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

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.

David DesRoches / WNPR

New guidelines have been developed by Connecticut's education department that describe the process parents should use for their children to be evaluated for special education services. But concerns are being raised that the new guidelines would make it harder for parents, not easier, than under previous guidance. 

Connecticut State Police

Three top-level employees from the Montville school district have turned themselves in to state police, as the district grapples with allegations that a substitute teacher ran a fight club at the high school. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

We know now Russia has interfered with our 2016 presidential election, but did you know that the U.S. has meddled in over 80 elections since World War II according to one Carnegie Mellon study

This hour, we look at how our country has interfered with democratic processes around the world. How do we reconcile our country's actions with the threat facing us today?

Werwin15, Creative Commons

Connecticut's graduation rate is now the highest on record, state officials said Monday. Last year, 87.9 percent of high school seniors graduated. That's about five points higher than the national average. The graduation rate gap between students of color and white students also shrank.

College of DuPage / Creative Commons

A large number of Connecticut high school graduates don't get a college degree within six years of leaving high school. But there's not a lot of information on what they're actually up to.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The system that oversees private special education schools in Connecticut needs an overhaul, according to a recent state audit. About 3,000 students with severe needs are currently placed in these schools, mostly at the expense of public school districts.

Students in Hartford join the national walkout over gun violence.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly said that district administrators in Stonington did not respond to a request for comment. In fact, Stonington High School Principal Mark Friese responded to WNPR in an email before the story was published, and he provided his account of the day’s events, which is now included.

Stonington High School junior Caroline Morehouse was excited when she learned that her school would allow students to walkout of class to protest gun violence in a nationwide day of action on March 14. She'd be standing in solidarity with students from Parkland, Florida, who only a month earlier had lost 17 classmates in yet another school shooting.

jasastyle/iStock / Thinkstock

Teachers from across Connecticut convened at the state Capitol on Friday, asking lawmakers to not increase their pension obligations. Teachers call it the "teacher tax,” and they said it’s asking them to fix a system broken by years of under-funding by the state.

Students in Hartford join the national walkout over gun violence.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

School students around Connecticut joined a national school walkout in protest against gun violence Wednesday. But the way the event was handled by school administration varied widely from district to district.

Students rally outside the White House after the  Parkland school shooting.
Lorie Shaull / Creative Commons

Students will be walking out of schools across Connecticut Wednesday to express their concerns about gun violence. School districts around the state have been responding to the effort in different ways. 

Pages