Thursday, July 15, 2010

Student Victimization in U.S. Schools

This report uses data from the 2007 SCS to examine student criminal victimization and the characteristics of crime victims and nonvictims. It also provides findings on student reports of the presence of gangs and weapons and the availability of drugs at school, student reports of bullying and cyberbullying, and fear and avoidance behaviors of crime victims and nonvictims at school.

Source: National Center for Education Statistics

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The Experience of Tenure-Track Faculty at Research Universities: Analysis of COACHE Survey Results by Academic Area and Gender

A new report by COACHE reveals evidence of major differences in work satisfaction between faculty in different academic areas and between men and women within many of those areas. In surveys of untenured assistant professors at research universities, faculty in the physical sciences and humanities were among those satisfied with more aspects of their work lives, while faculty in education and the visual and performing arts were satisfied with the fewest aspects. In additional analysis, COACHE researchers found that gaps in satisfaction between women and men were most prevalent in the social sciences.

Source: Collaborative on Academic Careers in Higher Education.(COACHE)

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Latinos: Discrete and Insular No More


As part of this symposium to celebrate the publication of a Latinos and the Law casebook by Richard Delgado, Juan Perea, and Jean Stefancic, this Essay considers why the time is ripe for bringing Latinos out of the casebook squibs and into the canon. The primary answer is: numbers. As Latinos become an increasingly large segment of the U.S. population, understanding how they fit into American history and how their presence has shaped the law's development becomes central to understanding the nature of our polity. But the growth of the Latino population into a dominant minority (and an outright majority in some jurisdictions) raises a new set of questions: what happens to our conceptions of rights and responsibilities when a minority starts to take on the characteristics of a majority, or an outright majority ceases to exist? Our conception of the category "Latino" and its place in our politics and constitutional jurisprudence must change as the population grows in size and importance. This Essay explores how and why.

Source: New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

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America's Children in Brief: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, 2010

The Forum's signature report, America's Children: Key National Indicators of Well-Being, provides annual updates on the well-being of children and families in the United States across a range of domains.

The 2010 Childstats website includes 68 tables and 59 figures that describe the population of children and depict their well-being in the areas of family and social environment, economic circumstances, health care, physical environment and safety, behavior, education, and health.

Source: Federal Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics

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Thursday, July 08, 2010

May it Please the Senate: An Empirical Analysis of the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearings of Supreme Court Nominees, 1939-2009

This paper examines the questions asked and answers given by every Supreme Court nominee who has appeared to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee since 1939. In doing so, it uses a new dataset developed by the authors. This database, which provides a much-needed empirical foundation for scholarship in emerging areas of constitutional law and political science, captures all of the statements made at the hearings and codes these comments by issue area, subissue area, party of the appointing president, and party of the questioning senator. The dataset allows us to quantify for the fist time such things as which issues are most frequently discussed at the hearings, whether those issues have changed over time, and whether they vary depending on the party of the appointing president and the party of the questioning senator. We also investigate if questioning patterns differ depending on the race or gender of the nominee. Some of our results are unsurprising: for example, the hearings have become longer. Others, however, challenge conventional wisdom: the Bork hearing is less of an outlier in several ways than is frequently assumed, and abortion has not dominated the hearings. We also discover that there is issue area variation over time, and that there are notable disparities in the issues addressed by Democratic versus Republican senators. Finally, we find that female and minority nominees face a significantly different hearing environment than do white male nominees.

Source: UGA Legal Studies Research Paper No. 10-12. Available at SSRN:

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Tackling inequalities in life expectancy in areas with the worst health and deprivation

The Department of Health has made a serious attempt to tackle health inequalities across England. But, having set a target in 2000 to reduce health inequalities, it was slow to take action and health inequalities were not a top priority for the NHS until 2006.

The NAO report found that, although life expectancy overall has increased, the gap in life expectancy between the national average and the Government’s dedicated “spearhead” areas has continued to widen. The Department will not meet its target to reduce the health inequalities gap by 10 per cent by 2010, as measured by life expectancy at birth, if current trends continue.

Source: United Kingdom National Audit Office

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Assessing How Marijuana Legalization in California Could Influence Marijuana Consumption and Public Budgets

To learn more about the possible outcomes of marijuana legalization in California, RAND researchers constructed a model based on a series of estimates of current consumption, current and future prices, how responsive use is to price changes, taxes levied and possibly evaded, and the aggregation of nonprice effects (such as a change in stigma). Key findings include the following: (1) the pretax retail price of marijuana will substantially decline, likely by more than 80 percent. The price the consumers face will depend heavily on taxes, the structure of the regulatory regime, and how taxes and regulations are enforced; (2) consumption will increase, but it is unclear how much, because we know neither the shape of the demand curve nor the level of tax evasion (which reduces revenues and prices that consumers face); (3) tax revenues could be dramatically lower or higher than the $1.4 billion estimate provided by the California Board of Equalization (BOE); for example, uncertainty about the federal response to California legalization can swing estimates in either direction; (4) previous studies find that the annual costs of enforcing marijuana laws in California range from around $200 million to nearly $1.9 billion; our estimates show that the costs are probably less than $300 million; and (5) there is considerable uncertainty about the impact of legalizing marijuana in California on public budgets and consumption, with even minor changes in assumptions leading to major differences in outcomes.

Source: RAND Corporation

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