education

Two upstate school districts are planning to file a civil rights complaint this summer  against New York State alleging discrimination in the way state aid is distributed.

BIFF - "Girl Rising"

May 31, 2013

    This Saturday night the documentary Girl Rising will screen at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of The Berkshire International Film Festival. The screening and the following panel discussion is presented in cooperation with the Interdependence Movement and 10×10.

The thesis of Girl Rising is simple: educating girls in the developing world will bring about transformational change. Every day, millions of girls wake to a world that does not see them. But dollar for dollar, they are the best investment in the developing world. 

Girl Rising tells the stories of nine real girls from around the world - girls in Cambodia, India, Nepal, Egypt, Peru, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Haiti, and Sierra Leone. A female writer from each country has written the girl’s story and in the film, each vignette is narrated by an esteemed actress - including Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Kerry Washington. That’s 9 countries, 9 girls, 9 writers, and 9 actresses. In between each girl’s story, the filmmakers share statistical information in an engaging manner and those presentations are narrated by Liam Neeson. 

    RPI has a strong program and deep history of music and arts education. In addition to being the home of EMPAC - where we sit today - their School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences provides an imaginative and distinctive approach to Rensselaer’s 200-year old founding mission "to apply science to the common purposes of life." Alan - RPI also has numerous music, dance, and arts clubs - including but not limited to - ballroom dance, street dance, choir, a cappella, improv comedy, sketch comedy, orchestra, pep band, graphic design and public speaking!

More than 95 percent of the school budgets that went before the voters in New York on Tuesday were approved but, those that exceeded the two percent property tax cap did not fare as well. Only about 30 percent of those spending plans were approved. 

The executive director of the New York State School Boards Association, Tim Kremer, tells WAMC's Brian Shields the initial results show 630 school districts budgets were approved with 30 rejected.

Sir Ken Robinson

May 22, 2013

    Sir Ken Robinson is an internationally recognized leader and advisor in the development of creativity, innovation and human resources in education and business. His 2006 TED Talk about schools killing creativity is the most viewed in TED’s history. In 2011, he was listed as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation” by Fast Company magazine.

Education was one of the leading topics discussed Monday when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo convened his cabinet at the state capitol in Albany. There was high optimism regarding Cuomo's New York State Master Teacher program.

The governor proposed the program in his State of the State address in January: SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says it will provide $15,000 each year for four years to math and science teachers who mentor new and aspiring teachers.

The Southern Berkshire Regional School District, which operates in the Berkshire County towns of Sheffield, Alford, Egremont, Monterey, and New Marlborough, recently chose its next superintendent. WAMC’s Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with David Hastings, who is currently employed as the district’s Curriculum and Professional Development Coordinator, about his transition into his new role as superintendent that will happen this summer.

    Statistically speaking, most of our youngsters will continue to be educated in mainstream public schools. The good news, as Education Writer David L. Kirp reveals in Improbable Scholars, is that there's a sensible way to rebuild public education and close the achievement gap for all students. Indeed, this is precisely what's happening in a most unlikely place: Union City, New Jersey, a poor, crowded Latino community just across the Hudson from Manhattan.

Michael Thompson

May 14, 2013

    Berkshire Country Day School and the Berkshires Hills Regional School District present an evening with Michael G. Thompson, Ph.D. at 7 pm on Wednesday May 15th at Berkshire Country Day School.

In his work, Dr. Thompson has explored the emotional lives of boys, friendships and social cruelty in childhood, the impact of summer camp experiences on child development, the tensions that arise in the parent-teacher relationships, and psychological aspects of school leadership. His latest book Homesick and Happy: How Time Away From Parents Can Help a Child Grow.

Karen Hitchcock: Passages

May 9, 2013

Each year at this time, thousands and thousands of young people across our country are readying themselves for one of life’s major passages:  graduation from college.  Two-year or four-year, public or private, our nation’s institutions of higher education have, once again, provided a learning experience which has profoundly changed the outlook of and prospects for our nation’s students.  These graduates leave their alma maters more confident, more poised and more knowledgeable. They appear ready to undertake new challenges and new opportunities, to advance their education or to join the world of work.  Most have the maturity necessary to move forward with clarity of purpose and, hopefully, the self-awareness required for personal growth and advancement. They appear, by and large, to be ready to fulfill their own unique potential.

Ben Nelson, former CEO of Snapfish, an online photo service, is determined to stand higher education – at least part of it - on its head.  His goal is a simple one: provide large numbers of intellectually-gifted students with an education which will challenge them and prepare them to be the “thought leaders” of tomorrow.  The approach Mr. Nelson has laid out to do this “breaks the rules” in many ways, and has been variously described as daring and innovative by some, and ineffective, reckless  and over-reaching by others.

Paul Elisha: A Poem for Today's Collegiate Captives

Apr 16, 2013

Lately, this commentator has become acutely aware of a new, completely technologized collegiate generation. So on this Post-Spring-Break day, with the computerized I-Pod.

This week, in classrooms across the state, hundreds of thousands of elementary and middle school students are taking standardized tests – the first tests given by the State Education Department based on the new Common Core learning standards.

twitter.com

Albany, New York is making national headlines again - for all the wrong reasons.

Herbert London: Basic Competencies and The MOOC Surge

Apr 10, 2013

It is difficult to know if MOOC’s (Massive Open On-line Courses) are a conspiracy to undermine the Academy or mankind’s final redemption, a way to open the avenues of higher education. However one sees it, millions of people are already taking on-line courses. There is a revolution taking place driven by technology and cost controls. Where it will end up is anyone’s guess, but ultimately the success of this innovation will depend on measured competencies.

UAlbany logo
wikipedia commons

The University at Albany has embarked on a program to strengthen its connections with the community.

UAlbany President Dr. Robert Jones "public engagement" initiative builds on a similar program that advanced the concept at the University of Minnesota, where Jones served most recently as Senior Vice President and spent a total of 33 years in academic and administrative leadership positions.

Education is always one of the main ingredients of the New York State Budget and this year is no exception. The New York State School Boards Association has looked over the spending plan and has found some good work, and a few areas in need of Improvement. Tim Kremer is the executive director of the New York State School Boards Association. He spoke today with WAMC’s Brian Shields.

    In his new book, Free to Learn, developmental psychologist Peter Gray argues that our children, if free to pursue their own interests through play, will not only learn all they need to know, but will do so with energy and passion.

Lucas Willard / WAMC

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick today toured an elementary school in one the state’s Gateway Cities, where he also highlighted his plan to make significant investments in public education.

Governor Patrick was led by students through the Silvio Conte Community School in Pittsfield, where he met students, teachers, and administrators.

Governor Patrick addressed the challenges schools in Gateway Cities, like the Silvio Conte Community School face every day, with many students from low-income households and many studying English as a second language.

WAMC

Educators, business leaders, and philanthropists are backing an initiative in Springfield Massachusetts to combat a problem that confounds many urban schools: a  low high school graduation rate.

Tom Check / Flickr

A Western Massachusetts school committee has voted to keep the state’s only operation virtual school open next year.

Recently the Greenfield Public Schools Committee voted to reverse an earlier decision that would have discontinued the operation of the district’s Massachusetts Virtual Academy in the 2013-2014 school year.

Some committee members had felt that ceding control of the Virtual Academy to the state’s new Commonwealth Virtual School program would be too similar to creating a charter school.

Richard Iannuzzi: New Yorkers Speak, but Do Legislators Hear?

Mar 19, 2013

The first signs of Spring are often its sounds—the first chirping robin, the honking of geese travelling North or the crack of the bat at a ballgame on a crisp afternoon. 

   Journalist Ron Berler spent a full year at Brookside Elementary in Norwalk, Connecticut, sitting in on classes, strategy sessions, and even faculty meetings. He was there for the first day of a new school year as the school another chance to improve its failing scores on the annual statewide standardized test known as the CMT.

In his new book, Raising the Curve, Berler introduces us to the students, teachers, and staff who make up the Brookside community. Though their school is classified as failing—like so many others across the country—they never give up on themselves or on one another. In his portrait, Berler captures their concerns, as well as their pride, resilience, and faith.

The search for a superintendent for Pittsfield Public schools has come to an end. Current superintendent of Lee Public Schools Jason McCandless will be taking the position in Pittsfield in the next school year. WAMC's Berkshire Bureau Chief Lucas Willard spoke with McCandless about his new job, the federal and state education budget, and closing the so-called achievement gap in Massachusetts Gateway Cities.

WAMC

Members of the Massachusetts Legislature have begun a series of public hearings on Governor Deval Patrick’s $34.8 billion dollar budget proposal.  A hearing, run by the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means was held at Greenfield Community College on Tuesday. The focus of the session was on education and local aid. 

   The 22nd Annual New York in Bloom takes place this weekend at The New York State Museum in Albany, New York. The event is a fundraiser benefiting the Museum’s educational programs for children.

Garden club members, professional designers, interior designers and floral enthusiasts from the Capital District and beyond will create unique floral arrangements that complement and interpret the Museum’s permanent and temporary exhibitions.

Middletown NY City School District

The New York State United Teachers Union today filed suit in New York State Supreme Court in Albany to challenge the state's the 2% property tax cap enacted in June 2011.

WAMC's Brian Shields was joined by NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi to talk about the lawsuit.  

wohnai/Creative Commons

Governor Peter Shumlin has unveiled a plan to get more Vermont students into college and to produce more skilled workers.

The proposal would expand the dual enrollment program to allow more high school juniors and seniors to attend college classes, for free. Students would be able to attend up to two classes at the Vermont State Colleges, the University of Vermont, and participating private institutions.

Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Education issues are on the agenda in Albany as state Assembly lawmakers hold another in a series of public hearings on Gov. Andrew Cuomo's budget proposals.

Monday's hearing at the Legislative Office Building in downtown Albany is expected to include testimony from the chancellor of the City University of New York, Matthew Goldstein; state Education Commissioner John B. King Jr.; State University of New York Chancellor Nancy L. Zimpher, leaders of the teachers union and other officials.

WAMC (Dave Lucas)

Advocates for early childhood education lobbied Monday at the Capitol in support of Governor Andrew Cuomo's proposal to expand pre-K programs in New York's school districts.

A big push for pre-K funding in Albany as parents, educators and law enforcement officials voiced their support for Governor Andrew Cuomo's 25-million dollar proposed budget allocation for pre-K that would establish full-day programs in high need districts.

Pages