Education

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A local superintendent's recent letter to Governor Dannel Malloy laid out concerns about changes to Connecticut's educational system. East Lyme Public Schools Superintendent James Lombardo, a long-time veteran of Connecticut's public schools, wrote a letter to Malloy and Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor saying education reforms are pointing the state and the country in the wrong direction. 

For those of you keeping track of the headlines detailing sexual assault and hazing at frat houses, it may come as no surprise that fraternities have a dark side. Caitlin Flanagan, a writer at The Atlantic, spent a year investigating Greek houses and discovered that "the dark power of fraternities" is not just a power over pledges and partygoers but one held over universities as well.

Parents do a lot more than make sure a child has food and shelter, researchers say. They play a critical role in brain development.

In 1984, it cost $10,000 a year to go to Duke University. Today, it's $60,000 a year. "It's staggering," says Duke freshman Max Duncan, "especially considering that's for four years."

But according to Jim Roberts, executive vice provost at Duke, that's actually a discount. "We're investing on average about $90,000 in the education of each student," he says. Roberts is not alone in making the claim. In fact, it's one most elite research institutions point to when asked about rising tuition.

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Here's the problem with covering education issues on Where We Live: We broadcast live at 9:00 am on weekdays. If you're a middle school or high school teacher, you might know that time as second or third period.

Our discussions on education frequently lack one key voice: teachers. On February 25, we fix that. Join us for an evening panel discussion in WNPR's building. 

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Governor Malloy’s latest early childhood education proposal centers on universal access to pre-kindergarten. The phase-in plan would offer seats to 1,000 three- and four-year-olds for fiscal year 2015, and would expand to serve 4,000 additional children by 2019. 

Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.

Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.

Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.

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Last year, Hartford's board of education decided against renewing the contract of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto beyond this coming June. Now, Kishimoto, a reformer who took the job after Steven Adamowski, is leaving.

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State lawmakers heard from educators, students and advocates of sexual assault victims on Tuesday as they consider legislation to improve sexual assault policies on Connecticut's college campuses.

Some of the most dramatic testimony came from the mother of a UConn student, who described the frustration she had trying to find help for her daughter after she reported being sexually assaulted a fraternity party. 

Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.

Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.

"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"

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Federal education officials have granted Connecticut’s request to delay standardized testing requirements connected to the Common Core State Standards. That will allow some breathing room for teachers before new evaluations connected to the tests begin. 

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A recently-released report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that as college tuition costs soared between 2007 and 2012, demand for federal student loans increased more than 300 percent.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

After mounting complaints from teachers, officials recently announced the state plans to delay the implementation of teacher evaluations. Meanwhile, other lawmakers are calling for a re-examination of the Common Core standards. Two years after Connecticut approved sweeping education legislation, we'll check-in on the implementation and receive an update on Common Core in the state. 

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Lawmakers have drafted legislation to address sexual assault on college campuses. It will be the first bill heard by the Higher Education Committee when it convenes next month.

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The price of college textbooks has increased 82 percent over the past decade, according to a new study that looks at alternatives to the traditional college textbook.

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The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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In 1905, a young German physicist proposed an equation that would forever change our perception of special relativity. His name was Albert Einstein and his equation was E = MC2. Over a century later, Einstein’s theory of relativity still stands as one of science’s greatest achievements. It established Einstein as one of the 20th-century’s greatest celebrities, and one of history’s greatest thinkers.

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The 40th session of the Yale Model United Nations is underway in New Haven. Nearly 1,700 high school students from as far away as New Zealand have been immersing themselves in the Model U.N. experience, taking advantage of the plethora of speeches, classes and other activities happening this weekend. 

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A Hartford Superior Court judge has denied a request by the state to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. The attorney general’s office had filed motions aimed at postponing the start of the trial until October 2015. Now, the case is set to begin later this year. 

CT-N

Connecticut Voices for Children held a forum on Thursday called, "Raising the Grade: Improving Educational Opportunities for Youth in State Care." State lawmakers, child advocates, and community leaders gathered at the capitol to hear sometimes emotional testimony from members of the DCF Youth advisory panel, teenagers who have been in the care of the state for most of their lives.

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It's been two years since the in-state tuition law went into effect. It benefits students without legal status who have graduated from a Connecticut high school. The young people who fought for the in-state tuition law for undocumented students are launching a new campaign. Their new goal is to help these students access financial aid.  

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The transition from high school to college is tough for anyone. But if you’re the first in your family to go to school, you’re a trailblazer and have a whole other set of challenges. From knowledge of the college application process, to financial aid, to campus life, there are more hurdles to get past when you’re the first to go through it.

On this episode of Where We Live we’re joined by a panel of first-generation college students, both past and present to share their stories. Are you a first-generation college student? We want to hear your story!

In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children's lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families' homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the "word gap."

John Mastroianni

In addition to leading his own quartet and a 16-piece jazz orchestra, Connecticut saxophonist John Mastroianni is a music teacher, and the director of bands at Hall High School in West Hartford. He’s also Connecticut’s 2014 Teacher of the Year. I visited him recently at the school to talk about his work.

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Post University is one of several private schools in the state that's seeing enrollment actually increasing. According to data from the state Office of Higher Education, the for-profit independent school saw enrollment grow by 10.5 percent this year. 

Courtesy of Chris Meisenkothen

An Italian organization representing victims of asbestos exposure has asked Yale University to rescind an honorary degree awarded to the owner of the company they once worked for.

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From Faith Middleton: What was it about good teachers, the ones we'll never forget, that made them good at what they did? We ask this in the interest of understanding what qualities and judgments are necessary to make a great teacher.

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Bridgeport's Discovery Museum and Planetarium is set to launch a nanosatellite after selling a massive four-ton bronze statue. A previous sale price of $325,000 failed to attract a buyer, but last-minute negotiations on Friday afternoon changed all that.

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Governor Dannel Malloy was in Washington, D.C. on Monday to talk about Connecticut’s education reform initiatives. He spoke at a forum hosted by the conservative free-market think tank, the American Enterprise Institute. 

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