This hour, we talk about sexual assault on college campuses, following the federal discrimination complaint against UConn. Seven students are alleging that the school failed to protect them. President Susan Herbst responded, saying “The suggestion that the University of Connecticut, as an institution, would somehow be indifferent to or dismissive of any report of sexual assault is astonishingly misguided and demonstrably untrue.”
Full disclosure: I was in my high school's Model United Nations club for two years, representing the countries of Bosnia-Herzegovina and Sudan.
There's something innately human about wanting to play pretend. It's one reason why people read, watch movies, and play videogames. At its core, that's what Model U.N. is: pretend. When you get a group of several hundred, highly passionate high school students (dare I say geeks?), blood boils, friendships are broken, and sanctions are imposed. But gosh darn it...it's fun.
Demolition has begun at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 students and six adults last December. Bricks will be pulverized, steel melted down and a new school built at the same location.
Allison Hornak attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a kid. After college, she returned home to Newtown, Conn., and opened an art gallery that's within walking distance of where the mass killing took place.
Hornak says she has a lot of fond memories of Sandy Hook — like a teacher who let her chew gum in class, and the pathways through the school.
In a time when some say youth civic engagement is declining dramatically, there are programs that exist to teach students effective deliberation, debate, and discourse. This November, high school students from across the state will flock to UConn to debate current and pressing foreign policy issues, in a simulation of the United Nations.
Connecticut borrowers with private student loans have one of the highest complaint rates in the nation. The figures have been compiled by consumer rights group ConnPIRG, from the database of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
Originally published on Wed October 23, 2013 4:32 pm
Call it a linguistic identity crisis.
Growing up in Westchester, N.Y., 25-year-old Danielle Alvarez says, she and her two siblings didn't have much need for Spanish. With few other Hispanic families around, she got by with the few phrases she had picked up from her Mexican-born father: good night, put a coat on, be careful.
Governor Malloy announced three new initiatives that will make it easier for families to access mental health services, and to provide better identification and intervention for children and teens with mental health issues.
Originally published on Mon October 21, 2013 7:05 pm
A staff member at a Nevada middle school was fatally shot by a student, who was also killed, apparently by a self-inflicted wound. Two other students, both 12-years-old — were wounded but are now in stable condition, law enforcement says.
The shooting occurred on the campus of Sparks Middle School in Sparks, Nev., a suburb of Reno on Monday before the start of classes.
A witness reports seeing the staff member who was killed trying to persuade the shooter to give up the gun.
The wounded students were being treated at a local hospital, officials said.
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.
A groundbreaking Tuesday marked an expansion at Common Ground High School in New Haven. From left, Frank Mitchell, board chair; student Mettao Feliz; State Rep. Toni Walker; William Curran, donor; Melissa Spear, executive director; and Stefan Pryor.
Credit Common Ground High School
Students and others looked on as the groundbreaking took place.
Credit Common Ground High School
An audience listened to speakers on the occasion of the groundbreaking. At front is Stephen Kellert, professor emeritus at the Yale School of Forestry.
Credit Common Ground High School
Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor listened to speakers alongside State Rep. Toni Walker.
Credit Common Ground High School
A model of the new building shows additions to the campus, including two science labs, an art studio, and a community gathering and performance space.
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.
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!
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.
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."
Voters in Newtown, Conn., have approved a plan to use nearly $50 million in state funds to demolish Sandy Hook Elementary and build a new school in its place. This photo provided by Craig Hoekenga shows his son Trey, a kindergarten student at Sandy Hook, on the school bus this year. The window has a quote from the late principal, Dawn Hochsprung, who was killed in last December's mass shooting.
Originally published on Sun October 6, 2013 2:23 pm
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Customers test out iPad minis on display in Los Angeles. Students who received free iPads from the Los Angeles Unified School District in a deal with Apple are finding ways to use them for more than just classwork.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.