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Education

What does it mean to declare that #blacklivesmatter in education?

Last month the Movement for Black Lives, representing elements of the Black Lives Matter movement and related groups, issued a detailed policy platform denouncing what it called "corporate-backed," "market driven" "privatization" in school reform, and helped set off a furor over this question.

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Public schools in two Connecticut districts are looking for new leadership. Hartford’s school superintendent stepped down earlier this month to accept a new position. On Tuesday, New Haven’s Superintendent of Schools, Garth Harries, announced he’s leaving.

Bertha Vazquez has taught earth science for more than 25 years.

"For many years I covered the basic standard, probably like most people in the country do," she says.

Then one day, she says, she decided to throw that all out the window after seeing former Vice President Al Gore speak at the University of Miami at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary about climate change.

"And it really ... hit me. This is 2007 and, I've got to tell you, I lost sleep," Vazquez says.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Teen pregnancy rates in the U.S. have reached historic lows, according to the latest data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, declining more than 40 percent from 2006 to 2014.

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Zero tolerance policies send a strong message to students but at what cost?

This hour, we examine how over time, these policies have led to suspensions and expulsions for minor issues -- and can have drastic effects on a student’s future.

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The teacher situation in Connecticut is, like many other things, vastly different between poor and wealthy communities. 

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State officials announced on Thursday that they will appeal a recent decision by a Hartford court that ordered the state to revamp much of its education policies and procedures. 

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

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A video game designed by Yale University is dramatically improving math and reading test scores in second graders, according to a new study.

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

Many issues have come out of last week's decision in a landmark school funding lawsuit, including how the state pays for special education.

Two students from Sacred Heart school in Greenwich were given an award by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for developing an organic fertilizer using orange and banana peels.

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A Superior Court Judge ruled last week that Connecticut’s system for funding public schools is ‘irrational’ and ‘unjustifiable’ — failing to provide a fair distribution of funds for Connecticut’s students. The judge allowed the state 180 days to come up with a plan to overhaul its system.

This hour, we talk more about the ruling and find out what, if anything, can be done to improve the way our schools are funded. 

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The state’s largest business organization has given a cautious welcome to a landmark court ruling, which orders a complete overhaul of Connecticut’s education system. 

Pool Photo / Stephanie Aaronson / Wall Street Journal

A Superior Court judge in Hartford dropped a bombshell on Connecticut’s entire education system Wednesday, saying the state is failing in its constitutional duty to rationally and fairly fund public education. 

This story is part of a series from NPR Ed exploring the challenges U.S. schools face meeting students' mental health needs.

Every year, thousands of children are suspended from preschool.

Take a second to let that sink in.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 6,743 children who were enrolled in district-provided pre-K in 2013-14 received one or more out-of-school suspensions.

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Technical high schools used to be thought of as places where kids go to learn a vocation -- things that usually involve manual labor, like HVAC work, or car mechanics.

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A transcript of this show is available here.

It's hard to think about language as being endangered or replaceable. But as our culture and means of communication evolve, certain languages find their utility in decline. Braille and sign language are in just such a predicament.

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."

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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