Education

Jmabel / Creative Commons

At Wesleyan University, known for its liberal culture, a campaign to shut down the campus newspaper is coming from an unlikely source: its students. 

At St. Paul's School, dorms are full again and on afternoons you can see students walking across the Concord campus dressed for practice as they gear up for the fall athletic season. It looks like a typical start to a new school year, but the first weeks of classes come not quite a month after high profile trial put St Paul's School front and center in the national media.


At Brown University, a campus-wide survey shows one in four female undergraduates said they had experienced some type of unwanted sexual contact. Further, the survey found ten percent of female undergraduate students had experienced attempted rape. For female graduate students, that number was eight percent.

Matt Crowely / Flickr

Between all we know to be true, and all we know to be false, lies a world of woo. Woo-Woo, to use the official term, refers to ideas considered irrational or based on extremely flimsy evidence, or that appeal to mysterious occult forces or powers.

But who decides what's woo-woo, and what gets accepted into the hallowed halls of scientific truth?

Creative Commons / U.S.D.A.

Seven Connecticut school districts are offering free breakfast and lunch for all students, thanks to a new meal program offered by the federal government called the Community Eligibility Provision, or CEP. 

Ali Eminov / Creative Commons

A judge has ruled that 85 members of a Yale University fraternity face trial in a lawsuit brought by the families of two victims of a crash during tailgating events before a football game against Harvard in 2011.

For the first time, a Vermont state college is entering into a partnership with a community college in another state. Lyndon State will offer classes this spring on a campus of Northern Essex Community College, in Lawrence, Massachusetts.

A few years ago, a good friend and I were walking near downtown Philadelphia, not far from my old elementary school, Thomas C. Durham, on 16th and Lombard. The school was built on the edge of a black neighborhood in South Philly in the early 1900s, and its design earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places when I was in the third grade. I nudged my friend to take a quick detour with me.

In a classroom in the Bronx borough of New York City on a recent school day, a little boy in a green shirt got very frustrated. He was sitting on the floor with his fellow second-graders as they were going over a math problem with their teacher, when he suddenly turned away from the group and stamped his feet. It seemed like he was mad that she had called on another student. But instead of reprimanding him, the teacher asked him to chime in.

"You agree?" she asked him. "Do you want to take a look at it?"

The boy said yes and continued taking part in the lesson.

Creative Commons / Pixabay

New Haven is adding five dental clinics to its public school health centers. But as access to dental care -- especially for children -- is still a concern in some parts of Connecticut.

The U.S. Education Department has approved 16 state plans designed to improve students’ access to quality teachers. New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut are included in the initial round.

Williams College has announced plans to limit its carbon footprint in an effort to battle climate change, but not divest from fossil fuels which students, alumni and staff called on the college to do.

Peter Morenus / UConn

The University of Connecticut has broken ground for a new $95 million engineering and science building.

Gov. Dannel Malloy joined UConn president Susan Herbst and other dignitaries for the Wednesday ceremony at the site of the planned 118,000-square-foot building. It is designed to house laboratories for UConn's genomics, biomedical, chemical engineering, and cyber system research programs.

The University of Connecticut has put a new website online to help deal with sexual violence and harassment on campus.

The site, titleix.uconn.edu, provides information on the school's sexual discrimination policies and how to file a police report or a report with university officials.

It also provides links to medical services and counseling as well as information for friends, family and partners on how they can support a victim of sexual assault or harassment.

In New York City, some 65,000 children have enrolled in Mayor Bill de Blasio's new, universal preschool program. To put that number in context, that's more than all the public school students — in all grades — in either Washington, D.C., or Boston. Free pre-K for all 4-year-olds was a key de Blasio campaign promise.

Trinity College / YouTube.com

The president of Trinity College has decided to eliminate a mandate to make all fraternities co-ed.

Cacophony has taken over Matt Kressy’s MIT class. But the noise is planned, and soon, he hopes, it will become music.

This week, Kressy has put MIT’s first-ever integrated design and management (IDM) students in a kind of boot camp. He wanted to immerse the engineers, designers and business school students in a project where they would have to work in concert.

uconnhuskies.com

University of Connecticut officials said a school investigation has confirmed a hazing incident last year in its women's ice hockey program.

The university issued a statement Thursday after WFSB-TV reported this week that a former player has filed a lawsuit in Rockville Superior Court alleging she was pressured to drink and wear sexually inappropriate clothing during what upperclassmen called "Rookie Night" last fall.

Emilie Foyer / Creative Commons

One of the top economic issues for voters is the vast economic inquality in the country, according to Gallup polling.

Dylan's Wings of Change

Ian and Nicole Hockley lost  their son, Dylan, in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012.

Dylan had autism, and some problems with speech and engaging socially. After his death, his parents started a foundation called Dylan's Wings of Change to help children with similar difficulties develop fully. Their Wingman program is little different because it's for all kids.

Former President Bill Clinton plans to visit UConn next month, where he will be awarded the Thomas J. Dodd Prize in International Justice and Human Rights.

Thomas Autumn / Creative Commons

A recent New York Times op-ed drew attention to Yale University’s endowment and how the money is spent. The report found more was spent on private equity fund managers than to students. This has prompted renewed debate and criticism over big endowments at big schools. But the argument isn’t new. This hour, a conversation with higher education experts about the management of endowment money at the nation’s elite schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A transformation is underway in southeastern Connecticut. New London Public Schools are transitioning to become the state’s only all-magnet school district. The idea is not only to serve city students better, but also to create schools that attract suburban students and families back to New London.

The University of Rhode Island has won $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to launch a graduate center focused on science writing.

The program will include workshops and classes to train students in the sciences  to write more clearly and persuasively. University officials said the program is part of a trend on college campuses, as researchers increasingly recognize the importance of communicating beyond academia.

pcbinschools.org

A new investigation by WNPR reporter David DesRoches found that two-thirds of Connecticut schools could be contaminated with toxic PCBs. 

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?

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