Education

News, trends, and analysis related to higher education and grade school districts.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

A remembrance ceremony for the bombing victims of Pan Am Flight 103 was held at Syracuse University yesterday. To commemorate the anniversary, a small ceremony was held for friends and families at Hendricks Chapel and a service at Arlington National Cemetery took place simultaneously.

Office of Assemblyman Brindisi / File Photo

Officials with the Utica City School District's office reportedly were denied access to a meeting with the governor's office last week. Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi (D-Utica) said they were headed to a regular annual meeting in Albany to discuss budget priorities with other school districts when something irregular occurred.

"They were told on the morning of the meeting that the governor's office would not meet with the Utica City School District delegation, but they would meet with the other school districts."

Onondaga Community College / Facebook

Onondaga Community College is rolling out a program that will offer free tuition to students in two central New York school districts.

The OCC Advantage  is based on a similar program at Harper College near Chicago, according to OCC’s Amy Kremenek.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

There’s a new restaurant opening up in Syracuse -- but it’s a little different. It’s a teaching restaurant for Onondaga Community College, which will alternate world or regional cuisines every six months.

First up -- Pakistani food. Sarah Robin, an immigrant from Pakistan who now lives in Syracuse, is the restaurateur in residence who will be running the North Salina Street restaurant called “With Love” for the next six months.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

In the basement of Penfield Library at SUNY Oswego, there's a room where the shelves are not filled with books.

"We've got pastas, and we've got popcorn, Jell-O, beans, cereals, jelly -- a lot of jelly," said SUNY Oswego Student Government Association President Emily Nassir as she surveyed the recently created food pantry. Just a few months ago, this was an empty space. Now it's covered in a plethora of canned and boxed foods and toiletries. And there's even a mini clothing store and adjacent fitting room.  

For many families, the burden of student loan debt is overwhelming; and while Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently introduced a new student loan forgiveness program, the steady rise in percentage of student debt remains an issue. 

The New York State Assembly held a public hearing Wednesday to examine both the impact that rising higher education costs are having on students and families across the state and ways in which student loan debt can be reduced.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The Oswego City School District is still feeling the pain from the $5 million budget gap earlier this year when the district cut 50 positions. Next school year isn't looking much easier as the district faces a $4 million deficit. But, school officials are beginning to make some headway with avoiding a repeat of those layoffs. 

Maritime school teaches Great Lakes skills

Nov 26, 2016
Elizabeth Miller / Great Lakes Today

At the Maritime Academy of Toledo, students learn basics like math and English. They also take classes on boatbuilding.

On a fall day in the boat lab, a few students are working on the inside of a small wooden boat. They’re gluing pieces of wood together along the inside of the boat before sanding it down.

Cornell picks new president

Nov 15, 2016
Courtesy of Cornell University

Cornell University has picked Martha E. Pollack to be the school’s next president. Pollack is the provost of the University of Michigan and a computer science professor.

The search for the new president began after the death of the university’s previous president, Elizabeth Garrett. Garrett died of colon cancer in March after less than a year in office.

Pollack is already affiliated with Cornell. She heads the advisory board the university’s partnership with The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and plans to try to improve the public's view of academia.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Students at Syracuse University’s School of Social Work in Falk College are learning about the ramifications and public policies regarding gun violence in the city of Syracuse. Activists spoke with students recently about how race and economic inequality factors into gun violence in the community.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Members of the Academic Governance body at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry plan to hold a vote of no confidence in President Quentin Wheeler. Some faculty members have been raising issues about Wheeler's leadership for more than a year.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

High school students in the Syracuse City School District participated in a mock election for president, Senate and House of Representatives using official ballots and voting machines from the Onondaga County Board of Elections. 

Karen DeWitt / WRVO News File Photo

The parents and children in Utica and seven other upstate school districts involved in the so-called "Small Cities Lawsuit" say their fight for obtaining more education funding is not done yet.

They are appealing a state supreme court judge's recent ruling that New York state has met its constitutional obligation to provide additional money from an earlier court decision in 2006. But the plaintiff's attorney Wendy Lecker said New York never fully phased in that remedy, which was called the Foundation Aid Formula.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Inside a classroom in Mexico, ninth grade students discuss the benefits of recycling with their teacher. They're thinking about how it can help the environment and a company's bottom line.  

"Do you think recycling is going to be a part of their work there?" teacher Brian Heffron asks.

"Yes, because they want to save a lot of money to keep the place running," a student responds. 

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Utica College is welcoming its largest freshman class ever. The private school's officials say it's just one of the many benefits it's seeing from the "reset" of undergraduate tuition rates. It dropped from $35,000 a year to $20,000. 

Ed and Eddie / Flickr

The Syracuse City School District has launched an attendance initiative, urging the community and families to make sure children to go to school every day.

School officials estimate that, depending on the school, between 25 and 40 percent of students miss at least 18 to 20 days of classes a year in the district. That’s 10 percent of the total number of days in a given school year. Chief Academic Officer Linda Mulvey said it is the definition of chronic absenteeism.

Syracuse University

Syracuse University's Campus Framework is a 20-year road map of major construction projects affecting the university area. University officials said there are currently more than 200 active construction projects on campus.

Those projects include everything from adding bells to Crouse College’s bell tower, to the removal of PCBs and asbestos from a building adjacent to the Waverly parking lot, which should come down this fall making way for the National Veterans Resource Complex.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

A second school that emphasizes a project-based learning strategy has opened its doors in central New York.

The Seven Valleys New Tech Academy is now available in the city of Cortland. The academy is operated by Onondaga-Cortland-Madison (OCM) BOCES, and is designed to offer students a style of learning they wouldn’t receive in a traditional high school, according to BOCES Superintendent J. Francis Manning.

Upstate Medical University Hospital

Students at Upstate Medical University’s College of Nursing and other health profession programs have a new home in a brand new state-of-the-art building in Syracuse.

The $40.5 million, five-story academic building is tucked behind Weiskotten Hall and Silverman Hall just off South Crouse Avenue. Interim Nursing School Dean Don Simpson says it will offer opportunities for programs to grow in an already burgeoning field.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO file photo

Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner is getting behind a lawsuit that accuses the state of holding back millions of dollars of funds for struggling schools.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The new school year in the Syracuse City School District opened with a new interim superintendent at the helm this week.

Pre-Schoolers at Salem Hyde Elementary School welcomed the school year with some special visitors: Mayor Stephanie Miner and interim Superintendent Jaime Alicea, who read an ABC book to the youngsters.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

Oswego High School football returns today for its first game of the season, but only the junior varsity team will take the field. The varsity program is not returning because of financial cuts.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School District is putting together a task force this fall that will focus on one of the issues that has spurred a great deal of community discussion -- safe transportation of children to school.

The issue came to a head last winter, when a coalition of high school students complained of long walks to school through crime-ridden neighborhood during severe weather. The district, working with CENTRO, found transportation for some high school students living more than 1.5 miles from school. 

New York Now

New York state’s education commissioner said she’s fighting a proposal by her predecessor, now the federal education secretary, to punish schools with a high opt-out rate from the standardized tests.

MaryEllen Elia said she and the New York State Board of Regents have made a number of changes in her first year on the job to fix the third- through eighth-grade tests, including signing on with a new testing company that will let teachers write more of the questions, shortening the exams and giving kids more time to complete them.

timlewisnm / Flickr

Education groups, dismayed by the federal education secretary’s threat to punish schools in New York with high opt-out rates for standardized tests, say he’s re-igniting controversy that state education officials have been trying to calm for the past year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

The Utica City School District has settled a lawsuit with New York state over allegations that it denied equal education opportunities to some refugee and immigrant students. The school district had diverted some foreign students to an alternative education program that taught them English, which the lawsuit claimed was inferior. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

The Syracuse City School Board unanimously voted for Jaime Alicea as the interim superintendent of the school district Wednesday night. Alicea has worked in the district for thirty three years, starting out as a kindergarten teacher’s assistant and moving up to most recently the district’s chief operations officer.

“It’s a great opportunity and it’s going to be a great role model for the kids in the district,” Alicea said. “They have to work hard and they will be able to realize their dreams.”

New York State Center for Rural Schools

While it’s summer vacation for school children, leaders of New York’s rural schools are worrying about the new school year, and say they are squeezed by a tax cap and other factors.

The legislature approved record funding for schools this year, but representatives of rural school districts, many with impoverished families and students, worry that if the economy turns, the funding will dry up. They say they are already strapped with a tax cap that this year amounts to a near zero percent increase, while costs are rising.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

After the announcement that Syracuse Superintendent Sharon Contreras is going to be stepping down from her position to accept a new job in North Carolina, the Syracuse Board of Education has been discussing how to move forward. The school district has seen highs and lows during Contreras’ tenure.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO News File Photo

Syracuse City School District superintendent Sharon Contreras, who has led the district since 2011, has been hired as the superintendent of Guilford County Schools in Greensboro, North Carolina, and will take over that position in August. 

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