August 30th Show : Blog Of The Nation In our first hour, grading teachers,and  America's future in Iraq.  In our second hour, doctor shortage, and Kenneth Feinberg.
NPR logo August 30th Show

August 30th Show

In our second hour, NPR's Julie Rovner looks at the looming shortage of primary care doctors. hide caption

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Grading Teachers
How do you know if your kid's teacher is good or bad?  The Los Angeles Times produced an online database matching every teacher in the L.A. Unified School District to their 'value-added' rating, one measure of their impact on student learning.  Proponents of releasing the data say that the measure, while incomplete, gives parents insight into the person in front of the blackboard. But many teachers worry that a poor metric is worse than nothing at all.  Host Neal Conan speaks with Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality and Doug Lemov, author of Teach Like A Champion discuss the best ways to evaluate teachers.

America's Future Involvement in Iraq
On Tuesday night, President Obama will address the nation from the Oval Office, declaring that the U.S. role in Iraq has changed for good — from a combat mission to one of support.  But as the mission changes, many worry that Iraqi forces are not up to challenge of securing the country.  In an op-ed for Small Wars Journal, Retired Marine Colonel Gary Anderson says, "I frankly see no good option other than a long term American presence similar to the one we have maintained in Korea as a hedge against Iranian dominance. As author Tom Ricks recently said; 'that is not necessarily a bad thing'."  Col. Anderson talks about the president's speech and America's future involvement in Iraq.

Doctor Shortage
Increasingly, the doctor is not in when it comes to delivering primary care. Many health experts predict the shortage in primary caregivers will grow larger as the baby boom generation gets older and the new health care law increases the demand for doctors. NPR health policy correspondent Julie Rovner's series, "Primary Care Under Pressure," touches on the reasons that doctors are in short supply and some of the proposed solutions.  Rovner and Dr. Kavita Patel, director of the Health Policy Program at the New America Foundation each explain what's being done to address the shortage of doctors in America.

Giving Away BP's Money
Gulf coast residents and business owners who've been affected by the Gulf oil spill need to convince one man that they deserve compensation: Kenneth Feinberg. The independent administrator who oversaw victim claims after 9/11 took over last week as head of BP's $20 billion compensation fund.  Feinberg acknowledges that he cannot solve everybody's problems, but promised timely answers to those who file claims.  Feinberg talks about the massive job he faces, some of the criticism over how he plans to give out the money, and the complaints that he's too close to BP to be truly independent.