Common Core

State University of New York / suny.edu

The new education standards known as Common Core have brought big changes to New York’s classrooms. And to meet the new standards, teachers often have to find new techniques.

So New York’s largest teacher education program is unveiling a center for innovative teaching methods, for Common Core classrooms and beyond.

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The Utica City School District's Board of Education unanimously rejected $4.1 million in state funding to extend the school day in five city schools.

The grant would have allowed the the school district to increase classroom time by 25 percent. An additional hour and a half would have been tacked onto the end of the school day from Monday through Thursday, and summer classes would have been added. District officials hoped extra learning time would raise Common Core test scores.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Green Party candidate for governor, Howie Hawkins, doesn’t just want to do away with the Common Core education curriculum, but as much standardized testing as possible.

That dislike for Common Core is one of the few things Hawkins and Republicans can agree on. Both he and the GOP candidate for governor, Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino, want to see the national benchmarks for English and math learning be revoked.

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All through September join us as we present a series of education related radio documentaries from American Radioworks. Here is a look at the shows coming up.

September 7 - The Science of Smart

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New York’s school children made incremental progress in math scores, but no gains in English tests, during the second year of Common Core-related exams. Education officials say overall, only around one-third of students actually passed the tests.

In math tests administered to third through eighth graders, just 35.8 percent statewide were considered to meet or exceed the new Common Core standards.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Republican candidate for governor and other state-wide conservative candidates have submitted their names for a new “Stop Common Core” party ballot line.

The campaign of Westchester County Executive Rob Astorino says they collected about four-times as many signatures as the 15,000 needed to apply to create a new ballot line.

Onondaga County Comptroller Bob Antonacci, who is running for state comptroller as a Republican, is also applying for the line. He says they hope to win votes on the line from liberals and conservatives.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

At the Baldwinsville School District’s administrative office, Superintendent David Hamilton works from an office filled with reclaimed furniture. He says a fancy office chair doesn’t help teach students biology.

Hamilton says that sort of frugality is what helped Baldwinsville score one of the best “bang for the buck” ratings in a recent report by the Center for American Progress. It ranked high on a spending to test score ratio.

Zack Seward / WXXI

A poll conducted fifteen weeks before Election Day shows incumbent New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is maintaining a wide lead over his nearest challenger.

According to a recent Siena Research Institute poll, Cuomo is 37 points ahead of Republican challenger Rob Astorino.  The Democrat also has a high favorability rating, while 60 percent of voters have never heard of Astorino.

Candidates’ financial statements were released earlier this month, and Cuomo reported having $35 million, compared to Astorino’s $2.4 million in the bank.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO/file photo

The president of the state’s teachers’ union says members are not yet ready to rescind a vote of no confidence in state Education Commissioner John King, despite improved relations in recent months.

New York State United Teachers President Karen Magee was elected in April amid deep dissatisfaction over education policy in New York.  Magee ousted a three-term incumbent, and teachers held a symbolic vote of no confidence in King, over what critics call a botched roll out of the new Common Core learning standards.

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The Utica City School District received more than $4 million from the state to increase the number of hours kids are in school during the year, in an effort to increase the district's Common Core test scores. But the district still has to make a lot of decisions before starting the program.

Nine school districts in New York state were named as grant recipients, with Utica receiving the second biggest portion of the $24 million earmarked for the Extended Learning Time Initiative.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Republicans vying for statewide office continue pushing an anti-Common Core ballot line they’re trying to get in place for the November elections.

Gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino announced this week that he’s trying to create a ballot line called “Stop the Common Core.” Now, other statewide GOP hopefuls are explaining why they like the idea.

Bob Antonocci, who's running for state comptroller, says Common Core was something forced on the state with the promise of federal dollars.

Karen Dewitt / WRVO

The Republican candidate for governor in New York is petitioning to run on a new ballot line that capitalizes on public opposition to the new Common Core learning standards.

Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino is gathering signatures to run on a third ballot line in November. In addition to the GOP and Conservative party slots, Astorino has begun a new ballot line called Stop Common Core. He admits it could give Democrats and others who are reluctant to vote for the Republican Party another option.

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A tentative agreement has been reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to put off the effects of the controversial Common Core tests on teachers for another two years.

Earlier this year the Democratic governor and the legislature imposed a moratorium on the Common Core tests effects on students, now that postponement moratorium extends to teachers who received poor ratings on their annual evaluations as a result of low scores by students on the controversial new tests.