News From NPR

Education
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

U.S. Tests Teens A Lot, But Worldwide, Exam Stakes Are Higher

Students in Manchester, England, celebrate the results of their college entrance exams.
Christopher Furlong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 7:06 pm

High school students in the U.S. take lots of standardized tests. There are state tests, new Common Core-aligned field tests, and an alphabet soup of others like the PISA (Program for International Student Assessment) and NAEP (National Assessment of Educational Progress) exams, the SAT, ACT, AP and IB.

It's a lot by any objective measure. Parents and teens often charge that America tests its students more than any other nation in the world. But really, how does the U.S.'s test tally compare with what kids are taking elsewhere in the world?

England

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News
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Slow Growth For U.S. Economy, But Fed Plans Are Full Speed Ahead

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:18 pm

The economy slowed sharply in the first quarter, with data released Wednesday showing that growth was barely positive. Federal Reserve policymakers wrapped up a meeting Wednesday with a statement saying the economy had actually picked up a bit in recent weeks. They voted unanimously to continue winding down their stimulus program.

News
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Botched Oklahoma Execution Mobilizes Death Penalty Opponents

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:18 pm

Oklahoma death row inmate Clayton Lockett's execution was botched on Tuesday, when a relatively new combination of drugs failed to work as expected. The incident, the second of its kind in recent months, is renewing questions of what constitutes "cruel and unusual punishment."

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Politics
4:00 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Against 'Dark Money,' A Star Witness Speaks In Congress

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 6:18 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News. I'm Melissa Block.

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

And I'm Robert Siegel. Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens testified in a Senate hearing today on the surge of secret money in politics. Stevens retired from the court a few months after the Citizens United ruling in 2010. He had issued an emphatic dissent in the case, which allowed corporations and unions to spend without limits in campaigns.

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The Two-Way
3:56 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Train Carrying Crude Oil Derails In Downtown Lynchburg, Va.

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 5:25 am

A CSX train carrying crude oil derailed in Lynchburg, Va., on Wednesday.

Luann Hunt, a spokeswoman for the city of Lynchburg, tells our Newscast unit that the area has been evacuated.

Approximately 12 to 14 tanker cars were involved in the derailment, Hunt said, causing flames and deep dark smoke.

Beverly Amsler, of NPR member station WVTF, tells us that at least three of the tankers ruptured because of the accident.

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