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Students and Schools

  

This reporting initiative is made possible by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation — working to reshape public education to better prepare all students for the future.

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Is Adult Education Right For Teens?

Mar 15, 2012

INTRO: More and more Connecticut teens are leaving high school for adult education programs. Some say these programs offer more flexibility to kids who would otherwise just drop out of school. But others say adult education is not for teens. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Reporter Roundtable

Mar 13, 2012
Chion Wolf

While we’ve been obsessed with the big changes that may be coming to the state’s education system - there’s plenty more that lawmakers are considering.

On that long list: Red light cameras, hotel taxes, racial profiling, Sunday liquor sales and the death penalty. There’s also news about more firings over the D-SNAP scandal, and there’s the state of the budget in a slow-recovery economy.  Some economists are saying that it will take several more years to undo the damage of the last recession.

Union leaders representing Connecticut teachers say they agree with many of Governor Malloy’s education reform proposals, but are concerned that new teacher evaluations be used fairly. 

Earlier this year, Connecticut teachers’ unions agreed to a process that evaluates teachers based, in part, on student performance. This plays a key role in Governor Malloy’s education proposals. 

Teachers Unions

Mar 7, 2012
LizMarie_AK, creative commons

Connecticut teachers have been feeling under fire since Governor Malloy announced a sweeping new education plan.

Among the many points in his 163-page plan that’s now being debated by the legislature is a provision to change the rules on teacher tenure.

Malloy says that unions have already agreed to a deal that would tie student performance to teacher evaluations – but they’re cool to the Governor’s tenure plan.

Chion Wolf

Governor Dannel Malloy has some big challenges on his plate - not the least of which is an education overhaul.

Malloy promised “wholesale changes” in his state of the state address...changes that including adding $50 million into the allocation the state sends to towns - still far short of “fully funding” ECS - but seen by towns as a start.

Less embraced by some towns are other provisions - which include an attempt to force consolidation of smaller districts and to spend more money on charter schools.

STEM Series: Improving STEM Education in College

Feb 15, 2012
Neena Satija

Connecticut employers are saying that students in the state aren't coming into the workforce with the skills they need in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  In part, that's because more than half of students who enter college thinking about a science major end up leaving the sciences before they graduate.  In the third segment of our series on STEM education in Connecticut, WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on  efforts to change that.

bonnie-brown

Education is the focus of state and national policy as we try to find ways to close the “achievement gap.”

Among the many ideas being tried is expanded “choice” - giving families in low-income areas more options of where their kids can go to school.

In his State of the State address, Governor Dannel Malloy called on legislators to take bold steps to reform Connecticut’s public schools. He addressed the highly-charged issue of teacher tenure, and called for an overhaul of the system.

"Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away."

Governor Malloy outlined six principles for education reform, but devoted the most time to teacher tenure. 

Increase in Test Scores Questioned

Jan 26, 2012

Connecticut’s seen a jump in student test scores in recent years. But as WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, a study released today/Thursday suggests that jump may be explained by a new way of collecting data.

Adult Education...For Teens

Jan 20, 2012
Neena Satija

In the previous segment of our three-part series, we heard about students who leave the traditional public school system for so-called alternative schools. But more and more teens are choosing adult education programs instead, often to finish school more quickly. In the final segment, WNPR’s Neena Satija asks if these students are getting the same education.

(Noise from a classroom; students talking with the teacher)

The Education Session

Jan 10, 2012
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Malloy has called this upcoming legislative session “The Education Session.”

You can see why. Connecticut has one of the worst achievement gaps in the nation. Students in wealthy, suburban schools do as well - or better - than any in the country.

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s largest teachers union added its voice on Tuesday to a growing chorus of proposals for school reform.  The union’s plan addresses the controversial issue of teacher tenure.

Connecticut Education Association Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine says teachers are proposing to replace tenure with a streamlined dismissal process, "...to remove underperforming teachers and also allow for due process. We want teachers to be evaluated."

But she says, a teacher’s performance should not be judged solely by test scores.

Dropouts Or Pushouts?

Dec 22, 2011

Laura McCargar is giving some high school dropouts a new label. She’s calling them “push-outs,” or students who get counseled, and sometimes coerced, out of school.

McCargar became aware of the issue as an education advocate in New Haven.

“This work began because I worked with young people in New Haven who would walk into our afterschool program and tell me, ‘I don’t go to high school anymore,'" she says. "'What do you mean?’ ‘Well, my principal told me that I can’t be here anymore.’ ‘Well, what do you mean? You should be a high school student.’”

UConn Docs Offer New Shoes, and Healthy Feet

Nov 24, 2011
Uma Ramiah

Each year, the New England Musculoskeletal Institute at the University of Connecticut  provides free foot health screenings -- and new shoes -- for the homeless.

Dr. Vinayak Sathe is inspecting ... a foot.

"Can you move your ankle up and down? Good. And can you move it sideways? So just swelling right? And how far up does it go, like up to here?"

Morning Edition: Weight-Based Bullying

Nov 18, 2011
Jean-Pierre (Flickr Creative Commons)

Being overweight is the biggest reason why teens are bullied at school. That's according to a survey of Connecticut adolescents. Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Published the report online in the Journal of School Health. Joining us by phone is the lead author of the report, and director of research at the Yale Rudd Center Rebecca Puhl.

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