Lucas Willard / WAMC

From Common Core testing to teacher evaluations, education is one of the most contentious issues in New York right now. About two dozen teachers, administrators, and union officials participated in a roundtable discussion this morning to offer their own ideas on the state’s education policies with their local Assemblymember and Regent Board member.

  Sir Ken Robinson is one of the world’s most influential educators. Listed by Fast Company as “one of the world’s elite thinkers on creativity and innovation,” he advises governments, corporations, and leading cultural institutions.

In his new book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education, he shows parents, educators and administrators how they can transform the way our schools work. He says - by focusing first on the students and teachers (not test scores), schools can evolve into the organic, personal learning environments they deserve to be.

With the help of Greylock Federal Credit Union, the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts and Pittsfield Public Schools have created a program aimed at recruiting more students to make teaching a career.


  We are very happy to continue our regular feature – Ideas Matter: Checking in with the Public Humanities.

Today we learn about humanities in schools and teacher development resources in the humanities by talking about the National Endowment for the Humanities Summer Programs in the Humanities for School and College Educators – and more specifically about NEH’s program at Fort Ticonderoga. Fort Ticonderoga will be hosting NEH Landmarks of American History and Culture Workshops for School Teachers in July 2015.

We are joined by Pleun Bouricius, Director of Grants and Programs, MAss Humanities and Richard Strum, Fort Ticonderoga’s Director of Education.

5/1/14 Panel

May 1, 2014


  Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, University at Albany professor and Investigative Journalist Rosemary Armao and Daily Freeman Publisher Emeritus Ira Fusfeld.

Topics include:
Minimum Wage Filibuster
NYC Teacher Deal
White House on Execution
Facebook Data Limits

A recent opinion piece in the New York Times by Bill Keller began with what the author called a “caustic aphorism:”  “Those who can, do. Those who can’t, teach. And those who can’t  teach, teach teaching.” He went on to give an inspirational exception to that rule in the work of one Bill Jackson, a teacher doing exceptional things in a Harlem classroom. And, I know each of us could give many examples of truly inspiring teachers who have made a difference in our lives. However, Mr. Keller’s bottom line is that, notwithstanding these many exceptional teachers, overall, the quality of teacher preparation in this country has been, at best mediocre, with obvious deleterious effects on the quality of learning in our nation’s schools.  As recently as this past summer, Mr. Keller points out, the National Council on Teacher Quality labeled teacher education in this country  “an industry of mediocrity” … the title of his opinion piece.

Teachers have a new resource to help them in the classroom. It’s called share my lesson, a new online resource bank, where teachers can collaborate and share teaching resources. Randi Weingarten, the president of the American Federation of Teachers, announced the new program today in Rockland County.

Massachusetts Set to Honor 2012 Teacher of the Year

Jun 18, 2012

Governor Deval Patrick and education officials are planning to honor Massachusetts' top teachers at a Statehouse ceremony.  WAMC’s Tristan O’Neill reports…

As part of today's event, awards will be presented to the 2012 Massachusetts Teacher of the Year, the 2012 Massachusetts History Teacher of the Year and winners and finalists of the 2011 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching.

While some school districts and unions are reportedly considering suing to overturn a provision in New York State’s new tax cap law, cooler heads are urging them to take a "wait-and-see" attitude for the time being - Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

In New Paltz, the school budget got 59.3 percent of the vote. But it failed. The reason: the tax cap requires a 60 percent supermajority of votes to override a school district’s tax-levy limit — Judging by the recent annual school budget elections, the supermajority requirement made an impact.

Governor Cuomo is pleased with the outcome of Tuesday’s state wide school budget vote, but teachers and school board leaders see some disturbing trends.

This year’s school budget vote was the first to take place after Governor Andrew Cuomo convinced the legislature to adopt the property tax cap. The governor says the tax cap imposed “fiscal discipline.” He says he’s pleased that few schools attempted to override the cap, and that most schools kept tax increases to a minimum, and were approved by voters. He says tax payers, as well as state government, are tapped out.