National News

PODCAST: Pay-for-performance disclosures

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 03:00

There's news that the U.S. economy only grew by .2 percent last quarter. We'll take a closer look at that disappointing figure. Plus, more on the SEC's expected new rules that would require companies to release reports comparing the pay of top earners vs. financial performance. More on that. And The Brookings today releases a comprehensive evaluation of colleges’ contributions to student economic success. We consider how these "value-added" rankings help students and parents make decisions about college? What's missing when you only look at economic outcomes? Plus, more on the news that the NFL will start paying Federal taxes.

Social media plays prominent role in Baltimore unrest

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 02:01
As in other instances of protests against police brutality and incidents of erupting violence, social media has played a key role in Baltimore.

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young appealed for calm via the live-streaming app Periscope.

LIVE on #Periscope: Please stop the violence. You are not honoring Freddie Gray's memory. https://t.co/9xdAzTW8en

— Bernard C Jack Young (@prezjackyoung) April 27, 2015

On Instagram, Baltimore resident Dominic Nell, 38, who is a photographer, went from documenting people's portraits to documenting riots, and the resulting efforts to clean up and make sense of the chaos.

A mother speaks to #Baltimore police officers peacefully & respectively on #GroundZero #Zone17. #N_TV #PrayForBaltimore #FreddieGray #CNN #BlackLivesMatter #AllLivesMatter #BarackObama #nellawareEverywhere

A video posted by NELLAWARE_TV™ (@nellaware) on Apr 27, 2015 at 7:44pm PDT



"With social media, a rumor can spread and go viral, and people get misinformation. So if I'm at the ground level, actually, I'm showing you what I'm seeing," Nell says.

He says he is also driven by the desire to counteract dominant narratives on TV News.

"They just keep looping the footage, looping the footage," Nell says. "They're seeing something that might have happened several hours ago, and the situation has de-escalated. So I'll show how the situation has de-escalated, I'll be in the same area, and people will be peaceful."

The Baltimore Police also took to social media. On Twitter, they urged parents to collect their children - pointing out that many of those perpetrating violence were school-aged. 

"There are just trends, emotional trends, when we have events like this" says Pilar Mckay, a professor of public communication at American University, who has been following the social media conversation surrounding events in Baltimore.

"Anything from getting really upset with your public leaders to then going to the next phases," McKay says. Among those phases, answer this question, she says: "What does it all mean?"

Baltimore businesses big and small regroup after riots

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 02:01

Kim Peace was crushed when her neighborhood CVS pharmacy was destroyed by looters.

"I'm really upset because I have to have medication," Peace says, "And I can't even get my medication today because they burned CVS up."

Peace has asthma, but that didn't stop her from sweeping up an alley in West Baltimore with her seven-year-old granddaughter.

"I'm not going to let the dirt and dust get in my way of trying to keep the community clean."

She says she and her neighbors rely on that store for food, milk, and diapers. And it wasn't just large chain stores that were damaged. Nearby, Sheranda Palmer was still in shock after the beauty parlor she co-owns was ransacked.

"We worked hard for this," Palmer says. "We didn't get grants for this. This was our hard earned money."

Palmer has insurance and hopes to reopen by the weekend. But even then, she wonders how soon her customers will feel safe coming back.

Audio for this story is forthcoming.

 

 

Comparing colleges by economic value of their degrees

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 02:00

Question: What do Cal Tech, Concord’s Community College in New Hampshire, MIT, Carleton College in Minnesota, Lee College in Texas, and Pueblo Community College in Colorado, all have in common?

Answer: They are ranked in the top twenty schools in the country for “adding value” to a student’s college years.

According to a new analysis  by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, these and other top-ranked colleges and universities give students an economic boost in terms of long-term career success and earning power, compared to similar two- and four-year institutions.

Brookings researchers crunched the numbers on thousands of schools that provide associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, comparing graduates’ mid-career salaries and rates of  student-loan repayment, as well as schools' financial aid and career-services offerings.

“With tuition continuing to rise ever-higher," says Brookings lead author Jonathan Rothwell, "public policymakers and students are interested in answering the question: What is the college going to do for me? What contribution is the college going to make to my future career?”

A new college ranking looks at which schools contribute most to students' long-term economic success.

Brookings

One clear takeaway from the voluminous economic-impact data compiled by Brookings is that any academic study in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—is likely to deliver a good return on educational investment. Salaries, benefits, and job opportunities are significantly better in these fields than in professions favored by liberal arts graduates, such as teaching, publishing, social services and government.

Rob Franek, publisher of The Princeton Review, welcomes the new data and rankings from Brookings. He says they offer a much-needed financial lens to help students and families decide where to go, how much to spend, and how much to borrow, for higher education.

The Princeton Review’s popular college guide and online resources highlight many of the nation’s most prestigious, brand-name universities. But Franek says those aren’t the only places worth spending one’s tuition dollars.

“You can’t say, just because of brand perception, that your tuition dollars are going to pay off. A community college might turn out to be the best value for a student paired with a bachelor’s degree in a couple of years," says Franek.

The federal government, meanwhile, is preparing its own higher-education value assessments to help consumers compare colleges’ relative costs and benefits. Some university administrators worry that the new rankings will result in their schools being stigmatized as a ‘worse buy’ for the typical student’s higher-education dollar, and that their access to federal financial-aid funding will be reduced.

Comparing colleges by economic value of their degrees

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 02:00

Question: What do Cal Tech, Concord’s Community College in New Hampshire, MIT, Carleton College in Minnesota, Lee College in Texas, and Pueblo Community College in Colorado, all have in common?

Answer: They are ranked in the top twenty schools in the country for “adding value” to a student’s college years.

According to a new analysis  by the Brookings Institution’s Metropolitan Policy Program, these and other top-ranked colleges and universities give students an economic boost in terms of long-term career success and earning power, compared to similar two- and four-year institutions.

Brookings researchers crunched the numbers on thousands of schools that provide associate’s and bachelor’s degrees, comparing graduates’ mid-career salaries and rates of  student-loan repayment, as well as schools' financial aid and career-services offerings.

“With tuition continuing to rise ever-higher," says Brookings lead author Jonathan Rothwell, "public policymakers and students are interested in answering the question: What is the college going to do for me? What contribution is the college going to make to my future career?”

One clear takeaway from the voluminous economic-impact data compiled by Brookings is that any academic study in the STEM fields—science, technology, engineering, and math—is likely to deliver a good return on educational investment. Salaries, benefits, and job opportunities are significantly better in these fields than in professions favored by liberal arts graduates, such as teaching, publishing, social services and government.

Rob Franek, publisher of The Princeton Review, welcomes the new data and rankings from Brookings. He says they offer a much-needed financial lens to help students and families decide where to go, how much to spend, and how much to borrow, for higher education.

The Princeton Review’s popular college guide and online resources highlight many of the nation’s most prestigious, brand-name universities. But Franek says those aren’t the only places worth spending one’s tuition dollars.

“You can’t say, just because of brand perception, that your tuition dollars are going to pay off. A community college might turn out to be the best value for a student paired with a bachelor’s degree in a couple of years," says Franek.

The federal government, meanwhile, is preparing its own higher-education value assessments to help consumers compare colleges’ relative costs and benefits. Some university administrators worry that the new rankings will result in their schools being stigmatized as a ‘worse buy’ for the typical student’s higher-education dollar, and that their access to federal financial-aid funding will be reduced.

Uber wants to be the Uber of merchant delivery

Marketplace - American Public Media - Wed, 2015-04-29 01:52
27 percent

That's the percentage of Fortune 500 companies that publish a pay-for-performance report, as found by a proxy analysis by Towers Watson. Those reports disclose what the top earners at a company are paid vs. the companies financial results. But that percentage may soon grow, as the SEC announced on Wednesday that it would propose new rules forcing more companies to participate in such reports, making their numbers more transparent to shareholders.

2 out of 5

That's how many postsecondary graduates come out of colleges granting credentials of two years or less. And yet most college rankings do not include these schools. A new analysis by Brookings not only takes a look at both two- and four- year institutions, but also analyzes the added value they provide to their graduates. More specifically, the report looks at how alumni performed economically in the long-term vs. their projected performance based on their characteristics and type of institution they attended.

$8,000

That's what business owner Sheranda Palmer says she spent on renovating her West Baltimore salon before it was ransacked by looters Monday. Palmer isn't the only one. Marketplace reporter Amy Scott walked around one of many blocks affected by rioting in the wake of Freddie Gray's death and talked to residents who are taking stock, cleaning up and trying to rebuild.

400 merchants

Apparently, Uber is trying to be the Uber of merchant delivery. According to some sources, as many as 400 merchants are in discussion with the sharing-economy juggernaut to launch a same-day delivery service. As reported by TechCrunch, businesses like Neiman Marcus, Louis Vuitton, Tiffany’s, Cohen’s Fashion Optical and Hugo Boss are already in talks with the new venture, called UberRUSH.

$44 million

That's what NFL Commissioner Rodger Goodell made in 2013, and we know because the NFL is a 501(c)6 non-profit. The league announced Tuesday that it will give up its tax-exempt status and join its 32 teams as taxable entities. It's a good PR move for an embattled organization, and it'll bring in $100 million in taxes over the next decade, but the change also means the NFL isn't required to disclose executive salaries and other business information anymore.

Baltimore Is Not Ferguson. Here's What It Really Is

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-29 01:03

Baltimore is a usually friendly city, where strangers are often addressed as "hon." It's also where stores were looted and cars burned following Monday's funeral for Freddie Gray.

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GOP Measure Would Make It Harder For Obama To Empty Guantanamo

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-29 01:03

One of President Obama's first promises in office was to shut down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp in Cuba. Congress, however, is trying to shut down the effort to empty the camp of all its inmates.

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After Botched Executions, Supreme Court Weighs Lethal Drug Cocktail

NPR News - Wed, 2015-04-29 01:00

Manufacturers have refused to provide one of three drugs used for lethal injection, so Oklahoma switched to another drug. But critics say midazolam doesn't work well to render prisoners unconscious.

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Boxing Fans Shift Focus To Small Men, Big Money

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:54

As some boxing fans await a major welterweight matchup on Saturday, it's clear that the sport is struggling to keep the attention on the boxers' athleticism rather than their riches.

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Florida's Legislature Quits Early, At Impasse Over Medicaid Expansion

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:54

Meanwhile, Gov. Rick Scott sued the federal government Tuesday, accusing it of coercing Florida to accept the expansion, or lose funding for other health programs for the poor.

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In Seattle, Earthquake Jolts Nepalese-American Community Into Action

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:53

Seattle boasts one of the largest Nepalese communities. In the aftermath of the disaster, they've organized prayer vigils, collected money for relief efforts and sent medical personnel to the region.

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Obama Confident In Asia Trade Pact, But Track Record For Deals Is Spotty

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:52

Following a South Korean trade pact in 2012, the U.S. deficit with that country widened by 80 percent. But some argue that if the U.S. doesn't create trade rules, there won't be any.

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40 Years After The Vietnam War, Families Still Search For Answers

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:51

Elaine Zimmer Davis' husband went missing after a fiery plane crash in Vietnam when their son was 2 years old. Now, she and her son — and her new husband — are on a quest to bring home his remains.

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Libraries Make Space For 3-D Printers; Rules Are Sure To Follow

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 23:50

They're the latest addition to so-called "maker spaces" showing up in a number of libraries. But as libraries work to redefine their purpose in the digital age, it also raises questions about misuse.

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Nigerian Military Rescues 200 Girls From Boko Haram

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 16:02

Ninety-three women were also rescued in the operation. The military says it cannot confirm if the girls are the same as the schoolgirls kidnapped last year, but the AP reports they are not.

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Justices Deeply Divided Over Same-Sex Marriage Arguments

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 15:13

Justice Kennedy, seen as the determinative vote in the same-sex marriage cases before the Supreme Court, was very tough on gay marriage advocates.

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A Scene From Baltimore: This Is 'Not A Carnival'

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 14:20

A day after the city erupted in riots, demonstrators took the streets. This time, the atmosphere felt more festive than angry.

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Twitter Shares Slide After Disappointing Earnings

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 14:02

The social media site continued to bring in new users, but its ad revenue didn't measure up to expectations. Twitter shares were down 18 percent at the close of trading Tuesday.

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Union Head Presses Candidates, Clinton, On Trade

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 13:56

Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO, said presidential candidates can't "hedge their bets" when it comes to trade. But that's exactly what Hillary Clinton has done so far.

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