FROM John Covington
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?
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
Trump's travel ban and the long-term agenda The Trump Administration's revised travel ban may be good news for some visa holders and others, but it's still being challenged as unconstitutional. Some reporters call it the beginning of a long-term effort to change the demographic make-up of the United States.
The airline electronics ban and what it means President Trump's Department of Homeland Security has banned all electronic devices larger than cell phones on some foreign airlines flying direct to the US. It's causing confusion as well as inconvenience. Is the motive really just increased security?
Political appointments and the reshaping of the judiciary President Trump has the chance for a long-term impact -- not just on the US Supreme Court, but on the entire federal court system. And his nominees are likely to get the support of a massive spending campaign by donors who don't have to reveal their names. Can President Trump "pack" the federal court system?