reform

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 This hour, two education leaders discuss turnarounds of a very different type. In Bloomfield, not too many years ago, students struggled with some of the worst math scores in the state, and only about half of students went on to colleges. Those numbers have improved substantially over the last few years. We talk about the successes with the school superintendent, James Thompson.

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In her latest book, Burning Down the House, journalist and author Nell Bernstein explores the dark side of America’s juvenile justice system. Through the eye-opening stories of incarcerated youths, she argues that it’s time to shut down the nation’s juvenile prisons once and for all.

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In a perfect world, we wouldn’t worry whether our food and working conditions were safe, or whether government regulators were keeping track of these things for us -- but we don’t live in a perfect world.

In fact, there’s a sense that if you run a big company, and you’re responsible for something really bad happening, that you’ll probably skate away with a slap on the wrist while somebody else has to live with the damage done.

Chion Wolf

Superintendent of the Hartford Public Schools has always been a challenging job. So challenging, in fact, that few in recent years held it for very long.

In the last two decades, the district went through various restructurings, flirtations with private education companies and state interventions, and was the subject of a landmark anti-discrimination lawsuit. The last two Superintendents - Stephen Adamowski and Kristina Kishimoto worked together to transform district schools - opening up a “choice” program and reorganizing around themed academies and magnet schools.

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If I had my way, we would do this whole show without the "E" word. That's "education." Somehow, the "E" word has come to symbolize, for me at least, debates about government policy, instead of teaching and learning. I wanted to talk about those other two things: teaching and learning. So I rounded up a public school teacher, a private school principal, a public school superintendent, and one of the nation's most outspoken commentators on teaching and teachers.

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Appealing to the U.S. Secretary of Education, Governor Dannel Malloy is taking action to try to reduce the amount of time students in Connecticut spend taking standardized tests.

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The CEO of a charter school organization in Hartford has resigned following revelations that the academic credentials he’ had claimed in school materials, biographies, and legislative testimony are untrue.

The Politics Of The Common Core

Jun 20, 2014

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that he wants to cut ties with the Common Core State Standards, the benchmarks in reading and math that he helped bring to the state four years ago, and replace them with new, Louisiana-specific standards.

"We won't let the federal government take over Louisiana's education standards," Jindal said in a statement. "We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators."

Bridgeport Schools

Three years ago, members of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities identified eight of the lowest-performing schools in the country, and enrolled them in a new program called the Turnaround Arts Initiative. The goal: to prove that arts education could improve academic achievement and overall school culture.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, the governor of Indiana signed a bill that would repeal the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. Although there are widespread concerns about Common Core in Connecticut, state officials continue to move ahead, but at a slower pace than originally intended.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

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Despite complaints from teachers across Connecticut about the rollout of new education standards and guidelines, education officials are urging state lawmakers to oppose efforts to stop it.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why do teachers want to teach? In the era of education reform, teacher evaluations, and standardized testing, it's a question that some teachers are asking themselves.

Last week, WNPR's Where We Live hosted an evening panel discussion with teachers from across the state in order to accommodate their schedules which don't line up with a live morning call-in show. 

We invited educators to join us in the audience, and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods, and ways of measuring performance. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

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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. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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. 

This is final story in a three-part report on Philadelphia schools in crisis.

Shayna Terrell is in a good mood: It's report card night at the Simon Gratz Mastery Charter high school in North Philadelphia, and parents are showing up in good numbers.

WNPR

The Chairman of Hartford's School Board, Matt Poland, has called for an investigation of Dr. Steve Perry, the outspoken principal of Capital Prep Magnet School. The questions involve Perry's controversial statements on Twitter.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Today on Where We Live, we're continuing an ongoing conversation about school reform. Dr. Steve Perry, principal of Hartford's Capital Prep Magnet School, joins us to talk about why he calls himself "America's most trusted educator." We'll talk about Dr. Perry's record at Capital Prep, where he says 100 percent of graduates are accepted at four-year universities. We are also joined by Paul Diego Holzer, executive director of Achieve Hartford!, which works to drive "community ownership" of school reform, among other goals. Follow along below as we live blog the conversation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Dr. Steve Perry’s website calls him “America’s Most Trusted Educator” – and he’s made a name for himself on television and speaking tours as an advocate for school reform. He’s also Principal of Hartford’s Capital Prep Magnet School. Perry is also a magnet for controversy for his outspoken views on teacher quality. Perry joins us to talk about the state of education in America and Connecticut.

The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

State education officials plan to submit Connecticut’s grant application for next Race to the Top competition this week. But as the federal government shutdown drags on, state-level officials have no one to answer questions about the federal requirements. Ninety-four percent of the employees at the U.S. Department of Education are on furlough.

Diane Ravitch, a former assistant secretary of education, spent years advocating for an overhaul of the American education system. She supported the No Child Left Behind Act, the charter school movement and standardized testing.

But Ravitch recently — and very publicly — changed her mind. She looked at the data and decided that the kinds of changes she'd supported weren't working. Now she's a prominent critic of things like charter schools and school choice — and she's particularly opposed to privatizing schools.

Diane Orson

School’s out for kids, but this summer many teachers can be found in classrooms around Connecticut learning about the Common Core State Standards.  

In a large room at the ACES building in Hamden, groups of teachers are seated around tables.

"These are middle school and high school teachers, grades 6-12, all English and English language arts teachers."

Leslie Abbatiello is the director of professional development for Area Cooperative Educational Services, which works with 26 school districts in the New Haven area.

School districts across Connecticut are wrestling with how to implement  the new Common Core state standards, which mean changes to the way teachers teach reading and math along with new computer-based tests. 

The transition is expected to take place over the next year and a half. But some districts say that time frame may be hard to meet.

The Common Core State Standards are a set of expectations for language arts and math. The goal is to ensure that  students have the skills they need for success in college and careers. 

Connecticut’s largest teachers’ union filed a complaint Tuesday against Bridgeport School Superintendent Paul Vallas.  The dispute centers on the city’s school governance councils,  whose members say they’re being shut out.

School governance councils were established by law in Connecticut in 2010.  Parents, teachers and community members have a chance to serve as advisors, and collaborate with school administrators to improve student achievement.  

Yale University has introduced new workshops for students aimed at reducing sexual misconduct and improving the sexual climate on campus. Many sexual misconduct and prevention programs for college students center on decision-making and consent.

But if you’re at the point where there’s a question about consent, then you already have a communication problem, says Yale student Matt Breuer. He’s a Communication and Consent educator at the university. He says Yale’s workshops begin with conversation about sexual pressure.  

Connecticut’s colleges and universities have taken important steps to address and prevent sexual violence on campus. That’s according to the 2012 Campus Report Card. But there’s still work to be done to improve sexual assault training and education.

The prevalence of sexual violence on college campuses nationwide is staggering. Research shows that up to one in four women experience unwanted sexual intercourse during college, and one in twelve men admit to acts that meet the legal definition of rape. 

Governor Malloy’s emergency budget cuts will affect early care and education in Connecticut, but they do not reduce additional preschool slots that were part of this year’s school reform package.

Early care and education programs focus on children birth through age 8 and can include child care and preschool services. The Governor made early childhood education a priority during the last legislative session, and included 1000 new preschool slots in low-income communities. 

On Wednesday his administration unveiled $170 million in wide-ranging spending cuts. 

Diane Orson

Attorney General Eric Holder joined Connecticut officials in New Haven Tuesday to announce a new statewide anti-violence initiative.  The project involves face-to-face meetings with gang members who are most responsible for killings and homicides.

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