David DesRoches


David covers education and related topics for WNPR, and also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students.

His coverage of systemic civil rights violations by a public school system against students with disabilities landed him an Education Writers Association award for investigative reporting in 2013, which was soon followed by state legislation to address some of the flaws he exposed. He was also twice named Reporter of the Year for New England’s six-state region, in 2013 and 2014. In total, he’s received 20 national, regional and state awards since his reporting career began in 2009. 

In addition to education coverage, he’s reported on prosecutorial misconduct during a hate crime trial; the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting-death in Ferguson, MO; a federally-funded pesticide program that put waterways at risk of contamination; the dangers of lightly-regulated use of biosolids on farmland; and he’s reported extensively on the presence of toxic PCBs in the nation’s aging public schools, which led to an investigation and calls for stronger oversight by U.S. senators. His work has appeared on NPR, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, and numerous local and regional newspapers. 

David was first published at 8 years old for a story he wrote about the importance of air bags. He got his first taste of journalism as a columnist for the George Street Observer while attending the College of Charleston, where he covered the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He began his career with the Central Virginian newspaper, before moving to Connecticut where he worked for the Darien Times prior to transitioning to public radio at WNPR.

Before journalism, David ran a flyer distribution company, started a non-profit media organization in Ethiopia, and taught songwriting to people with physical and intellectual disabilities. He believes in the Freedom of Information Act, the First Amendment, transparency, accountability, and journalism as a public service.  

Ways to Connect

Sam Greenhalgh / Creative Commons

Dyslexia is considered the most common learning disorder and yet it is often undiagnosed and rarely understood.

This hour, we look to better understand the dyslexic mind.

Josh Nilaya / WNPR

Tyqua Gibson thought her 12-year-old daughter wasn't being challenged in Hartford Public Schools. So she sent her to Bloomfield through the Open Choice program -- a state-funded system that allows Hartford students to attend schools in one of 26 surrounding towns.

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

Special education professionals and parents gathered at the University of Connecticut's School of Law on Friday, to talk about changes that may follow a landmark court case decided last September. One of those changes has to do with perceptions of children with severe disabilities.

Capital Preparatory Magnet School

State auditors found that a Hartford magnet school has been cherry-picking its students, bypassing the random lottery process that's supposed to determine who goes there. 

David DesRoches/WNPR

A Derby man who was hours away from being deported back to Guatemala was granted a last-minute stay on his decades-old deportation order. He now has 30 days to determine a solution for his immigration status.