There can be little doubt that schools across the nation have experience notable budget cuts since the recent economic fallout. Without protection from larger economic trails, educational systems have had to manage substantial budget cuts and reductions in available resources. Across different media platforms, new articles are peppered with headlines concerning the myriad of challenges schools are now facing. Despite financial tightening and limited avenues for support, it is clear that school performance has not escaped popular attention. With initiatives like “No Child Left Behind” and “Race to the Top”, schools must meet higher expectations within a highly competitive atmosphere – although some schools hit harder than others by adverse economic conditions. (more…)
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and United States President Barack Obama at the United Nations Climate Change Conference
Last month, world leaders participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. At this conference, President Barack Obama of the United States and leaders of the BASIC Group (President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva of Brazil, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh of India, and Premier Wen Jiabao of China) created the Copenhagen Accord.
The Copenhagen Accord acknowledged the continuation of previous agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol. Moreover, it established a maximum increase in global temperature of two degrees Celsius and welcomed future reviews to consider whether the global temperature increase should be limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Furthermore, it committed developed countries to providing additional funding for developing countries.
International organizations criticized the Copenhagen Accord for not being a legally binding agreement and for not specifying targets for reducing carbon emissions. According to representatives from Oxfam International, the Copenhagen Accord is “a triumph of spin over substance. It recognizes the need to keep warming below two degrees but does not commit to do so. It kicks back the decisions on emissions cuts and fudges the issue of climate cash.”