Duncan: new waiver system for ‘No Child’ law is coming

State and local education officials have been begging the federal government for relief from student testing mandates in the federal No Child Left Behind law, but school starts soon and Congress still hasn’t answered the call.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says he will announce a new waiver system Monday to give schools a break.

The plan to offer waivers to all 50 states, as long as they meet other school reform requirements, comes at the request of President Barack Obama, Duncan said. More details on the waivers will come in September, he said.

The goal of the No Child Left Behind law is to have every student proficient in math and reading by 2014. States have been required to bring more students up to the math and reading standards each year, based on tests that usually take place each spring. The step-by-step ramping of the 9-year-old law has caused heartburn in states and most school districts, because more and more schools are labeled as failures as too few of their students meet testing goals.

Through the waivers, schools will get some relief from looming deadlines to meet testing goals as long as they agree to embrace other kinds of education reforms such as raising standards, helping teachers and principals improve, and focusing on fixing the lowest performing schools.


Eight dead in two shootings caused by family argument

A family argument Sunday in Ohio ended in the shooting deaths of eight people in two places, including an 11-year-old, and two more people were wounded, authorities said Sunday.

One person shot five people to death in one location, then two more were killed nearby before police killed the gunman, police Chief Michael Mier told WKYC-TV.

The shootings happened in a wooded, residential neighborhood of older homes outside Akron, and police shot the gunman to death, Copley Township officers said.

The neighborhood remained blocked off by police Sunday afternoon.


Carey, 92, former governor, dies at Shelter Island home

Former New York Gov. Hugh Carey died Sunday at his summer home on Shelter Island. He was 92.

For years after he left office, political friends and foes alike paid annual tribute to the charismatic but at times unpredictable governor.

On Sunday, they commented wistfully on a man they deemed a true statesman, citing him an example of the sort of nonpartisan leader needed today.


Mounting protests prompt vow to act on cost of living

Confronted by mounting economic protests that brought more than a quarter-million Israelis onto the streets Saturday night, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Sunday that he had appointed a panel of ministers and experts to come up with a plan to curb the rising cost of living.

The move signaled the depth of the political challenge to Netanyahu posed by the grass-roots protest movement, which has swept up tens of thousands across Israel and shattered a sense of public complacency in the three weeks since a tent encampment sprouted in Tel Aviv to protest rising rents and housing prices.

Fueled by middle-class discontent with rising living costs and resentment over what many see as inequitable distribution of wealth in Israeli society, the demonstrations have grown each week, with Saturday’s protest one of the largest ever in Israel.

— From news service reports