Education

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

Syracuse University

Syracuse University is investing $118 million dollars in renovations to the Carrier Dome as part of SU’s 20-year Campus Framework plan of projects. The renovations include a new roof for the dome, which will change what has been an iconic part of the Syracuse skyline for the past several decades.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Syracuse Schools Superintendent Jaime Alicea said the district has made significant progress in the last four years, while they have been complying with an agreement known as the Assurance of Discontinuance with the state attorney general’s office. The agreement is in its last year and was originally put in place because the district had one of the highest suspension rates in the country.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Syracuse University students are demanding changes to a system they say is oppressing marginalized groups on campus. This comes in the wake of racist and sexist videos from the Theta Tau fraternity, which got the organization expelled. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Everything is on the table, according to Syracuse University officials, including expulsion, for the 18 students involved in racist videos by the Theta Tau fraternity. SU officials said it will be a fair but expeditious disciplinary process.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

Students at more than a dozen school in central and northern New York are expected to take part in a national high school walkout today to demand action on gun control. The walkout is being held today, because it is the 19th anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The Daily Orange YouTube page

A fraternity at Syracuse University has been suspended after a video was released showing members engaged in extremely racist behavior.  Students on campus are shocked and angered by the video. 

University officials describe the Theta Tau video as anti-Semitic, homophobic and sexist. Hundreds of students participated in a protest and dialogue on campus Wednesday. Student Association President James Franco said students expressed their feelings, shared their experiences, and discussed actions that could be taken.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

The response to arming teachers as a way to combat school shootings sounds like any other debate about guns. Proponents say it's a practical way to stop shooters, while opponents argue that it will actually increase the risk of danger. But among some educators, the debate doesn't fall along those same lines.

Timothy Vollmer / Flickr

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — An unknown number of students taking the statewide English assessment by computer encountered delays when a security feature in the system “inadvertently activated” and prevented them from logging in, New York education officials said on Thursday.

The problem on Wednesday originated with test vendor Questar Assessment Inc., which eventually fixed the issue, Education Department spokeswoman Emily DeSantis said.

Testing continued on Thursday without any additional interruptions.

Colleen / via Flickr

Schools around central and northern New York will soon be able to apply for federal funds to cover school safety and mental health training expenses - part of the recently passed $1.3 trillion spending plan passed by Congress.

Rep. John Kakto (R-Camillus) says grants are available on a number of fronts - to help schools to hire school resource officers, provide mental health counseling and pay for bullying and harassment prevent programs.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

Parents and teachers shared concerns on school safety at a forum held this week by the Syracuse City School District and Syracuse Police Department. Several recurring issues were raised to administrators and law enforcement. The forum was held in response to the high school shooting in Florida last month. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News (file photo)

As part of National Walkout Day on Wednesday, high school students in Syracuse organized a rally to remember the victims of the Parkland, Florida shooting and support more gun control. Some educators hope the movement will create more politically engaged students.

Saoirse Murphy-Collins, a junior at Nottingham High School, helped organize Wednesday's protest in the school’s gym.

“The problem with gun violence is a really big issue in this nation and we’re trying to get it under control so more students don’t die and people get hurt,” Murphy-Collins said.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

High school students in Syracuse are calling for more gun control in solidarity with student walkouts across the country to honor the victims of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting. Ana Kreidler-Siwinski is a junior at Nottingham High School and helped organize a rally in the school’s gymnasium.

"I believe we shouldn’t stand by and be silent," Kreidler-Siwinski said. "Better late than never. Gun laws should be stricter in the future. If there were less easy ways for people with mental illnesses to grab guns, people with criminal records, then it would be better for society."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia says she supports students who plan to demonstrate today against gun violence. School walkouts are planned across the nation at 10 a.m., including in New York state. It's an attempt to pressure lawmakers to act after the shooting that left 17 students dead in Parkland, Florida, last month.

Elia says school officials and teachers should work with students to make it a learning experience about civic engagement and what it means to be an active citizen in American.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO Public Media

A divided crowd got into a heated debate at a recent Syracuse school board meeting over whether the district should change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Some said changing the name takes away a part of the history of Italian-Americans.

Last year, after requests from some students, the Syracuse City School District changed Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples’ Day / Columbus Day. Now, Andy Mager with Neighbors of the Onondaga Nation and others are appealing to the board to drop Columbus altogether.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

In the wake of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting, local leaders are convening a task force that will create a blueprint for school safety in central New York.

Onondaga County District Attorney Bill Fitzpatrick says a massive government failure played a part in the Parkland tragedy.

“Parkland was a blueprint for government disaster," FitzPatrick said. "Ineffectiveness of almost every institution in Parkland that was designed to protect children in Parkland failed."

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Many school districts in central and northern New York have faced threats following the Florida high school shooting last month. It has resulted in school shutdowns and arrests of some students for making terroristic threats. As law enforcement aggressively investigates these incidents, some experts say it is a lack of emotional skills that is causing them.

Utica College

Updated at 5:30 p.m. Monday

A lockdown at Utica College was lifted around 5 p.m. Monday, after police conducted a thorough search of every building on campus. Students who live on campus were escorted back to their dorms by law enforcement, while non-resident students, staff and faculty were allowed to leave campus. 

Onondaga Community College

Onondaga Community College is working with local manufacturers on a program that will offer training that will lead to apprenticeships and jobs - and individuals will be paid while they learn.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The Syracuse City School District is facing a $24 million deficit in it’s 2018-2019 budget. It hopes to close the gap using savings and more funds from the state.

suny.edu

SUNY's new chancellor Kristina Johnson delivered her first state of the university system address Monday, outlining an agenda for her time in the position. Johnson says she developed the plan after traveling to several SUNY campuses since she took office last September, but much of it is a reflection of her own diverse background.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Quentin Wheeler addressed students last week regarding his decision to remove three department chairs from their positions. Some students said it is Wheeler who should be replaced.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News File Photo

The president of the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry has removed three department chairs from their positions. The professors say the change is part of a continuing feud between the president and faculty.

The Central New York Community Foundation

The Central New York Community Foundation recently awarded a $24,000 grant to the Positivity Project to expand it’s character education training programs in the Syracuse City School District. The goal of the program, which is in 44 schools throughout central New York, is teaching children how to be positive people.

Brett Woodcock, principal of Liverpool’s Morgan Road Elementary School, says if you ask any of the kids in his school, they will be able to tell you their top character strengths. So we asked fourth grader Makenna Metrick.

SUNY Oswego

For the first time in its history, SUNY Oswego will embark on a campus-wide initiative later this year. Students from multiple disciplines will collaborate to present solutions for a global issue.

With Lake Ontario as the backdrop, "fresh water for all" will be the focus of SUNY Oswego's first Grand Challenges project. Leigh Wilson, director of the college's interdisciplinary programs and activities center, says individual classes will be tasked with exploring fresh water issues and developing potential solutions to those problems that draws on their specific area of study.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

The State University of New York is asking the state to help it expand a pilot program meant to get students with student loan debt who drop out of college help in finishing their degree. 

Re-Enroll to Complete is designed to reach recently withdrawn student loan borrowers to get them back on campus. A successful pilot program reached out to more than 1,000 students at 17 SUNY campuses.

“240 students out of that 1,000 in the pilot, came back. And of those, now a high percentage are actually completing their degree,” said SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson.

Payne Horning / WRVO News

SUNY Oswego put a tobacco ban policy in place three years ago. The intention was to stop staff and students from smoking on campus, but some continue to light up. The mixed results are now prompting some college officials to renew their efforts to end tobacco use on campus. 

On a recent fall morning at SUNY Oswego, students were making their way to class.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

Syracuse University and LeMoyne College have announced a new academic partnership for graduate students at SU’s School of Information and LeMoyne’s Madden School of Business.

“Students from the Madden School can take courses from us toward their masters and either count it towards their masters at LeMoyne, or get a separate CAS (Certificate of Advanced Studies) and the reverse," said iSchool Dean Liz Liddy.

Gino Geruntino / WRVO News File Photo

SUNY Oswego has started the formal process of revoking the honorary degree it presented to journalist Charlie Rose in 2014. 

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Many students at Syracuse University protested congressional Republicans’ tax bill Wednesday. The students said they are upset with a tax increase on the tuition credits of graduate students.

Gemma Cooper-Novack is a graduate teaching and research assistant at SU. She receives tuition credit in addition to a stipend for her work. She is not paying taxes on that tuition credit, worth tens of thousands of dollars. But she might have to if the GOP tax bill is signed into law.

governorandrewcuomo / Flickr

New York State is pumping more money into after school programs in central and northern New York. Gov. Cuomo announced the expansion of the program at a Syracuse elementary school Tuesday.

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