education

Fred Kowal: RETA

Mar 15, 2016

A teacher shortage isn’t looming in New York.

It’s here. 

    

  Over 2 million of the nation’s 11 million undocumented immigrants have lived in the U.S. since childhood. Due to our current immigration system they grow up to uncertain futures.

In the new book, Lives in Limbo, Roberto Gonzales introduces us to two groups: the college goers like Ricardo who had good grades and a strong network of community support that propelled him to college and dream act organizing, but still landed in a factory job a few short years after graduation. The other group, the early exiters like Gabriel, who failed to make meaningful connection in high school and started navigating dead end jobs, immigration check points and a world narrowly circumscribed with legal limitations.

Roberto Gonzales is assistant professor at Harvard University Graduate School of Education, his research focuses on the ways in which legal and educational institutions shape the everyday  experiences of poor, minority and immigrant youth along the life course.

   Little children come into the world hardwired to learn in virtually any setting and about any matter. Yet in today’s preschool and kindergarten classrooms, learning has been reduced to scripted lessons and suspect metrics that too often undervalue a child’s intelligence while overtaxing the child’s growing brain. 

  In The Importance of Being Little: What Preschoolers Really Need from Grownups, Christakis explains what it’s like to be a young child in America today, in a world designed by and for adults, where we have confused schooling with learning. She offers real-life solutions to real-life issues, with nuance and direction that takes us far beyond the usual prescriptions for fewer tests, more play.

MaryEllen Elia: Improving State Assessments

Feb 20, 2016

This summer, I returned to New York to take the job of State Education Commissioner. I was born, raised, and began my career here as a social studies teacher before moving to Florida in 1986. While in Florida, I continued teaching before moving onto administrative roles. I eventually became a school district superintendent.

New York is helping its private colleges with campus repairs, upgrades and construction projects.

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A group of New York state senators is pushing for a big investment in after-school programs and all-day kindergarten to create what they're calling a "50-hour learning week" for students.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

State education commissioner MaryEllen Elia made an appearance Thursday at the Early College Career Academy on the campus of SUNY Adirondack in Queensbury, in southern Warren County.

WAMC/Allison Dunne

The East Ramapo Central School District is the only one in the Mid-Hudson classified by the state comptroller’s office as being in “significant fiscal stress” and the state senator representing the area said something must be done about it.

Photo of Vermont Statehouse in winter
Pat Bradley/WAMC

In a post-midnight vote Saturday, the Vermont House passed a bill to ease spending caps on local school districts.

  This year’s Ice Harvest Festival at Hanford Mills Museum in East Meredith, NY is Saturday, February 6 from 10 am – 4 pm.

Using historic tools, children and adults can walk out on the frozen mill pond to cut and maneuver blocks of ice. The ice blocks are pushed up a ramp and then loaded onto sleds, which are hauled to a traditional ice house. Ice harvesting will take place all day, and visitors also can take part in a variety of indoor and outdoor activities.

Here to tell us more: Hanford Mills Museum’s executive director, Liz Callahan.

Karen Magee: Progress Toward Teach And Inspire

Jan 21, 2016

As I sat listening to Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address, I was struck by the more positive tone he took toward public education. His words of respect for the great work that New York’s dedicated teachers do in their classrooms are much appreciated. 

  In 2014 in honor of the 10th Anniversary of the Center for Biotechnology and Interdisciplinary Studies (CBIS), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute partnered with the Seymour Fox Memorial Foundation to establish The Seymour Fox Lecture and Prize for Biotechnology Innovation.

Now in its second year, it is a local high school academic competition focused on pairing innovative ideas of local students with the resources available at Rensselaer’s CBIS, to improve life through biotechnology.

The submission deadline is February 1 and we are joined now by Dr. Glenn Monastersky to tell us more. Dr. Monastersky is a Professor of Practice in Biomedical Engineering at RPI and is the Principal Investigator and Director of the Rensselaer Center for Stem Cell Research.

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During the Great Recession, schools had to make difficult choices. In New York, as state aid was pulled back, many schools had to lay-off staff and eliminate programs.

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New rules on the use of physical restraint in public schools will soon take effect in Massachusetts.

Fred Kowal: 2016 UUP initiatives

Dec 24, 2015

Last December, UUP proposed a series of legislative initiatives that we pursued in 2015. We focused on student debt relief for recent SUNY graduates, and maintenance of effort plan so tuition increases aren’t used to pay basic costs like lights and heat. 

To pop the champagne or not pop the champagne, that is the question.

National Education Association

 No Child Left Behind is being left behind as both the House and Senate in Washington have agreed on a new comprehensive education bill that now goes to the president’s desk. The measure, which President Obama is expected to sign, will give more power back to the states, but it will maintain federal mandates for testing for grades three through eight. However states will have authority over how these test results are used in gauging student and teacher performance. The President of the National Education Association Lily Eskelsen-Garcia spoke with WAMC News today about the new law.

  Carolyn Stefanco was inaugurated as President of the College of Saint Rose in April of this year. Just a few months later, Stefanco proposed changes, including program cuts, to academic offerings at the Albany private liberal arts college as the college works to identify the best ways to reduce a $9 million deficit and boost enrollment.

Stefanco discussed the specifics of her recommendations with trustees two weeks ago. While no specific cuts or increased areas of spending were announced, a statement noted the college had refinanced its debt and lowered its borrowing costs; eliminated 40 staff and administrative positions, 23 of which were filled; eliminated contingency budgets; and reduced spending for employee benefits and other areas.

While the trustees met on the Friday before Thanksgiving, faculty, students, and alumni rallied outside to protest the cuts. To discuss the fiscal woes and future plans, we welcome Dr. Carolyn Stefanco to the RT this morning.

  In his new memoir, educator Paul Cummins shares his journey from privileged kid and ivory-tower scholar to hands-on progressive educator, working to achieve social justice through education for all youth: from children of celebrities to foster and incarcerated youth and those facing sometimes unimaginable circumstantial hurdles to education and accomplishment.

Paul Cummins’ new book is Confessions of a Headmaster. Cummins is an educator and founder, CEO, and President of Coalition for Engaged Education. He has founded and co-founded numerous schools including Crossroads School, New Roads School, Camino Nuevo Charter School, and New Village Charter School, as well as P.S. Arts, an NPO providing arts classes to children in Title I schools.

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Time is running out to take part in New York state's public opinion survey on the Common Core learning standards.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

In the wake of fierce debate over the implementation of the Common Core education standards in New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo appointed a task force to undertake a comprehensive review and present recommendations. WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley was in Lake Placid last night for one of three simultaneous public listening sessions.

Pat Bradley/WAMC

The North Country Alliance for Public Education held its fourth “Open Forum on Open Education” Thursday evening. The panel included the region’s state representatives and one of its newest Regents. As WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports, the discussion focused on the impact of Common Core on the state’s education system.

Karen Magee: The Politics Of Receivership

Oct 29, 2015

In an impoverished section of Albany, the Philip Schuyler Achievement Academy is an oasis.

There, caring and dedicated Albany teachers provide a safe, nurturing learning environment for 300 or so students — 90 percent of whom are economically disadvantaged.

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 It’s been a busy week in Washington.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Representative Elizabeth Esty speaks with WAMC’s Alan Chartock about something more personal. 

A student at a Saratoga County high school has started a petition after he says school officials told him he could not go to prom in drag.

Karen Magee: Swinging Back Towards Sanity

Sep 25, 2015

I normally don’t put too much stock in opinion polls.

But, let me be honest with you: I smiled broadly when I heard about the recent Quinnipiac poll on education.

  When Mark Zuckerberg announced to a cheering Oprah audience his $100 million pledge to transform the downtrodden schools of Newark, New Jersey, then mayor Cory Booker and Governor Chris Christie were beside him, vowing to help make Newark “a symbol of educational excellence for the whole nation.” But their plans soon ran into the city’s seasoned education players, fierce protectors of their billion-dollar-a-year system. It’s a prize that, for generations, has enriched seemingly everyone, except Newark’s children.

Dale Russakoff explores all of the ins-and-outs in her book, The Prize: Who's In Charge Of America's Schools?

Blair Horner: The Debate Over Educating Prisoners

Sep 14, 2015

Recently the Obama Administration took a step to try to deal with one of the nation’s most intractable problems: how to reduce the recidivism rate of those released from prisons.  There are approximately 1.5 million people in state or federal prisons.  Those prisoners are serving time because they have been convicted of a serious crime.  But the question is – what happens when their time is up and they are released back into our communities?

  As the new school year began , the New York State School Boards Association urged a truce in education, asking all sides of the often emotional debate over common core and other issues to hold off on the arguments and focus instead on the students who were returning to class. The executive director of the State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, says unfortunately the truce did not last very long.

  It’s a statistic that’s sure to surprise: close to 45 percent of postsecondary students in the United States today do not enroll in college directly out of high school and many attend part-time. Following a tradition of self-improvement as old as the Republic, the “nontraditional” college student is becoming the norm.

Back to School by Mike Rose is the first book to look at the schools that serve a growing population of “second-chancers,” exploring what higher education—in the fullest sense of the term—can offer our rapidly changing society and why it is so critical to support the institutions that make it possible for millions of Americans to better their lot in life.

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