Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Plight of Mixed Race Adolescents

"Over the past 40 years the fraction of mixed race black-white births has increased nearly nine-fold. There is little empirical evidence on how these children fare relative to their single-race counterparts. This paper describes basic facts about the plight of mixed race individuals during their adolescence and early adulthood. As one might expect, on a host of background and achievement characteristics, mixed race adolescents fall in between whites and blacks. When it comes to engaging in risky/anti-social adolescent behavior, however, mixed race adolescents are stark outliers compared to both blacks and whites. We argue that these behavioral patterns are most consistent with the "marginal man" hypothesis, which we formalize as a two-sector Roy model. Mixed race adolescents -- not having a natural peer group -- need to engage in more risky behaviors to be accepted. All other models we considered can explain neither why mixed race adolescents are outliers on risky behaviors nor why these behaviors are not strongly influenced by the racial composition at their school." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

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Descriptive Summary of 2003-04 Beginning Postsecondary Students: Three Years Later

"Using data from the 2004/06 Beginning Postsecondary Students Longitudinal Study (BPS:04/06), this report provides a description of the characteristics and enrollment patterns of a nationally representative sample of students who began postsecondary education for the first time during the 2003-04 academic year. The report describes the background, academic preparation, and experience of these beginning students over 3 academic years, from July 2003 to June 2006, and provides information about their rates of persistence, program completion, transfer, and attrition. The focus is on differences among students beginning at either 4-year, 2-year, or less-than-2-year institutions. Some highlights: Most of the first-time students who began at 4-year institutions in 2003-04 were age 19 or younger (85 percent) compared to 54 percent of students who began at 2-year institutions and 32 percent who began at less-than-2-year institutions. Among those under age 24 who began at a 4-year institution, nearly all (94 percent) had taken algebra II or higher mathematics courses in high school, and about one-fourth had taken calculus. Of students who began at a 4-year institution, about one-half had a high school GPA of 3.5 or higher, and about one-fourth had earned credit for courses taken at a college while still in high school. Eighteen percent of the students who began at a 4-year institution in 2003-04 transferred from the institution where they had started." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Europe's Role in Nation-Building

"This volume presents six case studies of recent European-led nation-building missions: Albania, Sierra Leone, Macedonia, Côte d'Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Bosnia. It also reviews the Australian assistance mission to the Solomon Islands. Using quantitative and qualitative measures to compare inputs (such military levels, economic assistance and duration) and outcomes (such as levels of security, economic growth, refugee return, and democracy), the analysis concludes that these European-led missions have been competently managed and, within their sometimes quite limited scope, generally successful. Most helped achieve sustained peace, gross domestic product growth, and representative government." Source: RAND Corporation

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary School Districts

"This brief publication contains data on revenues and expenditures per pupil made by school districts for school year 2005-06. Median per pupil revenue and expenditure data are reported by state, as well as values at the 5th and 95th percentiles. Data for charter schools are reported separately. There are also discussions on the different types of school districts, and other resources that may be helpful in analyzing school district level data. Revenues and expenditures for the 100 largest school districts are included, as well as federal revenues by program. For total revenues and expenditures for public education made by states and the nation, readers should refer to the state-level "Revenues and Expenditures for Public Elementary and Secondary Education: School Year 2005-06" (NCES 2008-328) Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Monday, July 28, 2008

Will Employers Want Aging Boomers?

"Boomers will probably want to work longer than earlier cohorts, but their continued work requires that employers hire and retain them. Employers value older workers for their maturity, experience and work ethic, but worry about out of date skills and high costs. Slower overall labor supply growth will increase demand for older workers and occupations with higher shares of older workers will increase modestly as a share of all jobs. Future jobs will require less physical demands and more cognitive and interpersonal skills, trends that favor educated older workers, but job opportunities for less educated older workers may remain limited." Source: Urban Institute

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"The Beige Book" by the Federal Reserve Board

Reports from the twelve Federal Reserve Districts suggest that the pace of economic activity slowed somewhat since the last report. Five eastern Districts noted a weakening or softening in their overall economies, while Chicago characterized its economy as sluggish and Kansas City noted a moderation in growth. St. Louis said activity was stable and San Francisco reported little or no growth. Cleveland and Minneapolis reported slight increases in economic activity, while Dallas described growth as steady and moderate.

Consumer spending was reported as sluggish or slowing in nearly all Districts, although tax rebate checks boosted sales for some items. Tourist activity was mixed, with residents in several Districts choosing to vacation closer to home due to high gasoline prices. The demand for services was also mixed across Districts, with strength in the IT and health care industries offsetting some weakness in other service sectors. Manufacturing activity declined in many Districts, although demand for exports remained generally high. Residential real estate markets declined or were still weak across most of the country. Commercial real estate activity also slowed or remained sluggish in a majority of Districts, although a few Districts noted slight improvement. In banking, loan growth was generally reported to be restrained, with residential real estate lending and consumer lending showing more weakness than commercial lending. Districts reporting on agricultural activity said conditions were mixed, based largely on how June precipitation affected them. Districts reporting on the energy sector said it continued to strengthen.

Source: U.S. Federal Reserve

Link to full online report | Link to Summary

Differential Response to Reports of Child Abuse and Neglect

During the past several decades, child protective services (CPS) agencies have been challenged by large volumes of child abuse and neglect reports, growing caseloads involving increasingly complex problems, and limited resources (U.S. General Accounting Office, 1997; Shusterman, Hollinshead, Fluke, & Yuan, 2005). At the same time, there has been growing recognition that "one size does not fit all" in responding to child maltreatment reports. As a result, State and local CPS agencies have introduced significant reforms to child protection systems. One such reform is differential response, in which CPS agencies offer both traditional investigations and assessment alternatives to families reported for child abuse and neglect, depending on the severity of the allegation and other considerations. Source: Child Welfare Information Agency

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What’s Behind the Global Food Crisis?

How Trade Policy Undermined Africa’s Food Self-Sufficiency

"The 2008 global food crisis is compromising the survival of 860 million undernourished people and threatens to push a hundred million people into extreme poverty, erasing all of the gains made in eradicating poverty in the last decade. Record high prices have put food out of reach for the poorest people in the developing world, many of whom already spend more than half their income on food. Growing food insecurity is undermining tenuous civil stability in at least 33 countries, about one sixth of United Nations member countries." Source: Food and Water Watch

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The New Arab Diplomacy: Not With the U.S. and Not Against the U.S.

"Arab countries are undertaking diplomatic initiatives that clearly contradict U.S. policy, because they no longer trust the U.S. capacity to contend with escalating regional crises. Even Arab countries traditionally aligned with the United States are no longer willing to follow Washington’s lead on policies toward Iran, Lebanon, or Hamas, concludes a new paper from the Carnegie Middle East Program." Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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The Least Developed Countries Report, 2008

Growth, Poverty and the Terms of Development Partnership

"Least developed countries are achieving record rates of economic expansion, but growth is failing to trickle down into significantly improved well-being for the majority of their population. The Least Developed Countries Report 2008 argues that this results from the type of economic growth and development strategy that these countries are following. In order to decisively reduce material deprivation and embark on economic and social development, LDCs need to adopt new types of development strategies that are nationally formulated and owned. One of the elements of this change is to adopt management policies for the official development aid they receive." Source: United Nations Conference on Trade and Development

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Democrats Highly Critical of New Yorker Cover, Republicans Say It Was Okay

"As Barack Obama prepared for a major international trip last week, a controversial magazine cover here at home drew more public attention. Fully four-in-ten Americans heard a lot about a satirical cartoon on the cover of the New Yorker ma showing Obama and his wife in the Oval Office – the candidate dressed as a Muslim and his wife holding a machine gun. A quarter of the public heard a little about the magazine cover and only 33% heard nothing at all about it." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

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2008 National Survey of Latinos: Hispanic Voter Attitudes

"Hispanic registered voters support Democrat Barack Obama for president over Republican John McCain by 66% to 23%, according to a nationwide survey of 2,015 Latinos conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, from June 9 through July 13, 2008.

The presumptive Democratic nominee's strong showing in this survey represents a sharp reversal in his fortunes from the primaries, when Obama lost the Latino vote to Hillary Rodham Clinton by a nearly two-to-one ratio, giving rise to speculation in some quarters that Hispanics were disinclined to vote for a black candidate.

But in this new survey, three times as many respondents said being black would help Obama (32%) with Latino voters than said it would hurt him (11%); the majority (53%) said his race would make no difference to Latino voters."

Source: Pew Hispanic Center

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Career and Technical Education in the United States: 1990–2005

"This report is the fourth in a series of volumes published periodically by NCES to describe the condition of vocational education (now called “career and technical education” or CTE) in the United States. Based on data from 11 NCES surveys, the report describes CTE providers, offerings, participants, faculty, and associated outcomes, focusing on secondary, postsecondary, and adult education. Findings indicate that against a backdrop of increasing academic coursetaking in high school, no measurable changes were detected between 1990 and 2005 in the number of CTE credits earned by public high school graduates. At the postsecondary level, the number of credential-seeking undergraduates majoring in career fields increased by about one-half million students, although they made up a smaller portion of undergraduates in 2004 compared with 1990. At both the secondary and postsecondary education levels, student participation increased in health care and computer science and decreased in business between 1990 and the mid-2000s." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Media Metrics: The True State of the Modern Media Marketplace

from Press Release "Debates about the state of the media marketplace continue to rage in Washington. Many policymakers, regulators, and consumer groups bemoan the supposed lack of "localism," ownership concentration and an absence of quality programming as a rationale to further regulate in the media sector. But these sentiments do not represent an accurate portrayal of today's media marketplace according to a new Progress & Freedom Foundation Special Report by Senior Fellow Adam Thierer and Research Associate Grant Eskelsen." Source: the Progress and Freedom Foundation

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Disaster Preparedness in Urban Immigrant Communities

The study examines selected Latino and Asian immigrant communities in Southern California for disaster education and response preparations in order to improve disaster awareness among immigrant community members and to help emergency response personnel better serve limited English speaking populations.

Key findings in the report include:
• A lack of disaster preparedness materials in languages other than English that reflect the demographics of the service populations.
• A shortage of bilingual staff and volunteers among emergency response crews and nonprofits that typically do outreach during emergencies.
• That ethnic media outlets are underutilized as important tools for communication with
immigrant and limited English speaking communities.
• Concern that members of the immigrant community will not come forward for assistance for fear that their status will come into question.

Source: Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

Download full pdf report | Link to the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute

The Future of Social Enterprise

"This paper considers the confluence of forces that is shaping the field of social enterprise, changing the way that funders, practitioners, scholars, and organizations measure performance. The authors trace a growing pool of potential funding sources to solve social problems, much of it stemming from an intergenerational transfer of wealth and new wealth from financial and high-tech entrepreneurs. They further examine how these organizations can best access the untapped resources by demonstrating mission performance, and then propose three potential scenarios, outlined below, for how this sector might evolve." Source: Harvard Business School Working Paper Number: 08-103

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Births, Marriages, Divorces, and Deaths: Provisional Data for 2007

"Data shown here are provisional and include only events occurring within the United States (50 states and the District of Columbia). Provisional birth, death, and infant death data in this report are based on a combination of counts of events provided by each reporting area and registered vital events processed into National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) data files. Some of these may not have occurred in the specified month of this report. Monthly provisional birth, death, and infant death data may be updated during the course of a data year. Updates based on registered events will be included in the month the event occurred. However, updates based on counts received from the states may include the event in the month it was processed rather than the month in which it occurred. This may result in a low figure for a given month followed by a high figure for the month(s) in which the delayed records were processed. Once the provisional data year has ended, updates cease. Thus, provisional birth, death, and infant death data may not accurately track either the preliminary or the final number of events registered." Source: Center for Disease Control

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18- to 29-year-olds more likely to be liberal and less likely to follow presidential campaign very closely

"Young adults 18 to 29 years of age are more likely to describe themselves as liberal in comparison to other age groups, according to recent data collected by the Annenberg Public Policy Center’s National Annenberg Election Survey. Thirty-four percent of 18- to 29-year-olds called themselves “liberal” or “very liberal,” while only 27 percent of 30- to 44-year-olds, 25 percent of 45- to 64-year-olds, and 18 percent of those 65 years and older described themselves the same way." Source: Annenberg Public Policy Center

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Antibacterial Agent No Better Than Soap & Water – and It’s Toxic

Pesticide in Toothpaste, Shower Curtains, Cutting Boards

"Triclosan is an antibacterial agent used in many everyday products including liquid hand soap, dishwashing detergent, mattresses, shower curtains, bathtubs, and cutting boards. Federal agencies continue to allow its use despite the fact it may be toxic to the developing fetus and child, and pollutes mothers’ breast milk.

For a study released today, Environmental Working Group (EWG) scientists dug through industry documents, independent studies, and government data, and found no evidence that triclosan’s widespread use gives consumers the increased germ-killing benefits the products promise. Still, it is touted by leading brands like Softsoap, Dial, and Bath & Body Works, and listed on the labels of almost half of 259 hand soaps." Source: Environmental Wroking Group

Link to online Summary
| Link to full online report

Low Academic Competence in First Grade as a Risk Factor for Depressive Cognitions and Symptoms in Middle School

Black first-graders – especially girls – who are already performing poorly in school are at risk of being depressed by the time they reach junior high, according to an analysis of hundreds of African-American students in Baltimore. Therefore, researchers say, focusing early on what such youngsters are doing well may help build self-esteem and guard against a downward spiral.

The study's findings are in the July issue of the Journal of Counseling Psychology, which is published by the American Psychological Association. This is the first time psychologists have examined the link between academic performance and depressive cognitions for African-American children living in an urban setting. The study's lead author Keith Herman, PhD, says his findings are similar to previous studies findings on white children and children from other ethnic backgrounds. Source: American Psychological Association

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Stem Cell Research: At the Crossroads of Religion and Politics

Embryonic stem cell research, which uses special cells found in three- to five-day-old human embryos to seek cures for a host of chronic diseases, has sparked a major moral and political debate in the United States. In the 10 years since University of Wisconsin scientists announced they had harvested potentially life-saving cells from surplus embryos donated by fertility clinics, the ethical dilemma presented by the studies has absorbed activists on both sides of the issue and has risen to the top of state and federal political agendas. Source: Pew Research

Link to online Report

Candidates' Policy Positions Still Not Widely Known

While Barack Obama has been the dominant figure in the presidential campaign, both in press coverage and public visibility, most Americans say they do not know very much about his policy positions. Only 40% say they know a lot or a fair amount about his positions on foreign policy; 59% say they know just some or very little.

Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf report | Link to topline questionnaire | Link to online summary

Fannie Mae's and Freddie Mac's Financial Problems: Frequently Asked Questions

Recent turmoil in the housing and financial markets have caused concern over the future of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which are chartered by Congress as governmentsponsored enterprises (GSEs) and are widely believed to have an implicit guarantee from the federal government. Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulsen, Jr. has proposed legislation to increase the two GSEs' line of credit with Treasury from its current $2.25 billion each to an unspecified higher amount and to allow Treasury to purchase stock from Fannie and Freddie. The Federal Reserve has taken actions to allow Fannie and Freddie to borrow directly from the Fed. The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) -- the GSEs safety and soundness regulator -- has repeated assurances that Fannie and Freddie have adequate capital, but as highly leveraged financial intermediaries Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have limited resources against losses. This report will be updated as warranted. Source: Congressional Research Services
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On the relationship between the structural and socioacademic communities of an interdisciplinary coauthorship network

This article presents a study that compares detected structural communities in a coauthorship network to the socioacademic characteristics of the scholars that compose the network. The coauthorship network was created from the bibliographic record of an overt interdisciplinary research group focused on sensor networks and wireless communication. The popular leading eigenvector community detection algorithm was employed to assign a structural community to each scholar in the network. Socioacademic characteristics were gathered from the scholars and include such information as their academic department, academic affiliation, country of origin, and academic position. A Pearson's \$\chi^2\$ test, with a simulated Monte Carlo, revealed that structural communities best represent groupings of individuals working in the same academic department and at the same institution. A generalization of this result indicates that, contrary to the common conception of a multi-institutional interdisciplinary research group, collaboration is primarily driven by scholar expertise and physical proximity.

Source: Center for Embedded Network Sensing. Papers. Paper 2223.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Speech Patterns and Racial Wage Inequality

"Speech patterns differ substantially between whites and African Americans. I collect and analyze data on speech patterns to understand the role they may play in explaining racial wage differences. Among blacks, speech patterns are highly correlated with measures of skill such as schooling and ASVAB scores. They are also highly correlated with the wages of young workers. Black speakers whose voices were distinctly identified as black by anonymous listeners earn about 10 percent less than whites with similar observable skills. Indistinctly identified blacks earn about 2 percent less than comparable whites. I discuss a number of models that may be consistent with these results and describe the data that one would need to distinguish among them." Jeffrey Grogger Irving B. Harris School of Public Policy Studies, University of Chicago

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The Impact of the Housing Crash on Family Wealth

The study, “The Impact of the Housing Crash on Family Wealth,” analyzed the wealth holdings of families in all age cohorts in 2004 and projected the wealth of these families in 2009. The findings are presented by income quintile under three scenarios- real house prices remain at current levels, real house prices fall by an additional 10 percent, or real house prices fall by an additional 20 percent. In all three scenarios, the vast majority of these families will have little or no housing wealth in 2009. Source: Center for Economic and Policy Research

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The State of Africa’s Children 2008

"The State of Africa’s Children 2008 is a regional edition of UNICEF’s The State of the World’s Children 2008 report. Complementary to the global report, it examines the state of child survival in Africa and highlights the need to position child health at the heart of the region’s development and human rights agenda. It also outlines possible solutions – programmes, policies and partnerships – to accelerate progress towards meeting the Millennium Development Goals." Source: UNICEF

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Friday, July 11, 2008

China’s Economic Rise—Fact and Fiction

In China’s Economic Rise—Fact and Fiction, Keidel examines China’s likely economic trajectory and its implications for global commercial, institutional, and military leadership.

Key Conclusions:

Potential stumbling blocks to sustained Chinese growth—export concerns, domestic economic instability, inequality and poverty, pollution, social unrest, or even corruption and slow political reform—are unlikely to undermine China’s long-term success.

China’s financial system, rather than a shortcoming that compromises growth potential, is one of the strengths of what the report calls “China’s money-making machine,” in part because of its ability to support the financing of infrastructure and other public investments necessary for sustained rapid growth.

A Chinese economy that eclipses the U.S. by midcentury has both commercial and potential military implications. China will be the preeminent world commercial influence. China’s military capabilities are a small fraction of the United States’ today, so there is time to prepare for a very different world in fifty years, says the report.

American policy makers should take this opportunity to enact wide-ranging domestic reforms and rethink their concepts of global order.
Source: Carnegie Endowment for International Peace

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A Replication Study of Alan Blinder’s “How Many U.S. Jobs Might Be Offshorable?”

"In a 2007 working paper, Alan Blinder assessed the “offshorability” of hundreds of U.S. occupations and estimated that between 22% and 29% of all U.S. jobs were potentially offshorable. This note reports the results of an exercise in which members of Harvard Business School’s MBA Class of 2009 collectively attempted to replicate Blinder’s study. Overall, the MBA students’ assessments of offshorability matched Blinder’s well. Across occupations, the correlation between Blinder’s offshorability rating and the students’ was 0.60. The students estimated that between 21% and 42% of U.S. jobs are potentially offshorable. Echoing Blinder, the student data suggested a positive correlation between offshorability and education. The student data also revealed a positive or inverted-U relationship between offshorability and wage level, where Blinder found no correlation. While Blinder found a slight wage penalty for the most offshorable jobs, the student data exhibited no evidence of wage depreciation from job contestability due to offshoring." Source: Harvard Business School Working papers

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Heat-Related Deaths Among Crop Workers — United States, 1992–2006

During 1992–2006, a total of 423 worker deaths from exposure to environmental heat were reported in the United States, resulting in an average annual fatality rate of 0.02 deaths per 100,000 workers. Of these 423 deaths, 102 (24%) occurred in workers employed in the agriculture, forestry, fishing, and hunting industries (rate: 0.16 per 100,000 workers), and of these, 68 (67%) occurred in workers employed in the crop production or support activities for crop production sectors, resulting in an average annual fatality rate of 0.39 deaths per 100,000 crop workers. Analysis of fatality rates by 5-year periods suggests an increase in rates over time; however, those rates were based on small numbers of deaths, and the increase over time was not statistically significant.

During 1992–2006, nearly all deceased crop workers were male, and 78% were aged 20–54 years (Table). During 1992–2006, the birth country was unknown for 46% of the decedents; however, during 2003–2006, approximately 20 (71%) of the 28 deceased crop workers were from Mexico or Central and South America. Nearly 60% of all heat-related deaths among crop workers occurred in July, and most deaths occurred in the afternoon. Although 21 states reported heat-related deaths among crop workers, California, Florida, and North Carolina accounted for 57% of all deaths, with North Carolina having the highest annualized rate. Source: Center for Disease Control.

Link to online publication

Back to School: 2008-2009

Summertime winding down and summer vacations coming to an end signal that back-to-school time is near. It’s a time that many children eagerly anticipate — catching up with old friends, making new ones and settling into a new daily routine. Parents and children alike scan the newspapers and Web sites looking for sales to shop for a multitude of school supplies and the latest clothing fads and essentials.

This edition of Facts for Features highlights the many statistics associated with the return to classrooms by our nation’s students and teachers.
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Link to online fact sheet | Pdf version also available for download

Pictures of Hearts and Daggers: Strong Emotions Are Expressed in Young Adolescents’ Drawings of their Attitudes towards Mathematics

"Enthusiasm for learning mathematics often declines in early adolescence. The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study (TIMSS) (2003) found that 50% of fourth-graders but only 29% of eight-graders agreed strongly with the statement, “I enjoy learning mathematics.” The present study explored attitudes towards mathematics through the use of adolescents’ drawings and assessed the reliability and validity of drawings of math. One hundred twenty-nine U.S. students (mean age = 13.7 years) responded to these instructions, “Draw a picture of math and write about math. You can draw your feelings about math and your experiences with mathematics.” Drawings were scored by independent raters according to sixteen criteria; with interrater reliability ranging from .67 to 1.00. One hundred and one students also expressed their levels of agreement on a four-point scale with the TIMSS statements about learning, valuing, and enjoying mathematics. Attitudes towards mathematics expressed in drawings significantly correlated with attitudes expressed in the TIMSS statements about mathematics. On their drawings many students expressed strong feelings about math ranging from “I absolutely love math!” to “You die math.” This study demonstrated that adolescents’ drawings provide a good means for assessing young adolescents’ thoughts and feelings about math. The study also included comparisons of drawings of mathematics collected from 96 young adolescents from Ghana and South Africa." Source: U.C. Irvine World Cultures eJournal: Vol. 16: No. 2, Article 1.

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Altruism in Animal Play and Human Ritual

"Altruism is generally defined as the selfless concern for the wellbeing of others or, in the case of nonhuman animals, as behavior that appears to be detrimental to the survival of a given individual but which may contribute to the survival of the others. Calls by social prey species that warn others of the approach of predators, for example, are often regarded as altruistic in that they may help the majority of animals survive while simultaneously drawing the attention of the predator to the individual giving the warning. Animal play and human ritual are areas that are not commonly considered to involve altruism but closer inspection may be warranted. I will argue below that play is the context wherein animals first exhibit, and learn, altruism and that it is displayed by some, although perhaps not all, participants in a ritual common to Latin America." Source: U.C. Irvine World Cultures eJournal: Vol. 16: No. 2, Article 4.

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Pew Survey: Likely Rise in Voter Turnout Bodes Well for Democrats

McCain's Enthusiasm Gap, Obama's Unity Gap

"The outlook for the presidential election at mid-year is substantially different than at comparable points in time in recent campaigns. First, turnout is likely to be higher this fall - perhaps much higher than in previous elections - as voter interest continues at record levels. Second, as has been the case since the start of the campaign, Democrats enjoy a substantial engagement advantage over Republicans that may significantly alter the composition of the November electorate." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press.

Download complete pdf report | Download topline questionnaire | Link to online summary

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Changing Values among Western Publics

"In 1971 it was hypothesised that intergenerational value changes were taking place. More than a generation has passed since then, and today it seems clear that the predicted changes have occurred. A large body of evidence, analysed using three different approaches -- (1) cohort analysis; (2) comparisons of rich and poor countries; (3) examination of actual trends observed over the past 35 years -- all points to the conclusion that major cultural changes are occurring, and that they reflect a process of intergenerational change linked with rising levels of existential security." Source: West European Politics

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Start a Dialogue: Communicating to the Generations

"Never before has the global work force seen so much diversity and experienced so many changes as in the last decade. Globalization and rapid changes in technology are increasingly connecting our world and changing how people communicate with one another. Today’s workplace reflects not only a dazzling assortment of gender and ethnicity but now, also, of generations, each with its distinct experiences and expectations for the future.

With all these changes comes the need to adapt how we foster a stronger sense of connection and community. But the big question, “how do we better engage new, diverse work forces?” has stymied even the most progressive employers. Few organizations have translated abstract ideas into the concrete solutions that effectively engage their diverse work forces. The risks are high for those who rely on traditional forms of communication to engage employees."

Link to online reports

Inequalities in young people’s health: HBSC international report from the 2005/2006 survey

"This international report is the fourth from the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC) study, a WHO collaborative cross-national study, and the most comprehensive. It presents the key findings on patterns of health among young people aged 11, 13 and 15 years in 41 countries and regions across the WHO European Region and North America in 2005/2006. Its theme is health inequalities: quantifying the gender, age, geographic and socioeconomic dimensions of health differentials. Its aim is to highlight where these inequalities exist, to inform and influence policy and practice and to help improve health for all young people." Source: World Health Organization, Health Behaviour in School-aged Children

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| Link to World Health Organization

Proceedings From the First Annual Researcher/Practitioner Forum: The State of Research on Diversity in Philanthropy

"This report summarizes the discussions that took place at the first annual Researcher/Practitioner Forum which was held on September 27 and 28, 2007 at El Pomar Foundation’s Penrose House conference facilities in Colorado Springs, CO. The Forum was co-sponsored by the Council on Foundations, ARNOVA and the Foundation Center and was made possible by a grant from the Lumina Foundation. The first annual Researcher/Practitioner Forum brought together 25 researchers and foundation representatives to discuss the state of research on diversity in philanthropy." Source: Foundation Center

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Child Welfare State Fact Sheets

The State Fact Sheets provide descriptive information on the condition of vulnerable children in all fifty states and the District of Columbia, using indicators of child protection, health, child care, education, and income support. Source: Child Welfare league of America

Link to online site: Each state fact sheet is downloadable in pdf format

World Economic and Social Survey 2008: Overcoming Economic Insecurity

"According to the 2008 World Economic and Social Survey, economic insecurity arises from the exposure of individuals, communities and countries to adverse events, and from their inability to cope with and recover from the downside losses. The risk and threats vary from community to community; in advanced countries, they have been associated with a significant rise in inequality, a hollowing out of middle-class lifestyles and reduced welfare protection. Elsewhere, economic shocks and premature deindustrialization have raised fears of an insufficiency of the formal sector jobs needed to accommodate an expanding urban population. In still other places, food insecurity has given rise to political discontent and increased levels of personal insecurity." Source: United Nations

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R. Buckminster Fuller papers held at Stanford University

The papers of this 20th century polymath contain his personal archive the Dymaxion Chronofile, manuscripts, drawings and audio-visual materials relating to his career as an architect, mathematician, inventor and social critic.

Finding aid for R. Buckminster Fuller papers held at Stanford University

The Impact of the Residential Built Environment on Work at Home Adoption and Frequency: An Example from Northern California

Working at home is widely viewed as a useful travel-reduction strategy, and partly for that reason, considerable research related to telecommuting and home-based work has been conducted in the last two decades. The contribution of this study is to examine the effect of residential neighborhood built environment (BE) factors on working at home. Using data from a survey of eight neighborhoods in Northern California, we develop a multinomial logit (MNL) model of work-at-home (WAH) frequency. Potential explanatory variables include sociodemo­graphic traits, neighborhood preferences and perceptions, objective neighborhood characteristics, and travel attitudes and behavior. The results clearly demonstrate the contribution of built environment variables to WAH choices, in addition to previously-identified influences such as sociodemo­graphic predictors and commute time. The findings suggest that land use and transportation strategies that are desirable from some perspectives will tend to weaken the motivation to work at home, and conversely, some factors that seem to increase the motivation to work at home are widely viewed as less sustainable. Accordingly, this research points to the complexity of trying to find the right balance among demand management strategies that sometimes act in competition rather than in synergy. Source: Institute of Transportation Studies.

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Census Study Shows Women Veterans Earn More and Work Longer Hours

From the press release:
“Veteran status seems to offer an earnings advantage for women; however, female veterans are also more likely to work full-time hours,” says Census Bureau demographer Kelly Holder in the working paper, Exploring the Veteran-Nonveteran Earnings Differential in the 2005 American Community Survey. “Military education and work experience may translate into higher paying civilian jobs than women with a high school degree would normally expect.” Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Link to online data tables.