schools

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.

Creative Commons/StockMonkeys.com

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.

Gloda/iStock / Thinkstock

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.

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.

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.

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.

Acid Pix / Creative Commons

A Connecticut high school is canceling a class trip to Germany and Austria because of security concerns following bombings in Belgium.

DC Central Kitchen / Creative Commons

They say it's important to eat breakfast every day. But what if you eat two breakfasts?

According to a new study, students who eat two breakfasts -- one at home and one at school -- are less likely to experience unhealthy weight gain than students who skip the meal altogether

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.

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