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Nicole Leonard / Connecticut Public Radio

On a typical day at East Shore Middle School in Milford, the library is where students spend time using the computers, working on projects and checking out books.

But on a recent Monday morning, about a dozen students sat at tables, each with a virtual reality headset strapped onto their faces and a controller in one hand. Instead of seeing each other, Tino Pavlat and his friends interacted with people at a virtual high school and played Space Cats, a shooter minigame.

Phil Roeder / Creative Commons

Defense Secretary Mark Esper demanded the resignation of Navy Secretary Richard Spencer on Sunday. Esper said he had lost confidence in Spencer. Esper's action follows Spencer publicly disagreeing with President Trump over the military's decision to demote one of three war criminals the president pardoned against military advice. What are the consequences of presidential interference in the military code of justice?

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

The University of Connecticut is moving forward with a series of initiatives to help the Storrs campus heal after a racist incident that drew outrage from many students.

Earlier this week, two white UConn students were arrested after they were identified on a viral video shouting racial slurs as they walked through the parking lot of Charter Oak apartments, an on-campus residence hall.

During a meeting of the UConn Board of Trustees Wednesday, University President Thomas Katsouleas said the incident has affected the student body.

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. 

Milestone C Stem / YouTube

The superintendent of schools in Shelton is speaking out days after a white student in the district spit on a black patron at a Washington, D.C. museum.

John Brighenti / Flickr

A Connecticut town is dealing with another incident in which a student in the district is being accused of committing an alleged racist act.

Sandy Hook Promise (screengrab) / YouTube

A nonprofit formed in response to the Sandy Hook school shooting has released a new public service announcement.

Can We Get Some Volunteers?

Sep 17, 2019
rawpixel.com / Pexels

Whether through religious groups or school-organized activities, Americans have long sought ways to give back to their communities. But has this spirit of altruism faded in recent years?

This hour, we check on the state of volunteering in the U.S. and ask what is being done to motivate more Americans to do good in their spare time. Do you remember the last time you volunteered? We want to hear from you. 

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? 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

There’s a new initiative in Hartford aimed at exposing area teenagers to careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

David DesRoches

Shawn and Shane Brooks had a problem. They'd been accepted into Morehouse College, excited to attend the same school as Martin Luther King Jr. and other black male leaders. 

But then they got their financial aid packages. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A state investigation into Norwalk's special education program has found that the district has not been following federal law, but the findings reflect deeper problems that the district has faced for years.

The complaint that sparked the investigation was filed on behalf of 14 Norwalk students, but Jill Chuckas, a special education advocate who filed the complaint along with two lawyers, said the problems impact all kids with disabilities in the district.

Mark Ojakian
Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

There's currently a $12 million hole in the state's community college budget for next year, and the gap is expected to widen in the coming years if changes don't happen soon.

The Board of Regents for Higher Education approved the use of $8 million from its reserve funds to cover some of the shortfall, but that money won't last forever.

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

When it comes to the future of Connecticut's 12 community colleges, a great deal of uncertainty remains, especially on the issue of consolidation.

Something certain, however, is the nearly $1.3 billion operating budget that was approved by the Board of Regents for the state's college and university system last month.

This hour, the president of that system, Mark Ojakian, joins us in-studio to talk more about the budget and what it means for community colleges specifically. 

Yalines Herrera, 15, participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program last year, and is again participating this year.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

Nearly 200 Hartford students will be spending the rest of their summer working, thanks to a paid internship program funded by the state and several nonprofits.

Yalines Herrera, 15, participated in the Summer Youth Employment Program last year. She said if she wasn't getting a job this summer, she’d probably spend her summer at home.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With Connecticut's legislative session now over, there were a few bills passed that impact education issues in the state, and some that didn’t make it through.

David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A textbook being used in Hartford middle schools gives equal weight to an argument against climate change, despite the vast majority of scientists who say the planet is warming and human activity is a contributing factor.

The view of Expo Fest in 2018.
Skills21

When people think of middle and high school kids presenting sophisticated technology or engineering projects, they usually think of a science fair. But according to Matt Mervis, Expo Fest looks more like a Silicon Valley start-up competition.

Cloe Poisson/Connecticut Public Radio

As she sat with her newborn in the hospital bed after a long and painful labor, an exhausted Corrine Walters held her son close, rocking him in her tired arms. Her first child. She smiled at him.

“Hi Jackson, you’re here, finally!” Corinne remembered saying. “I’m your mom!”

Read the full story, view videos in American Sign Language, and listen to the radio documentary at wnpr.org/makingsense.

(AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

A big part of the so-called American Dream promises that if people work hard enough -- no matter how poor they are -- they’ll find success. It turns out  that's not completely true, according to a new report by Georgetown University, which shows that wealth is stronger indicator of success than intelligence.

Education professor Anthony Carnevale co-authored the study.

Pexels

A new report by the National Education Association, the nation's largest teachers union, says that Connecticut's charter school laws need to be improved.

Elise Amendola / Associated Press

Four years ago, Hartford school officials decided to try to reduce the numbers of students being suspended. So they implemented what's known as a "restorative justice" model for discipline, but many teachers report that they haven't been trained on the new practice, and now many students are acting out, with no consequences.

Young people and their supporters gather in Hartford to protest climate change and ask for the Green New Deal.
David DesRoches / Connecticut Public Radio

A large majority of teachers say that climate change should be taught in schools, according to a new NPR - Ipsos poll. But the same poll that found that most teachers don't teach climate change to their students. 

Sage Ross / Flickr

Thirteen Yale University professors are taking a stand against the school in order to get long-term support for an ethnic studies program.

Bert Heymans / Creative Commons

Students who are deaf or hard of hearing often struggle to develop language, so state lawmakers are considering a bill that would require districts to collect and share data on their language abilities.

Students Gather In Hartford To Demand Climate Action

Mar 16, 2019
David DesRoches

About 200 young people and their supporters gathered at the capitol in Hartford on Friday to demand action on climate change.

Ryan Lindsay / Connecticut Public Radio

A new education bill seeks to add African-American studies to the social studies curriculum in Connecticut public schools. High school students testifying before the legislature this week said loud and clear that Black history is more than just Rosa Parks, slavery and civil rights.

Creative Commons

What happens when a community comes together to talk about issues of race and racism? This hour, we find out how one Southington, Connecticut group is helping facilitate conversations between residents and town officials.

Erica Roggeveen Byrne, founder of Southington Women for Progress, joins us. We also sit down with Oliver Scholes of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center in Hartford, Connecticut. And we want to hear from you. 

Jason D. Neely

It began as a six-month assignment covering the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. But NPR reporter Adrian Florido has been on the ground in Puerto Rico for more than a year now.

This hour, we check in with Florido. What changes has he observed since arriving on the island?

A spike in blood pressure. A racing heart rate. Sweaty palms.

For many adults, this is what they feel when faced with difficult math.

But for kids, math anxiety isn't just a feeling, it can affect their ability to do well in school. This fear tends to creep up on students when performance matters the most, like during exams or while speaking in class.

One reason for a kid's math anxiety? How their parents feel about the subject.

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