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Education

Dropouts Or Pushouts?

Dec 22, 2011

Laura McCargar is giving some high school dropouts a new label. She’s calling them “push-outs,” or students who get counseled, and sometimes coerced, out of school.

McCargar became aware of the issue as an education advocate in New Haven.

“This work began because I worked with young people in New Haven who would walk into our afterschool program and tell me, ‘I don’t go to high school anymore,'" she says. "'What do you mean?’ ‘Well, my principal told me that I can’t be here anymore.’ ‘Well, what do you mean? You should be a high school student.’”

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The University of Connecticut announced yesterday that it’s raising tuition starting in 2013. Yearly increases thru 2016 will be 6 percent, 6.3 percent, 6.5 percent and 6.8 percent...nearly doubling the cost of attending UConn in less than 12 years. Tuition and fees for an in-state student is currently $10,670. Under this plan, it could grow to $13,130 by 2016.

A new report calls for a closer look at the role of race in Connecticut’s persistent achievement gap. The study finds that male students of color do not have the same educational opportunities as their white counterparts. 

Many male students of color are struggling in school for reasons that have nothing to do with their socio-economic status, family background or perceived level of ability or motivation, says Jeremy Bond, spokesperson for the State Education Resource Center or SERC, which released the new report.  

School Arrests Bring New Scrutiny, Reforms

Dec 14, 2011
Jordan Valentine Graphic

As a fifth grader at a New Haven magnet school in 2009, Jacob was watching a lot of “Ed, Edd n Eddy” shows on TV—a slapstick cartoon that features adolescent equivalents of the Three Stooges. Maybe too many shows, his mother now says.

On Monday, Connecticut's new Education Commissioner Stefan Pryor addressed the task force charged with finding solutions to Connecticut's achievement gap - the disparity between poor and wealthy students. Connecticut's achievement gap is considered the widest in the nation. Commissioner Pryor joins us now by phone.

Advocates for early childhood education are calling on the state to withdraw its latest motion in a major school funding lawsuit. The state wants to exclude preschool programs from the case. 

Governor Malloy is seen as a champion of preschool education, says Maggie Adair, director of the Connecticut Early Childhood Alliance.  

"He did not cut anything in early care and education or early childhood funding for that matter in the last session. He’s proposed 1,000 new preschool slots over the next couple of years"

Courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons Photo by No Division

It's been several months since a new law went into effect allowing illegal immigrants to pay the in state tuition rate at public colleges and universities in Connecticut.

As WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil reports, more than one hundred undocumented students have signed affadavits to qualify for the rate this semester.

The Superintendent's Plan

Nov 29, 2011
hythe eye, creative commons

The state’s school superintendents have cooked up the latest in a series of high-profile plans to reform education in the state.

Their plan is ambitious and far reaching, including changes to testing, teaching and teacher tenure.  Most importantly, perhaps are goals to offer more flexibility for both school districts and individual student learning plans.  

Among the other recommendations? Universal Preschool and development of new relationships between superintendents and school boards.

Flickr Creative Commons, PhotoDu.de

When I was a kid, my parents fell into the practice of dropping me off at churches they themselves had no intention of attending.

So for a while, in the 1960's, I joined the Universalist Church on Fern Street in West Hartford. I went to services and Sunday school and, somewhere around sixth grade, I joined a Youth Fellowship there.

Morning Edition: Weight-Based Bullying

Nov 18, 2011
Jean-Pierre (Flickr Creative Commons)

Being overweight is the biggest reason why teens are bullied at school. That's according to a survey of Connecticut adolescents. Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity Published the report online in the Journal of School Health. Joining us by phone is the lead author of the report, and director of research at the Yale Rudd Center Rebecca Puhl.

Governor Malloy’s “E-C-S Task Force” meets today.  The panel will hear testimony from a researcher at Connecticut Voices for Children on how to improve state financing of local public schools.

The Education Cost Sharing, or ECS, grant is the single most important source of funding for education from the state to local towns.  The amount that a town receives is determined by a complex formula, which most educators and legislators agree needs to be reformed.  Earlier this year, Governor Malloy established a task force to look into the formula. 

School superintendents say the public education system in Connecticut needs an overhaul. The superintendents have unveiled a bold plan to transform schooling in the state.

It's not enough anymore to give kids an opportunity to learn, says Joseph Cirasuolo, executive director of the CT Association of Public School Superintendents. He says schools have to insure that all kids achieve at high levels.

The first round of applications for relief from the federal No Child Left Behind Act are due on Monday. But Connecticut will wait until the next year to apply.

School closures due last weekend’s snowstorm have created a scheduling headache for education leaders.  We visited the town of Cheshire on Thursday, where students have already missed five days of classes, and winter hasn’t even begun.

"Grades were supposed to close this week, so this is one of the critical weeks in school."

The Connecticut Supreme Court heard arguments on Thursday challenging the state’s takeover of Bridgeport’s troubled public schools.  Much of the debate centered on whether officials followed proper steps before replacing local school board members with state appointees.

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