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New assessment test will tell whether our kids are learning

tate 600Remember back when you were in school. At some point, you probably wanted to play for the basketball team or be a majorette.

Now, you knew they wouldn't take just anybody. You had to show the coach you could play, so you would go in and show that you could shoot or handle a baton. You tried out.

The academic subjects – your reading, writing and math – are no different. You have to show your teachers that you'll have the skills you need to graduate and get a job.

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SAT officials hope to score high in eliminating racial bias


SATs 600WASHINGTON – Administrators of the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT) have announced with great fanfare that they are overhauling the standardized tool that helps determine whether an applicant will get accepted into the college of his or her choice.

But in revamping the test, SAT officials are facing a test of their own.

"The redesign is trying to get a sense of what students learned in high school...and trying to help students demonstrate their critical thinking skills instead of just picking an answer. And that's all well and good," said Michelle Cooper, president of the Institute for Higher Education Policy, a college-access policy think tank.

 

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Simmons’ cookbook for a stress-free life

simmons 600Russell Simmons is best known as the flamboyant playboy who co-founded Def Jam Records back in the Eighties. But the matured hip-hop mogul would like you to know that his satisfaction in life now comes less through the sort of shallow materialistic trappings celebrated in the average rap music video than through the peace of mind, body and spirit offered by the relatively-modest practice of meditation.

As he puts it, "I had to do a lot of damage before I finally accepted that I liked early-morning meditation better than late-night drinking." And all it takes him is 20 minutes twice a day to find that state of bliss.

The good news is that you can achieve it, too, provided you're willing to carve out a little quiet space from your hectic schedule to sit in a chair with your eyes closed. Yes, it's as simple as that, according to Russ, although getting novices to try meditation isn't as easy as one might think.

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If Ebony Wilkerson has a mental illness, it’s a wake-up call for all African Americans

mental 600Ebony Wilkerson is sitting inside a Florida jail cell, but should she be viewed as a cold-blooded criminal or a mentally-ill person in need of long-term mental health care?

Wilkerson, 32, has been charged with three counts of attempted murder and is being held on $1.2 million bail after she drove herself and her three children (two girls and a boy, ages 3, 9 and 10) into the Atlantic Ocean in Daytona Beach last week.

While it has not been confirmed, reports suggest that Wilkerson may have been suffering from a mental disorder, thus renewing public conversations on how the mentally ill should be treated by the legal system and society in general.

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Memphis rankings!

memphisranking 600On what the Greater Memphis Chamber clearly viewed as good news day, Forbes ranked Memphis as the 2nd most affordable city in the U.S. and WalletHub ranked Memphis as the 5th best city to start a business.

Chamber officials are spreading the word about the rankings, which both were announced on Tuesday.

2nd most affordable city

Forbes recognized Memphis as America's second most affordable city when surveying the 100 largest Metropolitan Statistical Areas in the country.

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