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Education

New Bill Would Create Model For Evaluating Teachers

May 17, 2011
Flickr user woodleywonderworks

Connecticut lawmakers heard from education advocates Thursday afternoon about a new bill that would create a model for evaluating teachers. But the state's teachers' unions don't agree on it, and others say it doesn't go far enough.

Hundreds of teachers face lay-offs in the state due to budget constraints. But using seniority as the only means to decide who stays and who goes is unprofessional, says Alex Johnston. Johnston is the CEO of ConnCann, an education advocacy group.

JECO Photo / Creative Commons

New London's Board of Education has been getting attention recently for adopting a policy that will require all students beginning in 2015 to know English before they can graduate. As WNPR’s Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the requirement reaches beyond the school district’s large student immigrant population.

A little more than half of New London tenth graders are proficient in reading and writing. Some point to the school district's diverse population as a reason.  Almost thirty countries are represented in the student body.

A bill that would allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition rates has passed in the state House and now moves to the Senate.  

The legislation would allow students who have graduated from a Connecticut high school after attending for at least four years to be eligible for the state tuition rate at a public college or university.

A similar bill was vetoed by former Governor Jodi Rell in 2007. But this year, Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy says he'll sign the bill into law.

Malloy's support is embraced by undocumented students like Carolina Bortolleto.

Courtesy of Cloe Poisson, Hartford Courant

Werwin15, Creative Commons

Could our higher education system, once seen as a great equalizer, actually be adding to the nation’s inequalities?

As high schoolers grapple with the grueling spring admissions process, one author argues that students’ true courses into college are forged by many factors other than their grades.

In her book Degrees of Inequality: Culture, Class, and Gender in American Higher Education, Ann Mullen analyses two New Haven schools.

Diane Orson

Last year, the city of New Haven announced the start of an ambitious 5-year education reform program. Schools were assigned levels, or “tiers". That’s something that might not affect kids as much as teachers and school administrators. 

With summer vacation just a few weeks away, we visited a lower-performing “Tier Three” school to talk with educators and parents about what’s changed this year.

A new report finds noticeable academic progress in fifteen low-performing Connecticut districts where there’s been intensive intervention by the state.  Test scores in these districts show substantial improvement over time, particularly among minority students.

Bridgeport, Hartford, New Haven, New London, Waterbury and Stamford are among fifteen school districts that are part of the Connecticut Accountability for Learning Initiative or CALI.  All were identified as needing improvement under the No Child Left Behind Act.  

Last week, we reported that an advertising campaign by the Hartford Public Schools upset state education officials.  Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, plaintiffs a landmark school desegregation case say the "Choose Hartford" ad strategy could land everybody back in court.

A bill that would raise the starting age for kindergarten has passed out of the Appropriations Committee.  Critics are concerned that it does not provide an alternative for kids whose families cant afford an extra year of preschool.

The idea is to require children entering kindergarten to be five years old by October 1st. This new law would take effect in 2015, and supporters say it would improve teaching and learning because right now, the age range in kindergarten is too wide. 

Tomorrow is the deadline for students who want to accept a placement in one of the state's magnet or choice schools.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a press release from the Hartford Public Schools has apparently rubbed the state the wrong way.

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano, Courtesy of Flickr CC

This week, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence is announcing a new way to teach teenagers about healthy relationships. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the message is coming right to a teen's cell phone.

There aren't many teenagers these days who don't have a cell phone. Smartphones like the Iphone and Droid are "the" phones to have because they allow teens to text messages, take pictures and videos, listen to music, surf the web and of course play a ton of cool games.

"I have a lot of games. My mom yells at me for having all the apps."

Chion Wolf

We’re struggling to get out of a recession, caused in part by borrowing way too much.  So, if grown-ups can’t manage their money – how should we expect kids to?

Many financial experts say that children aren’t learning the right lessons about how to handle their money.  Here’s an example: A recent study finds that today’s parents are “incredibly lenient” about handing their children extra money – you know, that 20 dollars to go see a movie, over and above their allowance.

Week of the Young Child

Apr 12, 2011
Pawel Loj, Creative Commons

This week has been designated The Week of the Young Child by the National association for the Education of Young Children, Joining us by phone is Maggie Adair, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.

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