New York State School Boards Association
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Measles outbreaks call attention to importance of vaccinations

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Measles is back.

In 2000, U.S. health officials noted that a year had passed without continuous transmission of measles, and they declared the intensely contagious childhood disease to be eliminated. But elimination is not the same as eradication, and there have been regional outbreaks.

Commentary: It's time that we rethink the high school diploma

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

Betty Rosa
Regents Chancellor

The latest graduation rate figures are similar to the results we have seen in each of the last several years. The graduation rate continues to slowly edge up, but stubborn gaps in achievement persist - gaps that separate students of color, students with disabilities, English language learners, and low-income students from their peers who are white and attend school in low-need districts.

We can do better on teacher evaluations

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

William Miller
NYSSBA President

Those of us who have been seeking changes to the rules on teacher and principal evaluations have finally seen some results. But we ought to hold off on the victory dance.

The state Senate and Assembly both passed legislation that would end the mandate to use performance on state standardized tests as a student performance measure in Annual Professional Performance Review evaluations.

As of this writing, the bill has not been sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his signature.


Elia sees positive trends in grad rates

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

New York's four-year graduation rate grew to 80.4 percent in June of last year, continuing a trend of gradual improvement over the last decade, Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia announced in January.

But even as she praised "steady progress," Elia repeated what's become an annual mantra: "Troubling gaps persist." She was referring to the graduation rates of black and Hispanic students being lower than those of white students.

How schools can prepare for a measles outbreak

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

By Merri Rosenberg
Special Correspondent

Do you know the symptoms of measles? As outbreaks are occurring in the state and nation, it is important for school personnel to know that measles starts like many seasonal maladies - runny nose, red eyes, sore throat, cough and fever.

Those symptoms are soon followed by a telltale rash that starts on the face and spreads to the rest of the body.

People are considered infectious from four days before to four days after the appearance of the rash.

Public officials, journalists analyze Albany at NYSSBA's 2019 Capital Conference

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

School board members who attended NYSSBA's 2019 Capital Conference say they got plenty of what might be called the three I's: information, inspiration and interaction.

"It really feels like we're not in this alone," Lorraine Mentz of the William Floyd school board on Long Island said after attending the two-day conference, which included a day of visits with legislators. "This was very educational, and it's really important to build these relationships with our elected officials."

The conference was held at the new Albany Capital Center and the connected Renaissance Albany Hotel Feb. 10-11. It opened with welcoming remarks from NYSSBA President William Miller and Executive Director Timothy G. Kremer, followed by a briefing from NYSSBA's Governmental Relations team.

What teens really want to learn in sex ed

On Board Online • February 25, 2019

By Gayle Simidian
Research Analyst

Forget the birds and bees. Cultivating healthy relationships and handling break-ups are among the topics that teenagers want to talk about most with educators, according to a report from Making Caring Common, an initiative of the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

The researchers conducted two national surveys and gathered anecdotal feedback from attendees at various workshops to determine what forms of health education related to sex are desired by youth.

Comments by negotiating team member results in finding of bad-faith bargaining

By Jeffrey Mongelli
Senior Staff Counsel

A teachers' union violated the Taylor Law when a member of the union's negotiation team criticized a tentative agreement reached between the district and the union, an administrative law judge concluded in Matter of Brocton CSD.

"[N]othing is more disruptive of a good-faith negotiating relationship than one party agreeing to terms of a settlement, and then reneging on such agreement," the administrative law judge stated.

New school ratings prompt mixed reactions

On Board Online • February 4, 2019

By Cathy Woodruff
Senior Writer

"We have no interest in 'naming and shaming' schools and districts," Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia said when she released new school accountability ratings calculated under the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) on Jan. 17.

Now, school leaders across the state are scrutinizing their designations and, in some cases, trying not to feel named or shamed. Often, they just want to understand what triggered a given designation.

Consider Rockville Centre, a high-achieving district on Long Island. Currently, the district and all of its schools are in good standing.

Districts, unions will negotiate assessments if gov signs bill to make state tests optional

On Board Online • February 4, 2019

By Julie M. Marlette
Director of Governmental Relations

Legislation to amend the current annual professional performance review (APPR) law to eliminate the mandate to use state exams as the measure of student performance has passed both the Assembly and the Senate. If signed by the governor, as expected, districts will be required to collectively bargain what assessment is used as the student performance measure in APPR.

During the floor debate, concerns expressed by NYSSBA and several proposed amendments were discussed by legislators

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