schools

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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Teaching Math
4:03 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Who Needs Algebra? New Approach To College Math Helps More Pass

Ashjame Pendarvis, a first-year community college student, works on her math homework at the University of District of Columbia.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 7:16 am

Let's start with a little word problem. Sixty percent of the nation's 12.8 million community college students are required to take at least one course in subject X. Eighty percent of that 60 percent never move on past that requirement.

  1. Let Y = the total percentage of community college students prevented from graduating simply by failing that one subject, X. What is Y?

    The answer: Y = 48.

  2. And if you haven't guessed it by now, What is X?

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WAMC News
3:45 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Construction Begins On Western Massachusetts Firefighting Training Center

Structures used for training firefighters at the Springfield campus of the Massachusetts Dept. of Fire Services.

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:29 pm

A new training facility for firefighters is under construction in western Massachusetts.  The new center will bring the resources of the state’s Department of Fire Services to area fire departments that depend on volunteer or on-call firefighters.

     The new state - of- the -art center under construction in Springfield will be the western Massachusetts base for all of the resources of the state Department of Fire Services. It includes training, code enforcement, and arson investigations, according to state Fire Marshall Stephen Coan.

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School Safety
10:30 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Schools And Law Enforcement Taking Notice Of Recent Threats

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 1:16 pm

There has been a recent string of bomb threats and cyber attacks at schools across New England. Both schools and law enforcement agencies are paying attention.

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Louisiana
8:03 am
Thu October 2, 2014

New Orleans Schools Face A Surge Of Unaccompanied Minors

Yashua Cantillano, 14, arrived in New Orleans in June from Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He's now enrolled in a charter school, Carver Prep, on the city's east side.
Mallory Falk/WWNO

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:17 pm

For 14-year-old Yashua Cantillano, life in New Orleans is an improvement.

But that's not saying much.

Just three months ago, Yashua was in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, dodging gang members. He says they would drive by his school, guns visible, threatening to kill him, his younger brother — Yashua's whole family.

"We'd hide all day," Yashua says, "and that kept us from going to school."

After crossing the U.S. border illegally, he came to New Orleans and ultimately enrolled at Carver Prep, a small charter school on the city's east side.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue September 30, 2014

"Greater Expectations" of the Common Core; a Music Career's Unlikely Revival Story

Jirka Matousek Creative Commons

The Common Core has been a big part of this year’s campaign for governor -- and a rallying cry for teachers, parents and students. But new documentary looks at what’s really in the common core that might provide some common ground between many sides on the education reform debate. 

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Ethics
5:15 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm

Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.

Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.

The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.

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The Faith Middleton Show
10:32 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Is a Liberal Arts Degree Still Smart?

Credit Buck Butler for Sewanee: The University of the South/flickr creative commons

What makes an educated person? Is it the desire to learn? The ability to be a critical thinker in any situation? Perhaps.

For me, an educated person has the capacity to be a critical thinker—and an optimist at the same time. An educated person has developed a curious mind, thinks critically, has empathy, and an optimistic view.

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Student Mental Health
8:33 am
Mon September 29, 2014

How One New Haven High School Supports Immigrant Students

A classroom at the International Academy at Wilbur Cross High School.
Diane Orson WNPR

Some of the unaccompanied minors who made the dangerous trek across the border between Mexico and the United States are in Connecticut now, and are enrolled in local public schools.

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Wake of Newtown
12:05 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Sandy Hook Advisory Commission Reviews Draft Recommendations

Scott Jackon, mayor of Hamden, chairs the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission meeting on Tuesday.
Credit CT-N

The panel created by Governor Dannel Malloy to review the Newtown school shooting reviewed its recommendations at a meeting on Tuesday. 

The Sandy Hook Advisory Commission discussed draft language proposed by groups' recommendations on law enforcement, safe school design and operation, and mental health. 

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Funding Education
11:19 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Connecticut Most Reliant State in U.S. on Property Taxes to Fund Public Education

The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says a range of actions are needed by the state to address education funding issues.
Connecticut Conference of Municipalities

A new report by The Connecticut Conference of Municipalities says the state remains the most reliant in the nation on the property tax to fund pre-K to 12 public education. 

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Civil Rights
8:19 am
Sat September 20, 2014

On 50th Anniversary of Civil Rights Act, What Have We Accomplished?

Panelists talk at the University of Hartford about education and health care access disparities.
Lorraine Greenfield

All week, the University of Hartford hosted events marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs were designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “What can we do now?”

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Leveling the Playing Field on Education and Health Care

Leveling the Playing Field panel, University of Hartford
Lorraine Greenfield

All this week, the University of Hartford has hosted events marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The programs have been designed to encourage reflection on what was accomplished back then, as a way to ask ourselves, “what can we do now?”

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Sandy Hook
11:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Newtown Selectwoman Wants Study of Town Response

Newtown First Selectman Pat Llodra in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Newtown's first selectman is recommending the state conduct a full after-action study to find out what worked and what didn't in her town's response to the December 2012 school shooting. 

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Newtown
2:37 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Design After Disaster: a New Sandy Hook School

Courtyard Perspective - "The projected 506 students will be distributed between three classroom wings, two of which are 2-stories, which extend like fingers of an open hand on the site."
Svigals + Partners Architects

The New Haven based  Svigals + Partners Architects have the challenging job of rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 children and educators were murdered in December 2012. 

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Over-Testing
10:22 am
Tue September 9, 2014

Should Connecticut Students Spend Less Time Taking Tests?

Credit carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy wants to reduce the number of standardized tests taken by Connecticut students. In a letter to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, he offered a solution to cut down on all of the testing.

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Standardized Testing
12:38 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Malloy Looks to Reduce Time Connecticut Students Spend on Standardized Tests

Credit Alberto G. / Creative Commons

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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Education
10:16 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Plymouth School Superintendent Resigns Amid Spending Probe

Eleanor Cruz.
Credit Plymouth Public Schools

Plymouth officials have accepted the resignation of the town's school superintendent, and agreed to pay her $70,000 in severance, as she faces allegations of stealing public funds in her previous job leading Hebron schools. 

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Universal Pre-K
5:01 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Gentlemen, Preschool Is Calling

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 9:06 am

Glenn Peters knew he would be in the minority when he started training to teach preschool as part of New York City's rollout of universal pre-K, the largest such initiative in the country. But he didn't realize just how rare men are in the profession until he attended a resume-building workshop for aspiring pre-K teachers.

"They couldn't find the bathroom code for the men's bathroom, so I actually had to go to the women's room while someone stood guard outside the bathroom," Peters says. "I knew at that moment that I was a bit of a unicorn."

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Education
10:21 am
Tue September 2, 2014

In Wake of FUSE Scandal, Connecticut Charter Schools Face Greater Scrutiny

Jumoke Academy, which was managed by an organization called FUSE.
Helder Mira Creative Commons

As a new academic year gets underway, Connecticut’s charter schools face stronger scrutiny by the State Department of Education. New oversight policies will require charter schools to begin to operate more like traditional public schools.

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School Start
1:38 pm
Mon August 25, 2014

Pediatricians Say School Should Start Later For Teens' Health

About 40 percent of high schools start before 8 a.m., which contributes to chronic sleep deprivation among teens, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Chris Waits/Flickr

Originally published on Wed August 27, 2014 9:44 am

Many parents have pushed for a later start to the school day for teenagers, with limited success. But parents just got a boost from the nation's pediatricians, who say that making middle and high schoolers start classes before 8:30 a.m. threatens children's' health, safety and academic performance.

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WAMC News
11:04 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Federal Universial School Lunch Program Expands In Massachusetts

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 12:06 pm

A federally-funded universal free lunch program is being introduced this year in the public schools in Springfield, Massachusetts.

The Springfield Public Schools will receive $15.4 million to provide lunch daily at no charge to any student who wants it.  Springfield Superintendent of Schools Dan Warwick said the quality of the school lunches will improve with more vegetables and fruits on the menu.

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WAMC News
8:16 am
Sun August 24, 2014

Common Core Tests To Be Given In Majority Of Springfield Schools

Dan Warwick,Superintendent of Public Schools in Springfield, Massachusetts, addresses the 2014 convocation at Van Sickle Middle School.

Originally published on Fri August 22, 2014 6:16 pm

A new school year begins Monday in Springfield, Massachusetts where rising standardized test scores and a falling dropout rate are seen as signs of a turnaround in the struggling public school system. A new test, based on the Common Core educational standards, will be introduced in a majority of the city’s schools next year.

The scores of last year’s MCAS tests given to Springfield school students rose across the board at a higher rate than the gain recorded by school districts statewide, and the dropout rate has fallen  more than any other school system in the state.

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Higher Education
9:59 am
Thu August 21, 2014

UNH/Lyme Academy Merger to Offer Students New Forms Of Expression

Students at work at Lyme Academy of Fine Arts in Old Lyme.
Lyme Academy

University of New Haven President Steven Kaplan said the school’s recently announced merger with the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts will offer students from both institutions an opportunity to explore new forms of expression. 

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Back to School
7:16 am
Thu August 21, 2014

Notebooks And Pencils And Pens, Cha-Ching!

On the left, supplies on the back-to-school list for third-graders in Arlington, Texas; on the right, the items fifth-graders need in Palmer, Alaska.
LA Johnson NPR

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 9:12 am

Millions of families are heading to Target or Wal-Mart this month to make sure their kids have what they need for the first day of school. And, as many parents know, those glue sticks and gym clothes can really add up.

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Common Core
3:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:52 am

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

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Education
12:14 pm
Mon August 18, 2014

Connecticut Education Commissioner Will Step Down

Stefan Pryor in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's office announced on Monday that Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor will not serve a second term. "I have decided to conclude my tenure by the end of this Administration's term," Pryor said in a statement.

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Higher Education
10:50 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Visual and Performing Arts Center to Open Soon at WCSU in Danbury

A new School of Visual and Performing Arts will open at Western Connecticut State University in Danbury.
Western Connecticut State University

Western Connecticut State University in Danbury is home to the only School of Visual and Performing Arts in the Connecticut state university system. Its proximity to New York offers a chance to attract an impressive faculty. Later this month, WestConn will open a new Visual and Performing Arts Center.

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Equitable Opportunity
9:24 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Rich Kid, Poor Kid: For 30 Years, Baltimore Study Tracked Who Gets Ahead

A rooftop view of East Baltimore, 1979.
Elinor Cahn Courtesy of Elinor Cahn Photographs, The Photography Collections, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Originally published on Sun August 10, 2014 6:21 pm

Education is historically considered to be the thing that levels the playing field, capable of lifting up the less advantaged and improving their chances for success.

"Play by the rules, work hard, apply yourself and do well in school, and that will open doors for you," is how Karl Alexander, a Johns Hopkins University sociologist, puts it.

But a study published in June suggests that the things that really make the difference — between prison and college, success and failure, sometimes even life and death — are money and family.

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School Restraint and Seclusion
1:22 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Restraint and Seclusion, Legal in Public Schools

From the Connecticut Board of Education 2012-13 Annual Report on Restraint and Seclusion, this graph compares counts of recorded incidents between the past two years.
State of Connecticut Board of Education

A recent report by investigative news organization ProPublica exposes a controversial but legal practice in public schools. Students, often those with disabilities, can be restrained and secluded against their will. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades, with injuries far more common.

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