Mississippi Learning: Why the State’s Students Start Behind — and Stay Behind

When school begins next month in Mississippi, Akeeleon Lewis will head to kindergarten for the second time. He started school last fall not knowing his colors or numbers. “He couldn’t even hold a pencil,” says Judy Packer, his kindergarten teacher at McNeal Elementary School in Canton, a city of 13,000 about 30 miles northeast of the state capital in Jackson. […]

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Mitt’s Mission in Israel: Optics, Christian Zionists and Absentee Ballots

The Republican candidate hopes to increase the perceived space between Obama and Netanyahu to court prized electoral groups in November. The incumbent, however, isn’t sitting idly. There are a number of ways to understand Mitt Romney’s visit to Israel, where he pitches up Saturday night from London. One is optics, as they like to say in Washington. The presumptive Republican […]

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Do U.S. Gun Laws Make All of North America Less Safe?

While a real conversation over gun control in the U.S. is a domestic non-starter, neighboring countries end up suffering from lax American laws Looming over the aftermath of the Aurora shooting is the long-standing and largely fruitless American debate over gun control. My colleague Alex Altman wrote lucidly about the paralysis that grips many U.S. politicians on both sides of […]

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What We Don’t Know About the Future of Medicaid

Health-care wonks and political spinmeisters eagerly awaited a new government analysis Tuesday of how the Supreme Court‘s ruling on the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion will affect the law. But the Congressional Budget Office’s report doesn’t provide much clarity. By definition, CBO number-crunching is an attempt to predict an uncertain future. Yet Tuesday’s report was particularly murky. That’s because implementation […]

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NCAA Lowers Boom on Penn State: $60 Million Fine and Four-Year Bowl-Game Ban

Penn State’s football program faces the daunting task of rebuilding itself while accepting punishment for enabling a culture that covered up child sexual abuse and led to the downfall of a storied college coach A month after former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky was convicted of sexually abusing young boys during his tenure at the university, the NCAA […]

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Why Google or Facebook Buying Your Favorite Startup Means It’s Probably Toast

When I learned this morning, via Twitter, that the small company behind Mac/iOS e-mail app Sparrow was being bought by Google, I almost didn’t need to read the startup’s announcement to know the upshot. Google and Facebook buy itty-bitty web companies all the time. And the acquired businesses typically convey what’s happening in an eerily consistent five-step ritual: Announcement of […]

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