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This week's news roundup: A pop plea to vote, learning from the presidential debates and school accountability

Extra, extra!

Every week, our team compiles a roundup of the most important, interesting and insightful edu-news from around New York. Read our latest roundup below. If you'd like to receive these updates via email, sign up for them here!

1. Democracy Prep fourth graders encourage you to 'Vote For Somebody' in song parodying 'Call Me Maybe'
The Huffington Post, October 16, 2012

Democracy Prep Public Schools' fourth-grade citizen scholars don’t care who you vote for, so long as you “vote for somebody.” In a YouTube video, the network’s civic-minded Harlem Prep representatives convey such sentiment via song to the tune of Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe.”

2. Private colleges tout benefits to New York economy
Jessica Bakeman, The Journal News, October 18, 2012

New York’s private colleges contributed $63.2 billion to the state economy in 2011, according to an industry-backed report.

Independent, not-for-profit colleges had an economic impact in upstate New York of $22.8 billion last year, according to a report conducted for the Commission of Independent Colleges and Universities. The economic impact was $4.9 billion in the Finger Lakes, $4.7 billion in the Southern Tier, $4.3 billion in the mid-Hudson Valley and $1.3 billion in western New York, said the Rochester-based Center for Governmental Research, which did the study.


3. City aims second set of parent involvement plans at academics
Philissa Cramer, GothamSchools, October 17, 2012


A year after announcing new efforts to cultivate parents as “partners” in supporting students’ academic progress, Chancellor Dennis Walcott fleshed out some of the details in a speech today.





4. Students use debate to master the issues
Daniel Krieger, SchoolBook, October 17, 2012


Among the tens of millions of viewers watching the presidential debates this month, there is at least one group of students sympathetic to both candidates, at least when it comes to the art of debate.

Students in the debate class at Achievement First Brooklyn High School have been preparing their arguments, delving into data, and getting coached not only on what they want to say but how they say it, much like President Barack Obama and former Gov. Mitt Romney.

The students have been watching the presidential debates for tips on what to do—and what not to do.




5. UAlbany gets moment in presidential spotlight
Associated Press, The Daily Gazette, October 17, 2012

The State University of New York at Albany has become part of the presidential campaign. 




6. CV, CF receive funding for merger study
Jennifer Micale, Press & Sun Bulletin, October 16, 2012


School buses headed to the Chenango Forks and Chenango Valley schools have been known to pass each other en route, said Chenango Valley interim superintendent David Gill.

“We are two districts that are, what, five miles apart?” he said. “With the tax cap and tight budgets, we are losing programs.”

The two districts are embarking on a long-awaited merger study, after they received word this week they were awarded a $45,000 Local Efficiency Grant from the state. The districts, which will also contribute $2,500 each to the study cost, have been awaiting word on the state aid for the study since the first of the year.


7. Common Council supports restarting two troubled schools as charters
Jill Terreri, The Buffalo News, October 16, 2012

The Common Council Tuesday went on record as supporting a plan to restart two of the city’s lowest performing schools as charters. 




8. Man behind city's high school admissions wins Nobel Prize
Lisa Fleisher, The Wall Street Journal: Metropolis, October 15, 2012

Signing up to attend high school, a seemingly mundane task, used to be a nerve-racking game of strategy for more than 90,000 New York City students.

The system was so complex, in fact, that the man who helped with its redesign was awarded a shared Nobel Memorial Prize in economic sciences on Monday for his work. 



9. New York City student chess players are making all the right moves
Nicole Lyn Pesce, The New York Daily News, October 14, 2012

Nerds? Not on this team.

At I.S. 318, geeks are the star athletes.

The Williamsburg middle school, which has won more chess championships over the past decade than any school in the country, has been one of Brooklyn’s best-kept secrets.

Now, a new documentary is poised to turn the teenage masters into movie stars—and to do for chess clubs what “Glee” did for a cappella groups. 



10. Accountability makes the difference at Rochester Prep
Geoff Rosenberger, The Democrat and Chronicle, October 13, 2012

Last Sunday, the Democrat and Chronicle heralded the academic success achieved by students at Rochester Prep, a family of three charter public schools operating in the heart of Rochester.

Rochester Prep students perform at high levels because their talented teachers receive consistent support and feedback from instructional leaders. A very challenging curriculum is taught in a high-expectations environment while balancing joy with rigor.