Business & Education

The Two-Way
9:38 am
Thu October 11, 2012

U.S. Foreclosures Drop Dramatically, But The Picture Remains Very Mixed

An auction sign in front of a Salem, Ore., home on Feb. 23.
Rick Bowmer AP

RealtyTrac, an online industry group that follows the foreclosure market, says the number of foreclosed properties nationally dropped dramatically in September, down by seven percent from August. And the firm says since September 2011, foreclosures are down 16 percent — that's the lowest total since July 2007.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Jobless Claims Drop To Lowest Level In More Than Four Years

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 2:30 pm

There were 339,000 first-time claims for unemployment benefits last week, a decrease from last week's revised figure of 369,000, the Employment and Training Administration says.

Reuters reports it's the lowest number in more than four years. Reuters adds:

"The prior week's figure was revised up to show 2,000 more applications than previously reported.

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Fiscal Cliff Notes
2:24 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Fiscal Cliff Could Hit Civilian Pentagon Workers First

A Marine Corp F-35B Joint Strike Fighter lands at Patuxent Naval Air Station in Maryland in 2011. Analysts say that if mandatory Pentagon budget cuts are imposed next year, fewer new planes could ultimately be ordered.
Cliff Owen AP

Originally published on Thu October 11, 2012 1:23 pm

Unless Congress acts, the Defense Department faces some $55 billion in cuts after the first of the year. The cuts are part of what's known as sequestration — automatic across the board spending cuts to both defense and nondefense government spending set in motion by last year's debt-ceiling fight.

Salaries for uniformed personnel are the one major thing that's protected. Otherwise, it's about a 10 percent cut to everything from Pentagon civilian staff to the acquisition of multimillion-dollar aircraft, like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter.

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Law
5:53 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

Supreme Court Questions UT's Affirmative Action Plan

Abigail Fisher, the Texan involved in the University of Texas affirmative action case, talks to reporters outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Wednesday.
Susan Walsh AP

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 6:25 pm

Affirmative action in higher education appeared to take a potentially lethal hit on Wednesday, as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments testing the constitutionality of a race-conscious admission program at the University of Texas, Austin.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Arne Duncan: Need To Address The Opportunity Gap

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Today we want to bring you into one of the most important conversations we are having in this country. It's about our schools. Welcome to our Twitter Education Forum. Today we are broadcasting from member station WLRN in Miami, but the conversation has actually already started.

For the past month on Twitter, using the hashtag npredchat, we've already been hearing from our radio audience and from our digital audience.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Students Want To Be At Education Reform Table

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Next up on this special broadcast of our Twitter education forum, we'll remind you that we've already had conversations with policymakers, teachers and parents. So now we want to give the final words to those who I think we all agree, have the most at stake, the students. And we'd love to hear from the millions of students American students who are part of America's public education system. But we can't, so we're hearing from two.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

To Shut Down Or Invest More In Failing Schools?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, we will speak with a former education official who has had a change of heart about some of the school reforms she once championed. Diane Ravitch will be with us in just a few minutes.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Can Online Education Tackle Achievement Gap?

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. We are continuing TELL ME MORE's first Twitter Education Forum. Join in on Twitter at hash tag NPREdChat. Coming up, we'll hear the voices of people you could argue have the most invested in America's schools, the students, but first, we turn to online education. If you or your child have ever been stumped by homework, then you probably already know about the Kahn Academy.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Former 'No Child' Supporter Says It's A Failure

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Our next guest spent years allied with key conservatives on education reform. Diane Ravitch is the former assistant secretary of education under George H.W. Bush. During her time in that administration and afterwards, she advocated standardized testing and expanding school choice through charter schools. Those would later become key elements of No Child Left Behind under President George W. Bush, but she eventually became a critic of these approaches.

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Education
11:14 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Margaret Spellings: Too Many Still 'Left Behind'

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 2:03 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Now we turn to the former Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings. She served under President George W. Bush. She's now the founder and leader of Margaret Spellings and Company. That's a consulting firm in the Washington D.C. area. Madam Secretary, welcome to you. Thank you so much for joining us.

MARGARET SPELLINGS: Glad to be here, Michel. I'm sorry I'm not seeing you face to face. Hurry back.

MARTIN: I know. We'll have to rectify that.

SPELLINGS: We will.

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Business & Education
9:38 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Montgomery County to Sue Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac

guardianexpressla.com

The Montgomery County Commission is planning a class-action lawsuit against two financial institutions over what the county says are several years of unpaid recording fees.

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Business & Education
9:22 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Grant Expected to Boost Nursing Program at UNA

Authorities say a new federal grant will open doors for disadvantaged students to become part of the nursing program at the University of North Alabama.

Officials say the $2.1 million grant goes to UNA's College of Nursing and Allied Health.

The Florence TimesDaily reports (http://bit.ly/R7PL64) that the grant will provide access to the university's Opportunities for Entry into Nursing program for what officials describe as "under-represented minorities."

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Business & Education
9:19 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Montgomery County School Board Hires Investigator

Montgomery County Superintendent Barbara Thompson
blog.al.com

The Montgomery County Board of Education is hiring a private investigator to look in allegations of grade changing.

The board voted unanimously Tuesday to pursue the investigation after the Montgomery Advertiser reported last week that teachers at the three high schools admitted to participating in or observing hundreds of improper grade changes. County Superintendent Barbara Thompson said the school system does not condone grade changing without documentation.

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The Two-Way
9:03 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Spaniards, Who Usually Aid Others, Being Asked To Help Their Own

In June, people in Madrid came to a distribution center where those in need could get food.
Javier Soriano AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 7:17 pm

(Journalist Lauren Frayer is a frequent contributor to NPR. She files this report from Madrid.)

For decades, the Red Cross has asked Spaniards to donate money to starving children in the Third World. But with Europe's debt crisis, the needy are now right here at home.

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Asia
6:42 am
Wed October 10, 2012

Taiwan Asks Apple Maps To Blur Radar Station

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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