National / International News

Spending $100 million to break down AP class barriers

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-04-28 02:00
High school students across the country are nervously cramming for Advanced Placement exams, which begin next week. But, there won’t be nearly as many minority and low-income students taking the tests as there could be.

According to the College Board, which runs the AP program, in 2013 about 15 percent of graduating seniors in the U.S. were black. But, black students made up only about 9 percent of AP test takers. That same year — the latest for which reliable comparisons are available — low-income students made up 48 percent of the high school population, but only about 28 percent of AP test takers.

Access to advanced high school courses is only part of the problem. The majority of high schools in the U.S. offer some AP classes. The larger problem, experts say, is participation.

“There are about 650,000 missing students per year — low-income students and students of color — who would participate in advanced courses in their high schools if given the opportunity to participate at the same rate as other students,” says Reid Saaris, president of Equal Opportunity Schools, a non-profit that works with schools to increase that opportunity.

EOS is among a group of education and business organizations spearheading a $100 million spend aimed at getting more under-represented students into AP and International Baccalaureate classes. The initiative, announced Tuesday, aims to identify and enroll 100,000 new students during the next three years.

Research shows high-achieving minority and low-income students are often overlooked when it comes to AP and IB programs. Saaris cites several reasons, including perceptions by educators that certain students are not "right" for advanced classes, and a lack of information among parents and students about AP or IB.

Natalie Rodriguez Jansorn, director of strategic initiatives for the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, which is helping fund the $100 million project, says students who participate in AP courses are more likely to enroll in college, and succeed when they get there.

“In particular, we know that there are a significant number of low-income students who are not even being invited or encouraged into AP courses," she says.

var pymParent = new pym.Parent('pym-container', 'http://features.marketplace.org/learningcurve/apexamgaps/', {});

Japan's trade negotiations may be troubled by currency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-04-28 02:00

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the U.S. this week, and on his agenda: negotiations for a trade deal between the U.S. and Japan, along with ten other countries. One potential sticking point is the way Japan handles its currency. For the last few years, Japan has pumped more currency into circulation, saying it wants to flight deflation.

“But everyone knows that behind that is definitely a business community that’s has complained for many years that the value of yen too strong,” says Scott Seaman, a senior analyst with the Eurasia Group.

Many Japanese exporters would prefer a weaker yen, so Japan goods become cheaper relative to competitors in other countries. That is why this a trade issue, says Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell.

“Some people in the U.S. are concerned that by opening U.S. markets, and by tolerating other countries' policies that drive down the values of their currencies, the U.S. might lose out,” he says.

Audio for this story is forthcoming.

Japan's trade negotiations may be troubled by currency

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-04-28 02:00

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is visiting the U.S. this week, and on his agenda: negotiations for a trade deal between the U.S. and Japan, along with ten other countries. One potential sticking point is the way Japan handles its currency. For the last few years, Japan has pumped more currency into circulation, saying it wants to flight deflation.

“But everyone knows that behind that is definitely a business community that’s has complained for many years that the value of yen too strong,” says Scott Seaman, a senior analyst with the Eurasia Group.

Many Japanese exporters would prefer a weaker yen, so Japan goods become cheaper relative to competitors in other countries. That is why this a trade issue, says Eswar Prasad, an economics professor at Cornell.

“Some people in the U.S. are concerned that by opening U.S. markets, and by tolerating other countries' policies that drive down the values of their currencies, the U.S. might lose out,” he says.

Audio for this story is forthcoming.

Valve shuts down paid 'mod' system

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:58
Angry gamers have forced Valve to end an initiative that let people who make modifications or "mods" for games get paid for their work.

GDP in Portlandia

Marketplace - American Public Media - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:56
9 percent

In 2013, about 15 percent of graduating high school seniors were black, but only 9 percent took some kind of AP exam. That same year, low-income students made up 48 percent of the graduating class, but only 28 percent of AP test takers. Enrollment in AP classes, or lack thereof, is said to be a large contributor to these numbers. A new $100 million initiative announced Tuesday aims to positively influence participation.

22.8 percent

That's how much Portland's GDP has grown since 2008, far outpacing similarly sized eastern cities. Bloomberg reports a lot of commerce is heading west, with jobs, wages, home prices and the number of young people all on the rise.

5.7 million square feet

Speaking of the West Coast: that's how much office space Google, Linkedin and others proposed for Mountain View, California earlier this year, more than double the development the city had planned for the next 20 years. Silicon Valley is headed for a space crunch, the Wall Street Journal reported, with tech companies expanding far faster than city planners anticipated, and public infrastructure strained.

$1.49

That's the price for the new Fritos taco at Taco Bell, one of several new items the Mexican fast-food chain is experimenting with, Quartz reported. Along with several Fritos tacos, the company is launching new breakfast tacos and other dishes to try and replicate the goofy, viral success of the Doritos Locos Taco.

2017

That's the year by which Tyson promises it will end its use of human antibiotics. As reported by the NY Times, the announcement is considered the final step for the company toward goals it has articulated for some time.

Gay marriage remark 'misinterpreted'

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:53
A general election candidate says he is is sorry if a remark he made about being against gay marriage was misinterpreted.

Woman goes to police over wolf whistles

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:51
Poppy Smart, from Worcester, heckled on her walk to work every day and thinks more women should complain about it.

VIDEO: Video shows moment of quake in Tibet

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:46
Footage of the moment a massive earthquake struck Nepal and the Himalayas has emerged - filmed by a survivor in the Tibet Autonomous Region of China.

Toksvig steps down from News Quiz

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:43
Comedian Sandi Toksvig is to leave BBC Radio 4's comedy show The News Quiz after nine years and 28 series.

EU set to back crash alert for cars

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:25
A new EU-wide alert system to deal with road accidents, called eCall, is expected to get the go-ahead from Euro MPs.

Bosnich pleads guilty to charge

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:17
Former Manchester United goalkeeper Mark Bosnich appears in a Sydney court to plead guilty to reckless driving.

VIDEO: The $50,000-per-night Vegas hotel room

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:12
Take a tour of the Las Vegas hotel room which is $20,000-per-night more expensive in Mayweather-Pacquiao fight week.

VIDEO: Searching through rubble with bare hands

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:11
The BBC's Yalda Hakim travelled to the historical town of Bhaktapur where a rescue operation was underway.

Report: To Aid Combat, Russia Wages Cyberwar Against Ukraine

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:00

Cyberwarfare is a hidden world with few documented examples. In a new report, security researchers detail digital attacks against Ukraine's military, and charge the Russian military as the hacker.

» E-Mail This

Record Number Of Amicus Briefs Filed In Same-Sex-Marriage Cases

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 01:00

This week's same-sex-marriage cases at the Supreme Court brought in a record number of friend-of-the–court briefs. But truth be told, the justices do not read all of these briefs.

» E-Mail This

In pictures: After the Everest avalanche

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 00:59
Pictures emerge showing Everest Base Camp on the day after Nepal's earthquake triggered an avalanche which swept away many tents, killing 18 people.

Quake-hit Nepal 'on war footing'

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 00:55
Nepal is on a "war footing" as it struggles to meet the overwhelming need following Saturday's earthquake, its prime minister says.

On The Streets Of Baltimore, Trying To Understand The Anger

NPR News - Tue, 2015-04-28 00:53

On the streets, some said violence is the only way to get authorities to pay attention to the plight of blacks in Baltimore. Others said they understood the anger, but not the violence.

» E-Mail This

Scots man wins £7.8m lottery jackpot

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 00:52
A Bo'ness man is celebrating after winning a jackpot of more than £7.8m in Saturday's National Lottery draw.

UK economic growth slows to 0.3%

BBC - Tue, 2015-04-28 00:42
The rate of economic growth halved in the three months to the end of March, official figures show, continuing a slowdown that began six months ago.

Pages