Syracuse school district

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.

Syracuse schools superintendent discusses Obama visit

Aug 21, 2013
Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News file photo

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.

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.

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.

Ellen Abbott/WRVO

Syracuse mayoral hopeful Pat Hogan is proposing a ten-point education program for the Syracuse City School District. He's one of four candidates in a Democratic primary for mayor that includes incumbent Stephanie Miner.

Hogan calls education the elephant in the room when it comes to issues facing the city today. He says it's the perceived state of the city schools that drives many families to the suburbs.   

Stephen Sartori / Say Yes to Education

Non-profit education initiative Say Yes to Education marked five years in the Syracuse school district by touting increases in college enrollment and adding some top schools to the program.

Say Yes entered Syracuse schools in 2009 with the goal of overhauling urban education and increasing the city's chronically poor graduation rates. Syracuse was the first city-wide implementation of the program.

In education circles it's called concurrent enrollment. Your high school student might know it as SUPA. It's Syracuse University Project Advance, and it's celebrating its 40th birthday, with enrollment skyrocketing in recent years.

The Syracuse City School District is proposing a new school that will offer a classical education for high achieving students.

Projections unveiled at the Syracuse City School District budget meeting last night could push the total number of positions the district has eliminated since 2009 to more than 1,000.

The graduation rate in the Syracuse City School District continues to be one of the worst in the state, with less than half the students getting their diplomas after four years of school. Technical education programs may be a solution.

The Syracuse City School District now has a blue print for the next five years, that administrators hope will take it from being one of the poorest performing districts to one of the most improved urban school districts in America. The plan calls for changes across the board.

Thomas Favre-Bulle / via Flickr

The decision for the Syracuse City School District Board of Education Wednesday night was between borrowing millions or cutting hundreds of jobs. Board members chose to balance a $366 million budget by whipping out the credit card.

With $11.5 million dollars at stake, the Syracuse City School District did some last minute negotiating with its teachers and principal's unions, in the hopes of getting some state funding reinstated.