The Buzz

TheChat: Kansas education chief pushes for higher graduation rates


Good morning.

▪ "Eight-six isn’t good enough." -- Kansas Education Commissioner Randy Watson to the Kansas State Board of Education on the state's high school graduation rate.

That means 14 percent of Kansas high school students eventually will have trouble making it into the middle class, Watson said. The state has to work with students and families to boost the rate, he said.

▪ "Strongly” recommend. -- how 74 percent of lawyers and 75 percent of judges feel about retaining Kansas Supreme Court justices Lawton Nuss, Marla Luckert, Carol Beier and Dan Biles.

The judge who fared the poorest: Justice Caleb Stegall, who was appointed in 2014 by Brownback. Just 39 percent of lawyers and 54 percent of judges indicated a strong preference for his retention.

▪ "I don't think we're going to get to that actually." -- Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster on whether Gov. Jay Nixon will have to serve as a public defender.

The head of the state's beleaguered public defender system has asked Nixon to take a case to demonstrate how cash-strapped the system is. But Koster is throwing cold water on that idea. (link courtesy of

▪ "He's a pathetic coward who can’t handle the fact that he’s losing to a girl." -- Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat, ripping Donald Trump's "death threat."

She also criticized Trump for sounding like a "two-bit dictator."