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School Testing Systems Should Be Examined In 2014

Our series on the future continues with a discussion about education. Morning Edition co-host Steve Inskeep talks to Linda Darling-Hammond, a former adviser to President Obama, who is dismayed to see his administration build on the high-stakes testing requirements introduced by the Bush administration.
NPR

Drug Stores Rx For Profits: Offer More Than Prescriptions

Earnings are skyrocketing at drug stores — Walgreens alone saw its earnings grow nearly 70 percent in the last quarter. Drug stores no longer handle just prescriptions and selected sundries. Big chains now compete with grocery stores and sandwich shops. Consumers are also shopping there for holiday gifts.
NPR

Gun Control Lobby Takes Note Of Opposition's Success

Momentum to pass tighter gun laws surged after the shootings in Newtown, Conn., a year ago. But a provision to expand background checks failed in the Senate. In that loss, gun control activists say they learned some important lessons from those who lobbied against them.
NPR

Snowstorm Leave Parts Of Midwest, Northeast And Canada Powerless

A snow and ice storm contributed to the deaths of 14 people and knocked out power from Michigan to Maine and into Canada. One utility is calling it the worst Christmas week outage in its history. Repairs are underway as more snow is forecast for the affected areas.
NPR

A Texas Social Worker Weighs Her Insurance Options

Going without insurance would be a gamble. But the high deductibles of Affordable Care Act plans make them a hard sell for Tammy Boudreaux. If her health holds up, she could skip insurance, pay a penalty and still save a couple of hundred dollars a month.
NPR

For An Injured Vet, A True Homecoming On The Horizon

Since returning from Iraq, Jerral Hancock, a single father of two, has been living in a poorly constructed mobile home with doors and hallways too narrow for his wheelchair. When a group of high school students found out, they decided to do something about it.
NPR

Calif. Law To Help Domestic Abuse Victims Escape Violence

A new California law taking effect in 2014 will make it easier for abuse survivors to break their leases. Victims will no longer need to get a court order or police report and instead, can give landlords only a simple form as proof they have been abused.
NPR

Christmas Messages From Around The World

Leaders and notable figures across the world offered up Christmas messages Wednesday. We hear holiday greetings from Pope Francis, President Obama and former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
NPR

Rising Home Prices Are Good News For Owners But For Buyers

Home prices are expected to have risen by about 13 percent this year. And it's a good news-bad news kind of story, depending on which side of home ownership you're on.
NPR

NAFTA Opened Continent For Some Canadian Companies

A generation after Mexico, Canada and the United States signed the North American Free Trade Agreement, cross-border business is flowing. Some Canadians were fearful of their southern neighbors, but Bombardier Aerospace, with plants now in the U.S. and Mexico, illustrates one way NAFTA changed business.

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