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Slow pace in history exam revamp

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State Education Department officials are planning a five-year transition to a Global History and Geography Regents exam with a new design reflecting the state's new K-12 Social Studies Framework.

The long phase-in includes a year of a "transitional" version of the exam with only partial changes. That will be followed by two years in which districts will have the option of using either the transitional exam or the new exam.


SED asking about accountability options

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

State education leaders are asking school board members to help define what makes a New York state school "highly effective."

Does it require "visionary leaders" who create a strong school culture and community and foster positive academic outcomes? How about "rigorous and coherent curricula" with assessments for all students aligned to state standards? Perhaps "a school community that identifies, promotes and supports social and emotional development" is a key ingredient, too?


One nation, indivisible

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

Susan Bergtraum
NYSSBA President

Each of us has lived through turbulent times in America . wars, civil rights movements, terrorism. Lately, the news is flooded with heartbreaking images of senseless shootings, lost lives, and protests in the streets of our major cities. Americans are divided over race relations, law enforcement, sexual orientation, and who should lead the nation as our next president.

We are divided on how government should address the issue of mass shootings and the debate over gun control, leading to the two parties clashing and wrestling for physical control of the U.S. House floor.

It's easy to feel despair. But, countless times, our nation has seemed to have lost its way only to recover and emerge stronger.


New grants available to support young men and boys of color

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Eric D. Randall
Editor-in-Chief

School districts and BOCES have until Aug. 22 to apply for $6 million in state grants for projects that will focus on minority male students and their families.

The state initiative is called My Brother's Keeper, a term coined by the Obama administration. The New York State Legislature was the first in the nation to allocate funding for local school programs in response to Obama's challenge to cultivate local programs that improve outcomes for boys and young men of color.


Regents exam in global history and geography no longer will cover two years of class material

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

With changes planned for the state global history and geography Regents exam, high school students no longer will have to search their memories for historical facts and details that they learned in a previous school year.

That's because, even though students still will need to take two years of coursework in global history and geography, the questions on the new version of the Regents exam (to be phased in over the next four years) will deal only with historic events and trends covered in the second year - that is, world history since 1750.


NYSSBA's new podcast covers relevant research

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

NYSSBA is serving up a sampling of some of the latest findings from educational research with a new series of 90-second podcasts called Study Break.

In the online audio reports, Research Analyst Gayle Simidian highlights recent studies and emerging areas of academic research with an emphasis on topics her listeners can relate to in their work in education. Simidian said she hopes the podcasts, with their conversational approach, can help translate the sometimes-abstract ideas explored by researchers into meaningful insights on learning for her listeners.


On Board wins national award

On Board Online • July 25, 2016


NYSSBA has won an award in a national publications contest for not-for-profit organizations.

Association Media & Publishing gave "Excel" awards to two organizations in the "Newspapers - General Excellence" category. One went to NYSSBA for On Board and another went to the Catholic Health Association of the United States for its newspaper, Catholic Health World.


Hit musical resonates with students

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

A new generation of American students is tuning in to the revolutionary ideas of our nation's founding fathers, thanks to Hamilton: An American Musical.

The smash-hit Broadway musical reenacts high-minded debates in the cadence of hip-hop. For instance, a debate on whether America should provide military support to France after the French Revolution is summarized as a battle rap between Thomas Jefferson and the title character, Alexander Hamilton. The latter chants:


Court resolves controversy - for now - over NYSHIP buyout benefit

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

In a victory for many married school employees and their school districts, a state appeals court has annulled a state policy that limited the circumstances under which school employees could choose to decline health insurance coverage in exchange for a cash buyout.

A bill awaiting Gov. Andrew Cuomo's signature would prevent the state Department of Civil Service from re-instituting the policy.

"Both management and labor are united in supporting this bill," said NYSSBA President Susan Bergtraum.


NYS Dignity Act contains no avenue for bullied students to bring lawsuits

On Board Online • July 25, 2016

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

Despite laws and school policies that aim to prevent bullying, it still occurs. Can a student who has been bullied sue his or her school district for failing to carry out responsibilities set forth in the state's Dignity for All Students Act?

No, according to a ruling by the Appellate Division of state Supreme Court, Third Department, in Anthony Motta v. Eldred Central School District. "(T)here is no explicit private right of action in the statutory scheme nor can one be implied from the statutory language and the legislative history," the court said. Students who believe they have been bullied can use laws involving negligence or civil rights to seek redress in the courts, but not the Dignity Act.

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