"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
And now to an issue that lawmakers are not spending a lot of time debating: climate change. Tomorrow, President Obama will lay out a strategy to address the problem, using executive powers. It's an admission that's sweeping climate legislation stands little chance of passing Congress as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.
JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Aides say Mr. Obama's plan includes limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was blunt.
That "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications?
It turns out it wasn't the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using.
There were also other lists, covering a "broad spectrum" of categories and cases, according to a preliminary IRS report released Monday.
"Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action to suspend the use of these lists in the Exempt Organizations unit within IRS," said Danny Werfel, the new acting chief of the IRS, in a conference call with reporters.
Major Ultimate Frisbee team the DC Current faced the New York Rumble on Sunday. The rule changes in Ultimate, such as including referees, give the players the opportunity to concentrate on playing.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
Despite the heat, both teams played hard and kept the score of the game very close. The Current won 22-20 and will travel to Boston to play the Whitecaps on Saturday for the first game of the playoffs.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
Fans hold up signs with funny slogans and players' names in support of their favorite Ultimate Frisbee players. The stands were filled primarily with DC supporters, but fans for New York were present as well.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
Referees are a new addition to Major League Ultimate. While international play is 100 percent self-officiated, U.S.A. Ultimate does have "observers" who give a third-party perspective to a disputed play.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
As the game came to an end, fans got on their feet and applauded the final plays of Major League Ultimate's first regular season.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
Fans of all ages showed their support for Ultimate Frisbee, including 5-year-old Justin Yi. Justin's father, Peter, has been playing Ultimate Frisbee since he was in college.
Credit Chloe Coleman / NPR
Fans cheer the DC Current Ultimate Frisbee team during their game against the New York Rumble on June 23 at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington, Va. The fan base for this sport has grown in recent years, with the average attendance at professional games around 500 people.
You know that flying disc you threw around in college or use to play fetch with your dog? Well, now people are being paid to throw that same disc professionally. They aren't paid much, around $25 a game, but all of the expenses — travel, lodging, uniforms and insurance — are covered by Major League Ultimate.
According to the Annie E. Casey Foundation's annual Kids Count survey, children in the U.S. are experiencing a setback in their economic well-being due to the lingering effects of the recession. However, there have been some improvements.
Children often get sinus infections after they've had a cold.
It can be hard for parents and doctors to tell when those infections need treatment with antibiotics, and when they should be left to get better on their own.
The nation's pediatricians are trying to make that call a bit easier. In new guidelines released today, they say that it's OK to wait a while longer to see if a child gets better before treating a sinus infection with antibiotics. Now parents can wait and see what happens for 13 days instead of 10 days, the pediatricians recommend.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. My thanks to my colleague Celeste Headlee for sitting in for a few days while I was away last week.
Later on today, we'll talk about that controversial decision by the American Medical Association to classify obesity as a disease. We'll speak with a group of healthcare professionals about what that could mean.
More than 1 in 3 Americans are obese, and the problem isn't shrinking. The American Medical Association recently voted to classify obesity as a disease, but not everyone likes the decision. Host Michel Martin talks to a roundtable of medical experts about the pros and cons.
The nation's organ transplant network will consider a controversial proposal Monday to overhaul the guidelines for an increasingly common form of organ donation.
The board of directors of the United Network for Organ Sharing will open a two-day meeting at the organization's headquarters in Richmond, Va., to consider new guidelines for donation after cardiac death.
Donation after cardiac death involves removing organs minutes after life-support has been stopped for patients who still have at least some brain activity.
The Chicago Housing Authority has torn down all of its high rises and says it's close to completing its plans to transform public housing. Now, city leaders are moving to the next part of their plan: using public housing funds not just to build homes for poor families, but stores where they could shop and work. Some residents, however, say the city is breaking a promise to provide affordable housing.
This week, we've been immersed in news about mobs both real and fictional, with the death of Sopranos star James Gandolfini and the continuing trial of James "Whitey" Bulger.
The Sopranos gave us a primer on mob language like "clipping" a "rat." But Bulger's Winter Hill Gang and his Boston Irish cohort were the real deal. Members of Bulger's old cohort came to the witness stand and used the real-life slang of their gang days.
Nik Wallenda successfully walked the 1,500 feet across the Colorado River Gorge in Arizona on Sunday. The high-wire daredevil, famous for similar walks like the one he did at Niagara Falls, made the precarious trek live on television and without a net or safety line.
The walk took Wallenda 22 minutes of edging his way along the 2-inch-thick cable.
Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 10:19 am
Federal air safety officials say they will investigate the fiery crash of a stunt plane at an Ohio air show that killed the pilot and a wing walker.
Thousands of spectators at the Vectren Air Show near Dayton, Ohio, watched on Saturday as the biplane, with wing walker Jane Law Wicker, 46, and pilot Charlie Schwenker, 64, careened into the ground and exploded during a low-altitude maneuver. No one in the audience was hurt.
One hundred and fifty years ago this week, West Virginia became the 35th state in the union.
Born in in 1863, the middle of the Civil War, the state was created by patriots who didn't want to join the Confederacy — no mean feat considering the political climate of the time.
Western Virginians were fed up with their eastern-dominated government, says Joe Geiger, director of the West Virginia State Archives. He says they also felt they didn't get fair funding for education and infrastructure.
The Supreme Court is expected to rule this week on a case that may shake up race-conscious admissions in higher education. The justices could change the shape of affirmative action or even strike it down altogether.
California is one of eight states that have already scrapped affirmative action. That means state schools can no longer consider the race of its applicants. At the University of California, Los Angeles, the change has been messy, ambiguous — and sometimes a little ugly.
Immigrant advocates use an image of New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez on a mock state driver's license during a 2012 rally in Santa Fe, N.M., to protest her proposal to repeal a state law that allows undocumented immigrants to obtain driver's licenses.
Originally published on Sun June 23, 2013 11:01 am
The national debate over immigration may be churning on in Washington, D.C., but there's one policy a growing number of states can agree on: driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants.
Vermont, Connecticut and Colorado passed new laws this month allowing drivers without Social Security numbers to receive licenses or authorization cards. They join Nevada, Maryland and Oregon, whose governors signed similar laws in May. Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn started the trend this year when he signed Senate Bill 957 in January.
Working its way through the Ohio Legislature is a state budget bill that has major implications for the way family-planning services are provided. The Ohio budget contains language that puts family-planning clinics at the bottom of the list to receive funding.
Family Planning Association of Northeast Ohio operates several independent family-planning clinics. They do not provide abortions and have no affiliation with Planned Parenthood, but the clinics are still at the end of the line under a new tiered system because they give referrals.
Host Jacki Lyden and The Atlantic's national correspondent James Fallows chat discuss the U.S. government's filing charges of espionage against former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. Also, President Obama talked nuclear weapons during a speech in Berlin, and Fallows explains the "Tobin Tax" and what it has to do with the stock market and you.
We don't mean to be offensive, but someone has to say it: Walle, a 4-year-old beagle-basset mix who was just crowned the 2013 World's Ugliest Dog, is just NOT that ugly.
In fact, Walle is downright cute.
There's something not quite right in Petaluma, Calif., where the annual competition is held. Genuinely ugly (and, in our opinion, totally deserving) Icky, Josie, Rascal and Mugly — all Chinese cresteds — were shut out.
A judge in the murder trial of George Zimmerman has excluded testimony from two audio experts who've suggested that Trayvon Martin can be heard screaming on a 911 call moments before the unarmed teen was fatally shot.
Judge Debra Nelson issued the 12-page ruling on Saturday after hearing days of arguments on whether to allow the testimony.
The Associated Press says one expert ruled out Zimmerman as the screamer and another said it was Martin. Defense experts argued there was not enough audio to determine whom the screams are coming from.
Tawny crazy ants are invading ecosystems and homes in states including Texas and Florida, wiping out other ant species and overwhelming homeowners. Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon talks to Texas A&M research scientist Robert Puckett, who says the ants are "ecological steamrollers" that reproduce so fast they are nearly impossible to get rid of.
Now, we're going to remember the man known as Mr. Valet. He pioneered valet parking in Los Angeles more than sixty years ago. He died this past week at the age of 93. NPR's Mandalit del Barco profiled Herb Citrin a few years ago, and we're going to hear a bit of her story right now.
Here in the United States, the NSA revelations are also prompting concerns about privacy as well as questions about the involvement of private companies in government spying. Robert O'Harrow, an investigative reporter with The Washington Post wrote in his 2005 book, "No Place to Hide", about what he calls the security industrial complex in this country. Mr. O'Harrow believes the NSA's dealings with private companies are much wider than what we've been told.
BILL SUPERNOR: I was in a business lounge at an airport in Newark. I look at my phone and I'm moving the buttons and it was definitely behaving a little strange, maybe it was a little slow. I ripped the back off the phone, I pulled the battery out. I mean, I got off the network quickly and I didn't turn the phone back on again until I was out of that airport.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News, I'm Scott Simon. The U.S. Congress continues its hearings into the IRS flagging of Tea Party groups that apply for tax-exempt status. What may have been overlooked is the fact that this status would have offered little practical benefit to most of the groups that were targeted.
Joining us now to help explain all this is NPR's S.V. Date who coordinates campaign finance coverage for NPR. Shirish, thanks very much for being with us.
Medicaid and controversy seem inseparable in many states lately. For the most part, the wrangling is about a new wrinkle in Medicaid — the expansion of the health program for the poor and disabled under Obamacare.
Mississippi, though, is raising the stakes. Democrats and Republicans in the state are in a fight, and the outcome could threaten the very existence of the entire Medicaid program there.
Sen. Marco Rubio has a problem. He has transformed from conservative hero to suspect in the eyes of many on the political right because he now supports "a path to citizenship" for people unlawfully in the U.S. after forcefully opposing it in 2010 when he was running for U.S. Senate.