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

Jimmy Emerson / Creative Commons

Researchers at the University of Connecticut say that a state effort to improve the lowest performing school districts lacks coherence, leading to questions about the program's effectiveness.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Hartford residents gathered Thursday at a city school to talk about a report that found the school district failed to protect students from abuse and neglect for the last decade. District leaders have a plan in place to address this longstanding problem.

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A spokesman for the federal agency that oversees immigration enforcement said its agents will continue to refer to themselves as "police," even though Hartford cops and the city's mayor are asking them to stop.

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Hartford city officials are criticizing the federal agency that's in charge of immigration enforcement because agents are referring to themselves as "police."

A report released by a children's advocacy group shows that opportunities for young people vary widely between cities and towns across the state. 

Bart Everson / Creative Commons

Thousands of Connecticut children have elevated levels of lead in their blood. This is often the result of lead dust in the home or in the soil outside.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

In 2015, taxpayers spent over $230 million on private special education providers. But a state audit of six schools found that one of them wasn’t providing some of the services it was paid to provide.

US Department of Education / Creative Commons


The selection of billionaire Betsy DeVos to head the U.S. Department of Education has ignited a debate over her lack of experience, and whether it could be good or bad. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation into Hartford Schools by the state's Office of the Child Advocate has found that a former high-ranking school administrator had a history of inappropriate contact with students, yet continued to be promoted through the system.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy has proposed to change how schools are funded. During his budget address to lawmakers in Hartford, Malloy agreed with a recent court decision that Connecticut's education system needs a fix.

Chion Wolf / WNPR


Students across Connecticut are scared and concerned about the immigration policies being pushed by President Donald Trump, according to state education officials. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

A few years ago, Sue Davis was in her son's school when something happened. Her son was forcibly restrained in front of her, she said, and placed in seclusion.

WNPR/David DesRoches


The desks in Sarah Lane’s fifth grade class at Bear Path School are covered with handmade paper hearts with short phrases written on them like, “Help Someone,” and “Compliment a Teacher.” 

Clara Goulding

A pair of eighth graders from a New Haven school want students across the state to forgo eating meat on Mondays. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

Rebecca Cavallo told a story about being in an unhealthy relationship, and Planned Parenthood was there to help her, after she began experiencing side effects because her boyfriend had thrown away her birth control pills.

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