Leaders of the opt-out movement say they're still not pleased with New York state's Common Core-based tests and the pressures they place on students and teachers.

Last year, there were about 250,000 students across the state who opted out of the exams. As officials prepare to administer the English language arts exams this week, some are expecting similar refusal numbers this year. 

The KeyBank Foundation has announced a $250,000 grant to help Rochester Preparatory Charter School.

Rochester Prep is free and open to all families living in Rochester, which helps prepare students while they are still in high school and also follows them to college to ensure they are getting the support and resources they need.

The grant from KeyBank will be used for the school’s College Access and Success program, which helps ensure students are choosing colleges that are the right fit for them.

A Rochester teen is the winner of this year's Princeton Prize in Race Relations. 

18 year old Shalinda Bollar was honored this week at the  award ceremony at Allendale Columbia School.

Bollar was recognized for work she has done both with the city school district and at the Teen Empowerment Center where she is a youth organizer.

Bollar, a student at Early College International High School, has worked on the effort to revamp the Code of Conduct in the city school district, so that suspensions are used only as a measure of last resort.

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The  New York State Legislature has re-elected two members of the Board of Regents including Vice Chancellor, and Rochester attorney, T. Andrew Brown, as well as Regent Nan Eileen Mead.

Brown was first elected to the board in 2012. He was named Vice Chancellor after Betty Rosa replaced Chancellor Merryl Tisch who did not seek re-election.

The board also welcomed a new member, Susan Mittler, who led the Ithaca teachers union for a number of years. She replaces James Tallon, a Binghamton-based  Regent. Mittler is now a visiting lecturer at Cornell University.

The Monroe County Federation of Teachers  is calling on New York State to take further action to change the way standardized tests are handled for students in grades 3 through 8.

The federation represents 20 teacher unions and says that  teacher leaders met with state education commissioner MaryEllen Elia last December about their concerns.

"Cold Can't Stop" these children from attending class

Mar 17, 2017
Alex Crichton

School officials say an initiative within the Rochester City School District's "Every Minute Matters" initiative is working.

The "Cold Can't Stop Us" campaign aims to get more students to attend classes, particularly though the cold weather months of February through April.

The mid-point results of the campaign are a success, according to Deputy Superintendent for teaching and learning for the district, Kendra March.

Is there a shortage of teaching jobs or a shortage of teachers? The answer is both, depending on where you look.

A lack of teaching jobs or teachers varies state by state, but, on the national level, there’s a teacher shortfall fueled by a decline in enrollment in teacher preparation programs and high attrition rates in schools. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects nearly 1.9 million job openings in the field by 2024.

But teaching has gotten a bad rap over the last few years. Many students — and teachers — have grown frustrated by tougher training programs, higher student-loan debt, and salaries that haven’t kept up with inflation. Nazareth College is hoping to change that perspective. The college had planned a Careers in Education Conference for area high school students, but it was canceled due to inclement weather. We discuss the issues that would have been addressed at the event, including the future of the teaching profession. Our guests:

  • Jeffrey Crane, superintendent of West Irondequoit Central School District
  • Dr. Lesli Myers, superintendent of Brockport Central School District
  • Laura Streeter, history teacher at Penfield High School, 2015 Nazareth College alumna

SUNY Geneseo just completed its fourth annual Teachers Day -- it's essentially a day to teach the teachers. High school and middle school teachers come to campus to get up to speed on the best ways to teach American history and other kinds of history. This year, teachers learned about Native American history, for example.

So are American middle and high schools teaching history effectively? Our guests:

  • Joe Cope, professor of history and director of SUNY Geneseo's Center for Inquiry, Discovery and Development
  • Justin Behrend, associate professor and chair of the History Department at SUNY Geneseo
  • Sarah Prinzi, 7th grade American history and AP psychology teacher at Geneseo Central School District

freeimages.com/Sachie Yamazaki

Numerous studies have shown that starting the day with breakfast has a positive influence for students.

The federal government funds a program that allows income-eligible students to eat that first meal of the day at school, but less than one third of those who qualify for the program in New York State take advantage of it.

School leaders argue that New York State has shortchanged them. Last week, we heard from suburban districts. Now, we hear from students and parents in the Rochester City School District, who argue that students there are more acutely impacted.

So what are they asking for? And what do they hope to accomplish with this weekend's People's March for Education Justice? Our guests:

  • Je'Carl Hill, RCSD graduate and youth organizer at Teen Empowerment
  • Juan Callado, high school student at Monroe BOCES, and member of Metro Justice and Special Parents Special Kids
  • Pia Moller, parent of a student at School 53, and member of Metro Justice
  • Eamonn Scanlon, lead education organizer for Metro Justice and the Alliance for Quality Education in Rochester