Education

Hanay / Creative Commons

A group of students at East Haven High School created a short documentary, “Weaving the Way: Lessons From the Weaver Bird.” The film recently won outstanding documentary short at the Connecticut Student Film Festival.

The federal law that governs special education lays out the goals pretty clearly: Students are entitled to an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment.

But some parents of children with autism feel their local public schools aren't meeting their kids' needs. And with autism diagnoses rising, new schools are emerging specifically for autistic children.

Some parents see these specialized schools as a godsend. For others, they raise a new set of questions.

Mark Mühlhaus / attenzione

Students in five Connecticut technical high schools are set to present findings and recommendations from a year-long investigation of the environmental impact of their school's energy use. 

When College Isn't Worth It

May 28, 2014

The New York Times highlighted new data yesterday that once again beats the drum: Despite skyrocketing costs, a college degree is a good investment. In fact, MIT economist David Autor writes in the journal Science that the value of a degree is rising. College grads made almost twice as much per hour in 2013 as workers without a four-year degree. And the lifetime value of a diploma is now around a half-million dollars, even after you factor in tuition.

Outside the concert hall at Occidental College, in Los Angeles' Eagle Rock neighborhood, children are invited to test out the instruments the Santa Cecilia Orchestra will play later. Alexa Media Rodriguez, 8, says she and her family have never before been to an orchestra concert. She heard about the orchestra when some of the musicians visited her school.

"I brought my dad, my stepmom," she says, "my sister, my brother and my sister's cousin ..."

That's the thing about this orchestra, says conductor Sonia Marie De Leon De Vega: The children are bringing the parents.

Bridgeport Schools

Three years ago, members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities identified eight of the lowest-performing schools in the country, and enrolled them in a new program called the Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal: to prove that arts education could improve academic achievement and overall school culture.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan was in Hartford Monday to speak with high school seniors about paying for college.

When Wake Forest University officials invited Jill Abramson to deliver this year's commencement speech, they probably didn't realize they'd be in the midst of one of the biggest media controversies of the year.

Yale University

Secretary of State John Kerry was in New Haven Sunday to address Yale University graduates. Kerry delivered the Class Day lecture.

JECO Photo / Creative Commons

New data from the State Department of Education show high school graduation rates continuing to improve in Connecticut. 

U.S. Embassy Manila / Creative Commons

Connecticut's Child Advocate Sarah Eagan said the 2014 legislative session was beneficial for the children of Connecticut. 

Overall, Eagan said she's happy with what was accomplished in this short legislative session, including finding room in the budget to pay for 1,020 new preschool spots statewide.

Nardia Gayle / CPBN Learning Lab

Students at the Journalism and Media Academy in Hartford took to Pratt Street downtown recently to talk to people on the street about fashion. 

Harvard University Extension School's Cultural Studies Club has ignited a maelstrom of criticism over its plans to reenact a black mass on Monday.

The university and the Catholic Church have condemned it, but the club says the Satanic mass is simply for educational purposes.

The AP reports:

NASA

Commencement season is underway, and graduates of Quinnipiac University, Western Connecticut State University, and UConn were among those to receive their diplomas this weekend. Four hundred graduates of the School of Engineering at the University of Connecticut had the chance to hear a commencement speech delivered from a unique perspective -- from space.

In honor of college graduation season, we made a graph. It answers a few questions we had: What is the mix of bachelor's degrees awarded today, and how has the mix changed over the past several decades?

Hover over the graph to see how the popularity of each category changes over time. Click or tap to see a category individually.

A few notes:

Caitlin Regan / Creative Commons

Earlier this week, the General Assembly passed a bonding package allocating $22 million to strengthen school security across the state.

There's plenty of anxiety in the U.S. over getting into a top college. But a new Gallup poll suggests that, later in life, it doesn't matter nearly as much as we think. In fact, when you ask college graduates whether they're "engaged" with their work or "thriving" in all aspects of their lives, their responses don't vary one bit whether they went to a prestigious college or not.

Gov. Dannel Malloy / Creative Commons

The Connecticut General Assembly passed a budget this past weekend, which -- along with two other bits of legislation -- expands access to pre-kindergarten education. Advocates have said it doesn't reach the ideal goal of universal preschool, but it's an important step in that direction.

The National Hispanic University was created more than 30 years ago to educate first-generation college students from Latino backgrounds. Next year, the only school of its kind west of the Mississippi will close its doors.

NHU sits in the shadow of the East San Jose foothills in California's Silicon Valley. All the classrooms and faculty offices fit in one modern three-story building in the heart of a working-class Latino neighborhood. But the postwar elementary school right next door used to serve as the institution's hallowed halls.

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath. Hundreds of graduate assistants at Yale University say they want to be allowed to decide whether to unionize. Grad students at two nearby universities recently formed unions after two very different types of organizing campaigns. One sailed by in a matter of weeks. The other took many years.

Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

Thursday, the federal government sent a message that it's taking sexual harassment on college campuses seriously. Education officials released the names of 55 schools facing investigation for their handling of sexual abuse allegations.

Diane Orson / WNPR

More than 1,000 graduate assistants at Yale University are calling for a process to decide on unionization.

FrankJuarez / Creative Commons

According to unofficial tallies, a proposal to consolidate elementary schools among the three Connecticut towns that make up the Region 12 school district has been voted down, according to the Waterbury Republican American.

A White House task force on Tuesday recommended ways to reduce rape and relationship violence on college campuses, pointing to, among other things, programs designed to teach students to intervene before an assault happens.

One of the programs, known as "bystander intervention," is based on the idea that both men and women can interrupt behaviors to prevent sexual violence.

The training is designed to change social norms and encourage people to find ways to intervene.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A national report on high school graduation rates shows an achievement gap continues to exist in Connecticut between poor students and those who are more affluent. 

Alberto G. / Creative Commons

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.

uaw.org

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.

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut is officially recognizing the new union that will represent more than 2,100 graduate assistants working throughout the UConn campuses. 

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.

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.

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