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Airline travel and more disrupted by global tech outage; Nevada gets OK to sell federal public lands for affordable housing;Science Moms work to foster meaningful talks on climate change; Scientists reconsider net-zero pledges to reach climate goals.

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As Trump accepts nomination for President, delegates emphasize themes of unity and optimism envisioning 'new golden age.' But RNC convention was marked by strong opposition to LGBTQ rights, which both opened and closed the event.

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It's grass-cutting season and with it, rural lawn mower races, Montana's drive-thru blood project is easing shortages, rural Americans spend more on food when transportation costs are tallied, and a lack of good childcare is thwarting rural business owners.

Report: CT student diversity outpaces educator diversity

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Tuesday, January 2, 2024   

The latest report finds large diversity gaps between Connecticut students and teachers.

The Diversity Gap Update finds there are more students of color than teachers of color in Connecticut schools - a trend that's only grown over time.

And yet, studies show students do better when they learn from people they look like.

Amy Dowell, executive director of the group Education Reform Now Connecticut, said student diversity has also grown over the last decade. But she says other factors are at work.

"We also see that there are challenges in the workforce pipeline of educators, just generally," said Dowell. "Who is becoming a teacher here in Connecticut? Who is staying a teacher here in Connecticut?"

The state is aware of the issue and is working to boost teacher diversity. In 2016, Connecticut set a five-year goal of hiring one-thousand teachers of color, which it exceeded - hiring 1,900 by 2021.

Gov. Ned Lamont and Connecticut's Department of Education have taken steps to keep this growth going.

This includes increasing certification pathways, assisting districts with hiring and retaining a diverse workforce, and supporting candidates to attract more educators to Connecticut.

But lack of diversity is part of a national trend that started long before the pandemic. A 2022 Pew Research Center survey finds 79% of U.S. public school teachers were white in the 2017-2018 school year.

Census data finds a similar pattern goes back to 2014. Dowell said she thinks the General Assembly should take action.

"We hope that in the next legislative session, there will be movement towards making second-career professionals and paraprofessionals," said Dowell, "and you know, enhancing opportunities for alternative routes for certification here in Connecticut."

She said she's aware this won't be an overnight change, but thinks more progress can be made - even with an ongoing teacher shortage in almost all subject areas across the state.




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