Education

Hartford Public Schools

  Principal Julie Goldstein huddled with her staff, anxiously waiting to hear if her school had won. Holding her breath, the announcement was made.

It was confirmed. Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford was named the best in the country by the Magnet Schools of America. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Advocates for the rights of children met in Hartford to talk about how to reduce the number of students being restrained or secluded in school. Part of the solution involves training educators on alternative ways to handle behavior problems.

Roughly half of the state’s school districts have been trained in what’s called positive behavior interventions and supports, or PIBS. It’s a program designed to limit restraints and seclusions of students with disabilities. Many of these kids have autism, and these incidents often lead to injuries.

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As many Connecticut high school students prepare to take SAT tests this weekend, a growing number of colleges and universities nationwide are dropping their SAT and ACT testing requirements. 

       Two finalists have been announced in the search for the next president of the University of Massachusetts.

       Martin Meehan, the chancellor of UMass Lowell and John Quelch, a Harvard Business School professor are the finalists to be the next leader of the five campus UMass system.  

      University spokesman Robert Connolly said the two were recommended by a search committee at a meeting Thursday in Boston.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The state legislature's Appropriations Committee made it clear this week that it does not want to fund two new charter schools in Connecticut.

Committee co-chair Senator Beth Bye said there are too many other educational programs that need money. So it cut about $21 million from the governor’s proposed budget that was supposed to be used to fund the new charters.

But the owners of the Stamford Charter School for Excellence went ahead and signed a lease anyway.

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New Haven schools have partnered with various organizations to help discipline students more effectively. The city's efforts are part of a broader statewide push to examine behavior problems through a new lens.

Jeff Millsteen / Flickr Creative Commons

Detentions, suspensions, and expulsions: these are the time-honored  and well-worn enforcements of many a scorned teacher. Even student arrests are not uncommon in some troubled school districts. The practice of addressing bad behavior in the classroom with an even worse punishment has long been the norm.

Diane Orson / WNPR

The first national spelling bee in the U.S. took place back in 1925. In recent years, spelling bees have seen a surge in popularity nationwide.

UAW GAE Union Facebook page

Last spring, UConn recognized a graduate assistants union. A year later, the university announced it's reached a tentative agreement on a contract. 

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation

Scarlett Lewis is on a mission. She lost her six-year-old son, Jesse, during the 2012 Newtown school shooting that left 20 children and six educators dead. But somehow, through something barely short of a miracle, she’s been able to use that pain and turn it into something powerful. 

Lewis created the Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation to honor the message her son left on the family’s chalkboard the day he died – nurturing healing love. One of the things she’s trying to do is bring social and emotional learning into public schools.

Jonathan Tan / Creative Commons


Today more than ever college students face an uncertain future.

We hear more and more about the importance of a top-notch education and how increasingly, studies in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics offer the only promise of a successful road forward. But as the pragmatism of STEM fields is professed, and the ivy leagues declared the place to study them, has the importance of the humanities been forgotten?

Across New York state this week, some students are refusing to take a test, and they're not getting punished for it. The test is a Common Core-aligned, federally mandated exam, and students, parents and educators are part of what they're calling the opt-out movement.

Opt-outs made news last week in several states: Colorado, Florida, Oregon, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, to name a few. The objections are similar everywhere. But no state is posting numbers like New York.

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The Yale School of Medicine is reviewing a proposed online master’s program for physicians associates after the school's first version failed to receive accreditation earlier this month.

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A recent fight in Connecticut to keep a college campus open has led to new discussions over how the public university system is managed. 

So, what’s the best way to make tough decisions involving public colleges?

College Summit Connecticut / Facebook

New Haven's peer mentorship program has helped the public schools increase the number of graduating seniors who go to college and stay there. 

The program started in 2010, and was created by Connecticut College Summit, a local non-profit. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

As people hurried out of offices and buildings to head home on Monday evening, the sidewalk and stoop in front of Hartford City Hall sprang alive.

Placards reading “Save Renzulli” and “Minds Over Money” waved through the air. Children meandered wearing white shirts that read “Renzulli Rising” on the front, with the word “eviction” crossed out underneath.

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The Board of Regents announced on Wednesday that the Meriden branch of Middlesex Community College will remain open, after the state legislature made an effort to block efforts to close it.

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Wesleyan University said two of the five students arrested on drug charges following a rash of on-campus overdoses have been expelled. 

Vice President for Student Affairs Michael Whaley said in a campus-wide letter that the judicial process is continuing for the other three students, who are currently suspended. 

WNPR/Ryan King

Robert Noll’s job is pretty simple. As a contractor for MARC Industries in Manchester, Noll screws nuts onto U-bolts that are used to install pipes and sprinkler systems.

But he's visually and intellectually disabled, so performing this task efficiently is sometimes a problem. 

AFT Connecticut

Twenty-eight Connecticut magnet schools were honored as some of the best in the country. Ten schools were named "schools of excellence," which is the highest award given by the Magnet Schools of America organization.

Connecticut has the highest number of award-winning magnet schools per capita compared to any other state.

Michelle Lee / Creative Commons

A bill that would block efforts to close a community college branch in Meriden because of anticipated state budget cuts has cleared the state Senate. 

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Cheating can be found everywhere these days. Whether in school, sports, business, politics or taxes, cheating it seems, is as much a part of our culture as baseball or apple pie. But it's not just in our culture that cheating abounds. Around the world, the practice appears to be reaching epidemic levels.

Justin McGlamery/Twitter

The Renzulli School for the Gifted has been touted as a success story in Hartford, but now the city is moving the school to another location.

Three school communities are being affected by Renzulli’s move to the Rawson School, yet no parents were involved in this decision, and neither were the School Governance Councils nor the Board of Education. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Dozens of students marched to their college president's home on Sunday after racist graffiti was found in several campus bathrooms.

The graffiti read, “no n------”, with the “n” word spelled out. Sources tell WNPR that the graffiti was found in several bathrooms and in different handwriting styles.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Classes are canceled at Connecticut College on Monday after racist graffiti was found in a bathroom Sunday.

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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?

David DesRoches / WNPR

It's an idea as old as free speech itself: where does one's right to speak freely end, and the public's right to safety begin? The community at Connecticut College in New London is in the middle of trying to figure that out. 

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A firestorm of controversy has erupted on the normally quiet campus of Connecticut College in New London over a philosophy professor’s Facebook post that many are claiming was racist toward Palestinians.

The professor, Andrew Pessin, said the entire event has been taken out of context and that the outcry is not about his alleged racism, but is a concerted effort to attack his reputation because of his pro-Israel point of view. 

Howard County Library System / Creative Commons

A position created by the town of Vernon is hoping to bridge the communication gap that can develop between parents and educators. 

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A Norwalk Board of Education member is resigning in response to criticism of a Facebook posting that featured obscenity-laced invective against the Rev. Al Sharpton and insults targeted at President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

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