schools

School Reform
1:50 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

East Lyme Superintendent: Mere Slowdown of Education Reform Is Not Enough

Credit carlosbezz/iStock / Thinkstock

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. 

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Where We Live
9:16 am
Tue February 25, 2014

A Conversation About Minimum Wage, Education, and Civil Rights

United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez speaking at the AFL-CIO Convention in 2013.
Credit US Department of Labor / Creative Commons

On Monday, United States Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez came to Connecticut to discuss minimum wage increases with local business leaders, workers, and politicians. During his trip, he called us to talk about how states like Connecticut are handling a higher minimum wage. What effect could this have on employment in the United States? 

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Chemicals At School
8:45 am
Tue February 25, 2014

Is Connecticut's Pesticide Ban on School Grounds Too Restrictive?

Legislators are considering adding an exception to Connecticut's 2010 ban on pesticide use at schools.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / Valley_Photographs

Legislators are considering a change to a statewide ban of pesticide use on school grounds. It's the first of several proposed challenges to a law that's been in effect since 2010.

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WNPR Event
1:17 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Calling All Connecticut Teachers! Evening Panel Discussion With WNPR

In the era of standardized testing and new evaluations, what's it like to be a teacher today?
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Here's the problem with covering education issues on Where We Live: We broadcast live at 9:00 am on weekdays. If you're a middle school or high school teacher, you might know that time as second or third period.

Our discussions on education frequently lack one key voice: teachers. On February 25, we fix that. Join us for an evening panel discussion in WNPR's building. 

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Universal Pre-K
2:01 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Malloy's Pre-K Plan Targets "Most Vulnerable" Children

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood, speaking on Where We Live.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Malloy’s latest early childhood education proposal centers on universal access to pre-kindergarten. The phase-in plan would offer seats to 1,000 three- and four-year-olds for fiscal year 2015, and would expand to serve 4,000 additional children by 2019. 

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Where We Live
8:53 am
Tue February 18, 2014

Pre-K and Right-to-Die Bills Face the Legislature in 2014

Myra Jones-Taylor, executive director of Connecticut's Office of Early Childhood.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy's agenda includes universal access to pre-kindergarten. But in New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio is proposing universal pre-kindergarten.

What's the difference?

This hour, we ask the executive director of the Office of Early Childhood, who is working on this issue.

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Education
1:37 pm
Sun February 16, 2014

States Want Kids To Learn A Lot — Maybe Too Much

A fifth-grade student uses her cursive skills at a school in Baltimore. The Indiana Senate recently passed a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing as an educational standard.
Lloyd Fox MCT/Landov

Jean Leising admits she's no expert on brain development, but she still hopes to do something about the way kids learn.

Leising serves in the Indiana state Senate. Last month, she convinced her Senate colleagues to pass a bill that would restore instruction of cursive writing to the state's educational standards — the set of skills and knowledge kids are expected to master in each grade level.

Even in the email age, teaching cursive might be a great thing. But when legislatures impose mandates on instruction, professional educators get nervous.

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District Transition
5:29 pm
Thu February 13, 2014

Kishimoto, Hartford's Reform Superintendent, Gets Another Job

Christina Kishimoto
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Last year, Hartford's board of education decided against renewing the contract of Superintendent Christina Kishimoto beyond this coming June. Now, Kishimoto, a reformer who took the job after Steven Adamowski, is leaving.

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Sandy Hook
8:08 am
Wed February 12, 2014

Keyword Searches for Newtown Commission Open Window Into Process

Credit State of Connecticut

The governor's Sandy Hook Advisory Commission is continuing its work. As it does, the law firm that advises it has done a lot of legwork itself, making a searchable database out of the thousands of pages of the Connecticut State Police Newtown investigation.  

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Connecticut First
5:15 pm
Mon February 10, 2014

Malloy Touts Universal Pre-K; More Autistic Students in Seclusion

Near the end of his State of the State address last week, Governor Dannel Malloy discussed his propsosal for universal preschool by expanding state-supported early childhood education spaces by 4,000 over the next five years. The plan is already garnering nationwide attention. Malloy said the initiative would be a first in Connecticut history.

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Free Education
8:30 am
Mon February 10, 2014

Tennessee Weighs The Cost Of A Free College Education

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam delivers his State of the State address to a joint session of the General Assembly on Monday in Nashville, Tenn. In the speech, he proposed spending the state's lottery money on free community college education for those in need.
Mark Zaleski AP

Originally published on Tue February 11, 2014 11:45 am

Pretty soon, going to community college in Tennessee may become absolutely free. Republican Gov. Bill Haslam unveiled the proposal in his annual State of the State address this week.

Haslam is trying to lift Tennessee's ranking as one of the least-educated states. Less than a third of residents have even a two-year degree. But a community college free-for-all has been tried elsewhere, though not sustained, and there's always a nagging question.

"So I know you're wondering," Haslam said. "How do we pay for this?"

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Where We Live
9:08 am
Wed February 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse Plows Ahead

Credit SergeyVButorin/iStock / Thinkstock

Governor Malloy was supposed to give his State of the State address on Wednesday, but the snow pushed it back to Thursday at noon. Ah, yes… it’s still winter. Storm today, more snow predicted this weekend. We hope you’re home snuggled in.

As a matter of fact, this hour on The Wheelhouse, our weekly news roundtable, we need your help. Sure, we’ll talk about politics: priorities for the legislative session, education reform, and a new plan to raise the minimum wage. But we also want to hear from you: are you snowed in? Going to work, or not?

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Common Core
4:21 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Federal Officials Allow for Delayed Testing Requirements in Connecticut

Connecticut Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Federal education officials have granted Connecticut’s request to delay standardized testing requirements connected to the Common Core State Standards. That will allow some breathing room for teachers before new evaluations connected to the tests begin. 

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Higher Education
9:13 am
Tue February 4, 2014

New Haven Promise Reaches Out to Younger Children in Effort to Build a College-Going Culture

Student Arianna Taft with Patricia Melton, executive director of New Haven Promise.
Credit Diane Orson / WNPR

A recently-released report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office found that as college tuition costs soared between 2007 and 2012, demand for federal student loans increased more than 300 percent.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue February 4, 2014

Evaluating Common Core

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor
Chion Wolf WNPR

After mounting complaints from teachers, officials recently announced the state plans to delay the implementation of teacher evaluations. Meanwhile, other lawmakers are calling for a re-examination of the Common Core standards. Two years after Connecticut approved sweeping education legislation, we'll check-in on the implementation and receive an update on Common Core in the state. 

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Weather
2:51 pm
Fri January 31, 2014

It's True: Snowiest Places Are Least Likely To Close Schools

Dark blue: It's going to take a foot or more of snow to close schools. Green: Any snow's going to shut things down.
reddit.com/user/atrubetskoy

Originally published on Fri January 31, 2014 8:48 pm

We all probably sort of knew this already, but a new map seems to show quite clearly that it doesn't take much snow to close schools in the Southern U.S. — and that it takes a lot to close them in the Northern half of the nation.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:57 am
Thu January 30, 2014

Adjuncts in Academia

Credit Brett Jordan / Creative Commons

Imagine a day without adjunct faculty. Many colleges and universities would effectively shut down.  Somewhere between 70-75% of the academic workforce in higher education is not tenured or on track for tenure. Most of those people fall into the category of adjunct. 

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Schooling Athletes
3:29 am
Thu January 30, 2014

High Schoolers Hit The Slopes, And The Books, At Team Academy

Elite athletes at Team Academy keep up their education in classrooms like this one; their training facilities are downstairs in the same building.
Sarah Brunson USSA

Originally published on Thu January 30, 2014 10:41 am

Freestyle aerial skier Mac Bohonnon recently finished second at the Val St. Come World Cup in Quebec, and that helped him qualify for the Olympics in Sochi. But when he's not doing triple-twisting double backflips, he's taking Advanced Placement classes at Team Academy in Park City, Utah.

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College Textbooks
8:48 am
Wed January 29, 2014

A New Study Looks at the High Cost of College Textbooks

Credit Jupiterimages/Stockbyte / Thinkstock

The price of college textbooks has increased 82 percent over the past decade, according to a new study that looks at alternatives to the traditional college textbook.

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Special Education
9:18 am
Mon January 27, 2014

Bridgeport Failed to Identify Students in Need of Special Education

Credit mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

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Legislative Session
10:33 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Malloy Announces Proposal for More School Security Funding

Governor Dannel Malloy at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Thursday.
Credit Office of Governor Malloy

Governor Dannel Malloy announced on Thursday that his budget will include more money to improve school security across the state. Last year, over 600 schools got state funding. 

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Connecticut First
7:34 pm
Thu January 23, 2014

Malloy Touts School Safety; Names New DEEP Commissioner

Governor Dannel Malloy was joined by school officials and lawmakers at Wilbur Cross High School in New Haven on Thursday to announce a plan to expand the school security grant program as part of his legislative agenda for 2014.The governor’s budget proposal will include a $10 million plan to expand the program.

Malloy Names New DEEP Commissioner

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School Funding
3:49 pm
Tue January 21, 2014

Landmark Lawsuit Moves Forward That May Affect Public Education Funding

Credit Gloda/iStock / Thinkstock

A Hartford Superior Court judge has denied a request by the state to delay the start of a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools. The attorney general’s office had filed motions aimed at postponing the start of the trial until October 2015. Now, the case is set to begin later this year. 

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Foster Children
11:44 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Forum Focuses on Challenges for Youth In State Care

Jaquan Harris of the DCF Youth Advisory Panel.
Credit CT-N

Connecticut Voices for Children held a forum on Thursday called, "Raising the Grade: Improving Educational Opportunities for Youth in State Care." State lawmakers, child advocates, and community leaders gathered at the capitol to hear sometimes emotional testimony from members of the DCF Youth advisory panel, teenagers who have been in the care of the state for most of their lives.

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Obesity
3:37 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Cash Or Credit? How Kids Pay For School Lunch Matters For Health

Lunch at the West Salem School District in Wisconsin.
Michelle Kloser for NPR

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 1:39 pm

American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the most recent studies. In fact, the closest thing we have to good news about childhood obesity is that kids are not gaining weight as rapidly as they were some years ago.

Researchers may have identified one surprising new factor in why kids are overeating.

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Where We Live
8:16 am
Thu January 16, 2014

Mean Girls... and Boys

Credit Noah Strycker/iStock / Thinkstock

Rosalind Wiseman's book, Queen Bees and Wannabes, became a bestseller and was inspiration for the popular movie "Mean Girls." While the movie was hilarious and painful to watch, the book took a more serious look at new ways to understand girls’ social dynamics. 

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New Mexico
12:53 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Two Students Wounded, 12-Year-Old Captured After School Shooting

Originally published on Tue January 14, 2014 11:01 pm

This post was updated at 11 p.m. ET.

A 12-year-old student opened fire Tuesday at a middle school in Roswell, N.M., wounding two fellow students. The shooter, who was armed with a shotgun, was arrested.

The Associated Press reports:

"A boy was critically injured and a girl was in satisfactory condition following the shooting at Berrendo Middle School in Roswell.

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Wake of Newtown
3:17 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

Sandy Hook Commission Speaking With Representative of Lanza's Family

Scott Jackson, Mayor of Hamden, is chair of the Sandy Hook Advisory Commission.
Credit CT-N

The head of the governor's commission studying the Newtown shootings said he is direct contact with the family of gunman Adam Lanza. 

The commission that met Friday is hoping to learn more about Lanza's medical history.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri January 10, 2014

First College Student in the Family

John Walker Flickr Creative Commons

The transition from high school to college is tough for anyone. But if you’re the first in your family to go to school, you’re a trailblazer and have a whole other set of challenges. From knowledge of the college application process, to financial aid, to campus life, there are more hurdles to get past when you’re the first to go through it.

On this episode of Where We Live we’re joined by a panel of first-generation college students, both past and present to share their stories. Are you a first-generation college student? We want to hear your story!

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Inequality
5:09 am
Sun December 29, 2013

Closing The 'Word Gap' Between Rich And Poor

In Virginia this summer, Arlington Public Schools transported students in poor neighborhoods to community libraries for group readings. Studies say children from low-income families may hear roughly 30 million fewer words by age 3 than their more affluent peers.
Bill O'Leary The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sun December 29, 2013 11:12 am

In the early 1990s, a team of researchers decided to follow about 40 volunteer families — some poor, some middle class, some rich — during the first three years of their new children's lives. Every month, the researchers recorded an hour of sound from the families' homes. Later in the lab, the team listened back and painstakingly tallied up the total number of words spoken in each household.

What they found came to be known as the "word gap."

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