Dr. Miller emphasized, "My goal is to establish green tech charter schools throughout the state and the country to ensure that there are many opportunities for kids who look like me to improve and be able to afford high-quality education by going to these schools."
Name: Paul Miller
Email: [email protected]