first_img Show Comments ▼ BILLIONAIRE Nicolas Berggruen’s Justice Holdings fund raised a greater than planned £900m from its listing of 90m shares at £10 a share yesterday, after hedge fund manager William Ackman bought into the deal. Justice said this would enable it to pursue its objective of acquiring a target business with an enterprise value of between £1bn and £7bn. whatsapp KCS-content More From Our Partners Russell Wilson, AOC among many voicing support for Naomi Osakacbsnews.comAstounding Fossil Discovery in California After Man Looks Closelygoodnewsnetwork.orgMark Eaton, former NBA All-Star, dead at 64nypost.comPolice Capture Elusive Tiger Poacher After 20 Years of Pursuing the Huntergoodnewsnetwork.orgA ProPublica investigation has caused outrage in the U.S. this weekvaluewalk.comBrave 7-Year-old Boy Swims an Hour to Rescue His Dad and Little Sistergoodnewsnetwork.orgBiden received funds from top Russia lobbyist before Nord Stream 2 giveawaynypost.comNative American Tribe Gets Back Sacred Island Taken 160 Years Agogoodnewsnetwork.orgKiller drone ‘hunted down a human target’ without being told tonypost.comInside Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis’ not-so-average farmhouse estatenypost.comFlorida woman allegedly crashes children’s birthday party, rapes teennypost.comUK teen died on school trip after teachers allegedly refused her pleasnypost.comFeds seized 18 devices from Rudy Giuliani and his employees in April raidnypost.comSupermodel Anne Vyalitsyna claims income drop, pushes for child supportnypost.comMatt Gaetz swindled by ‘malicious actors’ in $155K boat sale boondogglenypost.com980-foot skyscraper sways in China, prompting panic and evacuationsnypost.comKamala Harris keeps list of reporters who don’t ‘understand’ her: reportnypost.comI blew off Adam Sandler 22 years ago — and it’s my biggest Monday 14 February 2011 8:59 pm Share whatsapp Tags: NULL BERGGRUEN FUND LISTS FOR £900M last_img read more


first_imgThousands of Palestinians in Gaza take to the streets in support of the valiant Palestinian Resistance Movement.The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine issued this statement on Nov. 12.The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine calls an urgent action for the friends of Palestine, movements for justice and liberation, and the Palestinian and Arab communities everywhere in the world to stand with Gaza under attack at this critical moment.We issue this call in honor and mourning for our two heroic comrades, Mohammed al-Tatari and Mohammed Odeh, martyred today [Nov. 12] by Zionist occupation forces, who attacked them as they fought for the freedom of their land, Palestine, and all of its people.This murder at the hands of the colonial forces comes after an attack yesterday, in which Zionist forces sought to invade the Gaza Strip in an undercover operation to kidnap or assassinate leaders of the Palestinian resistance. They killed seven Palestinians who died fighting to defend their land — but the Palestinian resistance did not let them get away with their crime. The resistance has held fast, fighting heroically against one of the most heavily armed powers in the world and striking powerful blows against the assassins and murderers.Tonight, the bombs are once again striking Gaza. Zionist forces are shelling and bombing television stations and universities, and they are threatening to begin once more attacking hospitals. This comes as the latest, vicious military assault directed against Palestinians in Gaza, after the wars of 2009, 2012 and 2014 and countless bombing raids and assassinations, amid 11 years of a brutal and relentless siege.This attack is an attempt to suppress the achievements of the Great March of Return, in which thousands of Palestinians in Gaza have demanded their fundamental right to return and to break the siege. Against this popular movement, the Zionist forces have unleashed their snipers, taking the lives of over 200 Palestinian demonstrators. Despite all of these assaults, the Palestinian people of Gaza remain committed to the resistance, refuse to relinquish their defenders, and are steadfast in the struggle for return and liberation.Palestinians in Gaza are not alone! And they must not be left alone. This attack is not only carried out by the Israeli occupation, but by the imperialist powers like the United States, France and Britain that arm and support the settler-colonial racist state to the hilt. The reactionary Arab regimes that plot how to dismantle Palestinian rights and existence while raining destruction and death on Yemen are also complicit in this onslaught.Now is the time to act. Take to the streets and the squares, organize, demonstrate, protest and mobilize to stand with the Palestinian people in Gaza under attack, yet who continue to resist despite all odds. Build the boycott of Israel and confront imperialism everywhere it exists.Stand with the Palestinian people, the Palestinian resistance and the Palestinian cause — the struggle for return and the fight for liberation, from the river to the sea!FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thisFacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmailPrintMoreShare thislast_img read more

Bangladeshi journalist tortured by police, held for nearly a year

first_imgContinuing fears On his release from prison, Faridul told waiting journalists and an RSF representative that he was still very concerned for his safety. “My security could still be in danger because the police officer’s colleagues and underworld gangs feel threatened,” he said. February 26, 2021 Find out more Help by sharing this information Organisation RSF_en In stories published in May and June 2019, Faridul focused on cases of extortion and death threats in connection with alleged links between local drug cartels and Pradeep Kumar Das, the Officer-in-Charge (OC) at the police station in Teknaf, a border town 75 km south of Cox’s Bazar. News Before bringing Faridul before a judge, OC Pradeep staged a raid on his home on 21 September 2019, in which his men planted two illegal firearms, 400 yaba pills (a popular local drug) and bottles of alcohol, and then pretended to discover them. This “evidence” and the three other charges brought by Pradeep sufficed to get Faridul jailed without any hope of bail. September 7, 2020 Bangladeshi journalist tortured by police, held for nearly a year News Bangladesh is ranked 150th out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2020 World Press Freedom Index. News On 17 August, the Bangladesh high court ordered his release on bail. He was released 10 days later but he remains charged on a total of six counts, including illegal possession of drugs, alcohol and firearms, which could potentially result in his being imprisoned again. All-powerful police officer BangladeshAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedJudicial harassmentViolence Faridul Mostafa with his family after being released from Cox’s Bazar prison on 27 August 2020 (left). The photo on the right, provided by the police, gives an idea of the level of the torture to which this journalist was subjected (photos obtained by Saleem Samad/RSF). “He was brutally tortured in police custody before being brought before a court in Cox’s Bazar three days later,” his wife Hasina Akter, told RSF. She said his hands and legs were broken and the nails of his fingers and toes were pulled out with pliers by Pradeep himself. His eyesight has been badly affected by the red chili powder that was rubbed in his eyes, and he was forced to drink sewage water, which caused severe diarrhoea. “We urge Bangladesh’s highest judicial authorities to immediately dismiss the spurious charges against Faridul Mostafa, to assume responsibility for his medical costs, and to issue orders for him to be given effective protection,” said Daniel Bastard, the head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk. “His horrific ordeal calls for deep reforms in the police and judicial system so that journalists can freely investigate corruption cases without fearing reprisals. The credibility of the rule of law in Bangladesh is at stake.” Bangladeshi writer and blogger dies in detention RSF calls for the release of Bangladeshi journalist Rozina Islam, unfairly accused of espionage to go further After Faridul himself began being the target of threats, he wrote letters to the prime minister, home affairs minister and police inspector general in the Bangladeshi capital, Dhaka, on 28 June 2019 requesting protection against OC Pradeep. BangladeshAsia – Pacific Condemning abusesProtecting journalists ImprisonedJudicial harassmentViolence Follow the news on Bangladesh His wife told RSF that the family did not dare to contest the charges in court or report this scandal to the press for fear of reprisals by the all-powerful police officer. It was only Pradeep’s arrest early last month for the murder of a retired army officer that finally loosened tongues and revived Faridul’s hopes. Receive email alerts As RSF reported at the time, local newspaper reporter Shariful Alam Chowdhury was nearly beaten to death by thugs acting on the orders of a local official in Muradnagar, on the outskirts of Cumilla, 100 km east of Dhaka, in July. News In June, RSF and four other NGOs wrote to Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina asking her to take concrete action to guarantee press freedom in the face of an alarming surge in physical attacks against reporters investigating corruption. According to RSF’s tally, at least 15 journalists have been subjected to serious violence in Bangladesh since a lockdown was imposed in late March in response to the coronavirus crisis. Two days later, OC Pradeep filed three complaints accusing Faridul of extortion. The alarmed Faridul fled to Dhaka but he was located by means of his mobile phone signal and, after OC Pradeep’s thugs arrested him there on 19 September 2019, he was brought all the way back to the police station in Teknaf. This is when the real nightmare began. Brutal torture May 19, 2021 Find out more Bangladeshi reporter fatally shot by ruling party activists The editor of the Cox’s Bazar Bani daily and the Janatar Bani news website, Faridul Mostafa was finally released on bail from Cox’s Bazar prison on 27 August after being held for 11 months and five days for covering local government corruption linked to the region’s drug trafficking with neighbouring Myanmar. Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is spotlighting the horrific story, one that remained unreported until very recently, of a journalist who was tortured and arbitrarily jailed for nearly a year for investigating the widespread corruption in and around the city of Cox’s Bazar in the far southeast of Bangladesh. February 22, 2021 Find out morelast_img read more

Two bodies found amidst search for New York couple missing in Dominican Republic

first_imgczekma13/iStock(NEW YORK) — A search for a New York couple that went missing while on a romantic getaway to the Dominican Republic took a grim twist this week.On Tuesday, police in the Dominican Republic said they are investigating if two people who apparently died in a car crash last month are the missing Americans.Orlando Moore, 43, and his girlfriend, Portia Ravenelle, 32, both of Mount Vernon, vanished on the morning of March 27, the day they checked out of the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa resort in Samana. Their relatives told police they were scheduled to fly to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey that day, but missed their flight out of Santa Domingo.Fishermen reported hearing a loud noise coming from a highway along the coast leading to San Domingo on March 27 and passersby discovered a badly injured woman along the roadway, police said. She was taken to a hospital where she died on April 4, police said.Police said a car was found submerged in the water below the highway and the body of a man was retrieved from the vehicle on March 31, according to police.Autopsies are being conducted to determine if the two people who died in what appeared to be a car accident are Moore and Ravenelle, the police statement said.U.S. State Department officials said earlier this week that they were working with Dominican authorities to find the missing couple.“We are aware of reports regarding a U.S. couple missing in the Dominican Republic. The welfare and safety of U.S. citizens abroad is one of the highest priorities of the Department of State. We stand ready to provide appropriate assistance to U.S. citizens in need and to their families,” the State Department said in a statement. “When a U.S. citizen is missing, we work closely with local authorities as they carry out their search efforts and share information with families however we can.”Copyright © 2019, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.last_img read more

Cyprus hosts oil and gas industry security drill

first_img View post tag: Cypriot Navy October 17, 2017 Back to overview,Home naval-today Cyprus hosts oil and gas industry security drill The Cypriot defense ministry and Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) Larnaca hosted warships from France, Israel and Greece among others for the fourth consecutive exercise Nemesis 2017.The one-day exercise took place on October 17 in the Exclusive Economic Zone of the Republic of Cyprus, with the participation of SAR Units and Personnel from the Republic of Cyprus, Greece, Israel, France and the United Kingdom as well as the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) and commercial vessels of EDT Offshore and SAIPEM S.p.A.The exercise is aimed at developing coordination in the prompt response to emergency situations onboard merchant vessels and oil and gas platforms, as well as other humanitarian operations in the Eastern Mediterranean region.Exercise scenarios included threats and emergency situations that might occur in the Eastern Mediterranean, boarding operations on oil/gas platform, evacuation and rescue operations, massive rescue operations due to naval accident, as well as anti-pollution operations within the area of responsibility of the Republic of Cyprus.Overall 12 warships, 8 aircraft and 3 commercial vessels took part in the drill. In addition to Cypriot Navy and police boats, the Hellenic Navy sent a frigate and a missile boat, the French Navy participated with a frigate while the Israel sent one missile and four patrol boats.The defense ministry said the exercise was conducted under rough sea conditions and the outcomes of the exercise would be evaluated and the special national plans “NEARCHOS” and “ORFEAS” will be amended, if necessary, for improving the planning and preparation of the governmental services of the Republic, to deal with the main threats related to maritime and energy security, within the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus. Cyprus hosts oil and gas industry security drillcenter_img View post tag: Nemesis Share this article Authoritieslast_img read more

Tech Comm Faculty & Prog Coord

first_imgDepartment of Mechanical EngineeringSearch: Technical Communication Faculty and ProgramCoordinatorThe Department of Mechanical Engineering at Virginia Tech invitesapplications for a faculty position as the Mechanical EngineeringTechnical Communication Program Coordinator. This is a non-tenuretrack contract position at the Assistant, Associate, or FullProfessor level depending on the qualifications of thecandidate.Qualifications include: a PhD or Master’s degree preferably in afield focused on the discipline and pedagogy ofcommunication/writing (e.g. Engineering Education specializing intechnical communication, English specializing in technicalcommunication) or an engineering field with significant experiencein written and oral technical communication and teaching experienceby appointment start date. Preferred qualifications include:experience in a mechanical engineering or related discipline,experience working or teaching in a STEM field or environment, andassessment experience. We are seeking highly-qualified candidatescommitted to a career in teaching and research inpedagogy/communication. The successful candidate will beresponsible for developing, coordinating and implementing theMechanical Engineering undergraduate communication program. Dutieswill include: developing a new one-credit Discourse in MechanicalEngineering course; collaborating with faculty in other courseswithin the curriculum on communication instruction; deliveringinstruction, discourse critiques, workshops, and assignments;recruiting, organizing, training and collaborating with graduatestudents and undergraduate student assistants. Preference will begiven to the candidates with the best credentials andpotential.The successful Candidate will be required to have a criminalconviction check.Virginia Tech is committed to diversity and seeks a broad spectrumof candidates including women, underrepresented minorities, andpeople with disabilities. Virginia Tech is a recipient of theNational Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional TransformationAward to increase the participation of women in academic scienceand engineering careers ( ).The Department of Mechanical Engineering ( ), which includesa Nuclear Engineering Program, has 67 faculty, 30 affiliatefaculty, annual research expenditures of over $18M, and a currentenrollment of 300 graduate students with 180 students at doctorallevel, and over 1,100 undergraduate students. With about 400 BS MEdegrees awarded each year, the Department is the third largest inthe nation in graduating mechanical engineers (2017 ASEE Data.) TheDepartment is ranked 15th (8th in public schools) and 23rd (12th inpublic schools) out of all mechanical engineering departments inthe nation in undergraduate and graduate education, respectively,by the 2019 U.S. News and World Report. The department operatesunder five thrust areas: Robotics and Dynamical Systems (RADS);Bio, Micro, and Nano Systems (BMNS); Energy Engineering and Science(ESS); Design, Materials, and Manufacturing (DMM); and NuclearEngineering and Science (NES). The Department includes severalresearch centers, and its faculty members are engaged in diversemultidisciplinary research activities. The mechanical engineeringfaculty also benefit from a number of university-wide institutessuch as the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science(ICTAS), the Biocomplexity Institute, Virginia Tech TransportationInstitute (VTTI); College-level centers such as the Rolls-RoyceUniversity Technology Center (UTC), the state-level Commonwealth ofVirginia Center for Aerospace Propulsion Systems (CCAPS), theVirginia Center for Autonomous Systems (VaCAS), and theCommonwealth Center for Advanced Manufacturing (CCAM). Blacksburgis located in the Blue Ridge Mountains and is widely recognized bynational rankings as a vibrant and desirable community withaffordable living, world-class outdoor recreation, an active artscommunity, and a diverse international population.This position will be filled pending the availability of funds.Candidates should apply online at to posting number512769. Applicants should submit a cover letter, a curriculumvitae including a list of published journal articles andpedagogical achievements, a one-page teaching statement, a briefresearch statement as applicable, and the names of five referencesthat the search committee may contact. To ensure fullconsideration, applications should be received by January 5,2021, but applications will be considered until the position isfilled.General inquiries about the position should be addressed to thesearch committee chair, Clint Dancey [email protected] For assistance submitting theapplication please contact Ms. Diana Israel [email protected] (540) 231-6424.Advertised: February 6, 2020Applications close: May 3, 2021 Eastern Daylight Timelast_img read more

Ex-Paul boss heads up Euphorium

first_imgJames Fleming has been appointed by Tesco as chief executive of Euphorium Bakery, according to the latest reports.As reported by British Baker’s sister title M&C Report, the former head of Paul UK, who joined the supermarket business last October as chief operating officer for its commercial division, has stepped into the new role this month.Fleming previously worked at the BB75 retailer Paul UK for more than two years as its chief executive, as well as operations director at restaurant business Pizza Express. Euphorium Bakery opened its first site in a Tesco store last December at the supermarket’s West Cromwell Road branch in Kensington, London, a pilot store which consisted of a more than 100-seat capacity café, in addition to an in-store bakery. Tesco has recently purchased the restaurant group Giraffe for £48.5m, and has a stake in artisan coffee shop business Harris + Hoole in addition to Euphorium Bakery.last_img read more

Bootsy Collins Releases New Disco Track From Upcoming “World Wide Funk” Album

first_imgFunk legend Bootsy Collins recently announced a new album World Wide Funk, due out Oct 27th. Marking the bassist’s first album since 2011’s Tha Funk Capital of the World, the upcoming World Wide Funk is populated with musical friends old and new, and recorded in his Cincinnati home’s Bootzilla Re-hab studio. Blue-chip rappers like Doug E. Fresh, Big Daddy Kane, DJ Quik, Dru Down, and Chuck D, along with guitar shredder Buckethead, all join a Bootsy-curated posse of fresh new artists on a record that embraces everything from the classic P-Funk sound Bootsy pioneered to the closest Collins has ever come to radio-active, boots on the ground, friendly fire in a musical-P-rated-adventure. Today, he shares the third ad final single from the record “Hot Saucer,” featuring Musiq Soulchild & Big Daddy Kane.Enjoy Bootsy’s new disco track “Hot Saucer” below, featurig Musiq Souldhild and Big Daddy Kane.“I’ve never really been concerned about what others thought about me or my music, as long as it made you feel good & sexy, like them old house parties, sharing a coke and a smile while doing a bump and grind,” Bootsy explains in a press release. Bootsy’s music and life are all about creating unity in the community, “but not necessarily the same old community.” He has never stopped generating new energy among new musical associates, and World Wide Funk is the latest example of his Promethean powers. It blends classic Bootsy, Analog (“aka the veteran artist”), and Slingshots (“aka the youngins”) into the silly serious world of Bootsy, with results that will extend far beyond the confines of our galaxy.World Wide Funk Tracklist:1. World Wide Funk (feat. Doug E. Fresh, Buckethead & Alissia Benveniste)2. Bass-Rigged-System (feat. Victor Wooten, Stanley Clarke, Manou Gallo, Alissia Benveniste & World-Wide-Funkdrive)3. Pusherman (feat. Dru Down, BlvckSeeds , Mr. Talkbox)4. Thera-P (feat. Tyshawn Colquitt & Alissia Benveniste)5. Hot Saucer (feat. Musiq Soulchild & Big Daddy Kane)6. Heaven Yes7. Ladies Nite (feat. MC Eiht & BlvckSeeds)8. Candy Coated Lover (feat. X-Zact, Kali Uchis & World-Wide-Funkdrive)9. Snow Bunny (feat. Tyshawn Colquitt, Snowbunny & World-Wide-Funkdrive)10. Hi-On-Heels (feat. October London)11. A Salute To Bernie (feat. Dr. G. Bernie Worrell)12. Boomerang (feat. Justin Johnson)13. Worth My While (feat. Kali Uchis)14. Come Back Bootsy (feat. Eric Gales, Dennis Chambers & World-Wide-Funkdrive)15. Illusions (feat. Chuck D, Buckethead & BlvckSeeds)last_img read more

Pink Talking Fish Announces 2019 Spring Tour

first_imgOn Tuesday, Pink Talking Fish announced an extensive 2019 spring tour. The multi-band tribute act, which blends the music of Pink Floyd, Talking Heads, and Phish in a high-octane musical cocktail, will embark on their lengthy spring tour from the end of February through May.Pink Talking Fish will open up their tour with a two-night run at Key West, FL’s Green Parrot on February 27th and 28th, followed by performances at Fort Lauderdale, FL’s Revolution Live (3/1); Tampa, FL’s Orpheum (3/2); Harrisburg, PA’s Club XL (3/14); Richmond, VA’s The National (3/15); Norfolk, VA’s NorVa (3/16); Flagstaff, AZ’s Orpheum (3/26); Phoenix, AZ’s Last Exit Live (3/27); San Diego’s Winston’s OB (3/28 &3/29); Los Angeles, CA’s Teregram Ballroom (3/30); Anaheim, CA’s House of Blues (3/31); Nevada City, CA’s Crazy Horse Saloon (4/2 & 4/3); Chico, CA’s Lost on Main (4/4); Mill Valley, CA’s Sweetwater Music Hall (4/5); Seattle, WA’s Nectar Lounge (4/6); Saratoga Springs, NY’s Putnam Place (4/12); Burlington, VT’s Nectars (4/13 & 4/14); Atlanta, GA’s SweetWater420 Fest (4/19); Salisbury MA’s Blue Ocean Music Hall (4/20); and tour closing festival appearances at Kansas City, MO’s Bluegrass In The Bottoms and Greenfield, MA’s Strange Creek Campout.Pink Talking Fish will close out their winter tour this weekend with performances at Killington, VT’s Pickle Barrel on Thursday, Plymouth, NH’s Flying Monkey on Friday, and a very special JUNTA CIRCUS performance at The Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY on Saturday. Marking their third headlining performance at the historic venue, Pink Talking Fish will take on Phish’s 1989 Junta album while intertwining Pink Floyd andTalking Heads songs throughout the setlist. Just like in previous events at The Cap, this PTF show will be a “one set marathon performance”.To add to the special occasion, The Capitol Theatre will be fully transformed into a circus. The band is teaming up with New York’s “Big Apple Circus” to provide live circus attractions both on and off stage. In addition, Greg Ormont from Pigeons Playing Ping Pong will serve as “The Ringmaster”.Head to Pink Talking Fish’s website for ticketing and more information.Pink Talking Fish 2019 Spring Tour Dates:2.27 – 28: Key West FL at Green Parrot3.01: Fort Lauderdale FL at Revolution Live3.02: Tampa FL at The Orpheum3.14: Harrisburg PA at Club XL3.15: Richmond VA at The National3.16: Norfolk VA at The NorVa3.26: Flagstaff AZ at The Orpheum3.27: Phoenix AZ at Last Exit Live3.28 – 29: Ocean Beach CA at Winstons3.30: Los Angeles CA at Teragram Ballroom3.31: Anaheim CA at House Of Blues4.2 – 3: Nevada City CA at Crazy Horse Saloon4.4: Chico CA at Lost On Main4.5: Mill Valley CA at Sweetwater Music Hall4.6: Seattle WA at Nectar Lounge4.12 Saratoga Springs NY at Putnam Place4.13 – 14: Burlington VT at Nectars4.19: Atlanta GA at Sweetwater420 Music Festival4.20: Salisbury MA at Blue Ocean Music Hall5.18: Kansas City MO at Bluegrass In The Bottoms5.24 – 26: Greenfield MA at Strange Creek CampoutView All Tour Dateslast_img read more

Room for improvement in ed policy

first_imgWhile the issue of education may have been largely missing from presidential campaign rhetoric, supplanted by language aimed at calming fears about the economy, many polls suggested it was still a top concern for voters.In a discussion at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education (HGSE) Thursday, a panel of experts examined how the election results will affect education reform at the federal, state, and local levels.Education wasn’t a main talking point during the campaign, the speakers agreed, in part because of its nuance and political sensitivity. Obama programs such as “Race to the Top,” a $4 billion competitive grant program that rewards states that develop reforms, has some support from states but is “not easy to explain,” said Jal Mehta, an assistant professor of education. Mitt Romney, Mehta said, was forced to balance his track record of overhauls at the state level with the Republican Party’s desire to have a “limited federal role in education.”Voters are worried about the nation’s education system, said Martin West, an assistant professor of education and deputy director of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Program on Education Policy and Governance, but they often perceive it as “someone else’s problem.”“National assessments of the public schools are at an all-time low,” said West, who served as the chair of Romney’s advisory group for K-12 education policy. “But at the same time, voters’ assessments of their local schools are an all-time high.”Part of the evening’s discussion centered on the prospects for the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, which established high standards for students and high accountability for educators and administrators. The act was amended and reauthorized as the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) of 2001 under George W. Bush, but it has failed to receive further reauthorization from a Congress deeply divided over its system of reforms. Many critics argue that the act places too much emphasis on test scores and standardized measures to evaluate student performance.Yet Congress could potentially unite behind some kind of reauthorization of NCLB based on lawmakers’ distaste for the way the Obama administration has circumvented many of its accountability systems, said West. Both Democrats and Republicans, West argued, are upset with U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan for granting waivers that exempt states from parts of the law. As a condition of those waivers, Duncan has required that states adopt certain policies supported by the administration, like teacher evaluations based on objective indicators.“In particular, this attachment of additional conditions that Congress has not promulgated itself is what has members of Congress worked up.”West added that he hoped for an early reauthorization of the act during Obama’s second term. Such a move could provide “stability in the policy environment,” he said.Moderator Paul Reville, a senior lecturer on education at HGSE and Massachusetts’ secretary of education, asked the panelists to address the status of the Common Core State Standards Initiative in the wake of Obama’s victory. The Common Core program is an effort to establish a shared set of educational standards for English and math that states can voluntarily adopt. More than 40 states participate in the program.Although Mehta deemed it a “good program in principle,” he worried it could, like NCLB, push for ambitious yet unattainable targets. “I am fearful that in a climate where there is no money, high accountability, and really high standards, what is a good idea will get rolled out, schools and states won’t be able to realize the standards, and that will lead to backlash.”Looking ahead, panelist Celine Coggins, founder and CEO of Teach Plus, a national education nonprofit that works to retain experienced teachers in urban classrooms, was hopeful. She said she envisions the president continuing to promote a national model that supports teaching as a performance-driven profession, one that “puts the interests of the students first” and moves away from a system traditionally linked to seniority. “I think that has been a really good thing. I think it has seen its share of challenges over the last four years, but for me it’s the right track.”last_img read more