WNPR

Special education

Victor Björkund / Creative Commons

Zero tolerance policies send a strong message to students but at what cost? This hour, we examine how over time, these policies have led to suspensions and expulsions for minor issues -- and can have drastic effects on a student’s future.

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

Many issues have come out of last week's decision in a landmark school funding lawsuit, including how the state pays for special education.

Tax Credits / Creative Commons

A Superior Court Judge ruled last week that Connecticut’s system for funding public schools is ‘irrational’ and ‘unjustifiable’ — failing to provide a fair distribution of funds for Connecticut’s students. The judge allowed the state 180 days to come up with a plan to overhaul its system. This hour, we talk more about the ruling and find out what, if anything, can be done to improve the way our schools are funded.

Stefan Malmesjö / Flickr Creative Commons

It's hard to think about language as being endangered or replaceable. But as our culture and means of communication evolve, certain languages find their utility in decline.

Uncle Goose / Flickr

A transcript of this show is available here. It's hard to think about language as being endangered or replaceable. But as our culture and means of communication evolve, certain languages find their utility in decline. Braille and sign language are in just such a predicament.

Ryan Stanton / Creative Commons

Connecticut is one of only four states in the country that requires local school districts to pay for the bulk of special education costs, according to a new study that examines how states pay for this federally mandated program.

Shan Ran / Creative Commons

Avon has decided to replace its school social workers with school psychologists. According to the district, school psychologists will better meet students' needs.

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.

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.

Justin McGlamery/Twitter

The Renzulli School for the Gifted has been touted as a success story in Hartford , but now the city is moving the school to another location. Three school communities are being affected by Renzulli’s move to the Rawson School, yet no parents were involved in this decision, and neither were the School Governance Councils nor the Board of Education.

Brad Wilson / Flickr

Should all kids, regardless of their individual abilities, be taught in the same classroom? It's a controversial topic, and the laws around it are a little contradictory. For example, federal law requires disabled students to be taught in what's called the "least restrictive environment." In Connecticut, this is defined by time spent with non-disabled peers. But, for some kids, being around non-disabled peers could actually be considered restrictive.

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.

wlscience / Creative Commons

The final results of an audit into Darien Public Schools' special education program has uncovered an assortment of problems that go beyond Darien and imply a nationwide system riddled with deceptive practices. Darien got over $200,000 in state and federal money for special education services that never existed. The audit found that one of the wealthiest towns in the wealthiest nation had horrendous record-keeping. There were no time logs to see if consultants were actually doing their jobs. There were poor directions written into students' educations plans. There was no proof that kids with disabilities were actually being educated.

Restraint and Seclusion, Legal in Public Schools

Jul 29, 2014
State of Connecticut Board of Education

A recent report by investigative news organization ProPublica exposes a controversial but legal practice in public schools. Students, often those with disabilities, can be restrained and secluded against their will. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades, with injuries far more common.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Restraint and seclusion is a legal, albeit controversial, practice in our nation's public schools. Students -- often those with disabilities -- can be restrained and secluded against their will. This can result, and has resulted on many occasions, in injury to the student. Nationwide, there are 20 known cases of death because of restraint or seclusion in the past two decades.

The Prodigy Paradox

Jul 17, 2014
Baby Einstein / Creative Commons

In a society which rewards brains over brawn, who better than a prodigy to place your bets on? The answer may surprise you. Bobby Fischer was terrible at everything except chess. His entire life was punctuated by extreme paranoia, bouts of seclusion, and cascading, erratic behavior. Ted Kaczynski, a child math and science prodigy… I don’t have to tell you how that one worked out. Thomas Chatterton was writing publishable poetry by the age of 12, and in the immediately ensuing years, wrote work that left its mark on the literature and influenced the romantic movement. He took his own life with arsenic three months shy of 18.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report from the CDC suggests that Autism Spectrum Disorder may be even more prevalent than we thought. The report estimates that roughly one in 68 children born in the U.S. has autism -- a 30 percent increase since 2012.

The federal law that governs special education lays out the goals pretty clearly: Students are entitled to an appropriate public education in the least restrictive environment. But some parents of children with autism feel their local public schools aren't meeting their kids' needs. And with autism diagnoses rising, new schools are emerging specifically for autistic children. Some parents see these specialized schools as a godsend. For others, they raise a new set of questions. Carson Ellis'...

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.

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.

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.

A new commuter watchdog group has launched an online effort in Connecticut. It’s called commuteractiongroup.org . The Commuter Action Group’s Jim Cameron says this will give commuters a chance to voice complaints. Cameron says the DOT should do more to hold Metro-North accountable. He says commuters via website, Twitter and Facebook can now immediately report issues using smartphone pictures and detail any problems. State education officials have ordered Bridgeport schools to take corrective...

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

The State Department of Education has determined that Bridgeport Public Schools have violated their obligation to students under the Individuals with Disabilities Act.

Cade Martin, Smithsonian Institute

This summer we covered the Department of Education investigation into Darien’s special ed program. Since then, the superintendent has resigned and the school is dealing with a forensic audit . Today we’ll check back in with Darien Times reporter David DesRoches for the latest.

Earlier this week, The President and Co-founder of the Families and Work Institute came to Hartford to talk about the work shes been doing in early childhood development. Hartford Community Schools was chosen as one of a handful of communities nationally to take part in her Mind in the Making initiative - meant to share life skills and give hands-on training for parents and educators. Today, well talk with Ellen Galinsky .

Pages