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 .
Ex-FBI Director Comey tells his side of the story Today, former FBI Director James Comey came close to calling the President who fired him a liar. The White House denied the claim and called it insulting, but Republican Senators did not challenge Comey’s truthfulness. Many questions remain: did the President try to obstruct a federal investigation? Later, we’ll go behind the “velvet rope” for a look at 5-Star health care for the richest Americans.
Terrorism and tweets, hate speech and murder Just days before an election, Britain is coping with a rash of deadly terrorism, and Prime Minister Theresa May is on the defensive. And again today, President Trump has tweeted criticism of the Mayor of London. Later, a double murder in Portland, Oregon has revealed the ugly past of a supposedly “progressive” city. One immediate question: is “hate speech” protected by the First Amendment?
Is the threat from Russia missing from the Russia meddling probe? There's much being made about the Trump administration's possible ties with Russia. But the bottom line is Russia's effort to influence American democracy. Do the President and his aides care enough to take action before voters go back to the polls?
Will the Senate write a healthcare bill in secret? While Democrats and Republicans argue White House relations with Russia, another question is being decided behind closed doors: who gets help buying health insurance and who doesn't? We hear how the pros and cons are being shrouded in secrecy.