Education

Court Oversight
8:06 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Court Monitor: "Inadequate Staffing Levels" Causing "Stressed System" at DCF

DCF court monitor Raymond Mancuso.
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. 

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Library Science
7:56 am
Tue October 8, 2013

Sole Library Grad Program in Connecticut Could End

A rendering of completed renovations to Buley Library at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven.
Credit 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.

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Gender
11:20 am
Thu October 3, 2013

ACLU On Single-Sex Education In Connecticut

Credit 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.

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Government Shutdown
8:08 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Head Start Program in Bridgeport Forced To Close

Credit 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.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
5:39 pm
Tue October 1, 2013

Breaking Bad and the Chemistry Classroom

Credit 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.

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Yale University
8:18 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Yale Receives Largest Gift in School History

Connecticut Hall at Yale University in New Haven.
Credit 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."

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Greenwich
11:26 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Learning How To Stop Bullying

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro.
Credit 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.

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Testing
9:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Rise in Connecticut Public School Students Who Took the SAT

Credit 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.

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School Reform
3:04 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists' 'Reign Of Error'

Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:11 am

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.

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Technology
3:02 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Students Find Ways To Hack School-Issued iPads Within A Week

Customers test out iPad minis on display in Los Angeles. Students who received free iPads from the Los Angeles Unified School District in a deal with Apple are finding ways to use them for more than just classwork.
Kevork Djansezian Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:53 am

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.

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Bridgeport
12:51 pm
Wed September 25, 2013

State Supreme Court Mulls Vallas Verdict

Paul Vallas.
Credit 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.

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Dinosaurs
4:41 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Peabody Museum's Great Hall of Dinosaurs to Undergo $30 Million Facelift

Peabody's Great Hall of Dinosaurs
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."

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Health Care
7:37 am
Sun September 22, 2013

The Sad Death Of An Adjunct Professor Sparks A Labor Debate

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:19 pm

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.

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Education
2:54 pm
Sat September 21, 2013

What Did Your Parents Tell You About Race?

Originally published on Sat September 21, 2013 6:48 pm

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.

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Community College
11:21 am
Fri September 20, 2013

Connecticut Community Colleges to Receive Federal Job Training Grants

Capital Community College in Hartford, one of the grant recipients.
Credit 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.

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Public Education
8:49 am
Wed September 18, 2013

Report Cites Persistent Achievement Gap in Connecticut

The report provides data such as this graph, showing that low-income students score half as well as their non-low-income peers, as early as the 3rd grade and across all subjects tested.
Credit 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.

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Education Funding
8:56 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Lawsuit Challenges Education Funding in Connecticut

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.

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School Trouble
4:26 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Student Arrests Decline

2,936 kids were arrested in Connecticut schools in 2011
Credit 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.

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Yale University
8:16 am
Thu September 12, 2013

How Does Yale Address Sexual Misconduct Complaints?

The Yale community has raised concerns about the university's response to sexual misconduct.
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.

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Budget
5:05 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

ConnSCU Facing Multi-Million Dollar Deficit

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.

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News
3:47 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

UConn President Herbst Defends Hartford Plan, Salaries

Susan Herbst and John Dankosky speak with UConn students after today's Where We Live broadcast.
Credit 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." 

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Where We Live
1:23 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Live from UConn: One-on-One with Susan Herbst

UConn President Susan Herbst with John Dankosky live in the UConn Student Union.
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.

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The Faith Middleton Show
2:14 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

How Do We Inspire Students at the Start of School?

Credit 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?

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Where We Live
2:01 pm
Tue September 3, 2013

The Student Loan Crisis and the High Cost of College

Student loan debt is topping $1.2 trillion dollars and 13% of students defaulting on their loans.
Credit 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.

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Where We Live
11:04 am
Tue August 27, 2013

Back to School: Common Core, Bilingual Education, and School Safety

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. 

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News
1:03 pm
Thu August 22, 2013

President Unveils Plan To Boost College Affordability

President Obama speaks on education at University at Buffalo, State University of New York, on Thursday.
Jewel Samad AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu August 22, 2013 7:25 pm

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.

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1:57 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

Former Chairman of Connecticut's College System Was Asked to Step Aside

Lead in text: 
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 chairman of the state's largest public college system's governing board resigned earlier this month after being asked to do so by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy's chief of staff.
Education
4:09 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Unintended Consequences Of Standardized Testing?

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.

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Testing
4:00 pm
Mon August 19, 2013

Differing Takes On Test Scores In Hartford

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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Where We Live
10:50 am
Thu July 25, 2013

Minds in the Making: Trouble in Darien and Seven Life Skills for Kids

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.  

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