State of Education: NYSSBA expo
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We recently paid a visit to the New York State School Board Association’s annual convention and education expo, held at the Buffalo-Niagara Convention Center. Topics here were abundant. One, for example, creating a clearer link between kindergarten through 12 and higher education.
"For example, students will get one score on the English regents exam, but then they're asked and then they'll get one set of scores on the math regents, but then they get to college and they have to take the compass or the ACCU placer, whatever the assessment is, which may have a very different focus," said Dr. John King, New York State Education Commissioner.
So one the goals here is to have regents scores actually translate to credit bearing courses at the college level. But then that brings up another issue: The graduation rate, with some numbers, for example, coming out of New York City
"After a youngster leaves high school in New York City, enters a two year college program, less than 25 percent of them walk away with a graduation certificate," said New York State Regents Chancellor Merryl Tisch.
Which means another focus here is to gear high school classes as really more towards college prep courses, but again, many districts are trying to accomplish bigger goals with less money
"And now we're at a point where we're still asking to do more and we are committed to doing more with the students, but please tell me, can we do that in 180 days?" asked NYSSBA President Florence Johnson.
That is just one of the many questions being asked here. Districts, on their end, are also being asked to restructure data systems, implement common core and raise standards, all during challenging times.
"We've got to really look at regionalization, we've got to look at consolidation, we've got to look at an infusion of technology into our classrooms, into our school districts to really capitalize on solidarity during these complicated moments," Tisch said.
But as the challenges continue, there's also some innovation here, as the NYSSBA annual conference also features a statewide educational expo, which we'll take look at next week in part three of our special conference/expo series.