Thursday, October 23, 2014 - 12:35:54 AM

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Reaction to Cuomo's Education Proposals

(Source: Jason Weinstein)

"To the top 10 percent of high school graduates, full scholarshiups to any SUNY or CUNY school if they pursue a math or science career and agree to work in the state of New York for five years," said Governor Andrew Cuomo.

That scholarship program proposed by Governor Cuomo during his State of the State Address yesterday was well received by SUNY leaders today.

"It's a great idea and a great win for the SUNY campuses because it will help us attract more of the top students that don't always choose us. They'll choose some of the private institutions or they'll leave the state and go somewhere else," said Dr. Harvey Stenger, President of Binghamton University.

But other initiatives, such as statewide pre-K and a $2 billion technology upgrade led to questions as to how Cuomo will pay for them. Another reform would offer merit pay to master teachers. But some say there are obstacles to such a statewide program.

"There are 700 districts in New York state and there are 700 separate evaluation systems. So whether or not they're all of equal rigor, there are certainly differences in each and that would make it very challenging," said Jason Andrews, Windsor School District Superintendent.

Cuomo didn't mention the controversial Common Core curriculum, meant to make students more college- and career-ready. The state's teachers union is calling for a 3-year moratorium on it's implementation.

"The three-year moratorium is very realistic. It's not saying take the Common Core away, it's saying take away the high stakes and accountability for it and let's fix the Common Core so that everybody is comfortable with it," said Catherine Farrell of the New York State Union of Teachers.

With a proposed $2 billion surplus in the 2016-17 fiscal year, some districts want to see the end of the Gap Elimination Assessment, meant to balance the state's books. This has meant less funding to districts.

"Before we start talking about new programs like Master Teacher Programs, really the state needs to fulfill it's obligation and stop issuing the Gap Elimination Assessment," said Andrews.

****In Broome County, Jason Weinstein, Fox 40 HD News****

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