A deeper look

Recent Posts

Amid fiscal perils, will the state embrace regionalism?

Facing years of projected state budget deficits, could a move toward metropolitan regions help save money and spur economic development, as advocates claim? What would a major step look like? And could any effort succeed against Connecticut’s long devotion to localism. First of three articles. Continue Reading →

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MGM spends $3.8M lobbying in Hartford, but wins in Washington

MGM Resorts International spent $3.8 million on lobbying in Connecticut last year, more than three times any other interest group, in a vain attempt to stop the General Assembly from authorizing its tribal competitors to build a casino in competition with MGM Springfield. But MGM had another card to play — a friendly relationship with the Trump administration and its Interior secretary, Ryan Zinke. Continue Reading →

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CT’s clean energy edge: Going, going . . . or coming back?

Connecticut, once a national leader in clean and renewable energy and energy efficiency, has slipped behind many other states, including its neighbors. Most of the finger-pointing is at the state’s budget problems and questionable choices by the legislature. But the state may have started to lose its energy edge before then. The question is, can it get it back? Continue Reading →

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Pressing question for CT: A state tax break for private school tuition?

The federal tax overhaul may have triggered an automatic state tax break that would allow parents to avoid paying state taxes on some of the money they put aside to send their children to private K-12 schools. Forces already are lining up to back or resist a change. Continue Reading →

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Here’s how Massachusetts helped one troubled school district improve

In Lawrence, a once-booming mill town that Boston Magazine labeled the “City of the Damned” five years ago, schools have shown remarkable improvement since the state intervened in 2011. Last of three stories in a special report. Continue Reading →

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Massachusetts spends less per poor student than we do and gets better results

In both states spending on education has increased greatly over the last 25 years – with one key difference: Massachusetts tied increased state aid to ambitious reforms it credits with spurring remarkable advances in student achievement. Connecticut relied more heavily on local educators to use increased state aid to improve things. Second of three stories in a special report. Continue Reading →

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Massachusetts is like Connecticut, but does a better job educating the poor

Massachusetts over the last 20 years has moved to the top of the national rankings for achievement by students from low-income families while Connecticut has lagged. Here’s how they did it. First of three articles in a special report. Continue Reading →

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The state of CT’s public schools in charts

The state’s public education system has reached a pivotal time. The Connecticut Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today in a landmark school-funding case. And with the state facing major projected deficits for the foreseeable future, it might take an order from the high court for much more money to reach Connecticut’s most impoverished districts. The court will be hearing an appeal from a ruling in which Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher found the state’s method of distributing aid to schools to be “irrational,” and thus unconstitutional. His ruling included a scathing indictment of the education students receive in the state’s most impoverished districts. Continue Reading →

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For CT, strides and stumbles in quest to spur bioscience industry

Connecticut is losing more bioscience jobs than it is gaining, despite a sizable jump in research and development jobs over the last three years. Alexion’s departure is the latest in a line that has undercut bioscience growth. Nonetheless, many say New Haven is nearing a “critical mass” after years of effort by Yale and a new cluster is emerging in Farmington after more than $1 billion in state investment. Continue Reading →

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Separating fact from fiction on state school aid

How the state funds public schools is so messy and complicated that dozens of parents, educators, legislators, the governor, and a Superior Court judge have characterized the setup as broken. However, some of the criticism that regularly surfaces is based on skewed perceptions of reality. Continue Reading →

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In their words: English learners share their stories about school

One in 14 Connecticut students understand so little English, they are considered English learners, and the state has the largest gap in achievement in the country between its English learners and its English-speaking peers. As part of its recent exploration of issues surrounding English-language learners, the Mirror wanted to hear what these students feel is helping them. Here is what some of them had to say. Continue Reading →

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English learners: A jumble of strategies produces distressing results

A number of weaknesses in the approach the state and school districts across Connecticut have taken to educating the rapidly increasing number of English learners has produced distressing outcomes on nearly every benchmark – including academic achievement gaps between English learners and their peers that are among the worst in the nation. Second of three stories. Continue Reading →

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