schools

Chion Wolf / WNPR

This week, the governor of Indiana signed a bill that would repeal the implementation of the Common Core educational standards. Although there are widespread concerns about Common Core in Connecticut, state officials continue to move ahead, but at a slower pace than originally intended.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

The Small Things

A Connecticut-based non-profit has received a major grant to start construction on a village for orphaned children in Tanzania. The Small Things, based in East Haven and Africa, partners with the Nkoaranga Orphanage, which cares for youngsters from birth to five years old.

When they age out of the orphanage, some kids are able to move in with family members or live in foster homes, but most are sent away to boarding schools.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Key deadlines are coming up for some proposed legislation at the state capitol and some have already passed. On our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse, we talk about what bills may or may not make it out of committee.

We also discuss the role of money in this year’s statewide elections. Common Core remains in the national headlines, with Indiana actually dropping the standards.

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This fall, community college students in Connecticut who take remedial classes will be part of a large and, some say, much-needed experiment.

Metro-North has finished upgrading its signal system. That means trains approaching five moveable bridges and two critical curves on the New Haven Line will automatically stop when engineers fail to slow down. The emergency stop provisions were put in place at two curves-- one in Bridgeport, the other in Port Chester, New York. The Federal Railroad Administration issued the order in December after a deadly train derailment in The Bronx.

President Barack Obama will deliver the commencement address at a Massachusetts high school in June.

Alan Yu / WNPR

A corner of a Hartford's Elizabeth Park became a construction site last weekend, but this wasn't just any ordinary project.

Even on a chilly day in March, hundreds of people came to watch. The organizers hope the community will continue to feel a strong connection to the playground that was built.

A group called the Sandy Ground Project is building 26 playgrounds as living memorials to the children who died in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012. 

Alex Proimos / Wikimedia Commons

Mark Oppenheimer writes about religion and a whole bunch of other things. Today, he'll be talking about the difficulty Orthodox Jewish women face in obtaining a certain form of cooperation from their husbands and how that difficulty spawned a black market in coercion and violence.

It's become the new buzz phrase in education: "Got grit?"

Around the nation, schools are beginning to see grit as key to students' success — and just as important to teach as reading and math.

Experts define grit as persistence, determination and resilience; it's that je ne sais quoi that drives one kid to practice trumpet or study Spanish for hours — or years — on end, while another quits after the first setback.

Chion Wolf/WNPR

On Thursday morning, the Board of Regents governing Connecticut state colleges unanimously passed a sexual assault policy which would, among other things, require campuses to give victims detailed descriptions of what they can do. 

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Despite complaints from teachers across Connecticut about the rollout of new education standards and guidelines, education officials are urging state lawmakers to oppose efforts to stop it.

An explosion tore through an area of Manhattan's East Harlem neighborhood early on Wednesday, collapsing two buildings. There were fatalities reported and dozens injured. All Metro-North service was suspended as all Metro-North trains in and out of New York City use the rail lines adjacent to the blast zone.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new law proposes making drug enforcement zones around schools smaller. It's a measure aimed at giving teeth to a law that's been on the books since 1987.

Currently, if you're convicted of possessing or selling drugs within 1500 feet of a school, you're subject to mandatory jail terms. But in urban areas, especially, that 1500-foot area encompasses vast areas of residential space.

rob.wall / Creative Commons

After the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, something changed at many schools in Connecticut. Armed guards started appearing in places they hadn’t before: in elementary and middle schools. Districts have struggled with the questions of whether this kind of increased security is worth the cost, and whether it provides the kind of school environment they want.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Why do teachers want to teach? In the era of education reform, teacher evaluations, and standardized testing, it's a question that some teachers are asking themselves.

Last week, WNPR's Where We Live hosted an evening panel discussion with teachers from across the state in order to accommodate their schedules which don't line up with a live morning call-in show. 

We invited educators to join us in the audience, and there was a general sentiment of openness to new evaluation methods, and ways of measuring performance. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Our teacher panel welcomed educators from across the state. We broadcasted live from the CPBN Learning Lab, the home of the Journalism and Media Academy Magnet High School Satellite Campus and the Institute for Advanced Media.

Are you a teacher? Why did you decide to enter this profession and what keeps you going back to school every day? Find our tweets from the discussion at #WhereWeTeach, and watch our video of the event below.

CT-N

An informational forum took place on Friday at the State Capitol focusing on Connecticut's controversial Common Core standards. Introducing the event, State Sen. Andrea Stillman described the forum as "a chance to see, hear, and digest information."

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor told lawmakers that the state wants to be flexible with its approach to reform, knowing that local districts are struggling to make sweeping changes while also revising the way teachers are evaluated. 

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. 

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? 

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.

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. 

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. 

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.

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.

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.

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.  

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.

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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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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