On a recent wintry day, Kansas City eighth-grader Yak Nak sat before a Missouri state Senate committee. He was there to tell lawmakers why his family had sacrificed to send him to a parochial school.
"Even though it was a struggle for my family, the reputation of the public schools in my area was not as good as my parents would have hoped," he said. "They knew there was no time to waste when dealing with young minds, and education was more valuable than any money they could save."
Consider this: Yak Nak and his family are refugees from Sudan.
Originally published on Sun February 19, 2012 10:04 am
Stepping out of my hotel on Friday evening, I could see cars backed up for miles, stretching all the way around the Benghazi's biggest lake, not far from the shores of the Mediterranean.
Horns blared in every direction, but not just car horns: bull horns, oo-gahhorns, vuvuzelas, aerosol-powered horns, even a bagpipe or two. The air smelled of exhaust, gasoline and the occasional whiff of hash. It was a cacophonous mess, overwhelming, painful to the ears, joyful, extraordinary.
In Cleveland, 2010 GED graduates from the Get On Track program parade down the aisle during their commencement. In today's economy, some experts say, the GED may not be enough to provide "gainful employment."
Every year, roughly 750,000 high school dropouts try to improve their educational and employment prospects by taking the General Educational Development test, or GED, long considered to be the equivalent of a high school diploma.
The latest research, however, shows that people with GEDs are, in fact, no better off than dropouts when it comes to their chances of getting a good job.
This is raising lots of questions, especially in school districts with high dropout rates and rising GED enrollments.
Hourly workers at General Motors will soon be getting profit-sharing checks of up to $7,000 each after the automaker reported record earnings this week. President Obama may also get a political dividend, two and a half years after a government-engineered turnaround.
Obama reminded a group of United Auto Worker members this week that, back in 2009, his rescue of GM and Chrysler had plenty of critics.
Artist Christo finances his projects by selling design drawings like this one, a preparatory sketch for the <em>Over the River</em> project on Colorado's Arkansas River. <em></em>
Credit Wolfgang Volz / Copyright Christo 2007
Christo traveled thousands of miles to find a canyon that suits his <em>Over the River </em>project, but he faces opposition from some locals near his preferred site along the Arkansas River in Colorado.
Credit Megan Verlee for NPR
Christo stands next to one of his works at a 2010 exhibition in Paris about the <em>Over the River</em> project. If approved, the installation could begin in the fall.
Bighorn Sheep Canyon in Colorado holds a chuckling ribbon of water, with a highway running alongside. Artist Christo wants to drape sections of it — almost 6 miles' worth — with long, billowing panels of silvery fabric.
"The silver-color fabric panel will absorb the color," he says. "In the morning, it will become rosy, in the middle of the day, platinum, and [during] the sunset, the fabric will become golden."
No celebrity can be truly world renown unless they have their own theme park. Mickey Mouse and Disney have theirs. Now, Napoleon might get his chance too.
Christian Mantei the head of Atout France, the tourism group supporting the endeavor, once told the The Economist that "bosses at Disneyland Paris once said that only Napoleon had the stature to take on Mickey Mouse".
As he had promised, N.J. Gov. Chris Christie conditionally vetoed a bill that would have allowed gay marriage in his state.
The governor issued his veto just a day after the state's legislature passed the bill. According to The Star-Ledger, Christie said that he was, however, appointing an "ombudsman to address complaints of same-sex couples and strengthen New Jersey's civil union's law."
Charles G. Dawes served under Calvin Coolidge from 1925 to 1929. Dawes is the only vice president to have both a Nobel Peace Prize for his work in World War I and a <em>Billboard</em> Top 10 hit, and neither had anything to do with his tenure as vice president.
Credit Keystone / Getty Images
Before serving under Lyndon B. Johnson, Hubert Humphrey was known as a "happy warrior" for liberal causes. Once in office, his silence on such matters earned him criticism from the left. Here he poses with actress Carol Channing in 1964.
Vice President Dan Quayle visits his hometown of Huntington, Ind., in 1992. Quayle served under George H.W. Bush from 1989 to 1993.
Credit John Ruthroff / AFP/Getty
Charles G. Dawes was Calvin Coolidge's second in command from 1925 to 1929. Dawes is the only vice president to have both a <i>Billboard</i> Top 10 hit and a Nobel Peace Prize.
Credit Keystone / Getty
Aaron Burr served as vice president under Thomas Jefferson from 1801 to 1805. In 1804, Burr killed political rival Alexander Hamilton in a duel over his reputation.