FROM Chris Minnich
Can Schools Aim High When Budgets Are Low? Educators and Governors in all states — except Alaska and Texas — have agreed on uniform, national standards for teaching English and Math in grades K through 12. The goal is to raise expectations for what kids should learn. The hope is to keep America competitive in the global economy. The Obama Administration has signed on, and promoters boast that the states are leading the federal government in education reform. But a project of years is being unveiled at a time of financial crisis for schools all over the country. Do they have the time or resources to make reforms now? What's the evidence that setting standards enhances performance? Is there a downside? Does one size really fit all?
A New York Times op-ed on climate change sparks uproar The New York Times is embroiled in a public furor over a new columnist, who wrote that scientific uncertainty is reason for debate about climate change. Many conservatives are delighted. Is America's leading liberal newspaper fostering climate denial? This is the latest in our series, "The Emotional States of America."
Trump's 'America First' goes missing abroad In the Middle East, President Trump is changing some policies of the Obama Administration—and reversing his own campaign attacks on Islam as a religion that "hates us." We hear about his visit to Saudi Arabia and what's at stake for the rest of his foreign excursion.
Trump, the GOP and the rule of law Conservatives — and some Republicans — are criticizing the President for "the mess he made" in firing FBI Director James Comey. We hear about a potential successor, the possibility of "obstruction of justice" and the constitutional separation of powers.
Should we 'hack the climate' to fight global warming? The Paris Agreements won't be enough to reverse global warming, whether President Trump pulls the US out or not. Is it time to try altering the atmosphere by what's called "geoengineering?" We hear about unintended consequences, international relations… and ethics.