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Students and Schools

Educating Students Around The Globe

Mar 5, 2013
Eren {Se+Prairie} on Flickr Creative Commons

Good teaching is the single biggest indicator for student success, and while we spend more money to teach our students than in any other country, we achieve at lower levels than our foreign counterparts.

So, what makes for a good teacher, and how do we know it when we see it?

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation asked that question of 3,000 students and their teachers in a recently released study that took 3 years and cost $45 million dollars to complete. 

What they learned is what most kids already know, students are the best judge of what works. 

Local municipalities open their charters for revision at least once every ten years. New Haven is in the midst of a charter revision process, and the issue getting the most attention, is whether the school board should remain appointed by the mayor.

In New Haven, the mayor appoints the entire school board and is also a member. 

J Holt

Teaching business can be a pretty rigorous discipline, and sometimes a bit dry. But Fairfield University’s Dolan School of Business has embraced an unconventional teaching tool - one that involves its professors taking to the stage. WNPR’s J Holt has this report.

In the black box theater at Fairfield University’s Quick Center for the Performing arts, the cast of Glengarry Glen Ross is taking their places backstage as a sold out crowd assembles in the lobby, and after a final check of the lights, 

Alistair Highet “And, I guess that’s it.”  

Hartford, CT - The hotly contested Connecticut senatorial race is in full swing with only two candidates remaining and Election Day fast approaching- Or is it? On the eleventh anniversary of September 11, we headed to the University of Hartford campus to gather students memories about the attacks and opinion’s on the upcoming senatorial election. While students were able to vividly remember where they were 11 years ago today – impressions about the upcoming senate election were much vaguer.

Youth Vote: Senators, Students and Some Perspective in Connecticut

Sep 18, 2012

Hartford, CT - It may be one of the biggest elections this year in CT, but the senatorial race between Linda McMahon and Chris Murphy doesn’t appear to be making large strides within the college/university crowd. As part of the coverage for the 2012 Connecticut Senatorial Race, the CPTV Media Lab Interns went out to the University of Hartford to experience first hand the views of students during the 2012 election year. Most students who were interviewed didn’t have explicit knowledge of the Candidates though there were a few students who rose above the rest with their knowledge.

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding

Sep 4, 2012
Mark Yaworowski

When Kerry Christianson first rode a horse, she needed people on each side of her to make sure she did not fall. Her posture was poor, and she needed to wear a special brace, so someone could hold her. Now, she is able to sit upright in her saddle, and hold her head steady. This is thanks to High Hopes Theraputic Riding in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Real Life Survival Guide Episode 57

Aug 27, 2012
Cindy Papish Gerber

When the calendar switches from August to September, I can't help but think about the various ways I have felt about fall over the years: nervousness and corduroys, preseason soccer, returning to college, and now, getting the kids OUT OF THE HOUSE!

Senator Who?

Jul 30, 2012

HARTFORD, CT - Some politicians believe that young people, between the ages of 18 and 26, don't care about politics. Senator Grump C. Mudgeon is one of those politicans. He claims that young people don't watch the news, pick up newspapers, or even register to vote.

The CPBN Media Lab went out in search of young people at the University of Hartford and Trinity College. After showing people Grump's message, which urges youth to avoid the polls, we filmed their reactions. "Who is this?" asked Andre Dixon, former UCONN student.

Connecticut’s House of Representatives has unanimously passed a wide-ranging education reform bill. Legislators describe the bill as an important step toward improving the state’s public schools and closing Connecticut’s achievement gap.

The chamber erupted in cheers after the 149 to zero vote, giving final legislative approval to a compromise education reform measure. 

Jonathan McNicol photo

Connecticut is going for education reform. We hear from teachers this time about what reforms they think will provide the best outcomes for students.

Diane Orson

Governor Malloy was in New Haven last night for a Yale conference on the future of education. In contrast to recent town hall meetings, this time the Governor was met by a receptive audience.

Governor Malloy outlined key proposals in his school reform package to nearly 200 people at the Yale School of Management’s Education Leadership Conference.

On the highly-charged issues of teacher evaluation and tenure, the Governor said there needs to be honest and frank discussion.  

The Connecticut Supreme Court has ruled that Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc. must pay the state millions of dollars in taxes and penalties. The court found that teachers in the classroom act as local salespeople for the out-of-state bookseller. 

The Connecticut Supreme Court unanimously reversed a trial court judge’s decision, and ruled that Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc should pay the state more than 3 million dollars in sales tax, interest and penalties. 

Is Adult Education Right For Teens?

Mar 15, 2012

INTRO: More and more Connecticut teens are leaving high school for adult education programs. Some say these programs offer more flexibility to kids who would otherwise just drop out of school. But others say adult education is not for teens. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Reporter Roundtable

Mar 13, 2012
Chion Wolf

While we’ve been obsessed with the big changes that may be coming to the state’s education system - there’s plenty more that lawmakers are considering.

On that long list: Red light cameras, hotel taxes, racial profiling, Sunday liquor sales and the death penalty. There’s also news about more firings over the D-SNAP scandal, and there’s the state of the budget in a slow-recovery economy.  Some economists are saying that it will take several more years to undo the damage of the last recession.

Union leaders representing Connecticut teachers say they agree with many of Governor Malloy’s education reform proposals, but are concerned that new teacher evaluations be used fairly. 

Earlier this year, Connecticut teachers’ unions agreed to a process that evaluates teachers based, in part, on student performance. This plays a key role in Governor Malloy’s education proposals. 

Teachers Unions

Mar 7, 2012
LizMarie_AK, creative commons

Connecticut teachers have been feeling under fire since Governor Malloy announced a sweeping new education plan.

Among the many points in his 163-page plan that’s now being debated by the legislature is a provision to change the rules on teacher tenure.

Malloy says that unions have already agreed to a deal that would tie student performance to teacher evaluations – but they’re cool to the Governor’s tenure plan.

STEM Series: Improving STEM Education in College

Feb 15, 2012
Neena Satija

Connecticut employers are saying that students in the state aren't coming into the workforce with the skills they need in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math.  In part, that's because more than half of students who enter college thinking about a science major end up leaving the sciences before they graduate.  In the third segment of our series on STEM education in Connecticut, WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on  efforts to change that.

In his State of the State address, Governor Dannel Malloy called on legislators to take bold steps to reform Connecticut’s public schools. He addressed the highly-charged issue of teacher tenure, and called for an overhaul of the system.

"Today tenure is too easy to get and too hard to take away."

Governor Malloy outlined six principles for education reform, but devoted the most time to teacher tenure. 

Increase in Test Scores Questioned

Jan 26, 2012

Connecticut’s seen a jump in student test scores in recent years. But as WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, a study released today/Thursday suggests that jump may be explained by a new way of collecting data.

Adult Education...For Teens

Jan 20, 2012
Neena Satija

In the previous segment of our three-part series, we heard about students who leave the traditional public school system for so-called alternative schools. But more and more teens are choosing adult education programs instead, often to finish school more quickly. In the final segment, WNPR’s Neena Satija asks if these students are getting the same education.

(Noise from a classroom; students talking with the teacher)

Diane Orson

Connecticut’s largest teachers union added its voice on Tuesday to a growing chorus of proposals for school reform.  The union’s plan addresses the controversial issue of teacher tenure.

Connecticut Education Association Executive Director Mary Loftus Levine says teachers are proposing to replace tenure with a streamlined dismissal process, "...to remove underperforming teachers and also allow for due process. We want teachers to be evaluated."

But she says, a teacher’s performance should not be judged solely by test scores.

Dropouts Or Pushouts?

Dec 22, 2011

Laura McCargar is giving some high school dropouts a new label. She’s calling them “push-outs,” or students who get counseled, and sometimes coerced, out of school.

McCargar became aware of the issue as an education advocate in New Haven.

“This work began because I worked with young people in New Haven who would walk into our afterschool program and tell me, ‘I don’t go to high school anymore,'" she says. "'What do you mean?’ ‘Well, my principal told me that I can’t be here anymore.’ ‘Well, what do you mean? You should be a high school student.’”

UConn Docs Offer New Shoes, and Healthy Feet

Nov 24, 2011
Uma Ramiah

Each year, the New England Musculoskeletal Institute at the University of Connecticut  provides free foot health screenings -- and new shoes -- for the homeless.

Dr. Vinayak Sathe is inspecting ... a foot.

"Can you move your ankle up and down? Good. And can you move it sideways? So just swelling right? And how far up does it go, like up to here?"

Morning Edition: Weight-Based Bullying

Nov 18, 2011
Jean-Pierre (Flickr Creative Commons)

Being overweight is the biggest reason why teens are bullied at school. That's according to a survey of Connecticut adolescents. Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Published the report online in the Journal of School Health. Joining us by phone is the lead author of the report, and director of research at the Yale Rudd Center Rebecca Puhl.

School superintendents say the public education system in Connecticut needs an overhaul. The superintendents have unveiled a bold plan to transform schooling in the state.

It's not enough anymore to give kids an opportunity to learn, says Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the CT Association of Public School Superintendents. He says schools have to insure that all kids achieve at high levels.

Paper Trails: The Chairs Are Where the People Go

Oct 21, 2011
Lee Towndrow

Sheila Heti writes experimental fiction. Her good friend Misha Glouberman holds art happenings in Toronto — he teaches improv classes, he gathers people in a room to make nonsensical noise, that sort of thing. Sheila thinks Misha has fascinating opinions about people, and that maybe he should write them down. Misha does not write.

What's an experimental fiction writer to do? Heti hung out with Glouberman, drinking coffee, taking notes, and then transcribing what he said into monologues by him.

Teaching About 9/11

Sep 9, 2011
Diane Orson

As the nation prepares to commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11th,  Connecticut schools are holding special assemblies and classroom discussions. We report on some of the challenges facing educators who teach students about 9/11, and the larger issues that surround the historic event.

Many schools in Connecticut delayed opening their doors last week thanks to Tropical Storm Irene.  But students at Capital Preparatory Magnet School in Hartford have been in school since last July.  And the school’s principal says he’ll be working harder to improve academic outcomes. 

Governor Malloy addressed the state’s school superintendents on Wednesday and presented his vision for a state education system that better prepares students for the kinds of jobs Connecticut employers can offer.

Governor Malloy began an impassioned 20-minute speech on education by describing why as a kid,  he loathed school. "..because I had a very different experience than a lot of my peers, having grown up with learning disabilities and not having reached any great level of achievement until late in high school."

An investigator for the State Department of Education has begun to question teachers and staff at a Waterbury elementary school about suspected cheating on the 2011 Connecticut Mastery Tests.  This is the latest in a string of cheating scandals nationwide.

17 teachers and other employees at Hopeville School in Waterbury have been placed on leave as an investigator looks into possible test tampering.  A preliminary review showed many wrong answers on this year’s CMTS had been erased and corrected.  

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