Alabama has forged ahead in the 2013 Kids Count report. The annual data ranks each state based on education, family, health and economic factors. Alabama ranked 44 in the survey, that's about two points up from its usual score.
In the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton, N.J., John Saunders, a jury manager, spends his weekdays shepherding potential jurors. Much of what he tells them regards the paraphernalia of 21st century life: cellphones, tablets and laptops. These are OK to use in the waiting room, he tells them. "We realize life does not stop."
But in the courtroom, it's all phones off. Laptops and iPads stay with Saunders, and jurors are given a tag to reclaim their items. "Unlike the airport, when you return, your item will be there, and no baggage charge guaranteed," he says.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
And now to an issue that lawmakers are not spending a lot of time debating: climate change. Tomorrow, President Obama will lay out a strategy to address the problem, using executive powers. It's an admission that's sweeping climate legislation stands little chance of passing Congress as NPR's Jennifer Ludden reports.
JENNIFER LUDDEN, BYLINE: Aides say Mr. Obama's plan includes limiting carbon dioxide emissions from power plants. The reaction from House Speaker John Boehner was blunt.
That "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications?
It turns out it wasn't the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using.
There were also other lists, covering a "broad spectrum" of categories and cases, according to a preliminary IRS report released Monday.
"Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action to suspend the use of these lists in the Exempt Organizations unit within IRS," said Danny Werfel, the new acting chief of the IRS, in a conference call with reporters.
Rafael Nadal has been bounced from Wimbledon, after being dismissed in three sets by Belgium's Steve Darcis, who is ranked No. 135 in the world. Nadal's upset loss by 7-6(4), 7-6(8), 6-4 stunned tennis fans, shook up the men's bracket, and raised questions about the Spanish star's health.