Dr. Paul Miller Empowers Students of Color Through Support for Rochester’s Charter Schools

Ranked as the third-poorest city among the 75 largest metropolitan areas in the United States, Rochester, New York, has not only seen an increase in child poverty and homicide rates but also a decline in the quality of education. The Rochester City Schools (RCSD) are known as some of the worst schools in the state of New York, with a significant number 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, is very familiar with Rochester’s impoverished and violent environment. Having been born and raised in Rochester, he understands the importance of providing education equity for students, especially for youth of color in the city.

Dr. Miller pursued his dream of becoming an educator, knowing that there were persistent issues within the education system, exacerbated by a lack of systematic leadership. This motivated him to become an education leader. He firmly believes that more can be done to improve teaching and learning by establishing a shared vision and mission. As a result, he helped organize and support the development of the Team E Foundation, a non-profit organization that offers scholarships to deserving high school seniors.

In 2012, Dr. Miller became the principal and CEO of Green Tech Charter Schools in Albany, providing a safe and focused learning environment for young men to thrive. Under his leadership, the schools achieved an impressive average graduation rate of 93.4% from 2012 to 2022 and a remarkable average college acceptance rate of 100%. Dr. Miller’s passionate efforts created a culture conducive to the learning of Black and Brown students.

With over 20 years of experience in the urban public education sector, Dr. Miller understands the unique challenges faced by charter schools. Alongside a group of like-minded individuals who share the same vision and mission, he founded Charter Champions, a non-profit organization that supports 25 charter schools and collaborates with businesses to ensure education equity for students and families.

Driven by a love for the children of Rochester, Charter Champions aims to unlock the potential of charter schools in the city to achieve educational excellence. One of their initiatives is to address the persistent issue of teacher shortage by enhancing teacher certification training programs and increasing the presence of educators of color. They also offer affordable, high-quality housing options for educators and improve benefits and pension plans to attract and retain highly skilled teachers of color.

Dr. Miller’s dedication to cultivating educational excellence goes beyond his practical involvement. As a published author, his work titled “We Need to Do Better 2.0 The Teachers Guide: Changing the Mindset of Children Through Community, Family, and Education” showcases his commitment to emphasizing the importance of partnerships between communities, parents, schools, and students in ensuring the success and development of children in urban areas.

In his mission to address the issues impacting students, particularly youth of color in Rochester, Dr. Miller emphasizes, “My goal is to establish green tech charter schools throughout the state and the country to provide ample opportunities for kids who share similar backgrounds to improve and access high-quality education.”

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