WNPR

David DesRoches

Reporter

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR f.m. and dot org. He also teaches journalism and media literacy to high school students, and he starts the year with the lesson: “Conflicts of interest: Real or perceived? Both matter.” He thinks he has a sense of humor, and he also finds writing in the third person awkward, but he does it anyway. 

He's won some awards. He's lost some, too. Winning is better, but neither really matter. What matters is the work. Here are some of his stories that matter: special education; toxic PCBs in schools; hate crime; environmental damages

When he was a kid, people told him life isn't fair. He still doesn't buy it. Consequently, he could be biased toward fairness, which manifests in different ways, such as fighting inequality and inequity. He is an activist for truth and for transparency. He tries to paraphrase smart mentors but he often paraphrases Jeffrey Lebowski instead. If you have a problem with his stories or his bias, talk to him. Call him out. If you’re right, he’ll be better for it. If you’re wrong, you at least got something off your chest. 

His true passion is music. It’s in his veins, always there. Kurt Vonnegut, a lifelong atheist, once said that “…virtually every writer I know would rather be a musician,” and that “music is the proof of the existence of God.” It turns out, a lot of journalists are musicians. If they’re not, they’re likely huge music fans. David's both. He also loves to cook, woodwork, write fiction (never for WNPR) and will probably continue writing about his trip to Ethiopia for his entire life (it was over ten years ago).

He loves being in the studio and being creative with sound. Radio is right up his alley. He enjoys telling people’s stories, holding the powerful to account, FOIA’ing and data diving, eating poorly and trying to find words to end this bio. How about an onomatopoeia? Bam. 

Ways to Connect

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.

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.

Nathaniel Ban / Creative Commons

Thirty-three members of four different school boards from three towns get together twice a month to talk education.

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.

Bekah / Creative Commons

Colebrook School is tiny. One of its classes has only seven students. It’s so small that for the last two years, there’s been an effort to merge it with the elementary school in neighboring Norfolk. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

Jennifer Necci is trying to get seventh graders to tell her how well they think they’re writing about a book they’ve read.  

Pixabay / Creative Commons

New charter schools in the state would be subject to a two-step approval process, as well as new laws over disclosing their records. The bill has passed the house and senate, and is now sitting at the governor’s office.

Alberto Cairo / ProPublica

Public schools across Connecticut restrain or seclude students over 30,000 times a year. Some kids are restrained hundreds of times annually, and some are secluded for minor behavior problems, according to an investigation by the Office of the Child Advocate.

Wikipedia / Public Domain

A controversy has erupted between the state’s largest teachers union and an education reform group over student privacy. 

The Connecticut Education Association claims that Hamden Public Schools gave an education reform group school data that risks exposing personal information about students.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Over 4,000 area students have been offered seats in a Hartford magnet school or suburban public school through the regional school lottery. But roughly 15,000 students were placed on wait-lists.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

If you’ve been to any public school lately, chances are you weren’t able to just walk right in. You have to ring a bell, then you’re either buzzed in or greeted by a security guard or school employee.

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.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy unveiled federal legislation on Friday that would help streamline the college credit transfer process.

Matthias Rosenkranz / Creative Commons

The University of Connecticut is rejecting roughly a fifth of the eligible credits from students who transfer from community colleges, according to a recent study put out by a counselor at Gateway Community College.

Ella's Dad / Creative Commons

Twelve school districts across Connecticut will be getting state-funded preschools starting this fall. It’s the first step toward the governor’s goal to provide preschool to all children.

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