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Virginia House Backs Grades For Struggling Schools

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The House of Delegates has passed legislation that would assign letter grades to public schools in Virginia in the same fashion that teachers grade students — from A to F.

The bill, a conspicuous piece of Gov. Bob McDonnell's education reforms, won final House passage today on a bipartisan 54-40 vote with six delegates not voting, according to the Associated Press.

A similar bill easily won Senate committee backing last week and is due for a final floor vote tomorrow.

Supporters say the grading system is the only way to hold underperforming schools to account and believe it would stimulate parental involvement in failing schools.

Opponents, including lobbying groups for teachers and school boards, say the grades unfairly depict a struggling school and would further harm at-risk students.

WAMU 88.5

Verdine White On 45 Years With Earth, Wind & Fire

Forty-five years ago, the band “Earth, Wind and Fire” introduced audiences to a new kind of funk--one that fused soul, jazz, Latin and pop. Bassist Verdine White talks to guest host Derek McGinty about breaking racial boundaries in music and how the band is still evolving.

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If War Is Hell, Then Coffee Has Offered U.S. Soldiers Some Salvation

"Nobody can soldier without coffee," a Union cavalryman wrote in 1865. Hidden Kitchens looks at three American wars through the lens of coffee: the Civil War, Vietnam and Afghanistan.
WAMU 88.5

Virginia's Own Tim Kaine Takes The Democratic Veepstakes

We consider Democratic Sen. Tim Kaine's regional ties and the pros and cons of his vice presidential candidacy as the DNC gets underway.

NPR

Verizon Buys Yahoo For $4.8 Billion In Cash, Touting Gains In Mobile

The deal comes more than a year after Verizon paid $4.4 billion to acquire AOL; as part of Verizon, Yahoo will join the same division AOL currently occupies.

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