Karen DeWitt

Capitol Bureau Chief at New York State Public Radio

Karen DeWitt is Capitol Bureau Chief for New York State Public Radio, a network of 10 public radio stations in New York State. She has covered state government and politics for the network since 1990.

A regular contributor to 'New York NOW,' she frequently appears on the Reporters' Roundtable segment and often interviews newsmakers.

Karen previously worked for WINS Radio, New York, and has written for numerous publications, including Adirondack Life and the Albany newsweekly Metroland.

She is a past recipient of the prestigious Walter T. Brown Memorial award for excellence in journalism from the Legislative Correspondents Association and was named Media Person of the Year for 2009 by the Women's Press Club of New York State.

Karen is a graduate of the State University of New York at Geneseo.

Karen at a Mike Bloomberg press conference in Albany.

Karen interviewing SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher

Ways To Connect

 The state’s education commissioner says she’s open to granting waivers to delay new teacher evaluation for an additional year, saying the new systems should not be hastily pushed through because of an arbitrary date.

The latest version of teacher and principal evaluations were pushed through in this year’s state budget by Governor Cuomo. It requires that the reviews be based more heavily on controversial standardized tests. The new plans are due this fall

Matt Ryan

  School administrators are closely watching a letter campaign that’s taking place in the days before school starts that could lead to even more children opting out of state standardized tests.

The campaign, taking place on Facebook and other social media, aims to send children to class on the first day of the school year with a letter signed by their parents saying they will not be taking the standardized tests this year.

Tim Kremer, with the New York State School Boards Association, says school boards are watching closely.

  State Education Commissioner Mary Ellen Elia says she won’t prevent parents who want their children to skip the state’s standardized tests from doing so. The commissioner detailed her views on the controversial Opt Out movement in an interview with public radio and television.

20% of children this year boycotted the third through eight grade math and English tests associated with the Common Core learning standards.

Governor Cuomo’s labor commissioner is likely in the next few days to finalize a phased in hike in the minimum wage to $15 an hour for fast food workers. That action  dismays some business groups, who say it will have some unintended consequences.

The governor, after unsuccessfully trying to raise the minimum wage further through the legislature, appointed a wage board, which voted in July to increase the minimum wage for fast food worker to $15 an hour over the next several years. Cuomo spoke to jubilant fast food workers and union leaders when the vote was announced.

The New York State Government

  A state Board of Elections investigator appointed by Governor Cuomo may have found a back door way into breaking some of the secrecy surrounding a major campaign contribution loophole in New York.

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