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

Alberto G./flickr creative commons

Connecticut schools performed about the same as they did last year on the state's accountability system. 

Jim Finley - Principal consultant to the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF).
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision found that the legislature, not the court, is responsible for decisions around funding the state's public schools. But that sparked a debate between an advocate and a lawmaker over where the responsibility actually lays.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Several people are raising questions about video evidence being used against a former Greenwich elected official who’s accused of sexually assaulting a town employee at a nursing home.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A few years ago, a group of lawyers sued the state, claiming that two students were denied their right to an education because they had been expelled. One of them was a boy of color who moved to another town after he was expelled.

David DesRoches / WNPR

KendraLiz Gonzalez had been in cosmetology school for only two months when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, destroying her school. So she took her twin girls, hopped on a plane, and came to Hartford, where she's staying with her aunt.

David DesRoches / WNPR

KendraLiz González había estado en la escuela de cosmetología por solo dos meses cuando el Huracán María pasó por Puerto Rico, destruyendo su escuela. Así que tomó a sus niñas gemelas, se montó en un avión y regresó a Hartford, en donde se queda con su tía.

Gerard Chappell working with his dog, Pete, teaching him how to fetch things for a future disabled veteran.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Inside Enfield Correctional Institution there are all the expected security measures: Huge steel doors. Armed guards. Barbed-wire fences. Locked gates. 

Creative Commons

Connecticut is among the worst states in the country when it comes to being financially literate, according to a recent report by Champlain College.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Board of Regents are moving forward with a plan to dramatically restructure the state's community colleges. The board approved the proposal on Thursday, which would consolidate the 12 schools into one system with 12 campuses.

The system has been struggling financially for years as state funds have dwindled. The move is expected to save about $28 million dollars annually through staff cuts and resource sharing.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

David DesRoches / WNPR


On a cold December morning, fifth-grade teams at Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford are making skyscrapers.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

House Republicans are coming under fire for their proposal to tax the cost of tuition for graduate students. Critics fear that if the bill becomes law, only the wealthy would be able to afford to get advanced degrees.

Kevin the turkey hangs out beside the road near the DMV in Old Wethersfield.
David DesRoches / WNPR

Take a drive through Old Wethersfield and he's hard to miss.

Mark Moz / Flickr

Across the country, teachers are being shut out of some housing markets due to their low wages. That's according to a report by the National Council on Teacher Quality. But the outlook in Connecticut is a little better.

Wikimedia Commons

The idea for a gender-neutral bathroom at Three Rivers Community College has been on the table for at least two years by one account, and up to four by others.

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