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American Graduate

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A new mentoring conference for high school students across Monroe County aims to help young men address recurring issues that impact their lives as they transition into adulthood. The “Young Men’s Symposium: No Excuses” will help students explore topics like character development, healthy relationships, responsible fatherhood, respecting women, coping with loss, and more. Research shows black male students are over-referred for disciplinary action in schools, and in the criminal justice system, black youth are 18 times more likely than white youth to be sentenced as adults.

Our guests share their experiences as mentors and mentees, how they define “manhood,” and what self-empowerment means to them in today's world. In studio:

  • Cory Johnson, founder of RocCity 48
  • Melvin Cross, pastor at Glory House International
  • Nasmere Johnson, senior at School of the Arts
  • Jose Melendez, eight grade student at Leadership Academy for Young Men 
  • Rashad Smith, public relations freelancer for small businesses and entrepreneurs

It was renowned cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead who said: “The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown.” How does that happen? Some might say it begins with young people sharing their perspectives on the issues splashed across news headlines. Over at WAYO Radio’s Fresh Perspectives program, the teens driving that show say it also involves celebrating and highlighting their peers while starting a dialogue that impacts their community. We learn all about their work on this edition of Need to Know.

WXXI News

Monroe County and Monroe Community College are teaming up once again to host "Inspire Monroe," a new targeted career exploration fair.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo joined MCC President Anne Kress to announce the fair, which will focus on careers in three in-demand industries: advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology.

Kress says these are fields with thousands of jobs open in the area, but many people don’t think they’re accessible.

Local school district officials are keeping a watchful eye on federal and state initiatives as the New Year rolls in.  

Funding is going to be a top priority, according to Sherry Johnson, the Executive Director of Monroe County School Boards Association. She says funding is a major issue, particularly for programs and initiatives meant to balance out inequalities around the state.

“It’s going to be a tough year,” she said. “We understand the state has some revenue issues of their own on top of any impact from the federal government.”

World of Inquiry students march to City Hall

Dec 15, 2017
Tianna Manon

Single digit temperatures couldn’t stand in the way of World of Inquiry Students marching through downtown Friday.

They were celebrating College March Day, an annual event where graduating seniors walk from the school’s location on University Ave to City Hall. There, they deliver letters indicating their college choice and thanking the adults and supportive friends who helped them get there. Local officials join the students, hoping to encourage them.

nysed.gov

The New York State Board of Regents this week voted to expand options for special education students who struggle with academic exams.  

The Regents adopted regulations to expand the criteria under which students with disabilities may be eligible to graduate high school with a local diploma. That’s a high school diploma that has different requirements from those needed to get a Regents Diploma.

State Education Department officials say that some students with disabilities are unable to demonstrate proficiency on standardized tests even with certain accommodations.

There are major gaps in special education spending in New York. A study by the New York State Association of School Business Officials found that spending in wealthier districts for special needs students was almost double the spending in more impoverished districts.

“Special education spending in the lowest need districts is $43,635 per special education pupil while spending in the highest need districts is $25,823 per special education pupil,” wrote researchers of the study.

Last week, we heard from Congressman Tom Reed on why he wants the GOP tax plan to pass; today we hear from some who oppose it. Grad students in particular are concerned that it will balloon their expenses, blocking their career paths. And in Rochester, a bipartisan coalition of mayors and supervisors spoke about their concerns.

We get their perspective on who will be impacted, and how.

  • Scott O'Neil, University of Rochester graduate student
  • Helen Davies, University of Rochester graduate student
  • Bill Moehle, supervisor for the town of Brighton

Rochester City School District

One impact from Tuesday’s elections is that the Rochester school board will lose a longtime member.

Malik Evans, who is also a former president of the board and his been on that body since 2004, was elected this week to City Council. His seat will be filled next year.

Evans says even though City Council doesn’t directly control the district, they are involved with approving the school budget, and Evans hopes to be involved in other ways as well. 

rcsdk12.org/41

After a review of the schools in receivership  in New York State last year, two failed to show significant progress and one of them was in Rochester.

Receivership schools are schools that are deemed struggling by the state. If they don't make any progress within a year or two, they must find support outside the district in order to stay open.

Kodak Park School No. 41 in Rochester is one of those schools.

A number of indicators, a minimum of 10 for each school, including graduation rates and suspension numbers, determined progress.

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