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The charter school debate

Dec 15, 2004
Standardized tests. The bane of schoolchildren everywhere...but essential to the debate over which school is doing how well. The latest installment in the data wars over the effectiveness of charter schools says student performance there is pretty much on a par that of students in conventional public schools. That's according to a federal group that works up the nation's report card every year. And it's a rosier assessment than one they released just last month. That one said charter students were underperforming. All of this leaves Americans wondering whether this form of public schooling is working, and worth it. Work and Family correspondent Sarah Gardner has our story.

Tis the season for travel!

Dec 15, 2004
Travelers are returning to the skies this holiday season in the greatest numbers since 9/11. But is that prompting airlines to put more planes in the air? Ashley Milne-Tyte reports. Then, Marketplace's travel expert Rudy Maxa tells you about some of your travel alternatives.

The Best Gift Ever - Stephen Riggio

Dec 15, 2004
Time for another installment in our holiday series--The Best Gift Ever!

Mortgage fraud on the climb

Dec 15, 2004
As interest rates creep up, so does the cost of owning a home. But this year, those costs have gone up for another reason: mortgage fraud. The FBI has already investigated three times as many fraud cases in 2004 as it did last year. Nevada is among the top 6 states for the crime. And Las Vegas is where criminals are cashing in. Ky Plaskon has this report from Nevada Public Radio

Localize, localize, localize

Dec 14, 2004
There were some big numbers in that trade gap story Bob Moon reported at the top of the program. If you want a piece of that multi-billion dollar pie, you've got be able to take your product global. But that takes money. And it costs even more if you have to recall something because of cultural blunders. Take Microsoft, for just one example. The company had to rewrite one of its programs for India, when it forgot to include Kashmir on a map. So how can companies avoid geopolitical gaffes? One word - Localize. From KUOW in Seattle, Cathy Duchamp explains.

Running late? No problem!

Dec 14, 2004
Have you ever dashed out in your sweatpants and slippers, hustling over to Blockbuster to get that rented movie back before the late fees kick in. We might soon be spared those mad dashes. The country's biggest movie rental chain is getting rid of its late fees as of January the 1st. Blockbuster hopes that'll help it compete with on-line rental companies like NetFlix. Marketplace's Matthew Algeo has that story.

Catching the fire

Dec 14, 2004
Say you like something. A certain product, maybe. If you like it a lotm you'd tell all your friends about it, right? But is liking it a lot enough to spend money promoting it. Would it help if the certain something were free? Marketplace's Lisa Napoli tells us how some fans of one tech product are announcing their devotion in the biggest way they can.

Catching creativity

Dec 14, 2004
We saw another home-brewed ad today. A 36-year-old science teacher in Orange County California loves his iPod so much he spent nights and weekends working on an online ad for the music player. It's pretty good, too. That kind of creativity can be tough to come by in the business world. Harvard professor Teresa Amabile has spent a lot of time thinking about how to bottle it and put it to work.

The NYPD blues

Dec 14, 2004
Transit cops in New York work long hours on the subways and buses of the city that never sleeps. Some of them - really long hours. The New York Times reports today the city's transit agency paid a third of its police officers more than $100,000 each last year. One made more than $200,000. Most of that's thanks to overtime. Because whenever cops work extra duty, they get time and a half at least. Ashley Milne-Tyte reports that since 9/11 officers of the regular NYPD have been putting in hours the city will be paying for ... for decades to come.

The Best Gift Ever - Chuck Williams

Dec 14, 2004
Time for today's installment in our holiday series -- The Best Gift Ever. What gift really got to you? Drop us a line, letters@marketplace.org. What gift hit home with you? We'd like to hear about it. Write us at letters at marketplace-dot-org.

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