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Environmental Protection Agency

Classrooms across the state are becoming serious health hazards for teachers and students alike. That’s according to a report released this week by the Connecticut Education Association.

In the survey, teachers in 334 Connecticut schools reported dilapidated classroom conditions that they say are causing respiratory ailments, sinus issues, and in some cases vomiting.

Over 100 schools districts were represented in the report, including Bridgeport, Naugatuck and Orange.

StanfordEdTech / Creative Commons

The state announced Friday nearly $26 million in federal funds will go toward higher education readiness programs for low-income students. That money will be dispersed over the next seven years to support tutoring, mentoring, and college scholarships.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

At 27, he was a Connecticut school principal. At 44, he is the state’s commissioner of education.

This hour, Dr. Miguel Cardona joins us to talk about his vision for Connecticut's education future. 

Starting early last year, the nation's most powerful consumer protection agency sent examiners into companies that run student loan call centers to try to fix a troubled loan forgiveness program. But the Department of Education blocked the bureau from getting the information it needed, NPR has learned.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to help firefighters, military service members, nonprofit workers and others. But thousands of people say they were treated unfairly and rejected.

Yale University has made a significant investment in New Haven, helping to turn the city around over the last 30 years.
Courtesy Yale University

New Haven was stumbling and struggling in the 1980s and early 1990s. Downtown was moribund, litter-strewn and dangerous — a Yale student (among others) was killed on the street in 1991.

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

The Partnership for Connecticut has invited the public to the first “organizational meeting” of its governing board on October 18, but it’s unclear what portion of that meeting – or subsequent meetings – will be open, or what the board will be discussing. 

A majority of parents rarely, if ever, discuss race/ethnicity, gender, class or other categories of social identity with their kids, according to a new, nationally representative survey of more than 6,000 parents conducted by Sesame Workshop and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The new president of the University of Connecticut says he’ll be unveiling a program next month to help low income students attend UConn for free.

Thomas Katsouleas said, at the same time, to mark his October 4th inauguration, the school will also launch a new campaign to raise scholarship funds to allow other students to offset more of the cost of college. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut has a new leader. This hour, we sit down with UConn’s new president, Thomas Katsouleas, who stepped into the role this August.

Katsouleas is trained as a physicist and electrical engineer whose career has focused on plasma science. We hear about his path to Connecticut and ask him about his vision for Connecticut's flagship state university.

By Amherst2005 (www.creativecommons.org)

Where We Live recently launched a series of conversations about higher education. We discuss everything from tuition to tenure and talk with leaders from the state's colleges and universities. Listen to recent episodes below and make sure to check back for more. 

Wokandapix / Pixabay

As college students settle into the fall semester, there is an expectation their professors are tenured. But three out of four faculty today aren’t eligible for tenure. And many are adjuncts, part-time faculty without strong benefits or job security.

What’s the human cost to this model of education? We find out and we want to hear from you.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

For more than 30 years, Quinnipiac University was led by John Lahey. Now, the private university in Hamden, Connecticut has a new leader and its first female president. This hour, we sit down with President Judy Olian.

Olian comes to the university from UCLA, where she was Dean of the business school.

We find out what is her vision for Quinnipiac University, and ask: In an age of ever-changing technology, how is the school preparing its students successfully for the workforce of the future?

Russ / Creative Commons

Standardized tests, application forms, campus visits. The path to college can be a daunting one, especially when you add tuition to the mix. Then, of course, there is the cost of room and board, meal plans, textbooks...feeling stressed yet?

This hour, we tackle the realities of affording a college education, and we also hear from you. Are you the parent of a college-age student? Are you, yourself, working toward a college degree? How has this impacted you financially...emotionally? 

CTMirror.org

The governing board of a public-private education partnership was asked to unanimously approve — via mail — a tentative budget, nearly $250,000 in executive compensation, and various operating procedures before its first meeting.

Legislative leaders who sit on the board all declined the request this week. 

Lamont Names Financier Dan Toscano As UConn Chairman

Aug 29, 2019
Ariel Dowski / UConn

Dan Toscano, a Darien financier and longtime financial supporter of the University of Connecticut, has been chosen by Gov. Ned Lamont as the new chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees.

Toscano, who graduated from UConn in 1987 and currently has a son enrolled there, is the former head of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors and has been a long time donor to the university. 

Kathleen Megan / CT Mirror

Miguel Cardona, the state’s new education chief, charged the state’s superintendents to challenge “the normalization of failure” to ensure that all students have a chance to succeed. 

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Just ahead of a new school year, hundreds of families gathered in Hartford for CREC’s fifth annual Back to School Block Party.

The event has quickly become a community favorite, offering free ice cream and hot dogs, along with other items like water bottles and books. 

Tong: State Officials In Dalio Partnership Must Share Public Records

Aug 7, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new opinion from Attorney General William Tong could lead to much greater transparency for the public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools. 

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

Some state officials already have balked at the decision to exempt a public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools from disclosure and ethics laws.

But it turns out the first $20 million in public funds Gov. Ned Lamont and the legislature dedicated to this venture also won’t be subject to the new budgetary spending cap enacted just two years ago. 

David DesRoches

Shawn and Shane Brooks had a problem. They'd been accepted into Morehouse College, excited to attend the same school as Martin Luther King Jr. and other black male leaders. 

But then they got their financial aid packages. 

Two private New England school are taking steps to join forces next year. Marlboro College in southern Vermont plans to merge with the University of Bridgeport, based in Connecticut, the schools announced Thursday.

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A state investigation into Norwalk's special education program has found that the district has not been following federal law, but the findings reflect deeper problems that the district has faced for years.

The complaint that sparked the investigation was filed on behalf of 14 Norwalk students, but Jill Chuckas, a special education advocate who filed the complaint along with two lawyers, said the problems impact all kids with disabilities in the district.

Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

The State Board of Education voted six to one Thursday to endorse Gov. Ned Lamont’s selection of Miguel Cardona, Meriden’s assistant superintendent, as the state’s next education commission. 

State Changes Course On Education Commissioner

Jul 17, 2019
Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

In a dramatic reversal, Miguel Cardona, an assistant superintendent in Meriden, is expected to be chosen as Connecticut’s next state education commissioner, rather than Bloomfield Superintendent James Thompson, sources close to the search committee said Tuesday. 

Mark Ojakian
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's currently a $12 million hole in the state's community college budget for next year, and the gap is expected to widen in the coming years if changes don't happen soon.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education approved the use of $8 million from its reserve funds to cover some of the shortfall, but that money won't last forever.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

When it comes to the future of Connecticut's 12 community colleges, a great deal of uncertainty remains, especially on the issue of consolidation.

Something certain, however, is the nearly $1.3 billion operating budget that was approved by the Board of Regents for the state's college and university system last month.

This hour, the president of that system, Mark Ojakian, joins us in-studio to talk more about the budget and what it means for community colleges specifically. 

Yalines Herrera, 15, participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program last year, and is again participating this year.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Nearly 200 Hartford students will be spending the rest of their summer working, thanks to a paid internship program funded by the state and several nonprofits.

Yalines Herrera, 15, participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program last year. She said if she wasn't getting a job this summer, she’d probably spend her summer at home.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

Every time Jennifer Tidd's son was secluded or restrained at school, she received a letter from his teachers. Her son has autism and behavioral issues, and over three years — from 2013 to 2016 — Tidd got 437 of those letters.

"I see this pile of documents that's 5 inches tall that represents hundreds of hours of being locked into a room, and I feel, you know, horrible," Tidd says.

She's sitting in her living room in Northern Virginia, her head hanging over the stack of papers. Tears are in her eyes.

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