And now we'll turn from New Jersey to Detroit, where tensions are really building around the public school system there. The U.S. Department of Education is looking into whether recent school closures have disproportionately hurt black and Latino students. Also, an emergency financial manager is shaking things up at Detroit Public Schools after getting some new authority from the state.
Here to explain is Jerome Vaughn, news director at member station WDET in Detroit. Welcome back, Jerome.
This is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. I'm Celeste Headlee. Michel Martin is away. Coming up, we'll talk about school takeovers and whether or not taking a drastic action like that really fixes broken schools. But first we'll bring you up to date on the latest political news. There is a lot going on both here and overseas - the debate over gun control, immigration, and a little saber rattling from North Korea.
Many political leaders say the solution for failing school systems is a takeover. But can mayors, governors or other government leaders actually fix broken schools? Guest host Celeste Headlee discusses the expectations and consequences of school takeovers with Emily Richmond of the National Education Writers Association.
Polls show a majority of Americans now support gay marriage. During Supreme Court's arguments last week, Chief Justice John Roberts marveled at the political muscle advocates for same-sex marriage appeared to be flexing. But the political path for gay marriage could be long and bumpy.
A final deal on a changing immigration laws is at hand but still incomplete, according to two of the bipartisan "Gang of Eight" senators collaborating on it.
On NBC's Meet the Press on Sunday, Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Republican Sen. Jeff Flake of Arizona discussed a new agreement on a low-skilled worker program as a positive sign of progress, but both said there is more to be done.
The uneasy confluence of sports and politics is featured in a new book by The Nation's Dave Zirin, called Game Over: How Politics Has Turned the Sports World Upside Down.
During the civil rights movement and the Vietnam War, athletes routinely made their political views known. In some cases, that isolated them from sports fans. In other cases, their influence led to real change. But in recent decades, those voices fell silent. Some say the siren's call of endorsement deals made them gun-shy about speaking their minds.
There are still unanswered questions about the politically active 501(c)(4) "social welfare" groups. The anonymously funded entities' multimillion-dollar ad budgets helped to clog the airwaves last year.
How much did they really spend to intervene in the 2012 campaign? What kinds of sources supplied their money? What ties do they maintain with other nonprofit organizations or for-profit companies?
The IRS is now trying to address some of the unknowns by asking organizations to fill out a questionnaire about their finances.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Scott Simon and we'll have to wait until June to learn what the U.S. Supreme Court has decided on the two gay marriage cases before it. But this week, the justices heard oral arguments and they gave perhaps some hints of their thinking. One case concerns the constitutionality of California's ban on gay marriage, the other case is a challenge to what's called DOMA, the Defense of Marriage Act.
We're joined now by NPR legal affairs correspondent, Nina Totenberg. Thanks for being with us.
The Environment Protection Agency has proposed new rules that will require cars to run on cleaner gas. The rules are intended to lower sulfur emission and reduce smog, and they'd go into effect in 2017. NPR's Sonari Glinton reports they're similar to standards in place in California.