education

.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

All through September join us as we present a series of education related radio documentaries from American Radioworks. Here is a look at the shows coming up.

September 7 - The Science of Smart

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.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Some Syracuse public school students started the new school year this week in an entirely new schools aimed at turning around struggling academic buildings.

In the basement of Hughes Elementary School, Syracuse City School District Superintendent Sharon Contreras greeted students at the new Syracuse Latin magnet school. Its liberal arts heavy curriculum is being phased in first at the kindergarten and first grade levels.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO

Three new schools in the Syracuse City School District will be opening their doors on Tuesday for the first day of classes.

Delaware Primary and the Public Service Leadership Academy at Fowler are the new iterations of Fowler High School and Delaware Elementary, which were closed after failing to raise academic performance over the last three years.

A third school that will be phased out because of poor performance is Hughes Elementary. That school will be replaced by the Syracuse Latin School, which will cater to gifted and talented students.

Sean MacEntee / Flickr

New York voters will decide in November whether the state should borrow $2 billion for new technology, including iPads, in school classrooms. Teachers and school administrators who could benefit from the funds say they are supportive, but want to see more details.

The Bond Act, as it reads on the November ballot, would provide access to classroom technology and high-speed Internet connections, as well as offer funds to build more pre-kindergarten classrooms and replace the trailers that some overcrowded schools in New York City have been using to teach students.

SUNY Oswego/Facebook

Eight months after submitting its first draft proposal for the Start-Up NY Program, SUNY Oswego can finally start approving prospective businesses that would like to create jobs on its campus.

Pam Caraccioli, with SUNY Oswego, says the college is targeting technology-based companies, including those working in robotics, computers and high-tech manufacturing.

“That’s been our goal from the beginning,” Caraccioli said. “To really, really try to tie into the industry sectors that are also being targeted by the economic development leaders in our entire region.”

Gino Geruntino / WRVO

Hundreds of people came to Oswego's Nine Mile Point Nuclear Learning Center to get a better understanding of how the power plants work and what employees do each day to keep the plant working properly.

The event allowed visitors, including nine-year-old Ethann Browne, to see first hand how employees are trained in its two reactor simulators.

"I already like researching nuclear power and learning much about it, but I'm here today to learn more about nuclear power from the professionals."
 

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

At the Baldwinsville School District’s administrative office, Superintendent David Hamilton works from an office filled with reclaimed furniture. He says a fancy office chair doesn’t help teach students biology.

Hamilton says that sort of frugality is what helped Baldwinsville score one of the best “bang for the buck” ratings in a recent report by the Center for American Progress. It ranked high on a spending to test score ratio.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse public school district and the state attorney general's office say they've reached a settlement to curb the district's alarmingly high suspension rate.

The district will amend its code of conduct under the agreement. 

The attorney general's civil rights office launched its investigation in October 2013, after several complaints.

SU News Services

A Syracuse University professor will be spending the next several months thinking about death, as part of a grant by the Immortality Project at the University of California, Riverside.

SU's Philosophy Department Chairman Ben Bradley will lead the research into a topic not many people want to talk about - death. He says the focus will be on the emotions and attitudes people have about their own death.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Updated, 1:55 p.m. with comment from superintendent:

The first meeting between the president of the Syracuse teachers' union and the superintendent of the school system since their relationship publicly disintegrated last week has been called "productive."

Syracuse Teachers Association President Kevin Ahern and Superintendent Sharon Contreras met Friday morning under the invitation of Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner.

Some things are better taught outside the school system. That's Paul Green's theory on education. Green isn’t a professional educator, but he’s made music education his life.

The 41-year-old is the founder and owner Paul Green Rock Academy where kids age 8 to 18 learn to rock.

James F Clay / Flickr

A tentative agreement has been reached by Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the legislature to put off the effects of the controversial Common Core tests on teachers for another two years.

Earlier this year the Democratic governor and the legislature imposed a moratorium on the Common Core tests effects on students, now that postponement moratorium extends to teachers who received poor ratings on their annual evaluations as a result of low scores by students on the controversial new tests.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse school district says it's already working to improve discipline with the city's public schools as the state attorney general investigates its practices.

The attorney general's offices launched an investigation in December into potentially overly harsh punishment of minority and disabled students in the Syracuse school system,

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The head of the Syracuse public school teachers union and the superintendent of the district will sit down this week in hopes of repairing a fractured relationship. 

Mayor Stephanie Miner, a former labor lawyer, will mediate the discussion. 

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Syracuse's public school teachers have overwhelmingly said they no longer have the confidence in Sharon Contreras to lead the city's school district.

The president of the Syracuse Teachers Association, the union representing 2,800 teachers in the district, kicked off what turned into a lengthy and raucous board of education meeting Wednesday evening at Dr. King Elementary School.

Zack Seward / WXXI

The head of New York’s public higher education system says the Common Core education standards better prepare students for college.

SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher has joined a national coalition of 200 colleges in 33 states, called Higher Ed for Higher Standards, advocating for the continued use of Common Core standards for primary and high school education.

The new standards have been criticized for their poor rollout, but Zimpher says they’ll increase a student’s chances of completing college on time.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli is urging New Yorkers to invest in a 529 College Saving Program, which helps families save money for college tuition. DiNapoli says parents, grandparents and others can open an account for a child, and receive tax credits of up to $10,000 annually for their contributions.

More than 800,000 529 College Saving Program accounts have been set up in New York, but DiNapoli says many more could take advantage of the program.

Tom Magnarelli/WRVO

The Syracuse Landmark Preservation Board approved the removal of six wooden and concrete crosses on the outside of Holy Trinity Church which is being renovated into a mosque. But the controversy overshadowed the mission of the North Side Learning Center, which bought the Syracuse property.

"Salam alaikum everyone! Oh, the classroom is getting packed now!”exclaimed Abdulilah Al-Dubai, one of the founders of the North Side Learning Center. The center has eight classes that teach English to 150 students, who range from age four to 80 and come from more than 20 countries.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

School is out for the day at Delaware Elementary in Syracuse, but Principal Milagros Escalera is in the auditorium greeting a group of students who stuck around for a magic show.

"Did you pet the bunny?" she asks, as students marvel at the furry animal's bright red eyes.

Much like how the magician performed his tricks, what the future holds for these students and this school, is a mystery.

There are more than a dozen Syracuse public schools that are staring down major changes or closure in the near future, much like what three city schools are going through this year.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The superintendent of the Syracuse school system has lost the support of one of the district's school board members. But it's likely not enough dissent to force Sharon Contreras out of her job. 

Syracuse School Board member Max Ruckdeschel spoke out at their annual meeting Tuesday evening. To other board members' surprise, he says he can no longer blindly support the superintendent's administrative appointments.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse school district is considering turning one of its underperforming elementary schools into a charter school.

Superintendent Sharon Contreras sent a letter home Friday to parents of Delaware Elementary School saying a charter school is the best option available under state rules for chronically poor-performing schools.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

Both the Syracuse school district and state education officials are being hush about the future of one of the city's elementary schools, possibly because the district is still scrambling to come up with a plan, as sources have indicated to WRVO.

Under state policy for chronically underperforming schools, Delaware Elementary School must be drastically overhauled or shuttered.

Ryan Delaney / WRVO

The Syracuse school district has a few more days to present a plan for the future of one of its elementary schools to state education officials, but the school board currently doesn't have a meeting scheduled to approve such actions.

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Say Yes to Education is slightly short of its goal to being independently financially sustainable six years after its start.

Say Yes is a national nonprofit that opened a chapter in the Syracuse school district in 2008. It offers a different strategy to improve urban education with a promise of free college tuition to graduating high school seniors.

Oswego City School District passes budget, upsets some

Apr 24, 2014
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.

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.

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.
 

Pages