education

9:32pm

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Plan approved for Fowler H.S. remake; district nowhere on Delaware school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a special school board meeting Wednesday. Board Commissioner David Cecile is at the right.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school system has a plan in place for the future of Fowler High School, one of three it's overhauling this year. The school board has approved turning the school into one focused on public service and law enforcement.

Starting in the fall, incoming students will not attend Fowler High School, but the Public Service Leadership Academy.

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7:58am

Wed April 16, 2014
Education

Extra state aid helps Syracuse balance school budget

Katie Keier Flickr

The new budget for Syracuse public schools includes more state aid than the district asked for, but the school district still has to dip into the fund balance to level its finances.

The Syracuse City School District asked for $7 million from the state in order to balance its budget. Legislators came up with an extra $1.9 million, part of an overall state spending increase on education.

The extra cash will allow them to restore some previous cuts, Suzanne Slack, the district’s chief financial officer, said.

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3:38pm

Mon April 14, 2014
Education

Report: Only half of Onondaga County kids ready for kindergarten

A new report finds only half of Onondaga County children are ready for kindergarten.
Katie Keier Flickr

Only half of the children in Onondaga County are ready to start their primary school educations when they reach kindergarten, a new report from the Onondaga Citizens League has found.

The report, the latest from OCL in annual studies looking at community issues, says more focus needs to be put on educating children before they reach a classroom.

There are 27,000 children under the age of five in the county. They'll go to 18 different school districts.

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8:04am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse superintendent apologizes over Fowler High School plans

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse City School District superintendent Sharon Contreras apologized Wednesday night for the way news about plans to phase out three of the city's schools was made public.

A letter from the state Department of Education leaked to the press Monday outlined possible plans for three underperforming schools in the city: Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary.

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7:45am

Thu April 10, 2014
Education

Oswego City School District considers closing a school as part of proposed budget cuts

Oswego City School District Superintendent Ben Halsey discusses a series of proposed cuts to close the district's deficit.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego High School cafeteria was nearly full Tuesday night during a public forum held by the Oswego City School District regarding its proposed $81.5 million budget.

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1:38pm

Tue April 8, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district gets extension on schools phase out

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras. (File photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state Department of Education has given the Syracuse City School District two extra weeks to come up with plans to phase out two underperforming schools in the city.

A letter dated Feb. 27 - and provided to WRVO Tuesday - from the state education department to Syracuse superintendent Sharon Contreras included an April 18 deadline for plans. A spokesperson for the education department gave WRVO a second letter dated March 4 that extends the deadline to April 30.

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7:11am

Tue April 8, 2014
Education

New teachers union president wants to increase union's political potency

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

There’s a big change in the New York State United Teachers union, as members elected new leadership after months of unrest. The state’s largest teachers union has a new president, Karen Magee, the first woman to run the organization.

The shakeup comes over concerns with the state’s flawed implementation of the new Common Core learning standards. Teachers are complaining that they were not adequately prepared to teach to the new standards, and that the test results should not be used to evaluate their performance.

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3:10pm

Mon April 7, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district phasing out 3 underperforming schools

The Syracuse City School District is working on plans to phase out one of its high schools and two elementary schools, under state requirements to overhaul chronically underperforming public schools.

Fowler High School, Hughes Elementary and Delaware Elementary schools have been below state standards for three year, earning the designation of "priority schools," and now the district must overhaul or close them before the 2014-2015 school year.

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6:16am

Wed April 2, 2014
Education

Education historian lashes out against Common Core during Syracuse visit

James F Clay Flickr

As public school students in New York state sit at their desks today taking the Common Core based English Language Arts tests, a nationally known opponent to the core is in Syracuse. Education Historian Dr. Diane Ravitch spent the day Tuesday at Syracuse University.

Ravitch, who has written about the issues and is the author of a very popular anti-Common Core blog, doesn’t have anything good to say about the new, more rigorous curriculum that’s taken over New York state classrooms. First there’s the way it was conceived.

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3:17pm

Tue April 1, 2014
State Budget

Cuomo, Astorino see differently on Common Core deal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says parents and students can exhale knowing that the second round of Common Core aligned test scores will not be included on student's permanent transcripts under the new budget deal.

The new standards in English and math designed to improve college and career readiness have been criticized by some parents who say that the roll-out was done too fast and from educators claiming that they weren't given sufficient material and guidance to teach the new standards.

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7:40am

Tue April 1, 2014
Politics and Government

State lawmakers pass budget before deadline

The New York state Assembly voted to approve the state's budget last night, along with the Senate.
-JvL- Flickr

Lawmakers hurried to complete work on the state budget before the midnight deadline, but the spending plan is not without some controversy.

Legislators held a marathon voting session on several budget bills, in an attempt to beat the April 1 deadline. Some of the legislation was not technically printed until the wee hours of Saturday morning, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo sent an emergency message to waive the three day waiting period required by law.

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5:37am

Fri March 28, 2014
Education

North Syracuse faces yet another school budget with cuts

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

Onondaga County's second largest school district is dealing with yet another budget shortfall, and that likely will mean another round of staff layoffs.

The North Syracuse School District has already eliminated a fifth of its staff in the past six years. But it's not been enough to keep up with a declining student enrollment and a reduction in state education aid of more than $6 million.

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7:26am

Wed March 26, 2014
Education

Parents make their voices heard as Common Core tests approach

Signs in opposition to the Common Core learning standards are on display at a parents forum at Onondaga Community College Tuesday evening.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As the standardized testing season begins in schools across New York state next month, opponents of the controversial Common Core curriculum are making more noise. Some parents and educators are suggesting that the best way to express displeasure is to have kids refuse the test.

Judy Griffith of the West Genesee School District in Camillus was one, and she expects to have more company this year.

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7:28am

Tue March 25, 2014
Education

Last minute push for school aid amid voter dissatisfaction

Actress Cynthia Nixon speaks at an event in Albany in early June 2013. (file photo)
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Education funding advocates, including actress Cynthia Nixon, made a last-minute pitch for extra money for schools in the state budget. Meanwhile, a new poll finds many New Yorkers think the quality of education in the state is deteriorating.

"Sex and the City" star Cynthia Nixon has a child entering college as well as one in kindergarten. She says Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s education policies in New York have increased inequality and led to two separate school systems within public schools, one for the rich and one for the poor.

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7:26am

Fri March 21, 2014
Education

GED replaced with test based on Common Core standards

The new Common Core curriculum is reaching into the world of adult equivalency diplomas. The General Educational Development test, or GED, that used to be the gateway for a diploma in New York state has been replaced with a harder test called TASC, short for the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.

The Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) offered the test for the first time this week. Marcia Tait, executive director of Literacy CNY, doesn’t know how the test takers did, but knows she’d have had trouble with it.

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7:39am

Wed March 5, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo, de Blasio speak at dueling education rallies in Albany

Gov. Andrew Cuomo speaks at an educational rally in Albany on Tuesday.
Karen Dewitt WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at dueling rallies on education at the state Capitol, highlighting the two politicians’ differences over education issues.   

A rally to promote de Blasio’s plan for universal pre-K had been planned for weeks. The mayor spoke to around 1,500 union members, urging them to put pressure on lawmakers to approve in the state budget the mayor’s plan to provide classes for thousands of four-year-olds starting in September.

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7:25am

Tue February 25, 2014
Education

Upstate schools call for more funding, end of the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Katie Keier Flickr

The funding crisis facing public education will be on display during forums held in the coming weeks across central New York. Lobbyists are hopeful that public support for school funding can have an impact on the state budget process in Albany.

Charles Borgongoni has been the head of the Central New York School Boards Association for three years. He says the fiscal troubles for schools just keep getting worse, with not much help in sight from the state.

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8:49am

Fri February 21, 2014
Education

Cuomo's prison education program draws criticism from Republicans

Meesh Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his plan to pay for college classes for prison inmates, saying it will cut down the number of convicts sent back to prison.

Cuomo has proposed expanding a program that currently offers privately funded college courses in some state prisons. The program would offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 prisons, which Cuomo says will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.

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8:32am

Wed February 19, 2014
Regional Coverage

Maffei hosts rural broadband symposium promoting high-speed Internet access

Doc Searls Flickr

Rural broadband experts, elected officials and school representatives were in Red Creek Tuesday evening as part of a broadband symposium hosted by Syracuse-area Congressman Dan Maffei.

Maffei, who has been a supporter of using technology to boost the impact of healthcare and education in the region, says by increasing access to high-speed Internet, it allows for a stronger middle class and could be critical to strengthening the upstate economy and promoting educational opportunities.

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7:51am

Tue February 11, 2014
Education

State Board of Regents takes step back on Common Core

State Education Commissioner John King testifies during a public hearing in October. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

The state Board of Regents is poised to delay some requirements of the federal Common Core standards. But some state lawmakers are still questioning whether the Regents are going far enough to remedy what critics say is a flawed rollout of the new standards.

The Board of Regents, facing pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature, is recommending that the effects of the new high stakes testing on students, designed in response to the Common Core, be delayed for five more years.

Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch, in a statement, offered an apology.

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3:12pm

Wed February 5, 2014
Regional Coverage

Financially struggling Cayuga Community College sets sights on 2020

Gino Geruntino WRVO

Cayuga Community College's interim president is working on a plan to correct the school's recent financial struggles.

In his recent State of the College address, President Gregory Decinque said a depleted fund balance and overestimated student enrollment figures have helped put the college in the red.

At the end of 2013, the college had a $56,000 fund balance deficit. The operating budget for the Auburn-based college is approximately $30 million a year. Although the numbers are not good, Decinque says the college should be able to rebuild its savings.

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8:54pm

Mon February 3, 2014
Education

Gillibrand, Hanna push for universal pre-K together

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., makes Valentine's Day cards with children in a pre-K class at Herkimer Elementary School.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand played with blocks and Elmer’s glue at a pre-kindergarten classroom in Herkimer Monday before introducing a proposal to fund universal early education on a federal level.

The argument Gillibrand, a Democrat, and Hanna, a Republican, are making is that funding universal pre-kindergarten is an investment, not an expense.

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7:49am

Thu January 30, 2014
The Upstate Economy

Biden promotes reinvention of workforce training upstate

Vice President Joe Biden speaks to a crowd gathered at Monroe Community College in Rochester Wednesday.
Jim Day WXXI

In his State of the Union address President Barack Obama tapped Vice President Joe Biden to lead a reform of the country’s training programs to ensure the skills in the workforce match employers’ needs.

Biden traveled to upstate New York Wednesday promoting the President’s agenda. Speaking at Monroe Community College (MCC) in Rochester, he said community colleges are a vital part of the process of reinventing the nation’s workforce training.

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7:06am

Wed January 29, 2014
Education

Education hearing turns into Common Core complaint session

Education Commissioner John King testifies to a state Senate committee during an October meeting in Syracuse. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

The state’s education commissioner testified at a legislative budget hearing, where he once again heard complaints from concerned lawmakers regarding the fast track adoption of the new national Common Core standards.

Lawmakers, calling the roll out of Common Core a nightmare and a mistake, grilled state Education Commissioner John King and asked for more time to adopt the new federal standards.

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7:13am

Fri January 24, 2014
Education

Education advocates express budget concerns

Local advocates are calling for more dollars in the state budget to be put toward education
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Education advocacy groups are giving Gov. Andrew Cuomo bad grades when it comes to spending on education in his proposed 2014 budget, as Syracuse parents and community members believe the state needs to come through with substantially more money for schools in the spending plan.

Cuomo’s proposed budget, unveiled this week, includes a $608 million increase in education funding. The increase is well short of what education advocates like former Hannibal school teacher and Citizen Action of New York Board Member Bill Spreeter say is needed.

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8:11am

Thu January 23, 2014
Politics and Government

State groups respond to Cuomo's budget plan

Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his annual budget address Tuesday. (File photo)
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Reactions are pouring in after Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his 2014 budget plan, ranging from praise to criticism.

Business groups are among the happiest so far with the governor's budget. The Business Council of New York swtate, reacting to Cuomo’s calls for a corporate tax cut, a faster phase out of an energy tax and a reduction in the estate tax and property taxes, say they applaud the governor’s continued commitment to improve the state’s business climate.

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8:07am

Tue January 21, 2014
Politics and Government

Cuomo expected to cover education, tax cuts and campaign finance reform in state budget

Gov. Andrew Cuomo during the State of the State address on Jan. 8.
Office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo

Gov. Andrew Cuomo releases his state budget proposal Tuesday afternoon, and many will be watching to see what it contains and how the numbers will work.

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8:34am

Sat January 11, 2014
Science

Experiment developed by upstate students heads to International Space Station

A water bear, or tardigrade
Some rights reserved by Goldstein Lab

High school students in upstate New York watched as a rocket carrying one of their science experiments was launched Thursday. Its destination is the International Space Station orbiting the earth over 200 miles above us.

Vicki Aman and Cheyanne Jeffrey are in their senior year at Rochester Early College International High School (RECIHS). The team is hoping their research will contribute to our growing knowledge of life in space.

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3:54pm

Mon December 16, 2013
Regional Coverage

Fulton school particpates in "Take a Veteran to School Day"

Students and veterans meet on "Take a Vet to School Day."
Gino Geruntino WRVO

Fifth and sixth graders at Granby Elementary School in Fulton got the chance to meet and ask questions to several current and former service members Monday morning, during the school's "Take a Vet to School Day" event. Members of the Army and Navy gave students a look into their lives in the military, including what they did overseas, where they've been stationed, and in one case, what their favorite gun is to shoot.
 

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4:34pm

Fri December 6, 2013
Education

Syracuse school district's disciplinary policies under investigation

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras addressing the attorney general's investigation into her district's student discipline policies.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state attorney general is investigating disciplinary action policies within the Syracuse school district, and the school system says it's cooperating with his office.

On Friday, the school district's top administrator admitted there likely have been violations.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s civil rights office issued a subpoena to the Syracuse City School District on Oct. 16.

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