education

7:32am

Mon July 28, 2014
Education

More school spending doesn't always mean fiscal efficiency

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.

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7:01pm

Thu July 10, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools, attorney general reach settlement on discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse public school district and the state attorney general's office say they've reached a settlement to curb the district's alarmingly high suspension rate.

The district will amend its code of conduct under the agreement. 

The attorney general's civil rights office launched its investigation in October 2013, after several complaints.

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7:22am

Mon June 23, 2014
Education

SU professor takes on the topic of death in new study

Ben Bradley will soon lead a study on death and how it shapes opinions.
SU News Services

A Syracuse University professor will be spending the next several months thinking about death, as part of a grant by the Immortality Project at the University of California, Riverside.

SU's Philosophy Department Chairman Ben Bradley will lead the research into a topic not many people want to talk about - death. He says the focus will be on the emotions and attitudes people have about their own death.

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1:43pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Education

Meeting of teachers' union, superintendent called "productive"

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting last week.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Updated, 1:55 p.m. with comment from superintendent:

The first meeting between the president of the Syracuse teachers' union and the superintendent of the school system since their relationship publicly disintegrated last week has been called "productive."

Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern and Superintendent Sharon Contreras met Friday morning under the invitation of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

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12:47pm

Fri June 20, 2014
Education

Academy wants to hijack kids' computer time for rocking out

Some things are better taught outside the school system. That's Paul Green's theory on education. Green isn’t a professional educator, but he’s made music education his life.

The 41-year-old is the founder and owner Paul Green Rock Academy where kids age 8 to 18 learn to rock.

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4:05pm

Thu June 19, 2014
Education

Common Core's teacher evaluations will be delayed

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.

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7:23am

Tue June 17, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district says they're making progress on student discipline

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district says it's already working to improve discipline with the city's public schools as the state attorney general investigates its practices.

The attorney general's offices launched an investigation in December into potentially overly harsh punishment of minority and disabled students in the Syracuse school system,

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7:26am

Mon June 16, 2014
Education

Miner looks to move teachers union, district forward in talks

A Syracuse Board of Education meeting on Wednesday became heated over the superintendent's performance.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The head of the Syracuse public school teachers union and the superintendent of the district will sit down this week in hopes of repairing a fractured relationship. 

Mayor Stephanie Miner, a former labor lawyer, will mediate the discussion. 

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11:14pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools superintendent loses support of teachers

Syracuse teachers union head Kevin Ahern said Sharon Contreras "has failed to ensure a safe teaching and learning environment in every school" and the union has lost confidence in her.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse's public school teachers have overwhelmingly said they no longer have the confidence in Sharon Contreras to lead the city's school district.

The president of the Syracuse Teachers Association, the union representing 2,800 teachers in the district, kicked off what turned into a lengthy and raucous board of education meeting Wednesday evening at Dr. King Elementary School.

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2:41pm

Wed June 11, 2014
Education

SUNY chancellor backs Common Core education standards

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher. (file photo)
Zack Seward WXXI

The head of New York’s public higher education system says the Common Core education standards better prepare students for college.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has joined a national coalition of 200 colleges in 33 states, called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, advocating for the continued use of Common Core standards for primary and high school education.

The new standards have been criticized for their poor rollout, but Zimpher says they’ll increase a student’s chances of completing college on time.

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4:00pm

Tue June 3, 2014
Education

DiNapoli urges New Yorkers to take advantage of state college saving plans

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is urging New Yorkers to invest in a 529 College Saving Program, which helps families save money for college tuition. DiNapoli says parents, grandparents and others can open an account for a child, and receive tax credits of up to $10,000 annually for their contributions.

More than 800,000 529 College Saving Program accounts have been set up in New York, but DiNapoli says many more could take advantage of the program.

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9:41am

Mon May 26, 2014
Regional Coverage

Learning center teaches English to students from 20 countries

Students on break at the North Side Learning Center
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

The Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board approved the removal of six wooden and concrete crosses on the outside of Holy Trinity Church which is being renovated into a mosque. But the controversy overshadowed the mission of the North Side Learning Center, which bought the Syracuse property.

"Salam alaikum everyone! Oh, the classroom is getting packed now!”exclaimed Abdulilah Al-Dubai, one of the founders of the North Side Learning Center. The center has eight classes that teach English to 150 students, who range from age four to 80 and come from more than 20 countries.

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6:04am

Mon May 19, 2014
Education

As change looms for Delaware School, faculty crave consistency

Delaware Elementary School was constructed in 1915 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

School is out for the day at Delaware Elementary in Syracuse, but Principal Milagros Escalera is in the auditorium greeting a group of students who stuck around for a magic show.

"Did you pet the bunny?" she asks, as students marvel at the furry animal's bright red eyes.

Much like how the magician performed his tricks, what the future holds for these students and this school, is a mystery.

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9:58am

Fri May 16, 2014

6:00am

Wed May 14, 2014
Education

Syracuse schools superintendent loses support of board member

Syracuse public school Superintendent Sharon Contreras. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The superintendent of the Syracuse school system has lost the support of one of the district's school board members. But it's likely not enough dissent to force Sharon Contreras out of her job. 

Syracuse School Board member Max Ruckdeschel spoke out at their annual meeting Tuesday evening. To other board members' surprise, he says he can no longer blindly support the superintendent's administrative appointments.

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6:26am

Mon May 12, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district exploring turning Delaware into charter

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district is considering turning one of its underperforming elementary schools into a charter school.

Superintendent Sharon Contreras sent a letter home Friday to parents of Delaware Elementary School saying a charter school is the best option available under state rules for chronically poor-performing schools.

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5:40am

Fri May 9, 2014
Education

District, state silent on plans for future of Delaware School

Delaware Elementary School opened in 1917 on South Geddes Street in Syracuse's Near Westside.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Both the Syracuse school district and state education officials are being hush about the future of one of the city's elementary schools, possibly because the district is still scrambling to come up with a plan, as sources have indicated to WRVO.

Under state policy for chronically underperforming schools, Delaware Elementary School must be drastically overhauled or shuttered.

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1:54pm

Wed April 30, 2014
Education

As deadline is extended, no plan for future of Syracuse school

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras at a school board meeting earlier this month. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The Syracuse school district has a few more days to present a plan for the future of one of its elementary schools to state education officials, but the school board currently doesn't have a meeting scheduled to approve such actions.

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8:12am

Tue April 29, 2014
Education

Say Yes to Education still working toward fiscal sustainability

Say Yes to Education hosted a resume workshop for city teens in 2012.
Stephen Sartori Say Yes to Education

Say Yes to Education is slightly short of its goal to being independently financially sustainable six years after its start.

Say Yes is a national nonprofit that opened a chapter in the Syracuse school district in 2008. It offers a different strategy to improve urban education with a promise of free college tuition to graduating high school seniors.

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7:30am

Thu April 24, 2014
Education

Oswego City School District passes budget, upsets some

A view inside the Buccaner Junior-Senior High School's science classroom. (file photo)
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego City School Board has passed its budget for next year, but parents and students from one school aren't happy with it.

The $79.9 million budget eliminates about 28 positions, ranging from teachers and coaches, to mechanics and custodians. It reduces other spending by more than $500,000 and increases the school tax four percent. It also postpones a voter proposition to borrow money for new buses. The cuts fill a $1.7 million budget gap, and leaves some funds in reserve for the future.

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10:49pm

Mon April 21, 2014
Education

Study finds New Yorkers don't want school mergers

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature approved a plan in the state budget to encourage local governments and schools to merge and share services over the next few years, in an attempt to lower property taxes. But according to a study by school administrators, attempts at school district mergers in recent years have failed, partly because the public doesn’t want them.

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7:39am

Fri April 18, 2014
Education

Students, parents defend Oswego school from possible closure

Students are allowed to choose topics related to their interests as part of ILPs, or individual learning plans.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

The Oswego City School District needs to close a $1.7 million budget gap and is looking at a variety of areas to cut. One thing on the potential chopping block is the Buccaneer Junior/Senior High School. The alternative school was started just two years ago, but already has great support from its students and faculty.
 

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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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