FROM Motoko Rich
Where Have All the Teachers Gone? As the new school year gets under way all over the country, the New York Times is reporting “a stark about-face from just a few years ago.” School districts that were handing out pink slips are now scrambling to hire teachers—and many are having trouble staffing their classrooms. Explanations differ. There’s bad-mouthing and micro-management by school reformers. There’s low pay, job insecurity and… better options.
The Politics of History For two weeks now, thousands of public school students in suburban Denver have been walking out of classes and protesting alongside parents and teachers. They’re unhappy because a conservative majority on the local Jefferson County School Board doesn’t like the new AP History curriculum. The board wants to review the new curriculum to make sure it promotes, "patriotism and the benefits of the free-enterprise system" and doesn’t "encourage or condone civil disorder." The conflict came to a head at a school board meeting last night.
Black Students Face Harsher Discipline, Even in Preschool Racial disparities in discipline during middle- and high school have long been blamed for the so-called "school-to prison pipeline." A new report shows that those disparities start in the earliest grades and even in preschool, as Motoko Rich reports in the New York Times .
Is the US Becoming a 'Rentership' Society? Hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes look like a good investment — not for re-sale, but for rentals on a massive scale. In Riverside, California, an area hard hit by the housing crisis, one company is buying up five to seven foreclosed homes every day. Will George W. Bush's "ownership society" morph into a "rentership society?"
Is a 'Rentership Society' the Next Phase in the Housing Crisis? Major investors with lots of cash are scooping up foreclosed homes and converting them into rental properties. In Riverside, California — an area hard hit by the housing crisis — one company is buying up five to seven foreclosed homes every day. Warren Buffett says rentals are much more profitable than stocks, and he'd like to buy up "a couple hundred thousand homes." Prices are way down, mortgage credit is hard to get and the time is right to out-bid individual families. Will traditional, first-time home-buyers have a chance against private equity funds? Will home ownership be possible for fewer and fewer Americans? This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network. To find out more, see our website, http://www.kcrw.com/insight .
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Trump plays scolder-in-chief with NATO allies At the opening of NATO’s dramatic new headquarters in Brussels today, President Trump acknowledged that Article 5 — promising that “an attack on one nation is an attack on all” -- has only been invoked one time: in the aftermath of September 11. But the President failed to provide what 27 other Alliance members have been waiting for: a re-commitment by America’s new leader to Article 5. Instead, they got a scolding.
Janesville and the American Dream Janesville, Wisconsin is the hometown of Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan. But he couldn’t prevent the closing of the General Motors factory after 100 years. On this Memorial Day rebroadcast of To the Point, we hear what’s happened to what once was a model of American middle-class unity.