Education

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."

Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford to talk about the work she’s been doing in early childhood development. Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her “Mind in the Making” initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, we’ll talk with Ellen Galinsky.  

editor B, creative commons

Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford this week to talk about the work she’s been doing in early childhood development.

Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her “Mind in the Making” initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, we’ll talk with Ellen Galinsky.

Diane Orson

School’s out for kids, but this summer many teachers can be found in classrooms around Connecticut learning about the Common Core State Standards.  

In a large room at the ACES building in Hamden, groups of teachers are seated around tables.

"These are middle school and high school teachers, grades 6-12, all English and English language arts teachers."

Leslie Abbatiello is the director of professional development for Area Cooperative Educational Services, which works with 26 school districts in the New Haven area.

The U.S. Department of Education has issued new data on the cost of college in America. Three Connecticut colleges rank among  the nation’s most expensive. 

Trinity College’s tuition is  5th highest in the nation for private, not-for-profit 4-year colleges. The sticker price at Trinity is $44,070 dollars.  Connecticut College ranks 7th .  Wesleyan University comes in a close 8th. 

The data can be found on the USDE’s website called College Scorecard, which offers students and families a variety of ways to compare the cost of college.

Chion Wolf

Young teens and “tweens” are plenty comfortable with technology and networking - and they use iPhones to explore brands they’re interested in, and what they’d like to buy. But they can’t be manipulated easily - experts say they’re more independent and fickle than previous generations.

Wikimedia Commons

If you want to think about the way our diminished interest in the humanities amounts to playing with fire, consider the present moment, which includes wind-driven deadly wildfires in Arizona and a tornado in Windsor and the recurrent suggestion that this is "the new normal."

The new normal is incredibly dangerous and getting worse. We have enormous amounts of scientific information that explains why some of this is happening, and what we should do to keep it from getting worse. But as a planet and a nation, we're not doing much. Why? 

With a July 1 deadline looming, it seems unlikely that Congress will be able to stop interest rates on new federal student loans from doubling.  But there may be time to address the situation before classes begin next fall.

About 7 ½ million students nationwide pay for a portion of their college tuition through subsidized Stafford Student loans. Right now, interest rates will go from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st.

"There is a window of opportunity for Congress to still act."

Incentivizing School Desegregation

Jun 25, 2013

Connecticut’s final 2013 budget includes more money for suburban school districts that accept urban students through the Open Choice program.  Open Choice is seen as an important way for the state to meet its desegregation goals in the long-running Sheff vs. O’Neill case.

Connecticut’s final 2013 budget includes more money for suburban school districts that accept urban students through the Open Choice program.  Open Choice is seen as an important way for the state to meet its desegregation goals in the long-running Sheff vs. O’Neill case.

Sujata Srinivasan

A new study finds that the way teachers interact with young children while they play, can have a powerful impact on toddlers’ mathematical abilities. WNPR visits a pre-school on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University.

This toddler is rolling a dice on a board game, trying to figure out how many spaces to get to a pig. Along the way, his teacher is constantly engaging him in “math talk.” The child was one of about 65 four and five-year-olds in a study on the importance of math education during play.

Professor Sudha Swaminathan.

Sujata Srinivasan

A new study finds that the way teachers interact with young children while they play, can have a powerful impact on toddlers’ mathematical abilities. WNPR visits a pre-school on the campus of Eastern Connecticut State University.

This toddler is rolling a dice on a board game, trying to figure out how many spaces to get to a pig. Along the way, his teacher is constantly engaging him in “math talk.” The child was one of about 65 four and five-year-olds in a study on the importance of math education during play.

Professor Sudha Swaminathan.

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The day after the Hartford Board of Education rejected a request for a contract extension from superintendent Christina Kishimoto, Mayor Pedro Segarra spoke on WNPR's Where We Live about the reasoning behind the vote, and the future of education reform efforts in the city.

Chion Wolf

Senator Beth Bye may be leaving this legislative session more disheartened than any other lawmaker.

Despite being funded in the state budget, the Office of Early Childhood was never actually created.

One of the bills biggest supporters is Bye, who was honored earlier this month as a 'Child Champion' by the CT Early Childhood Alliance.

"This is probably the most discouraging situation I've run into since I've been in elected office," said Bye.

School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement  the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests. 

The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that  students have the skills they need for success in college and careers. 

School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement  the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests. 

The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that  students have the skills they need for success in college and careers. 

Flickr Creative Commons

There is a lot happening in Connecticut education.

Public school districts are busy preparing for the new Common Core State Standards that promise more rigor, a different kind of high-stakes testing, and a teacher and Principal evaluation system that could lead to job loss if students don’t make the grade.

Is the common core the key to closing the achievement gap? To preparing students for a career? Or are these big changes a grand, untested...and expensive experiment? We’ll find out more from a panel of experts.

Vice President Joe Biden gave the commencement speech at the US Coast Guard Academy in New London today/Wednesday. As WNPR's Harriet Jones reports he stressed the new dangers of a changing world.

The 227 graduates of the class of 2013 filed onto Cadet Memorial Field under a cloudy New London sky Wednesday, but mood was far from grey. Superintendent Rear Admiral Sandra Stosz welcomed the cadets and their families.

"Here at the Academy we take great pride in being locally relevant and nationally prominent, and today is the best of both."

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

Yale University has asked federal education officials to lower a fine imposed on the school for under-reporting sex offenses.  

The federal Clery Act spells out how colleges and universities nationwide are expected to compile and report crime data – including sex crimes on campus.  The U.S. Department of Education began reviewing Yale’s compliance with Clery back in 2004, after a Yale Alumni Magazine article raised questions about the accuracy and completeness of the school’s reports.  

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