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Gilead, the biopharmaceutical company responsible for manufacturing Truvada, has come under scrutiny for its HIV drug pricing. This hour, we get the latest on this story. We also preview an upcoming Hartford rally, scheduled to coincide with AIDS Awareness Day. 

Chion Wolf / Connecticut Public Radio

Advanced Placement test scores continue to rise in Connecticut, as does the number of students taking them.

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Connecticut's graduation rate is now the highest on record, state officials said Monday. Last year, 87.9 percent of high school seniors graduated. That's about five points higher than the national average. The graduation rate gap between students of color and white students also shrank.

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Connecticut schools performed about the same as they did last year on the state's accountability system. 

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Connecticut officials praised the latest 11th grade SAT scores, saying that the state is further closing the achievement gap. But many students from the state's poorest performing districts remain far behind their high-achieving peers from other parts of the state.

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The Rorschach inkblots are ubiquitous throughout culture. They've inspired visual artists from Warhol to Alan Moore, from Gnarls Barkley to Jay Z, to the Watchmen comics. The inkblots have also become a perfect metaphor for today's polarized, relativist world. 

Mark Turnauckas / Creative Commons

The Rorschach inkblots are ubiquitous throughout culture. They've inspired visual artists from Warhol to Alan Moore, from Gnarls Barkley to Jay Z, to the Watchmen comics. The inkblots have also become a perfect metaphor for today's polarized, relativist world. 

WNPR/David DesRoches

Federal and state laws require students to take several standardized tests each year, but critics argue that these so-called high stakes tests aren't a reliable way to see how well students know certain subjects.

"Common Core is a total disaster. We can't let it continue."

So said presidential candidate Donald Trump in a campaign ad on his website.

To make sure there's no confusion about where he stands on the learning standards that are now used by the vast majority of states, Trump also tweeted earlier this year:

"Get rid of Common Core — keep education local!"

The Rhode Island Department of Education has announced a new testing policy that should come as welcome news for many high school students. Under the new rules, 10th and 11th graders no longer have to take annual standardized tests of English and Mathematics.

Chion Wolf/WNPR

Most kids start school with one thing in common -- their age. But a new report by the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents says that what a student actually knows is more important.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Educators in urban areas are worried that if the state continues with its plan to eventually tie student test scores to evaluations, that nobody will want to teach in these cities.

Connecticut Education Officials Cut Time Spent On Testing

Feb 26, 2016

On Thursday, Connecticut education officials announced they are cutting the amount of time third- to eighth-grade students spend on standardized tests.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The state’s largest teaching union criticized the current guidelines for teacher evaluations in Connecticut at a press conference on Monday, calling for changes to a system that the organization said puts too much emphasis on standardized test scores -- and not enough on classroom learning.

Connecticut's largest teachers union wants state lawmakers and the governor to replace a controversial standardized test administered to students in grades three through eight.

President Obama called it "a Christmas miracle. A bipartisan bill signing right here."

The "right here" was the South Court Auditorium, part of the White House complex. More importantly, the bipartisan bill being signed was the Every Student Succeeds Act — a long-overdue replacement of the unpopular federal education law known as No Child Left Behind.

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote as soon as Wednesday on replacing the nation's big education law, known since 2001 as No Child Left Behind.

And President Obama is expected to sign the new version, ending an era marked by bitter fights between the federal government, states and schools.

So as it dies, we thought an obituary was in order.

Yup, an obituary. Because the law's critics and defenders all agree on one thing: No Child Left Behind took on a life of its own.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

The U.S. House of Representatives has approved a wide-ranging bill to revise the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, also known as "No Child Left Behind."

Uber has shaken up what it takes to get from point A to point B in cities across the country with a simple premise: If you need a ride, a driver nearby could pick you up within minutes.

Behind that idea is an algorithm, which promises to keep supply and demand in constant balance, encouraging drivers toward busy areas and tempering customer requests by increasing the price of each ride. It's called surge pricing.

Connecticut students tested at about the same levels in math and reading as they did in 2013, according to results released by the National Assessment of Educational Progress, or NAEP. Fourth graders, however, tested worse this time around than they did two years ago.

Updated at 12:15 p.m. ET.

Arne Duncan will step down as President Obama's education secretary in December, a White House official confirms to NPR.

Obama has selected Deputy Education Secretary John B. King Jr. to replace Duncan. King is a former New York State education commissioner. (President Obama is making a personnel announcement at 3:30 p.m. ET.)

John Walker / Creative Commons

Under current law, by the time students in this year’s sixth grade class reach 12th grade, there will be new, more rigorous requirements to graduate high school.

Office of Dannel Malloy

The results are in, but teachers aren’t happy.

State education officials released the long-anticipated results of the new standardized test, called the SBAC, on Friday. The numbers showed that less than half of Connecticut students met the “achievement level” or above in math in grades 3 through 8, and slightly more than half met this level in reading.

Chester E. Finn Jr. has three very bright granddaughters. He thinks they "have considerable academic potential and are not always being challenged by their schools." Finn is not just a proud grandpa; he's a long-established expert on education policy with the Fordham Institute and Hoover Institution.

So it's not surprising that his grandkids got him wondering about — and researching — a big question: How well is the U.S. educating its top performers?

U.S. Department of Education

There will be one less test for eleventh graders this coming school year – at least for students who plan on taking the SATs as part of the college application process.

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 This hour, two education leaders discuss turnarounds of a very different type. In Bloomfield, not too many years ago, students struggled with some of the worst math scores in the state, and only about half of students went on to colleges. Those numbers have improved substantially over the last few years. We talk about the successes with the school superintendent, James Thompson.

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Lawmakers in Congress are debating the Student Success Act, which would replace and update the No Child Left Behind law. The Republican House bill passed without the support of Connecticut lawmakers, or any Democrats at all.

David DesRoches / WNPR

Jennifer Necci is trying to get seventh graders to tell her how well they think they’re writing about a book they’ve read.  

timlewisnm / Creative Commons

  Between regular coursework finals, advanced placement tests, and college entrance exams, junior year of high school is rough. Now piled on top is the new SBAC assessment, which has faced lots of pushback from students, families, and educators across the state.

timlewisnm / Creative Commons

As many Connecticut high school students prepare to take SAT tests this weekend, a growing number of colleges and universities nationwide are dropping their SAT and ACT testing requirements. 

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