schools

rinkusen.com

Rinku Sen is an author, speaker and activist. She'll be in Connecticut next week to keynote a conference, talking about "The Structure of Race and Poverty: Implications for the Future of Young Children." She appeared on WNPR's Where We Live and spoke about institutional racism, and about her website Colorlines

Chion Wolf

If you listen to public radio, you know Frank Tavares. Colin McEnroe called him NPR’s Yoda, but you probably best know him as the voice of NPR.  He’s wrapping up his tenure as the voice that says, “This is NPR” after funding credits.  

Common Ground High School

Students, administrators and elected officials gathered at the Common Ground High School in New Haven Tuesday to break ground on a new, state-of-the-art facility. Joel Tolman, the charter school's director of development and community engagement, said the new building will house science, art, performance, and athletic spaces. It will also model sustainability with a solar array, geothermal system, and other materials aimed at reducing climate change. 

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!

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Bridgeport is scrapping plans to build a police training facility and shooting range across the street from an elementary school.

Mayor Bill Finch said the city will look into other locations. "After hearing such strong concerns from the parents," Finch said in a statement, "we have decided to seek alternate sites in the city for the indoor shooting range, and all potential new sites will be in non-residential areas away from school buildings."

In a referendum marked by a large turnout and an emphatic result, the people of Newtown, Conn., have voted to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school. Sandy Hook was the scene of a mass shooting last December, when 20 children and six staff members were killed.

Saturday's vote asked citizens to decide whether to take nearly $50 million in state money to fund the demolition of Sandy Hook and the planning and construction of a new school on essentially the same site.

robertelyov, creative commons

What I remember of middle school sex ed consists mostly of what the kids told me in the back of the bus (gasp!). When they split the boys and the girls up into groups at school, I was given a “starter kit.” It was a cardboard box full of scary and curious feminine hygiene products. I don’t know what the boys got.

Sujata Srinivasan

Thomas Edison said, “If we all did the things we are really capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves....” For kids in the Connecticut Invention Convention program, now poised to expand through corporate grants, becoming inventors and entrepreneurs seems to be all in a day’s work.

State Education Resource Center

The American Civil Liberties Union in Connecticut said it's concerned about the idea of single-sex classrooms as a way to address the state’s achievement gap.

Tomwsulcer / Wikimedia Commons

The effects of the federal shutdown have begun to ripple across Connecticut. In Bridgeport, 13 Head Start sites have been closed, leaving needy families scrambling.

Ryan Cassella / WNPR

The town of Greenwich is still coping with the tragic death of a teenager earlier this year. A Greenwich high school student took his own life just hours after the first day of school. A preliminary investigation pointed to bullying as having played a role in the suicide.

Each year, Marji Lipshez-Shapiro leads anti-bullying programs in about 200 Connecticut schools as the education director for the state Office of the Anti-Defamation League. Lipshez-Shapiro will be in Greenwich this week, joined by students from Greenwich High School, for conversation with parents on what they need to know about bullying, name-calling, and cyber-bullying.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

More Connecticut public school students took the SAT college entrance exams this year than last year. It was a more diverse group than ever, according to the State Department of Education.

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.

Los Angeles Unified School District started issuing iPads to its students this school year, as part of a $30 million deal with Apple. The rollout is in the first of three phases, and ultimately, the goal is to distribute more than 600,000 devices.

But less than a week after getting their iPads, almost 200 of the districts' high school students found a way to bypass software blocks on the devices that limit what websites the students can use.

The Connecticut Mirror

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments Tuesday in the case of Paul Vallas, the Superintendent of Bridgeport Schools. Vallas is disputing a lower court ruling that he is not qualified for his position. The case centers on a certification waiver that was issued to Paul Vallas when he took up his position as Bridgeport Superintendent. He didn't have the conventional qualifications, but the state's education turnaround efforts allow for people to be recruited from out of state to help failing school districts.

Manny Broussard / FEMA

It was a violent weekend in some parts of the world, and we're monitoring the situation at the Nairobi mall today along with the rest of the world as the situation unfolds. In Connecticut, steady habits are keeping some of our attention in court, where Bridgeport Superintendent Paul Vallas and East Haven police officers are busy today to kick off this first week of fall. Meanwhile, others in Middlebury were involved in some very unsteady habits. Read all about it in today's Wheelhouse Digest.

Earlier this week, a school in Hartford, Conn., made headlines after parents complained about its, uh, novel approach at making America's racial history resonate with seventh graders.

Flickr Creative Commons, Rainbow Lyf

Infinity is weird. It's neither even nor odd. It's not a number. Really, it's just a concept we use to summarize that which we can't understand.

Christine Stuart / CT News Junkie

Governor Dannel Malloy announced today that 169 Connecticut schools will share $5 million in grants to upgrade school security infrastructure. The governor promised more grant money is on the way.

The competitive grants were part of the Gun Violence Prevention and Safety Act. The $5 million of state bond money will go to school districts that plan to upgrade or already upgraded their security infrastructure in the wake of the Sandy Hook tragedy.

Manny Broussard / FEMA

As the fall leaves begin to turn in Connecticut, we're thinking today at The Wheelhouse Digest about a few other things turning a corner as well. Efforts toward school reform in Bridgeport were pushed back last week. A former Latin Kings member in New Haven found a way to transform herself and her work. And everything will be turning up jobs if we just borrow some more, according to a new report. Here's a taste of the news you need to know now.

Connecticut Commission on Educational Achievement

A new report from the Connecticut Council for Education Reform praises Connecticut's efforts to overhaul its public education system, but warns more needs to be done to close the state's achievement gap between low-income students and wealthier students. The statewide nonprofit organization, made up of business and civic leaders, released the report Tuesday.

A school district in Southern California has hired a private firm to comb through the cyber lives of its 14,000 middle- and high-school students, looking for signs of trouble.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the Glendale Unified School District is spending $40,000 to have the firm monitor social media use among the district's students. School officials want to know if the kids are posting suicidal thoughts, obscenities or comments intended to bully fellow students.

Mark Pazniokas / The Connecticut Mirror

The week started off pretty rough with yesterday's news of a horrific shooting at the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. Here's a dose of daily news you need to know now that does not involve violence... maybe just a little mud in the eye. 

Dayl Walker / CBIA

A school in a remote village in Nepal is getting electricity, thanks to a group of Hartford High School students, the Associated Press reports. Fourteen students in the school's academy of Engineering and Green Technology designed and built a wind-powered turbine for a school in Saldang, which is in Nepal's Dolpa region, surrounded by the Himalayan mountains.

The school in Nepal has no power and is accessible only by yak. During the winter months when the region is covered with snow, it is not accessible at all.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A Hartford judge will hear arguments this morning in a landmark education lawsuit that challenges the way Connecticut funds its public schools.

The state attorney general’s office wants the judge to dismiss the case, which was brought in 2005 by the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding.

CCJEF is a statewide coalition of municipalities, local boards of education, unions, and education advocates who say the way the state finances local public schools denies many students their constitutional right to an equitable and adequate education.

Courtesy of Flickr CC by ccarlstead

In 2008, 4,000 students were arrested in school. A new report from Connecticut Voices For Children finds that by 2011, the arrest rate had declined by 13.5 percent.

That's good news, according to report author Sarah Esty, but problems remain, such as schools that arrest kids for minor things, like using a cell phone, or missing class. CT Voices recommends state education officials and the legislature actually define "student arrest" to avoid circumstances that don't warrant hand-cuffing a kid.

Ralph Hockens/flickr creative commons

Happy New Year! It's Rosh Hashanah. The new television season is upon us. And… school's back in session.

Students, teachers, parents: How was your first day of school? What qualities and experiences made the start of school feel like the year might be exciting? What are your best tips and tricks for navigating that transition from the freedom of summer to the day-in-day-out of school?

A Greenwich High School student committed suicide this week, just hours after his first day of classes. A preliminary investigation revealed that 15-year old Bart Palosz died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.  

Greenwich Police Lieutenant Craig Gray told WTNH that Palosz used a weapon that was stored inside a gun locker at his home. "The firearm was a family firearm, and it had been secured inside a gun safe," said Gray.

The Connecticut Mirror

School is back in session in Connecticut, and we all know what that means. More school buses, which means more traffic, which might mean more time in a car. And that gives you more time to listen to WNPR on the radio. But while we have you online, check out some of the latest stories we've been keeping an eye on... This is The Wheelhouse Digest.

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