There's little dispute among educators that kids are not reading as well as they should be, but there's endless debate over what to do about it. Now, a growing number of states are taking a hard-line approach through mandatory retentions — meaning third-graders who can't read at grade level will automatically get held back.
To those pushing the idea, it's equal doses of tough and love: You are not doing kids any favors, they say, by waiving them on to fourth grade if they aren't up to snuff on their reading.
Toola may not be a household name, but she made quite an impression on the staff of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, where she lived most of her adult life.
Just look at how Dr. Mike Murray, an aquarium veterinarian, described the sea otter:
"I will argue that there is no other single sea otter that had a greater impact upon the sea otter species, the sea otter programs worldwide, and upon the interface between the sea otters' scientific community and the public."
Gregg Williams, who has spent time as an assistant or head coach at six NFL teams, is meeting with league investigators today to talk about what he's admitted was "a bounty pool of up to $50,000 over the last three seasons that rewarded players with thousand-dollar payoffs for knocking targeted opponents out of games while he was the New Orleans Saints' defensive coordinator," The Associated Press reports.
You'd think that scary numbers from the big dogs in infectious disease would be enough to make raw milk drinkers reconsider that choice.
But don't count on it. Just 7 percent of raw milk consumers say they trust health officials' recommendations on what foods are safe to eat, according to a new study.
That means that 93 percent of those folks aren't convinced when health officials say that raw milk products can cause diseases like bovine tuberculosis, Q-fever, and brucellosis, as well as more common food-borne illnesses like Listeria and Salmonella.
Dierks Bentley has a nice, deep voice; an open, friendly demeanor; and a knack for working in a variety of country-music genres, from bluegrass to power ballads. For all that, it's always been difficult to pin down what Bentley aims to do. Although he's only in his 30s, Bentley sounds as though he's working through a bit of a midlife crisis on his new album Home. Take, for example, the single "Am I the Only One," a novelty tune about going out to party with a twist — not many of Bentley's pals want to join him, because they've settled into adulthood, and he hasn't.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. Coming up, you've heard the phrase: A mind is terrible thing to waste. That's the longtime slogan of a group that worked to get more African-Americans into college. Well, now a group is saying: Ice time is a terrible thing to waste. There's a new scholarship to try to get more college students of color into hockey. We'll hear more about that in just a few minutes.
I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News.
Coming up, some advocates for more expansive reproductive rights say women are being disrespected and demeaned by state and national debates about access to abortion and contraception, particularly those debates that include few, if any women. We are going to hear from a female state lawmaker who has flipped the script and crafted legislation focused on the reproductive choices of men. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.
A group of student-run organizations who have planned a rally for education funding at the state capitol today are worried about protest confusion: Refund California and Occupy Education is also holding an action in Sacramento today. Though the two protests have been called for similar reasons, student group spokespersons have stressed they are unrelated.