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American Graduate

American Graduate...

If you were designing the school day from scratch, what would the day look like? What would the classroom look like? Education expert Sir Ken Robinson says the education paradigm must be changed. He argues schools are organized along factory lines --with ringing bells, separate facilities, and standardized curricula. He says this limits students’ creativity, their learning capacity, and their academic performance.

So how can we change how school days are modeled to maximize students’ potential? Our guests weigh in on everything from class sizes, spaces, testing, and when certain subjects should be taught. In studio:

  • Joanne Larson, professor of education and associate director of research at the Center for Urban Education Success at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Kevin Meuwissen, associate professor of teaching and curriculum, social studies education scholar, and director of teacher education for the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education
  • Seth O’Bryan, Upper School math teacher and commons coordinator at The Harley School

Alex Crichton

New York's Education Commissioner told a gathering of school, district, and BOCES administrators that while the state has made progress in areas like curriculum and assessments, much more work remains to be done.

MaryEllen Elia recapped some of the accomplishments of the state education department during her two-year tenure.

That includes a plan under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act, or ESSA.

When NPR tweeted the entire Declaration of Independence, a small but vocal set of Twitter users thoughts it was offensive. They didn't know what they were reading, and thought it was an anti-Trump screed.

So what are we teaching kids about the Declaration of Independence and American history? And why do immigrants fare so much better than American citizens on naturalization tests? We explore these questions with our guests:

  • Evvy Fanning, local high school English teacher
  • Samuel Bovard, 7th and 8th grade ESOL/ELA teacher in the Rochester City School District
  • Kevin Meuwissen, associate professor of teaching and curriculum, social studies education scholar, and director of teacher education for the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester
  • Michael Oberg, distinguished professor of history at SUNY Geneseo

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A new partnership at SUNY colleges and universities is encouraging the use of free, peer-reviewed textbooks.

The cost of textbooks has skyrocketed an estimated 800 percent over the past 15 years, according to Alexis Clifton, executive director of the Open Educational Resources program at SUNY Geneseo. She says that financial burden has taken a measurable toll on students.                       

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The NYS Board of Regents on Monday voted to reduce the number of days of student testing  for grades three through eight.

The changes for the English language arts and mathematics tests will take place in the spring of next year.

The number of days for the tests will be reduced from three to two.  Regents Chancellor Betty Rosa says the board wants to make certain the tests continue to provide a valid measure of student achievement.

www.gpb.org

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP)  New York state has begun accepting applications for its new tuition-free college program.

More than 3,000 people signed up for the Excelsior scholarship Wednesday, the first day the applications were available.

They'll be accepted through July 21. Applicants should know within a week whether they're eligible to receive funding.

News coverage including the youth voice, gauging the youth perspective, and digging into issues affecting our youth are of importance to WXXI. Part of that coverage includes identifying and connecting with young people, in this case high school students , who are not only working hard in the classroom, but also want to make our community and our world a better place.

Need to Know’s “Top of the Class” series introduces you to these amazing young people. On this edition of the program viewers meet Tori Hoefen, the 2017 valedictorian at East Rochester Junior-Senior High School. 

There’s an opportunity gap that exists in urban education. For those who live in Monroe County, but outside the City of Rochester, this gap matters to them too. How? The fate of our suburbs is deeply connected to the livelihood of our cities, including our public schools. But closing that opportunity gap can happen. On this edition of Need to Know we learn how.

Guests include: Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., a renowned expert on public education in America, a sociologist and a Distinguished Professor of Education at UCLA and Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., an associate professor at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education and Superintendent of East High School.

There’s a question that has plagued the Rochester community for decades: What will it take to improve educational outcomes for city school students? On this edition of Need to Know we’ll learn how one thing, equity, could change everything.

Also on the show, they’ve escaped war, violence, persecution and natural disasters. And some who now call Rochester “home” are still living with uncertainty. We’ll learn why World Refugee Day has a new meaning.

And meet a local valedictorian with a heart for others and a mean forehand as our Top of the Class series continues.

Low-income students of color make up the majority of classrooms in American public schools, and research shows that the challenges they face -- poverty, homelessness, or hunger -- have directly influenced their level of academic success. While many of these children are failing to make the grade, education experts say state and federal policies are failing the students. They say there’s too much of a focus on raising test scores, and that policies should be designed to close opportunity gaps and get students excited about learning.

Pedro Noguera is an internationally-recognized education scholar who studies how students are affected by a variety of social and economic factors. He’s in Rochester to give a presentation at East High School, but first, he’s our guest on Connections. We talk about how to create more equitable education opportunities for all students. In studio:

  • Pedro Noguera, Ph.D., sociologist and distinguished professor of education at UCLA
  • Shaun Nelms, Ed.D., associate professor at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester, superintendent of East High School, and co-chair of the Greater Rochester Initiative for Children’s Social and Emotional Health Implementation Task Force

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