Testing giant Pearson will no longer develop New York’s standardized tests for elementary and middle school students. The state is turning instead to Questar Assessment. That could signal a broader shift on education after heated controversy. Pearson took a beating for its role in New York’s transition to the Common Core. The company developed new tests that some said were age-inappropriate, and outrage sparked a test boycott. Now Questar is slated to take over development of those tests, but Robin Jacobowitz at SUNY New Paltz says getting rid of Pearson won’t address all the criticism.
Winners of New York’s five medical marijuana licenses could emerge any day now. The state Department of Health says it will announce the picks in mid-July. One bidder, Salus Scientific, aims to start growing in Johnson City. If the company wins a license, it will have to get right down to business. Co-founder Michael Falcone says he plans to refurbish a former grocery warehouse in the city to use for cultivation.
Built between 1871 and 1873, the Tioga County Courthouse is one of the oldest functioning courthouses in New York State and today it is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Learn more about this picturesque location from our Uniquely New York video series:
Photograph courtesy of the Tioga County Historical Society.
A senior New York education official is set to leave for a new post. Ken Wagner, Senior Deputy Commissioner for Education Policy, was nominated Wednesday to Rhode Island’s top education job. Wagner oversaw troubled times at the New York education department. He helped hand down multiple revisions to the state’s controversial Common Core rollout, and he’s been even more prominent over the past few months since Commissioner John King left for a job in the federal government. Wagner’s nomination still needs approval from Rhode Island state officials, who are set to consider it next week.
“Killing the Colorado,” a joint reporting project by ProPublica and Matter, set out to tell the truth about the American West’s water crisis. As serious as the drought is, the investigation found that mismanagement of that region’s surprisingly ample supply has led to today’s emergency. Among the causes are the planting of the thirstiest crops; arcane and outdated water rights laws; the unchecked urban development in unsustainable desert environments; and the misplaced confidence in human ingenuity to engineer our way out of a crisis — with dams and canals, tunnels and pipelines. See images that tell a bleak future.
Listen in as Renee Montagne talks to Propublica’s Abrahm Lustgarten about the Colorado River’s falling water levels, and how flawed water policies and mismanagement are to blame — in addition to the drought.
What happened to the British Loyalists after the Revolutionary War? That’s the question NPR’s Rachel Martin set out to answer when she spoke with Maya Jasanoff, a professor of history at Harvard University. The short answer: Nothing good. According to the story, somewhere between 15 and 20 percent of people in the American colonies during the Revolution remained loyal to England. During the war those loyalists were often subjected to harassment, beatings, and on some occasions tarring and feathering (If you’ve seen the HBO series John Adams you know how unpleasant this could be).
How does one in upstate New York study lava you might ask? Visit Syracuse Univeristy of course, where researchers are creating magma in a giant cauldron. Lava is powerful — it’s constantly building and rebuilding our world. NPR Skunk Bear’s Adam Cole took a trip from Washington, DC to witness lava creation at Syracuse University first hand.
Tune in July 8th at 8pm on WSKG TV for episode 2, of Operation Wild, we join a team in South Africa that is trying to help a rhino who was attacked by poachers for her horn. Thandi was nursed back to health by rhino vet Dr Will Fowlds, and he’s joined by a human plastic surgeon who is planning to heal the wound on her face with a world first — a rhino skin graft. Deep in Borneo rainforest, Dr. Birute Galdikass looks after ill and injured orangutans before releasing them into the wild. Orangutan Rosemary has been brought back from the rainforest with her 7-year-old daughter Rodney, because her cataracts make her virtually blind. They will only be released if specialist microsurgery helps Rosemary see again.
WSKG’s locally produced Let’s Polka welcomes back The Polka Brothers. These four “brothers” (actually good friends who first started playing music together in college) from New York City bring their unique brand of polka music to the stage. The live studio audience was enthralled with this group’s charm, high quality musicianship and a very unique setlist that has something for every polka fan. Ranging from classic polka instrumentals to original Polka Brothers compositions to off the wall covers (especially for Star Wars and Mario Brothers fans), this half hour will be sure to get your hands a-clapping! Bill Flynn hosts and conducts an interview with the brothers where they discuss what it is like to play polka music in New York City.
Students at Corning Community College have less than a month to take advantage of a big discount on dorm life. They can get a thousand dollars off their room if they book before August 1. The college built the dorm two years ago to attract students from a wider area and to encourage all students to live closer to class. Executive Director of Institutional Advancement Bill Little says there are advantages to living on campus. “Because they aren’t spending their time in the car driving back and forth to home, they have more time to commit to studies, they have more time to commit to school and they have more time to commit to their own lives,” he says.