This qualifies as good news but it’s hardly a surprise — Stanton made another top high school list.

 

Stanton College Prep annually produces some of the best students in the nation.

It is as impressive as it is predictable.

The emphasis on excellence paired with a supportive culture is what sets Stanton apart.

Stanton was among the top 50 public high schools in the nation in a list compiled by U.S. News &World Report.

Students were ranked based on their performance on state tests and how well they prepare students for college. And remember that many other high schools have smaller student populations or more selective enrollment policies.

Stanton continues to be one of the shining stars in the Duval County public schools system.

SOLAR IN JAX

It has been mystifying that the state of Florida has not done more to provide incentives for solar energy.

Nevertheless, despite the general lack of incentives, JEA has been a leader in installing industrial-scale solar units.

In fact, Jacksonville has been ranked in the top 20 cities in the nation for solar power, according to a report from Frontier Group and Environment America. Jacksonville ranks No. 19.

This is thanks in large part to JEA’s solar energy farms. JEA generates enough solar energy to power 1,450 households.

Many of the cities on this list come from desert regions in the West. However, Indianapolis ranks No. 6, which shows there is room for Jacksonville to do more.

And once battery technology improves solar will really take off in small scale applications.

government can operate efficiently

Most Americans would agree that it’s a basic role of government to protect the public safety.

In fact, the Constitution states that one of the roles of the government is to provide for the “general welfare.”

So a federal agency that helps protect health by battling sources of dirty air, water and dangerous chemicals performs a valuable function.

In fact, a new study shows that the Environmental Protection Agency provides the best cost-benefit ratio among federal agencies.

The study by Jonathan Camuzeaux and Gernot Wagner shows that the EPA runs on a tight budget with just 2 cents for every $10 the federal government spends.

Here are some of the benefits for every dollar spent:

• EPA: $9.

• Labor: $3.88.

• Health and Human Services: $3.82.

• Justice: $3.25.

By helping keep air and water clean, the result is fewer hospitalizations, fewer missed work days, fewer premature deaths and birth defects.

In fact, over a 10-year period, EPA produces $376 billion in social benefits after subtracting the costs of the regulations.

MILITARY SEX ASSAULT DECLINES

A crackdown on sexual assault in all of its forms can be this generation’s gift to posterity. There can be no excuse for overlooking so many of these crimes.

And now for some good news:

The estimated number of incidents has declined in the military over the past 10 years, reports The Washington Post. A survey showed that the number of sexual assaults was 15,000 last year; it was 34,000 in 2006.

The survey was based on responses from more than 15,000 service members.

It’s also good news that victims are more likely to report incidents. Victims often had declined for fear of retaliation or that the report would be ignored.

The frequency in which a victim reports an attack was just 1 in 14 in 2006.

Today, it’s 1 in 3.

Shockingly, two-thirds of women still face some form of backlash for reporting sexual assault.

The military has led the way in many areas in society, such as integrating racial minorities and women into its ranks.

But there still is a long way to go to eliminate this criminal activity, not just in the military but on college campuses and in society generally.

There must be zero tolerance for sexual assault.

GOOD ECONOMY

Consumers are saying the economy looks like the best since before 9/11.

The gauge of consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan reflects improvement in consumer finances, the best reading since 2000.

Predictably, sentiment is divided along partisan lines, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Democrats expect a major recession while Republicans expect robust growth.

This partisan divide could be a self-fulfilling prophecy, however, by producing less robust growth, economists said.

Meanwhile, the global economy has been showing positive signs for seven months, reports the Economist.

LIFE SPANS

Probably the most important metric of all is life itself. And on that basis, things are improving for African-Americans as life expectancy has improved.

One example: The mortality gap between black and white Americans has been cut in half since 1999, reports the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in The Washington Post.

African-Americans have seen a 24 percent improvement in their death rate compared to 14 percent for whites.

In fact, blacks over 65 have a lower death rate than whites for heart disease, cancer and stroke.