Education news

ATLANTA (AP) — Thousands of students are opting out of new standardized tests aligned to the Common Core standards, defying the latest attempt by states to improve academic performance.

This "opt-out" movement remains scattered but is growing fast in some parts of the country. Some superintendents in New York are reporting that 60 percent or even 70 percent of their students are refusing to sit for the exams. Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about standardized testing.

Another local school district says it is making accommodations for a transgender student who wants to use the restroom and locker room that align with her gender identity.

This issue recently came up in the Sodus School District.

On April 2, parents of Brockport High School students were notified that a transgender student had asked for access to the girls' locker room and restroom.

School superintendent Lesli Myers says the student's classmates have been supportive.

The Rochester Teachers Association says it has filed a class action grievance against the school district after an email was sent out to school principals by the district’s chief of elementary schools, Beverly Burrell-Moore.

In it, Burrell-Moore asks the principals to identify teachers who have sent letters or made phone calls to parents encouraging them to opt out their children from the NYS Assessments. She also asked them to identify teachers who have utilized their classrooms as “political soap boxes.”

To Opt-Out or Not

Apr 14, 2015

Tens of thousands of students are expected to opt-out of standardized tests this week and next, which will be given to over 1-million students statewide.

Parent Nicole Weston of Fairport held her child out of the assessment for the second year in a row.

She says local districts should have control of assessing students and teachers, not the state.

And the data from the state won't help her or her daughter going into the next school year.

RIT is getting a big donation from Gleason Works. 

That company, which is involved in making tools used for the automotive and other industries is donating a half-million dollar piece of equipment to be used with RIT's engineering programs.

The so-called “gear hobbing machine” is designed to cut shaft and wheel-type work pieces, tooling processes necessary for the gears found in automobiles, airplanes, turbines and other commercial equipment. The machine is part of an upgrade to the lab that is used by the college’s undergraduates in mechanical engineering.

Maureen MacGregor / WXXI News

The union representing Rochester teachers says it wants to make sure that parents know they can have their children "opt out" of upcoming statewide tests in English and math for students in grades 3 through 8. 

Adam Urbanski, the President of the Rochester Teachers Association, says parents should not equate test performance with real learning, and he held a news conference Friday to get his message out.

You can add the College at Brockport to the list of  colleges being investigated by the federal government over the handling of sexual assault cases.

The college was notified in February about the investigation of a possible violation of Title IX. 

Brockport officials are not releasing other details right now, other than to say it involves a single case that they were notified about recently. The college says it is fully cooperating with the investigation.

The Penfield School Board has named a new superintendent.

Actually, Thomas Putnam has been serving as Acting Superintendent since last July. He previously served as principal of Penfield High School for four years. The appointment is effective immediately.

McQuaid Jesuit has named a new principal. He is Adam Baber, who is currently Assistant Principal for Faculty and Curriculum at Canisius High School in Buffalo.

Baber's appointment comes after a six-month search. He succeeds Rev. James Coughlin, who announced last October that he would be stepping down as principal after the current academic year. Coughlin served as principal for seven years.

Baber's appointment is effective July 1.

McQuaid Jesuit is an all-boys Catholic college prep school for grades 6-12.

Federal authorities have arrested a Hilton Middle School teacher on a child pornography charge.  The U.S. Attorney's office says that 46 year old Charles Kane, who is from Spencerport , faces a charge of  enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Officials say Kane was arrested Thursday as he tried to meet with a person he thought was a 14 year old girl, but was actually an undercover officer.

Kane had allegedly posted an ad on Craigslist last October that first caught the attention of authorities.  He was arrested Thursday at a theater in Webster.