Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Efficacy of Schoolwide Programs to Promote Social and Character Development and Reduce Problem Behavior in Elementary School Children

In response to the need for systematic evaluations of promising current school-based programs and to provide rigorous evidence of their efficacy, the Institute of Education Sciences (IES), National Center for Education Research and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control established the Social and Character Development Research Program. Under a competitive application process, applicants proposed programs to be evaluated so long as the programs: a) had either preliminary evidence of success or a history of previous implementation in schools, b) aimed to influence social development and behavior outcomes, and c) utilized a universal approach to be implemented in all elementary school classrooms. Applications submitted to IES were peer reviewed, and seven research institutions were funded under cooperative agreements for a three-year evaluation of seven universal school-based programs intended to improve students' social and character development. At each of seven sites, one research team randomized 10 to 18 schools to either continue their current practice or implement a coherent program targeting social and behavioral outcomes. The programs employed activities to promote six social and character development goals (character education, violence prevention and peace promotion, social and emotional development, tolerance and diversity, risk prevention and health promotion, and civic responsibility and community service) as well as behavior management. The programs were coherent in that their activities were integrated and logically organized based on a theory of action (that differed among the programs), school-based in that they were implemented in the schools using school personnel, and universal in that they were to be implemented for all students in all elementary classrooms.


Source: National Center for Education Statistics

Download full pdf publication | Link to NCES

Monday, October 25, 2010

United Nations Report : The World's Women 2010

The World’s Women 2010 shows that progress towards gender equality has been made in some areas, such as school enrolment, health and economic participation. At the same time the report shows that much more needs to be done to close the gender gap in critical areas such as power and decision-making and violence against women.

...highlights the differences in the status of women and men in eight areas – population and families, health, education, work, power and decision-making, violence against women, environment and poverty. Analyses are based mainly on statistics from international and national statistical sources.


Source: United Nations: Statistics Division

Download full pdf publication | Link to "The world's women" webside at the U.N.

The Browne Review UK: Securing a Sustainable Future for Higher Education

England has an internationally respected system of higher education. There are now a record number of people enrolled, studying an increasingly varied range of subjects at a diverse set of higher education institutions (‘HEIs’). Graduates go on to higher paid jobs and add to the nation’s strength in the global knowledge based economy. For a nation of our scale, we possess a disproportionate number of the best performing HEIs in the world, including three of the top ten...


Source: Independent Review of Higher Education Funding and Student Finance

Download full pdf publication | Download pdf Executive Summary | Link to online summary

Network Neutrality 101 - Why the Government Must Act to Preserve the Free And Open Internet

The Internet has become a deeply ingrained in the lives of most Americans. It looms so large, in fact, it is easy to imagine that it is immune to change — that it will always remain the free and open medium that it is now. But there are no such guarantees. The Internet is a human institution, operated by real individuals and companies, and like most human institutions it is not static and unchanging. In fact, the history of the Internet as a mass public communications medium has been marked by two stages — and ongoing changes to the underlying architecture of the Internet, combined with a recent landmark court decision, may now be bringing us into a third stage.


Source: ACLU

Download full pdf publication | Link to ACLU Network Neutrality

Kroll Global Fraud Report

In a true sign of the times, companies participating in this year’s Global Fraud Survey reported that information theft is now the most common form of fraud. With 27% of companies reporting incidents within the past year, the theft of information surpassed the theft of physical property for the first time in the four-year history of the Survey. Some industry sectors were particularly hard hit, foremost among them financial services (42%, up from 23% the previous year), professional services (40%, up from 23%), and Technology, Media and Telecoms (37%, up from 15%). And while companies clearly recognize the increasing severity of the problem, to some extent they feel unprepared to deal with it: 77% of respondents believe that their companies are vulnerable to information theft.


Source: Kroll information and Security

Download full pdf report
| Link to online overview

Memory, brain and aging: The good, the bad and the promising

Abstract:
A large body of evidence converges on the conclusion that episodic memory (the recollection of personally experienced events) is the only long-term memory system that shows significant age-related deficits. Moreover, the brain regions most likely to show age-related volume loss are those most critically involved in episodic memory. Older adult brains may have much greater plasticity (capacity to change) than once believed; for example, neurogenesis (the birth of new neurons), increases in cognitive (includ-ing memory) performance, and increases in regional brain volume have all been shown to occur in older adulthood, as a result of physical or mental activity/training. The next wave of research will enhance our understanding of brain plasticity in adulthood and enable specific guidelines for lifestyle or pharmacological treatments that optimize brain and memory functioning well into late adulthood.


Source: California Agriculture, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services, UC Office of the President [via eScholarship Repository]

Download pdf publication
| Link to online overview at eScholarship Repository

Effects of stress on health and aging: Two paradoxes

Abstract:
Although older adults are thought to experience more stress and to be more vulnerable to its adverse effects, they often report less stress than younger adults and sometimes show more resilience. Paradoxically, while stress sometimes has long-term positive effects on well-being, studies differ as to whether this increases or decreases with age. We conclude that older individuals have learned to appraise and cope differently with stress.


Source: California Agriculture, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services, UC Office of the President [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online overview at eScholarship Repository

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card

From the introduction:
“Is School Funding Fair? A National Report Card” posits that fairness depends not only on a sufficient level of funding for all students, but also the provision of additional resources to districts where there are more students with greater needs.

The National Report Card rates the 50 states on the basis of four separate, but interrelated, “fairness indicators” – funding level, funding distribution, state fiscal effort, and public school coverage. Using a more thorough statistical analysis, the report provides the most in-depth analysis to date of state education finance systems and school funding fairness across the nation.


Source: Education Law Center

Download full pdf report | Link to Report website

Cognitive and motivational factors support health literacy and acquisition of new health information in later life

Abstract:
Health literacy refers to the ability to read, understand and use health information to maintain or improve one’s health. Health literacy skills have been linked to outcomes such as medication adherence, improved health and decreased health-care costs. Health literacy is particularly low among older adults. Given demographic projections that 20% of the U.S. population will be over age 65 by 2030, there is a pressing need to understand health literacy in later life. We present such a framework, as well as data from two studies that show how cognitive and motivational factors support one aspect of health literacy, namely, the acquisition of new health information. A clearer understanding of these issues will provide insight for targeting educational interventions designed to increase health literacy among aging adults.


Source: California Agriculture, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Communication Services, UC Office of the President [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship

“The Silence Itself is Enough of a Statement”: Unintended Consequences of Silence as an Awareness-Raising Strategy

Abstract:
The strategy of silence for voice, as seen in the Day of Silence, deploys silence in order to draw attention to the ways in which an individual or group has been silenced and to establish possibilities for voice. The Day of Silence is a nation-wide day of action aimed at addressing anti-LGBTQ bias and harassment in schools. This ethnographic study of a high school gay-straight alliance (GSA) club examines the unintended consequences of silence as an awareness-raising strategy during events related to the Day of Silence and how students and teachers handle these consequences. Silence makes students more defenseless in the face of verbal harassment, makes it more difficult to engage in discussion with others of opposing views, and makes it more challenging for teachers to lead their classes and for students to learn. What remains unheard at MacArthur High are the institutional silences LGBTQ students experience when they find themselves not represented in the curricula and they find critical discussion of heterosexism and hegemonic masculinity absent from classroom and school discourse. While the Day of Silence calls for students to engage in intentional silences in order to raise awareness about anti-LGBTQ bias, it does not necessarily lead others to take more responsibility for their ignorance or to address silences around gender and sexuality. This study makes suggestions for implementing change regarding silences of LGBTQ issues in the curricula, pedagogy, and schooling practices.


Source: ISSC Fellows Working Papers, Institute for the Study of Social Change, UC Berkeley [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to eScholarship Repository

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Prosocial Spending and Well-Being: Cross-Cultural Evidence for a Psychological Universal

This research provides the first support for a possible psychological universal: human beings around the world derive emotional benefits from using their financial resources to help others (prosocial spending). Analyzing survey data from 136 countries, we show that prosocial spending is consistently associated with greater happiness. To test for causality, we conduct experiments within two very different countries (Canada and Uganda) and show that spending money on others has a consistent, causal impact on happiness. In contrast to traditional economic thought—which places self-interest as the guiding principle of human motivation—our findings suggest that the reward experienced from helping others may be deeply ingrained in human nature, emerging in diverse cultural and economic contexts.


Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Download full pdf publication
| Link to HBS Working papers listing

Demographic Profiles of Latino Eligible Voters in 27 States

Press Release:
The Pew Hispanic Center, a project of the Pew Research Center, today released statistical profiles of the Latino eligible voter populations in 27 states. Derived from the 2008 American Community Survey, these profiles provide key demographic and socioeconomic information about Latino eligible voters and all eligible voters (U.S. citizens ages 18 and older). They also contain Latino population estimates for congressional districts in the 27 states.

The Center also launched a new feature on its website called Mapping the Latino Electorate. This interactive feature provides key eligible voter statistics in the nation's 50 states and the District of Columbia along with Hispanic population estimates in 435 congressional districts.


The state fact sheets... contain data on the size and social and economic characteristics of the Hispanic and non-Hispanic eligible voter populations. These fact sheets are based on the Center's tabulations of the Census Bureau's 2008 American Community Survey. Eligible voters are defined as U.S. citizens ages 18 and older.


Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Link to State Fact Sheets at the Pew Hispanic Center

Monday, October 18, 2010

Resource Brief | Breast Cancer Info Center, Encyclopedia of Chicago, the Livingroom Candidate



Resources Mentioned in Resource Brief podcast Episode #2


ebrary Breast Cancer Searchable Information Center
http://site.ebrary.com/lib/breastcancer

Online Encyclopedia of Chicago
http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org

The livingroomcandidate site is part of the “Museum of the Moving Image” and can be found at http://www.livingroomcandidate.org

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cutting to the bone: How the economic crisis affects schools

Introduction:
They’re calling it “The Great Recession.” Not since the Great Depression of the 1930s has the United States gone through such an economic meltdown—huge increases in unemployment, steep drops in housing prices, and tight credit for even the most financially sound. These events have taken their toll on the country’s economic output and unemployment rate, and they have affected just about every classroom in the nation as well.

Education is usually one of the last budget areas to be cut, but most districts today are suffering declines in both state and local funding. At the same time, many are also facing dramatic increases in costs ranging from utilities to pension funds. With decreasing revenues and rising costs, school districts are forced to make tough decisions if they are to balance their budgets and still meet the needs of their students.

Some districts are finding ways to grapple with rising costs and limit the impact on students—for the time being. But what will be the long-term impact of this economic crisis on our next generation of students? This paper will describe what districts are up against and what the long-term impact might be.


Source: (U.S.) Center for public Education

Link to full online article

A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States

Description:
A Data-Based Assessment of Research-Doctorate Programs in the United States presents findings from data collected for the 2005-2006 academic year from more than 5,000 doctoral programs at 212 universities. This report also includes illustrations of how the data can be used to produce rankings of doctoral programs based on measures important to faculty, students, administrators, funders, and other stakeholders.


Source: National Academies Press

Download pdf report brief (free) | Download full report (requires login)

Hold the Vegetables: How 'Now vs. Later' Affects Customer Choice

Paper Abstract:
How do decisions made for tomorrow or 2 days in the future differ from decisions made for several days in the future? We use data from an online grocer to address this question. In general, we find that as the delay between order completion and delivery increases, grocery customers spend less, order a higher percentage of “should” items (e.g., vegetables), and order a lower percentage of “want” items (e.g., ice cream), controlling for customer fixed effects. These field results replicate previous laboratory findings and are consistent with theories suggesting that people’s should selves exert more influence over their choices the further in the future outcomes will be experienced. However, orders placed for delivery tomorrow versus 2 days in the future do not show this want/should pattern, and we discuss a potential explanation

Source: Marketing Letters via Knowledge@Wharton

Read the discussion paper online at Knowledge@Wharton


Read the full pdf from Marketing Letters (subscription required)

European Union Mental Health Survey

A poll released to mark World Mental Health Day reveals that during the 12 months preceding the survey, 15% of respondents across EU Member States sought professional help for psychological or emotional problems and 7% took antidepressants, mostly for depression or anxiety. According to the results, there is still stigma attached to mental disorders, with 22% of those surveyed saying they would find it difficult to speak to a person with a "significant mental disorder". This issue and the other results will be discussed during the next thematic conference under the European Pact for Mental Health and Well-being.

Source: Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission

Download full pdf publication | Link to Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission

European Union : E-Communications Household Survey

Overview
Europeans are becoming increasingly "digital" according to a European Commission Eurobarometer survey which questioned 27,000 households throughout the EU on their use of internet, telephones and TV. More Europeans are subscribing to broadband internet and digital television in fixed-cost bundled 'packages'. Increased broadband take-up means even more Europeans are going online with 35% now using social networking websites. However, they have concerns about cost, quality of service and security, as well as online freedom. One fifth of fixed and mobile internet users reveal that they have experienced problems with blocked content and applications. The Commission's May 2010 Digital Agenda for Europe not only sets ambitious targets to bring broadband internet to all of Europe's citizens but also outlines measures to boost competition, trust and security.


Source: Public Opinion Analysis sector of the European Commission.

Download full pdf publication
| Download pdf summary

The House of Representatives Apportionment Formula: An Analysis of Proposals for Change and Their Impact on States

Summary:

In preparation for the reallocation of Representatives among the states based on the 2010 Census, it may prove helpful to examine the current House of Representatives apportionment formula. In addition, some members of the statistical community have, in the recent past, urged Congress to consider changing the current apportionment formula. Consequently, an examination of other methods that could be used to apportion the seats in the House of Representatives may contribute to a deeper understanding of the apportionment process. Seats in the House of Representatives are allocated by a formula known as "the Hill," or equal proportions, method. If Congress decided to change it, there are at least five alternatives to consider. Four of these are based on rounding fractions and one, on ranking fractions. The current apportionment system (codified in 2 U.S.C. 2a) is one of the rounding methods. The Hamilton-Vinton method is based on ranking fractions. First, the population of 50 states is divided by 435 (the House size) in order to find the national "ideal size" district. Next, this number is divided into each state's population. Each state is then awarded the whole number in its quotient (but at least one). If fewer than 435 seats have been assigned by this process, the fractional remainders of the 50 states are rank-ordered from largest to smallest, and seats are assigned in this manner until 435 are allocated. The rounding methods, including the Hill method currently in use, allocate seats among the states differently, but operationally the methods only differ by where rounding occurs in seat assignments. Three of these methods--Adams, Webster, and Jefferson--have fixed rounding points. Two others--Dean and Hill--use varying rounding points that rise as the number of seats assigned to a state grows larger. The methods can be defined in the same way (after substituting the appropriate rounding principle in parentheses). The rounding point for Adams is (up for all fractions); for Dean (at the harmonic mean); for Hill (at the geometric mean); for Webster (at the arithmetic mean, which is 0.5 for successive numbers); and for Jefferson (down for all fractions). Substitute these phrases in the general definition below for the rounding methods: Find a number so that when it is divided into each state's population and resulting quotients are rounded (substitute appropriate phrase), the total number of seats will sum to 435. (In all cases where a state would be entitled to less than one seat, it receives one anyway because of the constitutional requirement.) Fundamental to choosing an apportionment method is a determination of fairness. Each apportionment method discussed in this report has a rational basis, and for each, there is at least one test according to which it is the most equitable. The question of how the concept of fairness can best be defined, in the context of evaluating an apportionment formula, remains open. Which of the mathematical tests discussed in this report best approximates the constitutional requirement that Representatives be apportioned among the states according to their respective numbers is, arguably, a matter of judgment, rather than an indisputable mathematical test.

Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of congress

Download full pdf publication | Link to online summary at Open CRS

Video calling and video chat

From Overview:
Almost a fifth of American adults – 19% – have tried video calling either online or via their cell phones. These figures translate into 23% of internet users and 7% of cell phone owners who have participated in video calls, chats, or teleconferences.

Video calling has become increasingly available as camcorders have spread through the online environment, cameras have been built into smart phones, and as video-chat services like Skype, Google Talk, and Apple iChat have become a feature of the online and smart phone environment. Teleconferencing is also becoming more embedded in the business environment.

This summer, in a nationally-representative telephone survey using landlines and cell phones, the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Project asked for the first time about the prevalence of video calling both online and on cell phones.


Source: Pew Internet and American Life Project

Download full pdf report | Link to online overview

In Search of Copyright’s Lost Ark: Interpreting the Right to Distribute in the Internet Age

Abstract:
Prior to the emergence of peer-to-peer technology, the Copyright Act’s distribution right was largely dormant. Most enforcement actions were premised upon violations of the reproduction right. The relatively few cases invoking the distribution right involved arcane scenarios. During the past several years, direct enforcement of the Copyright Act against file sharers has brought the scope of the distribution right to center stage. Whereas the 1909 Act expressly protected the rights to “publish” and “vend,” the 1976 Act speaks of a right to “distribute.” Interpreting “distribute” narrowly, some courts have held that copyright owners must prove that a sound recording placed in a peer-to-peer share folder was actually downloaded to establish violation of the distribution right. Other courts hold that merely making a sound recording available violates the distribution right. The ramifications for copyright enforcement in the Internet age are substantial. Under the narrow interpretation, the relative anonymity of peer-to-peer transmissions in combination with privacy concerns make enforcement costly and difficult. A broad interpretation exposes millions of peer-to-peer users to potentially crushing statutory damages. Drawing upon the historical development of copyright law and the legislative history of the Copyright Act of 1976, this article explains why Congress selected the term “distribute” in its last omnibus revision of copyright law, shows unequivocally that Congress intended to encompass broadly the 1909 Act rights to “publish” and “vend” within the right to distribute, and rejects the position that Congress required proof of “actual distribution” to prove violation of the distribution right. This critical legislative history has been notably absent from treatise accounts and briefing on the liability standard in the file sharing cases, leaving courts without a compass to navigate this statutory terrain. This article traces the origins of the key legislative terms to elucidate the scope of the distribution right in the Internet age.


Source: U.C. Berkeley Program in Law and Economics, Working Paper Series [via eScholarship Repository]

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract [eScholarship Repository]

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Support For Same-Sex Marriage Edges Upward

From Online Overview

Majority Continues to Favor Gays Serving Openly in Military

Polls this year have found that more Americans favor allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally than did so just last year. In two polls conducted over the past few months, based on interviews with more than 6,000 adults, 42% favor same-sex marriage while 48% are opposed. In polls conducted in 2009, 37% favored allowing gays and lesbians to marry legally and 54% were opposed. For the first time in 15 years of Pew Research Center polling, fewer than half oppose same-sex marriage.


Source: Pew Research Center for People and the Press

Download full pdf publication | Link to online overview

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Reversal of the College Marriage Gap

In a reversal of long-standing marital patterns, college-educated young adults are more likely than young adults lacking a bachelor's degree to have married by the age of 30.

In 2008, 62% of college-educated 30-year-olds were married or had been married, compared with 60% of 30-year-olds who did not have a college degree.

Throughout the 20th century, college-educated adults in the United States had been less likely than their less-educated counterparts to be married by age 30. In 1990, for example, 75% of all 30-year-olds who did not have a college degree were married or had been married, compared with just 69% of those with a college degree.

As those numbers attest, marriage rates among adults in their 20s have declined sharply since 1990 for both the college-educated and those without a college degree. But the decline has been much steeper for young adults without a college education.


Source: Pew Research Center

Download full pdf publication
| Link to Pew Research Center

A Field Training Guide for Human Subjects Research Ethics

Summary Points
* Community trials of interventions to address major global causes of illness and death are often located in low-resource settings, where research findings will be most directly applicable.
* Although investigators delegate research activities involving human subject contact to local field workers, they retain ultimate responsibility for human subject protection and scientific integrity.
* To train every cadre of field worker in research ethics requires simplified training guidelines that can be easily translated and adapted for use in a wide variety of settings and cultural frameworks, especially where field workers have limited formal education.
* Field workers need appropriate training materials, tailored to varying levels of human subject responsibility, that focus on basic principles of community research.
* We have produced a Field Training Guide for Human Subjects Research Ethics, which is freely available to the public. In this article we address how to identify field training needs and meet high standards of research ethics at every level of human subject interaction.


Source: A Field Training Guide for Human Subjects Research Ethics. PLoS Med 7(10): e1000349. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1000349

Download full pdf guide | link to online Summary

Murder by numbers: monetary costs imposed by a sample of homicide offenders

Prior research on the monetary costs of criminal careers has neglected to focus on homicide offenders and tended to minimize the public costs associated with crime. Drawing on expanded monetization estimates produced by Cohen and Piquero, this study assessed the monetary costs for five crimes (murder, rape, armed robbery, aggravated assault, and burglary) imposed by a sample of (n 1⁄4 654) convicted and incarcerated murderers. The average cost per murder exceeded $17.25 million and the average murderer in the current sample posed costs approaching $24 million. The most violent and prolific offenders singly produced costs greater than $150–160 million in terms of victim costs, criminal justice costs, lost offender productivity, and public willingness-to-pay costs.

Source: The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry & Psychology
Vol. 21, No. 4, August 2010, 501–513

Download full pdf publication | Link to Author Web Site

Mexico-U.S. Relations: Issues for Congress

From the Summary
The United States and Mexico have a close and complex bilateral relationship, with extensive economic linkages as neighbors and partners under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). In recent years, security issues have dominated U.S.-Mexican relations, as the United States has supported Mexican President Felipe Calderón's campaign against drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) through bilateral security cooperation initiatives including the Mérida Initiative, an anti-crime and counterdrug assistance package first funded in FY2008. Immigration and border security have also returned to the forefront of the bilateral agenda since Arizona enacted a controversial state law against illegal immigration (S.B. 1070) on April 23, 2010. In late July 2010, a federal judge blocked large parts of S.B. 1070 from taking effect pending the results of a U.S. Department of Justice lawsuit challenging its constitutionality. In response to rising concerns about border security, President Obama has deployed 1,200 National Guard troops to support law enforcement efforts along the U.S.-Mexico border and Congress has approved $600 million in supplemental funds for border security (P.L. 111-230). Now in the fourth year of his six-year term, President Calderón of the conservative National Action Party (PAN) is focused on restarting the Mexican economy, which contracted by 7% in 2009 (largely as a result of the U.S. recession), and combating drug traffickers and organized criminal groups.


Source: Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress [via openCRS]

Download full pdf publication
| Link to online summary via OpenCRS

Thursday, October 07, 2010

Safest cities for families with young children revealed

The study, "Safest Cities for Families with Young Children," evaluated the 50 largest U.S. cities on specific criteria that contribute to home, community and overall personal safety. The results showed that 10 cities lead the way in helping reduce risk of fire deaths, pedestrian accidents and other mishaps that contribute to the estimated 14 million potentially disabling, unintentional injuries that children sustain each year.


The 2010 "Safest Cities for Families with Young Children" include:

* Boston
* Columbus, Ohio
* Louisville, Ky.
* Minneapolis, Minn.
* New York
* Portland, Ore.
* San Francisco
* Seattle
* Tampa, Fla.
* Virginia Beach, Va.


Source: United Underwriters

More information about the Study online at United Underwriters (link)

Toward a Culture of Consequences : Performance-Based Accountability Systems for Public Services

Summary Abstract
Performance-based accountability systems (PBASs), which link incentives to measured performance as a means of improving services to the public, have gained popularity. While PBASs can vary widely across sectors, they share three main components: goals, incentives, and measures. Research suggests that PBASs influence provider behaviors, but little is known about PBAS effectiveness at achieving performance goals or about government and agency experiences. This study examines nine PBASs that are drawn from five sectors: child care, education, health care, public health emergency preparedness, and transportation. In the right circumstances, a PBAS can be an effective strategy for improving service delivery. Optimum circumstances include having a widely shared goal, unambiguous observable measures, meaningful incentives for those with control over the relevant inputs and processes, few competing interests, and adequate resources to design, implement, and operate the PBAS. However, these conditions are rarely fully realized, so it is difficult to design and implement PBASs that are uniformly effective. PBASs represent a promising policy option for improving the quality of service-delivery activities in many contexts. The evidence supports continued experimentation with and adoption of this approach in appropriate circumstances. Even so, PBAS design and its prospects for success depend on the context in which the system will operate. Also, ongoing system evaluation and monitoring are integral components of a PBAS; they inform refinements that improve system functioning over time.


Source: RAND Corporation

Download full pdf publication | Download pdf Executive Summary | Link to online abstract

Who Gives More? A Comparative Perspective of Philanthropic Giving through Foundations within the UEFA and the NFL

Abstract:
Due to the specifics of the football governance systems and cultures of Europe and the United States, we hypothesize that the charitable foundation involvement of the National Football League (NFL) and its teams is more pronounced than that of the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) and its Champions League (UCL) clubs. On the basis of a literature review, web research and emails to foundation staff, the study produces the following findings that support our hypothesis: At both the association/league and team level, the NFL is stronger as well as longer involved in charitable foundations than the UEFA. At the team level, 3 times as many NFL foundations as UCL club foundations exist. The minimum amount of giving of NFL team foundations is 13 times higher than that of UCL club foundations. On average, NFL team foundations are twice as old as their UEFA equivalents.


Source: Institute for Strategy and Business Economics, University of Zurich Working Paper Series

Download full pdf publication | Link to online abstract

Vital Signs: Binge Drinking Among High School Students and Adults

From the Abstract:
Background: Binge drinking was responsible for more than half of the estimated 79,000 deaths and two thirds of the estimated 2.3 million years of potential life lost as a result of excessive drinking each year in the United States during 2001--2005.

Methods: CDC analyzed data from the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) on the prevalence of binge drinking (defined as consuming four or more alcoholic drinks per occasion for women and five or more for men during the past 30 days) among U.S. adults aged ≥18 years who responded to the BRFSS survey by landline or cellular telephone. Data also were analyzed from the 2009 National Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) on the prevalence of current alcohol use (consuming at least one alcoholic drink during the 30 days before the survey), and binge drinking (consuming five or more alcoholic drinks within a couple of hours during the 30 days before the survey) among U.S. high school students, and on the prevalence of binge drinking among high school students who reported current alcohol use.


Source: U.S. Center for Disease Control

Download full pdf report | Link to online abstract and report

A Positive Approach to Studying Diversity in Organizations

From the Executive Summary:
Considering that the topic of workplace diversity often garners unhappy discussions of prejudice, isolation, and conflict, it's not surprising that many researchers avoid the topic altogether. Only 5 percent of articles published in management journals from 2000-2008 included race or gender in their keywords. In this paper, Harvard Business School professors Lakshmi Ramarajan and David Thomas propose a positive approach to studying diversity, with hopes that this will lead managers to feel more positive about adopting diversity policies in the workplace.

Source: Harvard Business School Working Papers

Download full pdf publication | Link to Executive Summary and abstract

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Resource Brief : Ancient Manuscripts, Archives, and more

video


OR view with quicktime viewer ....




Resources in the Resource Brief video:

New Online Exhibition from The European Library: "Reading Europe: European Culture Through the Book"
http://www.theeuropeanlibrary.org/exhibition-reading-europe/

British Library Digitized Manuscripts...
http://www.bl.uk/manuscripts/

British Library's YouTube Feature:
http://www.youtube.com/user/britishlibrary?feature=mhum


National Library of Medicine online collection
http://collections.nlm.nih.gov


Internet Archive:
http://www.archive.org/

Open Library
http://openlibrary.org/

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Latinos and the 2010 Elections: Strong Support for Democrats; Weak Voter Motivation

From Overview:
In a year when support for Democratic candidates has eroded, the party's standing among one key voting group-Latinos-appears as strong as ever. Two-thirds (65%) of Latino registered voters say they plan to support the Democratic candidate in their local congressional district, while just 22% support the Republican candidate, according to a nationwide survey of Latinos. If this pro-Democratic margin holds up on Election Day next month, it would be about as wide as in 2008, when Latinos supported Barack Obama for president over John McCain by 67% to 31%.

However, Hispanic registered voters appear to be less motivated than other voters to go to the polls. Just one-third (32%) of all Latino registered voters say they have given this year's election "quite a lot" of thought. In contrast, half (50%) of all registered voters say the same. And when it comes to their intent to vote, half (51%) of Latino registered voters say they are absolutely certain they will vote in this year's midterm election, while seven-in-ten (70%) of all registered voters say the same.


Source: Pew Hispanic Center

Download full pdf Report | Link to online overview

Monday, October 04, 2010

Boosting Financial Literacy in America: A Role for State Colleges and Universities

Perspective from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities
Given the overarching ramifications that financial literacy plays in the modern economy, this paper contends that a renewed emphasis on financial literacy is central to individual, family and communal economic security. New responsibilities and opportunities given to consumers, such as retirement planning, have increased the need for more sophisticated consumer financial knowledge. State colleges and universities can fulfill a meaningful role by offering financial education programs and services to students, faculty, staff and members of their communities. Included in this paper is a series of replicable practices that promote improved financial literacy.


Source: American Association of State Colleges and Universities

Download full pdf publication | Link to online introduction

The Statute of Anne and its Progeny: Variations Without a Theme

Abstract:
Scholars generally agree that no definitive account can be given of the specific circumstances surrounding the passage of the Statute of Anne or the precise meaning ascribed to it by Parliament. The result was that its content remained hotly contested for the next century in Britain. Ultimately the model established by the Statute was abandoned in Britain, but not without first having significant effects in its former colony, the new United States. This paper explores the instability that the open texture of the Statute of Anne introduced into the new American copyright system, and traces the statute's footprints into the twenty-first century. The simple fact that United States adopted the Statute of Anne without agreeing then or since on the objectives and appropriate scope of copyright does much to explain the tortured history of copyright doctrine in this country, and the fervor of the modern so-called "copyright wars."


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

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Spoofing Herzog and Herzog Spoofing

Abstract:
This essay explores how humor, parody, and self-parody have shaped and reshaped the public image of the filmmaker Werner Herzog, especially since the 1990s and with the help of various spectators, particularly those who create and circulate their own images of the iconic German director. To see this dynamic at work, we have to look not only at Herzog’s films, but also at his many interviews and public appearances, at his performances in films made by other directors, at animated cartoons and reality TV programs, at Internet blogs and streaming videos, at comedy websites and live-comedy shows. Collectively, this material suggests that the revitalization of Herzog’s career in recent years has relied in part on humor and parody: that of the filmmaker and that of his audience.


Source: TRANSIT, Department of German, UCB, UC Berkeley

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Future industry clusters

The old economic order is shifting. As the global economy recovers some emerging markets are likely to grow faster than traditional economic powers. At the industry level, these shifts are even more apparent with accelerating capital flows, fundamental demographic changes, and the rise of state capitalism reshaping the world map for many sectors. PwC's Macro Consulting team has developed a tool to map future clusters across the world. This report uses this tool to highlight the geographical locations that will host the largest clusters in five industries:

* pharmaceuticals
* automobile assembly
* asset management
* filmed entertainment and
* tertiary education

The expected top locations in 2025 and 2040 are disclosed for each of these sectors highlighting key trends for the industry and how the new economic order will influence future geographical winners.


Source: PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

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