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.

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Guilderland's super has calculated that the cost for 23 Capital Region districts to meet new state requirements would total over $5 million; 59 teachers would need to be hired and qualified ESL teachers are in short supply.

"At the end of the day, we've done the right thing for students," said Guilderland's business administrator as the district has used its fund balance to preserve programs, causing the comptroller to deem it "susceptible" to stress.

All of the nearly 1,000 private pilots who have been approved to work with Angel Flight Northeast volunteer their time and fuel and use their own planes for the flights, which Angel Flight refers to as “missions.”

Anyone in need of transport to medical treatment can apply, and many patients are referred by social workers, doctors, civic organizations, or even through word-of-mouth from other patients.