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Archive for the ‘social and cultural issues’ Category

Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Parents’ Income is a Poor Predictor of SAT Score
Source: Open Differential Psychology

Parents’ annual income lacks statistical significance as a predictor of state SAT scores when additional variables are well controlled. Spearman rank correlation coefficients reveal parents’ income to be a weaker predictor of average SAT scores for each income bracket within each state than parents’ education level as a predictor of average SAT scores for each education level within each state. Multiple linear regression of state SAT scores with covariates for sample size, state participation, year, and each possible combination of ordinal variables for parents’ income, parents’ education, and race shows income to lack statistical significance in 49% of the iterations with greater frequency of insignificance among iterations with higher explained variance. Cohen’s d comparisons of the yearly individual SAT advantage of having educated parents show a fairly consistently increasing positive relationship over time, whereas similar analysis of the yearly individual SAT advantage of having high-income parents shows variability somewhat coinciding with the business cycle.

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A Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause

July 22, 2014 Comments off

A Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause
Source: Climacteric

Objective
A number of learned societies, including the International Menopause Society, have produced position statements pertaining to the use of postmenopausal hormone therapy. These documents are highly informative but are not designed for use by primary-care physicians and nurse practitioners during routine consultations. Our aim was to produce a toolkit for practitioners that could be used during office consultations to assist them in the assessment and management of the menopause.

Methods
We used clinical experience in primary care, combined with published diagnostic algorithms, positions statements from learned medical societies and relevant peer-reviewed literature to develop assessment and management algorithms relevant to the primary care of women age 40 years and older.

Results
The resultant ‘Practitioner’s Toolkit for Managing the Menopause’ comprises algorithms for the reasons why a woman might present, determination of menopausal status, key information that should be ascertained, issues that may influence treatment decision-making, hormonal and non-hormonal treatment options, symptom management and patient review, and a brief supporting document.

Conclusions
We believe these algorithms and supporting document provide an accessible desktop tool for health-care practitioners caring for women at midlife. The toolkit has been endorsed by the International Menopause Society for global use.

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts

July 22, 2014 Comments off

2014 Multicultural Population Quick Facts
Source: AARP Research

This set of fact sheets provides a one-page snapshot of 50+ African American and Hispanic populations in select metropolitan markets.

Each fact sheet includes information on the population size, education, employment, income, grandparents living with grandchildren, food insecurity and buying power. Hispanic/Latino fact sheets also include data on citizenship status and English language use.

Data points are based on the most recent available from cited sources and represent the 50+ population unless otherwise indicated.

Inverse Privacy

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Inverse Privacy
Source: Microsoft Research

We say that an item of your personal information is private if you have it but nobody else does. It is inversely private if somebody has it but you do not. We analyze the provenance of inverse privacy and argue that technology and appropriate public policy can reduce inverse privacy to a minimum.

VA OIG — Administrative Investigation, Prohibited Personnel Practice and Preferential Treatment, National Cemetery Administration, VA Central Office

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Administrative Investigation, Prohibited Personnel Practice and Preferential Treatment, National Cemetery Administration, VA Central Office (PDF)
Source: U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Inspector General

The former Under Secretary for Memorial Affairs engaged in a prohibited personnel practice when he created a position and preselected an employee for that position. He also engaged in preferential treatment of an NCA contractor when he developed a less-than-arm’s-length relationship with the contractor. Further, NCA improperly gave the contractor sole-source contracts to provide one-to-one services to select NCA employees.

Moving Up or Standing Still? Access to Middle-Skilled Work for Newly Arrived Migrants in the European Union

July 22, 2014 Comments off

Moving Up or Standing Still? Access to Middle-Skilled Work for Newly Arrived Migrants in the European Union
Source: Migration Policy Institute

Over the past 15 years, migration in Europe has changed considerably. The economic boom in the early and mid-2000s and expanded mobility owing to European Union enlargement helped create new populations of migrants from both within and beyond the European Union. These recent migrants are more educated than earlier arrivals and many are highly skilled. Against the backdrop of the global economic crisis, which profoundly affected many migrant-receiving countries in Europe, governments are grappling with questions of how to ensure that immigrants are able to find employment and progress into better jobs over time.

This overview report caps a series of six country case studies evaluating the employment outcomes for foreign-born workers in the Czech Republic, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. The study examines how easy it is for newcomers in the European Union to establish themselves in destination-country labor markets in the first ten years after arrival, and how well they are able to move out of unskilled work and into middle-skilled jobs.

The Application of Platforms to Prevent Child Pornography

July 21, 2014 Comments off

The Application of Platforms to Prevent Child Pornography (PDF)
Source: International Journal of Scientific & Engineering Research

The advancement of information and communication technology specifically the Internet has used by many people especially young people to facilitate their daily life activities, for instance, e-learning. Through e-learning facility, some abuse it by involving into the business of pornography. This paper tries to explore the application of platforms, whether can prevent child pornography over the capturing end user technique, dilemma international child pornography law, imposing severe punishment, education and public awareness raising with respect to the Theory of Planned Behavioral (TPB). The survey shows that in the behavioral belief’s factor scored low correlations. However, the education and public awareness raising, blocking and filtering platforms and harmonization of the dilemma international child pornography law showed a slight high scored value. This indicates that, not only blocking, filtering platforms, education, public awareness raising, and harmonization of the dilemma international child pornography law can prevent child pornography but also imposing severe punishment and capturing end user technique can prevent child pornography with the make use of Theory of Planned Behavioral (TPB).

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy

July 21, 2014 Comments off

NSCAW Child Well-Being Spotlight: Teenage Girls in the Child Welfare System Report High Rates of Risky Sexual Activity and Pregnancy
Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Administration for Children & Families)

This National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) spotlight describes the high rates of risky sexual activity and pregnancy among teenage girls in the second cohort of NSCAW (NSCAW II). According to data from the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW), 16.8% of girls ages 14-17, and 45.1% of girls ages 18-20, had experienced at least one pregnancy.

State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008–2012

July 21, 2014 Comments off

State Government Indigent Defense Expenditures, FY 2008–2012
Source: Bureau of Justice Statistics

Provides data on state government indigent defense expenditures for fiscal years 2008 through 2012. Trends in spending and comparisons with total state government judicial-legal expenditures are also included. The report uses administrative data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s Government Finance Survey. This is a companion report to the Census Bureau’s report, Indigent Defense Services in the United States, FY 2008-2012.

Highlights:

  • In 2012, state governments spent $2.2 billion nationally on indigent defense, the lowest amount spent during the 5-year period from 2008 to 2012.
  • State government indigent defense expenditures showed an average annual decrease of 1.1% from 2008 to 2012.
  • From 2011 to 2012, state government indigent defense expenditures decreased by $45 million nationally (down 2.0%).
  • As a share of total judicial-legal expenditures by state governments, spending on indigent defense held steady between 9.5% and 10.0% from 2008 to 2012.

Australia’s female political leaders: a quick guide

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Australia’s female political leaders: a quick guide
Source: Parliamentary Library of Australia

This Quick Guide draws together information about women who have held leadership positions in Australia from Federation to May 2014. It includes vice-regal appointments, presiding officers, government, opposition and parliamentary party leaders, and parliamentary party presidents.

This Quick Guide includes dates in office, positions held and significant firsts. It also includes women who have served as deputy leaders in the Commonwealth Parliament. The final table presents women who have held executive (non-parliamentary) leadership positions in the parliamentary parties.

This information has been compiled from a range of sources including the Commonwealth Parliamentary Handbook, the Australian Electoral Commission, vice-regal, parliamentary and political party websites, biographies and archives relating to women in politics, and media articles relating to individual appointments.

A hyperlink to individual biographies is included where available, together with selected online sources for further reading. Using the arrows that appear in the header, the information may be ordered by name, party, jurisdiction, chamber and year of election/appointment.

Facts for Features — National Grandparents Day 2014: Sept. 7

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Facts for Features — National Grandparents Day 2014: Sept. 7
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

In 1970, Marian McQuade initiated a campaign to establish a day to honor grandparents. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter signed a federal proclamation, declaring the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents Day. This day has been celebrated every year since in honor of our nation’s grandparents.

SNAP Error Rates at All-Time Lows; Steady Improvement in Payment Accuracy Reflects Program’s Extensive Quality Control System

July 21, 2014 Comments off

SNAP Error Rates at All-Time Lows; Steady Improvement in Payment Accuracy Reflects Program’s Extensive Quality Control System
Source: Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

The percentage of SNAP (formerly food stamp) benefit dollars issued to ineligible households or to eligible households in excessive amounts fell for the seventh consecutive year in 2013 to 2.61 percent, newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) data show. That’s the lowest national overpayment rate since USDA began the current system of measuring error rates in 1981. The underpayment error rate fell to 0.6 percent, also the lowest on record. (See Figure 1.) The combined payment error rate — that is, the sum of the overpayment and underpayment error rates — fell to an all-time low of 3.2 percent.[1] Less than 1 percent of SNAP benefits go to households that are ineligible. In other words, more than 99 percent of SNAP benefits are issued to eligible households.

CRS — Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Unaccompanied Alien Children: Potential Factors Contributing to Recent Immigration (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

Since FY2008, the growth in the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras seeking to enter the United States has increased substantially. Total unaccompanied child apprehensions increased from about 8,000 in FY2008 to 52,000 in the first 8 ½ months of FY2014. Since 2012, children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras (Central America’s “northern triangle”) account for almost all of this increase. Apprehension trends for these three countries are similar and diverge sharply from those for Mexican children. Unaccompanied child migrants’ motives for migrating to the United States are often multifaceted and difficult to measure analytically.

Four recent out-migration-related factors distinguishing northern triangle Central American countries are high violent crime rates, poor economic conditions fueled by relatively low economic growth rates, high rates of poverty, and the presence of transnational gangs.

CRS — Unaccompanied Alien Children – Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Unaccompanied Alien Children – Legal Issues: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via U.S. State Department Foreign Press Center)

Recent reports about the increasing number of alien minors apprehended at the U.S. border without a parent or legal guardian have prompted numerous questions about so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs). Some of these questions pertain to the numbers of children involved, their reasons for coming to the United States, and current and potential responses of the federal government and other entities to their arrival. Other questions concern the interpretation and interplay of various federal statutes and regulations, administrative and judicial decisions, and settlement agreements pertaining to alien minors. This report addresses the latter questions, providing general and relatively brief answers to 14 frequently asked questions regarding UACs.

Impact of San Francisco’s Toy Ordinance on Restaurants and Children’s Food Purchases, 2011–2012

July 21, 2014 Comments off

Impact of San Francisco’s Toy Ordinance on Restaurants and Children’s Food Purchases, 2011–2012
Source: Preventing Chronic Disease (CDC)

Introduction
In 2011, San Francisco passed the first citywide ordinance to improve the nutritional standards of children’s meals sold at restaurants by preventing the giving away of free toys or other incentives with meals unless nutritional criteria were met. This study examined the impact of the Healthy Food Incentives Ordinance at ordinance-affected restaurants on restaurant response (eg, toy-distribution practices, change in children’s menus), and the energy and nutrient content of all orders and children’s-meal–only orders purchased for children aged 0 through 12 years.

Methods
Restaurant responses were examined from January 2010 through March 2012. Parent–caregiver/child dyads (n = 762) who were restaurant customers were surveyed at 2 points before and 1 seasonally matched point after ordinance enactment at Chain A and B restaurants (n = 30) in 2011 and 2012.

Results
Both restaurant chains responded to the ordinance by selling toys separately from children’s meals, but neither changed their menus to meet ordinance-specified nutrition criteria. Among children for whom children’s meals were purchased, significant decreases in kilocalories, sodium, and fat per order were likely due to changes in children’s side dishes and beverages at Chain A.

Conclusion
Although the changes at Chain A did not appear to be directly in response to the ordinance, the transition to a more healthful beverage and default side dish was consistent with the intent of the ordinance. Study results underscore the importance of policy wording, support the concept that more healthful defaults may be a powerful approach for improving dietary intake, and suggest that public policies may contribute to positive restaurant changes.

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as Most Visited City

July 21, 2014 Comments off

London Tops MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index as Most Visited City
Source: MasterCard

London tops the list as the destination of choice for international travelers for the third time in four years, according to the annual MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index released today.

Now in its fourth year, the index provides a ranking of the 132 most travelled cities from around the world.

Rounding out the top five cities are Bangkok, Paris, Singapore and Dubai, which are benefiting from a surge in international travel fueled by an expanding middle class, innovations in luxury travel and rising need for business travel. The index also indicates this surge will continue, even with more technology and collaboration tools available to businesses.

DOD — The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs

July 18, 2014 Comments off

The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs
Source: U.S. Department of Defense

The Education Directory for Children With Special Needs provides military families with children with special needs the information they need to make informed assignment decisions and easier transitions.

The directory consists of two components:

  • The Early Intervention Directory focusing on early intervention services for children birth through 3 years old
  • The School-Age Directory focusing on education services for children with special needs, 3 through 21 years old

Both provide tools and resources to help with the transition to a new location. The Early Intervention Directory summarizes national and state level early intervention trends and includes descriptions of local early intervention service providers. The School-Age Directory summarizes national and state level trends for special education and includes descriptions of individual school districts.

Note: Not just for military families. Lots of good info here.

International Migration: The Relationship with Economic and Policy Factors in the Home and Destination Country

July 18, 2014 Comments off

International Migration: The Relationship with Economic and Policy Factors in the Home and Destination Country
Source: OECD

Unfavourable demographic trends in many OECD countries threaten the sustainability of potential labour resources, GDP growth and fiscal positions. One factor that is expected to mitigate these trends is continued inflows of migrant workers from low income economies. However, a rapid catch-up in productivity and wages in these traditional source countries vis-à-vis the OECD may weaken economic incentives for migration and imply a transition away from current migration patterns. This paper uses data of the high-skilled and low-skilled migrant stock between 92 origin and 44 destination countries to highlight the relationship between economic factors and migration. The paper also attempts to uncover links with policy and demographic factors prevailing in the origin and destination countries. The analysis suggests that higher skill-specific wages in the destination country are associated with more migration. This relationship appears to be particularly strong for migrants from middle-income countries, supporting theories of an inverted-U relationship between origin country economic development and the propensity to migrate. Policy differences between the destination and origin also appear important, for example in terms of regulations on businesses and labour markets, along with the relative quality of institutions. In some instances, the effects on high-skilled and low-skilled migrants differ markedly. Combining the estimated coefficients from the model with the skill-specific wage profile from the OECD long-term growth projections highlights the potential for weaker future migrant flows to OECD countries than implied by past trends and embedded in official projections.

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds

July 18, 2014 Comments off

Entrepreneurs Have the Potential to Create 10 Million Youth Jobs in G20 Countries, New Accenture Research Finds
Source: Accenture

Entrepreneurs can help drive the creation of 10 million youth jobs across the G20 countries if existing barriers to entrepreneurship were lifted, according to new research from Accenture (NYSE: ACN). The study also indicates that while 74 percent of entrepreneurs surveyed by Accenture say they plan to recruit young talent in 2014, many believe that a shortage of people with relevant skills is hindering job creation and growth.

The Accenture study, “The promise of digital entrepreneurs: creating 10 million youth jobs in the G20 countries,” analyzes the views of more than 1,000 entrepreneurs and highlights the barriers that are limiting the potential of entrepreneurs to create jobs and grow the economy. The report illustrates that while 85 percent believe they have a critical role to play in the creation of jobs for young people, they face a number of challenges including securing funding, scaling and sustaining innovation, growing internationally and accessing the right skills. The study was developed ahead of the G20 Young Entrepreneurs’ Alliance Summit in Sydney.

The report indicates that many entrepreneurs believe more could be done to foster an environment of youth job creation in their country. Only one quarter (26 percent) consider the actions taken by their government to support youth job creation as relevant and efficient. Additionally, more than half (54 percent) cite a lack of incentives as a barrier to taking on more young people.

The Brink of Renewal: A Business Leader’s Guide to Progress in America’s Schools

July 18, 2014 Comments off

The Brink of Renewal: A Business Leader’s Guide to Progress in America’s Schools
Source: Boston Consulting Group

Major cities in the U.S. are committed to improving education, and their resolve is beginning to bear fruit. Cities such as Boston, New York, New Orleans, Dallas, and Denver have made measurable progress in student achievement and graduation rates. Denver, for example, boosted on-time graduation rates from 38.7 percent to 61.3 percent over a recent six-year period.

However, while individual examples of progress are heartening (and worth celebrating), the big picture isn’t nearly as bright.

On the whole, the nation’s preK-12 education system continues to be plagued by low overall achievement, wide achievement gaps, and uncertain prospects for the future. Consider just one indicator: the U.S. spends more on its schools than almost all other industrialized nations, and yet its students still lag behind their global peers—performing at or below average on many international measures.

It’s no surprise that pessimism prevails. In a recent Harvard Business School survey on U.S. competitiveness, the nearly 7,000 business leaders who responded named preK-12 education among the greatest weaknesses in the U.S. business environment. A significant majority also said they believe the U.S. is falling behind in preK-12 education compared with other nations.

Despite the troubling data, we believe that today can represent a historic turning point for U.S. schools. Promising trends, some decades in the making, are converging to make a transformation of the U.S. education system possible.

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