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Reading attitudes, but not skills, rise with canine companionship

On Board Online • July 24, 2017

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

If you are looking to improve primary school students' enthusiasm for reading, consider bringing a dog into the classroom. But don't expect big changes in reading ability, according to a recent study by the Tufts Institute for Human-Animal Interaction at Tufts University.

They wanted to measure how reading aloud to dogs in school affected reading competencies and attitudes about reading in a controlled study.

Court rules educational equity lawsuit may go forward but with conditions

On Board Online • July 24, 2017

By Jay Worona
Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel

The state's highest court, the Court of Appeals, has issued a mixed ruling in a lawsuit by New Yorkers for Students Educational Rights (NYSER), an educational advocacy group of which NYSSBA is a party. Although the case can proceed to trial, arguments will be limited to how students in two school districts - New York City and Syracuse - have suffered due to underfunding by the state.

In the lawsuit, individual parents of children in a number of school districts assert that the state government has failed to fund public education in a manner which satisfies the state's obligation to provide its students with a sound basic education in accordance with the state constitution.

Regents strengthen commitment to equity imperative

On Board Online • July 24, 2017

Betty Rosa
Regents Chancellor

The June meeting of the Board of Regents was meaningful to me, both as chancellor and on a personal level. At the meeting, the board acted on two issues that I believe will have long-term, positive implications for our students and our state.

First, we announced our decision to reduce the number of days that children will spend taking state exams. Starting next year, the grades 3-8 assessments in English language arts and mathematics will be reduced from three days to two. This decision not only limits the amount of time students will spend taking tests, but also returns valuable instructional time back to our teachers - where it belongs.

Advocacy Update: Resolutions Deadline Monday, July 10

July 7, 2017

The 2017 Resolutions deadline is fast approaching. Please consider submitting a resolution for consideration by the delegates at the 2017 Annual Business Meeting. As a reminder, the deadline for resolution submission is close of business, Monday July 10, 2017. If you plan to submit, please review the Resolution Kit below as a reference guide.

Statement of NYSSBA Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer on Renewal of Mayoral Control in New York City

FOR RELEASE: June 29, 2017

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell


Schools function best under steady, consistent leadership. State lawmakers acted just in time to renew mayoral control and ensure continuity in leadership as the New York City school system prepares for the upcoming 2017-18 school year. We thank Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature for completing this unfinished business and averting a disruption to the city school system.

Regents plan more testing changes

On Board Online • July 3, 2017

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

At their June meeting, the state Board of Regents cut the number of state testing days for students in grades 3-8. State education officials said they hope the change will ease concerns of those who say the length of the exams stresses out students and robs them of valuable lesson time.

The change from a three-day schedule for each of the math and English language arts exams - a total of six days for both subjects - to a two-day test format (for a total of four days for both subjects) may serve to encourage participation and reduce test refusals, officials said. But Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said influencing current "opt out" advocates wasn't the only goal driving the decision.

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.

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