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  1. Maps of Congressional Districts (NationalAtlas.gov)
      Provides maps. 11-06

  2. -09-16-06 Graduation Rates for 50 Largest School Districts (USA Today)
      Provides graduation rates. 09-06

  3. Education: Kerry (Issue2000.org)
      "I have never supported vouchers. I understand why parents want more choices and I believe they should have more choices in public schools. But public schools need resources and support, and vouchers drain them of both. Our inner-city schools and our rural schools need better buildings, more textbooks, higher paid teachers, the best principals, and smaller classes."

      "Bush's one exercise in "compassionate conservatism" was the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, an education reform effort that I supported. The stated purpose of that legislation was to offer a new bargain to states and school districts, under which they would accept greater accountability for results in exchange for the resources and the flexibility to get the job done. The Bush administration began welshing on its side of the bargain almost before the ink was dry on the bill, undermining education funding as part of a larger strategy of directing every available school dollar toward tax cuts for the wealthiest Americans. This has been sadly typical of the administration's approach to government: a rhetoric of compassion and concern accompanied by policies that are compassionate primarily toward the most comfortable members of our society." 2-04

  4. -10-18-04 Texas Redistricting for Republicans Review (Bloomberg.com)
      "The U.S. Supreme Court gave opponents of Texas's new federal voting districts a new chance to argue against the plan, which may add as many as six Republicans to the state's congressional delegation in the Nov. 2 election." 10-04

  5. Democracy at Risk (CommonDreams.org)
      "Fortune magazine rightly declared paperless voting the worst technology of 2003, but it's not just a bad technology — it's a threat to the republic."

      "So what should be done? Representative Rush Holt has introduced a bill calling for each machine to produce a paper record that the voter verifies. The paper record would then be secured for any future audit. The bill requires that such verified voting be ready in time for the 2004 election — and that districts that can't meet the deadline use paper ballots instead. And it also requires surprise audits in each state." 11-04

  6. Group Challenges E-Voting (PCWorld.com)
      "Members of Black Box Voting outlined what they call serious flaws in Diebold's voting machines during a presentation in Washington, D.C. this week. Black Box Voting contends that Diebold's Global Elections Management System election management and tabulation computer software contain security flaws that would allow a hacker to change vote totals through a hole in the Microsoft Access database."

      "So what should be done? Representative Rush Holt has introduced a bill calling for each machine to produce a paper record that the voter verifies. The paper record would then be secured for any future audit. The bill requires that such verified voting be ready in time for the 2004 election — and that districts that can't meet the deadline use paper ballots instead. And it also requires surprise audits in each state." 11-04

  7. -01-19-05 Exit Pollsters: Bush Won "Fair and Square" (MSNBC News)
      "When Bush turned out to be the winner, some Kerry partisans used the exit polls to insist that the Republicans had somehow stolen votes, especially in the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio and in districts that were using electronic voting systems for the first time."

      "But Edison and Mitofsky said a thorough examination of the survey data demonstrated that Bush won the election fair and square."

      Editor's Note: The complete explanation was contradictory. Edison and Mitofsky also stated: "...the polls overstated Kerry’s support by statistically significant margins in 26 states — more than half of them — and President Bush’s in four others. That was the worst performance since news organizations joined to begin using national exit polls together in 1988." The pollsters cannot at the same time argue that their results were significantly different from the actual results and that they are an accurate source of information. 1-05

  8. Online Gym Classes (Fox News)
      "Web-based physical education classes are cropping up across the country — and they're getting rave reviews from educators, parents and students."

      "Minneapolis' school system is one of the first school districts in the country to offer online gym classes. The program requires students to pick physical activities they enjoy and do each one for 30 minutes, three times a week."

      "Arizona's Primavera Online High School has a different approach to accountability: At the end of each day, it requires students to upload readings from a heart monitor to instructors."

  9. Supreme Court Rejects School Diversity Plans (Christian Science Monitor)
      "While the race of a student can be one of many characteristics taken into consideration to achieve diversity in the student body, it may not become the predominant criterion that determines which students are admitted to the most popular schools in a district."

      "Both of the challenged enrollment plans in Louisville and Seattle attempted to address de facto segregation tied in part to housing patterns. The voluntary desegregation programs were aimed at preventing the school districts from sliding into a starkly segregated environment with minority students isolated in inner-city schools and white students isolated in suburban schools." 06-07

  10. Stopping Municipal Water Leaks (Christian Science Monitor)
      "Though finally solved, the mystery of the creek that was a leak is an example of how utility districts in the US can't account for 6 billion gallons of drinking water each day. If all that lost water were collected over the course of a year, it would fill Gatun Lake, the huge reservoir that feeds the Panama Canal."

      "Georgia recently began requiring counties seeking water-withdrawal permits to first check their waterworks for leaks. Three other states, including Tennessee, are tightening water audit requirements, and the American Water Works Association (AWWA) has persuaded 300 communities to take part in a public-service campaign called 'Only Tap Water Delivers,' in part prompted by mounting water losses." 10-07

  11. -06-05-08 Gov. Schwarzenegger Declares Drought for California (CBS News)
      "Schwarzenegger directed the state Department of Water Resources to help speed water transfers to areas with the worst shortages, to help local water districts with conservation efforts and to assist farmers suffering losses from the drought." 06-08

  12. -001 Track the Stimulus Funds (Recovery.gov)
      "Recovery.gov is a website that lets you, the taxpayer, figure out where the money from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act is going. There are going to be a few different ways to search for information. The money is being distributed by Federal agencies, and soon you'll be able to see where it's going -- to which states, to which congressional districts, even to which Federal contractors." 02-09

  13. -03-14-09 California Teachers Face Pink Slips (MSNBC News)
      "The state Department of Education estimates that preliminary pink slips will have been handed to 26,500 teachers by the Sunday cutoff — two-and-a-half times as many as were issued last year. Another 15,000 bus drivers, janitors, secretaries and administrators also were expected to receive the written warnings, said Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell. "

      "Because of the state's less-than-rosy economic outlook, California's 1,000 K-12 school districts have been instructed to absorb more than $8 billion in funding cuts over the next year." 03-09

  14. -04-22-09 Graduation Rates for High Schools (MSNBC News)
      "The numbers in the map reflect the latest data, which is from 2005. Most states still use the so-called leaver rate, which calculates students who didn't drop out of high school. Nearly all states are expected to adopt the cohort rate by 2012, which calculates the percent of students who enter high school in ninth grade and leave four years later with a standard diploma. That method uses an standard identification number to track students across schools, districts and states." 04-09

  15. Summer School Trend (Time.com)
      "The landmark 1983 federal report A Nation at Risk, which highlighted the growing achievement gap between the U.S. and other countries, recommended that school districts 'strongly consider' a seven-hour day and a 200- to 220-day academic year, which would hew more closely to the schedules in higher-performing Europe and Asia. Although the practice has yet to go mainstream, there's a big push to add school hours in underperforming urban districts." 07-09

  16. -09-06-09 Editorial: Obama's Challenge on Health Reform (MSNBC News)
      "The biggest challenge Obama faces in his prime-time address is to take ownership of health care legislation that until now has been shaped by political conflicts in Congress. Lawmakers return this week from a summer break that saw eroding public support for an overhaul and contentious town hall meetings in their districts." 09-09

  17. -02-02-10 White House: Republicans Claim Credit for Projects They Voted Against (ABC News)
      "ABC News' Ann Compton reports: The White House has the names, dates, and even photographs to challenge Republican members of Congress who voted against the Recovery Act and its spending last year, but who also went home to claim credit for projects the stimulus brought to their districts." 02-10

  18. 01-08-11 The Shooting of Representative Giffords and Violence in Speech (Time.com)
      "Ms. [Gabrielle] Giffords was also among a group of Democratic House candidates featured on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time."

      " 'We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,' Ms. Giffords said last March. 'But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.' " 01-11

  19. Gerrymandering Keeps Incumbents in Congress (CNN News)
      "Gerrymandering is the term for the way politicians draw boundary lines for legislative districts in a way designed to keep one party or the other in power in that particular district."

      "In the last 10 years, 78% of the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives -- almost four out of every five members of Congress -- did not change party hands even once." 11-11

  20. -12-02-11 Islamists Dominate in Egyptian Election (Time.com)
      "The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's political mainstream, and its most significant challengers are the more extreme Islamists of the Salafi movement rather than the secular liberal forces that dominate the Tahrir Square protest movement. That appears to be the not-exactly-surprising verdict of the electorate, according to reports from the first two days of voting in Egypt's protracted parliamentary election."

      "The Muslim Brotherhood is Egypt's political mainstream, and its most significant challengers are the more extreme Islamists of the Salafi movement rather than the secular liberal forces that dominate the Tahrir Square protest movement. That appears to be the not-exactly-surprising verdict of the electorate, according to reports from the first two days of voting in Egypt's protracted parliamentary election."

      "The official announcement of results from the nine (out of a total of 27) provinces has been delayed until Friday or Saturday, but the New York Times reports that the Brotherhood's Freedom and Justice Party looks to have garnered some 40% of the vote, while a further 25% could go to the even more conservative Salafist al-Nour party. Despite the apparent Islamist majority, Brotherhood leaders hastened to reassure Egyptians Thursday that they have no intention of seeking a coalition with the Salafists, seeing secular parties as the more natural ally for their vision of a democratic Egypt. If anything, the Islamists' share of the vote is more likely to grow than shrink, considering that the electoral districts that voted this week were the most urban, middle class and liberal." 12-11

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