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 .
After Syria strike a new Trump doctrine emerges The President who promised an end to entanglements in the Middle East and snuggled up to Vladimir Putin has now outraged Russia with surprise missile attacks on Syria. That's raised questions about who's running the White House? We hear a variety of answers.
Will the march for science politicize objective research? Protesters are gathering all over the country for tomorrow's Earth Day March for Science. Since President Trump has proposed massive cuts in basic scientific research, will the movement be perceived as partisan politics — whether scientists themselves like it or not?
"Tough on crime" rhetoric sees a revival at Sessions' DOJ The pendulum swings between treatment-focused approaches to drug abuse and tough law enforcement. Now, after years of Obama-era "reforms," President Trump’s Attorney General, Jeff Sessions wants local police freed from federal restrictions to fight another "war on drugs."
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.