randomness from a dark and twisty person

With a growing number of states rebelling against the No Child Left Behind law and stalled efforts in Congress to reform it, the Obama administration says it will grant waivers to liberate states from a law that it considers dysfunctional.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said he is taking action because of “universal clamoring” from officials in nearly every state, who say they cannot meet the unrealistic requirements of the nine-year-old federal education law.

“The states are desperately asking for us to respond,” Duncan said in a conference call with reporters Friday.

Duncan and Melody Barnes, President Obama’s domestic policy adviser, were short on specifics but said they would release details in September, when they will begin weighing applications from any state that wants to be exempted from No Child Left Behind.

Administration officials said they will grant waivers to states that adopt standards designed to prepare high school graduates for college and careers, use a “flexible and targeted” accountability system for educators based on student growth and make “robust use of data,” among other things.

The Washington Post, “U.S. to Grant Waivers for ‘No Child Left Behind’ Act” (via inothernews)
“It’s hard not to feel a certain contempt for Standard & Poor’s in the wake of its downgrade of American debt. Its sole job as a credit-rating agency is to gauge the creditworthiness of bonds, yet like its competitors, Moody’s and Fitch, it has consistently fallen short. It downgraded Enron days before the company went bankrupt. Its willingness to slap a AAA rating on securitized subprime junk was the foundation upon which the entire financial crisis was built. And now, to show that it’s got some spine, S.& P. decided to downgrade the United States? From a purely economic standpoint, the likelihood of a U.S. default is nil. As my friend Daniel Alpert, a founding managing partner of Westwood Capital, put it: “The size of the U.S. economy, the wealth of its inhabitants and the assets of the sovereign entity itself are unquestionably more than adequate to repay, with interest, all of the $14 trillion or so of the nation’s debt.” He added, “Anyone with a rudimentary understanding of finance and economics can figure that out.” On Monday, with the market collapsing, where did investors rush to put their money? In the one security they still considered safe: U.S. Treasuries.”
JOE NOCERA, writing in today’s New York Times (via inothernews)
“You don’t accuse the chairman of the Federal Reserve of being a traitor to his country and being guilty of treason and suggesting that we ‘treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.’”

Republican strategist KARL ROVE, reacting to remarks made by GOP presidential wannabe Rick Perry, in which he called Fed chairman Ben Bernanke “treasonous” and that “we would treat him pretty ugly down in Texas.”

Bernanke was appointed to his post by Rove’s former boss, George W. Bush.

I wonder if the Tea Party will also lecture Perry on toning things down.

(via the New York Times)

(Source: inothernews)

What the concern is, of course, is that this is a foreshock. If it’s a foreshock, then the worst is yet to come.

…When something like this happens, everyone has to remember, more than half of the states in the U.S. are considered earthquake country. When something like this happens, remember what to do in the case of a seismic event. Duck, get under something sturdy like a desk or a doorway, get away from falling glass. Make sure that you are not in the way of falling objects like pictures, bookshelves, books, anything that’s not firmly connected to the wall.

Director of the U.S. Geological Service MARCIA McNUTT, who watched items fall from shelves in her office during the East Coast Earthquake.

Oh, great.  It’s not just aftershocks — we have to worry about foreshocks, too?

(via the Washington Post)

(Source: inothernews)