Students and Schools | Connecticut Public Radio
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Students and Schools

Ryan Caron King / Connecticut Public Radio

It’s lunchtime at Central Connecticut State University and 10 students converge on their usual spot in the dining hall. They start talking about the food — and it becomes clear that they don’t love the rice. They explain that it’s not as seasoned as the homemade arroz in Puerto Rico.

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Teachers from across Connecticut convened at the state Capitol on Friday, asking lawmakers to not increase their pension obligations. Teachers call it the "teacher tax,” and they said it’s asking them to fix a system broken by years of under-funding by the state.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Catherine Smith is Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development. This hour, she stops by for an update on the state's economy and manufacturing workforce.

Later, we also check in with Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg. How is his school training the next generation of manufacturing employees? We find out and we also hear from you. 

Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

Right now, every student at a public college in Connecticut, including those who are undocumented must pay a portion of their tuition towards a financial aid fund. But undocumented students are not allowed to apply for the aid they help to fund.

"Why have you become, people say, the most hated Cabinet secretary?" Lesley Stahl asked Education Secretary Betsy DeVos in a 60 Minutes interview that is drawing lots of attention.

"I'm not so sure how exactly that happened," DeVos responded in the interview, which aired Sunday night on CBS.

Pixabay / Creative Commons

Connecticut has spent over $50 million helping schools beef up security since 2013. Some of that money -- $3.2 million -- has gone to private schools, which are reimbursed at a higher rate than many public schools.

Students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., will once again walk the halls of their school Wednesday, exactly two weeks after many of them evacuated in single file lines, scared for their lives and worried about their friends.

Some students may still not be ready.

Many students and parents had a chance to go back into the school on Sunday for an orientation. They hugged and cried as they stepped inside for the first time since a former student, Nikolas Cruz, 19, killed 17 people when he shot an AR-15 in the freshman building on February 14.

It’s a simple plan: Run. Hide. Fight.

That's what the Department of Homeland Security advises people to do when there’s an active shooter. Police departments also use this method when training school employees, students, and increasingly, aspiring teachers.

Fran Rabinowitz, the president of the Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents, called for changes to gun legislation Thursday at East Hartford High School. She was supported by student leadership at the school.
Frankie Graziano / Connecticut Public Radio

East Hartford High School students are joining a national chorus of voices against gun violence. They want to be heard by legislators in Washington D.C.

Schools' Accountability Score Flat, Student Growth Slows

Feb 11, 2018
Alberto G./flickr creative commons

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

Jim Finley - Principal consultant to the Connecticut Coalition for Justice in Education Funding (CCJEF).
Chion Wolf / WNPR

A recent Connecticut Supreme Court decision found that the legislature, not the court, is responsible for decisions around funding the state's public schools. But that sparked a debate between an advocate and a lawmaker over where the responsibility actually lays.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Catherine Smith is Commissioner of Connecticut's Department of Economic and Community Development. This hour, she stops by for an update on the state's economy and manufacturing workforce.

Later, we also check in with Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg. How is his school training the next generation of manufacturing employees? We find out and we also hear from you. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Brian Dunnigan is a web designer and co-founder of the Hawthorn Watch Co. in Vernon, Connecticut.

Coming up, we discuss the inspiration behind his business and talk about Connecticut’s role in manufacturing the hands of time.

But first: mastering the skills of traditional craftsmen.

We hear how an exhibit at the Connecticut Historical Society celebrates the bond between artists and their apprentices.

Antonio Cruz, a city school bus driver, addresses the Hartford school board at a public hearing Tuesday night. Cruz is the father of Paola Cruz, 9, a student at Batchelder Elementary School, which would close under the district's consolidation plan.
Vanessa de la Torre / WNPR

Antonio Cruz is the father of a 9-year-old at Hartford’s Batchelder Elementary, one of the city neighborhood schools that the superintendent has proposed shutting down this summer.

"The federal government must take bold action to address inequitable funding in our nation's public schools."

So begins a list of recommendations released Thursday by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bipartisan agency created by Congress in 1957 to investigate civil rights complaints. Thursday's report comes after a lengthy investigation into how America's schools are funded and why so many that serve poor and minority students aren't getting the resources they say they need.

Justin Brockie / Creative Commons

Across New England, freezing temps and blizzard conditions marked an unforgiving start to 2018.

This hour, we consider the factors underlying this extreme winter weather -- including the role of global climate change. 

mygueart/iStock / Thinkstock

A few years ago, a group of lawyers sued the state, claiming that two students were denied their right to an education because they had been expelled. One of them was a boy of color who moved to another town after he was expelled.

Hartford Schools Welcome Adults From Puerto Rico

Jan 2, 2018
David DesRoches / WNPR

KendraLiz Gonzalez had been in cosmetology school for only two months when Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico, destroying her school. So she took her twin girls, hopped on a plane, and came to Hartford, where she's staying with her aunt.

Creative Commons

Connecticut is among the worst states in the country when it comes to being financially literate, according to a recent report by Champlain College.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut's Board of Regents are moving forward with a plan to dramatically restructure the state's community colleges. The board approved the proposal on Thursday, which would consolidate the 12 schools into one system with 12 campuses.

The system has been struggling financially for years as state funds have dwindled. The move is expected to save about $28 million dollars annually through staff cuts and resource sharing.

WNPR/David DesRoches

Justin Rosa wasn't doing so great when he first moved to Connecticut from Florida in eighth grade.

"That process alone was very difficult, losing all my friends, having to start over, it was such a hard time for me,” he said. “I was very depressed." 

The once-outgoing kid began to retreat into his own head. And that's when the thoughts began.

"To be alone was such a…  a scary point in my life,” he said. “I thought that I would have committed suicide. And it wasn't until the Choose Love Foundation that everything changed."

David DesRoches / WNPR


On a cold December morning, fifth-grade teams at Simpson-Waverly School in Hartford are making skyscrapers.

alkruse24 / Creative Commons

Sixteen years after the U.S. entered into war with Afghanistan -- a look at one woman's efforts to inform and inspire young Afghan girls.

This hour, Shabana Basij-Rasikh talks about her upbringing under the Taliban in Kabul and about her experience co-founding SOLA -- the School of Leadership, Afghanistan

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