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What Do Americans Say Is the Biggest Problem Facing Public Schools?

Hint: it's not ineffective teachers or campus violence.


Is the biggest problem facing public schools ineffective teachers? The media's fascination with tales of failing schools, rubber rooms, and kids waiting for 'Superman', would certainly have you think that's the case. According to the 44th annual Phi Delta Kappa/Gallup Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, Americans actually see a lack of financial support as the biggest problem facing their community schools.

Indeed, for a third year in a row, 71% of poll respondents say they have trust and confidence in the nation's teachers. But 43% of parents and 35% of Americans in general say money is the biggest issue. A decade ago in 2002, just 17% of poll respondents cited a lack of funds for schools as a problem. Back then Americans felt the biggest problems facing schools were overcrowding and discipline issues like fighting, gangs, and drugs. Now only 14% of Americans think those things are big problems.

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While the Weather's Weird, Talk About Climate Change

No one wants to talk about climate change lately. But this might be the perfect opportunity.

President Obama isn’t talking about climate change. Although his campaign used the occasion to ask environmentalists to join up, the president signed an official Earth Day proclamation this year that omitted any mention of it. His campaign website neglects to mention the issue, either. (Update: Obama did mention the existence of climate change in an interview with Rolling Stone published Wednesday.) Dan Farber, a law professor at University of California-Berkeley, set out to compare the president’s proposed environment and energy policies to Mitt Romney’s. And while the president has ideas to share about alternative energy, Keystone XL, environmental policy, fossil fuels, and public lands, Farber found nary a mention of climate change or policies that might address it.

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Survey Says Everyone Trusts Apple, Hates Bankers

A new survey says that people find the tech industry to be the most trustworthy industry. Also, few have forgiven the financial services world.


Everyone loves their computers, and everyone hates their bankers. That's the in-a-nutshell takeaway from a recent survey about the perceived trustworthiness of a variety of industries.

Survey respondents from 23 different nations were asked how much they trusted certain fields to "do what is right." Out of 16 industries, technology was considered the most trustworthy, followed by automotive, telecommunications, and food and beverage. Unsurprisingly, the insurance, banking, and financial services industries were at the bottom, considered nearly 30 percent less trustworthy than technology.

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