A few weeks back, Diane Ravitch -- the highly regarded education critic, gadfly, born-again enemy of standardized testing and author -- called Holcombe a “hero” in her blog for refusing the federal government’s offer of a waiver under the No Child Left Behind Act. Not Commissioner Holcombe," wrote Ravitch a former Bush administration official who once supported NCLB. "If our nation had more state commissioners like her, it would save our children from a mindless culture of test and punish." That’s one reason why Holcombe, 48, refused the waiver that more than 40 other states have, so far, accepted from the Obama administration as a way to buy time to comply with the core tenets of No Child Left Behind (including the one that requires 100 percent of the students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.) By rejecting the waiver, the former high school principal, all but guarantees that Vermont’s schools will be labeled "low performing" by the U.S.
Ray Rice's wife defended the former Baltimore Ravens running back on Tuesday after a video showed him knocking her out, and assailed the media for its handling of an incident that put the U.S. "I woke up this morning, feeling like I had a horrible nightmare, feeling like I'm mourning the death of my closest friend," Janay Rice wrote in an Instagram post. "But to have to accept the fact that it's reality is a nightmare itself." Ray Rice, 27, who had been one of the top running backs in the National Football League, was released by the Ravens on Monday and suspended indefinitely by the league. The video shows him striking Janay, then his fiancée, in the elevator of a New Jersey casino in February.
YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, Calif. (AP) — Fire officials called in additional crews to help battle a blaze in Yosemite National Park that forced hikers to be evacuated and sent smoke into the park's famed valley for the first time Tuesday, officials said.
MIAMI (AP) — Convicted al-Qaida terrorism plotter Jose Padilla, a U.S. citizen jailed for years as an enemy combatant, was handed a new 21-year prison sentence Tuesday because an appeals court determined his previous 17-year term was too lenient.
ATLANTA (AP) — The fourth American aid worker sickened with the Ebola virus arrived Tuesday morning to a mostly calm scene at Emory University Hospital, where two others have been successfully treated.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A debate over whether children would be harmed or helped by legalizing gay marriage was the main focus when a federal appeals court in San Francisco waded again into the issue of the constitutionality of gay marriage.
Meanwhile, voters in New Hampshire and Delaware were picking Republican challengers to Democratic incumbents in the U.S. Polls prior to the start of voting showed Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Rhode Island state Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading competitive fields to win their states' Democratic nominations to run as governor in the general election. In Cambridge, Massachusetts, healthcare worker Amy Perlack, 28, said she had just voted for Coakley.