WNPR

David DesRoches

Reporter

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR f.m. and dot org. He also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students, and he starts the year with the lesson: “Conflicts of interest: Real or perceived? Both matter.” He thinks he has a sense of humor, and he also finds writing in the third person awkward, but he does it anyway. 

He's won some awards. He's lost some, too. Winning is better, but neither really matter. What matters is the work. Here are some of his stories that matter: special education; toxic PCBs in schools; hate crime; environmental damages

When he was a kid, people told him life isn't fair. He still doesn't buy it. Consequently, he could be biased toward fairness, which manifests in different ways, such as fighting inequality and inequity. He is an activist for truth and for transparency. He tries to paraphrase smart mentors but he often paraphrases Jeffrey Lebowski instead. If you have a problem with his stories or his bias, talk to him. Call him out. If you’re right, he’ll be better for it. If you’re wrong, you at least got something off your chest. 

His true passion is music. It’s in his veins, always there. Kurt Vonnegut, a lifelong atheist, once said that “…virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” and that “music is the proof of the existence of God.” It turns out, a lot of journalists are musicians. If they’re not, they’re likely huge music fans. David's both. He also loves to cook, woodwork, write fiction (never for WNPR) and will probably continue writing about his trip to Ethiopia for his entire life (it was over ten years ago).

He loves being in the studio and being creative with sound. Radio is right up his alley. He enjoys telling people’s stories, holding the powerful to account, FOIA’ing and data diving, eating poorly and trying to find words to end this bio. How about an onomatopoeia? Bam. 

Ways to Connect

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Public trust in the media is at historic lows. Today, Americans believe that the majority of news they encounter is biased, according to recent polling by Gallup.

This hour, guest host David DesRoches asks--why are journalists losing ground and what can they do to regain trust?

David Wall / Creative Commons

Connecticut's education policymakers have a lot of work to do, if they want to improve access to higher education and ensure poor students are upwardly mobile, according to a recent state-by-state analysis by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A Willimantic charter school that's been embroiled in a controversy over its operations has decided to voluntarily close. 

Ingrid Henlon has been working in Hartford as an early childhood teacher for 27 years, but she said she hasn't gotten a raise in a decade.

"I'm a single person, and every year, you know, everything goes up," she said. "The light goes up, the gas goes up, the rent keep going up, but for the past couple of years my paycheck has been the consistent amount."

It's a scene that many teachers are familiar with -- a student acts out, or even becomes violent, and it's unclear what to do.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

Damaged houses in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill on Tuesday that allows school districts to work together to help teach students from Puerto Rico who were displaced by Hurricane Maria. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

El Gobernador Dannel Malloy firmó un proyecto de ley , el martes, que permite a los distritos escolares trabajar juntos para ayudar a los estudiantes de Puerto Rico que fueron desplazados por el huracán María.

mikael altemark / Creative Commons

Connecticut school districts have been working over the last two years to comply with new privacy laws around student data, but many have been struggling to make the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Over the last nine months, Connecticut's weather has wreaked havoc on school schedules, especially those in the western part of the state that got hit by the recent tornado. So some districts leaders have said they won’t be able to provide the mandatory 180 days of instruction, so they’re asking the state for a waiver.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The state Department of Education has voted to consider closing a charter school in Willimantic, after the department found several problems with how the school has been managed. 

ccarlstead / Creative Commons

As Connecticut schools deal with shrinking enrollment in most towns and rising enrollment in some cities, the question being asked is this -- should schools be consolidated? 

Eastern Connecticut State University

Professors in the state university system say their voices aren't being heard, and they want more input as the college system deals with a growing budget deficit.

WNPR/David DesRoches

For Erin Ring-Howell, home schooling her two kids was a practical choice.

Aaron Burden / Creative Commons

Connecticut families who choose to home-school their children are not required to show that their kids are actually learning anything. A new report from the state's Office of the Child Advocate found that holes in the system make it hard to track home-schooled kids who are abused and neglected.

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