Education

Office of Dannel Malloy

The results are in, but teachers aren’t happy.

State education officials released the long-anticipated results of the new standardized test, called the SBAC, on Friday. The numbers showed that less than half of Connecticut students met the “achievement level” or above in math in grades 3 through 8, and slightly more than half met this level in reading.

WNPR/Chion Wolf

When Kerryann Heron arrived at Martin Luther King Junior School to drop off her two sons, she was overwhelmed by the sight of scores of African American men lined up on the sidewalk to greet kids on the first day of school.

"It brought tears to my eyes," she said. "I was like, 'What! Get off of me, get away from me!' But they mean well, this is really, really good, I've never seen this. This is awesome."

Her son, Chase is heading into fourth grade. He says being greeted by high-fives and applause made him more excited to come to school.

A new study challenges the prevailing notion that student debt is the primary reason young adults delay buying a home. The report was co-authored by Dartmouth Sociology Professor Jason Houle and University of Wisconsin Social Work Professor Lawrence Berger. It’s published by Third Way, which describes itself as a centrist think tank.

David DesRoches / WNPR

When kids want to volunteer, they're often told what to do by adults. But the RiseUP Group in Hartford is a little different. The non-profit asks young people to create their own events and programs, to help them develop leadership skills and an appreciation for where they live.

Chester E. Finn Jr. has three very bright granddaughters. He thinks they "have considerable academic potential and are not always being challenged by their schools." Finn is not just a proud grandpa; he's a long-established expert on education policy with the Fordham Institute and Hoover Institution.

So it's not surprising that his grandkids got him wondering about — and researching — a big question: How well is the U.S. educating its top performers?

Office of Governor Dannel P. Malloy

The outgoing chief of staff for Governor Dannel Malloy will soon lead the state's Board of Regents for Higher Education. Mark Ojakian will officially start as interim president on September 28, taking over for Gregory Gray, who announced his resignation earlier this month.

alamosbasement / Creative Commons

School starts next week, and soon kids will begin trickling into classrooms across Connecticut. They’ll sit down behind desks in classrooms and study English, science, math, history -- and then maybe a bit of Spanish, or French, or even Chinese.

Student loans have become an issue in the presidential campaign, especially on the Democratic side. And it's no wonder. There are more than 40 million Americans with some $1.3 trillion in outstanding student loan debt.

But people who study education finance say one widely popular proposal to help lessen the debt load may not be as good as it seems.

The first problem: the debt load

Will Grover's promotion to HBO be good for kids?

Elmo, Snuffy, Grover and Big Bird could soon hit the HBO after-parties alongside Tyrion Lannister and the ethically challenged cops from True Detective.

Promising a win-win for kids and quality children's programming, HBO, the nonprofit Sesame Workshop and PBS have announced that new Sesame Street episodes will move to HBO and its streaming service HBO GO this fall.

CTN screenshot

The first two years of high school were a breeze for Ibrahim Adetona. But he started to struggle during his junior year, and he was eventually suspended from school for 10 days. After that, his struggles got worse.

State Farm/flickr creative commons

In Connecticut and across the nation, students of all ages can now enroll in college courses online for free, and receive credit for them in many places. How can universities afford to do this?

alamosbasement / Creative Commons

The state Board of Education has approved more than 1,000 additional charter school seats for the coming school year, a 12 percent increase.

Sherman Geronimo-Tan / Creative Commons

Is scientific progress suffering from a lack of creativity?

This hour, we talk to the author of The Creativity Crisis: Reinventing Science to Unleash Possibility to find out how increasingly cautious funding decisions are impacting scientific innovation and discovery. 

Cynthia Fowx / The Nature Conservancy

A high school internship from the Nature Conservancy is working to improve students’ understanding of the natural world.

U.S. Department of Education

There will be one less test for eleventh graders this coming school year – at least for students who plan on taking the SATs as part of the college application process.

Tom Murphy / Creative Commons

A state website published information about college students and their salaries, violating their privacy rights. The incident has called attention to a number of other concerns surrounding transparency and privacy.

Common Ground

Common Ground is a bit of a misnomer -- there’s not a whole lot that’s common about this high school. Started in 1997, the school uses agriculture as a key component of its curriculum.

The Obama administration Friday is taking a small step toward expanding adult prisoners' access to federal Pell grants. The money would help pay for college-level classes behind bars.

Hartford Public Schools

A letter sent to a student’s family by a Hartford magnet school said the student should consider going to another school because of her low grades. Now Hartford’s superintendent is telling principals not to push out low-performing students.

Enrollment is increasing for an online K through 12 school in Massachusetts entering its second year.

Head Start of Norther Fairfield County

About two dozen kids bounced around the classroom, drawing on dry erase boards, tapping on iPads, and building castles made of Play-Doh. Teacher Geneka Vickers hovered over a sink filled with blue water, the remnants of some learning activity.

It's family vacation time, and I've taken the kids back to where I grew up — a small plot of land off a dirt road in Kansas.

For my city kids, this is supposed to be heaven. There are freshly laid chicken eggs to gather, new kittens to play with and miles of pasture to explore.

But we're not outside.

I'm sitting in my childhood bedroom watching my 7-year-old son and his 11-year-old-cousin stare at a screen. The older kid is teaching the younger the secrets of one of the most popular games on Earth: Minecraft.

alamosbasement / Creative Commons

 This hour, two education leaders discuss turnarounds of a very different type. In Bloomfield, not too many years ago, students struggled with some of the worst math scores in the state, and only about half of students went on to colleges. Those numbers have improved substantially over the last few years. We talk about the successes with the school superintendent, James Thompson.

Brett Levin / Creative Commons

Connecticut has seen graduation rates steadily rise over the last five years. But questions are being asked about what’s behind the numbers.  

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Nearly every lawmaker in the General Assembly voted to create minimum qualifications for the state’s education commissioner. But Governor Dannel Malloy decided to veto the bill and now the state’s largest teachers union is now asking the legislature to override the veto.

Peter Morenus / University of Connecticut

Educators are gathered this week at the University of Connecticut for Confratute – a professional development conference that explores ways for teachers to apply gifted and talented teaching methods towards whole school improvement.

WNPR/David DesRoches

With drop-out rates in New Haven still troubling the district, one high school has been  trying something different to engage kids who are at risk.

SoundWaters

For many low-income children in Connecticut, summer isn't a time filled with fun trips to the beach or chances to learn. This often leads to something called "summer slide," as they kids lose some of the gains they made while in school.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The report issued after the Newtown school shooting by the state's Office of the Child Advocate cites the importance of having both school psychologists and social workers on a school's mental health team.

Martin Meehan began his tenure as president of the University of Massachusetts Wednesday by a holding a roundtable discussion with students at UMass Boston.

Meehan said he intends to build UMass into “the best public university system in the nation.”  During an interview in May he talked about ways to elevate the university’s stature.

"It is looking at how to improve, achieve more excellence. You can always increase your research and continue to improve," he said.

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