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Last week, we reported that an advertising campaign by the Hartford Public Schools upset state education officials.  Now, as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, plaintiffs a landmark school desegregation case say the "Choose Hartford" ad strategy could land everybody back in court.

A bill that would raise the starting age for kindergarten has passed out of the Appropriations Committee.  Critics are concerned that it does not provide an alternative for kids whose families cant afford an extra year of preschool.

The idea is to require children entering kindergarten to be five years old by October 1st. This new law would take effect in 2015, and supporters say it would improve teaching and learning because right now, the age range in kindergarten is too wide. 

Tomorrow is the deadline for students who want to accept a placement in one of the state's magnet or choice schools.  But as WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports, a press release from the Hartford Public Schools has apparently rubbed the state the wrong way.

Photo by Yutaka Tsutano, Courtesy of Flickr CC

This week, the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence is announcing a new way to teach teenagers about healthy relationships. As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, the message is coming right to a teen's cell phone.

There aren't many teenagers these days who don't have a cell phone. Smartphones like the Iphone and Droid are "the" phones to have because they allow teens to text messages, take pictures and videos, listen to music, surf the web and of course play a ton of cool games.

"I have a lot of games. My mom yells at me for having all the apps."

Financial Literacy and Connecticut's Kids

Apr 12, 2011
Chion Wolf

We’re struggling to get out of a recession, caused in part by borrowing way too much.  So, if grown-ups can’t manage their money – how should we expect kids to?

Many financial experts say that children aren’t learning the right lessons about how to handle their money.  Here’s an example: A recent study finds that today’s parents are “incredibly lenient” about handing their children extra money – you know, that 20 dollars to go see a movie, over and above their allowance.

Week of the Young Child

Apr 12, 2011
Pawel Loj, Creative Commons

This week has been designated The Week of the Young Child by the National association for the Education of Young Children, Joining us by phone is Maggie Adair, executive director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.

Vice President Joe Biden has announced new steps to help colleges and universities fight sexual violence on campus. This comes as federal authorities are investigating whether Yale University has failed to properly respond to complaints of sexual harassment and assault.

Speaking at the University of New Hampshire on Monday, Vice President Biden and Education Secretary Arne Duncan spelled out the legal obligations of colleges and universities under federal civil rights laws.  

Diane Orson

Federal authorities are investigating a complaint that Yale University has failed to adequately respond to allegations of on-campus sexual harassment and misconduct. Students describe a “sexually hostile” environment at the school.

Sixteen current and former Yale University students filed the complaint under Title IX, with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.

21-year old Yale student Alexandra Brodsky:

Like many other school districts, Hartford, Conn., rewards schools that perform well and closes schools that perform badly.

But Hartford is also a district that allows parents to choose their child's school. As the theory goes, parents should naturally choose the good schools over the bad ones — but as it turns out, they often don't.

A workforce training initiative in Eastern Connecticut has become the first in the country to offer college credits for free online work-skills courses. 

For six years, CT Works Careers Centers in Eastern Connecticut have offered their clients free three-month licenses to access over five thousand skills training courses via computer. The courses are concentrated either in IT skills or in health care certifications. John Beauregard of the Eastern Connecticut Workforce Investment Board says the service is already a success.

Closing The Gap - In The Suburbs, Too

Mar 15, 2011
Connecticut Mirror

First of three parts

    WEST HARTFORD--Xavier Rosa is stuck. The fourth-grader at Braeburn Elementary School knows that five is not a factor of 57-he got the question right on his homework assignment. And he knows that any number that ends in five is divisible by five. But his teacher, Michele Cashman, presses him to remember what the other half of the rule is, asking him how many cents he would have if he had two nickels.

    "Ten," he says.

    "So, what's in the one's place?"

    Bonnie Brown, Creative Commons

    Today is Connecticut Association of Boards of Education day at the state Capitol.  Some 200 school board members, students, and teachers will spend the day talking with state lawmakers about their concerns and their legislative agenda.  Joining us is Patrice McCarthy, Deputy Director and General Counsel of The Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. 

    FrankJuarez / Creative Commons

    Leadership in school districts is more important than ever before – as schools struggle to fulfill local educational needs, while paying close attention to edicts from the federal government.  

    Then, of course, there’s the job of finding the money to do it all…while dealing with politics, parents and issues of student achievement which may not all be under your control. 

    Today, where we live, we’ll look at the job of superintendent, and ask what it takes to find the right leader in the schools to run your “race to the top.”

    Emerging Adults

    Feb 28, 2011
    archie4oz, creative commons

    Step aside “quarter life crisis” -  there’s a new term for 20-somethings in that transition phase of their lives.  He calls it “emerging adulthood”

    Dr. Jeffrey Arnett claims that in the past half century, the experience of people aged 18 to 29 has changed dramatically - at least in some societies.

    Most young people now postpone marriage and parenthood until at least their late twenties, and spend their late teens through their mid-20s in self-focused exploration, trying out different possibilities in love and work.

    woodleywonderworks, creative commons

    Governor Malloy is pushing to increase the minimum age for kindergarten, hoping to close the achievement gap and raise test scores.

    The state's plan is simple. To enter kindergarten, a child would need to turn 5 by October first...rather than the current date of January 1. The bill would also keep 7-year-olds out of kindergarten. It means more kids are closer to the same age- something that would make sense for a lot of schools.

    Record-setting snowfall, sub-zero temperatures and treacherous travel conditions have meant plenty of missed school days this year.  Educators are worried that lost classroom time may affect preparation for standardized tests. 

    State Department of Education spokesman Tom Murphy says he’s seen school closings, late openings and early dismissals in other years, "but this is really beyond what we’ve seen ever.  And it couldn’t happen at a worse time in our high schools, when we have our end of course exams" 

    Eastern Washington University, Flickr Creative Commons

    In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on higher education to reinstate the Reserve Officer Training Corps on college campuses. Many elite colleges and universities haven't had ROTC chapters since the late 1960s. But the end of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell could open the door. Most undergraduates at Yale University think its a good idea. 

    Yale student Katherine Miller says President Obama’s message is clear. The military is becoming more inclusive. And that  means she’ll be able to pursue her dream of a career in uniform. 

    A is for Admission

    Jan 24, 2011

    A former admissions officer at Dartmouth College reveals how the world's most highly selective schools really make their decisions.

    Credit Greg Verdino/Flickr Creative Commons

    It’s commencement weekend for many colleges and universities in Connecticut. Among them is Wesleyan University in Middletown, where there’s been a lot of talk this year about a subject that’s often buried in a culture of silence: campus sexual assault.

    In the first of a series of stories on the issue, WNPR’s Diane Orson reports on how the university judicial process handled the case of a 2010 graduating senior named Eve, who’s asked that we not use her last name.

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