Education

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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7:05am

Tue April 15, 2014
Education

Schumer says schools struggling to fund safety programs

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stands in front of Fayetteville-Manlius High School to discuss school safety.
Tom Magnarelli WRVO

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) was at Fayetteville-Manlius High School Monday announcing an initiative to restore funding to school safety programs. Funding for the federal grants has declined by more than $100 million over the past four years.

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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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7:41am

Mon April 14, 2014
Higher Ed

Syracuse University formally enters "The Kent Syverud Years"

Kent Syverud, Syracuse University's 12th chancellor, enters Hendricks Chapel during his inauguration ceremony.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Syracuse University has formally entered “The Kent Syverud Years,” as the school’s new chancellor was inaugurated Friday evening.

Syverud took over for Nancy Cantor as the university’s 12th chancellor in January, but the school laid out the orange carpet Friday, and laid on the pomp and circumstance, in a ceremony at Hendricks Chapel.

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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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4:27pm

Fri April 4, 2014
Education

Historic choice for Le Moyne College president discusses challenges of the job

Linda LeMura and her husband at Le Moyne College's announcement that she will be the new president.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

LeMoyne College is making history with it’s new president.  Linda LeMura will soon become the first lay female president at a Jesuit institution anywhere in the world.

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7:06am

Fri April 4, 2014
Education

Le Moyne College appoints new president

Le Moyne College president-elect Linda LeMura
Le Moyne College

The Le Moyne College Board of Trustees unanimously elected a new president Thursday, naming Linda LeMura as its 14th president. She will become the first lay female to serve as president of a Jesuit college or university in the world.

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6:16am

Wed April 2, 2014
Education

Education historian lashes out against Common Core during Syracuse visit

James F Clay Flickr

As public school students in New York state sit at their desks today taking the Common Core based English Language Arts tests, a nationally known opponent to the core is in Syracuse. Education Historian Dr. Diane Ravitch spent the day Tuesday at Syracuse University.

Ravitch, who has written about the issues and is the author of a very popular anti-Common Core blog, doesn’t have anything good to say about the new, more rigorous curriculum that’s taken over New York state classrooms. First there’s the way it was conceived.

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3:17pm

Tue April 1, 2014
State Budget

Cuomo, Astorino see differently on Common Core deal

Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Credit Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Gov. Andrew Cuomo says parents and students can exhale knowing that the second round of Common Core aligned test scores will not be included on student's permanent transcripts under the new budget deal.

The new standards in English and math designed to improve college and career readiness have been criticized by some parents who say that the roll-out was done too fast and from educators claiming that they weren't given sufficient material and guidance to teach the new standards.

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6:44am

Fri March 28, 2014
Education

Why Common Core? Expectations for students, teachers

Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

In classrooms across New York, students are being taught under the Common Core learning standards, requirements that specify what students should know in English Language Arts and math based on grade level.

Students are expected to read and more thoroughly analyze nonfiction text as part of the English requirement. In math, students must have a deeper understanding of concepts and memorize certain formulas.

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5:37am

Fri March 28, 2014
Education

North Syracuse faces yet another school budget with cuts

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

Onondaga County's second largest school district is dealing with yet another budget shortfall, and that likely will mean another round of staff layoffs.

The North Syracuse School District has already eliminated a fifth of its staff in the past six years. But it's not been enough to keep up with a declining student enrollment and a reduction in state education aid of more than $6 million.

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8:39pm

Wed March 26, 2014
Education

State lawmakers say delay of Common Core effects likely in state budget

Wallyg Flickr

State lawmakers say it’s likely the state budget will include a moratorium on the effects of school exams administered in connection with the controversial Common Core learning standards.

The state Assembly already passed a bill to delay the effects of the new Common Core tests on students and teachers, after widespread complaints that schools and the state education department were not adequately prepared to make the needed curriculum changes.

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7:26am

Wed March 26, 2014
Education

Parents make their voices heard as Common Core tests approach

Signs in opposition to the Common Core learning standards are on display at a parents forum at Onondaga Community College Tuesday evening.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

As the standardized testing season begins in schools across New York state next month, opponents of the controversial Common Core curriculum are making more noise. Some parents and educators are suggesting that the best way to express displeasure is to have kids refuse the test.

Judy Griffith of the West Genesee School District in Camillus was one, and she expects to have more company this year.

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7:29am

Tue March 25, 2014
Education

Why Common Core? How the controversial program came to NY

Parents protest Common Core at a forum in Fayetteville in December.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO file photo

The Common Core Learning Standards in New York state have caused a great deal of confusion and controversy. But where did Common Core come from and why was it implemented?

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7:26am

Fri March 21, 2014
Education

GED replaced with test based on Common Core standards

The new Common Core curriculum is reaching into the world of adult equivalency diplomas. The General Educational Development test, or GED, that used to be the gateway for a diploma in New York state has been replaced with a harder test called TASC, short for the Test Assessing Secondary Completion.

The Syracuse Educational Opportunity Center (EOC) offered the test for the first time this week. Marcia Tait, executive director of Literacy CNY, doesn’t know how the test takers did, but knows she’d have had trouble with it.

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3:10pm

Thu March 20, 2014
Education

Syracuse leaders come together to advocate for pre-K funding

Supporters of pre-K, including Syracuse Common Councilor Nader Maroun, hold up banner at news conference Thursday.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse-area advocates of universal pre-kindergarten want lawmakers to include it in the state budget expected to be approved in Albany in the next ten days. Supporters crystallized their argument for pre-K  at a news conference at Delaware School on Syracuse’s west side Thursday.

The call to  include universal pre-K in the state budget came from business leaders, like Centerstate CEO president Rob Simpson

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7:02am

Thu March 20, 2014
Higher Ed

SUNYIT in Utica and Albany's nanoscale campus now one college

Construction of the Nano Utica complex on the campus of SUNY-IT in Utica in October.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

New York's public university system is merging two of its campuses. SUNYIT in Utica and the College of Nanoscale, Science and Engineering in Albany will merge in 2015.

The merger comes after the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering broke off from the University at Albany last year. CNSE has been the darling of SUNY system since its creation in 2004. Though small, it’s attracted millions of dollars in private investment.

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3:46pm

Wed March 19, 2014
Education

Utica City School District discusses layoffs to help balance budget

The Utica City School District is looking at another year of layoffs, though the final budget has not been completed.
Gino Geruntino WRVO

For the fourth straight year, the Utica City School District is facing a deficit, causing the school board to consider layoffs. School Business Official Maureen Albanese says right now the district, which is among the state's poorest, is having trouble balancing its nearly $146 million budget.

"We had a $3.8 million deficit in the general fund, and we're looking at a $2.6 [million] deficit in our federal grants, which brought our total budget deficit to $6.4 million," Albanese said.

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6:24am

Tue March 11, 2014
Politics and Government

State Republicans expected to vote against Regents to protest Common Core

The New York State Assembly will vote on appointing members to the Board of Regents Tuesday.
Wallyg Flickr

State Senate Republicans say they will break a long-standing tradition of boycotting the election of new Regents. They now say they will attend a joint legislative session, and that many will vote “no” over dissatisfaction with the Common Core.  

It’s uncertain whether all four of the incumbent Regents members will be re-elected.  

Senate Education Chairman John Flanagan says Republican Senators will be attending a joint session of the legislature Tuesday to appoint members to the New York State Board of Regents to new terms. But he says many GOP members plan to vote no.

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7:00am

Thu March 6, 2014
Education

Assembly votes to delay some effects of Common Core

The state Assembly passed a bill Wednesday to delay some of the effects of New York’s Common Core learning standards.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver says the bill delays the effects of the new learning standards for two more years, for both students and teachers. Teachers fear they will be evaluated on their pupils’ test scores when there wasn’t enough time to prepare and teach the new material.

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7:25am

Tue February 25, 2014
Education

Upstate schools call for more funding, end of the Gap Elimination Adjustment

Katie Keier Flickr

The funding crisis facing public education will be on display during forums held in the coming weeks across central New York. Lobbyists are hopeful that public support for school funding can have an impact on the state budget process in Albany.

Charles Borgongoni has been the head of the Central New York School Boards Association for three years. He says the fiscal troubles for schools just keep getting worse, with not much help in sight from the state.

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10:00am

Mon February 24, 2014
Education

Could N.Y.'s new homeland security college land in Syracuse?

State Sen. John DeFrancisco (R-Syracuse)
Credit Durrie Bouscaren / WRVO File

New York state plans to create the nation’s first college dedicated to homeland security and emergency preparedness, which backers say is a necessary measure given the major storms and terrorist threats the state has dealt with.

And there are efforts to headquarter that new college in Syracuse.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, a Republican from Syracuse, says the idea to create a homeland security and emergency preparedness college came from him and the state Senate, which he pitched to the governor.

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