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5 States Experiment With More School Time

Dec 3, 2012, 10:31 am EDT
5 States Experiment With More School Time

Five states are planning to announce an increase of 300 hours for some students’ school years for 2013.

The states, Colorado, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and Tennessee, are joining an initiative to try to boost student achievement through increased class hours, according to the Associated Press. The effort is part of a three-year test program changing the hours at 40 schools in the five states. The means by which the school year is expanded is flexible: Parents and the districts can decide whether to add weeks to the school year or to increase the hours per day in school.

The effort is being paid for through a combination of funds, with school district, state and federal dollars contributing to the effort. Also contributing are the nonprofit Ford Foundation and the National Center on Time & Learning. Read 

Forced Savings: The Only Way to a Reasonable Retirement

Dec 3, 2012, 7:15 am EDT
Forced Savings: The Only Way to a Reasonable Retirement

The creation of the 401(k) was intended to provide workers with a tax-deferred vehicle to save for retirement.

When used properly, it’s true that a segment of the population has benefited greatly from the 1982 legislation … but for the most part, its intended consequences haven’t come to pass. The investment industry — along with the richest Americans — have profited handsomely while the majority have no chance of retiring at 65.

In fact, Matthew O’Brien, associate editor of The Atlantic, calls the 401(k) a $240 billion waste. Is he right? Read 

Obama’s Inauguration Theme Is Revealed

Nov 30, 2012, 10:54 pm EDT

President Barack Obama is taking inspiration from Abraham Lincoln again for his second inauguration ceremony on Jan. 21.

According to members of the Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, Obama will be sworn in for his second term as president with a ceremony centered on the theme “Faith in America’s Future.”

Organizers intend to draw on the fact that 2013 will be the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the completion of the Capitol dome’s exterior. Read 

Why Congress Is Looking to Ditch the $1 Bill

Nov 30, 2012, 9:02 am EDT
Why Congress Is Looking to Ditch the $1 Bill

Congress is, once again, considering eliminating the dollar bill from American currency.

On Thursday, the Financial Services Subcommittee of the House of Representatives heard testimony from congressional auditors and officials at the General Accounting Office about issues surrounding dollar bills and coins. The testimony centered on the cost savings if the dollar bill was eliminated and replaced with coins.

The transition would not be fast — it would occur over several years — and the eventual savings to the government would be $4.4 billion over 30 years. The savings occurs because coins have an average lifespan of 30 years, while bills — made of linen — need to be replaced every four to five years. Read 

Romney, Obama Do Lunch

Nov 29, 2012, 10:17 pm EDT

Fulfilling a promise he made on election night during his victory speech, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney met for lunch today.

What was on the menu? Among other items, white turkey chili and Southwestern grilled chicken sandwich.

During the lunch, which lasted just over an hour, the two men discussed America’s leadership in the world and how important it was to maintain that leadership. The meeting was the first between the two presidential candidates since their final debate, and it was likely the longest amount of time the two had spent together up to that point. It was also Romney’s first major public appearance since his electoral defeat. Read 

Chris Christie Riding High in Aftermath of Sandy

Nov 28, 2012, 10:39 pm EDT
Chris Christie Riding High in Aftermath of Sandy

One of the most watched elections next year will undoubtedly be the New Jersey governor’s race. Democrats are looking to oust the brash, sometime controversial governor Chris Christie in the 2013 general election.

It may be an uphill battle for them.

In the wake of Christie’s handling of Superstorm Sandy, the governor has been polling extremely well. A Farleigh Dickinson poll had him winning positive ratings from 77% of voters polled, including 67% of Democrats and 92% of independents. A Quinnipiac poll gave him a 72% approval rating, which is the highest that any New Jersey governor has received in their poll. Read 

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