Archive for May, 2014

2014 Condition of Education

This latest annual – Condition of Education 2014 – is a vast compilation of data addressing the entire education sector, from pre-K to grad school. The report contains hundreds of figures and tables ranging from educational attainment (with international comparisons) to student finances. The place to come for updated information.

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Economic Crisis – May 2014 Update

The Low-Wage Recovery (National Employment Law Project); Snapshot of older consumers and mortgage debt (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau); and The exit from non-conventional monetary policy: what challenges? (BIS).

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Maya Angelou and Libraries

Remembering Maya Angelou from the American Library Association has selected quotes from her involving libraries. In her long distinguished career, she was the target of many censorship challenges. Read about I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and how its banning was the spark that founded Banned Books Week.

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How Much Money Was Spent in Each New Jersey School District?

The recently-released Taxpayers’ Guide to Education Spending 2014 details what each school district received in the way of local, state, and federal funding. For example, Jersey City was the recipient of $661 million – 76% from the state, 16.4% from local taxes, 5.3% from federal sources, and 2.3% from other revenue streams. This equates to $23,273 spent per pupil. These figures are buttressed by numerous other data points called indicators (21 in all). You can search via district or group (here you can find charter schools listed).

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Jersey City’s Population Explosion; Newark’s Slower Growth

According to the Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places of 50,000 or More, Ranked by July 1, 2013 Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013 – United States — Places Over 50,000 Population just released by the Census Bureau, Jersey City added almost 10,000 residents (247,643 to 257,342), while Newark grew by about 1300 (277,138 to 278,427). For comparative purposes, you might want to peruse Jersey City’s 2011 amended An Unofficial Handbook to the Circulation Element of the Master Plan.

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“Bridgegate” Hearings

For those who want to keep up with these hearings, transcripts from the New Jersey Legislative Select Committee on Investigation are all online. Also, video or audio presentations of the hearings (as of this writing, the latest is May 20, 2014) are also available.

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Governor Christie Cuts State Pension Payments

Governor Christie, facing revenue shortfalls and a constitutional mandate to have a balanced budget stated: “I have made the decision that we are not going to blindside our students, we are not going to blindside our seniors, our higher education institutions or those who rely on the safety net the state provides to balance the budget with only six weeks left in the fiscal year.” (video and transcript) Therefore, absent any other revenue-producing fees or taxes, he has substantially cut payments into the state workers’ pension plan. NJ Spotlight has a good overview of decision along with numerous links. Here is the NJEA’s statement, calling this “illegal and reckless.” Bloomberg News, Wall Street Journal, PolitickerNJ, New Jersey Policy Perspective, and nj.com provide additional coverage/analysis. 10am and 1pm hearings before the Assembly’s Budget Committee today will be broadcast live.

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More Commencement Speeches Online

C-SPAN has almost 700 speeches online, dating back to JFK. They can be searched by person, location, or date.

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The Digital World in 2025

The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025 from Pew Research Center posits:

 “A global, immersive, invisible, ambient networked computing environment built through the continued proliferation of smart sensors, cameras, software, databases, and massive data centers in a world-spanning information fabric known as the Internet of Things.

 “Augmented reality” enhancements to the real-world input that people perceive through the use of portable/wearable/implantable technologies.”(2)

As well as disruptive technologies in many sectors, such as finance, entertain, and education. Based on interviews with some of the digital world’s movers and shakers, the report details how by 2025, digital technologies will be a normal part of life, from personal devices monitoring health and activities to “smart systems” that will provide real-time coverage for a host of situations, such as pollution monitoring and factory production/shipments. The Guardian has a nice piece on this report as does the Center for Digital Education.

 

 

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300+ Best Commencement Speeches Online

NPR, building on the work of Graduation Wisdom, has produced a searchable database of commencement speeches stretching back to 1774. YouTube videos (obviously NOT of the 1774 speech) are indicated where available. The 1774 speech? Is by Barnabas Binney at what was then the Rhode Island College; in later years it became Brown University.

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World Health Statistics 2014

This annual WHO publication has just been released; it “…contains WHO’s annual compilation of health-related data for its 194 Member States, and includes a summary of the progress made towards achieving the health-related Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and associated targets.” (press release) Also, you can consult country statistics going back to 2002 at this WHO site.

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Cybersecurity Policy

With Chinese cyberspying being on the front pages as of this writing, this collection of resources from the Council on Foreign Relations is an very valuable starting point for identifying major organizations and reports dealing with cybersecurity. From data, history, surveys to government publications to universities to think tanks, this heavily-linked site is well worth a visit. It can be used in conjunction with the oft-updated CyberSecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources.

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What is MERS?

MERS or Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has now been reported in the United States. This CDC (U. S. Centers for Disease Control) FAQ has basic information alongside additional relevant links; here is the WHO (World Health Organization) page on MERS.

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Happy 50th Birthday, ERIC

No, not the name of an individual but the moniker of the Education Resources Information Center; here is a brief history of this organization. A description of the scope of its work is also available.

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State of America’s Health in 2013

The 2013 edition of this annual has just been released. “The Health, United States series presents an annual overview of national trends in health statistics. The report contains a Chartbook that assesses the nation’s health by presenting trends and current information on selected measures of morbidity, mortality, health care utilization and access, health risk factors, prevention, health insurance, and personal health care expenditures. This year’s Chartbook includes a Special Feature on Prescription Drugs. The report also contains 135 Trend Tables organized around four major subject areas: health status and determinants, health care utilization, health care resources, and health care expenditures “(Preface, 5) This tome is over 500 pages; for highlights, and selected topics, data, and charts, please go to this page.

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2014 NJCU Commencement Photos

More than 200 photos have been posted online, courtesy of nj.com (the digital version of The Star-Ledger and the Jersey Journal, among other newspapers).

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According to EU Court, Google Must Remove Personal Information at Request of Individual

In a ruling that will have far-reaching implications, the Court of Justice of the European Union has stated that: “An internet search engine operator is responsible for the processing that it carries out of personal data which appears on webpages published by third parties. Thus, if, following a search made on the basis of a person’s name, the list of results displays a link to a web page which contains information on the person in question, that data subject may approach the operator directly and, where the operator does not grant his request, bring the matter before the competent authorities in order to obtain, under certain conditions, the removal of that link from the list of results.” (press release)  What can be seen here is the enacting of “the right to be forgotten.” The full text of the ruling is also online. Needless to say, there is much commentary being generated: Jurist, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The New York Times, BBC, NPR, CNN, and The Guardian.

 

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2014 NJCU Commencement – Live!

For those who cannot get to the ceremony on Thursday, May 14, the entire event will be streamed live from the Izod Center. Congratulations to all of you for your hard work; you earned your degrees.

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What is Boko Haram?

Of late the news has been filled with the atrocities of this group. Boko Haram, also known as the Nigerian Taliban according to the State Department’s Foreign Terrorist Organizations, has morphed from a localized organization into a regional problem. In 2013 alone, it was responsible for 213 attacks that killed 1589 people, making Nigeria one of the top ten countries in terms of the number of terror attacks upon it. (Statistical Information on Terrorism 2013) The Global Terrorism Database lists 579 “incidences” by this group dating back to 2009. Background information on it can be found: Special Report: What is Boko Haram? (United States Institute of Peace); Boko Haram in Nigeria: Its Beginning, Principles and Activities in Nigeria (Bayero University, Nigeria); Boko Haram’s Evolving Threat (Africa center for Strategic Studies); Boko Haram (Council on Foreign Relations); Who are Nigeria’s Boko Haram Islamists? (BBC); Boko Haram: Racing to Reclaim the Initiative (Chatham House, part of its Nigeria Project); Boko Haram: Anatomy of a Crisis(e-International Relations Edited Collection); Confronting the Terrorism of Boko Haram in Nigeria(Joint Special Operations University); Explaining the Emergence of Boko Haram (Brookings); Nigeria (Times Topics); Boko Haram Growing Threat to U.S. Homeland (U.S. House Committee on Homeland Security); Understanding Nigeria’s Boko Haram Radicals (UN Office of Humanitarian Affairs); Curbing Violence in Nigeria (II): The Boko Haram Insurgency (International Crisis Group); Nigeria: Elections and Issues for Congress (CRS); UK’s response to extremism and instability in North and West Africa (UK House of Commons. Foreign Affairs Committee); and Nigeria’s Boko Haram: Frequently Asked Questions (CRS). Profiles of its leader Abubakar Shekau are at the BBC and the National Counterterrorism Center.

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Summer 2014 Library Hours

During summer sessions I and II, the Library will be open: Monday – Thursday, 7:30am – 9pm; Friday and Saturday, CLOSED; and Sunday, 11am – 5pm. Because of the varying nature of the intersession work weeks, the hours are a little less regular; please come here to see these hours.

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