Focus on Education

Focus on Education
4:46 pm
Fri April 17, 2015

Buffalo's PTO speaks out against mayoral control

Inside a Buffalo school classroom.
Credit WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo Parent-Teacher Organization (BPTO) is speaking out against a proposal for possible mayoral control of the city school district.   

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Focus on Education
4:58 am
Thu April 16, 2015

Buffalo schools dealing with budget shortfall

Barbara Smith, Chief Financial Officer for Buffalo schools, delivered budget news to the school board Wednesday night.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

Despite a budget approaching $1 billion, Buffalo schools are facing a deficit. Officials announced a $10 million shortfall at Wednesday night's school board meeting.

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Focus on Education
5:49 am
Wed April 15, 2015

Thousands of students 'opt out' of state tests

Inside a classroom.
Credit WBFO News File Photo

The numbers are in. Thousands of students across Western New York sat out the first day of the English Language Arts state tests. WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says some of the highest numbers occurred in the West Seneca School District.   
 


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Focus on Education
1:40 pm
Tue April 14, 2015

Mayor Brown on control of school district: 'I am not lobbying for it’

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown responding to questions about mayoral control of city schools.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Mayor Byron Brown said he is 'ready and willing' to provide leadership in the Buffalo School District.  Reporters asked the Mayor about his remarks of a potential mayoral takeover.  

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Focus on Education
9:22 am
Tue April 14, 2015

City’s interim school leader encourages parents not to 'opt out'

Common COre English Language Arts review book.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Many parents and students are standing up against state assessments. Thousands of students in grades 3rd through 8th are expect to opt out of standardized testing statewide today.  But WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says one school leader is urging parents to make sure their children take the tests.

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Focus on Education
4:42 am
Tue April 14, 2015

Elected officials calling for students to "opt out" of state tests

State legislators Michael Kearns, Ray Walter and Marc Panepinto shared their concerns about standardized tests during a Monday rally.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

State Senator Marc Panepinto returned to his roots in the Ken-Ton school district Monday to push for opting out of today's ELA tests.

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Focus on Education
4:59 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Ryan wants more information on mayoral control of schools

Assemblyman Sean Ryan

At least one member of the state delegation wants more information before giving Mayor Byron Brown control of Buffalo's schools.

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Focus on Education
4:43 pm
Mon April 13, 2015

Interim schools leader responds to talk of mayoral control

Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Don Ogilvie responds to questions about mayoral control.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Don Ogilvie said he was 'mildly surprised' when learning Mayor Byron Brown would be willing to take over the district if given the power. 

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Focus on Education
9:01 am
Mon April 13, 2015

Parents stand up and 'opt out'

A Niagara Falls student shows solving Common Core math.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Parents and students want to send a strong message to New York State by opting out of assessments. On Tuesday students in grades three through eight will be administered the English Language Arts exam. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley talked to local parents about allowing their child to opt out.


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Focus on Education
9:26 am
Fri April 10, 2015

Opting out could be 'inconsquential'

Common Core workbook.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Third through eighth graders are scheduled to take the English Language Arts next week. Last year 60,000 students opted out across the state, refusing to take the Common Core standardized tests. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says the latest Brookings Institution study finds opting out would most likely be "inconsequential."


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Focus on Education
8:57 am
Thu April 9, 2015

Ken-Ton backs away from testing boycott

Kenmore Tonawanda School Board meeting.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Kenmore-Tonawanda School Board has backed off from its proposed boycott of the state's standardized testing. Board members held a special session Wednesday night, voting unanimously to abandon the boycott. 


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Focus on Education
9:23 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Concerned Clergy Coalition calls for national superintendent search

Concerned Clergy Coalition of WNY rallies on the steps of Buffalo's City Hall calling for a national search for a new schools superintendent.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The Concerned Clergy Coalition of Western New York is calling for a national search for a new city schools superintendent. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley reports it's one of two demands the coalition is requesting. 

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Focus on Education
8:00 am
Wed April 8, 2015

Educator outlines boarding school proposal

Tanika Shedrick discusses her proposed Buffalo Institute of Growth Charter High School.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

There is much interest in Buffalo having a charter boarding school and the idea drew a crowd Tuesday night to review the proposal at the Merriweather Library.

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Focus on Education
9:00 am
Tue April 7, 2015

Growing support to 'opt out'

NYS Assemblyman Michael Kearns.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Support for opting out of standardized testing is mounting. WBFO's Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says while the State Education Department and Cuomo Administration warn against it, others are urging parents to have their children opt out.


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Focus on Education
5:45 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Students test their financial literacy

Hutch Tech students in Buffalo have been learning about money and finances. They tested their financial literacy during a MoneySKILL Mania challenge.
WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Some Buffalo Public high school students participated in MoneySKILL Mania on Thursday. It's a financial literacy challenges sponsored by UB's School of Management and M&T Bank. WBFO'S Focus on Education reporter Eileen Buckley says this program tests a teens' financial skills. 

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Focus on Education
4:48 am
Fri April 3, 2015

Test boycott may carry repercussions

Governor Cuomo and the state legislature approved some significant changes to the state’s education system and how teachers are evaluated going forward. But, before all that can be implemented ,the new system faces a big test, literally, later this month.

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Focus on Education
9:09 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Board divided over superintendent search

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The dispute between the two factions of the Buffalo Board of Education is heating up over whether to move up someone inside the school system to be superintendent or go through a long process in search of an outside candidate.

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Focus on Education
8:57 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Student gets creative in voicing disgust with education rules

Ryan Lotocki, Frontier High School junior in Hamburg.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

An insightful Frontier Central High School student has posted his views on school curriculum and Common Core rules in an online video. It features a poem he wrote to articulate that students are fed up. WBFO’s Eileen Buckley sat down with the student and his principal to discuss the video titled This Is Genius.

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Focus on Education
4:45 am
Thu April 2, 2015

Regents Chancellor aims for fewer tests, better teacher development

NYS Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch at a past visit in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

In revamping the state’s evaluation system, Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch said she aims to have fewer tests for students, and more productive professional development for teachers.

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Focus on Education
12:23 pm
Wed April 1, 2015

64% of Say Yes students headed to college last fall

Say Yes Buffalo poster at Wednesday meeting at Villa Maria College.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

New numbers released by Say Yes Buffalo indicate a higher rate of students heading to college. 64 percent of Buffalo Public High School gradates from the class of 2014 enrolled in two and four-year colleges this past fall.

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Focus on Education
4:55 am
Wed April 1, 2015

State budget leaves Catholic schools out of the mix

Buffalo Bishop Richard Malone
Credit WBFO News File Photo

Catholic Church leaders across New York are blasting Albany for failing to agree on tax breaks that could boost enrollment at private and religious schools.

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Focus on Education
8:59 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Insight into choosing a career for high school grads

Student in a Western New York Classroom
Credit Courtesy of WBFO/Eilene Buckley

It's that time of year when many households with high school seniors are wrestling and wrangling with career paths, college choices, or, perhaps, the choice of no college at all. Arlene Kaukus, Director of the Career Office at the University at Buffalo, provides some encouraging thoughts for those who may find themselves at a dispiriting time.

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Focus on Education
6:03 am
Tue March 31, 2015

New York teacher's union chief to parents: Opt your kids out of standardized testing

Credit WBFO News File Photo

The leader of the state's largest teachers union is boldly calling on parents to "opt out" of standardized testing.

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Focus on Education
5:01 am
Tue March 31, 2015

Expert shares thoughts on higher education

Laura Perna (left) shared her thoughts on higher education Monday at the University at Buffalo.
Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

American higher education suffers from two main problems: getting kids in and keeping them there to get their degrees. That was the message delivered Monday at UB by University of Pennsylvania Higher Education Professor Laura Perna.

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Focus on Education
5:07 pm
Thu March 26, 2015

NYSED issues warning to Ken-Ton on state testing

Ken-Ton School Board.
Credit WBFO News file photo

WBFO's Focus on Education Reporter Eileen Buckley has obtained a letter from the New York State Education Department to the Kenmore Tonawanda School Board President in response to this week's vote to consider a possible boycott against state assessments.

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Focus on Education
11:16 am
Thu March 26, 2015

City school parents get warning letter on state tests

Copy of letter sent by interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Don Ogilvie to city parents regarding state assessments.
Credit WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

As many school districts around the region struggling with the fight over high-stakes testing, Buffalo School Board members discussed the issue at Wednesday night's lengthy meeting.

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Focus on Education
10:20 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Buffalo School Board battles through marathon session

Credit Mike Desmond/wbfo news

The Buffalo Board of Education convened Wednesday's meeting at 5:30 p.m. After a session of issues, controversy and some name calling, the meeting was adjourned around midnight.

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Focus on Education
4:59 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Hochul voices concerns over proposed test boycott

Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul.
Credit WBFO News file photo

Under state law, the Education Commissioner can remove school board members or superintendents who refuse to administer state required assessments. Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul says she is concerned about more districts following the lead of the Kenmore-Tonawanda School Board.  

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Focus on Education
4:51 am
Thu March 26, 2015

Commission may be named to resolve budget impasse

Governor Cuomo and the legislature are considering a  commission to design a new teacher evaluation plan, in order to break an impasse over the state budget. But even some lawmakers admit that the compromise is just kicking the can down the road.

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Focus on Education
11:05 am
Wed March 25, 2015

Some Hamlin Park students drank over the counter diet supplement

Outside the Hamlin Park School in Buffalo.
Credit WBFO News file photo

The Buffalo Public School District reports some 7th grade students at School #74 Hamlin Park School on Donaldson Road drank a diet supplement. 

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