Education

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

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Later this week an Assembly committee will hold a hearing on improving access to financial aid for college students. One of the issues will be better access for part-time community college students, who are the fastest growing group.

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.

Ellen Abbott

Research shows a connection between early childhood education and crime. Central New York boosters of universal pre-kindergarten say that should be an important consideration when it comes to funding quality programs.

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler says the statistics logically lead to the conclusion that pre-K prevents crime.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

The Foster Grandparents program in the Syracuse City School District is growing. The expansion of a popular program means more support at a time when it’s needed most.

Jean Rand of Syracuse has been a foster grandparent for three and a half years in a Meacham Elementary second grade classroom. Her presence comes in handy, whether it’s helping someone with math problems or offering a hug during an emotional meltdown.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

A group of Syracuse University students upset with several issues at the school surrounding student support services and administrative transparency ended an 18 day sit-in protest Thursday afternoon with several victories to claim.

A few dozen students, calling themselves THE General Body, began an occupation of Crouse-Hinds Hall, the administrative building on campus, on Nov. 3.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The costs and overtime hours are starting to add up for Syracuse University as a student sit-in protest nears the end of its third week.

The university's public safety department has had to station multiple officers in Crouse-Hinds Hall, the school's administration building, around the clock since Nov. 3. They're keeping an eye on the dozen or so students living there as part of a protest against the administration of chancellor Kent Syverud.

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.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse University's chancellor says he's issued "the final word" to a large group of student protestors and it's time to move forward, but the students have no intention of moving out the school's administrative building, which they've called home for nearly two weeks.

In a letter to the campus, chancellor Kent Syverud this week gave the student protestors something they've wanted for awhile: a formal apology for the way the university closed a sexual assault advocacy center over the summer.

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

Upset with what they say is a lack of transparency from university officials, Syracuse University students are vowing to continue a sit-in at the school's administrative building that's been underway since Monday afternoon.

Monday was when a boisterous group of students renewed protests over a closure of a sexual assault victim resource center, reduction in minority scholarships and proposed changes to the university's mission statement. 

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.

Brad Flickinger / Flickr

New York's November ballot includes a proposal for the state to borrow $2 billion to spend on technology, like computer tablets, for school children. But a fiscal watchdog group says it’s not a good way to finance the purchase of iPads.

The bond act would give New York state permission to borrow money primarily to invest in new technology for students in elementary and secondary schools. It would also include money for building more classrooms for expanded pre-kindergarten.

Zixi Wu / via Flickr

Updated, 4:19 p.m. with statement Newhouse Dean Lorraine Branham:

An award-winning Washington Post photographer who has covered the Ebola virus in West Africa says Syracuse University is caving to the "hysteria" of the virus by canceling his visit to campus this weekend.

The photojournalist, Michel du Cille, was supposed to be on campus this weekend as part of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communication's Fall Workshop, a tent post weekend for masters students at the communications school.

Matthias Ripp / Flickr

Syracuse Police Chief Frank Fowler is helping an organization that’s advocating for more after school programs.

The highest profile member of the Afterschool Alliance is former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger. 

“After school programs are between three and six o’clock, which is the danger zone for our kids,” Schwarzenegger said.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Digital platforms are revolutionizing today's media. That was the topic for today's annual SUNY Oswego Media Summit held by SUNY Oswego.

The university brought in several stars of the media world, including author Ken Auletta and public broadcasting host and PBS and CBS This Morning anchor Charlie Rose. The media summit is meant to give broadcasting students at the university exposure to leaders in the field, as well as discuss issues of the day.

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.

Onondaga Community College hopes to close a skills gap in the local agribusiness and food industry sectors of the economy.

According to OCC President Casey Crabill, she estimates there are 2,400 openings in this field every year in central New York.

“It’s a growing field," Crabill said. "It was cited in our region's economic development plan as a field for the future. I think that’s part of the reason our grant was successful, is that we are very tied in to a lot of community efforts tied into this industry already.”

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo made a rare appearance before the State University of New York Board of Trustees to urge them to pass a system-wide set of policies on how to respond to sexual assault and rape on campuses.

Cuomo convinced the board to adopt the new policy that helps prevent sexual assault. It includes a uniform definition of what it means to consent to sexual activity, amnesty for students who report an assault or rape, and a new sexual assault victims’ bill of rights.

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

SUNY Oswego is one of only 24 colleges and universities in the United States to receive a portion of $75 million in federal grants through the U.S. Department of Education that are meant to help make higher education possible for more students. The college plans to use its share of the grant to promote education throughout the region.

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.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The latest projects slated for Syracuse’s Inner Harbor focus on education.  Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined county and city officials Tuesday to announce a state grant for the new SUNY Water Research and Educational Center.

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.

courtesy / Syracuse University

Syracuse University law students are settling in for many long nights of studying in a new space. 

The university's college of law christened its new home, Dineen Hall, Friday. It's named for two alumni, Robert and Carolyn Dineen. 

The Dineens both put themselves through Syracuse law and became prominent attorneys in both the city and New York state. Their children donated $15 million for the new hall.

One daughter is the Hon. Carolyn Dineen King, a judge on the federal fifth circuit, based in New Orleans.

Senate Democrats / Flickr

Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) says New York has a lack of residents with the skills needed to fill jobs in the state's growing advanced manufacturing industry. That's why he says he's pushing for a $15 million federal grant to help 30 SUNY schools train people to fill those positions.

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

Students in the Utica City School District headed back to the classroom Thursday. In recent years, the city's school district has made several decisions to help close budget gaps, including cutting about 200 staff positions. The result has been an incremental increase of the number of students in each classroom, which has now reached an all-time high.

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.

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