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tv   PBS News Hour  PBS  March 27, 2013 6:00pm-7:00pm PDT

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>> woodruff: same-sex marriage topped the docket for a second day at the u.s. supreme court. this time, the arguments revolved around everything from tax breaks to health coverage-- the legal benefits attached to marriage under federal law. again, "newshour" corespondent kwame holman begins our coverage. >> reporter: the crowds were thinner, and made up mostly of gay marriage supporters. and for some, the reasons for being there were intensely personal. nicole connolly is a teacher from new york, married to a woman who's a captain in the u.s. marines. >> i am here for housing allowance, i am here for medical, i am here for death benefits, i'm here for next of kin qualifications, a plethora of reasons. >> reporter: on this second day of arguments, the justices turned their attention to a federal law, "the defense of marriage act." the 1996 law signed by president clinton specifically limits marriage to one man and one woman.
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known as the "doma", it prevents same sex couples from collecting federal marriage-related benefits, even if they've been legally married by a state. the principal in today's case, edie windsor of new york, married thea spyer, in 2007. >> we lived together for 40 years, we were engaged with a circle diamond pin because i wouldn't wear a ring because i was still in the closet, okay. i am today an out lesbian, okay, who just sued the united states of america, which is kind of overwhelming for me. >> reporter: spyer died in 2009 and left her estate to windsor, but the marriage was not recognized under federal law, so windsor faced the full estate tax burden-- $360,000. windsor challenged doma and won in the lower courts. the obama administration then declined to defend the law further. with that, house republican leaders intervened, asking the
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supreme court to uphold doma. today, even some who support the law said they'd favor legal rights for same-sex couples, but not actual marriage. jim mcdonald is from alexandria, virginia. >> if people in civil unions were to get federal benefits that were equivalent to what married people get, that doesn't bother me at all. but the word marriage, i think needs to maintain it's traditional meaning. >> reporter: the court is expected to decide the "doma" case and yesterday's case involving proposition eight in california by june. >> suarez: marcia coyle of the "national law journal" was in the courtroom this morning and is back with us tonight. for people who don't follow this very closely, know that the two big arguments had to do with gay marriage, what are the main differences between yesterday's argument and today's? >> well, i think there is an inherent tension here for those who support gay marriage. in the doma case today, one of the arguments is that the
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federal government has intrudeold what is a traditional state prerogative, and that is to define and regulate marriage. and yet in the prop 8 case, the opponents of prop 8, which bans same-sex marriage, are attacking the voters, the state' prerogative to define marriage. but they have a common bond, though, and that is that the opponents of doma and prop 8 see both as discrimination under the equal protection guarantees of our constitution and are arguing for a much tougher kind of scrutiny of what the state did-- what california did and what the federal government did in doma. >> suarez: there is so many juicy and interesting aspects to today's argument. it began with vicki jackson, a lawyer appointed by the court to do what? >> well, one of the-- two of the
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roadblocks in the doma case, similar to the roadblock in the prop 8 case, has to do with weather key parties in the case are properly before the supreme court, and whether the court has jurisdiction to hear the case. the united states does not defend doma. it believes it's unconstitutional. it agrees with edie windsor. it agrees with the lower federal appellate court. the bipartisan legal advisory committee of the house-- >> suarez: representing the house majority, the republicans. >> exactly. believebelieves that that it's rightfully before the court, as does the united states. the court needed somebody to argue the other side. they want to hear all the arguments. do those-- are those two parties properly before us? do we have jurisdiction? so they appointed professor jackson. >> suarez: in effect if i understand this, they appointed a lawyer to argue to them that they had no jurisdiction to hear the case? >> exactly, exactly, to make those arguments. that way they get the full
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picture, ray. >> suarez: a lot of back and forth between justices and lawyers today went to weather the obama administration declining to enforce the law created a situation that makes this, in some sense, impossible to judge. tell us more about how this-- how this hit the justices because a lot of them had a lot of questions about it. >> they did. in fact, they are troubled by the jurisdictional problems here, not just with the united states but also with the house republican leadership. but most of professor jackson's argument was devoted to responding to questions about the united states, and there was some hostility. chief justice roberts said, "well, if the president decided that this law was unconstitutional and yet is going to enforce it until the supreme court says otherwise, why didn't the president have the courage of his convictions, if he believes the law is unconstitutional, and not enforce it?"
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so there was, also, this feeling that this was something unprecedented that the court was being asked to allow the united states to continue in the case when it basically agrees, is there really a case or controversy here if the two main parties-- the united states and windsor-- agree with each other. >> suarez: we're going to hear a lot of the interesting back and forth because, as with many big cases, we have an audio transcript of the arguments. first, let's hear from justice sotomayor, bearing down on the house republican's lawyer, paul clement, on the motivation for the original law. let's take a listen.
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>> this is one of the overriding issues in the case, one of two, actually. what we put under the broad rubric of federalism. who has the power under the constitution to deal with maecialg? traditionally it has been the states. but mr. clement's argument is that, okay, doma affects 1100 federal laws, and the-- those laws that have a reference to marriage, there is a federal interest in the programs that those laws deal with. he's argues as well that doma distribute regulation marriage. it's just defining the
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boundaries of those programs that refer to marriage. so he also believes that there is a role for the federal government when it comes to marriage, not-- not regulating it, but ensuring that there's uniformity of federal law, and that citizens in different states are treated the same way. >> suarez: justice elena kagan also was interested in following up on this idea of animous, of discrimination, of distaste for gay people in america. let's listen.
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>> suarez: doesn't sound like paul clement had many supporters elsewhere on the bench for his reading of why this law exists in the first place. >> that's a hard read. i think that at least four justices, possibly five, have a problem with his arguments. justice kagan was getting at the second major issue in this case, and that's whether the law discriminates under the equal protection clause, the guarantee of the fifth amendment. she was not satisfied with his answer. in fact, she followed up by reading specifically from the house report on doma where the legislators said that they were expressing their moral disapproval of homoswult.
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so she was making a point there appeared there was another reason. and mr. clement's response was maybe some were motivated that way, and if the court believes that the whole statute was based on that, then it should strike it down, but he claims there are-- that was really not sufficient because there are many other interests that justify doma. >> suarez: we also have the solicitor general, donald verrilli, who normally would be arguing defending the federal government's plxz of a law, so was in a sort of unusual role today, argues tha arguing that d by the president of the united states, passed by the congress, should be struck down. let's take a listen.
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>> suarez: it sound like there was a little discomfort with the sweeping nature of what the court was being asked to do. >> solicitor general verrilli, he was telling the chief justice that these 1100 statutes may well have been enacted by congress with the traditional state definition in mind. but when congress enacted doma, it made a choice between deferring to how states handle marriage, and singling out a category of people who would not benefit under federal laws, and that choice, he said, has to be justified under equal protection principles. there is some concern-- the chief justice did press him and others did, i think, on whether-- under his argument if dwoama falls under equal protection principles, does that
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mean the state laws that prohibit same-sex marriage also have to fall. and mr. verrilli said not necessarily, although they would have a very difficult time justifying them under the kind of scrutiny that mr. verrilli hopes the court will apply here. >> suarez: marcia coyle, thanks for joining us. >> my pleasure. >> woodruff: there's much more about the same sex marriage cases on our website. you can hear audio of today's full arguments and also watch reaction from outside the courtroom. and coming up, a debate about the defense of marriage act. also ahead, using hip hop music to engage students in science; luring low income students to elite universities and slowing down traffic on the internet. but first, the other news of the day. here's hari sreenivasan. >> sreenivasan: the new director of the u.s. secret service was sworn in today. julia pierson is the first woman to hold the job. she officially assumed her new duties in an oval office ceremony in the white house. vice president biden
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administered the oath, as president obama looked on. >> she's breaking the mold in terms of directors of agencies. and i think that people are all extraordinarily proud of her, and we have the greatest confidence in the wonderful task that lies ahead, and very confident that she's going to do a great job. >> sreenivasan: pierson takes over an agency that was rocked last year by revelations that agents used prostitutes in colombia, ahead of a presidential trip there. the man accused in the movie theater shootings in colorado last july, has offered to plead guilty and serve life in prison. defense lawyers for james holmes filed the motion today. prosecutors had no immediate response. they're due to announce monday whether they'll seek the death penalty. holmes is accused of opening fire in a theater in aurora, colorado, killing a dozen people and wounding nearly 60. north korea today cut its last military hotline with the south. the line had allowed the two countries to coordinate cross- border travel of south korean workers to a jointly run industrial complex in the north. north korea's state t.v.
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announced the move, and it warned south korea's new president to choose her response carefully. >> ( translated ): the south korean president should behave with discretion, clearly mindful that a wrong word may entail horrible disaster at a time when the north-south relations are being pushed to the lowest ebb and the danger of an all-out war is increasing on the korean peninsula. >> sreenivasan: the north has already cut a red cross hotline with the south, as well as another with the u.n. command at the border. it is all a response to u.n. sanctions aimed at punishing north korea for conducting a nuclear test last month. former c.i.a. director david petraeus has resurfaced publicly for the first time since he resigned last november. he addressed a dinner in los angeles last night, and apologized for the extra-marital affair that cost him his career. petraeus said he knows he can never un-do the pain he caused. but he said, he's trying to move forward. >> this has obviously been a very difficult episode for us. but perhaps my experience can be instructive to those who stumble
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or indeed fall as far as i did. one learns, after all, that life doesn't stop with such a mistake. it can and must go on. >> sreenivasan: petraeus is a retired, four-star general. he called for better treatment of soldiers and veterans, saying "we can and must do more." a federal bankruptcy court today approved the merger of american airlines and united airways. the combined company will form the world's largest airline, under the american name. and on wall street, stocks struggled to hold their ground, amid lingering concerns about the economic stability of cyprus and italy. the dow jones industrial average lost 33 points to close at 14,526. the nasdaq rose four points to close at 3,256. those are some of the day's major stories. now, back to judy. >> woodruff: and we return to today's supreme court arguments involving the federal defense of marriage act with a debate of our own. supporting the law is ken klukowski. he's the director of the center for religious liberty at the family research council and a breitbart news legal columnist.
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and mary bonauto opposes doma. she is special counsel for the group gay and lesbian advocates and defenders. welcome to the you both to the "newshour." we were saying there was some discussion at the court today about jurisdiction, but we're going to set that aside and talk about the core of the argument today. first of all, mary bonauto, in the analysis i've been reading, there are a number of folks who are concluding that there are enough votes now on the court to strike down doma. how did you read generally what you heard from the justices today? >> i'm not prepared to make any predictions based on an oral argument but clearly the questions were going to two key issues. one is when the federal government has for so long deferred to a state's determination about who is married, why in 1996 did they change the rules when it looked like same-sex couples might begin to marry and impose a federal definition.
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secondly, when you have all these protections available to married people, you know, why are you taking people from massachusetts, connecticut, vermont, and saying ther marriages don't count for social security and family medical leave and treating them like they're single even though they're legally committed in marriage. >> woodruff: let's talk about the two different streams of argument today, one loosely discrimination, the other one loosely the federal versus the states. and, ken klukowski, does one of those strands of argument have greater weight, did you think, today? what you heard? >> well, the reality is that i think looking at it from a different aspect, doma filled in the blanks -- there are a lot of blank, about 1100 provisions of federal law. for example, filing taxes. if you're going to file a joint married tax return, it's the tax code that specifies that if you are married but separated from your spouse-- now, you're still legally married under the state
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but it's illegal for you to file a married tax return. you must file an unmarried person tax return. if you are married to someone who is not a citizen and theor not in the country you have to file single tax returns. there are many areas of laws going back decade where's congress has had the definition of marriage. >> woodruff: you're saying there is a role for the federal government in regulating these relationships. >> that's exactly right. who can get married is a state issue, but what federal benefits, usually entitlements, what federal benefits go to which sort of unions, that's a legitimate exercise of federal power, so long as it it's one of congress' powers in article 1, section 8 of the constitution. >> woodruff: and we heard justice kennedy today questioning that's in particular, didn't we, the role of the federal government in overriding the states in determining how these laws are going to be interpreted. >> we did, and just to respond quickly, we've never had a situation where the congress has wiped out a whole class of marriages for purposes of ever federal law and program, and
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that's what doma is, in the context of any particular program, yes, there's play in the joints, but there's never been a law that said these people actually married by state are not married for any federal purpose. that's what is so different about doma which gets to the equal protection issue and justice kennedy had another set of questions about does the federal government even have the power to do this, not even from an equal protection standpoint, but isn't this something that solely belongs with the states in. >> woodruff: and what's the answer to that question? >> there are federal issues. it's a great question. the federal government required several faits, as a condition for becoming a state, that they must adopt the state standard that they would not allow political me. the supreme court dealt with marriage other than one man, one woman in "reynolds vunited states. doma defines marriages for federal law purposes. the state is free to create polygamy or same-sex marriage. but the federal government
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recognizes one man, one woman, has an impact on current immigration efforts. it's something that spreads throughout the federal law. the reality is federalism has two parts. where the federal government is properly in the constitution, the federal government gets to set its own rule. >> there are a few responses on to that. on the polygamy thing, these were territories and the territories as a condition of statehood had to agree to something. it has never been the case that the u.s. government has again invalidated a whole class of existing state licensed marriages. doma is an anomaly. and i don't think there was one exw disagreement with that on the court today, least what one could hear from the questions. >> woodruff: the other strand on this -- and you touched on this, mary bonauto-- whether there is oit and out discrimination. we heard it from justice sotomayor. we heard it from justice kagan. we heard her ask at one point-- she talked about moral
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disapproval of home's sexuality. how does that play out in the court today and how important is that tho deciding this case? >> more important is that the obama administration rejected. they readily said in court doma was not driven by animous. in fact, they said doma-- what is called rational basis reviewsh the federal standard under equal protection when we evaluate laws-- the obama solicitor general, verrilli, said if rational base review is the tet doma would survive. this lou-- they said congress made a mistake in passing it but was not trying to discriminate. >> woodruff: so what role do you see discrimination playing in the outcome here? >> i see it playing a role. in 1996, it was really clear that the law was you take state marriage laws as you find them. you fold married people-- whether they have differences in racial restriction in the past
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or first cousins, second cousins if you were married in the state, they changed the rule to make sure married same-sex couples would not be included. quiet becomes is there a justification for making a new rule? and the justification that's been advanced by mr. clement is really around this idea of uniformity, that it's important to treat all gay people alike. but we have a system-- when we're talking about federal marital benefits and burdens-- of treating married people. and we have an anomaly where we're treating married gay people as though they're unmarried as opposed to treating all married people aligning, whether they're gay or nongay. the uniformity thing doesn't seem to make a lot of sense. >> woodruff: how do you answer that? >> i think there is a legitimate federal role here. the reason i raise polygamy isn't to raise a far-off issue. litigation has started. jonathan turley, a professor at george washington, is pursuing litigation in utalk saying if there is a right to same-sex
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marriage, there is a right to polygamy. he's saying i'm all for that. i don't think the government should discriminate on that base, arthur. i think both side agree there is a role for the government to draw lines. we're just debating where those lines are. i think as we understand the different combinations that could be involved, then people will understand what the obama administration conceded in court and in their briefs today that doma does serve legitimate interest and is reasonably wrlt related to it. the obama administration said the law will only be struck down if the court applies what's called heightened scrutiny to this law. >> woodruff: i want to clarify with you both that you're both-- do i hear you saying it's the federalism argument that's going to hold more weight here? >> i think the equal protection argument is going to hold more weight ultimately. and i say that because even if you take the situation where-- let's just even say, even though it's so far fetched -- some state does dauthorize multiple person marriages, on equal
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protection the question is what is the government's interest in that they're not going to respect those marriages. the question is not let's change the topic. what's the interest in saying these committed couples joined in marriage by their states, many of whom are raising kid, should be cut out of the whole federal safety net. >> quick response is, in that one part, i agree with the obama administration, and i would encourage people to look at their filings of what the legitimate center tr is and why they agree that doma does infact advance them. >> woodruff: ken klukowski, mary bonauto, we thank you both. >> thank you, judy. >> suarez: now, two stories about finding ways to engage students from low-income households. we begin with a new way to learn about a nucleus, i recently visited a new york classroom where they're using rap music to teach kids science. >> the characteristics of the
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organism thetas more beneficial for the environment gets passed on. >> suarez: teaching a morning biology lesson in any high school is hard in underperforming urban schools with low tests scores, it's even harder. >> what was the point of that lab? was there a point? what was the point, what was the point of the simulation? >> to figure out how to come up with natural selection. >> what is natural selection, though. >> reporter: the >> suarez: the challenge has brought chris emdin, a professor from columbia university's teachers college back into the classroom. emdin's mission: to find a way to make science something these kids can relate to. his idea: to use hip-hop music to unlock science ideas; use the ipod to help you get natural selection. >> what happens if a song is just not popping anymore?
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you won't select it to be in your playlist, right? well, if an attribute of an organisms, right, if its not needed anymore, then it won't get passed on to the next generation. in other words, it wouldn't make the new playlist, does that make sense? >> suarez: emdin has partnered with ten new york city public high schools like this one-- bronx compass-- for a pilot project using hip hop to engage low performing students, particularly minorities. according to the national assessment of educational progress, only 4% of african- american seniors nationally were proficient in sciences. >> the basic concept is, they love hip hop, they don't like science, let's find a way to figure it out. >> suarez: the new-model curriculum requires students to write raps about science-- reinforcing vocabulary, and the concepts covered in class. it's called "science genius." >> so now you got mutation and i'm going to leave for two minutes and come back and check.
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what the best science educators have told us for a very long time, that the in science classrooms is that it's inter disciplinary, so they're learning the science content, but they're also learning to write, and they're also learning reflection, and they're also learning critical thinking, and they're also learning revision, and they're also learning performance, all while learning science, as opposed to the traditional classroom where they're just learning to soak up in the information, and hopefully give it back, you know, a couple days later on a quiz or an exam. >> suarez: under the direction of emdin, columbia university graduate students visit a regular science class once a week to help craft raps. ♪ natural selection we talk about a rabbit is adaptive like its parents ♪ >> this is not just kids >> this is not just kids rhyming, they're rubrics for assessment, a kid can't come in there and just have a really simple superficial rap and saying, you know, "i'm here to play, this is dna," that wouldn't work, that kid would not pass a science genius class. you have to be able to
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understand the nuances, what does d.n.a. stand for, you know, what are the base pairs, you know, what's the history of dna? to create a rap about d.n.a., you have to know the >> suarez: a surprise visit from edmin's most important collaborator and co-founder of the science genius hip hop science experiment creates the biggest stir. the rapper g.z.a.--from one of the greatest rap groups of all time, wu-tang clan, is a tenth grade drop out turned science geek. he adds star power to the project and shows the students how it's done. >> gravity gone made, drawn in by dust a debris, moving at colossal speed to crush an m.c., this rap region is heavily packed with stars, eternal in the telescope notice the guards, from a distance the light strobes with great distance of space between precise globes between.
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when you bring an artist in, a hip hop artist, and children are so consumed with hip hop music, then it's a way for them to let their guard down, or at least be comfortable enough to give it a listen. >> for young people whose voices have been silenced, they're forever in search of an opportunity, to be heard, and you don't have the tool to be heard in schools, necessarily all the time, and so they look to hip hop to have a voice. what we're doing now is saying, okay, you have a voice in hip hop, and hip hop is separate from schools, but now were giving you a voice in the classroom, and that changes everything, and that's what g.z.a. does. >> suarez: it seemed to change everything for student keegan dillion. >> i was like, is this for real? i really asked somebody to pinch me. but it was just crazy, the way, the timing, how unexpected it was, i was surprised. >> suarez: but keegan says even without a visit from a famous rapper, the hip hop science genius class is motivation
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enough. >> i lost my passion for science, so when i came here and everything, i was like, "oh, i'm going to bomb it definitely. but now that they're mixing it up with music, i feel like i can get an a-plus. >> suarez: does it help you actually learn the science? i'm sure its more fun, but are you actually learning more science? >> believe me i am. i actually sit home, looking up different science terms before we actually learn them, and then i actually like read the definitions and all that. then i put them into my raps and everything. so it really is helping, i'm starting to get back on track with my science. >> suarez: the science genius project will finish with a battle of the best raps between the ten pilot classrooms at the end of the school year. g.z.a. will judge the raps and the best ones will appear on the website "rap genius". i could take what i saw earlier today, and show it to science teachers around the country, and certainly science department chairmen across the country, and they'd say two things: it's a gimmick and are they learning any science?
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>> so i'll start off with the gimmick. everything in education is a gimmick, the present world, specifically of urban education, is filled with gimmicks. unfortunately, those gimmicks have no grounding in the youth understandings and culture. you know, every single day there's a new curriculum, new standards. but i want to talk about the larger issue, and the larger issues is the fact that there is an obsession with these metrics that in reality don't tell us anything about teaching and learning. they really, really don't. they tell you how much a kid can soak in information, but, and spit it back out at you, but it won't tell you anything about the kid who through being in this classroom finally sees himself as a scientist. >> you see i'm an organism, changing every minute, i'm not too good at science, but i'm a still get in it, i remix my lifestyle, change it through my lifeline. i mutate the flow and i go with instinct. as a lyricist my mind is cave, darwin already turning out in his grave, so i keeping it in
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motion like human evolution.♪ ( applause ) >> how do i measure keegan, who came in the beginning, and was bored to death, and didn't like science, and has his head down for the entire academic year, who all of a sudden is opening up his book, and doing homework and crafting science rhymes, and saying, you know what, i can declare a science major. there is no test that exists right now that can measure that, and that is more powerful than any metric that anybody could use to measure what happens in classrooms. >> suarez: edmin says that for many inner city youth science technology engineering and math, stem academics, will continue to remain elusive without interventions like science genius. >> what we're doing here, at the very least, is allowing kids to see that they can be brilliant. that what they know already is intelligent, that they can see new possibilities, to be able to pick up the "new york times" on tuesday and read the science times and understand it. i mean, if we really want to
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change stem education, and we talk about as a nation that we don't have enough people to fill those kind of stem jobs that we have, then what we have to do is focus on the folks who've been pushed out, because they're the numbers that we need to push back in. >> suarez: emdin says he's confident that at the end of the year attendance will be up, and grades will be up and that the science genius model is easily scaled up from a handful of new york schools to students around the country. and we have more from the wu- tang clan's g.z.a. watch him perform material from his upcoming album "dark matter." and create your own science rap for a chance to win a shout-out from the legendary hip-hop artist. instructions for composing and submitting a video for our contest are on our website. >> woodruff: and to a second story about students from poorer backgrounds. why are some of the top achievers missing out on a shot to go to some of the best universities? jeffrey brown explores that question, part of our continuing coverage on inequality in america. sphwhrow for years, colleges and universities have been trying to diversify the student body not
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just by ethnicity but gk as well. despite high-profile moves at some schools to do so, including big boost in financial assistance and full tuition, the numbers still falling short of the goal. a recent study is shedding new light on the problem and what's behind it. the analysis found just 34% of high-achieving seniors from the lower end of the income ladder attend one of the 238 most select schools. by comparison, nearly 80% of high-achieving students from the upper end of the income ladder attend an elite school. there are many more higher achieving students from lower income backgrounds than schools know of or are recruiting. the lead author of the study joins us, and michelle minter vice provost for equity at princeton university. and i learned just now as we sit down they are sisters. welcome to both of you. >> thank you very much. >> caroline hux bee, let me
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start with you, describe the key problem that you found in this study, the disconnect between low-income students not finding their way to the best schools. >> well, the problem as universities and colleges saw it, was that their just were not very many low-income, high-achieving student, and so if a selective college wanted to diversify its student body, wanted to have students of all income levels, it just didn't find very many low-income student in its applicant pool. and the colleges and universities thought, look we just can't diversify our student bodies very much more without cutting our admissions standards so much we'll have some under-prepared student. that was the problem as they saw it. and what might coauthor, chris avery and i did, was we looked at the entire high school graduating class of 2008. so every single student in the united states who had taken a college assessment exam, either the s.a.t., thep s.a.t., or the act exam, and we looked to see
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how many low-income, high-achieving students there were and we found that there were anything from eight times as many as colleges had thought there were, to 15 times as many as colleges thought hthought there were. >> brown: and you also, though, showed that the student-- students don't know to reach further in many cases, right? >> that's right. so the-- as soon as we found this out, we thought, well, why are they not applying? if these students could get in, what is the explanation for why they're not applying? we tried to eliminate some explanations. and the first one we looked at was, well, are they not able to afford these very selective colleges and universities? but interest will enough, for high-achieving students, the more selective the university they attend, the less they will pay. so these students are actually often paying more to attend a community college or a nonselective four-year college than they would pay to attend harvard, yale, or princeton. so that's really not the explanation. those very selective colleges
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are less expensive for them. >> brown: in brief, what is the explanation? why don't they reach out? >> well, the colleges are reaching out-- >> brown: no, i mean the students. >> oh, the student. >> brown: why don't the students know? >> we think-- we hypothesize the reason the students don't know is that the low-income, high-achieving students who do not apply to selective colleges and universities are fairly isolated. that doesn't mean that they're rural. but that they're one of the only two or three very high-achieving student in their high school. we might be talking about just an ordinary high school in a working class kind of neighborhood. it doesn't have that many students qualified to go to a princeton or harvard or yale. and the counselor is not particularly expert 99ing what colleges are out there. maybe the high school counselor says to the student t,un, you really ought to go to college. i think you ought to go to a good college, but the high school counselor doesn't have
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the time or expertise to be able to help the student sort out the full rage of colleges and the financial aid opportunities out there. >> brown: michelle minter, from your standpoint at one of the very elite schools, i guess, why do you not know? why do you not than all these more students are out there if there are that many who are eligible and qualified? >> yeah. our admissions office tries very hard to reach anyone we can reach to let them know that princeton would be a good place for them, and we offer very, very generous financial aid. as caroline has said, we can make princeton affordable for any student. the challenge often is that low-income students don't take the s.a.t. or th a.c.t., the or advanced laiment test until late in their high school career, often their senior year, and that's a very late point for us to be able to reach them. we can send some mailings.
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we can try and use e-mail. but a lot of what really matters for low-income student if they're going to leave the community they're from, if they're going to go outside of their comfort zone, is they need a lot of personal contact, and it's very hard to do that on short notice or to get admissions officers out to student who are relativelyite icealated in their high schools in person. we do the best we can, but it can be very difficult to just figure out where they are. >> brown: i don't know how much you've had a chance to look at your sister's study here, but what do you do now? mao do you-- how big a problem is it for you? and how do you do a better job of reaching-- of reaching-- reaching out more? >> we don't think it's a problem. we think it's a tremendous opportunity. we already had a trustee committee chaired by our president shirley tillman, looking at how we did outreach to low-income students and trying to figure out if there really were more out there. it was exactly what caroline was saying, that there was some
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concern we really were tapping out the whole pool. this data is remarkable because it tells us that we are not tapping out the whole pool, that there are lots of low-income students who could achieve at the level of princeton other and selective clnlz. so we're very excited about that. we think it creates an opportunity for us. the challenge then is to figure out how we do the outreach so that we can actually get to those student. that's stilt logistical challenge. >> brown: caroline it may be an opportunity going forward, but it seems like a problem right now, right? we talk a lot about on this program about divisions in the country, economic, educational, social-- you're showing that part of that-- part of that division, right? >> yes. i think there is-- let me say sort of the positive version the way i look at this. the first is the colleges and universities are already very successful in recarruth low-income, high-achieving students from some high schools.
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so any high school that they have found that in the past has had a number of high-achieving low-income student, they are there every year, and they are very successful at get, those students to apply to very selective colleges and universities, and once they apply they give them generous financial aid, those students actually enroll and they do very well. they graduate at very high graduation rate and they get good grades. in some sense, where the students they have found, they have already had enormous success. i think we are dealing here with intelligent students. and i think the probability that we are not going to be able to get them to be informed enough to make college application decisions, of that are more-- that are just more information driven so that they realize their full range of opportunities is small. i think we will be able to get over this hurdle. this is a little hurdle. i think what people had thought was that kids from low-income
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backgrounds just couldn't ever make it into the ranks of the high achievers, and that would be a huge hurdle to overcome. if you think i need to change all of their circumstances in order to get a low-income student to be prepared to study at a place like princeton, then, of course, that's enormous. here we're talking about a small hurdle. we have these students out there. it's an amazing opportunity for the united states to increase intergenerational mobility, to increase income mobility, to expand the number of communities and neighborhoods who know about educational opportunity in the united states if we can make contact with these students, which should not be that difficult. >> brown: let me ask you finally michelle, we are going to be looking at a lot of this issue, later on with the supreme court looking at some of these things in a big case, i just wonder from your perspective at princeton, do you define pribs ton's and other school's roles in making sure there is a
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diversity of lower-income, in particular, students, and less divisions within society. >> we think that's one of the most important parts of our mission. we want to have a socioeconomically diverse student body. we don't know we're doing our job if weep don't do that. that's why we have put in place such generous financial aid. that was the first barrier we perceived. we are failing at the elite colleges if we don't create social mobility. that's one of our biggest responsibilities. so we're very excited about the opportunity to do more here, and we think we have an important role to play. >> brown: mishent minter, caroline hoxby, smu both very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> suarez: finally tonight, an online spat that's causing havoc around the world wide web. hari sreenivasan has the story. >> sreenivasan: one company fights spam; the other is said
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to be behind sending those pesky e-mails. a dispute between the two has led to one of the largest reported cyber attacks in internet history. the result: widespread congestion that's slowing access for millions of users to sites like netflix. nicole perlroth has been covering the story for the "new york times" and joins me now. thank for being with us. >> thanks for having me. >> suarez: let's set the table here. what is happening in this particular seeber attack? >> it's very technical, but essentially, what happened was this group that sends out a black lest of spammers to e-mail providers so they can block the spammers blocked a group called cyber bunkers, which hosts web sites anonymously. they say they'll host anything with the exception of child pornography and terrorists. shortly after this happened, you saw spam house, this volunteer anti-spam griewrng get hit with what are called denial of service attacks, where an attacker will just flood a site
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with data requests until it collapses under the load. spam house enlisted another company here in silicon valley called cloud flare that mitigates against these types of attacks. what the attackers did then has since almost slowed-- not almost, it has slowed internet connections and brought up error messages for hundreds of millions of internet users arounded world. the way they were able to do this was very technical, but essentially they were able to exploit some of the best and worst elements of the internet. the internet by default is set up in a way that it's open and loosely regulated, but it runs on servers that accept data requests from everywhere. and what the attackers did was they essentially pretended to be this group, spam house, and sent millions of data requests to servers all over the world that then amplified them and sent that traffic back to the victim-- in this case sam
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spouse, cloud player, the company trying tow help it dispoo even some of the internet services that helped cloud player. in the process they consumed huge amounts of bandwidth and resources from users all over the globe and as a result you saw internet connections slow for hundreds of millions of people around the world. >> sreenivasan: we have heard about these denial of service attacks, especially from one government to another. is this bigger? >> it is bigger. so starting last september we've been covering attacks that government officials say are coming from iran, although we don't know this for sure yet, aimed at american banks. and they've intermittently taken american banks off line, starting last september. the amount of traffic that we've seen in the last couple of weeks that has escalated from this war between these two companies is what internet security special ichts say is five times bigger in strength than some of the attack traffic that was hitting
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those banks. now, just for some added context here. the attack traffic that was hitting those banks is almost 12 times more powerful than the amount of traffic that russia directed at a similar attack on estonia in 2007, which almost crippled estonia. so when you look at it in that context, this is a very large attack, of. intersecurity folks are saying this is the largest such attack of its kind that we've ever seen on the international. >> sreenivasan: so if this is some sort of gang war between these two companies why are we all getting caught in the cross-fire? >> that's right. they've been able to exploit serves, or around the world that are designed to accept data requests from anywhere, and partly because they've been set up in such a way to accept data requests there anywhere, you can't just easily shut them down. i mean, they're directing this traffic, three million servers around the globe, and if you shut downtown servers, you would
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effectively halt the internet. one of the problems here is those serverses have been configured to accept traffic from anywhere except filtering them to see if the traffic is legitimate and that problem is called open resolvers. this has been a problem that has been well known in the internet security community since at least the year 2000, when a bunch of internet security specialists got together and put together a document of best practices on how to solve this member. the problem is that companies, and even people at home, aren't checking their systems properly to make sure that traffic leaving their systems is actually coming from them instead of someone else spoofing their system which is what the attackers were doing in this case. >> sreenivasan: very briefly i want to ask is there anything we can do about this? >> there is. it's just going to take a while. like i said, it's a problem that we've known about since 2000, and, unfortunately, you know, it's going to take a lot of
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wairns for people to realize just having their systems open like this and not configuring them properly can cause an attack of this magnitude. so hopefully we're drawing awareness to it, but it is one of the first times we've seen how this could be exploited. >> sreenivasan: another nicole perlroth of the "new york times," thank you. >> thank you. >> woodruff: again, the other major developments of the day: it was day two for gay marriage at the supreme court. at issue: whether legally married same-sex couples can be denied federal benefits. julia pierson was sworn in as the first woman to lead the u.s. secret service. the agency was rocked by a prostitution scandal last year. >> suarez: and that's the "newshour" for tonight. on thursday, we'll look at a seattle program that brings babies into classrooms to teach compassion and stem bullying. i'm ray suarez. >> woodruff: and i'm judy woodruff. we'll see you online and again here tomorrow evening. thank you and good night.
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>> this is "nightly business report." >> paying a premium, a new study said that insurance companies will pay out more for claims
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under obamacare, what will that mean for you? >> oh, so close, the s&p 500 cannot close the deal and sits just over two points from an all-time high. >> and a collections mess, why the government system to collect delinquent student loans is causing headaches for borrows and taxpayers. it was asleepy day in the stock market today but not so for health care companies. >> you could say that health care stocks got a shot in the arm today, shares were snapped up in reaction to a study saying that some americans will pay higher insurance premiums under the president's health care overhaul. it means higher payouts for medical claims. as much as 32% and possibly loftyer premiums for those who
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buy individual policies. hampton pierson has more. >> reporter: while millions americans will have health insurance for the first times, claims costs will go up, mainly because more of the newly covered will be sick people who tend to use more insurance. and when insurance pays more, premiums go up. >> we know that they track the cost of medical care. as the costs increase, premiums go up. as a result of the health care reform law, there's new taxes and benefits being added to policies. >> reporter: the obama white house is widely criticizing an insurance funded study. saying it does not give a full picture of the taxpayer benefits that are built into the affordable care act. the reason it was put in place was to ensure that we were


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