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Atlanta educators have been sentenced to jail for cheating. New York parents are telling their kids to opt out of standardized testing. Now, education reform is getting a second look in Washington, with a bipartisan re-write of No Child Left Behind. 

Also, Putin holds forth on marathon call-in show. On today's Talking Point, a revolution in the distillery business: Rum made in six days tastes the same as Rum aged for 20 years.

Photo: ccarlstead

Producers:
Evan George
Jenny Hamel
Gideon Brower

Putin Holds Forth on Marathon Call-In Show 6 MIN, 30 SEC

Despite economic recession, President Vladimir Putin has 80% approval in Russia. Today, he held the annual, four-hour televised call-in that's designed to keep it that way. Alec Luhn writes from Moscow for the Guardian newspaper and the Nation magazine. 

Guests:
Alec Luhn, Guardian (@ASLuhn)

Are American Children Being Left Behind After All? 34 MIN, 10 SEC

The Bush Administration established No Child Left Behind — a federal law designed to raise student achievement in America's public schools. The Obama Administration followed up with the competitive program, Race to the Top. Have the resulting pressures on educators — and children — cost more than they're worth? In Atlanta, administrators and teachers have been sentenced to prison for falsifying the results of federal mandated standardized testing. In New York, thousands of public school parents are telling their kids to opt out of taking federally mandated tests. And, in Washington, there's a rare, bipartisan effort to re-write No Child Left Behind. We hear about a growing consensus that education reform needs reform.

Guests:
Alan Judd, Atlanta Journal Constitution (@AlanJudd3000)
Leonie Haimson, Class Size Matters (@leoniehaimson)
Emma Brown, Washington Post (@emmersbrown)
Deborah Veney, Education Trust (@EdTrust)
Randi Weingarten, American Federation of Teachers (@rweingarten )

More:
Senate Education Committee hearing on No Child Left Behind
Alexander-Murray bipartisan agreement to fix No Child Left Behind
Judd on APS cheating case, from first hint of scandal to jury verdict
Class Size Matters on class size reduction research
Brown on widespread misperceptions about the Common Core standards
Education Trust publications on closing gaps in opportunity and achievement
Weingarten on Senate HELP Committee Action on ESEA Reauthorization Bill

The Most Hated Man in the Distillery Industry? 8 MIN, 55 SEC

Wired magazine recently profiled a Northern California distiller under the headline, "This Guy Says He Can Make 20-year Old Rum in 6 days." It turns out, experts say he can. When you belly up to the bar, you won't be ordering "oak catalyzed esterification," but you might get Rum that's been made by that process. And you're likely to think it's taken 20 years to distill when, in fact, it's been "aged" for just six days. Bryan Davis doesn't even use barrels. He's got a machine in the garage. He's also co-founder of the Lost Spirits Distillery in Monterey, California.

Guests:
Bryan Davis, Lost Spirits Distillery (@lostspirits1)

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