Here is your Morning Brief for the morning of July 31, 2012. Give us your feedback below and tune in to Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty for these and many more topics from 6-9 am.

1. Runoff Election Day

Well election day in the primary runoffs is finally here and that means thousands of Texans will head to the polls today to cast ballots. The big race is on the Republican side with Ted Cruz and Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst battling to become the next U.S. Senator. Polls show Cruz leading Dewhurst, but what really matters is who gets their people out to vote.

There are other races as well, and the AP has a list of 5 things you should watch for. You can see the list here.

Be sure to be informed and then go vote.

Who do you think will win between Ted Cruz and David Dewhurst?

2. Obama to Evaluate Ammo Bill (link)

After the shooting in Aurora, Colorado the President is evaluating a bill that would ban online ammunition sales.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said Monday that President Obama will "evaluate" a new bill that would ban online ammunition sales in the wake of the shooting massacre in Aurora, Colo. That left 12 dead and dozens more injured.

During the daily press briefing, Mr. Earnest was asked whether Mr. Obama supports the measure, which aims to end sales of unlimited amounts of ammunition on the Internet and other mail orders. The bill also would force ammunition dealers to report large sales of bullets and other munitions to law enforcement authorities.


3. Have Race Relations Improved? (link)

The AP decided to take a look at the Obama Presidency and the effect it's had on race relations here in the United States. The story is full of people's thoughts and Gallup polls that show at first people thought race relations would improve.

This April, in a poll by the National Journal and the University of Phoenix, 33 percent felt race relations were getting better, 23 percent said they were getting worse, and 42 percent said they were staying about the same.

So where are we now?

Four years after Obama smashed the nation's highest racial barrier, and less than four months before America will decide whether he deserves a second term, the nation is uncertain about the meaning of a black president.

Recently, Obama was asked in a Rolling Stone magazine interview if race relations were any different than when he took office.

"I never bought into the notion," Obama said, "that by electing me, somehow we were entering into a postracial period."

Obama will never do anything to improve race relations in this country. His Justice Department and even the rhetoric out of the White House are proof of that. Will race relations in this country improve? Sure. But only because we want it to. The President really has no control over it.

4. Design Flaw Possible in Tests (link)

When it comes to measuring how much a student learned in the classroom, standardized testing may not be the answer we have been looking for. According to the Texas Tribune:

Now, in studies that threaten to shake the foundation of high-stakes test-based accountability, Stroup and two other researchers said they believe they have found the reason: a glitch embedded in the DNA of the state exams that, as a result of a statistical method used to assemble them, suggests they are virtually useless at measuring the effects of classroom instruction.

Pearson, which has a five-year, $468 million contract to create the state’s tests through 2015, uses “item response theory” to devise standardized exams, as other testing companies do. Using IRT, developers select questions based on a model that correlates students’ ability with the probability that they will get a question right.

That produces a test that Stroup said is more sensitive to how it ranks students than to measuring what they have learned. Such a design flaw could also explain why Richardson students’ scores on the previous year’s TAKS test were a better predictor of performance on the next year’s TAKS test than the benchmark exams were, he said. The benchmark exams were developed by the district, the TAKS by the testing company.


Other Top Stories:

Dems Put Gay Marriage as Part of Platform

Bloomberg Pushing New Mom's to Breastfeed

Senate Runoff Spending Topped $45 Million

These and many more topics coming up on today’s edition of Lubbock’s First News with Chad Hasty. Tune in mornings 6-9am on News/Talk 790 KFYO, streaming online at, and now on your iPhone and Android device with the radioPup App. All guest interviews can be heard online in our podcast section after the show at