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Education

A few years ago, Lauren had a big problem. The Queens, N.Y., resident had graduated from college with an art degree as the Great Recession had hit. She had private student loans with high interest rates. For work, all she could find were retail jobs. And by 2016, her loans had ballooned to about $200,000.

" 'I can't afford to actually pay my bills and eat and pay my rent,' " she remembers thinking. "I was financially handicapped. I mean, my student loan payments were higher than my rent was."

Pixabay.com

More than 4 million people, around 1 out of 5 undergrads, are raising children today. That’s according to the U.S. Department of Education. These student parents tend to have higher GPAs than traditional students. They’re often older, single, and women of color. But more than half of them leave school without getting a degree. 

Connecticut Settles School Desegregation Case

Jan 10, 2020
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

State officials agreed Friday to enroll more than 1,000 new students in magnet schools as part of a milestone agreement in the decades-long Sheff vs. O’Neill school desegregation case. The agreement dedicates 600 of those seats to the more than 12,000 children who attend struggling, segregated schools in Hartford.

Xiaphias / Wikimedia Commons

Spend just a few minutes with young children and you’ll marvel at their imagination. Maybe they’re pretending to be a dragon running a bakery, or they’re coloring the sky purple instead of blue. But somewhere along the way, most of those kids turn into adults who say, “I’m just not a creative person!”

This hour, we ask: how can we foster children’s imaginations? What is creativity, anyway? We talk with psychologists and art teachers to explore what we can do to keep our kids, families, and society inspired by a lifelong curiosity for the arts.

rashida s. mar b. / Flickr Creative Commons

The stereotypes around homeschooling have existed for decades. Since the modern homeschooling movement began in the late 20th century, those who favored this educational approach have largely been perceived as white, anti-establishment, radically Christian, and ultra-conservative.

Bill Smith / Flickr

Literacy. It's something many of us take for granted. The ability to read health forms, headlines, or the latest bestsellers. Yet, across the U.S., there are millions of adults who have difficulty reading.

This hour, we find out why. We talk with literacy experts and advocates, and we also hear from you.

Later in the hour, we hear about controversy in Killingly, Connecticut over a school mascot that Native Americans groups in Connecticut say is offensive. Connecticut Public’s Frankie Graziano will join us for more.

This fall, there were nearly 250,000 fewer students enrolled in college than a year ago, according to new numbers out Monday from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which tracks college enrollment by student.

"That's a lot of students that we're losing," says Doug Shapiro, who leads the research center at the Clearinghouse.

UConn Announces One Major Gift, And Another To Come

Dec 12, 2019
Jimmy Emerson / Creative Commons

The UConn Foundation announced Thursday that it has received $3 million from an anonymous donor to establish two endowed chairs for scientists in ecology and evolutionary biology.

The gift means the university will be able to recruit and retain two of the “best scientists in the field,” according to a statement from the foundation, which is the university’s fundraising arm.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

Wokandapix / Pixabay

As college students wrap up their fall semester, there is an expectation their professors are tenured. But three out of four faculty today aren’t eligible for tenure. And many are adjuncts, part-time faculty without strong benefits or job security.

What’s the human cost to this model of education? We find out and we want to hear from you.

vxla/Flickr

There are some things we claim to know about Thanksgiving and the arrival of the Pilgrims that are correct: the white settlers and Native Americans really did get together, have a feast and play games. But there are many facts we get completely wrong. For one, the Pilgrims were not called Pilgrims when they arrived. And sociologist James Loewen, author of “Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong,” says they were not coming to the Americas for religious freedom.

Environmental Protection Agency

Classrooms across the state are becoming serious health hazards for teachers and students alike. That’s according to a report released this week by the Connecticut Education Association.

In the survey, teachers in 334 Connecticut schools reported dilapidated classroom conditions that they say are causing respiratory ailments, sinus issues, and in some cases vomiting.

Over 100 schools districts were represented in the report, including Bridgeport, Naugatuck and Orange.

StanfordEdTech / Creative Commons

The state announced Friday nearly $26 million in federal funds will go toward higher education readiness programs for low-income students. That money will be dispersed over the next seven years to support tutoring, mentoring, and college scholarships.

Debby Shapiro

Middletown today is known for its vibrant main street and the scenic grounds of Wesleyan University.

But the city began as a trading port on the Connecticut River, and from its founding, much of the wealth that came into that port was tied to the transatlantic slave trade. This hour, we hear about a new UNESCO memorial that has brought recognition to that city’s role in slavery.

We also learn about members of a historic African American family in that city who were at the forefront of fighting slavery. The Bemans were prominent abolitionists and leaders in the Middletown’s free black community in the 19th century. 

Some residents today are hoping to see a new public school bear the name of that family. Are you a Middletown resident? How do you think your city should approach its history?

Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

At 27, he was a Connecticut school principal. At 44, he is the state’s commissioner of education.

This hour, Dr. Miguel Cardona joins us to talk about his vision for Connecticut's education future. 

Starting early last year, the nation's most powerful consumer protection agency sent examiners into companies that run student loan call centers to try to fix a troubled loan forgiveness program. But the Department of Education blocked the bureau from getting the information it needed, NPR has learned.

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program is designed to help firefighters, military service members, nonprofit workers and others. But thousands of people say they were treated unfairly and rejected.

Yale University has made a significant investment in New Haven, helping to turn the city around over the last 30 years.
Courtesy Yale University

New Haven was stumbling and struggling in the 1980s and early 1990s. Downtown was moribund, litter-strewn and dangerous — a Yale student (among others) was killed on the street in 1991.

Ng Han Guan / Associated Press

The Partnership for Connecticut has invited the public to the first “organizational meeting” of its governing board on October 18, but it’s unclear what portion of that meeting – or subsequent meetings – will be open, or what the board will be discussing. 

A majority of parents rarely, if ever, discuss race/ethnicity, gender, class or other categories of social identity with their kids, according to a new, nationally representative survey of more than 6,000 parents conducted by Sesame Workshop and NORC at the University of Chicago.

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The new president of the University of Connecticut says he’ll be unveiling a program next month to help low income students attend UConn for free.

Thomas Katsouleas said, at the same time, to mark his October 4th inauguration, the school will also launch a new campaign to raise scholarship funds to allow other students to offset more of the cost of college. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut has a new leader. This hour, we sit down with UConn’s new president, Thomas Katsouleas, who stepped into the role this August.

Katsouleas is trained as a physicist and electrical engineer whose career has focused on plasma science. We hear about his path to Connecticut and ask him about his vision for Connecticut's flagship state university.

'Where We Live' On Higher Education

Sep 20, 2019
By Amherst2005 (www.creativecommons.org)

Where We Live recently launched a series of conversations about higher education. We discuss everything from tuition to tenure and talk with leaders from the state's colleges and universities. Listen to recent episodes below and make sure to check back for more. 

Wokandapix / Pixabay

As college students settle into the fall semester, there is an expectation their professors are tenured. But three out of four faculty today aren’t eligible for tenure. And many are adjuncts, part-time faculty without strong benefits or job security.

What’s the human cost to this model of education? We find out and we want to hear from you.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

For more than 30 years, Quinnipiac University was led by John Lahey. Now, the private university in Hamden, Connecticut has a new leader and its first female president. This hour, we sit down with President Judy Olian.

Olian comes to the university from UCLA, where she was Dean of the business school.

We find out what is her vision for Quinnipiac University, and ask: In an age of ever-changing technology, how is the school preparing its students successfully for the workforce of the future?

Russ / Creative Commons

Standardized tests, application forms, campus visits. The path to college can be a daunting one, especially when you add tuition to the mix. Then, of course, there is the cost of room and board, meal plans, textbooks...feeling stressed yet?

This hour, we tackle the realities of affording a college education, and we also hear from you. Are you the parent of a college-age student? Are you, yourself, working toward a college degree? How has this impacted you financially...emotionally? 

CTMirror.org

The governing board of a public-private education partnership was asked to unanimously approve — via mail — a tentative budget, nearly $250,000 in executive compensation, and various operating procedures before its first meeting.

Legislative leaders who sit on the board all declined the request this week. 

Lamont Names Financier Dan Toscano As UConn Chairman

Aug 29, 2019
Ariel Dowski / UConn

Dan Toscano, a Darien financier and longtime financial supporter of the University of Connecticut, has been chosen by Gov. Ned Lamont as the new chairman of the UConn Board of Trustees.

Toscano, who graduated from UConn in 1987 and currently has a son enrolled there, is the former head of the UConn Foundation Board of Directors and has been a long time donor to the university. 

Kathleen Megan / CT Mirror

Miguel Cardona, the state’s new education chief, charged the state’s superintendents to challenge “the normalization of failure” to ensure that all students have a chance to succeed. 

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

Just ahead of a new school year, hundreds of families gathered in Hartford for CREC’s fifth annual Back to School Block Party.

The event has quickly become a community favorite, offering free ice cream and hot dogs, along with other items like water bottles and books. 

Tong: State Officials In Dalio Partnership Must Share Public Records

Aug 7, 2019
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

A new opinion from Attorney General William Tong could lead to much greater transparency for the public-private partnership investing millions of dollars in Connecticut’s struggling schools. 

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