teachers

Union Hire
9:25 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Chris Donovan Heads for Union Post

Chris Donovan in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Former House Speaker Chris Donovan has a new job. CT News Junkie reports Donovan will take up a position with the Connecticut Education Association. 

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Privacy
10:01 am
Fri December 12, 2014

State Supreme Court: Arbitrators Outside Freedom of Information law

Connecticut Supreme Court in a WNPR file photo.
Diane Orson WNPR

The state Supreme Court has ruled that arbitrators are not covered by the state's Freedom of Information laws, denying the public's right to know what evidence is presented in arbitration hearings between teacher unions and school boards.

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Education
1:27 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

A Conversation With Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor

Stefan Pryor in a WNPR file photo.
Chion Wolf WNPR

Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor attended his final State Board of Education meeting Wednesday. He announced earlier this year he’d leave the post, and will depart in January. A process is underway to select an interim commissioner.

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School Reform
5:03 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Teach For America At 25: With Maturity, New Pressure To Change

TFA at 25 years (from left): Matt Kramer, current co-CEO; Wendy Kopp, founder; Elisa Villanueva Beard, current co-CEO.
Courtesy of TFA

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 7:54 pm

This story was reported for the radio by Eric Westervelt and for online by Anya Kamenetz.

"We, the Committee of Public Safety, find Jean Valjean guilty. The sentence is death by guillotine!"

Molly McPherson, a redhead with glasses, is dressed in a blue bathrobe — in costume as Robespierre. Her seventh-graders are re-enacting the French Revolution's Reign of Terror, with a little assist from Les Miserables.

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Performance Evaluations
2:13 pm
Wed November 19, 2014

Massachusetts Drops Teacher Licensing Proposal

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 12:19 pm

Massachusetts education officials have dropped a proposal to include classroom performance evaluations as a criteria for renewing the licenses for teachers, administrators and other educators. The move came just days after newly released data gave most educators in the state high marks.

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Side Business
11:25 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Making Jewelry From Buttons And Bottle Caps

Doll's-eye necklace pendant
Courtesy of Mei-Ling Uliasz

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 3:22 pm

The NPR Ed team is discovering what teachers do when they're not teaching. Artist? Carpenter? Quidditch player? Explore our Secret Lives of Teachers series.

When she's not teaching second-graders in Connecticut, Mei-Ling Uliasz turns bottle caps and little tin cars and brass protractors and other found objects into whimsical "upcycled" jewelry.

Tell us about your secret life.

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California
9:29 am
Fri October 17, 2014

LA Schools Superintendent Steps Down, Defends Tenure

Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent John Deasy, seen in a photo taken last year, says his resignation Thursday was "by mutual agreement."
Damian Dovarganes AP

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 10:12 am

Los Angeles schools Superintendent John Deasy has stepped down as head of the nation's second-largest school system after a controversial tenure that saw him at odds with the teachers union and unable to push through a plan to get an iPad in every student's hand.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
8:00 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Live From Watkinson: The Perils of Teaching and Learning

Credit naosuke ii / Flickr Creative Commons

If I had my way, we would do this whole show without the "E" word. That's "education." Somehow, the "E" word has come to symbolize, for me at least, debates about government policy, instead of teaching and learning. I wanted to talk about those other two things: teaching and learning. So I rounded up a public school teacher, a private school principal, a public school superintendent, and one of the nation's most outspoken commentators on teaching and teachers.

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Television
7:03 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Daniel Tiger: Won't You Be His Neighbor?

Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood is in its second season on PBS.
PBS

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 1:31 pm

Lexi Schaefers' preschoolers squeal with excitement. Their eyes are trained on an animated tiger dressed in a red hoodie and sneakers, peeking out of the TV at them.

These 3- and 4-year-olds at Shady Lane Preschool in Pittsburgh, Pa., sing along with the songs and laugh and mimic what the characters are doing onscreen.

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Teaching Math
4:03 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Who Needs Algebra? New Approach To College Math Helps More Pass

Ashjame Pendarvis, a first-year community college student, works on her math homework at the University of District of Columbia.
Elissa Nadworny NPR

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 7:16 am

Let's start with a little word problem. Sixty percent of the nation's 12.8 million community college students are required to take at least one course in subject X. Eighty percent of that 60 percent never move on past that requirement.

  1. Let Y = the total percentage of community college students prevented from graduating simply by failing that one subject, X. What is Y?

    The answer: Y = 48.

  2. And if you haven't guessed it by now, What is X?

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The Colin McEnroe Show
11:13 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Kids Today Are SO Spoiled!

Credit Lord Jim / Creative Commons

Kids today are so spoiled! Alfie Kohn says politicians, academics, and the media spend a lot of time instilling in parents the fear that they're ruining their children with too much love. 

But, Kohn says wait a minute! Instead of assuming we're spoiling kids who don't show grit, motivation, and a competitive spirit, maybe we should instead question those values we hold dear.  

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Election 2014
11:36 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Teachers Union Endorses Malloy After Internal Debate

Sheila Cohen, president of the Connecticut Education Association, in a file photo.
Credit CEA

Democratic Governor Dannel Malloy appears to be mending fences with teachers, many of whom were angered by remarks he made about tenure and by the roll-out of his public education reform initiative.

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Ethics
5:15 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

When Teachers, Not Students, Do The Cheating

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 6:30 pm

Opening arguments began today in the trial of 12 Atlanta educators charged in an alleged cheating conspiracy that came to light in 2009.

Prosecutors claim there was widespread cheating on state tests throughout the city's public schools, affecting thousands of students.

The case has brought national attention to the issue, raising questions about whether the pressures to improve scores have driven a few educators to fudge the numbers, but also about broader consequences.

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Higher Education
8:50 am
Fri September 5, 2014

Another Academic Program Under Scrutiny at Southern Connecticut State University

Davis Hall at SCSU, where the School of Education is located.
Credit Southern Connecticut State University

Southern Connecticut State University is downplaying a decision by the state to place Southern’s School of Education on probation. 

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Universal Pre-K
5:01 am
Thu September 4, 2014

Gentlemen, Preschool Is Calling

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Thu September 4, 2014 9:06 am

Glenn Peters knew he would be in the minority when he started training to teach preschool as part of New York City's rollout of universal pre-K, the largest such initiative in the country. But he didn't realize just how rare men are in the profession until he attended a resume-building workshop for aspiring pre-K teachers.

"They couldn't find the bathroom code for the men's bathroom, so I actually had to go to the women's room while someone stood guard outside the bathroom," Peters says. "I knew at that moment that I was a bit of a unicorn."

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Common Core
3:34 am
Wed August 20, 2014

A Tale Of Two Polls

LA Johnson/NPR

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 11:52 am

Two new polls this week attempt to quantify the public's feelings for the Common Core State Standards. The K-12 benchmarks in English and math were little known this time last year. But they've since become the subject of a high-profile political fight. Now a majority of the public opposes them.

Or do they?

Poll No. 1, out today, puts support for the Core at just 33 percent. But Poll No. 2, released yesterday, puts it at 53 percent. That's a big difference.

Which one is wrong? Or can they both, somehow, be right?

PDK/Gallup

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Education Reform
3:05 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

The Politics Of The Common Core

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal announces his plan to remove Louisiana from tests associated with the Common Core.
Melinda Deslatte AP

Originally published on Fri June 20, 2014 11:08 am

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal said Wednesday that he wants to cut ties with the Common Core State Standards, the benchmarks in reading and math that he helped bring to the state four years ago, and replace them with new, Louisiana-specific standards.

"We won't let the federal government take over Louisiana's education standards," Jindal said in a statement. "We're very alarmed about choice and local control over curriculum being taken away from parents and educators."

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Connecticut First
4:42 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

New Metro North Power Substation in Service; Malloy Wants Teacher's Retirement Board to Explain Find

A fifth new power supply substation has been put into service on Metro-North’s New Haven rail line. Officials say it will add redundancy to help avoid electrical outages. Governor Malloy and state transportation officials toured the New Haven Rail Yard today. It’s being upgraded and expanded over several years costing $1.15 billion dollars.

Governor Malloy Wants Answers Into Funds Owed from Teachers' Retirement Board

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Labor at Yale
6:19 pm
Sun May 4, 2014

What Do Yale Grad Students Want? A Union

Transcript

ARUN RATH, HOST:

From NPR West in Culver City, California it's ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Arun Rath. Hundreds of graduate assistants at Yale University say they want to be allowed to decide whether to unionize. Grad students at two nearby universities recently formed unions after two very different types of organizing campaigns. One sailed by in a matter of weeks. The other took many years.

Diane Orson of member station WNPR reports from New Haven.

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Labor Agreement
5:09 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Ending 5-Year Dispute, New York Reaches Deal With Teachers Union

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 5:25 pm

New York has reached a deal with its teachers union, ending a five-year stalemate, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Thursday.

The New York Times reports de Blasio, a liberal Democrat taking on a tough issue during his first year in office, called it a "landmark" labor deal. The Times adds:

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Higher Education
9:50 am
Thu May 1, 2014

Yale Graduate Assistants Call For Process to Decide On Unionization

Members of Yale's Graduate Employees and Students Organization marched on Wednesday to the office of Yale President Peter Salovey.
Diane Orson WNPR

More than 1,000 graduate assistants at Yale University are calling for a process to decide on unionization.

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Teacher Evaluations
10:42 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Connecticut Educators May No Longer Be Judged Based On One Test Score

Alberto G. Creative Commons

The advisory council responsible for developing Connecticut's evaluation system for teachers and principals is recommending changes to the guidelines. If the changes are adopted, educators may no longer be judged based on just one test score.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Thu March 27, 2014

Where We Teach: A Conversation With Connecticut's Teachers

WNPR's John Dankosky moderates a discussion with teachers Liz Natale, David Bosso, Ebony Murphy-Root, and David Low.
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.

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Failure IS an Option
5:07 am
Mon March 17, 2014

Does Teaching Kids To Get 'Gritty' Help Them Get Ahead?

At the Lenox Academy in Brooklyn, N.Y., educators try to teach kids to see struggle as a normal part of learning.
Tovia Smith/NPR

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 10:17 am

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.

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Teen Homelessness
7:37 am
Fri March 7, 2014

A Homeless Teen Finds Solace In A Teacher And A Recording

Celeste Davis-Carr, a high school English teacher in Chicago, learned her student Aaron was homeless from a recording for the StoryCorpsU program.
StoryCorps

Originally published on Fri March 7, 2014 11:39 am

Aaron didn't intend to tell his classmates that he was homeless. But when he recorded his own story with StoryCorpsU — a project designed to help kids in high-needs schools build stronger relationships with their teachers — he says, it just came out.

"I felt ... like a big load was let off," Aaron explains. (NPR has withheld Aaron's last name, at the request of his foster care agency, to protect his privacy.) "I don't know what made me say it, but I'm like, 'Let me just be honest and just get it out.' "

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Where We Teach
2:42 pm
Tue March 4, 2014

What It's Like to Be a Teacher in Connecticut Today

WNPR hosted approximately 70 teachers in the CPBN Learning Lab to talk about what it's like to teach today.
Credit 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. But they also expressed a desire to balance it with support from administrators. The teachers on the panel said they are interested in getting better at teaching, and so they want feedback and support, not a stern visit that comes with a score and an up or down vote.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue March 4, 2014

Where We Teach: A Conversation With Connecticut's Teachers

WNPR's John Dankosky moderates a discussion with teachers Liz Natale, David Bosso, Ebony Murphy-Root, and David Low.
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.

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Common Core
3:03 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Education Committee Holds Forum on Implementing Common Core Standards

State Sen. Andrea Stillman.
Credit 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. 

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School Reform
1:50 pm
Tue February 25, 2014

East Lyme Superintendent: Mere Slowdown of Education Reform Is Not Enough

Credit 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. 

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