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Elia to rule on Buffalo petition to remove Paladino from board

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer
Eric D. Randall

Following a rare, judicial-style hearing at the State Education Department, Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia is weighing a request from a majority of the Buffalo school board to remove a fellow board member, former gubernatorial candidate Carl Paladino, for allegedly disclosing confidential information discussed in executive sessions.

The charges against Paladino alleged that, in an email copied to members of the press, he shared confidential information about litigation discussed during an executive session in December.

A few wins worth noting in Albany

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

Susan Bergtraum
NYSSBA President

If you are a baseball fan, you might be familiar with the term "small ball." It refers to advancing base runners into scoring position incrementally, one base at a time, through single base hits rather than home runs and extra base hits. It may not be flashy, but some teams have racked up winning records with small ball.

The 2017 legislative session may go down as the political equivalent of small ball. No towering home runs, but some solid base hits.

First, though, legislators struck out on extension of mayoral control over the New York City school system.

2017 legislative session begins, ends atypically

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

The 2017 legislative session ended the way it began - with some confusion, mutterings of disbelief and a few headshakes.

The oddness began in January, when Gov. Andrew Cuomo skipped the traditional State of the State address in Albany. Instead, he announced 35 policy proposals over a nine-day tour of the state. And, surprisingly, none of those proposals focused squarely on K-12 education, which has been a marquee issue for Cuomo in the past as well as the biggest area of expenditure in the state budget.

East Irondequoit sees technology as key to improving educational outcomes

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Eric Randall

One might expect a school district considered a trailblazer in educational technology to be wealthy. But 54 percent of the students who attend the East Irondequoit school district receive free- or reduced-price lunch.

Located in an inner ring suburb of Rochester, the district's schools are near hulking industrial complexes that Kodak once ran 24 hours a day, but now are either vacant or converted to more modest uses.

Another bathroom access lawsuit reaches federal circuit court level

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

Pending the outcome of a lawsuit, a Wisconsin transgender boy may use the boys' bathroom in his high school notwithstanding the school's unwritten policy to the contrary.

That was the ruling by the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Whitaker v. Kenosha Unified School District.

23,000 children of military families affected by proposed changes in Regents regulations

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

Imagine you're a high school senior sweating your way through multiple gym classes every school day. At night, you hit the books extra hard to prepare for New York's Earth Science Regents exam; you need to refresh your understanding of geologic processes, planetary orbits and other topics you last considered two or three years ago in a classroom far, far away.

Educators say that's not a far-fetched scenario for children of military parents who, after hopscotching around the country (or the world), want to graduate from high school in New York.

Schools near military base offer welcoming vibe for new students

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

"Hello" and "Goodbye." These are two words that Indian River and Carthage students learn to say early and often.

Both rural Jefferson County school districts border Fort Drum, home of the Army's 10th Mountain Division, where more than 15,000 soldiers are posted for a few months or years at a time before picking up for their next assignment, often with families in tow.

Profs: Schools need to understand potential of 'digital rich teaching'

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Eric D. Randall

First of a two-part series

Buying students devices that connect to the internet was made easier by the Smart Schools Bond Act. But figuring out how to use such devices most effectively in the classroom is a challenge now facing every school district with a 1:1 computing program.

Schools are entering a new world of teaching and learning in which the strength of a school's Wi-Fi signal becomes as important as having heat, light and plumbing, according to professors at the Warner School of Education at the University of Rochester.

Students respond to Netflix series with '13 Reasons Why Not'

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

By Eric D. Randall

Lately, high school announcements at the Delaware Academy in Delhi are anything but routine and boring.

In response to the Netflix series "13 Reasons Why," students and staff in the 700-student district in the southern Catskills are reading self-revelatory statements over the public address system. They call it, "13 Reasons Why Not."

NYC school control shouldn't be annual issue

On Board Online • June 12, 2017

Timothy G. Kremer
NYSSBA Executive Director

It's that time of year for much pomp and circumstance. No, not the graduation march across the stage. I am referring to the annual fuss that occurs in Albany at the end of every legislative session.

Each year, an all-absorbing "crisis" seems to emerge during the waning days of the session. This year, as it has for the past two years, the dispute is over mayoral control of public schools in New York City, which directly affects the five boroughs of New York City only but indirectly stymies the prospects of nearly all other legislation that impacts school districts throughout the state. Until the mayoral control dispute is resolved (at least for this year), most other issues that matter to school leaders outside of New York City are on the proverbial back burner.

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