teachers

alamosbasement / Creative Commons

School starts next week, and soon kids will begin trickling into classrooms across Connecticut. They’ll sit down behind desks in classrooms and study English, science, math, history -- and then maybe a bit of Spanish, or French, or even Chinese.

Chion Wolf

A Central Connecticut State University professor is suspended after the latest in a string of arrests. Ravi Shankar, a poetry professor, was arrested for third-degree larceny after attempting to return unpaid merchandise for store credit at a Middletown Home Depot.

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

Lawmakers gathered in Hartford on Monday for a poorly-attended veto session.

Republicans in the House of Representatives resurrected a bill that would have required the Commissioner of the State Department of Education to have a strong background in teaching.

Head Start of Norther Fairfield County

About two dozen kids bounced around the classroom, drawing on dry erase boards, tapping on iPads, and building castles made of Play-Doh. Teacher Geneka Vickers hovered over a sink filled with blue water, the remnants of some learning activity.

Jesse Lewis Choose Love Foundation, Scarlett Lewis

A woman whose young son was killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting and Sen. Richard Blumenthal are cheering passage in the U.S. Senate of legislation that would boost training of teachers in social and emotional learning.

ShellVacationsHospitality / Flickr Creative Commons

In the United States, men named John, James, Robert, and William hold more corporate board seats than women hold altogether. It’s a pretty striking reality, which begs the question: Why aren’t there more women in corporate America? 

Matthew Hester / Creative Commons

As public school enrollment continues to fall in over 70 percent of Connecticut towns, expenses have actually gone up. In fact, of all the states that have declining enrollment, Connecticut’s school spending has increased the most.

PATH Academy Windham

Teachers at Path Academy Windham are now represented by the American Federation of Teachers, the state’s second-largest teachers union. Last week, the teachers signed a two-year agreement with the school and its management organization, a Hartford-based group called Our Piece of the Pie, one of many organizations that run charter schools in Connecticut.

Office of Dannel Malloy

The state’s new education commissioner said that about half of all Connecticut school districts have been trained to handle behavior problems in a new way.

ShellVacationsHospitality / Creative Commons

In the United States, men named John, James, Robert, and William hold more corporate board seats than women hold altogether. It’s a pretty striking reality, which begs the question: Why aren’t there more women in corporate America? 

Stamford Advocate/Lindsay Perry

  One person has been convicted. Two people face criminal charges, and another three might be losing their jobs. All this happened after the school district in Stamford fumbled an investigation into allegations that a teacher was having sex with one of her students.

Hartford Public Schools

  Principal Julie Goldstein huddled with her staff, anxiously waiting to hear if her school had won. Holding her breath, the announcement was made.

It was confirmed. Breakthrough Magnet School in Hartford was named the best in the country by the Magnet Schools of America. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Advocates for the rights of children met in Hartford to talk about how to reduce the number of students being restrained or secluded in school. Part of the solution involves training educators on alternative ways to handle behavior problems.

Roughly half of the state’s school districts have been trained in what’s called positive behavior interventions and supports, or PIBS. It’s a program designed to limit restraints and seclusions of students with disabilities. Many of these kids have autism, and these incidents often lead to injuries.

Jeff Millsteen / Flickr Creative Commons

Detentions, suspensions, and expulsions: these are the time-honored  and well-worn enforcements of many a scorned teacher. Even student arrests are not uncommon in some troubled school districts. The practice of addressing bad behavior in the classroom with an even worse punishment has long been the norm.

Alex / Creative Commons

Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal is seeking to amend a federal education bill and set aside funding to train teachers in social and emotional learning. 

AFT Connecticut

Twenty-eight Connecticut magnet schools were honored as some of the best in the country. Ten schools were named "schools of excellence," which is the highest award given by the Magnet Schools of America organization.

Connecticut has the highest number of award-winning magnet schools per capita compared to any other state.

a5er el3angood / Flickr Creative Commons

Cheating can be found everywhere these days. Whether in school, sports, business, politics or taxes, cheating it seems, is as much a part of our culture as baseball or apple pie. But it's not just in our culture that cheating abounds. Around the world, the practice appears to be reaching epidemic levels.

Wilfredo Rivera / CPBN Learning Lab

If you walk into one of James Flynn's social studies classes at Platt High School in Meriden, you might be shocked at what you see. Kids on smart phones, tablets, laptops. They're on Twitter, Instagram, posting messages on a Facebook-like program called Edmodo.

But, oddly enough, most of them are not distracted. Students at Platt use social media as part of their curriculum. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy is set to interview three candidates for the position of Connecticut's education commissioner. 

Odane Campbell / CPBN Learning Lab JMA Satellite Campus

Last year, we hosted our first “Where We Teach” panel. It was built out of a very practical need: we have a daily talk show that airs at 9:00 am, and often discuss education issues. But a core group of people aren’t available to talk at 9:00 am - teachers.

So, we wanted to bring together a panel and audience of teachers to talk about the challenges and struggles, as well as the achievements and victories that they deal with everyday. It’s a chance for us to ask one simple question: What’s it like to be a teacher today?

Odane Campbell / CPBN Learning Lab JMA Satellite Campus

Join us for a discussion about what works in elementary education and how to make it better. WNPR's John Dankosky led a conversation with a panel of teachers. 

Vancouver Film School / Creative Commons

Should all Connecticut teachers get more special education training? 

The idea has been put on the table by a group of educators, lawmakers and other professionals, with a goal to help teachers identify students with disabilities earlier, so that they don't fall behind in class or develop behavior problems.

This is the canary in the coal mine.

Several big states have seen alarming drops in enrollment at teacher training programs. The numbers are grim among some of the nation's largest producers of new teachers: In California, enrollment is down 53 percent over the past five years. It's down sharply in New York and Texas as well.

In North Carolina, enrollment is down nearly 20 percent in three years.

Studies, research papers, doctoral dissertations, conference presentations — each year academia churns out thousands of pieces of research on education. And for many of them, that's the end of it. They gather dust in the university library or languish in some forgotten corner of the Internet.

A few, though, find their way into the hands of teachers, principals and policymakers. Each year the American Educational Research Association — a 99-year-old national research society — puts out a list of its 10 most-read articles.

New England Public Radio/Naomi Volain

A Springfield public school teacher is among ten finalists for a lucrative international award often called the Nobel Prize for teachers.

Naomi Volain has taught environmental science at Central High School for 17 years; she said she uses hands-on teaching methods, and often holds classes outside.

Larochefoucauld / Creative Commons

The Board of Regents for Higher Education has been mired in problems ever since it was set up four years ago to oversee many of the state's colleges. There have been secret raises, resignations with huge severance packages, and even a promotion given to an employee while he was in jail.

State Representative Gail Lavielle, a Republican representing Norwalk, Wilton, and Westport, is co-sponsoring a bill that seeks to dissolve the board completely.

It's a bold statement that she hopes will draw attention to the need for better oversight, even if it doesn't go anywhere. 

For the first time, Harvard University is banning sexual relationships between faculty and undergraduates, strengthening language in its policies on sexual misconduct. The change comes as the school examines its rules and undergoes a federal review.

Last year, Harvard was among dozens of schools the Department of Education said it's investigating for how they handle sexual abuse allegations.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Some things teenagers have to deal with just don’t change. Heartbreak, hormones, heightened social anxiety -- it's all just part of the package. 

But things that are unique to the 2015 teen experience -- social media, texting, and ephemeral messaging -- take regular teen issues to a whole new level. This isn’t breaking news, but teens are saying that adults still don’t fully get it. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s not easy being a teenager today. Teens need to do well in school, give back to the community, participate in extracurricular activities, and keep up with a social scene intensified by social media. We also ask them to act responsibly, make good choices, and think about their future.

We're looking for "adult behavior" from people forced to live under our rules. It's a tough balancing act that comes with a lot of pressure.  

Sometimes, their friends are looking for something different and peer pressure can lead to bad decisions and risky behaviors.

It may not sound like they have to deal with much -- but that’s part of the problem. Adults have a tendency to underestimate what teens feel, and how powerfully they feel it.

And if kids have friends, don’t get in trouble, and get pretty good grades, parents and teachers don’t always notice the kids struggling to cope with emotions hidden beneath the surface.

The World Health Organization says depression is the most common cause of illness and disability for teens between 10 and 19 years old and suicide is the third most common cause of death in adolescents...just behind traffic accidents.

Goodreads

Novelist Robert Stone, author of A Flag for Sunrise and Hall of Mirrors, died Saturday at his home in Key West, Florida. He was 77.

Stone was a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize, and won the National Book Award in 1975 for his novel Dog Soldiers

NPR reported that Stone "was a neglected and traumatized child who learned early not to trust reality, a lapsed Catholic consumed by questions of sin and redemption."  

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