New York State School Boards Association

Thousands of educators heading to Rochester

School safety, testing, Common Core, teacher evaluations up for discussion

FOR RELEASE:  October 16, 2013

CONTACT: David Albert
(518) 783-3716 or (518) 320-2221 cell
On Twitter: @nyschoolboards

Approximately 2,500 school board members, superintendents and educators from across New York will arrive in Rochester next week for the New York State School Boards Association’s 94th Annual Convention and Education Expo.

The three-day event is being held Oct. 24-26 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

The convention comes as New York schools implement a number of key education initiatives, including the Common Core Learning Standards and a new teacher evaluation system.  State Education Commissioner John King and a number of other experts will be on hand to address these initiatives.

Below is a brief schedule of events. For the full schedule, please visit our website at

Thursday, Oct. 24

At 9:00 a.m., panelists at the school law seminar will discuss school safety. Speakers include the counsel for the Newtown, Conn. School Board as well as a retired special agent from the United States Secret Service. Later in the day, the law seminar will feature a panel discussion on what school districts can learn from the events at Penn State University when conducting internal investigations into allegations of sexual misconduct. The seminar will also address conducting disciplinary hearings for educators and negotiating contracts.

At 5:30 p.m., author and motivational speaker Steve Pemberton will provide the convention’s keynote address.   Pemberton is the chief diversity officer and divisional president for Walgreens. He is the first person to hold the role of chief diversity officer in the company’s 110-year history. Pemberton is also the author of the book, “A Chance in the World,” released in 2012.

Friday, Oct. 25

At 10:30 a.m., State Education Commissioner John B. King, Jr. will discuss education reform initiatives, including the Common Core and teacher evaluations, in an interactive session with school board members and school administrators from around the state. Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch will introduce the commissioner.

At 2:15 p.m., New York University Prof. Jennifer L. Jennings will speak on the topic of using standardized test scores to evaluate the effectiveness of teachers, schools and districts.

Saturday, Oct. 26

Delegates from member school districts will vote on resolutions that will form school boards’ 2014 legislative agenda.  The agenda includes proposals that call for NYSSBA to seek legislation that would:

  • Exempt state education aid from the gap elimination adjustment. Districts have lost more than $8 billion since 2009, according to NYSSBA research.
  • Hold school districts harmless for unanticipated significant revenue loss, such as tax certiorari litigation and natural disasters like Tropical Storms Irene and Lee and Hurricane Sandy.
  • Expand Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s competitive grant program and provide additional state aid for school districts that choose to increase the school day or school year.
  • Enable the creation of a combined Regents high school diploma and associate’s degree that students could earn in five years.
  • Exempt school safety equipment and measures, including metal detectors, security doors and windows, and school resource officers, from the tax cap calculations.

Photo Opportunities

In addition to the keynote speakers, education sessions and trade show, musical groups from several area school districts will perform throughout the event. These groups include:

  • The Black Rose Irish Traditional Music, East Rochester Central School District
  • Hilton High School Wind Ensemble, Hilton Central School District
  • Johanna Perrin Middle School Concert Band, Fairport Central School District
  • Walt Whitman High School Chorale, South Huntington Union Free School District
  • Owego Free Academy Jazz Band, Owego Apalachin Central School District

Overall, this year’s convention includes more than 100 seminars on such issues as student achievement and integrating technology in the classroom, and many other topics.


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