schools

Student Success
10:31 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Interagency Council Looks at Chronic Absenteeism and the Achievement Gap

Students eligible for free lunch are three times as likely as their peers who are not eligible for lunch subsidies to be chronically absent.
Connecticut State Department of Education

The Interagency Council for Ending the Achievement Gap met Thursday in Hartford. The focus of the discussion was chronically absent students. It's a simple equation: a student can't learn if they are not in school. 

The State Department of Educations's Ajit Gopalakrishnan presented some pretty dramatic statistics Thursday to prove that point. "If a child eligible for free lunch was chronically absent in ninth grade," he said, "37.8 percent of them actually got to the finish line, with graduation in four years."

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:46 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Can The Humanities Be Saved?

Credit Wikimedia Commons

This show originally aired on July 2nd, 2013. When considering what show we wanted to re-run, we found this recent article from the New York Times, As Interest Fades in the Humanities, Colleges Worry. The debate is still being discussed and on this show, it gets heated!

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Cheating
8:49 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Investigators Confirm Test Tampering at Hartford School

Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

An investigation has confirmed test tampering at a Hartford elementary school. In a report submitted this week to state education officials by an outside law firm, investigators concluded there were irregularities in more than two dozen Connecticut Mastery Tests at the Early Reading Lab at Betances Elementary School. The report was obtained by The Hartford Courant.

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School Reform
11:16 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Election Shifts Bridgeport School Board

Bridgeport Schools Superintendent Paul Vallas.
Credit The Connecticut Mirror

In this week’s election, the small Working Families Party won coalition control of Bridgeport’s Board of Education. The nine-member school board will now have a five-member voting bloc that opposes School Superintendent Paul Vallas and his education reform efforts.

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Election Day
1:33 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

New Haven Voters to Decide Makeup of School Board

Toni Harp and Justin Elicker during a mayoral debate this campaign season.
Credit Melissa Bailey / New Haven Independent

New Haven residents will decide today who will be the city’s next mayor. State Senator Toni Harp is facing Alderman Justin Elicker. The winner will replace the retiring Mayor John DeStefano, who served 20 years in office.

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Where We Live
10:04 am
Mon November 4, 2013

What Do You Mean, Coding?

Code education is being pushed by politicians, CEOs and basketball stars alike.
Credit Ben Simo / Creative Commons

Our schools teach a variety of foreign languages: Spanish, French, even Latin. But should we be focusing on the language of computer programming? Even NBA star Chris Bosh is asking everyone from young kids to the homeless to learn to code. Why aren’t we teaching it more? It seems like President Obama needs an army of coders to fix the glitchy HealthCare.gov website.

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Insurance scandal
1:23 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Hartford Releases More Detail From Federal Subpoena

Credit Jeff Cohen / WNPR

The City of Hartford has released more information about the federal investigation into alleged corruption at city hall. Specifically, the subpoena confirms that the federal grand jury is looking into the relationship between the city and Hybrid Insurance Group. 

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Newtown
4:06 pm
Tue October 29, 2013

State Says No Drugs or Alcohol in Adam Lanza's Body

Credit Jeremy L. Grisham /

The gunman who killed 20 children and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School last year had no drugs or alcohol in his system, according to a statement from the chief state medical examiner. 

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Tue October 29, 2013

Campus Sexual Assault, Focus on UConn

Jacqueline Rabe-Thomas
Chion Wolf

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.”

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America Can't Say No
10:29 am
Sun October 27, 2013

Model U.N.: Choose Your Country Wisely

The United Nations in New York City.
Credit Duesentrieb / Creative Commons

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.

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Sandy Hook
6:26 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Newtown Residents Demolish A School, And Violent Memories

In June, people gathered in Newtown, Conn., to remember the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Spencer Platt Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 25, 2013 9:55 am

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.

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Fri October 25, 2013

Youth Civic Engagement and Model United Nations

Alexandra Buda
Chion Wolf

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. 

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Student Loans
4:12 pm
Thu October 24, 2013

Student Loans in Connecticut Prompt High Complaint Rate

Trinity College in Hartford. ConnPIRG found that Connecticut registered the third-highest complaint rate in the nation for student loans.
Credit Paul Keleher / Creative Commons

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. 

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Code Switch
11:50 am
Wed October 23, 2013

It Takes A Classroom To Learn The Family Language

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.

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Mental Health
8:06 am
Tue October 22, 2013

Malloy Announces Initiatives Aimed at Children and Teens

Governor Malloy announced a Safe Schools/Healthy Students award to encourage school districts to decrease youth violence while promoting healthy child development.
Credit Office of Governor Dannel Malloy

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. 

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Nevada Shooting
12:54 pm
Mon October 21, 2013

2 Dead, 2 Wounded In Nevada School Shooting

A Sparks Middle School student cries after Monday's shooting in Sparks, Nev.
Kevin Clifford AP

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.

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Race and Poverty
3:34 pm
Thu October 17, 2013

Rinku Sen: Let's Call It an Opportunity Gap

Credit 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

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Where We Live
12:00 am
Thu October 17, 2013

NPR's Frank Tavares, and Rinku Sen on Race

Frank Tavares
Credit 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.  

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New Haven
1:09 pm
Tue October 15, 2013

Expansion Begins at Common Ground

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.
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. 

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Where We Live
10:00 am
Tue October 15, 2013

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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Government Shutdown
8:55 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Stalled Efforts in the Race to the Top

State Representative Andy Fleischmann, who chairs Connecticut's Education Committee.
Credit 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.

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Guns in Bridgeport
9:30 am
Thu October 10, 2013

Proposed Shooting Range Near School is Cancelled

Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch speaking on WNPR&apos;s <em>Where We Live</em> in February, 2013.
Credit 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."

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Newtown
10:36 am
Sun October 6, 2013

The Votes Are In: Sandy Hook Elementary Will Be Torn Down

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.
Craig Hoekenga AP

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.

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Sex Education
4:28 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Should Pleasure Be Taught as Part of Sex Ed?

Credit 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.

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Start 'em young
10:50 am
Fri October 4, 2013

Connecticut Invention Convention Expands to Create Next Gen Innovators

Mallory Kievman, 10th grade, Loomis Chaffee, invented a lollipop that she says will cure hiccups.
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.

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Gender
11:20 am
Thu October 3, 2013

ACLU On Single-Sex Education In Connecticut

Credit 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.

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Government Shutdown
8:08 am
Thu October 3, 2013

Head Start Program in Bridgeport Forced To Close

Credit 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.

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Greenwich
11:26 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Learning How To Stop Bullying

Marji Lipshez-Shapiro.
Credit 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.

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Testing
9:48 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Rise in Connecticut Public School Students Who Took the SAT

Credit 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.

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School Reform
3:04 am
Fri September 27, 2013

Diane Ravitch Rebukes Education Activists' 'Reign Of Error'

Yunus Arakon iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 8:11 am

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.

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