Education

11:58am

Wed January 15, 2014
Education

SUNY launches streamlined online learning program

The State University of New York is making it easier for students to graduate by making its campuses' 12,000 online classes available on one website.

Chancellor Nancy Zimpher announced the launch of the program Open SUNY during her State of the University address Tuesday, saying it will make it easier for students to find the classes they need to take and allows students the chance to learn on their own time while dealing with their day-to-day lives.

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7:26am

Thu January 2, 2014
Education

Common Core sparked major debate in 2013

Those attending a Common Core meeting in early December brought signs showing disapproval with the nationwide curriculum.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

In 2013, public education took center stage in New York state. A new, more rigorous curriculum was put in place in public schools in 2012 and the impacts of that exploded in classrooms across the state this past year.

The New York Times editorial board called the Common Core a once in a generation opportunity; U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the new curriculum may prove to be "the single greatest thing to happen to public education in America since Brown v. Board of Education."

So why all the controversy? To find out, we have to go back a couple years.

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7:38am

Tue December 10, 2013
Education

Advocates rally in support of public education

James F Clay Flickr

Advocates for public education are calling for changes in education that will give every child in New York state access to high-quality public education. The message was made clear during a national Day of Action organized by unions, community groups and schools across the nation and New York yesterday.

Supporters of public education in central New York wore blue as part of the event, meant to reclaim the promise of public education. Among those asking for the state to make changes is Shelly Chizzonite, a counselor in the East Syracuse Minoa School District.

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2:06pm

Mon December 9, 2013
Crime

Vandals tag several Syracuse University buildings

A Syracuse University student jogs past Eggers Hall as a maintenance worker tries to remove graffiti left on the building.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

Maintenance workers at Syracuse University today were going around campus trying to clean up a spree of vandalism.

Eight messages were spray-painted on five buildings at the school, according a spokesperson in Syracuse University's Department of Public Safety.

A tag on the side of the school’s communications complex read “#1 in communication. LAST in free speech.” Another message read: “liars live here. Are you one?” On Maxwell Hall, the Latin words "cui bono?" and "war" were sprayed, which translates to "for whose benefit."

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4:34pm

Fri December 6, 2013
Education

Syracuse school district's disciplinary policies under investigation

Syracuse school superintendent Sharon Contreras addressing the attorney general's investigation into her district's student discipline policies.
Ryan Delaney WRVO

The state attorney general is investigating disciplinary action policies within the Syracuse school district, and the school system says it's cooperating with his office.

On Friday, the school district's top administrator admitted there likely have been violations.

Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s civil rights office issued a subpoena to the Syracuse City School District on Oct. 16.

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7:27am

Wed December 4, 2013
Education

Fayetteville Common Core meeting draws more concern for students, teachers

Those attending the Common Core meeting brought signs showing disapproval with the nationwide curriculum.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Almost three dozen speakers fired questions at state Education Commissioner John King and other state officials in Fayetteville Tuesday, during the latest central New York forum on the new Common Core curriculum. Most of the complaints about the more rigorous curriculum have been heard before, but the bigger question now is if anything can be changed.

The debate over common core ranges from timing...

"Why were the assessments not phased in, in a more deliberate manner?"

To the impact of poverty on education...

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6:55am

Wed December 4, 2013
Higher Ed

New SUNY-ESF president wants to keep school on leading edge

Dr. Quentin Wheeler will be SUNY-ESF's next president starting in January.
Courtesy SUNY-ESF

Dr. Quentin Wheeler will return to central New York in January to be SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry's first new president in more than a decade.

He comes back to New York from teaching at Arizona State University. Before that he cut his teeth as a professor at Cornell University where he stayed for a quarter century.

For a scientist, Wheeler said in an interview with WRVO, the forests of upstate New York are a good place to be.

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7:43am

Thu November 21, 2013
Education

Education commissioner faces bipartisan grilling by members of state Assembly

The state’s Education Commissioner John King faced a bi-partisan grilling by liberal and conservative  members of the Assembly at a hearing regarding growing concerns about student privacy.

As part of the conversion to the national Common Core standards, school districts in New York are required to place more student records, transcripts, and even behavioral information, like absences and suspensions, in online data bases. The data collection is in many cases run by a private vendor, not the local school or the state education department.  

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8:27am

Tue November 19, 2013
Education

Educators air concerns about Common Core standards in another forum

Teachers, superintendents and parents take part in Monday night's education forum.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

The state Assembly Minority Education Forum in Baldwinsville on Monday night brought out parents and educators who are concerned about the controversial new Common Core educational standards enforced in New York state classrooms. This was the fifth of a series of hearings by the Assembly lawmakers about what has become a hotly debated topic.

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4:38pm

Sun November 17, 2013
Education

Incoming Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud on The Campbell Conversations

Incoming Syracuse University Chancellor Kent Syverud
Syracuse University

Kent Syverud arrives in Upstate New York in January to become Syracuse University's next Chancellor.  Intense speculation has surrounded the transition--will there be a change of course from Nancy Cantor's signature commitment to the City of Syracuse and the Upstate region?  Will the university focus more on improving its rankings and increasing its endowment?  In this edition of the Campbell Conversations, Grant Reeher talks with the incoming chancellor about his future learning curve at SU, and his experiences as dean of the law schools at Vanderbilt and Washington Universities, as well a

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3:47pm

Fri November 8, 2013
Education

Education commissioner addresses dissatisfaction with Common Core

Susan Arbetter moderates the forum with New York State Education Commissioner John King and Anthony Bottar of the New York State Board of Regents.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

New York State Education Commissioner John King was in Syracuse last night at public broadcaster WCNY for a community forum on the Common Core education reform. King tried to address the controversy over the rollout of the program.  

About 160 people made up of mostly teachers and parents of students were fairly unanimous in their disapproval of the rollout of Common Core standards reform for kindergarten through 12th grade.

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8:00am

Tue October 29, 2013
Education

Maffei unveils six-point education plan

Dan Maffei presents his six-point education plan. He gathered ideas earlier this year during listening sessions held throughout the district.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

Rep. Dan Maffei has a to-do list for himself and the community when it comes to education. The Syracuse-area Democrat released a six-point plan this week that arises from listening sessions he held across the 24th Congressional District earlier this year.

Maffei says one of the key things that stuck with him during the sessions, was the extent of morale problems among educators across the 24th Congressional District. And he says that's one thing he hopes his proposal can tackle.  

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4:20pm

Thu October 24, 2013
Education

Cuomo supports Common Core standards

State Education Commissioner John King is holding a forum in Albany this evening on the new Common Core curriculum standards in New York's schools, a change that has been controversial in the state.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo offered some support to King and top state education officials, who have received much criticism for the implementation of Common Core.

Cuomo said he understands that change can be difficult, even when it’s the right choice.

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6:07am

Fri October 18, 2013
Education

State education commissioner says Common Core here to stay

John King, New York's education commissioner
Charles Lane WRVO

New York Education Commissioner John King visited a Long Island elementary school earlier this week, where he met privately with educators to talk about the state’s new, more rigorous education standards called Common Core. 

The meeting came after King canceled several public events following a raucous PTA meeting in Poughkeepsie last week. At that meeting, parents lashed out at King using insults and curse words.

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12:20pm

Fri October 4, 2013
Education

OCC opens new building that spans divides

Academic II, the newest building on the Onondaga Community College campus
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Onondaga Community College is showing off a new building that crosses a 60-foot high gorge that splits the campus in half. But, college officials say it does more than connect the campus physically.

Academic II is being described as a bridge with a building around it. It spans the gorge that divides the campus. With smart classrooms, offices, a 150-seat recital hall and soundproof practice rooms, it will be  the center for the school's music program, according to OCC President Casey Craybill. And she says that bridges another divide.

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8:24am

Thu October 3, 2013
Education

SUNY Oswego's new science building promotes STEM ideas

Students talk and get food near the Fusion Cafe inside SUNY Oswego's new Shineman Center.
Gino Geruntino/WRVO

Science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education has become a focal point for schools throughout New York and the nation. At SUNY Oswego, the college's emphasis on STEM education has culminated in a $118 million four-story science building.

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7:22am

Thu October 3, 2013
Education

New York's top educator discusses Common Core with lawmakers

New York State Education Commissioner John King testifies to a state Senate committee in Syracuse Tuesday.
Ryan Delaney WRVO/file photo

State senators questioned New York’s top educator and other education professionals Tuesday at a hearing in Syracuse looking at new Common Core assessments and student achievement.

State Sen. John DeFrancisco, R-Syracuse, suggested some questions from the Common Core exam be removed, like ones that require students to draw shapes to represent numbers.

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7:52am

Tue October 1, 2013
Education

Syracuse school district combating high student suspension rate

Dan Losen, a civil rights expert from UCLA, shares the results of his quantitative and qualitative review of practices for disciplining students in the Syracuse City School District.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Last year, students suspended from the Syracuse City School District lost 23,555 days of instruction, and 55 percent of African-American students in the district have been suspended at least once. Those are some of the sobering statistics from a nationally known expert on school suspensions who reported on the state of suspensions in the district for the Board of Education last night.

Lekia Hill of the Alliance for Quality Education says the statistics are disturbing, especially when many of these suspensions are for minor infractions.

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7:44am

Fri September 13, 2013
Education

New SU chancellor is introduced to college community

New SU Chancellor Kent Syverud speaks to the college community.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

A Rochester-area native will become the 12th chancellor and president of Syracuse University in January. Incoming Chancellor Kent Syverud introduced himself to the university community at Hendricks Chapel on Thursday, after the Board of Trustees voted on his appointment.

Syverud said he is going to learn to bleed orange, and he has a good start.

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2:49pm

Thu September 5, 2013
Education

Syracuse schools celebrate first day back by highlighting new I-Zone schools

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras visits a kindergarten class at Frazer School.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

All the public schools in Onondaga County are now open for the new school year. The Syracuse City School District was one of the last ones to open its doors Thursday morning. And school officials used the occasion of the first day of school to show off one of the new I-Zone Schools in the district.

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6:35am

Tue September 3, 2013
Education

Graduation rates vary widely at SUNY schools

Many students are back to college for the fall semester. For some of those students, where they start their education will also be where they receive their degrees.

New York's SUNY system graduates nearly 65 percent of its students within six years, one of the highest in the nation for public universities. But each SUNY school's results vary widely.

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7:02am

Thu August 29, 2013
Education

SUNY chancellor: schools will perform well under Obama's proposed ranking system

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher visits the New York State Fair, stopping at the SUNY Upstate Medical University booth.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The head of the State University of New York welcomes the competition component of President Barack Obama's new education plan, intended to make a college education more affordable.

The president's plan would rank colleges and universities according to a number of factors, including student debt and graduation rates. It would then tie that ranking to federal student aid. SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says the proposal will also encourage innovation and take measures to reduce student debt.

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6:52am

Thu August 29, 2013
Education

Seven Syracuse schools enter first year of Innovation Zone

Teachers hold a rally during the iZone kick-off event at Porter Elementary School.
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The seven worst schools in the Syracuse City School District are joining forces in an attempt to improve the performance of those schools in a short period of time. The district says the Innovation Zone schools, armed with more than $31 million in state grants, can turn things around.

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6:47am

Wed August 28, 2013
Education

New York schools optimistic that next year's Common Core tests will improve

School officials throughout New York state weren't surprised when students taking this year's Common Core exams received low test scores. But most school board members are optimistic that next year's results will be better. A recent poll by the New York State School Board Association reports about two-thirds of school board members expect their district's students to improve next year. Only 12 percent say they don't expect better results.

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8:00pm

Thu August 22, 2013
Education

Maffei says more should be done to make higher education affordable

Congressman Dan Maffei talks to a group of people before President Obama's speech at Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday.
Ellen Abbott WRVO

President Obama was at Henninger High School in Syracuse on Thursday evening to discuss plans to make higher education more affordable for students. Congressman Dan Maffei, whose district includes Syracuse, says the president's speech included the introduction of a new college grading method that could influence how federal financial aid is distributed to the nation's colleges.

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8:40am

Wed August 21, 2013
Obama visit to Syracuse

Syracuse schools superintendent discusses Obama visit

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras.
Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras said the district is assisting the White House and Secret Service as they prepare for the arrival of President Obama at Henninger High School on Thursday.

Though Contreras wouldn't specifically say why Henninger High School was chosen as the location for President Obama to speak, she did say the Syracuse City School District's "Say Yes to Education" program would fit in perfectly with the president's speech on college access.

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4:19pm

Mon August 19, 2013
Education

Young entrepreneurs compete to impress investors

Anthony DiMare gives his company, Regattable, sales pitch to potential investors at the 2013 Syracuse Student Sandbox Demo Day in the Hosmer Auditorium at the Everson Museum.
Tom Magnarelli

College students from across upstate New York pitched their businesses to an audience of potential investors. It was the end of a 12-week program called the Syracuse Student Sandbox, which mentors young entrepreneurs on generating revenue for their startups.

"Teams are coming out of the sandbox at the end of the summer already having some funding, already having products, already having some customers," said John Liddy, the director of the program he helped start in 2009.

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6:53am

Tue August 13, 2013
Education

Robotics camp promotes hands-on approach to math and technology

The robotics competition
Ellen Abbott/WRVO

The study of robotics is dropping down into the middle school curriculum of the Syracuse City School District, starting with a two-week summer camp.

Bryan English, one of the high school teachers who teaches the ins and outs of making the erector set style robots, says the program - which is already employed in the high school - is a way to get students more interested in math and technology classes.

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8:52am

Mon August 12, 2013
Education

Upstate schools work to reduce bullying

Beyond reading, writing and arithmetic, schools across Upstate New York are dealing more and more with school violence.

SUNY Upstate Medical University forensic psychiatrist James Knoll says if a person asks anyone about school violence, they'll answer Columbine or Newtown, Conn.

"Most of the lay public's attention gets focused on the rare, but sensational acts of school violence like school shootings," Knoll said. "But I think it's the more common everyday violence, physical and mental abuse, and bullying... where our efforts are best spent."

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7:10am

Thu August 8, 2013
Education

Syracuse City School District Superintendent not surprised by low state test scores

Syracuse Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras says she was not surprised with the state's poor testing results.
Credit The Syracuse City School District

Only about a third of New York state's third through eighth grade students met the new tougher standards from April's round of state mandated English and math tests. That's about half as many as last year, before the new Common Core Curriculum was adopted in the state. For an urban school district like the Syracuse City School District, scores were in the single digits. Syracuse Superintendent Sharon Contreras expected the test results to be bad.

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