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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 12:08 PM
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Wisconsin ACT scores plummet

MADISON – Newly released ACT scores show a steep decline in student test results. The drop in average test score from 22.2 to 20.0 coincides with an increase in the number of Wisconsin students taking the exam and comes after several years of Republican budget cuts that have impacted public education in the state. These scores dropped Wisconsin from 2nd best to 9th worst in the nation (tied with Kentucky) among states where more than half the students took the exam.

“Local school districts have really taken it on the chin these past several years and I think these test scores are a reflection of that fact,” said Senate Democratic Leader Jennifer Shilling (D-La Crosse). “Teachers in Wisconsin are working harder than ever, but Republican budget cuts, special interest giveaways and a misguided focus on Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign have taken a toll on our schools. This drop in ACT scores is particularly concerning given Wisconsin’s ongoing economic challenges, workforce shortages and shrinking middle class.”

In his recent presidential campaign, Gov. Walker frequently used the state’s ACT scores as a metric for his education policies. While Wisconsin has traditionally ranked above average in terms of ACT scores, these latest numbers place Wisconsin dead last in the Midwest and among the bottom ten states nationally.

“Families across Wisconsin are concerned about the direction of our state,” added Shilling. “Parents have noticed the overcrowding in classrooms, teacher shortages and increased referendums. Families I’ve heard from are concerned that Republican legislators sold out our schools to support the special interest groups behind Gov. Walker’s presidential campaign. Hopefully these ACT scores are a wake-up call to legislative leaders. As troubling as these latest numbers are, I know that we can turn things around in Wisconsin if we recommit to putting our schools and students ahead of special interests.”


Sanders Says 170 Experts Support His Wall Street Plan

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders releases letter signed by 170 economists and financial experts backing his Wall Street regulation plan.

Campaign says they include former Labor Sec. Robert Reich; University of Texas’ James K. Galbraith; Dean Baker of Center for Economic and Policy Research; former Rep. Brad Miller of N.C.; William K. Black of University of Missouri- Kansas City

Sanders to air TV ad on his Wall Street plan in Iowa, N.H., campaign also says

more with link to letter


Bernie Sanders is winning with the one group his rivals can't sway: voters

by Trevor Timm

As Trump continues to dominate both parties for media attention, and Hillary Clinton remains a favorite to win with Wall Street, Bernie Sanders is suddenly surging again among those who actually matter: voters. But more important than his rise in the polls is how he’s doing it.

A string of polls over the past two weeks show that the once-independent Vermont senator is tied or in the lead in the two early primary states, Iowa and New Hampshire, and all of a sudden, in striking distance of Hillary Clinton nationally. With very little fanfare, he has been leading in New Hampshire for months, with some recent ones putting his lead in the double digits.

But Iowa seemed distinctly in Clinton’s corner for the last quarter of 2015 until this week, just a month away from the primary. A Quinnipiac poll released Tuesday night showed Sanders vaulted into the lead, with a slew of others show him pulling in close to a tie.

Digging deeper into the numbers shows even more good news for Sanders: nationally, he is beating Clinton by 2-1 with voters younger than 45, and by 20 points with female voters younger than 35. In New Hampshire there is not one demographic group in which Clinton is beating Sanders. He’s also made recent gains among African Americans and Hispanics – both demographics long considered Clinton strongholds.

But perhaps more important than the news of Sanders’s gain is how it happened: by patiently hammering on his message of drawing attention to economic inequality, raising taxes on the rich, dramatically expanding Medicare and Social Security, making public universities free of charge and criminal justice reform.



Thursday TOON Roundup 4- The Rest


The Issue





Thursday TOON Roundup 3- Waste of Money

Thursday TOON Roundup 2 - Randumb Repubs

Thursday Toon Roundup 1- SOTU toons

Toon: Smell Something Berning?

Latino Super PAC supporting Bush shuts down-raised zero dollars

WASHINGTON, Jan. 13 (UPI) -- The Latino-focused super PAC "Vamos for Jeb 2016" is shutting down after raising no money in the 2016 election cycle.

The group was formed by Claire Hardwick, founder of the conservative news site Elephant News. Andrea Wong, the super PAC's treasurer sent a letter to the Federal Elections Commission on Tuesday requesting that the group be terminated.

"When Jeb Bush first announced he was going to run we thought he was really going to be the president to go for it and unite Hispanics with Americans, but then obviously Donald Trump came in the picture and completely changed everything," Hardwick told Politico on Wednesday. "We got a lot of followers. I still do think he will be the candidate to appeal to the Hispanics."



Kentucky to pay $1.1 million to lawyers in gay marriage case

Source: AP

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A federal judge awarded a team of Kentucky attorneys more than $1 million for their role in the landmark United States Supreme Court case that struck down bans on same-sex marriage.

The state will have to pick up the $1.1 million tab.

In 2014, U.S. District Judge John Heyburn ruled the state's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional.

Attorney General Jack Conway refused to appeal, announcing that he believed the ban was discriminatory and destined to fail in the federal appeals courts. But former Gov. Steve Beshear hired outside attorneys to continue defending the ban "so all Kentuckians will have finality and understanding of what the law is." He signed a $260,000 contract with that firm, the Lexington Herald-Leader reported.

Read more: http://bigstory.ap.org/article/f5c7a85503b5435bbf6a46b3fac1fbce/kentucky-pay-11-million-lawyers-gay-marriage-case
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