Education

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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8:49am

Fri February 21, 2014
Education

Cuomo's prison education program draws criticism from Republicans

Meesh Flickr

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is defending his plan to pay for college classes for prison inmates, saying it will cut down the number of convicts sent back to prison.

Cuomo has proposed expanding a program that currently offers privately funded college courses in some state prisons. The program would offer associate's and bachelor's degree education at 10 prisons, which Cuomo says will reduce the likelihood of inmates returning to crime.

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2:25pm

Tue February 18, 2014
Education

Syracuse school district requests more state aid

Jon Lim Flickr

As the Syracuse City School District goes into its budget process, it’s looking at a $24 million spending gap, a revenue problem stemming from years of stagnant state aid in the face of rising educational costs.

The District’s Chief Financial Officer, Suzanne Slack, decided to name this year’s budget report after a weather event. She saw a news story about frigid temperatures this winter caused by the Polar Vortex.

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7:06pm

Tue February 11, 2014
Politics and Government

Regents delay vote on teacher protections portion of Common Core changes

Thomas Favre-Bulle via Flickr

The New York State Board of Regents at the last minute reversed course and decided not to hold a final vote on some changes to weaken implementation of the Common Core standards in New York.  

The Regents were set to vote to delay the effects of Common Core on high school seniors for five more years, until 2022, and to offer teachers some protections if they are fired during the next two years.

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7:51am

Tue February 11, 2014
Education

State Board of Regents takes step back on Common Core

State Education Commissioner John King testifies during a public hearing in October. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

The state Board of Regents is poised to delay some requirements of the federal Common Core standards. But some state lawmakers are still questioning whether the Regents are going far enough to remedy what critics say is a flawed rollout of the new standards.

The Board of Regents, facing pressure from Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature, is recommending that the effects of the new high stakes testing on students, designed in response to the Common Core, be delayed for five more years.

Regents Chancellor Meryl Tisch, in a statement, offered an apology.

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6:10am

Fri February 7, 2014
Education

Southern Tier school district first in state to ditch Common Core

http://www.corningareaschools.com/index.cfm

Board members of the Corning-Painted Post School District voted last week to step out on its own. Beginning next year, the district will no longer be using the state designed curriculum.

Michael Ginalski, Superintendent of the Corning-Painted Post School District, says the roll-out of Common Core was flawed from the beginning. “What we were trying to do was change the tire on a car while the car was still running with this initiative,” he said.

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8:54pm

Mon February 3, 2014
Education

Gillibrand, Hanna push for universal pre-K together

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., makes Valentine's Day cards with children in a pre-K class at Herkimer Elementary School.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Rep. Richard Hanna and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand played with blocks and Elmer’s glue at a pre-kindergarten classroom in Herkimer Monday before introducing a proposal to fund universal early education on a federal level.

The argument Gillibrand, a Democrat, and Hanna, a Republican, are making is that funding universal pre-kindergarten is an investment, not an expense.

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5:52pm

Mon February 3, 2014
Education

Will a free ride to college boost STEM study in N.Y.?

ECC.edu

In his 2014 agenda, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed giving college scholarships to high school students as a way to boost study of science, technology engineering and math, or STEM.

But some educators say a scholarship may not be the best way to get more kids involved in these subjects.

Cuomo’s idea is to give a free ride at SUNY schools for students who are in the top 10 percent of their class and study STEM. The catch is they have to stay and work in New York for five years after they graduate.

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7:06am

Wed January 29, 2014
Education

Education hearing turns into Common Core complaint session

Education Commissioner John King testifies to a state Senate committee during an October meeting in Syracuse. (file photo)
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

The state’s education commissioner testified at a legislative budget hearing, where he once again heard complaints from concerned lawmakers regarding the fast track adoption of the new national Common Core standards.

Lawmakers, calling the roll out of Common Core a nightmare and a mistake, grilled state Education Commissioner John King and asked for more time to adopt the new federal standards.

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7:13am

Fri January 24, 2014
Education

Education advocates express budget concerns

Local advocates are calling for more dollars in the state budget to be put toward education
Credit Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Education advocacy groups are giving Gov. Andrew Cuomo bad grades when it comes to spending on education in his proposed 2014 budget, as Syracuse parents and community members believe the state needs to come through with substantially more money for schools in the spending plan.

Cuomo’s proposed budget, unveiled this week, includes a $608 million increase in education funding. The increase is well short of what education advocates like former Hannibal school teacher and Citizen Action of New York Board Member Bill Spreeter say is needed.

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3:52pm

Fri January 17, 2014
Education

SUNY Oswego receives $7.5 million gift for student scholarships

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

SUNY Oswego announced Friday that it has received the largest single donation in its history.

The estate of Oswego County resident Lorraine Marano gave $7.5 million to fund scholarships for students with financial need -- particularly first-generation college students.

SUNY Oswego President Deborah Stanley says that even though neither Marano or her husband Nick attended the university, she was a longtime admirer of the school.

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