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Local News

November 30, 2013

Push has come to shove for area educators

Educational issues have been in the news lately. Among the local stories is the proposed merger study between Worcester Central School and Schenevus Central School, which will not receive state funding.

The schools had applied for state assistance to examine the issues around such a move. There were 18 school-related applications filed last year with the state for such funding. Only two were approved. The state allocated about $4 million to fund merger studies this year — about $85,000, or just over 2 percent, went to fund school studies. The remainder of the funds went to fund studies for municipalities.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced the State University of New York is now accepting applications for the New York State Master Teacher Program in six additional regions, completing the initiative’s statewide expansion plans. After the first selection of 104 master teachers announced last month, up to 561 additional teachers across the state will be selected to serve as master teachers in this second round of applications. The New York State Master Teacher Program was established by Cuomo in 2013 to identify, reward, and support master STEM educators. The first cohort of 104 teachers was announced last month. The role of master teachers as professional mentors and content experts is key to developing the current group of outstanding educators as well as inspiring future teachers.

Applications for all ten regions of the state can be submitted online until January 3, 2014 at


But much of the news has been about state and federal testing and the Common Core.

According to a recent poll by the New York State School Board Association, members overwhelmingly support eliminating double-testing of eighth-graders in math. Eighty-four percent of board members believe the state should seek a waiver from the federal government to allow eighth-grade students who take the Regents Algebra 1 exam to skip the regular eighth-grade math test. Twelve percent of respondents believe the state should not seek a waiver, while four percent were not sure.

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