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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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A health center tries a new way to deliver care, starting with longer appointments

Norwalk Community Health Center’s pilot program is small. But in shifting how care is delivered for patients with complex needs, it has implications for how the center treats all of its patients. It’s also an example of what a major, ongoing change in health care delivery could look like, a shift that could, ultimately, affect all patients in Connecticut. Continue Reading →

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Can an apartment cut health care costs of homeless ‘super users’?

Connecticut is part of a national demonstration program aimed at finding a new way to address the needs of homeless health care “super users.” It’s designed to test the questions: Can housing and support be the answer? Can it save money? And can it be sustainable? Continue Reading →

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Hospitals say state puts them between a rock and a hard place

As hospital officials describe it, state policy is pushing them in two opposing directions. Higher state taxes and funding cuts have added to the factors pushing independent community hospitals to join larger health systems, they say. But at the same time, legislators concerned about the growth of large health systems have been pushing for new restrictions on changes in hospital ownership, which hospital officials say makes it harder for them to adapt. Continue Reading →

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Labor in the crosshairs as budget crunch worsens

Connecticut’s labor leaders insist the writing is on the wall. Barring a dramatic new development, they say, state employees will be asked to grant wage and benefit concessions for the third time in seven years. But that doesn’t mean workers are ready to endorse more givebacks. Continue Reading →

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Youth incarceration down; obstacles remain for some discharges

Changes in sentencing policies for young offenders mean fewer inmates than ever are living at the Connecticut Juvenile Training School, though several youths on any given day remain locked up because there is nowhere else for them to go. Continue Reading →

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Ojakian hopes to calm the storm at CSCU, yet make merger work

The career public employee with a reputation for lowering the temperature in heated situations hopes that quality will help him resolve the underlying fiscal, labor and educational issues that plagued his predecessors. Continue Reading →

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Post-Newtown program helps children get mental health care

Addressing mental health issues has become an increasingly large part of pediatric practice, but few pediatricians said they could meet their patients’ behavioral health needs or easily access a psychiatrist to help. A program created in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting aims to change that by funding teams of psychiatrists to consult with pediatricians. It was used more than 5,000 times in its first year. Continue Reading →

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Herbicide finding intensifies battle over GMO labeling

More than two years after passing the nation’s first law requiring labels on most foods containing genetically engineered components, there are still no labels for Genetically Modified Organisms – GMOs – in Connecticut or anywhere else in the U.S. But GMO labeling advocates now have some new ammunition for a counter-offensive. Continue Reading →

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School desegregation: Will focus shift from magnets to suburbs?

As Connecticut spends billions to build and run 42 racially integrated magnet schools in an effort to meet a court desegregation order, the state has failed to substantially grow a far less expensive alternative by enrolling city students in suburban schools. Continue Reading →

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