schools

Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Are Connecticut's English Language Learners Falling Behind?

Orlando Rodriguez, LPRAC
Chion Wolf

The population of English Language Learners in Connecticut has increased by nearly 50 percent in the past ten years. Unfortunately, support for these students hasn’t kept up. Despite this steady increase in a learning population, the number of certified, bilingual teachers has been in a steady decline.

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Privacy
10:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

State Supreme Court: Arbitrators Outside Freedom of Information law

Connecticut Supreme Court in a WNPR file photo.
Diane Orson WNPR

The state Supreme Court has ruled that arbitrators are not covered by the state's Freedom of Information laws, denying the public's right to know what evidence is presented in arbitration hearings between teacher unions and school boards.

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Math
3:49 am
Tue December 9, 2014

Why Math Might Be The Secret To School Success

There's a real lack of math learning in pre-K. In one study, in fact, just 58 seconds out of a full preschool day was spent on math activities.
Kaylhew Flikr Creative Commons

Originally published on Thu December 11, 2014 2:01 pm

Little children are big news this week, as the White House holds a summit on early childhood education on Wednesday. The president wants every 4-year-old to go to preschool, but the new Congress is unlikely to foot that bill.

Since last year, more than 30 states have expanded access to preschool. But there's still a lack of evidence about exactly what kinds of interventions are most effective in those crucial early years.

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Racial Integration
9:21 am
Mon December 8, 2014

Changing Racial Demographics Complicate Hartford Desegregation

Students at the University High School of Science and Engineering in Hartford speak at an event with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan in May.
U.S. Department of Education

State education officials are currently negotiating changes to Connecticut's landmark school desegregation settlement. 

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Higher Education
1:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

New Haven Promise Moves Forward

New Haven Promise scholars celebrate their achievements at an event in August
New Haven Promise

President Barack Obama convened a Summit on College Opportunity at the White House Thursday, aimed at helping more students prepare for and graduate from college.

Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise, a scholarship and support program for New Haven public school students, was there.

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Education
1:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Conversation With Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor

Stefan Pryor in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor attended his final State Board of Education meeting Wednesday. He announced earlier this year he’d leave the post, and will depart in January. A process is underway to select an interim commissioner.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu December 4, 2014

Lessons Learned From Report on Newtown School Shooter

Adam Lanza's belongings as discovered by police in his home.
Credit State of Connecticut

Last month, the Office of the Child Advocate released a report on Newtown school shooter Adam Lanza. It details Lanza's mental health history and how the educational system handled his case.

We sit down with the state's child advocate, Sarah Eagan, to get a better sense of how Lanza slipped through the cracks of the educational system. We also hear from others who worked on the report.

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School Reform
5:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Teach For America At 25: With Maturity, New Pressure To Change

TFA at 25 years (from left): Matt Kramer, current co-CEO; Wendy Kopp, founder; Elisa Villanueva Beard, current co-CEO.
Courtesy of TFA

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:54 pm

This story was reported for the radio by Eric Westervelt and for online by Anya Kamenetz.

"We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!"

Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.

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Springfield
12:11 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Cathedral High School Supporters Announce Forum

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 5:15 am

Supporters of the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts are meeting this evening to urge the new bishop of western Massachusetts to rebuild the tornado-damaged school.

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Bond Commission
12:35 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

State Bond Commission Approves $5 Million for New Sandy Hook Elementary

A rendering of a new Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown.
Svigals & Partners

The state bond commission has approved a $5 million grant for the new Sandy Hook Elementary school. 

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Wake of Newtown
3:25 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Newtown Families Address State Commission

Nelba Marquze-Greene addresses the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission on Friday in Newtown.
CT-N

Governor Malloy's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission met in Newtown on Friday. The panel heard from three parents of children killed in the Newtown tragedy, who offered a host of policy recommendations based on their experiences over the last 23 months since the massacre. 

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Education
8:25 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Granby School Principal Who Made Slasher Movies Resigns

Granby Memorial Middle School, where Mark Foley resigned as principal.
Credit Granby Public Schools

A Connecticut middle school principal has resigned amid questions about his role in making violent movies featuring scantily clad women. 

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School Performance
7:52 am
Fri November 14, 2014

A Botched Study Raises Bigger Questions

John Ayers, executive director of the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives at Tulane University, will resign at the end of November.
Paula Burch-Celentano Tulane University

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 7:03 am

New Orleans, where nine of 10 children attend charter schools, has perhaps the most scrutinized public school system in the country.

And since Hurricane Katrina, a major source of information about the city's schools has been the Cowen Institute for Public Education Initiatives, a research group connected with Tulane University. The institute has been widely cited by political leaders and in the news media, including our reporting.

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Spotlight on the Arts
10:59 am
Tue November 11, 2014

How One Connecticut School Went From Funeral Parlor to Top Arts School in the Nation

Choreographer's Showcase 2013, Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts.
GHAA

Nearly 20 years ago, I made my first visit to the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts at its original site, just past Colt Park in Hartford, heading south on Wethersfield Avenue.

I pulled into a parking lot protected by a tall, chain-linked fence. It acted like a divider between a worn-out apartment building in the deteriorating neighborhood, and the old funeral parlor that had been resurrected as Hartford’s arts magnet high school.

The school has come a long way since then. Last month, it was honored as the nation’s top arts school by the Arts Schools Network.

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Springfield
10:20 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Mayor Says Church Leader Broke Promise To Rebuild Tornado Damaged School

Cathedral High School, a fixture in Springfield's East Forest Park neighborhood for a half-century was destroyed in the June 2011 tornado.

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 4:25 pm

There is frustration and anger over a delay in rebuilding the only Catholic high school in Springfield, Massachusetts that was destroyed in the 2011 tornado.

   Parents and alumnae of Cathedral High School said they were blindsided by Springfield Bishop Mitchell Rozanski’s call for more study to help him make a decision on the school’s future.  Mayor Domenic Sarno said Rozanski had reneged on a pledge made by his now retired predecessor to rebuild the high school in the same neighborhood where it had stood since 1959

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Nigeria
7:49 am
Mon November 10, 2014

Bombing At Nigerian High School Kills Dozens

People inspect the site of a suicide bomb explosion at the Government Science Technical College in Potiskum, Nigeria, Monday. Survivors say a bomber disguised in a school uniform detonated explosives during an assembly at the school.
Adamu Adamu AP

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 8:16 am

A suicide bomber who was reportedly dressed in a student uniform detonated explosives at a large boys' high school in northeastern Nigeria, killing as many as 48 students. The attack during a morning assembly is being blamed on the insurgent group Boko Haram.

From Lagos, NPR's Ofeibea Quist-Arcton reports:

"Disguised as a uniformed high school student, a bomber disrupted weekly assembly by detonating explosives.

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Whaling City Politics
8:45 am
Thu November 6, 2014

In Reversal, New London Mayor Will Seek Second Term

Now that the 2014 elections are over, the race for New London mayor begins.
Credit Office of Mayor Finizio / Facebook

After previously saying he would not seek a second term, Democratic New London Mayor Daryl Justin Finizio has changed his mind.

Finizio made his announcement on his Facebook page Wednesday. After announcing in April he would not run for re-election, "many New Londoners came to me, at my office, at my house, on the street, urging me to reconsider and run for re-election," Finizio wrote.

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Migrant Youth
4:16 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

From NYC's International Schools, Lessons For Teaching Unaccompanied Minors

Alexandra Starr

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 4:47 pm

Flushing International High School is like a teenage version of the United Nations. Walk down the hallway and you can meet students from Colombia, China, Ecuador, Bangladesh and South Korea.

"Our students come from about 40 different countries, speak 20 different languages," says Lara Evangelista, the school's principal.

With schools around the country scrambling to educate the more than 57,000 unaccompanied child migrants who've crossed the border this year, I came to see what lessons International Schools like this one can offer.

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Election 2014
10:14 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Education a Telling Microcosm of the Connecticut Gubernatorial Race

iStock Thinkstock

Tuesday is Election Day, and Connecticut’s gubernatorial battle is down to the wire, with the two major candidates locked in a dead heat.

The race between incumbent Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy and Republican challenger, businessman Tom Foley, has been fierce and negative. They’ve attacked each other’s views on the economy, taxes, jobs, and more. The third candidate in the race, Joe Visconti, has now thrown his support behind Foley.

But education may prove to be the most telling microcosm of the 2014 election.

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Ebola Outbreak
10:33 am
Fri October 31, 2014

Milford Student Back in School After Ebola Ban

Meadowside Elementary School in Milford.
Credit Milford Public Schools

Milford schools and the father of a 7-year-old girl barred for three weeks because of Ebola fears have agreed to the youngster's return, three days day earlier than planned. 

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Ebola Outbreak
4:16 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Milford School Leader Defends Decision to Bar Student Amid Fear of Ebola

Meadowside Elementary School in Milford.
Credit Milford Public Schools

A Connecticut school superintendent is defending her decision to bar a third-grader from returning to school after visiting West Africa amid fears the young girl may have been exposed to the Ebola virus.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez, Hartford's New Superintendent

Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez
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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Nigeria
3:05 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Boko Haram Abducts More Nigerian School Girls

People demonstrate calling on the Nigerian government to rescue girls taken from a secondary school in Chibok region, in the city of Abuja, Nigeria . Days after Nigeria's military raised hopes by announcing Islamic extremists have agreed to a cease-fire, Boko Haram is still fighting and there is no word about 219 schoolgirls held hostage for six months. Officials had said talks with Nigeria's Islamic extremist rebels would resume in neighboring Chad this week, but there was no confirmation that negotiations had resumed by Wednesday. (AP Photo/Olamikan Gbemiga File)

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 3:05 pm

Recent headlines out of West Africa have been flooded with the news of the Ebola outbreak, shifting the attention away from the social media campaign #BringBackOurGirls, aimed at rescuing nearly 300 Nigerian schoolgirls abducted by the Islamist group Boko Haram.

On Friday, Nigeria’s Foreign Minister said that negotiations to get the girls back were underway and that their release was imminent.

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Ebola Outbreak
12:02 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Connecticut Family Sues Over School's Ebola Fears

The father of a Connecticut third-grader has filed a federal lawsuit saying his daughter has been unfairly barred from school amid fears she may have been exposed to the Ebola virus while in Africa. 

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Washington State
2:08 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Student Who Was Hospitalized After School Shooting In Washington Dies

A visitor leaves flowers on Saturday, the day after a shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash.
Jason Redmond Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 8:47 pm

A student has died after being injured in Friday's shooting at a high school in Marysville, Wash. She died at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, health officials said at a news conference Sunday night.

Dr. Joanne Roberts read a statement from the teenager's family, which said in part, "We are devastated by this senseless tragedy."

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School Violence
4:02 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Shooting At Washington School Leaves 2 Dead, Including Gunman

People react as they wait at a church on Friday where students were taken to be reunited with parents following a shooting at Marysville Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 6:25 am

A student entered the cafeteria of a Marysville, Wash., high school and opened fire, killing one and injuring four before turning the gun on himself, police said Friday.

Television images showed students running out of Marysville-Pilchuck High School with their hands up, while police moved room to room with guns drawn.

During televised press conferences, Marysville Police Commander Robb Lamoureux said the shooter was a student of the school and that he did not know whether the second person killed was a student or a teacher.

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California
9:29 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent Steps Down, Defends Tenure

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement."
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 10:12 am

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.

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High Schools
7:03 am
Fri October 17, 2014

New Research Suggests Small High Schools May Help After All

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 4:05 pm

Findings from a new long-term study of small high schools in New York City show the approach may not only boost a student's chances of enrolling in college but also cost less per graduate.

The city began an intensive push to create smaller learning communities in its high schools in 2002. That year, the city's education department rolled out a districtwide lottery system for high school admission.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Live From Watkinson: The Perils of Teaching and Learning

Credit naosuke ii / Flickr Creative Commons

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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No Child Left Behind
12:57 pm
Sat October 11, 2014

It's 2014. All Children Are Supposed To Be Proficient. What Happened?

President George W. Bush, seated, signs No Child Left Behind into law at Hamilton High School in Hamilton, Ohio.
Ron Edmonds ASSOCIATED PRESS

Take yourself back to those highly emotional, patriotic months after the 9/11 attacks.

In the midst of war, terrorism, fear and mourning, one bill passed 87-10 in the Senate and by a similar margin in the House — with equal support from both sides of the aisle. It was signed into law in January 2002 by George W. Bush, with the liberal lion of the Senate, Ted Kennedy, by his side.

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