1/ Fourth- and eighth-graders in most states and across almost all demographic groups fell behind in reading and had the largest ever decline in math in the first National Assessment of Educational Progress since the pandemic began. The average math score for the fourth grade was 5 points lower than in 2019, and 8 points below the 2019 mark for the eighth grade. The share of eighth grade math students deemed proficient dropped from 34% to 26%, and 38% of eighth graders failed to grasp basic math concepts. No state or large urban district showed improvements in math. Reading scores, meanwhile, declined in more than half the states, dropping to 1992 levels. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona described the scores in both subjects as “appalling and unacceptable,” added “Let me be very clear: These results are not acceptable.” (Associated Press / Chalkbeat / CNN / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Bloomberg)
2/ A federal appeals court temporarily blocked Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. The Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals issued the stay while it considers a motion from six Republican-led states to block the program. Last week, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett rejected a similar effort from a Wisconsin taxpayer group. Nearly 22 million people — more than half of qualifying borrowers — have signed up since the application portal went live. (NPR / Associated Press / CNN)
3/ Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas temporarily blocked Lindsey Graham from having to testify before a Georgia grand jury investigating efforts to overturn Trump’s election loss. The order, which is an “administrative stay,” comes after the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously turned down Graham’s request to block the subpoena and affirmed the lower court’s decision that he must testify. Graham claims he is protected by the Constitution’s speech-or-debate clause, which shields legislators from certain law enforcement action for conduct connected to their legislative duties. Graham’s petition went to Thomas because he is the justice designated to hear emergency requests from the 11th Circuit. Democrats, meanwhile, have demanded that Thomas recuse himself from any cases related to the 2020 election because his wife had encouraged Trump White House officials and state legislators to overturn Biden’s victories in swing states. (CNBC / Washington Post / New York Times / Bloomberg / CNN / Axios)
4/ The Jan. 6 committee formally subpoenaed Trump, demanding his testimony before the panel dissolves at the end of the year. The subpoena requires Trump to turn over documents by Nov. 4 and to appear for one or several days of deposition under oath beginning on Nov. 14. Nancy Pelosi, meanwhile, suggested that Trump isn’t “man enough to show up” to testify, added: “I don’t think his lawyers will want him to show up because he has to testify under oath.” In a letter accompanying the subpoena, the committee wrote about its “overwhelming evidence” that shows Trump “personally orchestrated” the effort to overturn his defeat in the 2020 election, including false allegations of widespread voter fraud, “attempting to corrupt” the Justice Department, and pressuring state officials, members of Congress, and Pence to change the results. “In short, you were at the center of the first and only effort by any U.S. President to overturn an election and obstruct the peaceful transition of power, ultimately culminating in a bloody attack on our own Capitol and on the Congress itself,” they wrote said. It’s the second time in modern U.S. history that a president has been issued a congressional subpoena. (Associated Press / Politico / New York Times / ABC News / CBS News / CNN)
- A judge has sentenced Steve Bannon to four months in prision and a $6,500 fine for criminal contempt of Congress. “U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols, a Trump appointee, said Bannon inappropriately defied the House’s select committee on a matter of significant national interest, and even after roadblocks to his testimony had been removed.” (Politico / NPR)
5/ Classified documents recovered by the FBI from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home included U.S. secrets about Iran and China. At least one of the documents described Iran’s missile program. Other documents reportedly described highly sensitive intelligence work aimed at China. The documents about Iran and China are considered among the most sensitive the FBI has recovered to date. (Washington Post)
poll/ 80% of Americans believe that their opposing political party poses a threat that, if not stopped, will destroy America. Nevertheless, nearly two-thirds of Americans would still vote along party lines even if their candidate had a moral failing that wasn’t consistent with their own values. (NBC News)
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