Protesting tests at the State Capitol

Signs of protest dotted the crowd Saturday at the State Capitol in a protest of standardized tests. 

NYSUT had earlier agreed to allow student performance to be part of an evaluation system for teachers and principals in order for the state to qualify for federal Race to the Top funds. At the same time, the state has implemented tests as part of its adoption of Common Core — a new set of standards and curricula being used nationwide, meant to enrich student learning.

More Regional News

A recent traffic stop gone awry, resulting in the driver being subdued with a Taser gun, led us to ask Melanie Trimble, director of the Capital Region Chapter of the New York Civil Liberties Union, about a motorist’s rights when stopped by police.

A Facebook video of a New Scotland traffic stop, shown by local television news shows and picked

After Summer Smith died last Jan. 9, her mother and her young son went through her box of special keepsakes. In the box was an edition of The Altamont Enterprise devoted to the aftermath of a 2000 crash on Hurst Road that killed two teens and wounded a third.  The kids had been hotboxing — driving while stoned.

Summer, then a 17-year-old Guilderland High School senior, was friends with a classmate who died in the crash. She raised money for a bronze angel statue to stand in Altamont’s village green. “The angel represents people who have lost people,” Summer told us then.

Her mother, Kristin Smith-Hoin, finds both irony and comfort in the keepsake. Summer died of a drug overdose. She was 31.