Tuesday Tidbits

Just a few random tidbits from the news:

  • First, some good news about the economy, asconsumer confidence zoomed past economists’ forecasts in April to its highest level since November. The rise in consumer confidence could be indicative of a growing sense that the economy may have bottomed out and Americans might be prepared to spend more money, or it could just be a fluke. Hopefully it’s a sign that the economy is on the rebound.
  • There’s also good news coming out of Milwaukee, as the percentage of students in Milwaukee Public Schools deemed proficient in math jumped 5 percentage points from last year to this year. Now granted, the percentage of MPS tenth graders proficient in math was only 26 percent, an increase of one percent, but the the percentage of fourth and eighth graders in MPS that were proficient in math were 56 percent and 47 percent, both of which represent double digit increases. There’s no denying MPS still has a lot of room to improve, but these numbers certainly are encouraging.
  • Oh, and speaking of news, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker formally announced his candidacy for governor today, confirming the worst-kept secret in Wisconsin.
  • And in national political news, Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter announced today he’s switching from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. While I’m certainly happy to see Sen. Specter join the Democratic Party, I’m certainly not naive – this move was all about Sen. Specter securing another term as Pennsylvania’s U.S. Senator. Polls had Sen. Specter losing a Republican senate primary to Pat Toomey, and this switch will likely make Sen. Specter’s path to reelection much smoother, though I’m still convinced he’ll face opposition in a Democratic senate primary.

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