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Sheree Baldwin Muhammad, teacher at New Beginnings Family Academy

Starting this week, teachers and child care providers are now eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. 

This hour, we talk with three Connecticut teachers and hear about what this past year has looked like for them and their students. 

As The Push To Reopen Schools Intensifies, Miguel Cardona And Jill Biden Travel To Meriden

20 hours ago
Pool/New York Times

On his first day on the job as U.S. secretary of education, Meriden’s Miguel Cardona traveled back to his hometown to showcase for the nation, alongside first lady Jill Biden and the leader of one of the nation’s largest teachers unions, how the district where he spent his career opened its schools for students to learn in-person and full-time amid the pandemic.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

When Gov. Ned Lamont announced he was switching to an age-based vaccine rollout plan going forward, he made a carve-out for teachers and child care workers to jump to the head of the line. They’ll be eligible to sign up for an appointment on March 1 along with folks over the age of 55.

Report: Twice As Many Conn. High Schoolers Are In Danger Of Being Held Back

Feb 22, 2021
A classroom is set up for the fall semester at Middletown High School. There will be an empty desk between two students. High school students will have to carry their desk shield assigned to them when moving to another class.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

Research released Monday confirms what many parents and educators already suspected — more students than ever are falling behind during the pandemic, a problem especially present among those learning entirely from home in some of the state’s larger districts.

Portrait of Federal Communications Commission (F.C.C.) Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel
Federal Communications Commission

Telehealth, Google Classrooms, and Zoom have become essential for daily life in the pandemic.

This hour, we learn about the role of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to make sure all Americans have access to broadband internet.

We talk with the FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, a West Hartford native.

Connecticut Education Association

Though Connecticut educators are considered essential workers, they are not yet eligible for vaccination against COVID-19. To address this, the Connecticut Education Association has launched a TV ad featuring Connecticut teachers of the year calling on the state to “Vaccinate educators now!” 

Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

An overwhelming number of people signed up to testify Tuesday during what was expected to be a contentious public hearing on school vaccination requirements -- so many that lawmakers, by a majority vote, decided to cap the duration of the virtual hearing at 24 hours.

The limit was criticized by several Republican members of the state Public Health Committee, as well as those who testified throughout the day. 

5317367 / Pixabay

Plumbers and electricians are essential workers with well-paying jobs.  And yet skilled trades face worker shortages and struggle to recruit young people.

This hour, we take a look at vocational education. We talk with a teacher and a student from one of Connecticut’s technical high schools.

And we ask a national expert: what can the Biden administration do to build up a new generation of tradespeople?

Desks are spaced 6 feet apart in a classroom at the CREC Academy of Science and Innovation in August, 2020.
Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

As COVID-19 cases rise, teachers, parents, and students worry--is school safe? At the same time, as many students engage in education remotely, many students are falling farther and farther behind, and the impact of that learning loss is disproportionately falling on nonwhite students.

By Amherst2005 (www.creativecommons.org)

Over 40 million Americans have student loan debt owing an average of $36,520 alone, for federal loans. Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona, and President Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Department of Education, says student debt relief would be a priority. 

Pixabay

Broadband access is not just a convenience, it’s essential for life under COVID-19. 

This hour, we take a look at Connecticut’s digital divide. We talk with a researcher whose report highlights the stark racial and economic disparities in internet access in our state.

Governor Lamont has proposed universal broadband by September 2022. But is the state taking strong enough steps to put all residents on an equal footing when it comes to internet access?

With many U.S. schools still shuttered or operating on a limited basis, and millions of children learning remotely (or trying to), the stakes are high for Miguel Cardona. He is President Biden's pick to run the U.S.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

Dr. Miguel Cardona’s journey as an educator started in an elementary school classroom in Meriden, Connecticut. Now, Connecticut’s education commissioner is heading to Washington D.C. as President Biden’s pick for nation’s Secretary of Education.  This hour, we sit down down with Dr. Cardona.

If confirmed by the Senate, Cardona will take the helm of the U.S. Department of Education during a pandemic that has profoundly disrupted the country’s education system.  As Education Commissioner, Cardona advocated strongly for an in-person return to the classroom in Connecticut. How will he navigate education during COVID-19 at a national scale?

John Amis / Associated Press

Connecticut lawmakers will again consider a controversial bill that would get rid of religious exemptions from vaccinations for schoolchildren.

The percentage of Hartford students in racially integrated schools dropped significantly this academic year amid the challenge of the COVID pandemic and a major change in the operation of the regional school choice lottery, according to figures provided by the state Department of Education.

Seth Sawyers / Creative Commons

We’re one semester into the 2020-2021 academic year. This hour, how are faculty at our Connecticut colleges and universities holding up? 

Coming up, we'll talk about faculty burnout, the impending end of tenure, and what universities will invest in, in the future. 

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

Connecticut student-athletes have gotten the OK to play again.

A board of control for the governing body of state public high school sports, the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference, approved a return to play that’ll allow students to practice January 19 with games beginning February 8.

Image of the U.S. Capitol Building
Scazon / Creative Commons

President Trump has been impeached by the House of Representatives again, making him the first president in U.S. history to be impeached twice. With just days before President-Elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, what happens next?

We check in with impeachment legal expert Ross Garber.

We also talk with The New York Times Interpreter columnist Amanda Taub. What lessons can we take from attacks on democracies globally to better understand our current moment?

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

The youth sports shutdown in Connecticut -- one caused by the coronavirus pandemic -- may soon end.

COVID-19 Pandemic Introduces New Factors To CT’s Teacher Shortage

Jan 7, 2021
Desks are set up at a gym for alternate learning classes on Thursday, Sep. 3, 2020 at Carrigan Intermediate School in West Haven. Part of the gym is available for one class at a time with a wall between them.
Yehyun Kim / CTMirror.org

With three kids attending schools where the learning model is different from the district where she teaches high school math, Kristle Rodriguez has struggled at times to balance the needs of her students and her children.

By the first day of school, Waterbury Public Schools had yet to contact the entire parent population. 10% were still unresponsive to what the district classified as repeated attempts.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

New studies confirm that the coronavirus pandemic has led huge numbers of people across the U.S. to move from big, densely populated areas to smaller cities or suburbs. Connecticut is no exception, with its influx of transplanted New Yorkers. And with more parents working remotely, these new residents may decide to stay and enroll their children in local schools.

Miguel Cardona with his parents in Meriden.
CTMirror.org

Miguel Cardona is drawing praise from many in the academic community as a visionary choice to be the next U.S. secretary of education. President-elect Joe Biden announced his pick last week.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public

President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to lead the federal Department of Education -- Miguel Cardona -- has deep roots in Connecticut public schools.

Miguel Cardona
Courtesy: NEAG School of Education, UConn

President-elect Joe Biden is prepared to offer Connecticut Education Commissioner Miguel Cardona the job of leading the U.S. Department of Education, according to a report by CNN.

If confirmed by the Senate, Cardona would take the reins of the department during a pivotal time in education as the pandemic keeps many school buildings across the country closed and evidence mounts that students are falling behind.

Clergy To Lamont: Earn Our Support By Tackling School Segregation

Dec 18, 2020
Rev. Trevor Beauford, pastor of Union Baptist Church, holds up a Bible during a rally in front of Hartford City Hall this summer. Union Baptist is a member of Faith Acts for Education.
Cloe Poisson / CTMirror.org

Clergy from Connecticut’s three largest cities reminded Gov. Ned Lamont last week that he needs their support to win re-election, and they challenged him to earn it by tackling the “racist and classist” way the state funds the struggling, segregated schools in their neighborhoods.

A school bus drives by the state Capitol.
Jacqueline Rabe Thomas / CTMirror.org

Three years have passed since lawmakers celebrated passing a budget that aimed to narrow the vast disparities in school spending by ZIP code by funneling millions more each year to struggling districts.

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public

With the second wave of coronavirus infections seemingly roaring across Connecticut, state teachers unions have been calling for students to go to a distance-learning-only model for the time being. But the state -- led by Gov. Ned Lamont -- remains adamant about keeping kids at least partially in the classroom.

Southern Connecticut State University senior Asma Rahimyar has a history of breaking new ground. The 20-year-old Trumbull resident is the child of Afghan immigrants and was the first in her family born in the United States.

Now the political science and philosophy major has achieved another remarkable first -- she is Southern Connecticut State University’s first-ever Rhodes Scholar, one of the most prestigious academic awards in the world. 

Asnuntuck Community College

Completion rates for low-income Black and Latinx students enrolled in Connecticut’s two-year public colleges were already low before COVID-19 hit, and the pandemic has exacerbated the challenges they face.

The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is helping out some of those students through grants it has awarded to five community colleges.

CT Public

Shifting back and forth between in-person and remote learning has been tough, according to Alisha Price. She teaches social studies and literacy at Hallen School in Bridgeport.

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