David DesRoches | Connecticut Public Radio
WNPR

David DesRoches

Reporter

David finds and tells stories about education and learning for WNPR radio and its website. 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 does it really matter? What matters is the work and its impact. Here are some of his stories that matter: special education; toxic PCBs in schools; hate crime; environmental damages; students with emotional disabilities suspended at high rates; sexual assault cover-up; deaf children and the choices their parents face

He believes that journalism should hold the powerful to account and shed light on misunderstood and underserved populations. Much of his work has focused on people with disabilities. His coverage of systemic civil rights violations by a wealthy public school system against students with disabilities ended in numerous resignations and state legislation to address the flaws exposed. His report on toxic PCBs in aging schools for Reveal led two senators to independently call for an investigation into the EPA. The documentary on deafness, called “Making Sense,” has been described as the most multimedia project in the 40-plus year history of Connecticut Public.

The intersection of race, disability, and behavior is also a topic of interest, as are the various forms of cultural expression, and how they're often mischaracterized and misunderstood.

In addition to education coverage, he's reported on environmental topics, such as human waste and the use of biosolids on farms, and a dangerous publicly-funded pesticide program. He's also reported on sexual assault cases; prosecutorial misconduct during a hate crime trial; the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting-death in Ferguson, Mo. Some of these stories have led to congressional investigations and actual legislation at the state level. His work has appeared on NPR, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, and numerous local and regional newspapers.

Ways to Connect

Amar Batra / Connecticut Public Radio

Lynn Mason never took her eyes off Christopher von Keyserling -- the man walking behind her who had just grabbed her groin.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

David McGhee grew up with two mysteries. One was his grandmother's suitcase — it was full of stuff she shared with no one. The other mystery was about the boy's grandfather, a soldier who died before David was born.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Schools throughout rural Connecticut have been shrinking or closing for years. Many districts have consolidated with neighboring towns to pool resources, in a process called regionalization.

And some schools – like Burnham School in Bridgewater – have taken a more creative approach.

Lori Mack / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor-elect Ned Lamont announced his transition plans Thursday on the steps of the state capitol. Lamont says that he'll have two transition groups -- one focused on the budget, and the other on economic development. 

Republican nominee for governor, Bob Stefanowski.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

Chip Toth was working at General Electric when he found himself across the table from Bob Stefanowski. The two men both worked at GE, but in different divisions, competing for the same customers.

An attack ad against a Connecticut state senate candidate is drawing criticism by those who say it’s anti-Semitic.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The plan was to attach Oz Griebel to a cable and then lower him onto the stage, to make it look he was wearing a jetpack and flying around. Jim Foye remembered asking Griebel to do it.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

It was the summer of 1976, and Will Hunter was living with a group of 20-somethings in farmhouse. Well, calling it a farmhouse might not be completely accurate.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A state official is trying to get quasi-public agencies to be more transparent, but that's proving to be a bit difficult.

Norwalk Police

The campaign manager for an unaffiliated candidate for governor has been arrested for embezzling money from his former employer. Kyle Lyddy was arrested by Norwalk police on Monday. 

David DesRoches/WNPR

Owen Lynch likes to keep to himself, even when he's playing a video game against 100 other players. His survival strategy in games is much like his strategy in life -- avoid other people.

Matthew / Flickr Creative Commons

Over 2,000 students have come to Connecticut from Puerto Rico since Hurricane Maria. Many of them have settled in Connecticut's biggest cities, and their arrival has highlighted the need for more teachers who speak Spanish and who are certified to teach English language learners, or ELLs.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It's now a three-way race for Connecticut governor, as business advocate Oz Griebel has made it on to the ballot as a petitioning candidate.

Two statewide polls show the race for governor is tight at this early point in the campaign, but one poll does give an edge to the Democrat. 

The Quinnipiac University poll shows Democrat Ned Lamont in a double digit lead over his Republican opponent, Bob Stefanowski.

"The poll is good news for Ned Lamont," said Quinnipiac's Doug Schwartz. "This is mainly due to strong support among women and the fact that Connecticut is a Democratic state."

Connecticut teachers are among the most prepared in the country to teach children how to read, according to a new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality.

Reading is considered the foundation of all other learning, so it stands to reason that teaching children how to read is also a big deal.

Jesper Sehested / Flickr


Type the word "diet" into a search engine and... bam... you’ll unlock a goldmine of results: diet books, diet blogs, diet pills, and other evidence of a diet-crazed world.

But what drove society to become so obsessed with food restriction? How did something as simple as eating become so complicated?

This hour, we take a bite out of... diets and diet trends... with guest host David DesRoches.

 

We also look back on the history of the federal government's Food Distribution Program on Indian Reservations (FDPIR). What impact has the program had on the diets and health of Native communities?

 

https://www.maxpixel.net/Article-Company-Journalism-Paper-Education-3327315
Max Pixel

Public trust in the media is at historic lows. Today, Americans believe that the majority of news they encounter is biased, according to recent polling by Gallup.

This hour, guest host David DesRoches asks--why are journalists losing ground and what can they do to regain trust?

David Wall / Creative Commons

Connecticut's education policymakers have a lot of work to do, if they want to improve access to higher education and ensure poor students are upwardly mobile, according to a recent state-by-state analysis by the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A Willimantic charter school that's been embroiled in a controversy over its operations has decided to voluntarily close. 

Ingrid Henlon has been working in Hartford as an early childhood teacher for 27 years, but she said she hasn't gotten a raise in a decade.

"I'm a single person, and every year, you know, everything goes up," she said. "The light goes up, the gas goes up, the rent keep going up, but for the past couple of years my paycheck has been the consistent amount."

It's a scene that many teachers are familiar with -- a student acts out, or even becomes violent, and it's unclear what to do.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

It's a warm, Saturday afternoon on the water in Fishers Island Sound. There are three of us in the 20-foot long sailboat. At the helm is Kiera Dawding. She's almost 17, and she's from Westerly, Rhode Island, which we can see from the water. From our position, we can actually see three states, including New York, points out Kali Cika, Kiera's sailing instructor.

Damaged houses in Salinas, Puerto Rico.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

Governor Dannel Malloy signed a bill on Tuesday that allows school districts to work together to help teach students from Puerto Rico who were displaced by Hurricane Maria. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

El Gobernador Dannel Malloy firmó un proyecto de ley , el martes, que permite a los distritos escolares trabajar juntos para ayudar a los estudiantes de Puerto Rico que fueron desplazados por el huracán María.

mikael altemark / Creative Commons

Connecticut school districts have been working over the last two years to comply with new privacy laws around student data, but many have been struggling to make the July 1, 2018 deadline.

Over the last nine months, Connecticut's weather has wreaked havoc on school schedules, especially those in the western part of the state that got hit by the recent tornado. So some districts leaders have said they won’t be able to provide the mandatory 180 days of instruction, so they’re asking the state for a waiver.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The state Department of Education has voted to consider closing a charter school in Willimantic, after the department found several problems with how the school has been managed. 

ccarlstead / Creative Commons

As Connecticut schools deal with shrinking enrollment in most towns and rising enrollment in some cities, the question being asked is this -- should schools be consolidated? 

Eastern Connecticut State University

Professors in the state university system say their voices aren't being heard, and they want more input as the college system deals with a growing budget deficit.

WNPR/David DesRoches

For Erin Ring-Howell, home schooling her two kids was a practical choice.

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