Accurate dropout figures are very hard to find because most states don't adequately collect or analyze the data.
Part of the problem is that every state has had a different definition for dropout. In some states, for example, students who leave school aren't counted as having dropped out if they enroll in adult education classes like night school.
Many schools don't count kids as dropouts if they enroll in a GED program. The U.S. Department of Education says GED recipients should be counted as dropouts but that rule isn't uniformly applied.
The debt-ceiling debate in Washington is being watched closely in state capitals, as a U.S. default, or a lowering of the country's bond rating, will have a ripple effect in states and communities across the nation.
In states and localities, the sometimes-abstract debate in Washington over the debt ceiling hits closer to home. Although almost every state must balance their budgets, they also rely on borrowing — selling bonds to investors for everything from meeting day-to-day cash-flow needs to funding major capital improvements.
Automakers and the White House have reached agreement on a new fuel economy standard of 54.5 mpg for cars and light trucks, sources tell NPR. The new standard would be phased in beginning with model year 2017 and fully implemented by 2025. The president is expected to formally announce the agreement tomorrow.
One year after an oil spill, workers are still cleaning up the bottom of the Kalamazoo River in southern Michigan. An estimated 840,000 gallons leaked from a broken pipeline owned by Enbridge Energy. Life for those living near the accident site in Michigan has not returned to normal yet, and it probably won't for some time.
The U.N. has begun airlifting emergency food relief supplies into the Somalia's capital after an initial delay. Families fleeing hunger and conflict in other parts of the failed state continue to arrive in droves in Mogadishu, seeking refuge and food.
With a famine declared in two areas, Somalia is hardest hit by a devastating drought affecting 11 million people in the Horn of Africa.
Congress is still scrambling to vote on a deficit plan that could solve the current debt ceiling crisis. On Thursday, Speaker John Boehner is expected to present his plan for a vote in the House of Representatives. The Republican leader has called on his GOP brethren to get in line and support the proposal, while Senate Majority leader Harry Reid waits in the wings with a plan of his own.
"Please don't squeeze the Charmin," words that helped propel the Procter & Gamble toilet paper brand to the top of the heap in 1969. The memorable line is credited to John Chervokas, a junior copywriter at Benton & Bowles in 1964 when the idea first came to him.
Chervokas, who went on to a long career in advertising, died in New York City this past weekend at the age of 74 after suffering a stroke.
Matana Roberts' new recording, <em>COIN COIN Chapter One: Gens De Colour Libre</em>, joins <em>Live In London </em>as her second album released in 2011.
Credit Brett Walker / Courtesy of the artist
Matana Roberts grew up in Chicago hearing stories about her extended family, from its roots in Louisiana and Mississippi to its participation in the Great Migration north early in the 20th century. The stories caused her to develop a deep love of history and a desire to somehow turn that into music.