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Connecticut's graduation rate is now the highest on record, state officials said Monday. Last year, 87.9 percent of high school seniors graduated. That's about five points higher than the national average. The graduation rate gap between students of color and white students also shrank.

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Connecticut schools performed about the same as they did last year on the state's accountability system. 

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Connecticut officials praised the latest 11th grade SAT scores, saying that the state is further closing the achievement gap. But many students from the state's poorest performing districts remain far behind their high-achieving peers from other parts of the state.

Mark Turnauckas / Creative Commons

The Rorschach inkblots are ubiquitous throughout culture. They've inspired visual artists from Warhol to Alan Moore, from Gnarls Barkley to Jay Z, to the Watchmen comics. The inkblots have also become a perfect metaphor for today's polarized, relativist world. 

Mark Turnauckas / Creative Commons

The Rorschach inkblots are ubiquitous throughout culture. They've inspired visual artists from Warhol to Alan Moore, from Gnarls Barkley to Jay Z, to the Watchmen comics. The inkblots have also become a perfect metaphor for today's polarized, relativist world. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Federal and state laws require students to take several standardized tests each year, but critics argue that these so-called high stakes tests aren't a reliable way to see how well students know certain subjects.

"Common Core is a total disaster. We can't let it continue."

So said presidential candidate Donald Trump in a campaign ad on his website.

To make sure there's no confusion about where he stands on the learning standards that are now used by the vast majority of states, Trump also tweeted earlier this year:

"Get rid of Common Core — keep education local!"

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.

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.

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.

Connecticut Education Officials Cut Time Spent On Testing

Feb 26, 2016

On Thursday, Connecticut education officials announced they are cutting the amount of time third- to eighth-grade students spend on standardized tests.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s largest teaching union criticized the current guidelines for teacher evaluations in Connecticut at a press conference on Monday, calling for changes to a system that the organization said puts too much emphasis on standardized test scores -- and not enough on classroom learning.

Connecticut's largest teachers union wants state lawmakers and the governor to replace a controversial standardized test administered to students in grades three through eight.

President Obama called it "a Christmas miracle. A bipartisan bill signing right here."

The "right here" was the South Court Auditorium, part of the White House complex. More importantly, the bipartisan bill being signed was the Every Student Succeeds Act — a long-overdue replacement of the unpopular federal education law known as No Child Left Behind.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on replacing the nation's big education law, known since 2001 as No Child Left Behind.

And President Obama is expected to sign the new version, ending an era marked by bitter fights between the federal government, states and schools.

So as it dies, we thought an obituary was in order.

Yup, an obituary. Because the law's critics and defenders all agree on one thing: No Child Left Behind took on a life of its own.

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