Cupcakes now are a focal point in an ongoing debate over school nutrition. While some U.S. school districts have banned the treats from classrooms, the new secretary of agriculture in Texas recently announced a policy granting "cupcake amnesty."
Students in a California district are learning math using lessons that emphasize collaboration and multiple ways to reach correct answers. During a recent lesson, students were presented with the "cupcake challenge" -- a lesson in which groups of students worked together to determine how many children six cupcakes could serve if each child received a fourth of a cupcake.
A high-school sophomore in Florida recently won second place in the Miami Herald Business Plan Challenge for her idea to develop a cookbook that also teaches students about math and reading. Nelysa Ventura said her book, "Cupcake 1+2=3 Cookbook," would be intended for students ages 5 to 14 and promote bonding between parents and children. The book also would be embedded with activities intended to help students with math.
Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Federal Reserve, maintains that low interest rates did not contribute to the housing boom and bust, but many of his fellow economists are not convinced. The Wall Street Journal conducted two surveys that found that many economists think low rates were a contributing factor. "There is plenty of blame to go all around," said Martin Eichenbaum of Northwestern University. "Loose monetary policy certainly contributed to easy financing, which was one element of the bubble."
While the executive and the legislative branches of the government discuss regulatory reform for the financial industry, the judicial branch is issuing influential rulings that often go against Wall Street executives. "Judges have lifetime appointments and are freer to act on their conscience than regulators," said Charles Elson, chairman of the corporate-governance center at the University of Delaware.