Education

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Three small children walked in front of Javier Mautino, as men on either side of him high-five the kids and wish them well on their first week of school.

"It's awesome, it's awesome," he said. "It's beautiful man, to see all those fathers out there and everything, that's great."

COD Newsroom / Creative Commons

As traditional college graduates shoulder large student loan debt and companies hunt for skilled labor, technical and vocational high schools are garnering more attention. Do skills like 3D printing and precision machining really help students get jobs and higher wages?

This hour, we explore the value of career and technical education in Connecticut and nationwide.

Thomas Autumn / Creative Commons

Emily Sessions had just started a new semester teaching art to Yale undergraduates, when she was told that her teaching load would be doubled, but her pay would remain the same.

Recent studies and government reports continue to highlight what many American's know by their wallets: Rising income differences, debt and stagnant real wages are among the biggest problems besetting the nation.

That economic inequality is reflected in America's schools, right? Absolutely.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The state's education commissioner delivered her annual back-to-school address to district superintendents on Monday, highlighting both strengths and areas for improvement such as chronic absenteeism.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The rise of the Black Lives Matter movement has placed attention on longstanding institutional racism and the racial bias that exists throughout society. But it's also led to resistance, as well as rising tensions between police and people of color.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The U.S. Secretary of Education stopped by Hartford on Wednesday to talk about the importance of school diversity. 

Secretary John King only has a few months left in his position, but he made one thing clear to an audience of about 100 educators and students -- diversity helps everyone.

woodleywonderworks / Creative Commons

Learning English can be tough for children whose parents speak a different language at home. But a new study suggests that, in Spanish-speaking homes, learning words and numbers in Spanish actually helps children pick up English faster.

frankieleon / Creative Commons

Illicit use of prescription drugs has almost tripled among high school students in southeastern Connecticut. That's according to the Southeastern Regional Action Council.

Jacqueline Rabe / The Connecticut Mirror

Closing arguments continued on Tuesday in the decade-old school funding lawsuit filed against the state. 

Miranda Gallagher of Fairfax is a rising fourth-grader at BFA-Fairfax who also happens to have written a recipe, had it published in a cookbook and was a guest of honor at the White House. She was chosen as the 2016 winner from Vermont for the "Healthy Lunchtime Challenge," which invited children ages 8 to 12 to create a recipe that's healthy and made with local ingredients.

For a moment, let's pretend.

That everything you know about America's public education system — the bitter politics and arcane funding policies, the rules and countless reasons our schools work (or don't) the way they do — is suddenly negotiable.

Pretend the obstacles to change have melted like butter on hot blacktop.

Now ask yourself: What could — and should — we do differently?

Jacqueline Rabe / CT Mirror

Closing arguments began on Monday in a decade-old lawsuit that claims the state's school funding system is unconstitutional. 

Rilind Abazi

Rilind Abazi was only a baby when he and his family fled Kosovo for Macedonia during his country's war in the late '90s.

"We were received by a family of strangers. We didn't know them, but we've become family friends," he said. Now he's trying to return the favor.

Mayte Lara Ibarra and Larissa Martinez had just finished their senior year of high school when they each decided to go public with their immigration status. Both Texas students came to the U.S. illegally, and they didn't want to keep that fact a secret any longer.

Ibarra identified herself on Twitter as one of the 65,000 undocumented youth who graduate high school in the U.S. Martinez revealed her status in the commencement speech she delivered at graduation.

Their actions sparked support and pointed criticism. That was more than a month ago.

Friends of Hammonasset

UPDATE: Dennis Schain, spokesman for the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, stated: "It is likely that we will reduce the times the center is open in the upcoming offseason.  It is much less likely that we would actually close the nature center  for the winter months."

ORIGINAL POST:

A nature center on Long Island Sound could be closing just a few months after opening a brand new building. 

kaboompics.com

Ionel Naghi left Romania in 2003 with $50 in his pocket. Once he got to Connecticut, he quickly learned something that was both surprising and confusing.

Patrick Skahill / WNPR

Elementary school students in Newtown will return to a new building next month, and on Friday, media were allowed to tour the facility.

Petteri Sulonen / Creative Commons

The state will no longer be providing sign language interpreters. State officials have laid off more than two dozen interpreters in an effort to close the budget deficit.

David DesRoches / WNPR

It was a muggy and overcast Thursday morning as John Volin led me through patches of tall milkweed and wild raspberries. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

After years of being in limbo, a high school in North Hartford is finally on its way to getting a $100 million makeover. Three separate schools will be housed there, part of the city's efforts to deal with declining enrollment.

USDA

Bonnie Hutson has a lot of stories to tell about the importance of feeding children. She works for the West Haven Family Resource Center, which provides food for kids and families during the school year.

There's a reason Jose Luis Vilson's students learn in groups: He wants them to feel comfortable working with anyone in the classroom, something he's realized in his 11 years of teaching doesn't always come naturally.

"I don't really give students a chance to self-select until later on, when I feel like they can pretty much group with anybody," he says.

David DesRoches / WNPR

In the summer of 1877 there was a battle in the mountains of Montana. The Nez Perce people fought the U.S. Army over two days. Dozens of women and children were killed, along with U.S. and Nez Perce fighters. 

Gloda/iStock / Thinkstock

Seven of Connecticut's 13 private, non-profit colleges are graduating fewer than two-thirds of the student body. That's according to an analysis of federal data by Third Way, a Washington D.C.-based think tank.

David DesRoches / WNPR

University of Connecticut student Haddiyyah Ali got an email in January from a woman whose story floored her. The woman was working at a talent agency in 1965 when she says Bill Cosby invited her to a party at his house.

WNPR/David DesRoches

About half of all teenagers in foster care never graduate from high school. The state created an online learning program for these students to help fix the problem.

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Hundreds of prison inmates across Connecticut will now have access to federal grant money to help pay for college. 

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The Connecticut Supreme Court has ordered a judge to hold another hearing to determine whether the names of some University of Connecticut animal researchers can be kept secret to protect their safety.

Asnuntuck Community College

Colleges and universities in New England are increasingly offering discounts to attract students from nearby states. 

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