Common Core

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The New York state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

The latest version of teacher and principal evaluations were pushed through in this year’s state budget by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. It requires that the reviews be based more heavily on controversial standardized tests. The new plans are due this fall.

Cuomo orders review of Common Core

Sep 3, 2015
Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to address the controversy over the use of Common Core standards in the state's public schools. Thursday he made his strongest comments on the teaching guidelines yet.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

New York State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen is clarifying her stand on the opt out movement in an interview with New York State Public Radio & Television.

This year, 20 percent of children boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says parents absolutely have the right to opt their kids out of state standardized tests, but she says she still wants to talk to them to try to bring them back into the fold.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

With more than two-thirds of Oneida City School District students refusing to take the Common Core aligned exams this year, the district has one of the highest student opt out rates in New York state. But the standardized tests can provide the district with useful information that they will not have in 2015.

Alberto G. / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he doubts that there will be  federal sanctions for schools that have high rates of students who boycotted standardized tests this spring.

Twenty percent of students statewide boycotted the controversial exams associated with the Common Core learning standards, with higher rates upstate and on Long Island. Federal officials had the power to sanction schools with high opt our rates by withholding funding, and the state’s education commissioner said a few days ago that she was talking to officials and would not rule out the sanctions compete.

timlewisnm / Flickr

A new school year is starting soon, and education officials say they will try to reverse a growing movement of parents having their children opt out of standardized tests.  The boycott could jeopardize a new system of teacher evaluations that are based on the exams and were supposed to begin later this fall.

Eileen Buckley / WBFO News file photo

New York State Education officials say there’s some improvement in the Common Core aligned math and English tests taken by third through eighth graders this year, but admit that two-thirds of the students who took the test are still, essentially, failing the exams.

Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia, who just began her job in July, put the best face on data that shows student test scores in third through eighth grade math and English tests have made just incremental progress in year three of the state’s implementation of the Common Core learning standards.

Melinda Shelton / Flickr

Schools across the state are bracing for a potential zero percent growth in their tax levy next year. While the latest provisions of an ongoing tax cap won’t take effect until the 2016 school year, the state schools boards association says schools are starting to worry now.

New state education commissioner visits former school district

Jul 10, 2015
Eileen Buckley / WBFO News

New York Commissioner of Education MaryEllen Elia has only been on the job for four days and she’s already visiting her old stomping grounds.

Elia visited the Sweet Home School District in Amherst in western New York Thursday morning. Elia taught social studies there for 16 years  in the 1970s and 198os.

Elia spoke with the school board, teachers, administrators, parents and reporters about public education.

Wallyg / via Flickr

With just a few weeks left in the legislative session, education issues continue to dominate. Some lawmakers want to fix a recently passed law that requires a fast turn around for new teacher evaluations, while others would like a tax break for donors that would help private schools.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has seen much of his ambitious legislative agenda for 2015 stall, as first the Assembly Speaker, and then the Senate Leader, were charged with corruption and had to resign their leadership posts.

timlewisnm / Flickr

There’s growing support in the state legislature to address controversial aspects of the state’s Common Core learning standards and related testing.

More students across New York opted out of the state’s math tests -- over 150,000 students -- according to an anti-Common Core group that’s encouraged students to skip. It follows the boycott by tens of thousands of students of the third through eighth grade English tests earlier in April.  

Karen DeWitt

Teachers union members and pro-charter school advocates demonstrated outside the governor’s mansion on New Year’s Eve, as inside, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his partner Sandra Lee greeted guests who won a lottery attend an annual open house, one day before the governor is to begin his second term.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed a measure he introduced to protect teachers with poor evaluations.

The bill would have given a temporary reprieve to teachers who are evaluated as “ineffective” or “developing” because of their student's low standardized test scores.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO/file photo

The state is losing its education commissioner, as John King takes a job with the Obama administration. King was in charge of school policies during a tumultuous time, and he admits there are things he could have done better.

King is leaving after five and a half years to become assistant U.S. education secretary under Arne Duncan. In an interview with public radio and TV, King says he hopes his legacy in New York will be his intense focus on getting the Common Core learning standards push started in the state.

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.

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

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.

woodleywonderworks / Flickr

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

timlewisnm / Flickr

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.

Katie Keier / Flickr

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 News File Photo

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.

James F Clay / Flickr

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.