Source: Chronicle of Higher Education
From article: 4 Public-College Presidents Pass $1-Million Mark in Pay
Public higher education’s million-dollar club just got bigger. Four public-college presidents earned more than $1-million in 2011-12, up from three a year earlier, a Chronicle analysis has found. The median total compensation for public-college leaders rose to $441,392, an increase of 4.7 percent from 2010-11.
The top earner was Graham B. Spanier, who received $2.9-million. Mr. Spanier, who was fired in 2011 in connection with a child-sex-abuse scandal involving a former assistant football coach, received most of his money in severance pay and deferred compensation, which is money he earned during his 16-year presidency that was not previously paid out.
The Chronicle’s analysis included 212 college leaders at 191 public institutions.
Best High Schools
Source: U.S. News and World Report
We evaluated more than 21,000 public high schools in 49 states and the District of Columbia. Schools were awarded gold, silver or bronze medals based on state proficiency standards and how well they prepare students for college.
Source: National Public Radio (NPR)
In the past three decades, the number of Americans who are on disability has skyrocketed. The rise has come even as medical advances have allowed many more people to remain on the job and new laws have banned workplace discrimination against the disabled. Every month, 14 million people now get a disability check from the government.
The federal government spends more money each year on cash payments for disabled former workers than it spends on food stamps and welfare combined. Yet people relying on disability payments are often overlooked in discussions of the social safety net. People on federal disability do not work. Yet, because they are not technically part of the labor force, they are not counted among the unemployed.
In other words, people on disability don’t show up in any of the places we usually look to see how the economy is doing. But the story of these programs — who goes on them, and why, and what happens after that — is, to a large extent, the story of the U.S. economy. It’s the story not only of an aging workforce, but also of a hidden, increasingly expensive safety net.
You need a new type of scorecard to accurately measure the wealth of Major League Baseball these days because team owners are scoring in so many different ways.
Upshot: The average baseball team is now worth $744 million, 23% more than a year ago and the largest increase since we began tracking MLB finances in 1998. During the 2012 season, revenue (net of stadium debt service) rose 7%, to an average of $227 million per team. Operating income (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) per team fell 9%, to $13.1 million, mainly due to higher player costs and stadium expenses.
Why did values climb sharply despite falling profitability? Because to fully capture the value of MLB’s 30 teams it is necessary to keep score of the sport’s full portfolio of assets rather than just the cash-flow of the individual franchises. Our valuations were boosted by the escalating television rights fees that flow to each team, and the climbing values of Major League Baseball Advanced Media and the league’s investment fund.
National broadcasting fees are baseball’s biggest chunk of equally-shared revenue. Last year, Fox, TBS and ESPN inked new, eight-year broadcasting deals that will bring MLB a total of $12.4 billion over eight years–an average of $52 million a season for each of the league’s 30 teams–through 2021. The new deals begin with the 2014 season and are worth more than twice the league’s existing television contracts. Baseball has more inventory than any sport and with the national cable sports networks Fox Sports One, ESPN and NBC Sports battling it out for supremacy over couch potatoes, MLB was in a particularly strong negotiating position.
Jobs, Value and Affirmative Action: A Survey of Parents About College
Source: Inside Higher Ed
Study hard, and you’ll get into the college of your dreams.
It’s debatable whether that advice — given to generations of American children — was ever really true. But the first Inside Higher Ed poll of parents of pre-college students suggests that the truer statement today might be “study hard and you can get into the college we can afford,” or perhaps “study hard, and we’ll help you get into a college that can find you a job.”
Only about 16 percent of parents are sure they won’t restrict colleges to which their children will apply because of concerns about costs (although another 14 percent said that it was “not very likely” that they would do so), the results show. Parents are also likelier to see vocational certificates than liberal arts degrees as leading to good jobs for their children — and they view job preparation as the top role for higher education.
And at a time that a case before the Supreme Court could limit the way colleges use affirmative action, the poll found that most parents (including most white parents) do not believe that affirmative action is costing their children spots in college.
Parental concerns about paying for college and the importance of college programs that prepare students for jobs appear to grow as children get closer to college age, the poll found.
2013 Times Higher Education World Reputation Rankings
Source: Times Higher Education (UK)
The Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2012-2013 powered by Thomson Reuters are the only global university performance tables to judge world class universities across all of their core missions – teaching, research, knowledge transfer and international outlook. The top universities rankings employ 13 carefully calibrated performance indicators to provide the most comprehensive and balanced comparisons available, which are trusted by students, academics, university leaders, industry and governments.
The ranks of the world’s billionaires, as monitored and tallied by our global wealth team, have yet again reached all-time highs. The 2013 Forbes Billionaires list now boasts 1,426 names, with an aggregate net worth of $5.4 trillion, up from $4.6 trillion. We found 210 new ten-figure fortunes. Once again the U.S. leads the list with 442 billionaires, followed by Asia-Pacific (386), Europe (366), the Americas (129) and the Middle East & Africa (103).
The data shows: Top H-1B users are offshore outsourcers
The largest single users of H-1B visas are offshore outsourcers, many of which are based in India, or, if U.S. based, have most employees located overseas, according to government data obtained and analyzed by Computerworld.
The analysis comes as supporters of the skilled-worker visa program are trying to hike the H-1B cap to 300,000. Supporters of the raised cap, though, face opposition from critics who contend that H-1B visas undermine American tech workers and shouldn’t be expanded.
Based on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) data analyzed, the major beneficiaries of the proposed increase in the cap would be pure offshore outsourcing firms.
Most of the largest H-1B users easily account for more than 35,000 H-1B visas under the "initial" visa plan, which includes new H-1B visa holders or those who work second concurrent jobs with a different employer. H-1B visa holders who change employers altogether are not counted as new approvals. The government data could also include visa applications filed in 2011 but not approved until 2012.
"This is just affirmation that H-1B has become the outsourcing visa," said Ron Hira, a public policy professor at the Rochester Institute of Technology and researcher of tech immigration issues.
Worldwide cost of living index 2013
After currency swings pushed Zurich to the top of the ranking last year, Tokyo has resumed its place as the world’s most expensive city. This is a familiar position for the Japanese capital which has been the world’s most expensive city for all but a handful of the last 20 years. In fact, since 1992 Tokyo has been the ranking city in every year bar six. Only Zurich, Paris and Oslo were dubbed the world’s most expensive city during this time.
Free registration required.
Source: Airfare Watchdog
In the first three quarters of last year, U.S. airlines made almost half a trillion dollars in baggage and change fees alone. It seems like there’s a fee for everything these days. (Actually, there sort of is.) Figuring out which airline to book with and what the true cost of your travel will be is sort of like playing Guess Who? (but not nearly as fun). Need help? Let us introduce you to our brand new Comprehensive Airline Fees Guide, which comes in an easy-to-read PDF format. Here you’ll find every major fee charged by every major domestic carrier. The best part? It won’t cost you a dime.
As a shocked nation struggles to come to terms with the recent school shootings in Newtown, Conn., policymakers, school leaders, and the public alike have renewed their attention to the need to ensure a safe and secure environment in which students can grow and learn, and in which educators can teach. At the same time, policymakers and school leaders are focusing intently on the full range of factors that contribute to an academically successful school climate—strong peer and student-teacher relationships, effective and positive ways to address student misbehavior, supports for social and emotional development, and the involvement of parents and community groups. These issues are at the heart of the 2013 edition of Education Week’s Quality Counts report: Code of Conduct: Safety, Discipline, and School Climate.
A collaboration between the Education Week newsroom and the Editorial Projects in Education Research Center, Quality Counts 2013 investigates the impact of a school’s social and disciplinary environment on students’ ability to learn and on the teachers and administrators tasked with guiding them. The report’s journalism takes an in-depth look at a range of school-climate factors—including strong and positive peer interactions, a sense of safety and security, and school disciplinary policies and practices—that help to lay the groundwork for student achievement.
To complement the reporting, the EPE Research Center conducted an original survey of more than 1,300 educators, who shared their insights and opinions on school climate and discipline in their schools. Highlights of the study are featured in the report. … Against this backdrop, the annual Quality Counts report card—the most comprehensive ongoing assessment of the state of American education—also chronicles the challenges the nation and many states continue to face in delivering a high-quality education to all students. For 2013, the nation receives a C-plus when graded across the six distinct areas of policy and performance tracked by the report, marking a slight improvement since last year. For the fifth year in a row, Maryland earns honors as the top-ranked state, posting the nation’s highest overall grade, the only B-plus awarded.
Massachusetts ranks second with a B and is followed closely by New York and then by Virginia. These perennial top-performers took the same slots in last year’s rankings. Arkansas rounds out the top five with a grade of B-minus. Kentucky (ranked 10th) joins the top-10 states for the first time this year, while Florida (sixth) regains its top-10 standing after falling from the list in 2012. At the other end of the grading scale, South Dakota for the second year in a row takes the bottom spot, with a grade of D-plus. In all, 20 states receive grades of C or lower, a tally that includes the District of Columbia.
New findings from the report’s annual Chance-for-Success Index—which captures the role of education in a person’s life, from cradle to career—show the country struggling to provide opportunities to succeed and many states lagging far behind the national leaders. The U.S. as a whole receives a C-plus on the index. Massachusetts remains at the top of the national rankings for the sixth year running, earning the only A-minus and followed closely by Connecticut, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and Vermont, each posting grades of B-plus. Mississippi, Nevada, and New Mexico receive the lowest scores, with grades of D-plus or lower. Scores on the Chance-for-Success Index fell one point from last year and remain below pre-recession levels, due in part to continued weakness in conditions that support early schooling success, including family income and parental employment.
Source: National Affairs
One of the most peculiar, and least understood, features of the Washington policy process is the extraordinary dependence of policymakers on the work of think tanks. Most Americans — even most of those who follow politics closely — would probably struggle to name a think tank or to explain precisely what a think tank does. Yet over the past half-century, think tanks have come to play a central role in policy development — and even in the surrounding political combat.
Over that period, however, the balance between those two functions — policy development and political combat — has been steadily shifting. And with that shift, the work of Washington think tanks has undergone a transformation. Today, while most think tanks continue to serve as homes for some academic-style scholarship regarding public policy, many have also come to play more active (if informal) roles in politics. Some serve as governments-in-waiting for the party out of power, providing professional perches for former officials who hope to be back in office when their party next takes control of the White House or Congress. Some serve as training grounds for young activists. Some serve as unofficial public-relations and rapid-response teams for one of the political parties — providing instant critiques of the opposition’s ideas and public arguments in defense of favored policies.
Some new think tanks have even been created as direct responses to particular, narrow political exigencies. As each party has drawn lessons from various electoral failures over recent decades, their conclusions have frequently pointed to the need for new think tanks (often modeled on counterparts on the opposite side of the political aisle).
After Democrats lost the 2000 elections, for example, some liberal intellectuals and activists concluded that they were being outgunned in the arena of political communication, and created, among other institutions, the Center for American Progress — a think tank with a heavy emphasis on message development. And in 2008, after Republicans lost amid deep concern about the financial crisis and the ensuing economic downturn, some conservatives concluded that they needed more creative economic thinking, and this yielded, among other projects, e21 — a right-of-center economic-policy think tank based in Washington and New York. This trend — which might be summed up as "lose an election, gain a think tank" — has not only increased the proliferation of such institutions, but has also tended to make their work all the more responsive to political needs and developments, for better and for worse.
Today, think tanks are highly influential in our politics; their research and scholars are heavily consulted and relied on by our elected leaders. And in a time of both daunting policy challenges and highly polarized political debates, there is every reason to expect that think tanks will grow only more important in Washington.
As they become more political, however, think tanks — especially the newer and more advocacy-oriented institutions founded in the past decade or so — risk becoming both more conventional and less valuable. At a moment when we have too much noise in politics and too few constructive ideas, these institutions may simply become part of the intellectual echo chamber of our politics, rather than providing alternative sources of policy analysis and intellectual innovation. Given these concerns, it is worth reflecting on the evolution of the Washington think tank and its consequences for the nation.
The 2013 Military Friendly Schools® list honors the top 15% of schools that are doing the most to embrace America’s military students and ensure their success on campus.Our annual list of is compiled through extensive research and a data-driven survey of more than 12,000 VA-approved schools nationwide.
U.S. News Best Colleges 2013
Source: U.S. News and World Report
The 2013 edition of the U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges rankings is out, with stability at the very top of both the National Universities and National Liberal Arts Colleges lists.
Harvard University and Princeton University remained tied for the top spot in this year’s list of Best National Universities, which are typically large institutions that focus on research and grant bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Williams College still reigns as the lone No. 1 among National Liberal Arts Colleges, schools that emphasize undergraduate education and grant at least half their degrees in liberal arts majors such as philosophy, English, and history.
There was slight movement right below the top National Universities. Last year’s five-way tie for fifth dissolved, with the University of Chicago bumping up to tie with Columbia University at fourth and the California Institute of Technology sliding down to 10th. Further down the rankings, one of the biggest moves was made by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, which leapt nine spots from a tie at 50th to a tie at 41st.
Among the National Liberal Arts Colleges, Vassar College jumped up four spots to crack the top 10, tying with Claremont McKenna College. Harvey Mudd College rose from 18th to tie for 12th, and Bard College moved up 15 spots, from a tie at 51st to a tie at 36th.
The top-ranked Regional Universities—schools that offer many undergraduate degrees, some master’s, and few doctoral programs—also continued their strongholds in each quadrant of the country: Villanova University remains first in the North, while Rollins College, Creighton University, and Trinity University remain at the top in the South, Midwest, and West, respectively.
There was some juggling, however, among the top Regional Colleges—schools that grant fewer than half their degrees in liberal arts disciplines and, like the Regional Universities, are grouped into four geographic quadrants. In the North, Cooper Union nudged out the United States Coast Guard Academy for the top spot, and down South, High Point University outseated John Brown University. The top Regional Colleges in the Midwest and West, Taylor University and Carroll College, remained in the same spots from last year.
Source: Chronicle of Philanthropy
The nation’s generosity divide is vast, according to a new Chronicle of Philanthropy study that charts giving patterns in every state, city, and ZIP code.
In states like Utah and Mississippi, the typical household gives more than 7 percent of its income to charity, while the average household in Massachusetts and three other New England states gives less than 3 percent.
The same holds for the nation’s 50 biggest metropolitan areas. The Chronicle found that residents of Salt Lake City, Memphis, and Birmingham, Ala., typically give at least 7 percent of their discretionary income to charity, while those in Boston and Providence average less than 3 percent. (See our interactive tool to find giving data for any place in the United States.)
To account for sharp differences in the cost of living across America, The Chronicle’s study compared generosity rates after residents paid taxes, housing, food, and other necessities.
The study, based on the most recent available Internal Revenue Service records of Americans who itemized their deductions, examines taxpayers who earned $50,000 or more in 2008. They donated a median of 4.7 percent of their discretionary income to charitable causes. Altogether, they provided $135-billion to charity, nearly two-thirds of the $214-billion donated by all individuals in 2008, according to “Giving USA,” the benchmark of giving patterns.
So you want kids, do you? At the Ecologist, we’re not going to preach about the impending population bomb, and its devastating impact on scarce resources and the earth’s changing climate. At least, not for now. No, we want to talk about the joys of having children. Becoming a parent is the beginning of the roller coaster ride of a lifetime. But when the thrill is gone, we’re left with worry and white knuckles. Childbirth, one of life’s most empowering experiences, has been hijacked. It’s become institutionalised, taken over by technology, exiled from communities into hospitals and overhyped on TV dramas by scare-mongering pundits.As we don’t see it happening in our daily lives – around two per cent of births in England are home births – it is no longer part of our communities. This means that, especially for women, what we know about childbirth, before we experience it ourselves, is through stories. And stories are primarily about fear.
Hot spots: Benchmarking global city competitiveness (PDF)
Source: Economist Intelligence Unit (via Citibank)
From press release:
With more than half of the world’s population now living in urban areas, cities are more important than ever to the world’s societal and economic development. For most countries, economic success today hinges on the performance of their cities, as they together generate 80% of the world’s GDP; for most global businesses and therefore our clients, expansion strategies are increasingly shifting from a country perspective to a city perspective. And as mass urbanization continues across the world, particularly in growth economies, cities will wield greater and greater influence in the coming years.
This rapid rise of the city brings many new questions for our stakeholders, such as:
- Where will the most competitive cities and new economic powerhouses emerge?
- How will cities in the developing world differ from those in the developed world?
- What changes in infrastructure will be needed to accommodate millions of new citizens?
- How can businesses scale quickly to serve such immense populations?
To answer some of these questions, Citi commissioned the Economist’s sister organization, the Economist Intelligence Unit, to research and compile a comprehensive report that ranks the competitiveness of 120 of the world’s top cities.
The report, entitled Hot Spots, examines the many dimensions of cities as drivers of growth. It considers how newly emerging cities compete with more developed cities, reviews where the global centers of growth are likely to be found in coming years, and explores the link between talent and competitiveness. The report was released today in New York City with remarks by Citi CEO Vikram Pandit and NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg. New York City was voted the number 1 Hot Spot.
Ethnicity, Metabolism and Vascular Function: From Biology to Culture
We live in a multicultural society. Data from the US 2000 census illustrate that the population is quite heterogeneous: 75% of the population is of Caucasian origin, but look at the numbers for the other racial/ethnic populations. These numbers have now actually changed. The most recent data show that the Latino population now comprises 13.9% of the US population, followed by the African American population. And as you can see, there are other minority populations in the country.
Why is that relevant? It is relevant because we recognize that type 2 diabetes affects different populations in different ways. In this graph, you can see that the prevalence of type 2 diabetes is significantly higher in most of these minority groups in comparison to the white population. In this case, the European population represents what we usually see in this country in the white population. Keep in mind that these data are in people between the age of 45 and 74 years, and the rates of diabetes are 1.5, 2, 3 times higher than in the white population, with the highest prevalence of diabetes in terms of percentage of the population being demonstrated in the Pima Indians.
The Pima Indians are an American Indian group (most live in the state of Arizona) that has the highest rates of diabetes in the world: 70% of all Pima Indians above the age of 35 years have type 2 diabetes. They have a tremendous genetic risk for the disease, and they develop diabetes at very high rates. There is a very interesting natural “study” that occurred many years ago. The Pima Indians represented just a single group at some point in the past, but they divided into two groups: one that resides in the state of Arizona and another group that migrated to the northern part of Mexico (Sonora state). Although the populations are genetically identical, their rates for diabetes are very different.