Education news


With millions in federal and state funding, Rochester is poised to become a photonics research and manufacturing hub.

And with thousands of new jobs possible, local colleges are preparing their students now to build their careers in the industry.

At Monroe Community College, many more students are enrolling in the optics program. 

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Leaders of New York's public university system say they've struck the right balance between college access and student safety with their decision to stop asking applicants about their criminal history.

Instead, students will be asked to declare a prior felony conviction only after they've been accepted to a State University of New York college and only when they seek campus housing or participation in things like internships and study abroad programs.

Four RCSD Schools to Receive Additional Grant Funding

Sep 12, 2016
Alex Crichton

The State Department of Education announced it has awarded four Rochester City Schools an additional $500,000 in grant funding this year, a total of around $2.5 million each for these Priority Schools, or those among the state's lowest performing schools.

The schools can use the funding to make federally or state-designed changes intended to improve student outcomes.

This round of School Improvement Grants, or SIG 7 funding, was essential for city school No. 19 to enter into an Educational Partnership Organization, or EPO, with SUNY Geneseo.

Former Rochester Schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas is a finalist for a superintendent post in New Hampshire, for the Manchester Schools.

According to the  New Hampshire Union Leader, Vargas is one of two finalists to fill the post. The other finalist is Vincent Cotter, a former school superintendent in Pennsylvania.

Students head back to school in the Rochester City School District Wednesday.

As in years past, there has been a big push to keep attendance strong. The district is making some progress in this effort.  Last year, 32.7 percent of students were chronically absent, meaning they missed 10 percent or more of school days for any reason.

In the 2014-15 school year, the chronic absenteeism rate was 38 percent.             

Alex Crichton

(AP/Alex Crichton) One hundred years after women gained the right to vote, lawmakers are looking for ways to teach people how it came about. 

Legislation announced today would establish a Women's Suffrage Centennial Commission.

New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand says the commission would work with federal, state and local governments, as well as private organizations and Congress to develop and coordinate suffrage-related educational activities.


RIT Publishes First Video Game on Xbox Platform

Aug 31, 2016

Rochester Institute of Technology has become the first university to publish a video game on the Xbox One platform.

"Hack, Slash and Backstab"  is a production of 15 students in RIT's digital media program.

The commercial for-profit studio within RIT's MAGIC Center, MAGIC Spell Studios, published the game at noon on Wednesday.

Chief communications officer for the studio, Jennifer Hinton, says it's an epic achievement for their team and the university.

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — The New York State Education Department has hired a chief privacy officer to protect student and teacher data.

Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced the appointment of Temitope Akinyemi this past week.

She'll be in charge of developing and implementing the department's privacy policies and investigating security breaches.

Akinyemi has experience as the privacy officer at the state Office of Information Technology Services, where she also was an attorney.

Caitlin Whyte / WXXI News

Graduate students, faculty and union officials gathered on the Wilson Quad at the University of Rochester on Wednesday to say that the graduate assistants at the U of R will try to form their own union.

That’s after the National Labor Relations Board ruled this week that graduate students who assist in teaching and research at private universities have a right to union representation.

This ruling reverses the 2004 Brown University decision that blocked graduate students from collective bargaining.

The President of Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Mark Gearan is leaving that post after 18 years.

In a letter to faculty and staff, he said that he has told the Board of Trustees he will leave that post at the end of the current academic year, which completes his contractual obligations.