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8:33 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Do Scores Go Up When Teachers Return Bonuses?

An incentive system that gave bonuses to teachers upfront, with the threat of having to give the money back if student performance didn't improve, proved effective in one study.
David Franklin iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:47 pm

In Chicago, parents were fuming over a weeklong strike by teachers. Around the rest of the country, in the face of growing evidence that many U.S. students are falling behind, administrators have tried to devise different ways to motivate teachers.

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Planet Money
8:33 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Teachers Get Bonuses, With A Catch: They May Have To Pay Them Back

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 7:16 am

NPR's Shankar Vedantam has a story today about a study conducted by a bunch of economists. He writes that they:

divided 150 teachers into three groups. One group got no incentive; they just went about their school year as usual. A second group was promised a bonus if their students did well at math.

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The Two-Way
8:30 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Housing Starts Rose Again In August, Pace Remains Well Above Previous Years

Construction that was underway this summer in San Mateo, Calif.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 9:30 am

(This post was updated at 10:05 a.m. ET.)

In the morning's second sign of strength in the housing sector, the National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes rose 7.8 percent in August from July and were 9.3 percent above the pace of August 2011.

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Deceptive Cadence
8:23 am
Wed September 19, 2012

Pop Goes Classical Puzzler

Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" isn't the only pop song to get the classical music treatment.
Mike Stobe Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 6:21 pm

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It's All Politics
7:55 am
Wed September 19, 2012

The End Of WASP-Dominated Politics

The Obamas walk back to the White House after attending Easter service at St. John's Episcopal Church on April 8. President Obama is the only Protestant on either 2012 presidential ticket.
Mandel Ngan AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 19, 2012 1:02 pm

Just looking at Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan, you might not think of them as cultural pioneers. But the Republicans make up the first presidential ticket in history not to feature a Protestant.

Romney is Mormon, Ryan, Catholic. That might not seem like such a big deal — especially when you consider they are running against the first African-American president.

But all of these individuals are emblematic of an enormous shift in both American demographics and political power.

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