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?
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.
The longest US war: Will Trump send more troops to Afghanistan? The Trump White House is divided over the Pentagon's request for more troops in Afghanistan—where the US has been fighting for the past 16 years. Is there a formula -- either for "victory" or a political settlement? Is there an end in sight for America's longest war?
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.