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Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang

Ben Wolfgang covers the White House for The Washington Times.

Before joining the Times in March 2011, Ben spent four years as a political reporter at the Republican-Herald in Pottsville, Pa.

He can be reached at bwolfgang@washingtontimes.com.

Articles by Ben Wolfgang

**FILE** President Obama speaks March 14, 2011, about revising the No Child Left Behind education law during an address at Kenmore Middle School in Arlington, Va. (Associated Press)

Record numbers fail to clear No Child bar

The numbers keep getting worse for the nation's education system. In the 2010-11 academic year, 48 percent of public schools — a record high — failed to meet the "adequate yearly progress" benchmarks established by the No Child Left Behind act, according to a new study by the Center on Education Policy, a nonpartisan think tank. Published December 15, 2011

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan delivers a speech during the Puerto Rico Education Summit in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Monday, Oct. 17, 2011. (AP Photo/Ricardo Arduengo)

More school hours don't guarantee better test scores

Students who spend more hours in the classroom aren't guaranteed higher test scores, and many nations that outpace the U.S. on standardized reading and math assessments keep their children in school for much less time, according to a report from the National School Boards Association. Published December 13, 2011

Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

NEA proposes criteria reform for teacher jobs

Performance, not seniority, would play the primary role in whether teachers keep their jobs under a broad reform plan released by the National Education Association last week. Published December 11, 2011

** FILE ** Dirt is moved over a water pipeline that will be used at a natural gas drilling site in Washington, Pa. Proponents of extracting natural gas from shale tout fracking as the key to satisfying the nation's booming energy appetite.  (Andrew S. Geraci/The Washington Times)

Bad water found at fracking site

Chemicals used to tap natural gas wells in the booming practice known as fracking may be responsible for groundwater contamination in a small town in Wyoming, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday. Published December 8, 2011

** FILE ** D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson (Barbara L. Salisbury/The Washington Times)

D.C. schools' test-score gap by race largest in U.S.

While students in other large urban school districts have made significant progress on standardized reading and math tests in recent years, achievement gaps between black and white students remain stubbornly high, with the most lopsided disparities of all coming in the nation's capital. Published December 7, 2011

Reid

Senate will hear compromise plan on payroll-tax cuts

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is set to offer a "compromise plan" Monday to extend payroll tax cuts now scheduled to expire at the end of the month, a fellow Democratic senator said on "Fox News Sunday." Published December 4, 2011

Former corporate executive Herman Cain greets the crowd Saturday at a campaign event in Atlanta, where he suspended his Republican presidential campaign. (Associated Press)

Cain's exit puts spotlight, target on Gingrich

With Herman Cain suspending his campaign over the weekend, the spotlight in the GOP presidential field is now focused squarely on Newt Gingrich, the former speaker of the House whose surprise front-runner status has made him the target of rivals and critics less than a month before the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses. Published December 4, 2011

Rep. Michele Bachmann

Bachmann woos Cain's former backers

With less than a month to go before the crucial Iowa caucuses, Republican presidential hopefuls hope to bolster their chances by picking up former supporters of Herman Cain, the former GOP front-runner who suspended his campaign Saturday. Published December 4, 2011

Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa maintained Wednesday that, despite the objections raised by Republicans and the trucking industry to the Obama administration's proposal to reduce the number of hours per day driven by truckers, it's possible to craft a rule that "creates jobs, protects American workers and saves money and lives." (Associated Press)

Business groups slam bid to trim truckers' hours

A proposed Obama administration rule to reduce the number of hours big-rig drivers can spend behind the wheel each day would hurt truckers while also driving up the cost of food, clothing and other products, industry leaders told a House subcommittee on Wednesday. Published November 30, 2011

Education Secretary Arne Duncan says "children who need more are getting less." A new report found inequitable Title 1 funding between poorer schools and wealthier ones. (Associated Press)

Poorer schools not getting fair share of funding

Loopholes in federal education law have allowed districts to funnel more state and local money to wealthy schools at the expense of their low-income counterparts, according to a new report released Wednesday by the Education Department. Published November 30, 2011

3 students from U.S. to be freed, Egypt court rules

Three young Americans held in Egypt since Sunday, including 19-year-old Georgetown University student Derrik Sweeney, are set to be released, and family and friends hope they're back in the U.S. within days. Published November 24, 2011

READY TO FIGHT: Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, says recent elections sent a message: "You cannot turn your back on the middle class." (Andrew Harnik/The Washington Times)

Teachers union leader says battle's just begun

The head of the nation's largest labor union says Republican efforts to restrain the power of unions has produced a middle-class backlash across the country that could cost Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and other GOP politicians their jobs. Published November 21, 2011

Republican Presidential hopeful Texas Rep. Ron Paul answers a question during a campaign event Friday, Nov. 18, 2011, at the Lawrence Community Center in Anamosa, Iowa. (AP Photo/The Gazette, Brian Ray)

Ron Paul: U.S. military bases create enemies

Despite his recent surge in the polls, presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul won't back away from controversial positions that have in the past caused pundits and many Republicans to dismiss him as an unelectable fringe candidate. Published November 20, 2011

NASA
"We need each other more than ever before," says NASA's Jim Green of the imperiled partnership with the European Space Agency.

Budgeting woes could derail U.S. role in space exploration

The days of U.S. leadership in space exploration could be coming to an end, as lawmakers expressed growing fears at a Capitol hearing Tuesday that the nation's fiscal mess could derail two highly anticipated Mars missions. Published November 15, 2011

China increases pace in foreign student contingent

More foreign students are studying at U.S. colleges and universities than ever before, as global competitors such as China export an increasing number of their young people for degrees. Published November 14, 2011

Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

Education chief says Penn State might have 'price to pay'

Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Monday said Penn State University will have "a price to pay" if a federal investigation concludes the school covered up allegations that former assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky sexually assaulted young boys on campus. Published November 14, 2011