Public School and Higher Education News

New Yorkers with student loans might work in jobs that can knock off part of the debt. But bad advice about the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is leaving people left out and facing heftier payments than they planned.  

Scott Willis / WAER News

About 30 fourth and fifth graders at Syracuse’s Seymour Dual-Language Academy got a hands-on lesson outside Thursday through a project that includes some long-time partners.  WAER News stopped by to get a look at the school’s rain garden.         

The garden sits just outside the playground off Shonnard Street, and Vice Principal Steve Polera says sprucing it up has become a tradition for fifth graders who want to leave a legacy.

Taylor Epps / WAER News

Getting children to think about recess is easy, but getting them to start thinking about college may not be as simple. Onondaga Community College and the Syracuse City School District are working together to plant a seed in students’ minds early. Superintendent Jaime Alicea and O-C-C President Casey Crabill say the partnership will give kids more opportunities.

"One of our goals in the Syracuse City School District is to graduate our students to be college and career ready.  Exposing the students to college at an early age will provide them with opportunities."

"Erie: The Canal that Made America" Official Trailer /

The Erie Canal is credited with the development of much of Upstate New York when construction began 200 years ago. But a locally produced documentary sets out to prove that the impact was felt far beyond New York State.  PBS’s “Erie: the Canal that Made America” will be broadcast nationally next week.

Senior Director of Special Productions at WCNY Television Jim Aroune says the canal can be linked to endless political, cultural, and economic opportunities outside of New York. 

The thousands of college students flooding into Syracuse this month bring along a challenge for those fighting underage drinking.  A new coalition started to help reduce underage and binge drinking among students, which includes prevention experts, colleges and local bars and restaurants. 

Prevention Network’s Phil Rose finds intense drinking on the rise to a level where brain function is actually compromised.

The results of this year’s Common Core related standardized tests show scores for New York’s school children inching up. Around one fifth of the children boycotted the tests altogether, due to continued controversy over the Common Core learning standards.

State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she’s pleased with the progress made in the 2017 test results. While scores improved by nearly 2% from last year, the results show that only around 40% of students in grades three through eight are considered proficient in English and math.

Scott Willis / WAER News

Nearly three dozen Fulbright Scholars from around the world are wrapping up a four week pre-academic program at Syracuse University preparing them for studies at universities across the U.S.  They learned the basics of how to give a presentation, take notes, as well as the legal and cultural nuances of America.  We caught up with four of them.  Mansoor Eqrar is an architect in the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in Afghanistan.  He says the country's architecture is in a "bad situation" because buildings are imitating designs from Pakistan, Dubai, and other neighbors.

Bridget McAllister / WAER News

Growing the technology sector in Central New York could be dependent on getting more young women interested in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  The AT&T and CNY STEM Hub Camp for Young Women at LeMoyne College kicked off this week.  The week-long summer program immerses 30 local high school girls in the STEM fields, with a focus this year on computer coding and the continued development of drones.  Le Moyne College President Linda LeMura shared one example of a local science role model for campers.

(provided photo)

Onondaga Nation parents and tribal leaders pulled their children out of the Nation School today in an ongoing dispute with the Lafayette School district.  Nation members say their council is continually ignored…most recently in a hiring decision for a new principal.  The district chose a principal, bypassing teacher Simone Thornton, who has been training for the position.

The budgets hammered out by school boards and superintendents in Central New York’s suburban school districts are being put to the voters today after a challenging process this year.  The state budget was a little late, and lawmakers still haven’t reimbursed districts for money owed under the foundation aid formula.  Executive director of the East Syracuse-based Statewide School Finance Consortium Dr. Rick Timbs says districts have had to scramble.