Every year as Halloween approaches, the kids in my neighborhood become fixated on one house, the one owned by the fireman who always hands out full-size candy bars. After years of being dissed for the "fun-size" bars I deliver ("Mom, smaller candy bars are not more 'fun.' "), last year, I decided to earn a little respect by going upmarket.
Almost no topic in modern medicine has been as controversial or confusing as hormone-replacement therapy. The issue got even more confusing last week thanks to a study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association and based on data collected for the ongoing federal Women's Health Initiative (WHI) that found that women taking estrogen and progesterin had an increased risk of breast cancer. Here, the answers to the eight questions asked most often.
What's next for Michelle Rhee? The combative Washington, D.C., schools chancellor resigned last week following September's primary defeat of her boss, Mayor Adrian Fenty. "Not being in this role is heartbreaking," she said. But, she tells NEWSWEEK, "everyone in the city needs to embrace reform, and that couldn't happen while I am in the picture." This does not mean, however, that she's done working on the issue.
The idea that gay couples who are married or have children qualify as "families" has rapidly become the majority view in the U.S., and researchers credit public discussions about gay marriage—by supporters as well as vehement opponents—for the unexpectedly fast pace of change.
American schoolkids attend school for fewer days than children in other educationally advanced countries, a situation President Obama said Monday needs to change. "I think we should have a longer school year," Obama said in response to a question from the "Today" show's Matt Lauer during a White House interview that kicked off the network's weeklong "Education Nation" focus on American schools.
While celebrations occurred in Massachusetts, New York, Hawaii, Florida, Rhode Island, the District of Columbia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina, and Ohio after the 10 were named winners of round two of the administration's national education-reform competition, controversy was mounting over some of the more surprising winners and losers.
If you think about the cities best known for education reform, a few always come to mind: New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee, Washington, D.C. But sometimes reputations outlast reality, and stars in the making don't get the recognition they deserve.
NEWSWEEK did a cover story a few months ago asking why we can't fire bad teachers. Today Washington, D.C., Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee proved that you can.
Education reformers were feeling optimistic. With President Obama's Race to the Top competition, which offers financial rewards to states willing to hold teachers accountable for their students' performance, they've made real progress in weeding out poor teachers.
The theme of this year's national teachers' union conventions was anger, particularly at President Obama, Education Secretary Arne Duncan, and reformers in general. But American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten's decision to emphasize collaboration rather than opposition to reform efforts could well boost her national image as the union leader the administration can work with.
Though she insists she's not trying to make the upcoming Washington, D.C., mayoral election about her, Rhee and her controversial school reforms are becoming a factor in the race.
Perry brags about Texas educational standards, but the Houston Chronicle shows how low they are.