Thursday, January 08, 2015

Richard Nixon-Frank Gannon Interviews Transcribed and Searchable Online

The Richard Nixon-Frank Gannon Interviews consist of more than 30 hours of a videotaped oral history with former president Richard Nixon. The interviews took place nearly a decade after Nixon's resignation, and were conducted with the benefit of some historical perspective and without media hype. They were made in four groups of two- and three-day sessions spread over seven months in 1983. Each interview was organized around a specific topic or topics. Issues discussed included Nixon's early political career, Vietnam, China, the Soviet Union, the Middle East, the Watergate scandal and Nixon's resignation as president, U.S. domestic policy, U.S. presidents, and foreign leaders. These interviews, conducted by Frank Gannon, a former employee and trusted friend of Richard Nixon, represent Nixon's most substantial and lengthy post-presidency interview. The interviews were donated by Jesse Raiford, president of Raiford Communications.

All interviews are viewable with synchronized and searchable transcripts and subject indexes via the OHMS Viewer.
Source:University of Georgia Special Collections
 Access the Richard Nixon-Frank Gannon Interviews

Lessons from the Local Level: DACA's Implementation and Impact on Education and Training Success

Since its launch in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program has brought together immigration policy and the education and career-training fields in an unprecedented manner. Applicants for DACA must meet the program's educational requirements in order to qualify for relief from deportation and work authorization, relying on schools to furnish transcripts as evidence. For those who lack a high school diploma or equivalent, DACA carves out a role for adult education programs to help unauthorized immigrants meet the educational requirements to qualify for protection. And schools at K-12, adult education, and postsecondary levels have played an important role in outreach and sharing of information about DACA. Furthermore, college completion is particularly important for this group, as future DREAM Act-type legislation could be predicated on a postsecondary education requirement.

This report examines the ways in which local educational institutions, legal service providers, and immigrant youth advocates have responded to the first phase of DACA. Based on extensive interviews with stakeholders in seven states—California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maryland, New York, and Texas—the report identifies initiatives undertaken by educational institutions and other community stakeholders to support DACA youth’s education and training success, and examine the impact of deferred action on grantees’ academic and career pursuits. It provides examples of promising practices, additional challenges, and key takeaways at the high school, postsecondary, and adult education levels, as well as an exploration of the nature and scope of DACA legal outreach initiatives.
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Download full pdf publication | View online overview

Raising The Global Ambition for Girls' Education

In 1948, the world’s nations came together and agreed that “everyone has a right to education,” boys and girls and rich and poor alike. This vision set forth in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been reinforced over the decades and today the girls who still fight to be educated are not cases for charity but actively pursuing what is rightfully theirs. In recent years, girls’ education has also received attention because, in the words of the United Nations, “education is not only a right but a passport to human development.” Evidence has been mounting on the pivotal role that educating a girl or a woman plays in improving health, social, and economic outcomes, not only for herself but her children, family, and community. Educating girls helps improve health: one study published in The Lancet, the world’s leading medical journal, found that increasing girls’ education was responsible for more than half of the reduction in child mortality between 1970 and 2009. The economic benefits are clear: former chief economist at the World Bank and United States Secretary of the Treasury Lawrence Summers concluded that girls’ education “may well be the highest-return investment available in the developing world” due to the benefits women, their families and societies reap. And because women make up a large share of the world’s farmers, improvements in girls’ education also lead to increased agricultural output and productivity.
Source: Brookings Institution

Download full pdf publication | Read online overview

Health Reform Not Causing Significant Shift to Part-Time Work; But Raising Threshold to 40 Hours a Week Would Make a Sizeable Shift Likely

Recent data provide scant evidence that health reform is causing a significant shift toward part-time work, contrary to the claims of critics.  The number of part-time workers who would rather be working full time is shrinking.  And there’s every reason to believe that health reform will have only a small effect on the part-time share of total employment. 

More important, raising the law’s threshold from 30 hours a week to 40 hours would make a shift toward part-time employment much more likely — not less so.  That’s because only a small share of workers today — 7 percent — work 30 to 34 hours a week and thus are most at risk of having their hours cut below health reform’s threshold.  In comparison, 44 percent of employees work 40 hours a week, and another several percent work 41 to 44 hours a week.  Thus, raising the threshold to 40 hours would place many more workers at risk of having their hours reduced.  In short, it’s the present legislation, not health reform, that threatens the traditional 40-hour work week the legislation’s sponsors say they want to protect.

Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

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'Competitiveness' Has Nothing to Do With It


The recent wave of corporate tax inversions has triggered interest in what motivates these tax-driven transactions now. Corporate executives have argued that inversions are explained by an "anti-competitive" U.S. tax environment, as evidenced by the federal corporate tax statutory rate, which is high by international standards, and by its "worldwide" tax base. This paper explains why this competitiveness narrative is largely fact-free, in part by using one recent articulation of that narrative (by Emerson Electric Co.’s former vice-chairman) as a case study.

The recent surge in interest in inversion transactions is explained primarily by U.S. based multinational firms’ increasingly desperate efforts to find a use for their stockpiles of offshore cash (now totaling around $1 trillion), and by a desire to "strip" income from the U.S. domestic tax base through intragroup interest payments to a new parent company located in a lower-taxed foreign jurisdiction. These motives play out against a backdrop of corporate existential despair over the political prospects for tax reform, or for a second "repatriation tax holiday" of the sort offered by Congress in 2004.
Source: Social Science Research Network

View abstract at SSRN | Download full pdf publication 

Smithsonian’s First Complete Digitized Collection Available for Public Use

Open F|S, the complete digitized collections of the Freer and Sackler Galleries and the Freer Study Collection. With more than 40,000 works being made available for high-resolution download—expanding regularly with our new acquisitions—you can explore the Smithsonian's museums of Asian art from anywhere in the world, whenever you like. Images can be used for all non-commercial purposes, from desktop wallpapers to artistic gifts for family and friends.
Accessible via Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Open F|S

Opening the Curriculum: Open Education Resources in U.S. Higher Education, 2014

This report, funded by a grant from The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation with additional support from Pearson, examines the attitudes, opinions, and use of Open Educational Resources (OER) among teaching faculty in U.S. higher education. Some of the key findings:
  • Faculty are not very aware of open educational resources. Depending on the strictness of the awareness measure, between two-thirds and three-quarters of all faculty classify themselves as unaware on OER.
  • Faculty appreciate the concepts of OER. When presented with the concept of OER, most faculty say that they are willing to give it a try.
  • Awareness of OER is not a requirement for adoption of OER. More faculty are using OER than report that they were aware of the term OER. Resource adoption decisions are often made without any awareness of the specific licensing of the material, or its OER status.
  • Faculty judge the quality of OER to be roughly equivalent to that of traditional educational resources. Among faculty who do offer an opinion, three-quarters rank OER quality as the same as or better than traditional resources.
  • The most significant barrier to wider adoption of OER remains a faculty perception of the time and effort required to find and evaluate it. The top three cited barriers among faculty members for OER adoption all concern the discovery and evalua- tion of OER materials.
  • Faculty are the key decision makers for OER adop- tion. Faculty are almost always involved in an adoption decision and — except for rare instances — have the primary role. The only exceptions are in a minority of two-year and for-profit institutions, where the administration takes the lead.
Source: Babson Survey Research Group

Financial Crisis and Increase in Income Inequality Across Cities

This paper investigates why the level of income inequality differs across U.S. cities. We also explore why some cities experienced faster increases in the level of inequality than others. Using the Decennial Census and the American Community Survey (ACS) from 1980 to 2011, we explore whether the disparities in the level and the changes in the level of inequality can be explained by MSA characteristics, including labor market conditions, skill distribution, residential mobility, racial concentration, industrial composition and unionization. We also examine how state level policies such as unemployment insurance benefits and minimum wage level is associated with income inequality.

Our findings shows that negative labor market conditions, concentration of skilled workers and racial segregation are positively associated with the level of income inequality. The level of inequality in these cities also tends to rise grow at a faster pace. While the minimum wage do not seem to have any association with income inequality, we find some evidence that the unemployment insurance benefit and percent of union members lower the increase in the income inequality.
Source: Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management

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Why Has Urban Inequality Increased?

The increase in wage inequality since 1980 in the United States has been more pronounced in larger cities, even after accounting for differences in the composition of the workforce across locations. Using Census of Population and Census of Manufacturers data aggregated to the local labor market level, this paper examines the importance of changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies, capital-skill complementarity, changes in the relative supply of skilled labor, and mutual interactions for understanding the more rapid increases in wage inequality in larger cities between 1980 and 2007. Parameter estimates of a production function that incorporates each of these mechanisms indicate strong evidence of capital-skill complementarity, increasing skill bias of agglomeration economies and declining capital bias of agglomeration economies. Immigration shocks serve as a source of exogenous variation across metropolitan areas in changes to the relative supply of skilled labor versus unskilled labor. The direct relative demand effects of the changing factor biases of agglomeration economies rationalize 77-82 percent of the more rapid increases in wage inequality in more populous local labor markets. Interactions between capital-skill complementarity and changes in the factor bias of agglomeration economies have generated outward and inward shifts in the relative demand for skilled labor in larger cities that approximately offset.
Source: Brown University (and others)

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Migration of Professionals to the U.S.; Evidence from LinkedIn data

We investigate trends in the international migration of professional workers by analyzing a dataset of millions of geolocated career histories provided by LinkedIn, the largest online platform for professionals. The new dataset confirms that the United States is, in absolute terms, the top destination for international migrants. However, we observe a decrease, from 2000 to 2012, in the percentage of professional migrants, worldwide, who have the United States as their country of destination. The pattern holds for persons with Bachelor’s, Master’s, and PhD degrees alike, and for individuals with degrees from highly-ranked worldwide universities. Our analysis also reveals the growth of Asia as a major professional migration destination during the past twelve years. Although we see a decline in the share of employment-based migrants going to the United States, our results show a recent rebound in the percentage of international students who choose the United States as their destination.
Source: LinkedIn

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Major administrative datasets of the U.S. government — all in one place

From the description:
An immense number of U.S. government agencies play a central role in the collection of a wide array of public data — vital statistics on health, transportation, commerce, finance, agriculture, and more. Much of this information is gathered by the 13 principal statistical agencies, but smaller organizations — for example, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the Army Corps of Engineers and USAID — also gather important information.

...links to data sources and tools from a broad range of federal agencies, courtesy of Katherine R. Smith, executive director of the Council of Professional Associations on Federal Statistics (COPAFS).
Source: Journalist’s Resource

Get links to datasets

Faith on the Hill: The Religious Composition of the 114th Congress


When the new, 114th Congress is sworn in on Jan. 6, 2015, Republicans will control both chambers of the legislative body for the first time since the 109th Congress (2005-2006). Yet, despite the sea change in party control, there is relatively little change in the overall religious makeup of Congress, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center. More than nine-in-ten members of the House and Senate (92%) are Christian, and about 57% are Protestant, roughly the same as in the 113th Congress (90% and 56%, respectively). About three-in-ten members (31%) are Catholic, the same as in the previous Congress.

Source: Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project

Read online at Pew Research

U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Release Joint Guidance to Ensure English Learner Students Have Equal Access to High-Quality Education

From the Press Release:

The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ) today released joint guidance reminding states, school districts and schools of their obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students have equal access to a high-quality education and the opportunity to achieve their full academic potential.
  • A fact sheet in English and in other languages about schools' obligations under federal law to ensure that English learner students can participate meaningfully and equally in school.
  • A fact sheet in English and in other languages about schools' obligations under federal law to communicate information to limited English proficient parents in a language they can understand.
  • A toolkit to help school districts identify English learner students, prepared by the Education Department's Office of English Language Acquisition. This is the first chapter in a series of chapters to help state education agencies and school districts meet their obligations to English learner students.
This is the first time that a single piece of guidance has addressed the array of federal laws that govern schools' obligations to English learners. The guidance recognizes the recent milestone 40th anniversaries of Lau v. Nichols and the Equal Educational Opportunities Act of 1974 (EEOA), as well as the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act. The EEOA, similar to Lau, requires public schools to take appropriate action to help English learner students overcome language barriers and ensure their ability to participate equally in school.

Source:  The U.S. Departments of Education (ED) and Justice (DOJ)