Parent: Racism is at the heart of Connecticut’s ELL failures

Connecticut’s school policies don’t value the language and the culture that English language learners bring to the societal table. Said differently, the people who make laws and set educational policies along with those who oversee educating our children — legislators, voters, commissioners of education, union officials, boards of education members and superintendents of schools — don’t value immigrants.

Privacy in the age of Facebook, Comcast and Trump

Why did our government give away our rights to our browsing histories? We have a president who admires despots like Putin and Duterte and doesn’t believe in free speech unless it’s his own on Twitter. Could the search histories of today be used for blackmail tomorrow? With a warrant, the government can request our histories, but who will have access to it tomorrow? Your employer, your insurer, your neighbor? And what will constitute a crime in the future?

Descent into secrecy: Senate health talks retreat further from transparency

In three decades of reporting, I’ve had a front-row seat to Congress’ slow, stuttering retreat from such step-by-step transparency, a process known as “regular order.” It has now culminated in the Senate GOP leadership’s top-secret process to try to write a health bill that could change the formula for nearly one-fifth of the nation’s economy, with a vote they want to cast by July 4.

Protecting quality healthcare is an investment in our future

The recent high stakes drama in Washington about the repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act has sparked much soul-searching among physicians about the importance of quality health care. Healthcare is intensely personal, and how we feel is defined by our energy, strength and sense of well-being. When we are healthy, life is good, but when we don’t feel well or suffer with the effects of a chronic illness, life is a daily struggle. Over the 30 years I’ve been practicing medicine, the world around us has changed dramatically: how we live, how we communicate, the technology we use and the availability of information has evolved exponentially.

Proposed federal cuts jeopardize programs that save children’s lives

In the time since the Trump administration released its budget proposal, many have raised alarms about cuts to well-known, popular programs and agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the National Endowment for the Arts, and NASA. What’s gotten less attention is that the administration’s proposed budget also includes cuts to programs that help children facing adversity to become successful, productive adults.

A ‘conspiracy’ for higher ratings — at Newtown’s expense

NBC’s newest multi-million-dollar anchor is about to give America – and Connecticut in particular – a lesson in journalistic ethics. It’s a fight that pits the network’s need for ratings and publicity against the pleas of Sandy Hook parents not to cause them more pain. This weekend, Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly plans to air an interview with conspiracy website author and radio host Alex Jones. In one of his more outlandish theories, Jones has called the monstrous shooting “a giant hoax.” No one died there, the theory goes. Instead, the government hired actors to pretend there was a shooting, in order to increase support for gun control, Jones claimed.

One teacher to others: Our voices can shape Connecticut education

In some ways, it can be easy as teachers of young children to understand the power our voices have in our students’ lives, and in their self-esteem. Our words can urge a child to struggle through a difficult problem, or shape the way they see themselves. Despite this, we often forget the power we can wield outside the four walls of our classroom.

Is flying safe?

I hate to fly. It’s mostly an irrational fear of turbulence and crashing… little stuff like that. But in recent years, the whole experience of air travel has turned from uncomfortable to unbearable.

Trump cannot fool Mother Nature

It is now clear that President Donald Trump and the Republican majority in Congress are intent on destroying all controls on greenhouse gas emissions. These emissions are primarily the carbon dioxide released from burning fossil fuels and producing cement; however, a significant amount of the emissions come from methane. The leakage of natural gas, which is 97 percent methane, is a major contributor to this.

Connecticut nearer the presumption of innocence, but not there yet

On June 6, the Connecticut State Legislature passed H.B. No. 7044, “An Act Concerning Pretrial Justice Reform,” which will limit the number of legally innocent people who are held in jail because they cannot pay bail. By prohibiting money bail in most misdemeanor cases, this bill will save lives. Hundreds of defendants who would have otherwise been incarcerated due to poverty alone can now defend themselves from a position of freedom without pleading guilty just to get out of jail. This is a critical step towards restoring the presumption of innocence in our court system.