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Friday, April 23, 2010

Orange State, Central New York's Graduation Rates, and Education - 3-12-10

It was another great week of Orange State!  Don't forget to check us out on iTunes and our Twitter!

Orange State's big story was one that touches every community including Central New York. The 2009 graduation rates for the high schools around the state of New York were released. Overall, the graduation rates in Central New York are up, but not quite where they should be. (Click here for the rates over the past 3 years!) There is a glaring difference between the city and suburbs. Corcoran High School was at 53%, Nottingham High School had a 51% graduation rate, Henniger High School had a rate of 47% (Down 5% from 2008), and at the bottom Fowler High School had a 33% graduation rate (Down 3% from 2008). In comparison Onondaga High School had an 82% graduation rate, North Syracuse had an 85% rate, and Liverpool had an 81% graduation rate. Fabius-Pompey High School had a whopping 99% graduation rate. So why is there such a difference between the urban and suburban schools? Rashaud thinks that urban schools do not get as much funding as suburban schools since property taxes in suburban areas are higher.

Meanwhile, the Obama administration will be giving $4.3 million to the states with the best school reform plans next month as part of the Race to the Top Plan. The tactics the Obama administration is using is now under some heavy criticism from teachers' unions for their tactics. The best example was the tactics used at Central Falls Senior High School. The district's Board of Trustees decided to fire all 74 teachers at the school, which had about a 48% graduation rate of 4-year-students. The Obama administration supported the decision. Matt ended up going off on an epic rant that it is everybody's fault. People cannot solely blame the teachers as so many people do. The teachers work very hard, but they can tell a student to do well on a standardized test (which has become one of the most important aspects of education), but if the student doesn't care about doing well, they will not do well. Parents need to take part of the blame because they have to support their children. Finally, the administrations of school districts need to make things easier on teachers as well.

Rashaud brought us the headlines as usual. A deal has been reached on a settlement that could pay up to $657.5 million to responders who became ill by the dust from the destroyed World Trade Centers. Most of that money will be coming from a grant from FEMA. A judge still has to approve the deal. In other big news, Barack Obama has announced how he will use the prize money that he received for winning the Nobel Peace Prize. He will be giving $250,000 to the Fisher House, which provides housing for families of people being treated in military and veteran medical centers and $200,000 toward the Clinton-Bush Haiti Fund. A number of other organizations will be receiving part of the prize money including the Posse Foundation, United Negro College Fund, and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Finally, how long would you think is the longest marriage on record? Try 85 years. The couple is respectively 101 and 104 years old. The best part, they Tweet, that's right, Tweet marriage tips! By the way check Orange State's Twitter. Haha, we found a way to do the promo.

Locally, Syracuse has a new anti-street violence program called Operation Snug (Guns spelled backwards). The state money given to the city for the program will be used to do street mediation. A mile of I-81 is still closed because of a building that is crumbling near it. There are so many chemicals in the building that the whole buidling has to be treated as hazardous waste. That means getting rid of the building could be worth $2 million.

In the fun segments Rashaud tried to make up for his trouble with geography in the Orange State of Disarray. One story hit pretty close to home, a state senator is trying to get the state of New York to regulate salt.  That's right, no salt in New York.  *Sigh*  In another state, a booster club at a school was having a book rummage sale, but the books included pornographic and rascist books.  To make it worse, it was an elementary school classroom booster club.  Anyway, nobody won OSD (Doesn't say much for us!).  Jim brought the Audacity of Dopes.  What would you do if you had a really espensive water bill to pay?  You probably wouldn't burn your home down like one man did.  And a Central Pennsylvania man has been charged for 3 different incidents with police officers in, get this, 3 HOURS!!!  Finally, what would you do if a thief was in your car?  One car owner kept hitting the remote-controlled lock on their car every time the thief unlocked the car.  Eventually the thief gave up.  Haha, nice police work.  That's all for Orange State this week!  Tune in in two weeks for the next episode! 

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