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No Child Left Behind scrapped, affirmative action challenged & more

Ashley Austrew is a freelance writer who loves tacos, Target and screen time. Her work has appeared on Scary Mommy, The Stir, Mommyish and more.

Rapid Reads: 6 Big stories of the day

It's almost the end of the week, but we aren't quite there yet. While you're waiting, catch up on the top stories everyone will be talking about:

1. Guilty ramblings

Robert Lewis Dear, the suspect in last month's Planned Parenthood shootings, had an outburst in court yesterday that basically cemented the fact that his alleged crime was one of domestic terrorism. More than 20 times during the hearing, Dear yelled out that he was guilty, "a warrior for babies" and that he did what he did to "protect the babies." Dear is accused of killing three people and injuring nine during a shooting at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. He faces 179 felony charges, including murder. Pro-life? Doesn't sound like it. — CNN

More: 10 Ways Planned Parenthood is about more than just abortions

2. Parents and teachers rejoice

Yesterday the Senate voted to overhaul No Child Left Behind. The education law was put into place during George W. Bush's presidency and was intended to raise academic standards across the board. Instead, it created a lot of standardized testing, placed insane demands on teachers and students and pretty much just pissed everyone off. The overhaul eliminates federal grades for schools and puts the power back into the hands of the states. It may not be the end of our education woes, but it's certainly a start. — Politico

3. This could be big

The Supreme Court is debating the constitutionality of affirmative action. The policy allows public colleges and universities to consider race in admissions as a means of bridging inequalities in access to education. A white woman sued the University of Texas in 2008, claiming she was rejected because she was white. The case made it to the Supreme Court, but they sent it back to the lower courts. Now, it's returned to their desks, and they've got a big decision to make. To go against affirmative action would be a huge reversal that would change the way many colleges and universities operate. — Los Angeles Times

More: Kerry Washington's speech on equality deserves all the applause (VIDEO)

4. Bad idea, y'all

Gun rights groups in Austin, Texas, are staging a "mock mass shooting" with cardboard guns, gun noises and fake blood, because turning tragedy and mass murder into a game is apparently a thing now. Organizers are calling it a "crisis performance event" and their aim is to show that "gun-free zones are killing us." The mock shooting was supposed to take place on the University of Texas campus — the location of the first-ever mass shooting on a college campus — but university officials said nope. The group is now moving the mock shooting to public ground "with UT as the backdrop." How lovely. — Huffington Post

5. A new way to procrastinate

A new version of Facebook called Facebook at Work is expected to launch in the coming months. The service will be geared toward workplace collaboration and will feature many of the same things regular Facebook offers — scrolling news feed, likes and Facebook chat — but users will have a professional profile that's entirely separate from their personal account. The service will be open to all companies once launched, and Facebook is even considering charging a small fee for users to access so-called premium features. One thing you may not like about it? You can't use it to play Candy Crush at work. Sorry to crush your dreams. — The New York Times

More: Social media clauses are the new marriage must

6. Three cheers for Merkel and this eagle

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was named Time magazine's Person Of The Year for her "steadfast leadership" during the debt crisis and for encouraging her country to accept thousands of Syrian refugees. You know who wasn't named person of the year? Donald Trump, and he threw a fit about it, of course. He tweeted "I told you so," apparently in reference to a theory he tweeted months ago about how Time's editors wouldn't put him at the top even though he deserved to be there. In response, Time released this never before seen photoshoot blooper of The Donald getting attacked by a bald eagle. That eagle, it must be said, is all of us. — The Hill

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