In the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton, N.J., John Saunders, a jury manager, spends his weekdays shepherding potential jurors. Much of what he tells them regards the paraphernalia of 21st century life: cellphones, tablets and laptops. These are OK to use in the waiting room, he tells them. "We realize life does not stop."
But in the courtroom, it's all phones off. Laptops and iPads stay with Saunders, and jurors are given a tag to reclaim their items. "Unlike the airport, when you return, your item will be there, and no baggage charge guaranteed," he says.
"Common Core" is one of the biggest phrases in education today. To many educators and policymakers, it's a big, exciting idea that will ensure that America's students have the tools to succeed after graduation.
But a growing number of conservatives see things differently.
For years, states used their own, state-specific standards to lay out what K-12 students should be learning, for everything from punctuation to algebra. But those standards varied wildly, so the Common Core replaces them with one set of national standards for math and English language arts.
That "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications?
It turns out it wasn't the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using.
There were also other lists, covering a "broad spectrum" of categories and cases, according to a preliminary IRS report released Monday.
"Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action to suspend the use of these lists in the Exempt Organizations unit within IRS," said Danny Werfel, the new acting chief of the IRS, in a conference call with reporters.