Kentucky has changed the formula it uses to calculate graduation rates, and it has caused local numbers to drop – and in one case, nosedive. The Kentucky Department of Education today released the data for the graduating class of 2010, as required by the federal No Child Left Behind program. To meet their federal goals, schools and districts will be required to have a graduation rate of 82.32 percent or close the gap between the previous year’s rate by at least 10 percent. Statewide, the 2010 graduation rate is 76.7 percent. In 2009 under the old formula, the state reported a rate of 83.9 percent.
Changes in the operation of the American Red Cross have led to the dissolution of the Boyle County chapter director position and prompted the chapter board to take matters into its own hands. In a letter received by The Advocate-Messenger, Emanual Gray, board chairman of the Danville-based Central Kentucky chapter of the Red Cross, which serves Boyle and Mercer counties, detailed what he said are troubling financial and administrative changes over the past several years.
The sleepy towns in the Western Mountains of Libya come to life right before the country's rebels engage in a fight with the forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. The mostly deserted roads suddenly fill with pickup trucks. The rebel fighters bristle with the makeshift weapons that they rely on. The vehicles, some monster trucks, then peel off into the front lines deep in the desert, covered in dried mud that serves as camouflage.
President Obama has signed into law a bi-partisan bill that raises the debt ceiling and avoids a government default that analysts as well as the White House warned could have had catastrophic effects on the American economy.
Earlier today, the Senate voted 74-26 to send the bill to the president's desk. The AP reports Obama signed the bill privately in the Oval Office.
Efforts to help people in southern Somalia, where famine relief efforts have been stymied by al-Shabaab, a group on the U.S. terrorism watchlist, may get easier in the coming weeks. That's because pending changes to U.S. rules will allow aid groups to deliver food in those areas, according to an AP report.
Citing sources who wished to remain anonymous, the AP says:
We've all desperately tried to force a crumpled dollar bill into a vending machine to no avail. Fortunately, when your dollar is that decrepit, it's on death's door and will likely be removed from circulation.
The average lifespan of a $1 bill, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, is 21 months. Eventually, money is destroyed — either by the Federal Reserve itself, or by the places that create it to begin with: the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and the U.S. Mint. On average, 5 million unfit currency notes are destroyed each day.
Americans put more of their money into savings in June, at the expense of consumer spending — and that came as a surprise to analysts. The month's drop in spending was the first in nearly two years (20 months).
The House voted to pass the compromise spending plan Monday night, but drops in federal and state credit ratings remain possible, particularly for South Carolina. To learn about the bill's local ramifications, host Michel Martin speaks with S.C.'s House Rep. for the sixth district, S.C.'s Treasurer, and the mayor Columbia, S.C.
The federal government recently announced that starting Aug. 2012, insurers must offer female preventive health services without extra costs to patients. Host Michel Martin discusses the controversial plan with the Health and Human Services Secretary. Martin also explores what the debt deal means for the Affordable Care Act with a Senior Correspondent from Kaiser Health News.