“We have a report from the flight dynamics officer that the vehicle has exploded…flight director confirms that….” With those words, the public learned of the Challenger’s tragic, brutal ending; many of us remember that day with clarity and sadness. The official NASA page on the accident is here; you can read the Rogers Commission Report (known as the Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident) along with appendix F containing “Personal Observations on Reliability of Shuttle,” a scathing report on NASA by Richard Feynman, he who proved the unreliability of the o-ring in a live demonstration during these hearings. CNN has a special report on this tragedy, as does C-SPAN, BBC, Space.com, and AOLnews.
Archive for January, 2011
It would appear that more than a few causes led to the economic crisis we have been dealing with: lack of financial regulation, ill-equipped policy makers, excessive borrowing by householders and Wall Street, and an overall lack of ethics. These factors are enumerated in the 600+ page final report of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission. The Commission’s opinion: “We conclude this financial crisis was avoidable. The crisis was the result of human action and inaction….”(xvii) To view all the documentation upon which this report is based: interviews, hearings, reports, etc., please go here.
We have written about the state of the union address in previous entries. But this year, the address can be viewed along with accompanying graphs and charts which illustrate the speech as it is being given. It is being called the Enhanced State of the Union and is only available through the White House portal.
This collection presents current information on contemporary writers in the UK. Biographical information, along with critical appraisals, author bibliographies, and prizes awarded are listed for each profile.
Published since 1878, the volume contains a wealth of information on the social, demographic, business, and economic conditions of the country. Gleaned from a wide variety of federal and state resources, the Statistical Abstract includes hundreds of tables and charts on various topics from principal crops to teenage birth rates to foreign aid. This is an essential information tool. And for a more retrospective look, please consult the Bicentennial Edition: Historical Statistics of the United States, Colonial Times to 1970 (Part 1 and Part 2).
This Department of Education report, Living Up To Expectations, shows how charter schools compared to their school district counterparts on these standardized tests. On the whole, the charter schools outperformed in-district schools but did not fare as well against the state average. In related news, 23 new charter schools have been approved by the state; two are in Jersey City.
You can view the speech and read the transcript here.
It has been a busy couple of weeks for the education sector in New Jersey. The New Jersey Supreme Court listened to oral arguments concerning Abbott districts (read the supporting documents from the Education Law Center in this regard; news/analysis at NJ Spotlight, the Wall Street Journal, and The Star-Ledger); NJ ASK and HSPA scores were released revealing troubling and significant gaps among students from different races and income levels(check here for scores of all school districts; news may be found at The Star-Ledger, the Times of Trenton, Asbury Park Press, and the Bergen Record); and Governor Christie removes seven county education superintendents while simultaneously proposing relaxing the requirements for holders of this governor-appointed position (see The Press of Atlantic City and the Bergen Record).
You can view the speech, which begins around 2pm, here. Immediately following it, there will be analysis as well as the Democratic response. Shortly thereafter, NJN will archive the whole program.
The Papers of Martin Luther King, Jr. Project as published by the University of California Press has six volumes out so far, tracing Dr King’s life to 1963. Each volume has a voluminous introduction, a timeline and the full text of all the documents contained therein. So, you have a wide range of materials from the 1955 Minutes of the Montgomery Improvement Authority where King is elected president to his 1959 letter to Harry Belafonte. Also available is A Knock at Midnight, a selection of his great sermons, and A Call to Conscience, a collection of his greatest speeches. The MLK Encyclopedia provides a thousand hyperlinked articles on his life. (Just a word of caution : the encyclopedia has a less than a robust search interface. It is worth the effort, however.)
Governor Christie has released the Governor’s Task Force on Higher Education report which he has had since December 1. This wide-ranging document lists 70 recommendations, many dealing with Rutgers; among them are merging Rutgers with UMDNJ, and having the president of Rutgers speak as the voice of higher education in New Jersey on certain issues. On another issue, the Task Force recommends that the Red Tape Commission “act favorably”(p.30) on the New Jersey Presidents’ Council Regulatory Relief and Unfgunded Mandates report which would eliminate state-wide bargaining, do away with civil service, and extend the tenure period. (The Presidents’ Council report is added as Appendix F.) Concurrent with this report’s release, Governor Christie signed Executive Order No. 51 which will examine graduate medical education in the state, and Executive Order No.52 which will create the Governor’s Higher Education Council. (Noteworthy in this last executive order is the mention of the “Secretary of Higher Education.” Also, can we assume that the Commission on Higher Education is now defunct?) News reports/analyses are at: The New York Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, The Star-Ledger, The Daily Record, The Press of Atlantic City, and NJ Politicker.
Our previous entry dealt with the highlights and lowlights in New Jersey. This addition has a broader context: 2010 Images of the Year (Newsweek); 50 Moments of 2010: A Week by Week News Chronicle (Time); 2010: Year in Review (CNN); 2010: The Year in Pictures (The New York Times); Year in Review: 2010 (Infoplease); Year in Review: Science Stories of 2010 (NPR); The Year in Review 2010 (American Libraries); 2010 in Review (The Atlantic); 2010 in Review (Business Week); 2010 Top 100 Global Thinkers (Foreign Policy); Women’s Health 2010: A Year in Review (CDC); and 2010 Year-End Review (Wall Street Journal). But no assessment can be called complete without the inclusion of Dave Barry’s unique perspective on the past year’s proceedings.
To say a lot has transpired in the Garden State over the past twelve months is an understatement. Herewith are selected highlights: 2010 Year in Review (NJ Politicker); New Jersey 2010: The Year in Review, from A to Z (nj.com); Year in Review: 2010 Was Quite a Year for Central New Jersey (centraljersey.com); 2010: Year in Review (Atlantic City Weekly); 2010 Year in Review (Asbury Park Press); North Jersey 2010 Year in Local News (Bergen Record); and Reporters Roundtable: Year in Review (video – NJN).
The Nation’s Underemployed in the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009 (Bureau of Labor Statistics); The Moment of Truth (National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform); Beige Book – December 2010 (Federal Reserve Bank); Banking Crises and the International Monetary System in the Great Depression and Now (Bank for International Settlements); Fiscal Stress Faced by Local Governments (Congressional Budget Office); and MetroMonitor (Brookings).