Blog Posts by Liz Goodwin

  • Dallas Fed says more immigration would boost economy

    immigrants

    In a newly published report, the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is urging the government to allow more high-skilled immigrants into the United States. The report says that while low-skilled immigrants can be a drain on local economies, high-skilled immigrants tend to pay more in taxes than they take back in government services. The study also notes that such immigrants also create jobs for Americans by starting businesses at a higher rate than native-born workers.

    You can read some key findings from the report after the jump:

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  • Most schools will be labeled failures under federal ed law

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    Education Secretary Arne Duncan warned yesterday that 80,000 of the nation's 100,000 public schools will be labeled failures under President George W. Bush's "No Child Left Behind" law, which President Obama wants Congress to significantly alter this year.

    Education experts told the New York Times they thought Duncan's estimate was overstated--essentially a tactic to scare Congress into action on reforming the spending bill. But according to EdWeek, lawmakers on the House Education and the Workforce Committee seemed uninterested in the data, instead asking Duncan to justify the existence of a federal Department of Education.

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  • FIRST LOOK: Wisc. GOP passes anti-union bill in shock vote

    Welcome to First Look, our daily roundup of early-bird news:

    • Circumventing missing Democrats, Wisconsin Senate Republicans voted to end collective bargaining rights yesterday. (AP)

    • The scene in the capitol after the vote was chaos, as thousands of union supporters yelled "shame, shame." (NPR)

    • Rep. Peter King has upped his personal security as his controversial hearings begin. (CNN)

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  • Mega-rich sprouting in more countries

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    Only one in three of the world's billionaires is American, according to Forbes annual list. A decade ago, half of the world's mega-rich were Americans.

    Most of this year's new billionaires came from Brazil, Russia, India and China. Mexico's Carlos Slim topped the list, knocking Bill Gates and Warren Buffett down to No. 2 and 3, respectively. The 1,200 billionaires' total wealth topped $4.5 trillion. But don't feel too bad, a new survey finds that the mega-rich may actually be unhappy.

    (Slim: AP.)

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  • Gay couples may sue govt. for immigration discrimination

    Screen shot 2011-03-09 at 2.37.20 PMEmboldened by the Obama administration's announcement they will no longer defend part of the Defense of Marriage Act in Court, an immigration rights group is trying to put together a case to sue the federal government for preventing married gay people from sponsoring their spouses for citizenship.

    Heterosexual Americans can apply for their foreign-born spouses to become citizens, but gay Americans cannot, even in states where gay marriage is legal.

    Erwin de Leon, a public policy PhD student originally from the Philippines, told The Lookout that even though he's married to his partner of 13 years, he faces the prospect of having to leave the United States when his student visa runs out. In a bizarre twist, de Leon's mother--who married a male U.S. citizen--is now trying to sponsor her son for a green card, since De Leon's own husband cannot.

    "She met my step-dad, fell in love, got married and since he happens to be an American citizen, she got sponsored and in three months got a green card," de Leon said of his mother. "And now she's sponsoring me but it could take about 12 to 15 years for her petition to come through."

    "If gay marriage were recognized federally, I'd be a citizen by now."

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  • Idaho teachers to form human chain around capitol to protest sweeping reforms

    AP110308143459The Idaho Statesman reports that teachers will attempt to form a "human chain" around the Idaho capitol this afternoon to protest the legislature's passage of a sweeping reform bill that ends tenure and does away with most collective bargaining rights and seniority protection during layoffs for teachers.

    Today, legislators will consider a second bill to institute a merit-based pay plan for teachers. A study of a similar incentive pay plan in New York City concluded that it had no positive results on student performance.

    Idaho Schools Chief Tom Luna also wants high schoolers to take 20 percent of their classes online by 2016 as part of his reform plan, which would let the state hire fewer teachers. Idaho teachers have been vocal in their criticism of the changes, so much so that the Idaho Education Department claims they've received complaints from some parents who say their kids' teachers are railing on the bills in the classroom.

    (Idaho legislature: AP)

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  • New Yorker’s mysterious photo quest ends in Paris

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    A Brooklyn man's quest to locate the owner of a roll of film he found in the snow in Prospect Park after a blizzard has ended with a reunion in Paris.

    Todd Bieber stumbled upon the film canister while cross-country skiing after a 2010 Christmas blizzard that dumped more than a foot of snow over the city. Bieber developed the film and was captivated by the photos, which show what he surmised to be out-of-towners taking a snowy and beautiful journey from Central Park across the Brooklyn Bridge to an empty Coney Island amusement park, and then to Prospect Park, where they must have accidentally dropped the film canister.

    Bieber's video about his quest quickly went viral, garnering over a million views. Thousands of people wrote offering tips and advice. Finally, he got the response he was looking for.

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  • FIRST LOOK: Illinois to ban death penalty today

    Welcome to First Look, our daily roundup of early-bird news:

    • Idaho passed a bill stripping teachers of many of their collective bargaining rights and ending tenure. (AP)

    • The Obama administration is appealing a Florida ruling calling health care reform unconstitutional. (Politico)

    • Is the American strategy in Afghanistan working? (The New York Times)

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  • Mexican police chief held in El Paso detention center

    Marisol Valles, the 21-year-old former police chief of a violent town in Mexico, is being held in a Texas detention center, the El Paso Times reports.

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  • How widespread is teacher-sanctioned cheating?

    Screen shot 2011-03-08 at 12.47.36 PMA USA Today investigation that reviewed three to seven years of data found 1,610 cases where entire classrooms in six states and Washington D.C. made huge, statistically rare gains in standardized test scores over the course of just one year. In some of those cases, the class's scores plunged just as steeply the next year.

    The findings raise questions about whether some teachers or administrators are encouraging cheating with impunity. The data also indicates that miraculous-seeming turnarounds in test-score performance get very little critical scrutiny.

    Students in each classroom improved on the tests by three standard deviations or more--meaning that they improved at a pace greater than that achieved by 99.9 percent of their peers. Experts told USA Today they were skeptical:

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