Education

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State education officials plan to submit Connecticut’s grant application for next Race to the Top competition this week. But as the federal government shutdown drags on, state-level officials have no one to answer questions about the federal requirements. Ninety-four percent of the employees at the U.S. Department of Education are on furlough.

The Connecticut Mirror

Raymond Mancuso, the court monitor who oversees progress at Connecticut's Department of Children and Families, in a recent report said the agency is making improvements, and is moving toward an end to court oversight -- with one glaring exception. 

Southern Connecticut State University

The national organization responsible for accrediting graduate library programs has voted to withdraw its accreditation of Southern Connecticut State University. The chair of the university's library program is asking them to reconsider.

State Education Resource Center

The American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut said it's concerned about the idea of single-sex classrooms as a way to address the state’s achievement gap.

Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons

The effects of the federal shutdown have begun to ripple across Connecticut. In Bridgeport, 13 Head Start sites have been closed, leaving needy families scrambling.

Starmanseries, Flickr Creative Commons

Now that we're reeling at the prospect of life after "Breaking Bad," let's find out about the real lives of chemistry teachers! Hear from Dr. Donna Nelson, the consultant "Breaking Bad" creator Vince Gilligan hired to make sure the on-screen science was correct, and then go beyond the test tubes, and meet some chemistry teachers to hear about what actually goes on in the classroom.

What did you learn in the chemistry classroom? What's the future of understanding and harnessing the power of chemistry? Remember to wear your safety goggles for this Colin McEnroe Show.

Ragesoss / Wikimedia Commons

Yale University received a $250 million gift from 1954 graduate Charles B. Johnson, the largest gift in the school's history. “This is an extraordinary commitment from one of Yale’s most loyal alumni,” Yale President Peter Salovey said. “It builds on Charlie’s long history of generosity to Yale."

Ryan Cassella / WNPR

The town of Greenwich is still coping with the tragic death of a teenager earlier this year. A Greenwich high school student took his own life just hours after the first day of school. A preliminary investigation pointed to bullying as having played a role in the suicide.

Each year, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro leads anti-bullying programs in about 200 Connecticut schools as the education director for the state Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Lipshez-Shapiro will be in Greenwich this week, joined by students from Greenwich High School, for conversation with parents on what they need to know about bullying, name-calling, and cyber-bullying.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

More Connecticut public school students took the SAT college entrance exams this year than last year. It was a more diverse group than ever, according to the State Department of Education.

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, spent years advocating for an overhaul of the American education system. She supported the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing.

But Ravitch recently — and very publicly — changed her mind. She looked at the data and decided that the kinds of changes she'd supported weren't working. Now she's a prominent critic of things like charter schools and school choice — and she's particularly opposed to privatizing schools.

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

The Connecticut Mirror

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Paul Vallas, the Superintendent of Bridgeport Schools. Vallas is disputing a lower court ruling that he is not qualified for his position. The case centers on a certification waiver that was issued to Paul Vallas when he took up his position as Bridgeport Superintendent. He didn't have the conventional qualifications, but the state's education turnaround efforts allow for people to be recruited from out of state to help failing school districts.

Amy the Nurse / Creative Commons

When the Peabody's Great Hall of Dinosaurs opened in 1931, it was a state of the art exhibit, reflecting years of meticulously mounted fossils, and information for visitors based on the most current research on dinosaurs. Derek Briggs, director of the Peabody Museum, said that in the 80 years since its opening, scientists know a lot more about dinosaurs. "For example," he said, "the giant Saurapod, known as Apatosaurus, is depicted in a very static way [in the exhibit]. The notion at the time was it perhaps couldn't even hold up its weight. We now know this was a very active animal that lived in groups, and could move like a modern elephant."

The death of a long-time, part-time professor in Pittsburgh is gathering the attention of instructors nationwide. The trend of relying on part-time faculty has been in the works for decades, and Margaret Mary Vojtko's story is seen by some as a tragic byproduct.

Last spring, months before her death, Vojtko showed up at a meeting between adjunct professors at Duquesne University and the union officials who had been trying to organize them. The professors are trying to organize a union affiliated with the United Steelworkers.

Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines after parents complained about its, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.

John Phelan / Wikimedia Commons

The Obama Administration has announced more than $400 million in job-training grants to community colleges and universities nationwide. Two Connecticut schools will receive more than $4 million in funding: Capital Community College in Hartford, and Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.

Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement

A new report from the Connecticut Council for Education Reform praises Connecticut's efforts to overhaul its public education system, but warns more needs to be done to close the state's achievement gap between low-income students and wealthier students. The statewide nonprofit organization, made up of business and civic leaders, released the report Tuesday.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by ccarlstead

In 2008, 4,000 students were arrested in school. A new report from Connecticut Voices For Children finds that by 2011, the arrest rate had declined by 13.5 percent.

That's good news, according to report author Sarah Esty, but problems remain, such as schools that arrest kids for minor things, like using a cell phone, or missing class. CT Voices recommends state education officials and the legislature actually define "student arrest" to avoid circumstances that don't warrant hand-cuffing a kid.

How Does Yale Address Sexual Misconduct Complaints?

Sep 12, 2013
Flickr User: CanWeBowlPlease

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) - Yale University has released hypothetical situations to illustrate how it handles sexual misconduct complaints, including several that would result in expulsion.

The hypothetical situations follow by a month criticism that Yale has not done enough to punish perpetrators of sexual assault.

Yale University President Peter Salovey asked the school to develop the list of scenarios.

The Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System is facing a significant budget deficit this fiscal year, and ConnSCU officials are hoping the state will step in and pick up most the tab.

ConnSCU governs 12 Connecticut's Community Colleges; Central, Eastern, Western and Southern Connecticut State Universities, and Charter Oak State College. The projected $18 to $20 million budget gap accounts for about two percent of ConnSCU's overall budget.

Heather Brandon

University of Connecticut President Susan Herbst is defending raises that were recently awarded to two dozen top school administrators. The pay hikes, which range from $10,000 to more than $25,000, have raised eyebrows. They come at a time when the state is struggling to balance its budget.

Herbst said administrators’ salaries need to be competitive in a national labor market. "We have a study of what these different positions--deans, vice presidents--make around the country," she said on WNPR's Where We Live, "and I stay within that range to make sure our salaries are normative. But I will tell you that I will only hire great people." 

Jillian Ives

We’re at the Student Union on the Storrs campus as a new school year is underway, and the state’s flagship school is back in the news once again. They’re planning new facilities, like a $100-million recreation center for students, and they're preparing for an even bigger rebuild that will require a new flow of water onto campus.

There’s also a "flow" of money for top administrators at the school, as some students worry about what this means for the rising cost of college.

Ralph Hockens/flickr creative commons

Happy New Year! It's Rosh Hashanah. The new television season is upon us. And… school's back in session.

Students, teachers, parents: How was your first day of school? What qualities and experiences made the start of school feel like the year might be exciting? What are your best tips and tricks for navigating that transition from the freedom of summer to the day-in-day-out of school?

DonkeyHotey on Flickr Creative Common

In August, President Obama signed a bill preventing the doubling of interest rates on federal student loans for those entering college this year. Students borrowing the maximum amount this year will save about $4,600 in extra interest...but it’s a temporary fix.

Students across the state are heading back to school this week – and they’ll be seeing a lot of changes.  The common core state standards are taking effect and changing the way teachers teach and students take tests.

Schools are struggling to find the best way to teach ESL kids English.  New Britain school system was recently featured on PBS Newshour for changing all their bilingual classes to English only. 

Saying a college education is the "surest path to the middle class," President Obama announced a plan Thursday to allocate federal aid to colleges and universities based in part on their affordability.

Former chairman of the state's Board of Regents Lewis Robinson was asked to step resign by Governor Malloy's chief of staff, Mark Ojakian. The Connecticut Mirror's Jacqueline Rabe Thomas reports on the resignation of the third chairman of a public college system during Malloy's three years in office.

The State Department of Education is investigating possible test tampering at a Hartford elementary school.  This follows a cheating scandal in Connecticut two years ago  and dozens more nationwide.

In Hartford, school district officials say test scores held firm and showed some healthy gains. But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, the way you talk about test scores can be just as important as the scores themselves. It wasn't the press release Matt Poland would have written. "I would have written it with both the good and the not-so-good sharing common billing."

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