The U.S. spends more than $7 billion a year preparing classroom teachers, but teachers are not coming out of the nation's colleges of education ready, according to a study released Tuesday by U.S.News & World Report and the National Council on Teacher Quality.
The study says most schools of education are in disarray.
Advocates of tougher voter registration standards have racked up wins in recent years — voter ID laws have taken hold across the nation, for example.
But those who believe that government should make voting as easy as possible just gained a significant victory with the U.S. Supreme Court's decision slapping down an Arizona law that required potential voters to prove their citizenship.
Paula Cooper, 43, left prison Monday morning, decades after she became America's youngest resident of death row at age 16. She had confessed to the 1985 murder of Bible studies teacher Ruth Pelke, 78, in Gary, Ind. Cooper's death sentence was commuted in 1989, after widespread appeals for mercy.
The pendulum of this year's NBA finals has swung again. The first win in the series went to the San Antonio Spurs, the next to the Miami heat, then Spurs, then Heat. And last night, the Spurs won game five. That puts them one game away from winning their fifth NBA title, all with Gregg Popovich as their coach and all with Tim Duncan as one of their key players. But the series reverts to Miami tomorrow night. NPR's Mike Pesca will be there, and he joins us now. Hi, Mike.
You are listening to ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.
A mother in New Jersey has set out to collect shoes, 3,792 pairs of shoes, one for each young person killed by gun violence in the U.S. in 1998. That was the year that her son was shot and killed as we hear from Sarah Gonzalez of New Jersey Public Radio.
SARAH GONZALEZ, BYLINE: Elaine Lane came up with the idea of collecting shoes after walking a path of military boots that represented lives lost in the Iraq War. She couldn't finish the trail, but it gave her an idea.
In Southern California, the power grid is always a hot topic. It's a part of the country that is all too familiar with the rolling blackouts. And now there is more reason for concern about the region's capacity to generate electricity. The San Onofre nuclear power plant is shutting down for good, thanks to worn-out parts. It's been off-line for more than a year after a pipe was found leaking radioactive steam. At its peak, San Onofre provided power for 1.4 million homes.
The man who leaked secret National Security Agency documents, Edward Snowden, defended his decision to reveal details of U.S. surveillance programs in a web chat on Monday. Snowden said he's still in Hong Kong and claims he wouldn't get a fair trial in the U.S. He also said he has not been in contact with the Chinese government and that there are more disclosures to come.
The Supreme Court sided with government regulators in an important case involving the pharmaceutical industry and patent law. At issue were contracts between "brand-name" pharmaceutical companies and "generic" producers in which the brand-name company paid the generic not to compete. The court said the Federal Trade Commission could challenge such contracts.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a state-mandated requirement that prospective voters in Arizona provide proof of citizenship to be able to register to vote in national elections. But some experts are concerned that the court may have inserted a few "poison pills" in its opinion that would damage voting-rights protections someday down the road.
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Melissa Block.
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And I'm Robert Siegel. We begin this hour with the annual Group of 8 summit in Northern Ireland. Today, President Obama and the other G8 leaders huddled at a resort there. Among the many topics, the bloody civil war in Syria. President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin sat down to talk about Syria, acknowledging that they have, as Mr. Obama said, differing perspectives.
When the maker of a brand-name drug pays a maker of generic drugs to not produce a lower-priced version of their product, the Federal Trade Commission can challenge the arrangement on antitrust grounds, the Supreme Court ruled Monday. The ruling may end the era of what regulators call "pay-for-delay" deals.
The justices voted 5-3 to allow a case to go forward in which the FTC is challenging one of many such deals. Several companies are involved in the case, including Solvay Pharmaceuticals, maker of AndroGel, and generic-drug maker Actavis.
This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. For the past several weeks, we've taken the opportunity to reconnect with some of our favorite guests and colleagues in a series of conversations looking ahead. Today, longtime NPR New York correspondent Margot Adler, who's filed stories on hundreds of New Yorkers over the years: AIDS activists, street musicians, cops, environmental visionaries, and a guy who will move your car at exactly the right moment to take full advantage of opposite-side-of-the-street parking laws.
The Supreme Court is weighing a decision on Abigail Fisher's affirmative action case against the University of Texas. Host Michel Martin speaks with ProPublica writer Nikole Hannah-Jones about Fisher's motivation and what's behind the landmark case.
In 1961, Phyllis Richman started applying to graduate school at Harvard. But she was discouraged when a professor asked how she would balance her professional life with 'responsibilities' to her husband. Host Michel Martin speaks with Richman about a response letter she wrote 52 years later.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Among the many explosive issues the Supreme Court is expected to take on this year is the issue of same-sex marriage: whether same-sex couples should have the same benefits as straight ones. But one of the most sensitive aspects of that issue is the element of race. Documentary filmmaker Yoruba Richen takes on both of those issues in a new documentary called "The New Black."
From the cutting edge of modern aviation to a 76-year-old aviation mystery deep as the ocean. This month, the son of the late philanthropist, Paul Mellon, filed suit against an aircraft recovery group. Timothy Mellon says the group withheld underwater photos of what could be the wreckage of Amelia Earhart's Lockheed Electra plane. The suit alleges that the group duped Mellon to the tune of a million dollars just to drag on the exploration. The organization denies the claim.
The conflict in Syria may be first and foremost a civil war, pitting the Shiite-dominated regime of President Bashar Assad against mostly Sunni insurgents. But the region's turbulent geopolitics have turned it into a proxy fight that has drawn in the rest of the region as well as the U.S and other global powers.
We've started hearing from some of the Internet companies implicated in the NSA data collection scandal. On Friday, Facebook and Microsoft disclosed for the first time that last year they received thousands of requests from the government to hand over information about their users. Meanwhile, the National Security Agency is still on the defensive. The agency's head spoke on Capitol Hill last week in an effort to reassure lawmakers that the NSA is not spying on Americans.
Colorado is often the site of devastating forest fires, but the city of Colorado Springs has been hit particularly hard as of late. In the span of just one year, more than 800 homes have been destroyed from wildfires in and around the city. This time last year, it was the Waldo Canyon fire, and now it's the Black Forest fire. NPR's Kirk Siegler spent the week in Colorado Springs and sent this report.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
President Obama leaves tonight on a quick trip to Europe. He'll attend a G8 summit of industrialized nations in Northern Ireland. He'll also pay a visit to Germany, where his plans include a public speech at the historic Brandenburg Gate.
NPR's Scott Horsley will be traveling with the president. He joins us now. Hi, Scott.
SCOTT HORSLEY, BYLINE: Good to be with you, Rachel.
Like a lot of Northern Ireland, County Fermanagh, where the G8 Summit is being held has been hit hard by the recession in recent years. A lot of businesses there have had to close their doors. But before world leaders started pouring in for the G8 Summit, county officials decided to give their town a bit of a facelift. With money from a government grant, they put fake storefronts on some of the shuttered businesses. Imagine big stickers plastered to store windows to make them look like thriving stores; a real butcher shop or a busy cafe.
Cattle stand in a heavily irrigated pasture in Oregon's Upper Klamath Basin. The state has ordered ranchers in the region to shut down irrigation. The move is aimed at protecting the rights of Indian tribes who live downstream.
Credit Amelia Templeton for NPR
Don Gentry, chairman of the Klamath Tribes, says the tribes have not been able to fish for suckerfish for the past 27 years. "The condition of our fish is just so dire," he says.
So often, we take water for granted. We turn on the faucet and there it is. We assume it's our right in America to have water. And yet, water is a resource. It's not always where we need it, or there when we need it.
Rivers don't follow political boundaries — they flow through states and over international borders. And there are endless demands for water: for agriculture, drinking, plumbing, manufacturing, to name just a few. And then there's the ecosystem that depends on water getting downstream.
So what are our legal rights when it comes to water? And who decides?