With all the news about budget cuts, drop out rates and school violence, a growing number of parents are looking for alternatives to traditional public education. Many of them are choosing to teach their kids at home. Homeschoolers only represent about 3% of K-12 students. But that’s two million kids –and their numbers are rising.
To the uninitiated, the idea of home-based education might sound daunting. But advocates of homeschooling say the pros outweigh the cons. Their children are free to learn what they want, how they want and when they want. They aren’t subjected to bullying, peer pressure, apathetic teachers, rigid school schedules or a one-size-fits-all approach to education. Parents get more control over the curriculum and families spend more time together. Studies show that homeschoolers do well on standardized tests and many go on to prestigious colleges and successful careers.
How do parents do it? Are the kids getting what they need? And what do the kids say – before and after?
Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak is reportedly planning to step down today. Egypt’s Vice President Omar Suleiman is apparently meeting with Mubarak now. Egyptian state TV is reporting that Mubarak will update the Nation from the palace in Cairo soon. The speech is slated to be live and the conjecture is that he will indeed stand down. Protesters have been camped out in Liberation Square for weeks now. Thousands more are lining up to enter a packed Tahrir Square, anxiously awaiting Mubarak’s address. CIA chief Leon Panetta said there is a “strong likelihood'” today is the day. But White House spokesman Robert Gibbs says developments remain fluid in Egypt and he is not confirming reports that Mubarak is leaving office. The world is waiting and watching to see how and when this transition will go down.
Is conservative talk radio losing its appeal? In yesterday’s Daily Beast, John Avlon reported that Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity are all losing fans in majors markets. According to Avlon, ratings for the New York area, the largest radio market in the nation, bear this out: "... between November '09 and November '10... show that Rush Limbaugh's ratings on WABC declined from 5.4 to 5.0... and in the crucial 24-55 demographic they slid from 3.7 to 2.6." Beck, Hannity, and Mark Levin, Limbaugh's brothers in arms, have experienced similar declines. This downshift is reflected in televised punditry as well, where Glenn Beck's ratings have dipped at least 39% since last year. Randall Bloomquist, radio executive and President of Talk Frontier Media, speculates that conservative talk radio is dying away in large part because the demographics show that talk radio with a pronounced ideological bent is mainly listened to by the elderly, and that as the market shifts younger, it will simply cease to be relevant. But is conservative talk radio really fading away? Or, given that ratings always ebb and flow, are we merely in a conservative talk radio down period?