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Picks of the Week: Uncle Ted's Road, Gifted Programs and Lending Protections

POSTED: 07:31 PM ET, 10/31/2008 by Derek Kravitz

Each week, the editors at The Post's Investigations blog comb through in-depth and investigative reports from news outlets across the country and select notable projects of the week.

This week's top picks:

Policy To Equalize Gifted Classes Backfires in New York

Enrollment in New York City public school gifted programs has dropped by half this year, The New York Times found, after a new policy enacted to equalize access backfired.

The Times' Elissa Gootman and Robert Gebeloff found that 28 schools lacked enough students to open planned gifted classes and 13 others opened classes this year with fewer than a dozen children in their programs.

"The policy, which based admission on a citywide cutoff score on two standardized tests, also failed to diversify the historically coveted classes," the analysis found.

Stevens Pushed Through Road Project For Friend

Sen. Ted Stevens, the Alaska Republican recently convicted of lying on his Senate financial disclosure forms about gifts and home renovations he received from a wealthy oil executive, allegedly helped out a friend on a pricey road project in the town of Girdwood, according to The Associated Press.

A $2.7 million project championed by Stevens paved Crow Creek Road, which stretches less than a mile and runs straight to the Double Musky Inn, a Cajun bistro run by Stevens's close friend, Bob Persons.

The Associated Press' Garance Burke and Adam Goldman found government e-mails and conducted interviews suggesting that despite higher transportation priorities, Stevens moved the Crow Creek Road project to the front of the line.

Bush And Congress Sided With Free Marketers Before Crisis

The Bush administration and members of Congress sided with lending-industry lobbyists and free marketers who "hotly and successfully opposed blanket liability for Wall Street firms selling mortgage-backed securities," stoking the current financial crisis, according to an analysis by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer based on congressional testimony, other records and interviews.

One of the lawmakers who "stood out in his opposition to assignee liability" for mortgages was then-Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), the once-powerful chairman of a subcommittee focusing on home financing who later went to prison for political corruption in the Abramoff scandal, the Post-Intelligencer's Eric Nalder reports.

By Derek Kravitz |  October 31, 2008; 7:31 PM ET Top Picks
Previous: As Election Day Nears, Voting Questions Abound | Next: Election Coverage, Nevada Gov. Cleared, Judge Demands Wiretap Memos

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