education

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is calling the education reforms he was able to get into the just-passed state budget part of an ever-evolving process.

In an interview with The Capitol Pressroom, the Democratic governor says change can be traumatic, but it is necessary. Cuomo was able to convince lawmakers to change the teacher evaluation system, putting more emphasis on testing rather than classroom observations. 

"The only standard metric is going to be the test. The other side, the classroom observations, are going to be different in each classroom," he told host Susan Arbetter.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature are considering a commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

Cuomo has demanded that education policy changes be passed along with the state budget or he’ll hold up school aid increases.

Greater Syracuse Area Land Bank/City of Syracuse

There is disagreement between the Syracuse city council and its school district over just how much of an impact the land bank is having on the district's budget.

The Syracuse public school system projects it will collect nearly a $1 million less this year because of properties acquired by the city’s land bank.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Syracuse school district could be down a million dollars because of an unintended consequence of vacant properties being sold to the land bank.

Property tax collection is a major source of funding for public schools, but there are thousands of properties in Syracuse that the property taxes aren’t being collected on – either because they’re vacant or the owner isn’t paying. For those properties, the city has been covering the portion that would go to schools out of its own pocket.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The chancellor of New York state’s public higher education system is asking for more funding from state lawmakers to invest in its network of college campuses.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and other public college presidents testified today to a Legislature budget committee. They were joined by hundreds of college students and faculty.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

Central New York educators are continuing their fight to get rid of the gap elimination adjustment. The program has been around for five years, initially meant to take funds earmarked for public schools and use them to close a state budget deficit.  Schools say it’s forced them to lay off staff and cut programs.

"For two years in a row now, we’ve had a budget surplus.  Why do we need a gap elimination adjustment?" said Charles Borgognoni, executive director of the Central New York School Boards Association.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo continued the roll out of his 2015 agenda Tuesday with details of an infrastructure plan that includes upgrading New York City region airports to providing broadband for upstate rural areas.

The governor also offered clues to another key item, education, where he seems determined to take on the status quo.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Community colleges in upstate New York are beginning to offer introductory courses to unmanned aircraft, often called drones.

The courses here are just getting off the ground, compared to programs offered at the University of North Dakota and others, where students can major in unmanned aircraft systems.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse school board member Bill Bullen has stepped down after three years in the post. Not having a background as an educator, Bullen says there was a lot to learn when he was elected to the Syracuse Board of Education in 2011.

He says enacting a comprehensive plan for the district’s future goals was a big achievement, as was diminishing the fiscal problems the district faced seemingly each budget year.

Chris Ford / Flickr

The legislative session is off to a subdued start, with the governor’s State of the State message delayed for two weeks. Nevertheless, fault lines are already forming over some key issues, including rent regulations and how to measure teacher performance.

Governor Andrew Cuomo / Flickr

Education will be a big issue in 2015. Lines are already drawn between public school teachers, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and the charter school movement.

Before the New Year even began, the state’s largest teachers union was already making its displeasure with Cuomo known, by protesting outside the governor’s mansion.

New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) President Karen Magee says teachers are angry over what they see as the governor's increasingly negative view of their union and the public education system in general.  

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

New York state is sitting on a more than $5 billion budget windfall that it received from several recent bank settlements, but has yet to decide what to do with that money. One Mohawk Valley assemblyman says some should be used to end the state's Gap Elimination Adjustment for school districts.

Since his election in the fall of 2011, Utica-area Democrat Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi has thrown his weight behind promoting education.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

School lunches have changed dramatically in recent years in because of the federal government’s Healthy Hunger Free Kids Act, meant to curb childhood obesity. Portion sizes, calories and salt have been cut; whole grains, fruits and vegetables have been added. And now one central New York School district is bracing for the next changes.

James F Clay / Flickr

The New York State Educational Conference Board says now that the economy is improving and the state has a multi-billion dollar surplus, it’s time to end years of what they say is underspending on New York’s schools.

The board is made up of the state’s teachers, school boards, superintendents and the PTA, among others. They agree school spending must increase significantly in the new year. Chairman John Yagielski says the groups want an additional $1.9 billion for the 2015-16 school year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

From the Habib family’s front door in their Strathmore neighborhood home, they can see Roberts Elementary School. But instead of crossing the street to school on this drizzly fall morning, six-year-old Jackson and his mom, Mary, are standing on the corner waiting for the bus.

While waiting, Mary prods Jackson to shows off the Spanish he’s learning so far in the school he chose to go to, instead of Roberts. He counts to seven, but then admits gym is actually his favorite subject.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins is joining the growing criticism of Gov. Andrew Cuomo for a comment Cuomo made about teachers. The governor said the public education system is a monopoly.

Earlier this week, Cuomo told the New York Daily News the state’s public education system is the last great public monopoly. He says he’ll try to push for a new round of teacher evaluations if reelected.

Katie Keier / Flickr

The Nov. 4 ballot includes an amendment to borrow $2 billion to buy new technology for school children, like iPads and other tablets. Fiscal watchdogs are against it and the reaction of the education community has been lukewarm. But with one week left to go before Election Day, Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who came up with idea, has finally started to push for it.

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.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

This time last year, Cayuga Community College had serious financial issues. Now the college's bank accounts are increasing and CCC is set to grow in other ways.

During a recent Oswego County Legislature meeting, Cayuga Community College's Interim President Gregory DeCinque says the college has shown growth since he took over nine months ago.

ECC.edu

When do students fall in love with science and technology? Turns out, it’s at a pretty young age.

"Most people who turn out to be scientists or engineers or mathematicians, originally got interested in elementary school; somewhere between grades K through 6," said Dr. Philip Sadler.

Sadler studies students’ interests in the field known as STEM - science, technology, engineering and math – for his work at Harvard University.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Syracuse University showed off an $18 million renovation of the Newhouse 2 building on campus with arguably one of the most successful television personalities in the country cutting the ribbon.

"Let the new generation of innovation come forth," said long-time talk show host Oprah Winfrey to those standing beside her. "One, two, three. Cut!"
 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Parental pressure was a major part of Walter Broadnax staying in school – and then doing well. He went on to serve as a policy expert for two different presidential administrations.

Success in education is the responsibility of more than just the student, he says now.

His father was the one that was strict about him staying in school, while his mother also usually had some sharp advice.

He recently spoke to a group of Fowler High School students in Syracuse as part of a national effort for African American leaders to give back to schools.

ACR Health Prevention Services in Syracuse is looking for ways to reduce HIV and hepatitis C infection rates in New York state prisons.

According to federal statistics, inmates have the highest rate of HIV in New York, compared to any other state, and many of those inmates are  co-infected with hepatitis C. To fight that, the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS has a campaign that emphasizes public awareness, education and access to testing and treatment.  

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Community leaders, business representatives and educators met in Oswego recently to discuss ways to reduce bullying in schools and provide students with the tools to become successful citizens. The "Inspire 14" program was hosted by the non-profit organization Wisdom Thinkers Network, and attempts to prepare children for the future through story telling.

Ralph Singh, chairman of the Wisdom Thinkers Network, says the program fosters collaboration between students and their communities.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

A new era officially begins at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse this weekend. Quentin Wheeler will be inaugurated as the school’s fourth president. Wheeler sees ESF fitting into a world where environmental issues are moving closer toward the forefront.

Wheeler, a biologist who specializes in bugs and biodiversity, comes to ESF after stints at Arizona State University and Cornell. And that biodiversity background bubbles up when he talks about the future of Earth.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse public school district has released new guidelines for disciplining its students. It’s getting positive marks from district teachers and principals.

A student pulling the fire alarm has become a well-discussed example as the district spent seven months reworking its code of conduct.

The district has put more emphasis on restorative over punitive discipline. That means considering the situation in which a student pulled an alarm.

A 50-member task force has broken discipline into three-tiers, with more focus on discussion and keeping students in school.

.brsolo. / via Flickr

The level of adult illiteracy in Onondaga County has held steady at just above the national average for the past several years. Nearly 1-in-5 adults in central New York can’t read and write beyond an elementary school level.

But it’s not all immigrants taking up English as a second language. There are just has many adults who graduated high school but could never read as well as they should.

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

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Big yellow buses are hitting the roads across the state today as school begins again and police departments in the region are asking drivers to look out for them.

Law enforcement officials are pleading with commuters to drive slow and be careful around schools and busses. After the long summer break, it’s a habit drivers may not be used to on their commutes.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Some Syracuse public school students started the new school year this week in an entirely new schools aimed at turning around struggling academic buildings.

In the basement of Hughes Elementary School, Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras greeted students at the new Syracuse Latin magnet school. Its liberal arts heavy curriculum is being phased in first at the kindergarten and first grade levels.

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