FROM Valarie Lewis
New Orleans, Charter Schools and the Education Reform Charter schools are being touted as the free-market alternative for parents whose kids are stuck in failing institutions, especially in inner cities. In the aftermath of Katrina, with 53% of its public-school students enrolled in charter schools, New Orleans has embraced so many charter schools it's become "ground zero" for the entire movement. It's the logical place for this week's conference of the National Alliance for Public School Charters . We ask New Orleans' superintendent and others what works and what doesn't. Are entrenched bureaucracies being overcome? Are teachers' unions coming around? Most important: are charters upgrading student achievement?
Time to Reform No Child Left Behind? No Child Left Behind is called President Bush's crowning domestic achievement, and it passed five years ago with support from liberal Democrats in both houses of Congress. NCLB is supposed to make every American kid "proficient" in reading and math by 2014, but after five years that sounds like a pipe dream. Proficiency standards differ wildly from state to state, and some tests are being made easier so that scores will improve. Schools that have not improved are not being held accountable and angry parents in many places have gone to court. Is it time for national standards? Are test scores the best measures? What about merit pay for teachers?
Trump's ethical conflicts pile up as transparency diminishes President Trump's refusal to reveal his income tax returns is just one example of a lack of transparency that could be hiding conflicts of interest. Other conflicts are already obvious from his appointments. And he's being sued for using his job to increase his profits.
Mixed Messages from US diplomats on the new hard line on Syria Since President Trump's surprise retaliation against Syria's use of chemical weapons, Bashar al-Assad has used the same airport to launch conventional attacks on his own people. It's not clear what the US, its allies — or Vladimir Putin's Russia -- plan to do now.
Nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula slowly coming to a head North Korea did not conduct a nuclear test this weekend, but it did show apparent progress in developing a missile that that could strike the United States. The Trump Administration says it has lost its "strategic patience." We hear what that might -- or might not -- mean for North Korea, China and the prospects for diplomacy.