Public schools in the U.S. now have a majority of nonwhite students.

That's been the case since 2014, and yet children of color — especially boys — still lag behind their white peers.

This story has been all over the media. It's topic No. 1 at education conferences on university campuses. Even the White House is all over it.

But what Ron Ferguson wants to know is why. And he says there's a big group of experts out there who never get asked about it: boys and young men of color.

When Luc Ryan Schreiber arrived at Yale University, he was an openly gay man on nearly every part of campus. But there was one place where he wasn't: the rugby team. 

"I had a coach who used a lot of homophobic language...as the motivation to go faster, push harder, whatever," he says.

WNPR/David DesRoches

On a rainy April afternoon, middle schoolers filled the gym at Wexler Hall Community School in New Haven. 

Is failure a positive opportunity to learn and grow, or is it a negative experience that hinders success? How parents answer that question has a big influence on how much children think they can improve their intelligence through hard work, a study says.

Pasco County Schools / Creative Commons

For years, mothers have been telling their children to turn off the TV and go do something. 

University of Connecticut

The University of Connecticut's Board of Trustees has voted to close the school's Torrington satellite campus.

The latest results of the test known as the Nation's Report Card are in. They cover high school seniors, who took the test in math and reading last year. The numbers are unlikely to give fodder either to educational cheerleaders or alarmists: The average score in both subjects was just one point lower in 2015 compared with the last time the test was given, in 2013. This tiny downtick was statistically significant in mathematics, but not for the reading test.

But even though the changes are small, chances are you're going to be hearing about them in a lot of places.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Three cadets at the Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut are facing possible expulsion and more than three dozen others have been disciplined in an investigation into cheating on an online quiz. 

It was 1993 when Massachusetts Gov. William Weld declared: "A good education in a safe environment is the magic wand that brings opportunity." The Republican was signing into law a landmark overhaul of the state's school funding system. "It's up to us to make sure that wand is waved over every cradle," he added.

With that, Massachusetts poured state money into districts that educated lots of low-income kids, many of which also struggled to raise funds through local property taxes.

Alan Parkinson / Creative Commons

When history teacher Brandon Lorentz first told his students at Thirman Milner School they would be voting in a mock version of the presidential election, he wasn’t sure how they’d respond.

Jimmy Emerson / Creative Commons

The University of Connecticut has signed an agreement to spend $4 million to renovate and lease space inside the Hartford Public Library.

John Hill / Classical Magnet School

Ivan Backer narrowly escaped the Holocaust, and for the last 70-plus years, he's been trying to give back.

Anton Zelenov / Creative Commons

A group of young baseball players from West Hartford are in Cuba for a week to play baseball and distribute supplies in the town of Holguin. 

Of the 3 million students identified as gifted in the U.S., English Language Learners are by far the most underrepresented. And nobody knows that better than 17-year-old Alejandra Galindo.

"It's just kind of hard to not see people who look like me in my classes," she says. "I'm a minority in the gifted world."

Acid Pix / Creative Commons

It’s the time of year when many schools offer student trips that involve international travel. With the terror attacks in Brussels and Paris, and concerns about student safety, some school leaders in Connecticut have had to make hard choices about whether to move forward with their travel plans.

University of Connecticut

When Rachel Sczurek wanted to go to college, some people told her it wasn't a good idea.

"I didn't really let that get to me," she said. "It got to me a little bit, but I graduated magna cum laude and I did really well."

It's one of the most basic things in education: seeing the board. Research has shown, over and over again, that if you can't see, you're going to have an awfully hard time in school. And yet too often this simple issue gets overlooked.

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Most kids start school with one thing in common -- their age. But a new report by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents says that what a student actually knows is more important.

Kelly Henderson loves her job, teaching at Newton South High School in a suburb west of Boston. But she's frustrated she can't afford to live in the community where she teaches: It's part of the 10th most expensive housing market in the nation.

"For people in the private sector, they're probably saying 'Oh poor you, you can't live in the community where you work, what's the big deal?' " says Henderson, 35. "And I guess part of the nature of public education and why it's a different kind of job, is that it's all-consuming — as it should be."

Sage Ross / Wikimedia Commons

The leader of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system is recommending a tuition increase at all of its 17 campuses. 

David DesRoches / WNPR

Educators in urban areas are worried that if the state continues with its plan to eventually tie student test scores to evaluations, that nobody will want to teach in these cities.

Uncle Goose / Flickr

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.

The West End / Creative Commons

Yale University's expulsion of the basketball team captain last month is adding to growing criticism nationwide about how colleges investigate and discipline students accused of sexual misconduct.

Ryan Stanton / Creative Commons

Connecticut is one of only four states in the country that requires local school districts to pay for the bulk of special education costs, according to a new study that examines how states pay for this federally mandated program.

We all know that American college education isn't cheap. But it turns out that it's even less cheap if you look at the numbers more closely.

That's what the Wisconsin HOPE Lab did. The lab, part of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, conducted four studies to figure out the true price of college.

To get a sense of student realities, researchers interviewed students on college campuses across the state of Wisconsin. But they also examined 6,604 colleges nationally and compared their costs with regional cost-of-living data from the government.

In his new documentary, Connecticut journalism professor and newspaper columnist Frank Harris III spotlights what is unarguably one of the most controversial words in America: the n-word.

Kailey Townsend

Reuben Pierre-Louis was moments away from leaving the University of Connecticut. As one of only 600 or so black male students at a college of 20,000, he found himself lost in a sea of white faces.

CT-N Screenshot

Yes means yes.

That's essentially what affirmative consent means: that all parties who engage in a sexual activity have to clearly indicate that they want to. 

"My friends are scared, and I am scared," said Yale student Hannah Schmitt, speaking to the General Assembly's Higher Education and Employment Advancement Committee on Tuesday.

CT-N Screenshot

Joceline Tlacomulco came to Connecticut from Mexico when she was eight months old. She's now at the University of Connecticut pursuing a degree in music education, but she has to pay her own way.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A University of Connecticut professor warned that the unchecked growth of charter schools could lead to something similar to the subprime mortgage bubble.