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Picks of the Week: Student No-Shows and South Ossetian War

POSTED: 06:35 PM ET, 11/ 7/2008 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:

Taxpayers Paying For Thousands of 'No-Show' Students

Millons of dollars are being spent each month to educate tens of thousands of high school students who rarely or never show up for class, part of a growing trend at certain charter schools, Scripps-Howard News Service reports.

Attendance is poor at these "dropout recovery" schools, designed to help students failing at traditional public schools, the analysis found, but most schools are run by for-profit corporations that are paid based on enrollment, not attendance.

The state of Ohio was hardest hit by the trend, the news service's investigation found. The state paid nearly $30 million for absent students at 47 schools for the 2006-07 school year.

Demand for the District's charter schools, which are publicly funded and independently operated, had been rising since 2001 until the national financial crisis effectively cooled growth this year.

Did Georgia Attack Russia First?

European observers tasked with monitoring August's Georgia-Russia war have cast doubt on Georgian claims that it was attacked first, The New York Times reported.

The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe conducted two private briefings to discuss what sparked the nine-day war between the two countries; The Times, after obtaining summaries of both meetings and confirming the findings with Western diplomats, found that Georgia's young and relatively inexperienced military attacked the South Ossetian capital of Tskhinvali on Aug. 7.

The brief days-long war was disastrous for Georgia, and Russian forces occupied the country for weeks afterward, straining relations with the United States.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 7, 2008; 6:35 PM ET Top Picks
Previous: Report: Georgia May Have Sparked War With Russia | Next: Cyber-Attacks Reported At White House, Campaigns

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