Changing emphasis: Louisiana standardized test scores show schools need to put more emphasis on teaching social studies, according to state education Superintendent John White, The Daily Advertiser reports. The state has seen more high scores in English language arts and math over the past five years. But while high social studies scores increased—from 27% to 28% for third- through eighth-graders—they are much lower than those for English or math. “What that reflects is while there is growth, students are not being taught the social studies content the way they are taught other subjects,” White says. Read the full story.
Dropped down: Bayer AG won a reprieve as a federal judge cut a March verdict linking its Roundup weedkiller to cancer by $55 million, while the German company continues to fight thousands of lawsuits in the U.S., Bloomberg reports The company, which has a Louisiana-based production plant, hired a high-profile mediator to lead settlement talks last month, though it continues to defend the herbicide as safe. Read the full story.
Up and up: U.S. retail sales rose at a solid pace last month, providing crucial support to the economy at a time when other drivers of growth have faded. The Commerce Department said this morning retail sales rose 0.4% in June, the fourth straight increase. Sales at online retailers, grocery stores, home and garden stores, and at restaurants and bars all increased at a healthy pace. Read the full story.