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Cuomo Cabinet Gets Education Update

Education was one of the leading topics discussed Monday when New York Governor Andrew Cuomo convened his cabinet at the state capitol in Albany. There was high optimism regarding Cuomo's New York State Master Teacher program.

The governor proposed the program in his State of the State address in January: SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says it will provide $15,000 each year for four years to math and science teachers who mentor new and aspiring teachers.

Cuomo's program is modeled after New York City's "Math for America" initiative.  It rolls out this fall in the mid-Hudson Valley, Central New York, the North Country and western New York, and plans call for a statewide launch in 2014.

Billy Easton, Executive Director of Alliance For Quality Education, believes that while common core is a good idea in terms of raising standards and the quality of the curriculum, he sees lot of problems with how it’s being implemented. Chancellor Zimpher says the message is clear:  "Teachers want to be recognized for excellence."  Easton agrees that master teacher programs are a proven, effective strategy.

Applications will be available in July. The first round of master teachers will be announced in September.  SUNY New Paltz, SUNY Plattsburgh, Buffalo State and SUNY Cortland will host the first four groups of master teachers. The program will be administered through SUNY System Administration and be fully funded through the governor’s office.

For more information about the NYS Master Teacher Program visit the website at www.suny.edu/MasterTeacher.

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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