The advisory council responsible for developing Connecticut's evaluation system for teachers and principals is recommending changes to the guidelines. If the changes are adopted, educators may no longer be judged based on just one test score.
A long-time organizer with the United Auto Workers said University of Connecticut graduate employees won union recognition last week in what she called "the fastest-moving campaign ever." That’s due, in part, to the support of state lawmakers, and the school’s decision not to interfere.
Originally published on Tue April 15, 2014 7:07 pm
The Ken Burns documentary The Address, premiering on most PBS stations Tuesday night, opens at the Greenwood School in Vermont, where students are being introduced to a longstanding tradition: studying the Gettysburg Address until they can recite it from memory in front of a large audience of students, staff and parents. If they succeed, they receive a special commemorative coin that is only given for this achievement. A first, second and third prize will be awarded — one for middle school, one for high school — for these performances.
Originally published on Sun April 13, 2014 12:32 pm
It's a Wednesday morning at the Eliot K-8 Innovation School. Teacher Jodi Doyle is working with a small group of preschool students interested in domes.
"What do you think the difference is between a dome and an arch?" she asks.
The lesson doesn't go exactly as planned. Doyle wants the kids to build their domes with wire, but she wants the children to come up with that idea themselves. The kids used wire several months ago for a related project, and she hopes they'll remember.
In most charter schools in Connecticut, more than 90 percent of students are racial and ethnic minorities. This is despite a state goal to provide an integrated learning environment, and let students and teachers interact with people of other racial, ethnic and economic backgrounds.
What are the two most feared — most reviled — words in the English language?
"Tax day," maybe? Or "traffic jam"?
"Pink slip" still connotes an awful brand of helplessness, even though, I assume, most Americans who get pink-slipped these days never see a pink slip.
No, my vote is for "standardized test."
That's right. You felt it, didn't you? Shivers up the spine. The stab of a No. 2 pencil. And oh! Those monstrous, monotonous bubbles. They may as well be a legion of eyes staring back at your inadequacy.
A group of undocumented students in Connecticut is urging state higher education agencies to allow them access to a state financial aid program, known as institutional aid. But higher education officials said their hands are tied.
Advanced sciences like astronomy require years of study and graduate degrees. And the soaring cost of college can be a heavy obstacle for low-income and minority students hoping to break into those fields.
A program at the City University of New York hopes to lift that burden by providing scholarships and one-on-one mentoring to underrepresented students.
Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 12:12 pm
When students go to law school, they make a bunch of calculations. A big one is cost: top schools charge more than $50,000 a year, and graduate-student debt is on the rise. Another key calculation: The likelihood of getting a good job after graduation.
This week, the governor of Indiana signed a bill that would repeal the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. Although there are widespread concerns about Common Core in Connecticut, state officials continue to move ahead, but at a slower pace than originally intended.
Originally published on Tue March 18, 2014 1:59 pm
If you want to get an earful about paying for college, listen to parents from states where tuition and fees have skyrocketed in the last five years. In Arizona, for example, parents have seen a 77 percent increase in costs. In Georgia, it's 75 percent, and in Washington state, 70 percent.
It's become the new buzz phrase in education: "Got grit?"
Around the nation, schools are beginning to see grit as key to students' success — and just as important to teach as reading and math.
Experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that je ne sais quoi that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback.
It’s been estimated that roughly one in five female students experiences some form of sexual assault during the course of her college education. It’s a staggering figure that has caught the attention of activists and politicians across the United States.
Earlier this year, the Obama administration announced that it would begin efforts to stop sexual assault on campuses, creating a task force designed to improve the handling and awareness of sexual crimes at colleges and universities.
After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, something changed at many schools in Connecticut. Armed guards started appearing in places they hadn’t before: in elementary and middle schools. Districts have struggled with the questions of whether this kind of increased security is worth the cost, and whether it provides the kind of school environment they want.
Originally published on Tue March 11, 2014 10:28 am
America used to have a robust college education system for prison inmates. It was seen as a way to rehabilitate men and women behind bars by helping them go straight when they got out.
Those taxpayer-funded college classes were defunded in the 1990s. But New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like to bring them back in the state, prompting a fierce new debate over higher education in state prisons.
We invited educators to join us in the audience and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods and ways of measuring performance. But they also expressed a desire to balance it with support from administrators. The teachers on the panel said they are interested in getting better at teaching, and so they want feedback and support, not a stern visit that comes with a score and an up or down vote.
Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.
Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told lawmakers that the state wants to be flexible with its approach to reform, knowing that local districts are struggling to make sweeping changes while also revising the way teachers are evaluated.