The Talk of Connecticut
Show Rundown for Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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JEAN BURK(ducation Expert) PENCILS DOWN: MORE U.S. COLLEGES DROP STANDARDIZED TESTS Hey, high schoolers, scared of bombing on the SATs and not getting into college? Don't worry, a growing number of U.S. schools are scrapping standardized test scores as part of admission. Washington, D.C.'s George Washington University last month joined more than 850 U.S. colleges and universities that no longer require applicants to take the SAT or ACT, tests that have been a feature of American student life for decades. Proponents of making the tests optional say the switch can help schools become more diverse and admit students who will thrive even though they may have lagged other applicants on scores. "It was really about making sure that the right students, students for whom GW would be a great place, were not discouraged from applying," said Karen Stroud Felton, George Washington's dean of admissions. The test-optional trend has accelerated in recent years, with more than two dozen schools dropping the requirement since the spring of 2014, according to the National Center for Fair and Open Testing, which advocates for test-optional admissions. They include Wisconsin's Beloit College and Temple University in Philadelphia. But defenders of the SAT and ACT tests of math, reading and writing say they level the playing field for applicants and provide an objective measure for scholarships. Cyndie Schmeiser, chief of assessment at the College Board, the non-profit that administers the SAT, said research had repeatedly shown it was a strong predictor of academic success. There's a movement sweeping the country to get away from SAT and ACT tests as the best way to grade students. Are these tests a dumb way to measure a student? Why are more and more colleges giving standardized tests a failing grade?

KEITH KOFFLER (Political Ediotor at He's a former reporter for CongressDaily, the National Journal Magazine and Roll Call) A SUMMER OF CLINTON STUMBLES GIVES WAY TO AN UNCERTAIN FALL FOR DEMOCRATS The Democratic Party, whose presidential race has been mostly overshadowed by Donald Trump and the Republicans, heads into the fall with its nomination contest far less certain than it once appeared and braced for a series of events that will have a significant effect on Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign. Clinton's standing has been battered both by her own shaky handling of the e-mail controversy and by the populist energy fueling the challenge of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). Her weakened position in the polls has evoked talk about a possible late entry from Vice President Biden, which could dramatically change the dynamic of the race. As the Democratic National Committee wrapped up its summer meeting, members were left with a series of questions not just about Clinton, but also Biden, Sanders and the party as a whole. What can Clinton do to regain the trust of voters, generate genuine enthusiasm among grass-roots activists and reassure nervous Democrats that she will be a strong nominee atop the party's ticket in November next year? Will Biden get in the race? Or, as many party leaders privately asserted, is it already too late? DNC members who were on a conference call with the vice president last week came away with significant doubts that he was emotionally ready to run as he and his family still grieve the death of his son, Beau. Does Bernie Sanders have the charisma to be the nominee? If Biden throws his hat into the ring, how does that change the race? And what about the GOP? Trump is getting all the headlines, but Ben Carson is quietly closing in. The gap is just 5% according to the latest polls.

Dr. GARY ROSE, PhD (Chair of the Department of Government and Politics at Sacred Heart University and author of, "Shaping a Nation: Twenty-Five Supreme Court Cases That Changed the United States") Gary chatted about the continued push in many circles to remove references to many American colonial figures if they had any connection to slavery. The latest case is going on in New Haven, where Yale University is encouraging a "discussion" about re-named Calhoun College.

SUZANNE BATES (Policy Director at the Yankee Institute for Public Policy) Does Gov. DANNEL MALLOY have his own "e-mail problem?" The state’s Democratic Party is refusing to turn over e-mails between Malloy and his top campaign aides, and the Malloy campaign and the party, about a mailer the party pushed out to voters in the last few weeks leading up to the 2014 gubernatorial election. The State Elections Enforcement Commission says the pro-Malloy mailings should have been subject to the state’s stringent campaign finance laws, but the Democrats disagree.

Fox News Radio's JON DECKER (Live from Washington_ PRESIDENT OBAMA VISITS ALASKA AND RE-NAMES MOUNT McKINLEY President Barack Obama brought the power of the presidential pulpit to Alaska on Monday, aiming to thrust climate change to the forefront of the global agenda with a historic visit that will put the state's liquefying glaciers and sinking villages on graphic display. Aboard Air Force One, the White House unveiled a new National Park Service map bearing the name Denali where Mount McKinley used to be. As a prelude to the trip, Obama announced his administration was renaming the tallest mountain in North America and restoring its traditional Athabascan name. During his three-day tour of Alaska, Obama planned to hike a glacier, converse with fishermen and tape a reality TV show with survivalist Bear Grylls — all part of a highly orchestrated White House campaign to illustrate how climate change has damaged the state's stunning landscape. The goal at each stop is to create powerful visuals that show real-world effects of climate change and drive home Obama's message that the crisis already has arrived.

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