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Archive for March 20th, 2008

I-35W bridge and the nation’s infrastructure: Little has changed

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If someone dumped 99 tons of sand on you, and you weren’t in good shape, you’d collapse, too.

The National Transportation Safety Board has released its fifth update of its investigation of the collapse of the I-35W bridge in Minneapolis, Minn., that killed 13 people and injured 145. The NTSB says it has not yet identified a specific cause for the collapse, only contributing factors. NTSB chair Mark V. Rosenker (speaking as cautiously as federal officials everywhere), said only “significant progress continues to be made in the investigation.” The board expects to issue a final report by year’s end.

What is known:
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 20, 2008 at 5:55 pm

Posted in Uncategorized


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It’s fair to ask whether a college kid should have to wash dishes in the dining hall to pay his tuition when his college has a billion dollars in the bank.

— Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, “the ranking Republican on the Senate committee that oversees tax policy, [who] has written to the nation’s 135 leading universities, asking them to explain what they do with their tax-free endowments“; according to The New York Times, “Last year a record 76 American colleges passed the $1 billion mark in total endowments”; March 18.

I liken N.C.L.B. to a mile race. Under N.C.L.B., students are tested rigorously every tenth of a mile. But nobody keeps track as to whether they cross the finish line.

— Bob Wise, a former West Virginia governor who is president of the Alliance for Excellent Education, a group that seeks to improve schools; according to The New York Times, “… many states use an inflated graduation rate for federal reporting requirements under the No Child Left Behind law and a different one at home. As a result, researchers say, federal figures obscure a dropout epidemic so severe that only about 70 percent of the one million American students who start ninth grade each year graduate four years later”; March 20.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

March 20, 2008 at 5:13 pm

Posted in Uncategorized