Tuesday, September 30, 2008


"...mashed up Google Maps with World Bank data to give you a visual entry point to browse our projects, news, statistics and public information center by country."

here's a screen shot of Africa. The stars indicate "active World Bank projects"

Link to geo.worldbank.org

Monday, September 29, 2008

"Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity,"

"...traces the origins and transformations of a people—the Zainichi, migrants from the Korean peninsula to Japan and their descendants. Using a wide range of arguments and evidence—historical and comparative, political and social, literary and pop-cultural—John Lie reveals the social and historical conditions that gave rise to Zainichi identity, while simultaneously demonstrating its complex, fractured, even ephemeral nature. " Source: John Lie, "Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity," in Zainichi (Koreans in Japan): Diasporic Nationalism and Postcolonial Identity. University of California Press / UC Global, Area, and International Archive, vol. #10, 2008.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Problems Paying Medical Bills Increase for U.S. Families, 2003-2007

"About 57 million Americans were in families with problems paying medical bills in 2007—an increase of 14 million people since 2003, according to a new national study by the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). Problems paying medical bills increased for both nonelderly insured and uninsured people. Although the rate of medical bill problems is much higher for uninsured people, most people with medical bill problems—42.5 million—had insurance coverage. About 2.2 million people with medical bill problems were in families that filed for bankruptcy as a result of their medical bills, and a much larger number reported other financial consequences, such as problems paying for other necessities and having to borrow money. The increase in medical bill problems—especially among insured people—is the main reason why more people reported unmet medical needs because of cost in 2007 than in 2003." Source: Center for Studying Health System Change

Download pdf report | Link to online summary

Draft of proposed government $700 billion financial rescue plan

From NY Times article:
"The final version of the bill included a deal-sealing plan for eventually recouping losses; if the Treasury program to purchase and resell troubled mortgage-backed securities has lost money after five years, the president must submit a plan to Congress to recover those losses from the financial industry. Presumably that plan would involve new fees or taxes, perhaps on securities transactions."

Pdf download of full text of bailout plan

Sunday, September 28, 2008

World Investment Report 2008

"World Investment Report 2008 (WIR08) is the 18th in a series published by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD). The Report analyses the latest trends in foreign direct investment (FDI) and has a special focus in 2008 on the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) in infrastructure development.

Infrastructure - especially electricity, telecommunications, transport, and water - is important for all economies. It provides goods and services crucial for competitiveness. Affordable electricity and drinking water are also important for raising living standards. Many low-income countries need huge investments to improve infrastructure but lack the domestic resources to fund them. Investments from TNCs, along with other forms of TNC involvement, are one way of addressing the shortfall.

The Report maps the investments of infrastructure companies worldwide and in developing countries and explores how TNC participation in infrastructure has increased since the early 1990s, although from a low level. It also discusses how developing-country firms have become prominent investors in some infrastructure industries - and the implications of their foreign activities. The Report further explores how the participation of TNCs mobilizes financial resources for infrastructure investment and how these activities affect industry performance. It highlights the complex policy challenges facing developing countries seeking to use TNCs to spur improvements in such fields as transport and electricity supply and stresses the need for active support of such countries by their development partners." Source: United Nations

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| Link to online summary

Global Campaign for the Health Millennium Development Goals: First Year Report

"Prime Minister Jens Stoltenberg of Norway launched the first year Progress Report on the Global Campaign for Health. The Report demonstrates that increased investments in health – a doubling of health aid since 2000 – are having results. More than 2 million people are now receiving AIDS treatment, the rapid scale-up of effective malaria programmes is leading to dramatic reductions in child mortality and measles deaths have fallen by 68% since 1999.

But the Report also calls for urgent, effective international action to accelerate progress towards the UN goals of reducing maternal and child deaths by 2015. To save 3m mothers and 7m newborns – and meet these goals - an extra $2.4bn in 2009 rising to $7bn in 2015 will be needed.

Responding to this call, Heads of Governments and Health Agencies committed to mobilise international support for stronger health systems, including the training and recruitment of over 1 million health workers."

Source: United Nations: Norad

Download full pdf report
| Link to online Summary

The Cost of Government Financial Interventions, Past and Present

"In response to ongoing financial turmoil that began in the subprime mortgagebacked securities market, the federal government has intervened with private corporations on a large scale and in an ad hoc manner three times from the beginning of 2008 through September 19, 2008. The firms affected were Bear Stearns, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG. Another large investment bank, Lehman Brothers, sought government intervention, but none was forthcoming; subsequently, the firm sought bankruptcy protection. These interventions have prompted questions regarding the taxpayer costs and the sources of funding. The sources of funding are relatively straightforward, the Federal Reserve (Fed) and the U.S. Treasury. The costs, however, are difficult to quantify at this stage. In the most recent interventions (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and AIG), all the lending that is possible under the interventions has yet to occur. Also, in all the current cases, the government has received significant debt and equity considerations from the private firms. At this point, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and AIG are essentially owned by the federal government. Depending on the proceeds from the debt and equity considerations, the federal government may very well end up seeing a positive fiscal contribution from the recent interventions, as was the case in some of the past interventions summarized in the tables at the end of this report. The government may also suffer significant losses, as has also occurred in the past." Source: Congressional Research Service

Download full pdf reort
| Link to online summary

Women Call the Shots at Home; Public Mixed on Gender Roles in Jobs

To explore decision-making in the typical American home, a Pew Research Center survey asked men and women living in couples which one generally makes the decisions in four familiar areas of domestic life. Who decides what you do together on the weekend? Who manages the household finances? Who makes the decisions on big purchases for the home? And who most often decides what to watch on television?

Source: Pew Research Center : Social and Demographic Trends

Link to report: Gender and Power

Related: Revisiting the Mommy Wars

McCain's Image Faltered in Week of Wall Street Woes

"Views of John McCain turned somewhat more negative last week, amid record public interest in economic news. In a survey conducted Sept. 19-22, fully half of the public said their opinion of the GOP nominee had changed in the past few days, with 30% saying their opinion has become less favorable and only 20% saying their view has become more favorable. McCain's public image had improved significantly the week he chose Sarah Palin to be his vice presidential running mate and the week of the GOP convention." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

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

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Privacy, Accountability, and the Cooperating Defendant: Towards a New Role for Internet Access to Court Records

Abstract: "Now that federal court records are available online, anyone can obtain criminal case files instantly over the Internet. But this unfettered flow of information is in fundamental tension with many goals of the criminal justice system, including the integrity of criminal investigations, the accountability of prosecutors and the security of witnesses. It has also altered the behavior of prosecutors intent on protecting the identity of cooperating defendants who assist them in investigating other targets. As prosecutors and courts collaborate to obscure the process by which cooperators are recruited and rewarded, Internet availability, instead of enabling greater public understanding, risks degrading the value of the information obtained.

There is a growing body of scholarship considering the privacy implications of electronic access, but the literature has not yet addressed these issues from the perspective of the criminal justice system. This Article begins to fill that gap by focusing on the skittish responses of prosecutors and courts to the expanding availability of information that had always been public, but was traditionally hard to obtain. Such evasion is particularly troubling in the context of cooperation, an important law enforcement tool that is essentially unregulated and susceptible to capricious application. The Article proposes an approach that pairs limitations on online access with systematic disclosure of detailed plea and cooperation agreements in their factual context, but divorced from identifying data. This proposal would protect privacy and security, while enabling the public and press to engage in genuine government oversight."
Author: Caren Myers Morrison Source:New York University School of Law. New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers. Paper 88.

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online abstract

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Postsecondary Career/Technical Education

"This issue brief examines trends from 1997 to 2006 in the number of sub-baccalaureate postsecondary institutions that offer programs in career/technical education (CTE), and the number of sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials awarded by postsecondary institutions. Trends were examined by institutional sector, focusing on the three sectors most commonly offering CTE: Public two -year institutions, for-profit less-than-two -year institutions, and for-profit two-year institutions. In 2006, these sectors collectively accounted for 87 percent of the less-than-four-year institutions that offered CTE and awarded 94 percent of all sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials. Overall, the number of less-than-four-year institutions offering CTE increased 3 percent from 1997 to 2006, and the number of sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials awarded increased 24 percent. Over this time period, there was a shift in both CTE-offering institutions and CTE credentials, from public two-year institutions to for-profit two-year and less-than-two-year institutions. Although the number of credentials awarded grew at a faster rate among for-profit institutions than among public two-year institutions, the latter still awarded most sub-baccalaureate CTE credentials in 2006 (58 percent) while for-profit two-year and less-than-two-year institutions combined awarded 35 percent." Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Monday, September 22, 2008

Teens, Video Games and Civics: Teens' gaming experiences are diverse and include significant social interaction and civic engagement

"The first national survey of its kind finds that virtually all American teens play computer, console, or cell phone games and that the gaming experience is rich and varied, with a significant amount of social interaction and potential for civic engagement. The survey was conducted by the Pew Internet & American Life Project, an initiative of the Pew Research Center and was supported by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation." Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project.

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| Link to online summary

Low-Wage Workers in the United States: Status and Prospects

Abstract:" This testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Income Security and Family Support describes the size and characteristics of the low-wage workforce and the jobs low-wage workers hold, the prospects for wage growth and upward mobility, and policies and programs that help support low-wage workers and their families." Source: Urban Institute

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online announcement

Black advances erode as labor market weakens

"While bad economic news continues to pile up for America’s working people, the economic trends are even more disheartening for African American families. Gains made during the strong labor market of the latter 1990s business cycle have eroded, even as the economy grew significantly. On all major indicators – income, wages, employment and poverty – African Americans lost ground between 2000 and 2007." Economic Policy Institute

Download full briefing paper | Link to online press release

Current Population Reports: School Enrollment

"This report discusses school enrollment levels and trends in the population aged 3 and older based on data collected in 2006 by the U.S. Census Bureau in the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). Historically, the CPS has been the only data source used to produce school enrollment reports. This is the first report to show data from the ACS, supplemented with CPS data where they provide better information. The ACS has a larger sample size and will provide statistics for small levels of geography, which are reason why it is used as a main source of enrollment data." Source: U.S. Census Bureau

Download full pdf report

fivethirtyeight.com: Electoral Projections

Mission: "Most broadly, to accumulate and analyze polling and political data in way that is informed, accurate and attractive. Most narrowly, to give you the best possible objective assessment of the likely outcome of upcoming elections."

Frequency of updates:
"Generally, the charts, graphs and polling averages on the site are refreshed once per day to reflect any new polls. Sometimes, there might not be any polling on a given day, and so an update will not take place. Other times, volume may be so heavy that multiple updates are necessary.

You can tell that the charts and graphs on the site have been updated any time you see the "Today's Polls" tag in the footer.

Senate polls are updated less frequently: generally once per week, on Mondays."

Thanks to Former Fellow Jay Hamilton (class of 2008) for pointing out this resource.

Link to main page : fivethirtyeight.com

2008 National Survey of Latinos: Hispanics See Their Situation in U.S. Deteriorating; Oppose Key Immigration Enforcement Measures

"Half (50%) of all Latinos say that the situation of Latinos in this country is worse now than it was a year ago, according to a new nationwide survey of 2,015 Hispanic adults conducted by the Pew Hispanic Center.

This pessimism is especially prevalent among immigrants, who account for 54% of all Hispanic adults in the United States. Fully 63% of these Latino immigrants say that the situation of Latinos has worsened over the past year. In 2007, just 42% of all adult Hispanic immigrants--and just 33% of all Hispanic adults--said the same thing." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report
| Link to online summary

Views of Palin Fluid as Spotlight Remains on GOP Ticket

"Sarah Palin continued to be a dominant factor in presidential campaign coverage last week, but her impact on the race remains unclear and her public image is very much in flux.

Palin clearly has boosted John McCain’s visibility. From mid-June through the last week of August, Barack Obama consistently led McCain as the candidate the public was hearing the most about in the news. McCain received an expected bump following the Republican convention, but he continued to top Obama last week as 41% pointed to McCain as the more visible candidate while 32% named Obama. Notably, 17% said they had been hearing the most about Palin – even though they were specifically asked to name a presidential candidate." Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

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

Lehman Special Correspondence Files

The Special Correspondence Files of the Herbert Lehman Papers contain correspondence with nearly 1,000 individuals from 1864 through 1982. Beginning with letters from Lehman's family in the late nineteenth century, the series documents the range and scope of Lehman's long career in public service. In addition to family letters, the Special Correspondence Files contain letters from every President of the U. S. from Franklin Roosevelt to Lyndon Johnson, as well as from notables such as Dean Acheson, Benjamin Cardozo, Paul Douglas, Felix Frankfurter, W. Averill Harriman, Harold Ickes, Robert F. Kennedy, Fiorello LaGuardia, Henry Morgenthau, Alfred E. Smith, Adlai Stevenson, and Robert Wagner, among many others.

The Columbia University Libraries has scanned and made available here electronically the Special Correspondence Files of Herbert Lehman. More than 37,000 documents are included. Typed documents have also been OCRed, permitting full-text searching.
Source: Columbia University

Link to online database: Herbert Lehman Papers

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Projections of Education Statistics to 2017

"This publication provides projections for key education statistics. It includes statistics on enrollment, graduates, teachers, and expenditures in elementary and secondary schools, and enrollment and earned degrees conferred expenditures of degree-granting institutions. For the Nation, the tables, figures, and text contain data on enrollment, teachers, graduates, and expenditures for the past 14 years and projections to the year 2017. For the 50 States and the District of Columbia, the tables, figures, and text contain data on projections of public elementary and secondary enrollment and public high school graduates to the year 2017. In addition, the report includes a methodology section describing models and assumptions used to develop national and state-level projections." Source: National Center for Education Statitstics

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Network Neutrality, Consumers, and Innovation

"Professor Christopher Yoo directly engages claims that mandating network neutrality is essential to protect consumers and to promote innovation on the Internet. It begins by analyzing the forces that are placing pressure on the basic network architecture to evolve, such as the emergence of Internet video and peer-to-peer architectures and the increasing heterogeneity in business relationships and transmission technologies. It then draws on the insights of demand-side price discrimination (such as Ramsey pricing) and the two-sided markets, as well as the economics of product differentiation and congestion, to show how deviating from network neutrality can benefit consumers, a conclusion bolstered by the empirical literature showing that vertical restraints tend to increase rather than reduce consumer welfare. In fact, limiting network providers’ ability to vary the prices charged to content and applications providers may actually force consumers to bear a greater proportion of the costs to upgrade the network. Restricting network providers’ ability to experiment with different protocols may also reduce innovation by foreclosing applications and content that depend on a different network architecture and by dampening the price signals needed to stimulate investment in new applications and content. In the process, Professor Yoo draws on the distinction between generalizing and exemplifying theory to address some of the arguments advanced by his critics. While the exemplifying theories on which these critics rely are useful for rebutting calls for broad, categorical, ex ante rules, their restrictive nature leaves them ill suited to serve as the foundation for broad, categorical ex ante mandates pointing in the other direction. Thus, in the absence of some empirical showing that the factual preconditions of any particular exemplifying theory have been satisfied, the existence of exemplifying theories pointing in both directions actually supports an ex post, case-by-case approach that allows network providers to experiment with different pricing regimes unless and until a concrete harm to competition can be shown. "
Christopher S. Yoo, "Network Neutrality, Consumers, and Innovation" (August 29, 2008). University of Pennsylvania Law School. Scholarship at Penn Law. Paper 243.
Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Race Matters in Adoption

"In Part I of this Essay, Professor Howe shares some personal concerns that the real needs of African American children and families are not met if race is ignored. The findings and recommendations of the May 2008 Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute paper: Finding Families for African American Children: The Role of Race & Law in Adoption From Foster Care are reviewed in Part II. Next in Part III., Professor Howe discusses the current Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Standards of Excellence for Adoption Services - the lens through which the Adoption Institute assessed the efficacy of current federal laws. Professor Howe concludes this Essay by urging members of the family law bar to endorse the Adoption Institute study recommendations and to work for their expeditious implementations. " SUGGESTED CITATION:
Ruth-Arlene W. Howe, "Race Matters in Adoption" (September 6, 2008). Boston College Law School. Boston College Law School Faculty Papers. Paper 228.

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Monday, September 08, 2008

After Busy Week, Views of Both Candidates Improve

Interest in the presidential election surged last week, with the public following campaign news more closely than at any point since the Super Tuesday primaries in February. As attention to the campaign has increased, the images of both Barack Obama and John McCain have improved in recent days.

In a survey conducted Aug. 29-31, 29% say their opinion of Obama has become more favorable in recent days, while 19% say their opinion of the Illinois senator has become less favorable; 50% say their opinion of Obama has not changed. This marks the first time since the question was first asked in March that significantly more people said their opinion of Obama had become more favorable, rather than less favorable, in the days before the survey. Source: Pew Research Center

Link to online report with graphics

Hispanics and Health Care in the United States: Access, Information and Knowledge

"More than one-fourth of Hispanic adults in the U.S. lack a usual health care provider, and a similar proportion report obtaining no health care information from medical personnel in the past year. At the same time, more than eight in ten report receiving health information from media sources, such as television and radio, according to a Pew Hispanic Center survey of Latino adults, conducted in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation." Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary

Friday, September 05, 2008


"...provides site users with full spending data for federal contracts through the first two quarters of FY 2008 and federal assistance data for the first three quarters of FY 2007. This update also made minor site improvements, including added advanced search functionality and bugs fixes. The FedSpending.org database now contains over $18.7 trillion in federal spending dating back to FY 2000."

"The mapping feature (which appears in the upper-right hand corner of all search results) allows users to view federal spending graphically, either at a national level (broken out by state) or at the state level (broken out by congressional districts). In addition, earlier versions, the "summary" output pages on FedSpending.org displayed the top 5 or top 10 of certain search categories such as products and services or contracting agencies. FedSpending.org now has the functionality to expand those lists within the "summary" view to include all data under each category."
Source: OMB Watch

Link to FedSpending.org

Civil Rights Oral History Interviews

"In February of 2001, the [Washington] Spokesman-Review produced a month long series of articles on black history titled "Through Spokane's Eyes Moments in Black History," focusing in particular on the civil rights movement of the 1960s. As part of that series, Rebecca Nappi conducted a series of interviews with individuals with ties to both the civil rights movement and to Spokane." Source: Washington State University

Real Audio Player is needed to listen to the audio files

Link to Civil Rights Oral History Interviews site

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Is American Health Care Uniquely Inefficient?

"The U.S. health system has been described as the most competitive, heterogeneous, inefficient, fragmented, and advanced system of care in the world. In this paper, we consider two questions: First, is the U.S. health care system productively efficient relative to other wealthy countries, in the sense of producing better health for a given bundle of hospital beds, physicians, nurses, and other factor inputs? Second, is the U.S. allocatively efficient relative to other countries, in the sense of providing highly valued care to consumers? For both questions, the answer is most likely no. Although no country can claim to have eliminated inefficiency, the U.S. has fragmented care, high administrative costs, and stands out with regard to heterogeneity in treatment because of race, income, and geography. The U.S. health care system is also more likely to pay for diagnostic tests, treatments, and other forms of care before effectiveness is established and with little consideration of the value they provide. A number of proposed reforms that are designed to ameliorate shortcomings of the U.S. health care system, such as quality improvement initiatives and coverage expansions, are unlikely by themselves to reduce expenditures. Addressing allocative inefficiency is a far more difficult task but central to controlling costs." Source: National Bureau of Economic Research

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract

PolicyArchive: Public Policy Research Online

"PolicyArchive is an innovative, new digital archive of global, non-partisan public policy research. It makes use of the power, efficiency, and economy of modern Internet technology to collect and disseminate summaries and full texts, videos, reports, briefs, and multimedia material of think tank, university, government, and foundation-funded policy research. It offers a subject index, an internal search engine, useful abstracts, email notifications of newly added research, and will soon expand to offer information on researchers and funders, and even user-generated publication reviews. Over time, it will grow to include policy content from international and corporate organizations." Registration required. Source: Indiana University-Purdue University Center for Governmental Studies.

Link to PolicyArchive

African International Courts and Tribunals

This website provides a centralized source for scholars, practitioners and laypersons working in or on the Continent and a reference to the work of these courts and tribunals for others studying the global phenomenon.

Here you will find for each international court or tribunal substantially touching Africa:

* An overview
* Any recent news
* The basic documents
* A selected bibliography
* Biographies of its judges
* Related jurisprudence from Member States

Link to African International Courts and Tribunals

Michelle Obama: the "Darker Side" of Presidential Spousal Involvement and Activism

"Pundits and commentators have attempted to make sense of the role that race and gender have played in the 2008 presidential campaign. Whereas researchers are drawing on varying bodies of scholarship (legal, cognitive and social psychology, and political science) to illuminate the role that Senator Obama’s race and Senator Clinton’s gender has/had on their campaign, Michelle Obama has been left out of the discussion. As Senator Clinton once noted, elections are like hiring decisions. As such, new frontiers in employment discrimination law place Michelle Obama in context within the current presidential campaign. First, racism and sexism are both alive and well within the domains of politics and employment. And within both domains, the intersection of these biases uniquely handicap Black women. As such, Michelle Obama, as an individual who has broken the socially acceptable constrictions of race and gender, has suffered some backlash as a result of her beliefs and actions. Second, most racial and gender bias is not express, but unconscious. And these unconscious biases influence behavior—including voting and hiring/promotion. In that vein, there are instances during the 2008 campaign where unconscious biases against Mrs. Obama have occurred. Such instances are similar to fact-patterns in employment discrimination cases. Third, under Title VII, employment discrimination may be directed at a third party for their association with members of a disliked group. Here, some voters’ unconscious race and gender biases against Mrs. Obama likely affected/affects their voting decision vis-à-vis Senator Obama. Source: Cornell Law School." Cornell Law School Working Papers Series. Paper 39.

Download full pdf report
| Link to online abstract

Exporting Harshness: How the War on Crime Has Made the War on Terror Possible

"This Essay responds to a consensus that has formed among many opponents of the Bush administration’s prosecution of the war on terror. The consensus narrative goes like this: America has a long-standing commitment to human rights and due process, reflected in its domestic criminal justice system’s expansive protections. Since September 11, 2001, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, former Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and their allies have dishonored this tradition.

It is too simple, I suggest, to assert that the Bush administration remade our justice system and betrayed American values. This Essay explores the ways in which our approach to the war on terror is an extension—sometimes a grotesque one—of what we do in the name of fighting the war on crime. By pursuing certain punitive policies domestically, I suggest, we have become desensitized to the harsh treatment of criminals. Revelations of abuse, therefore, are less likely to move us. In part for this reason, despite the mounting evidence regarding secret memos, inhumane prison conditions, coercive interrogations, and interference with defense lawyers, the Bush administration’s approach to the war on terror remains largely unchecked and unchanged." Author: James Forman Jr., Georgetown Law

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Education and Certification Qualifications of Departmentalized Public High-School Level Teachers of Core Subjects

This report examines the percentage of public school teachers who held an in-field postsecondary major, in-field certification, or both, in a selection of high-school level main assignment fields. Teachers of these subjects were considered to be in-field majors if they held a major that they had earned at the bachelor's degree level or higher in the subject(s) that they taught. Source: National Center for Education Statistics.

Download full pdf report | Link to online summary