schools

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.

The Rhode Island Department of Education has announced a new testing policy that should come as welcome news for many high school students. Under the new rules, 10th and 11th graders no longer have to take annual standardized tests of English and Mathematics.

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.

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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.

Diane Orson

Summer's here and many Connecticut kids are heading off to camps and summer enrichment programs.

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.

Jackson Mitchell / WNPR

Legislative leaders are criticizing the University of Connecticut for moving forward with raises for its senior staff despite the state's budget problems. The pay increases come at a time when UConn students will see a 31 percent tuition hike over the next four years.

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. 

A new law, years in the making, mandates that all public schools in New York State test for lead in their drinking water.

Lead is a neurotoxin that has been linked to learning disorders and lower IQs, especially in children. Back in the 1980s, the federal government tried to regulate the amount of lead in school drinking water but failed.

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Did you know you could get a college scholarship for being tall

WNPR/David DesRoches

It was one of those days that will stick with 14-year-old Lucca Riccio. 

When Caitlin Cheney was living at a campground in Washington state with her mother and younger sister, she would do her homework by the light of the portable toilets, sitting on the concrete.

She maintained nearly straight A's even though she had to hitchhike to school, making it there an average of three days a week. "I really liked doing homework," says Cheney, 22, who is now an undergraduate zoology student at Washington State University. "It kept my mind off reality a little bit."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

PCBs, or polychlorinated biphenyls, are known as one of the 12 most harmful organic chemicals in the world. But the material has been used in building construction for decades, and has become a complex problem affecting cities, schools, and individuals in many states.

WNPR/David DesRoches

At Hanover Elementary School in Meriden, Desiree Riley's kindergarten class read a book about a badger that bullies a raccoon. There was a moment in the book where the raccoon had to make a choice about how to handle the bully.

Waterbury Public Schools

Jahana Hayes is a history teacher at John F. Kennedy High School in Waterbury, Connecticut. She's also the 2016 National Teacher of the Year. This hour, she stops by to talk about her career, her new national title, and her recent visit to the White House

U.S. Department of Education

Connecticut's high school graduation rates reached an all time high last year. But a closer look at the figures reveals the state still has some work to do.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

A Connecticut man who said he was sexually abused as a child at a private school in Massachusetts wants to see the statute of limitations on the crime abolished. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

It was an emotional school board meeting for Superintendent Alicia Roy. After hearing Thursday evening that more than two-thirds of the district'’s teachers want her to resign, she became visibly upset, and struggled to respond.

Peter Morenus / UConn

West Hartford officials are planning to buy a University of Connecticut property instead of allowing a for-profit international school to come to town.

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There's a debate in West Hartford over plans by a for-profit company to open an educational academy for Chinese students in town. The plan would include sending some students to the public high schools.

What are the pros and cons in allowing international students into our public schools at a time when districts face declining enrollment and budget constraints? Is this a creative way to fund public schools or is it detrimental to their mission? 

JMA Students Javon Franklin, Sharonda Williams, and Jordan Goffe

Students from the Journalism and Media Academy magnet school abandoned their typical blue uniforms for formal attire as they interviewed an American civil rights leader who also struggled to end apartheid alongside Nelson Mandela.

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.

Attorney Mitchell Garabedian is calling for a federal investigation of sexual abuse allegations at private schools in New England, such as the Fessenden School in Newton.

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.

Nuclear Regulatory Commission / Flickr Creative Commons

New York's Indian Point nuclear facility has faced a number of recent incidents including fires, blown transformers, and most recently detection of radioactive water near the facility. This hour, an update on the situation there and in Florida where the Turkey Point nuclear facility is under scrutiny.

We also hear from WNPR’s David DesRoches, who has been following the story of PCBs in Connecticut schools and in Alabama.

Harriet Jones / WNPR

The U.S. Navy recently picked Groton's Electric Boat shipyard to build 12 new submarines in what could be a $100 billion contract. 

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.

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