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Atlanta cheating scandal moves to the courtroom

Prosecutors on Monday outlined the case against a dozen former principals, teachers, and administrators accused of orchestrating a massive cheating conspiracy in 2009 in Atlanta public schools, as the high-profile trial got under way.

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Teachers shut down 2 suburban Denver high schools

Protesting students Adriana Gonzales, right, and Andrea Colmenero march against a Jefferson County School Board proposal to emphasize patriotism and downplay civil unrest in the teaching of U.S. history, near their school, Jefferson High, in the Denver suburb of Edgewater, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014. The Jefferson County School District says classes had to be canceled at Golden and Jefferson high schools on Monday because so many teachers called in sick. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)GOLDEN, Colo. (AP) — Hundreds of suburban Denver high school students missed school again Monday as teachers shut down two high schools by calling in sick amid a controversy over proposed changes to an Advanced Placement history class and changes to their pay.


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Defense, prosecutors preview school cheating cases

Defendant Dana Evans talks to her attorney, Robert Rubin, during the prosecution's opening statement in a case against 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators, in Atlanta, Monday, Sept. 29, 2014 in Fulton County Superior Court. Prosecutors said 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators cheated, lied and stole as part of a widespread but cleverly disguised conspiracy to inflate state test scores that affected thousands of students. Prosecutors have agreed to plea deals with 21 other defendants included in the initial indictment. (AP Photo/Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Kent D. Johnson, Pool)ATLANTA (AP) — Prosecutors said Monday that 12 former Atlanta Public Schools educators and administrators cheated, lied and stole as part of a widespread but cleverly disguised conspiracy to inflate state test scores that affected thousands of students. Defense attorneys countered in their opening statements that their clients were committed educators but made enemies of former colleagues who are now lying about their involvement in cheating.


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Police probe Miami nightclub shooting where teens, children wounded

By Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Law enforcement and community leaders on Monday struggled to understand how minors, including preteens, were among the 15 shot and wounded early Sunday morning at what police said might have been an unsanctioned nightclub. “Beyond the horrific headline, can anyone tell me what in the world were teens, as young as 11, doing in a club,” Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted. Police and fire rescue officers responded to a shooting at The Spot, in the crime-ridden Liberty City neighborhood, after 1 a.m. ...

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Texas' Strong tells Goodell colleges can do better

NFL football commissioner Roger Goodell arrives at the headquarters of the National Domestic Violence hotline, Saturday, Sept. 27, 2014, in Austin, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — College football programs need to do a better job of molding players into responsible adults, Texas coach Charlie Strong said Monday, a day after he visited with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell.


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California community colleges to offer baccalaureate degrees

By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - California's two-year colleges would be able to offer baccalaureate degrees under a law signed by Democratic Governor Jerry Brown, who also rejected extra funding for the state's strapped university systems. The law, a pilot program approved Sunday by Brown along with other education-related measures, would allow 15 community colleges to expand programs in job-related fields such as automobile mechanics and dental hygiene to four-year bachelor's degrees from two-year associate's degrees. ...

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New degree program for Manchester teachers

Three University System of New Hampshire schools have developed a more affordable Master of Education program for teachers in Manchester. The new master's degree program in curriculum and instruction is ...

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Laguna Beach Turns 10! Series Creator Spills on "Wild Child" Lo, Sensitive Stephen and the Show's Legacy

Laguna Beach | Photo Credits: MTVTen years ago, The Real Housewives had conquered exactly zero cities, "Speidi" had yet to enter the pop culture lexicon, and Lauren Conrad and Kristin Cavallari were just two high school students who happened to totally be crushing on the same guy (Ste-PHEN Colletti, FTW). And then Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County happened. Debuting Sept. 28, 2004, on MTV, the reality show's scripted feel, sun-soaked ... Read More > Other Links From TVGuide.com Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County The Hills Stephen Colletti Kristin Cavallari Talan Torriero Lauren Conrad Lauren 'Lo' Bosworth Liz Gateley


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LDS Church raises requirements for Mormon seminary

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is raising the bar for high school students enrolled in seminary, adding tests and reading requirements to a program that previously just required attendance.

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Montana ordered to release rape records to author

HELENA, Mont. (AP) — A judge has ordered the University of Montana to turn over to author Jon Krakauer any records on how the state's higher education commissioner handled a rape case against Grizzlies quarterback Jordan Johnson.

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Judge dismisses teachers' challenge to NY tax cap

A judge has dismissed a legal challenge to New York's property tax cap from the state's largest teachers union in a decision that Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday was a victory for taxpayers. In the decision ...

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In Class by Day, on the Streets at Night: Record Number of U.S. Students Are Homeless

This week the U.S. Department of Education announced that the nation’s grade-school population has reached a disturbing milestone, triggered in part by the Great Recession of 2008. But some experts say the problem has deeper roots and is a troubling sign for the economy.

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Corbett signs Philly schools cigarette tax measure

Pennsylvania state government has cleared Philadelphia to impose a $2-per-pack cigarette sales tax to help the city's financially troubled public schools. Gov. Tom Corbett signed the bill Wednesday, saying ...

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Justice Anthony Kennedy talks about the Bill of Rights at National Constitution Center

In his first visit to the National Constitution Center, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke to an audience of high school students about our nation’s founding documents.

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Colorado students stage walkouts to protest proposed curriculum

By Keith Coffman DENVER (Reuters) - Hundreds of high school students in Colorado's second-largest school district staged a walkout on Wednesday to protest proposed changes to a history curriculum that would stress patriotism and discourage civil disobedience. Student protesters marched outside schools waving placards bearing slogans such as: "My School, My Education, My Voice!" and "Don't Make History a Mystery!" The demonstrations marked the third straight day of protests at six high schools in Jefferson County, a suburban Denver school district of 84,000 students. ...

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NY City mayor says son takes phone to school, recommits to lifting ban

By Laila Kearney NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio's teenage son, who helped his father's election campaign with a sentimental commercial, may now be influencing his dad to move forward with a new policy for cellphone use in the city's public schools. While de Blasio ran for mayor on a promise to allow students to carry cell phones to school, after parents complained of not being able to reach their children and of kids scrambling to find places to store their phones, the policy remains in place almost nine months after he took office. ...

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Correction: American Indian Nicknames-DC story

WASHINGTON (AP) — WASHINGTON (AP) — In a story Sept. 23 about American Indian nicknames at District of Columbia public schools, The Associated Press, relying on information from the D.C. Council and public school officials, reported erroneously that five schools would be forced to change their nicknames if the council approved a bill banning racially based nicknames and mascots. Two schools would be forced to change their names, not five.

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Past, Future Pell Grant Changes Offer Hope for Families

As Congress prepares to reauthorize the Higher Education Act, the Student Loan Ranger expects to hear a lot more conversation about the most quintessentially American part of the U.S. federal financial aid program: the Pell Grant.

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College Students Can Play League of Legends and Win Scholarship Money

College Students Can Play League of Legends and Win Scholarship MoneyTotal prize pool for this year's North American Collegiate Championship is $360,000 in scholarship funds.


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Providence, teachers union head to mediation

The Providence School District and the teachers union are taking their contract dispute to a mediator. The 1,900-member Providence Teachers Union voted 611 to 182 Monday to reject the proposal. Maribeth ...

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Record number of homeless children enrolled in US public schools

A record number of homeless students were enrolled in US public schools last year, according to new numbers released Monday by the Department of Education.

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10 Colleges That Award International Students the Most Financial Aid

The U.S. News Short List, separate from our overall rankings, is a regular series that magnifies individual data points in hopes of providing students and parents a way to find which undergraduate or graduate programs excel or have room to grow in specific areas. Be sure to explore The Short List: College and The Short List: Grad School to find data that matter to you in your college or grad school search.

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Evaluate Majors at U.S. Colleges to Enhance Job Prospects

As summer eases into fall, many current international students will be commencing their period of study at college and prospective international students are researching and applying to U.S. colleges. The beginning of an academic year or the commencement of a degree is a new and exciting time, full of unfamiliar experiences and challenges.

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Providence Teachers Union rejects proposed pact

The Providence Teachers Union has rejected a three-year contract proposal that would have eliminated a job security clause and allowed management to create a new compensation system providing extra pay ...

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Prestigious education award shared by schools in Florida, Georgia

By Barbara Liston ORLANDO Fla. (Reuters) - School districts in Florida and Georgia were named co-winners on Monday of the Broad Prize for Urban Education, recognizing top-performing urban schools that are closing the achievement gap among low-income and minority students. Orange County Public Schools, which includes Orlando, and Gwinnett County Public Schools, northeast of Atlanta, will split $1 million in college scholarships for their graduating seniors. ...

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Jury chosen in cheating trial of former Atlanta educators

By David Beasley ATLANTA (Reuters) - A jury was chosen Monday in a trial of a dozen former Atlanta educators charged in one of the nation's largest school test-cheating scandals, court officials said. The former teachers, principals and administrators on trial are accused of conspiring to alter standardized test scores to boost their own bonuses. The high-profile Atlanta case is one in a string of cheating cases affecting 39 states over the last five years. ...

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Districts in Florida, Georgia split school prize

Dorina Sackman, front right, Florida Teacher of the Year for 2014, joins other teachers and employees of Orange County Public Schools cheering at a watch party during the announcement of the Broad Prize awarded to the school system in the nation with the greatest overall performance and improvement in student achievement, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014, in Orlando, Fla. Orange County Public Schools in Orlando and Gwinnett County Public Schools in metro Atlanta will share the prize. (AP Photo/John Raoux)ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — In a first for the prestigious award, districts in Florida and Georgia will split the $1 million Broad Prize — the largest education award given to U.S. public schools.


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Games-Buoyed by bumper bonus, Thais eye more sepak takraw gold

By Kaweewit Kaewjinda BANGKOK, Sept 22 (Reuters) - His team mates call him the "left-footed killer", an unlikely nickname for a veteran athlete who plays in the same cheap plimsolls that high school students are forced to wear in his native Thailand. But with his prolific point-scoring record and deadly finishing, Pornchai Kaokaew carries Thailand's hopes of delivering them yet another Asian Games gold medal in sepak takraw, an acrobatic hybrid of soccer and volleyball that has spectators gripped with its non-stop dynamism and flair. ...

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Can This Grassroots Movement Change the Way Teachers Think About Race?

A new coalition of educators, parents, and students hopes to catalyze greater racial and cultural understanding in Gotham’s schools. At least, that’s one of the goals of a new petition from EduColor, a grassroots organization attempting to ramp up discussion and spark action on the issue of race in education reform.

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Colleges partner on renewable energy program

Vermont Technical College and the Community College of Vermont have formed a partnership for students who want to further their studies in the field of renewable energy. The Bennington Banner reports (bit.ly/1mkiN7U) ...

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North Carolina court releases money in halted school voucher program

WINSTON-SALEM N.C. (Reuters) - About 1,900 North Carolina students will be allowed to receive public money to attend private schools despite a finding by a judge that the scholarship program is unconstitutional, the state's Court of Appeals ruled on Friday. The order applies only to students who were approved for taxpayer-funded scholarships of up to $4,200 before a lower trial court blocked North Carolina's new school voucher program last month. No additional funds for the Opportunity Scholarship program will be released while the legal challenge plays out, the appellate court said. ...

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Students, Graduates Share Why They Picked Their Colleges

Why I Picked Northeastern University (Boston)

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Facebook CEO wants more students to explore tech

Students at Sequoia High School in Redwood City Calif. make their way bak to class after a special assembly on Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014. During the assembly Facebook gifted 50 laptops to the school and CEO Mark Zuckerberg answered questions in front of hundreds of students as part of Facebook's campaign to encourage students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math or what are otherwise known as STEM fields. (AP Photo/Alex Washburn)REDWOOD CITY, Calif. (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to turn more American high school students into well-paid techies — and even hire some of them to work at his social-media company.


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15 Things That Are Harder To Get Into Than Harvard

15 Things That Are Harder To Get Into Than HarvardREUTERS/Brian Snyder Students cheer at the Harvard Business School graduation ceremony Harvard is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The Cambridge, Massachusetts school accepted just 5.9% of roughly 34,000 applications for its class of 2018. As Harvard President Drew Gilpin Faust recently said, “We could fill our class twice over with valedictorians.” The school seeks out students who not only have high grades, but also have outstanding achievements under their belts — from overcoming homelessness to starting their own nonprofits. The students who manage to catch the attention of admissions officers overcome exceptional odds, but they should maintain some perspective. Many things in life — like landing a job at some Wal-Mart locations — are harder to achieve than getting into that prestigious university. A Job At Some Wal-Mart Locations Met with both merriment and protest, Wal-Mart came to Washington, D.C. at the end of 2013.  The store received more than 23,000 applications but only hired 600 associates, NBC Washington reported. That’s a 2.6% acceptance rate — almost half as selective as Harvard.  While many Harvard graduates can expect a 6-figure income, Wal-Mart employees pocket an average of $11.83 an hour or nearly $25,000 annually,,according to the company. The Top 50 Posts On A Friend’s Newsfeed When Facebook compiles your Newsfeed, it chooses from roughly 1,500 different posts. The company uses an algorithm based on the popularity and relevance of posts, along with other factors, to decide what goes where. The chances of a certain post finding its way into the top 50 stories on someone’s Newsfeed is about 3.3%. If you want to boost your chances, posts with photos do far better than links or text-based posts.     The American Dream A recent report from researchers at Harvard and Berkeley Universities shows that in many major US cities, it’s very hard to achieve a rags-to-riches success story.  The report analyzes the number of people who were born into the lowest income quintile but ended up in the highest income quintile. The results don’t bode well for upward socioeconomic mobility. The chances were below 5% in Atlanta, Georgia; Charlotte, North Carolina; Jacksonville, Florida; Columbus, Ohio; Dayton, Ohio; Milwaukee, Wisconsin; and Indianapolis, Indiana. Even at the top of the list, people in San Jose, California showed just a 12.9% chance of living the American dream. A Job At Goldman Sachs In 2013, Goldman Sachs receieved more than 43,000 applications for 1,900 analyst positions, making the company hiring rate about 4.4%.  It’s no surprise so many people want to work there, as Fortune magazine named Goldman one of the 100 best places to work in 2014. Since the ranking began in 1984, Goldman is one of just five companies that made the list every year. According to Glassdoor, the average analyst there makes about $63,000 a year.  The Secret Service Protecting the president of the United States isn’t a job for any run-of-the-mill bodyguard or security detail.  The full responsibilities of the Secret Service are well, secret, but agents remain with the president and his family 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Other important government officials, such as the vice presidents and their families, also receive protection, usually even after they leave their positions.  For these reasons, the Secret Service accepted less than 1% of their 15,600 special agent applications in 2011, Bloomberg reported. A Bootcamp For Data Scientists Foursquare’s Michael Li began work on another startup in 2014: The Data Incubator.  It’s essentially a boot camp for data scientists. While many programming PhDs have solid research skills, few can meet the pace of a startup. They need training.  Li hasn’t picked the first class of attendees from a batch of more than 1,000 applicants, representing more than 80 universities. But he told VentureBeat, “We cannot accept 5.8%,” referring to Harvard’s rate. “It’s just not possible.” Some Prestigious New York City Public High Schools Some of New York’s most in-demand public high schools are actually harder to get into than Harvard, as Brooklyn Magazine has noted.  For their September 2014 admission, 16,675 students listed the Brooklyn Latin School as a choice on their application, according to the New York City Department of Education. However, fewer than 3% were accepted.  Meanwhile, the High School of American Studies in the Bronx has an acceptance rate of around 1% as does the Queens High School for the Sciences at York College.  Getting into a good school in the city of New York is particularly important. While the citywide four-year graduation rate is roughly 65%, results differ wildly between public high schools. Concord High School in Staten Island had a four-year graduation rate of less than 20% in 2013, according to data published by the local radio station WNYC. Meanwhile, the Green Dot Charter School in the Bronx had a four-year graduation rate of nearly 99%. A Job At McDonald’s (Sometimes) McDonald’s hasn’t gone on a national hiring spree this year, but at one point, it was more difficult to land a job there than a spot at Harvard. In 2011, McDonald’s held a gigantic job fair. It advertised 50,000 jobs and ended up hiring 24% more than that — 62,000. One million people applied for positions, which made the odds of getting hired 6.2%. While Harvard has gotten even more selective, the school accepted about 7% of applicants in 2011.  A Hands-On Experience With An iPhone 6 (Before Sept. 19) On Tuesday Apple announced the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch at the Flint Center in Cupertino, California.  Attendees were then invited to an early hands-on session with the devices across the road in a specially built showroom. Apple has already sold 4 million units of the iPhone 6 in pre-orders, while the Flint Center only had a capacity of 2,500. Comparing the number of people who want an iPhone 6 with the number who got their hands on one that day, you had less than a 0.1% chance of being in the room. You can, however, live vicariously through our tech reporter, Steve Kovach. A Job At The Apple Store In 2009, Apple’s much-anticipated Upper West Side store opened its doors, Gizmodo reported at the time. Out of 10,000 applications, only about 200 people got jobs: a 2% acceptance rate.  Harvard may be known for producing geniuses, but Apple’s “Genius Bar” is much more selective. A Green Card Up to 15 million people apply to the U.S. Green Card lottery every year, all hoping for a chance at a life in America, the Wall Street Journal has reported.  But only about 50,000 green cards are available. The odds of obtaining a Green Card (known officially a Diversity Visa) vary depending on the applicant’s region. If you’re not from Australia, New Zealand, or a Pacific island, however, the odds aren’t good. Fewer than 2% of applicants around the world end up getting a visa. The rate is about 6% in Oceania (because of fewer applications and relatively higher quotas).   The Indian Institute Of Management While Harvard lets in about 5.9% of applicants, not even 1% get accepted to India’s top business school, BloombergBusinessweek reported last year. The Indian Institute of Management in Ahmadabad (IIM-A) received 173,866 for its 2012-2014 class. The university has the luxury of being extra choosy because of India’s large population and the vast number of students with outstanding grades and test scores. Delta’s Flight Attendant Corps You have less than a 1% chance becoming a Delta Flight Attendant, according to Bloomberg, In 2010 Delta, the world’s second largest air carrier, received 100,000 applications for 1,000 jobs. In 2013, it received 44,000 applications for 400 jobs. Foreign language skills are highly valued by the company, with as many as 30% of hires speaking a second language. The Ranks Of Successful Startups Y Combinator is an exclusive startup program — sort of a startup school — founded by Paul Graham. Despite being extraordinarily picky and only accepting 3-5% of applicants, Y Combinator only considers 10% of its “graduate” startups successful after a few years. By putting those two statistics together, Business Insider’s own Henry Blodget estimates the success rate of startup companies could be as low as 0.4%.  It’s safe to say the smartest entrepreneurs are those with a backup plan.  A Job At Google After leaving Microsoft in 2009, Don Dodge became a Developer Advocate for Google. Within a year, he posted a lengthy explanation of the hiring process there on his personal blog, hinting at the company’s level of exclusivity, The Next Web reported.  In his words, Google receives about one million applications every year — but only hires 1,000 to 4,000 people. Best case scenario, that means only .4% of hopefuls land a job at Google.  They go through recruiter screening, two or three phone interviews, and then four or five in-person ones on site, not to mention jumping through other professional hoops. It’s safe to say Harvard doesn’t screen nearly as thoroughly.  Harvard may not be your top-choice, though. Click here to see the 50 best colleges in America » Read more stories on Business Insider, Malaysian edition of the world’s fastest-growing business and technology news website.


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Survey shows unfilled teaching jobs across SD

Survey shows unfilled teaching jobs across SDMore than 20 percent of South Dakota public schools had at least one unfilled teaching position on the first day of school, according to a statewide survey of superintendents released Wednesday. Thirty-one ...


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What We've Learned in 30 Editions of the Best Colleges Rankings

This college search thing can be a little intimidating, especially if you're going through it for the first time. This is our 30th go-round at U.S. News, so we feel like we've got some experience worth sharing.

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Gunmen kill 15 at college in north Nigeria's Kano

By Nneluke Ikemfuna KANO Nigeria (Reuters) - Gunmen stormed a higher education college in northern Nigeria on Wednesday, firing on fleeing students and setting off an explosion in an attack that killed at least 15 people and wounded 35, police said. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack in the region's main city of Kano, but the Islamist militant group Boko Haram, which has repeatedly targeted civilians in the north, is likely to be a prime suspect. A police spokesman added that officers arrived on the scene and killed two of the attackers. ...

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Texas limiting new AP history course's influence

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Amid uproar in conservative circles about perceived anti-American bias in the new Advanced Placement U.S. History course and exam, Texas on Wednesday moved to require its high school students to learn only state-mandated curriculum — not be taught to the national test.

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Teachers union calls for boycott of Nigeria school restart

A boy walks through an empty class room at a school in Monrovia, closed by the Liberian government to protect students from Ebola. The head of Nigeria's main teachers union called for a boycott of next week's re-opening of schoolsLagos (AFP) - The head of Nigeria's main teachers union called on Tuesday for a boycott of next week's re-opening of schools, saying there had not been enough training to protect against the Ebola virus.


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U.S. consumer watchdog accuses Corinthian Colleges of predatory loans

By Elvina Nawaguna WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. consumer finance watchdog on Tuesday sued Corinthian Colleges for alleged predatory lending, saying that the for-profit institute lured students into taking out private student loans by touting "bogus" job prospects and using illegal debt-collection methods. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said it wants the for-profit college company to pay $500 million in relief for the tens of thousands of students affected. ...





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