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New York State Education Commissioner MaryEllen Elia made a number of stops in Rochester Monday and Tuesday along with members of her administration and the State Board of Regents.

Regents T. Andrew Brown and Wade Norwood, who are both from the Rochester area were involved with the visit, as was Regent Roger Tiles, who is the Chair of the board’s cultural education committee, and Mark Schaming, Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Education.

Beth Adams/WXXI News

Some Rochester residents who dropped out of high school, served time in prison, or simply struggled with establishing a career, are learning the skills of the construction trade.

Andy Evans, a master builder with years of experience, is offering classes in a former church on Buffalo Road in Gates. Evans said someone once taught him how to do this work when he was younger.

"I was at a part of my life where I could have gone down the wrong road," he said.  Now, Evans wants to help young men who haven't found a good paying job or a career they like.

What if the most common narrative about millennials turned out to be untrue? According to the latest data, that seems to be the case. We're talking about how often younger workers change jobs. The oft-heard assumption is that millennial workers have to be ready for many career changes, due to an unstable economy. Another is that millennials want to change jobs often to allow themselves to refresh and refocus. But Lyman Stone's piece for Vox deconstructs those ideas, and offers a warning for what it means.

Our guests:

A new mentoring conference for high school students across Monroe County aims to help young men address recurring issues that impact their lives as they transition into adulthood. The “Young Men’s Symposium: No Excuses” will help students explore topics like character development, healthy relationships, responsible fatherhood, respecting women, coping with loss, and more. Research shows black male students are over-referred for disciplinary action in schools, and in the criminal justice system, black youth are 18 times more likely than white youth to be sentenced as adults.

Our guests share their experiences as mentors and mentees, how they define “manhood,” and what self-empowerment means to them in today's world. In studio:

  • Cory Johnson, founder of RocCity 48
  • Melvin Cross, pastor at Glory House International
  • Nasmere Johnson, senior at School of the Arts
  • Jose Melendez, eight grade student at Leadership Academy for Young Men 
  • Rashad Smith, public relations freelancer for small businesses and entrepreneurs

It was renowned cultural anthropologist Margaret Mead who said: “The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown.” How does that happen? Some might say it begins with young people sharing their perspectives on the issues splashed across news headlines. Over at WAYO Radio’s Fresh Perspectives program, the teens driving that show say it also involves celebrating and highlighting their peers while starting a dialogue that impacts their community. We learn all about their work on this edition of Need to Know.

WXXI News

Monroe County and Monroe Community College are teaming up once again to host "Inspire Monroe," a new targeted career exploration fair.

County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo joined MCC President Anne Kress to announce the fair, which will focus on careers in three in-demand industries: advanced manufacturing, health care and information technology.

Kress says these are fields with thousands of jobs open in the area, but many people don’t think they’re accessible.

Local school district officials are keeping a watchful eye on federal and state initiatives as the New Year rolls in.  

Funding is going to be a top priority, according to Sherry Johnson, the Executive Director of Monroe County School Boards Association. She says funding is a major issue, particularly for programs and initiatives meant to balance out inequalities around the state.

“It’s going to be a tough year,” she said. “We understand the state has some revenue issues of their own on top of any impact from the federal government.”

World of Inquiry students march to City Hall

Dec 15, 2017
Tianna Manon

Single digit temperatures couldn’t stand in the way of World of Inquiry Students marching through downtown Friday.

They were celebrating College March Day, an annual event where graduating seniors walk from the school’s location on University Ave to City Hall. There, they deliver letters indicating their college choice and thanking the adults and supportive friends who helped them get there. Local officials join the students, hoping to encourage them.

nysed.gov

The New York State Board of Regents this week voted to expand options for special education students who struggle with academic exams.  

The Regents adopted regulations to expand the criteria under which students with disabilities may be eligible to graduate high school with a local diploma. That’s a high school diploma that has different requirements from those needed to get a Regents Diploma.

State Education Department officials say that some students with disabilities are unable to demonstrate proficiency on standardized tests even with certain accommodations.

There are major gaps in special education spending in New York. A study by the New York State Association of School Business Officials found that spending in wealthier districts for special needs students was almost double the spending in more impoverished districts.

“Special education spending in the lowest need districts is $43,635 per special education pupil while spending in the highest need districts is $25,823 per special education pupil,” wrote researchers of the study.

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