Tag Archives: education

Leading trial lawyer David Boies to chair group challenging New York teacher tenure

Trial lawyer David Boies is becoming chairman of the Partnership for Educational Justice, a group founded by journalist-turned education advocate Campbell Brown.

As chairman of the new group, Boies, 73, will join Brown as the public face of a legal strategy in which the group organizes parents and students to bring lawsuits against states with strong tenure and seniority protections.

The group filed such a lawsuit last week in Albany on behalf of seven families alleging that tenure laws make it too difficult to fire ineffective teachers and force principals to make personnel decisions based on seniority rather than performance. The suit argues that such laws disproportionately harm low-income and minority students.

In an interview with the New York Times, Boies said he viewed the cause of tenure overhaul as “pro-teacher.”

High Achievement New York to launch campaign

HighAchieveHigh Achievement New York, a statewide educational organization that includes The Business Council of New York State, will launch an advertising campaign in the coming months to educate business leaders about the benefits of the Common Core Learning Standards.

Frank Thomas, High Achievement New York’s  executive director told reporter Jessica Bakeman of Capital New York, “We want every child to have a chance at a great education, and that is why community leaders, educators and businesses have joined together to ensure that the high standards and dedication to excellence that the Common Core promotes make it into every classroom.”

Businesses frequently cite the mismatch in skills between graduates and open positions highlighting the shortage of technical skills and other “workplace skills,” such as time management, problem solving or teamwork. Educational initiatives that prepare students for the workforce and address the “skills gap” are a priority for The Business Council.

Business Council President and CEO Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., also spoke with Bakeman. Highlighting why Common Core Learning Standards are important to The Business Council’s membership, she stressed that businesses are focused on students having the skills they need when they graduate college. She also added that business leaders should not be, “distracted by some of the arguments that are being raised in the pain of transition.”

The campaign announcement comes on the heels of Education Commissioner John King’s speech to the Association for a Better New York on Wednesday. King called on business leaders to support the Common Core Learning Standards saying, “Your leadership is essential to achieving this goal.”

Each year approximately 140,000 students graduate unprepared for college or the workforce. The Business Council believes that business has a a responsibility to help students achieve their best. The importance of fostering career and workforce readiness for students is crucial to New York’s economic competitiveness, which depends on its skilled workforce.

First Robotics Competitions teach teamwork

The Business Council of New York State is promoting the varsity Sport for the MindTM, the First Robotics Competition (FRC). FRC combines the excitement of sport with the rigors of science and technology. Teams of high school students are challenged to design, build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors. Organizers describe FRC as being “as close to real-world engineering as a student can get.” According to the FRC website, “Under strict rules, limited resources, and time limits, teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team ‘brand,’ hone teamwork skills, and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against a field of competitors.”

Two Business Council members — Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology are hosting regional competitions in March. Other competitions will take place regionally.

At these regional competitions the objective will be to get the robot to carry a 2 ft. ball from one end of the field to the other, passing the ball from one robot to the next.

In addition to learning from building a robot, the students learn the importance of working together as part of a team.

Businesses can support teams with mentors, coaches or sponsorships. If you would like to get involved please contact The Business Council.

If you would like to read more about what students in the Capital Region are doing to get ready for the RPI competition, you can read reporter Andrew Bream’s story about the competition in the Troy Record.

 

Education reform a priority for The Business Council

Although last week the New York State Board of Regents approved measures to adjust Common Core implementation in New York state — the class of 2022, instead of the class of 2017, will be the first to be required to pass the more rigorous requirements — The Business Council continues to support implementation and the higher academic standards, without delay.

The truth is these standards are much needed to help close the skills gap that exists between recent high school graduates and good paying, in-demand jobs. The Business Council is not the only organization that knows this crucial need.

A recently New York Times editorial, The Common Core in New York, highlights that although the rollout has been bumpy, giving  students a better chance at a good education, is needed and that the state “cannot afford to let this project founder.”

The New York Post recently highlighted how Common Core can help New York students who currently “trail their counterparts in several Asian countries and Russia on math tests.” The article notes that their competitiveness on science exams is even worse.

State Education Commissioner John King also received a show of support from Assemblyman Karim Camara, chair of the state Black, Puerto Rican, Hispanic and Asian Legislative Caucus, and state Sen. Adriano Espaillat, chair of the state Senate Puerto Rican and Latino Caucus. City and State quoted a joint statement from the legislators in an article who said, “While this has been an emotional debate with marked differences in public policy, there is no doubt that Commissioner King remains a public servant devoted to improving the education and welfare of New York’s kids. We will continue to work towards closing the achievement gap and other urgent issues with Commissioner King and other stakeholders.”

Governor Cuomo also recently announced a panel that will recommend improvements in the state’s rollout of the Common Core. The panel will be led by Business Council member Stan Litow, IBM’s vice president of corporate citizenship & corporate affairs and president of IBM’s Foundation, who has also led the pioneering Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) concept.

The Business Council of New York State encourages all businesses to sign an open letter of support for Common Core Learning Standards. Heather C. Briccetti Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. recently said, “The Business Council of New York State strongly supports the higher academic standards in the Common Core and believes that the state must continue to implement the curriculum without delay.  We also recognize that several corrective actions must be taken in order to be sure that there is a smooth transition to these new, more rigorous standards.

In other education news, a pro-charter schools group, Families for Excellent Schools, launched a campaign opposing New York City Mayor de Blasio’s recent reduction of $210 million in capital as well as a new charter rent policy. The Business Council is a staunch advocate for school choice. Charter schools offer parents and students an alternative to poorly performing public schools. The new Mayor’s efforts to place a moratorium on co-location places city charter schools — most of which fall in high-needs districts — in a position of fiscal uncertainty.

Business Council member, Time Warner Cable News’ blog, State of Politics, recently quoted Rafael Lois, the father of two Girls Prep Bronx scholars who appears in a Families for Excellent Schools video, “The de Blasio administration has said parent voices matter to them, but they seem to be discounting ours. My daughters are receiving an excellent education, which is their moral and legal right, and I will do everything in my power to make sure they continue to have these opportunities.”

 

Schools: an economic development issue

Rochester’s Mayor-elect Lovely Warren addressed a crowd of more than 300 leaders at a Vision-Future stressing the importance that education has on business and economic development.

According to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, Warren called the city’s schools an economic development issue, stressing that would be her focus along with safe streets.

Warren highlighted a problem faced by many urban school districts around the state: the lack of quality schools in the city, where “less than half of students graduate on time and just 5 percent are considered ready for college or the workforce when they do.”

State Education Commissioner John King was also in the Rochester area yesterday participating in a live forum at WXXI Studios along with state Board of Regents members Wade S. Norwood and T. Andrew Brown.

King said the implementation of the Common Core Learning Standards (CCLS) need “tweaking” but there are positive aspects to the tests.  Some of the changes being considered, according to the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle are, “testing options for special needs students, in Spanish language assessments and the phasing out of dual math exams for accelerated students..”

The New York State Education Department (NYSED) has resources available to support the successful implementation of the CCLS in classrooms across New York state over the next several years.  They are located on the Engage NY website.  The Business Council supports these standards that will help prepare students for college and career readiness. The standards are internationally-benchmarked and evidence-based, and serve as a consistent set of expectations for what students need to learn and be able to do to succeed in college and in careers.

Sign the Common Core letter

New York state Education Commissioner John King, spoke to parents, teachers and administrators in the Rochester area as part of a series of sessions on Common Core being held around the state.

According to The Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, King told the group he wanted to get feedback to make improvements moving forward but Common Core standards are here to stay.

In advance of his visit, Democrat and Chronicle staff writer Tiffany Lankes examined what the Common Core is and how it affects students.

Responding to increased pressure to delay implementation of the Common Core learning standards, The Business Council is urging businesses across the state to sign an open letter supporting Common Core State Standards as an effective means to raise college- and career-readiness in K-12 education.

You can learn more about the Common Core and sign the open letter by clicking here.

Business Council Urges Education Agenda to Build a Skilled Workforce

The Business Council of New York State, Inc. testified at a New York State Senate Education Committee hearing illustrating the need to support Common Core standards, innovative learning models and access to early learning opportunities that will help prepare New York students to meet workforce needs.

“The success of New York’s economy depends on building a skilled workforce,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc. “Many students today are unprepared to meet the needs of the workplace ─ despite the fact that New York has talented teachers and students ─ supporting Common Core, innovative learning models and early learning opportunities will help bridge the gap.”

These initiatives will foster an educational system supporting a trained workforce that is critical to the state’s economic health.

Members of The Business Council frequently cite difficulties in finding qualified workers. Although New York ranks second nationwide for educational spending, it ranks only slightly better than the U.S. average in math and reading proficiency, as measured by standardized tests. Nationally, 3.9 million positions remain unfilled due to a “skills gap” between the labor force and those required for the open jobs.

The Business Council recently announced a major emphasis on education reform through the creation of an education policy committee focusing on educational issues including secondary and post-secondary education and workforce development.

Earlier this year, The Business Council announced its support for the newly implemented Common Core standards as a means to prepare students for the workforce. The Council also partnered with New York State, education, and business interests to implement New York State Pathways in Technology Early College High School program (NYS P-TECH), a learning model that includes a workforce development component and helps students to develop essential workforce skills.

Business Council urges education agenda to build a skilled workforce

Today, The Business Council of New York State, Inc. testified at a New York State Senate Education Committee hearing illustrating the need to support Common Core standards, innovative learning models and access to early learning opportunities that will help prepare New York students to meet workforce needs.

“The success of New York’s economy depends on building a skilled workforce,” said Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State, Inc.  “Many students today are unprepared to meet the needs of the workplace ─ despite the fact that New York has talented teachers and students ─ supporting Common Core, innovative learning models and early learning opportunities will help bridge the gap.”

These initiatives will foster an educational system supporting a trained workforce that is critical to the state’s economic health.

Members of The Business Council frequently cite difficulties in finding qualified workers.

Read more on The Business Council website.

IBM SmartCloud helps New York state connect education to jobs

As 16 school districts across New York State prepare to replicate the Pathways in Technology Early College High School (P-TECH) model that connects high school to college and career, collaboration across their network will be critical to success. That’s why IBM has awarded a SmartCloud for Social Business grant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State (PPI), which will oversee the statewide implementation of the P-TECH model. The IBM SmartCloud will enable community college professors, high school teachers, corporate partners and others to develop rigorous academic curricula that map directly to the state’s industry needs — preparing the next generation of New Yorkers for meaningful and productive 21st century careers.

Read more on the Citizen IBM blog, Robin Willner,  a consultant to the Public Policy Institute of New York State, Inc. and director of its NYS P-TECH Leadership Council talks about the importance of P-TECH.

NYS P-TECH partnerships announced

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced 16 winners of a statewide competition to form public-private partnerships that will prepare more than 6,000 New York high school students for high-skill jobs in technology, manufacturing and healthcare. Students will earn an associate degree at no cost to their families and will be first in line for jobs with participating companies when they graduate.

Heather C. Briccetti, Esq., president and CEO of The Business Council of New York State said, “NYS P-TECH offers an innovative approach to equip today’s students with the skills they’ll need to succeed. A highly skilled workforce is a critical element in local economic development. The Business Council and our members are pleased to be partners at the state level and in each local collaboration. We are eager to roll up our sleeves and start planning these new schools.”

Governor Cuomo said, “This groundbreaking program will give students across the state the opportunity to earn a college degree without taking on significant debt from student loans while also starting on a pathway to a good-paying job when they graduate. These public-private partnerships are a model for success for our students, our employers and our regional economies.”

NYS P-TECH was announced as part of the Governor’s 2013-2014 Executive Budget and will receive additional funding and support through the State Education Department. The public-private initiative was launched in partnership with IBM, which helped create the P-TECH program and will provide tools, training and support to each NYS P-TECH school.

Winning partnerships were selected through a highly competitive process and represent leading industries in each of the state’s 10 Regional Economic Development Council areas.

Click here to see the 16 NYS P-TECH partnerships.

Stanley S. Litow, Vice President of Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs at IBM and President of the IBM Foundation, said, “This extraordinary replication of P-TECH throughout the 10 economic development regions sets New York apart as the first state to ensure that rigorous academics in these schools are directly linked to great careers.”

Nancy Zimpher, Chancellor of the State University of New York said, “NYS P-TECH is an innovative program that connects high school, college, and the world of work, all aligned through a single challenging curriculum that keeps students focused, engaged, and excited.”