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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Editorial: Pass/Fail

    NASA’s secret survey

    Even for seasoned passengers, air travel can be an unnerving experience. That’s why it’s helpful to run your mind through a little grim calculus as you hurl through the sky in a giant aluminum death-tube: statistically speaking, you’re far more likely to die on the road than in a plane accident. But new data revealed this week suggests that the skies may not be as friendly as we think. A national survey of airline pilots – commissioned by NASA and leaked to The Associated Press – found that there are “”at least twice as many bird strikes, near mid-air collisions and runway incursions”” than shown by government monitoring systems. Worse, NASA has been sitting on the survey for months, reticent to release it because the findings could damage the public’s confidence in airlines and affect airline profits, according to one NASA official interviewed by the AP. When NASA spends public money on a survey in the public interest, its results should be made public – whether or not they’ll hurt airlines’ bottom lines. NASA’s boneheaded consumer cover-up deserves a Fail.

    He shall, from time to time …

    Political junkies everywhere mark their calendars for the president’s annual State of the Union address (from time to time, the Wildcat Opinions Board plays a mean game of State of the Union Bingo). The hardcore among us even get excited about the annual State of the State address delivered by the governor. Now, there’s a “”State of”” address that every student can look forward to. President Robert Shelton will deliver his first State of the University address on Tuesday, reflecting on his first year at the UA and laying out his goals for the year ahead. We’re eagerly awaiting the speech – and you should be, too. The new presidential address earns a Pass.

    Education inflation

    A report released Monday by the College Board concludes that the cost of college is now rising twice as fast as inflation – and although costs are stable at most private schools, the price of a public education is starting to soar. Tuition at four-year public universities is up 6.6 percent from last year, and the report notes that cost increases are closely correlated with changes in funding from state governments. Hear that, Arizona legislators? Stopping ballooning tuition bills requires adequate investment in higher education! We hope policymakers take the message to heart, but ’til then, the creeping costs of college get a big financial Fail.

    Expanding the minimum

    The Arizona Board of Education gave preliminary approval Monday to new graduation requirements for the state’s high school students, adding extra math, science and economics to the list of classes required for a high school diploma, and considered creating a “”Regents Diploma”” – a special certificate given to students who meet the minimum entry requirements of Arizona universities. It’s a smart move – far too many high school students (and American citizens) are shamefully illiterate when it comes to economics, and boosting science and math requirements to prepare students for college is a worthwhile goal. These reinvigorated requisites get a Pass.

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