Archive for February, 2018

School Violence: Some Relevant Readings


This 2017 NCES report – Crime, Violence, Discipline, and Safety in U.S. Public Schools: Findings From the School Survey on Crime and Safety: 2015-2016 – belongs in our conversations.

Other recent writings of import include:

Frequency of Guns in the Households of High School Seniors (Journal of School Health)that concludes “Whereas we cannot determine gun types or reasons for having a gun, this research indicates that high school seniors are aware of and may have access to guns for use other than their intended purpose. Household gun ownership among students at higher risk for violence may pose safety challenges for communities and schools.”

Handgun waiting periods reduce gun deaths (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences)

The burden of firearm violence in the United States: stricter laws result in safer states (Journal of Injury & Violence Research)

Academic Public Health and the Firearm Crisis: An Agenda for Action (American Journal of Public Health) that states: “The unexpected election of Donald Trump to the US presidency has changed the national conversation on firearms. Trump was a clear supporter of gun rights throughout the presidential campaign and has widely claimed support from the gun lobby as a core part of his appeal; the gun lobby spent more than $30 million on the campaign. These developments portend challenges to advancing gun policy at the federal level in the next four years, if not longer.”

Gun ownership and social gun culture (Injury Prevention) opens with this statement: “Firearm violence in the USA continues to be a major public health concern.”

This article – Trends in research publications about gun violence in the United States, 1960 to 2014  (JAMA Internal Medicine) –  addresses the dearth of federal research on this topic. It is an important read. This should be read in conjunction with Gun violence research: History of the federal funding freeze (APA. Psychological Science Agenda)

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Congress Is Full of Millionaires

Whether Democrat or Republican, female or male, the percentage of millionaires in Congress far outstrips the proportion found outside those hallowed halls. Here is a listing of all of Congress; see if you think they are representative of the populace they supposedly serve.

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Jersey City in the Top Ranks of America’s “Hardest-Working Cities”

In another survey conducted by WalletHub, Jersey City ranks #3 out of 116 cities included in this evaluative undertaking. Using data culled from governmental and private sources, WalletHub devised nine criteria to compare cities; only San Francisco and Fremont, Ca outscored Jersey City.

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New Edition of Department of Defense Dictionary Published

This new iteration, correctly entitled DOD Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms, dated February 2018, incorporates new terms such as “maritime environment”. It also lists those terms that were removed/replaced as well as terms added or modified. For those researching the military sector, this work is especially useful for the specific definitions/contexts of terms one encounters.

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Latest Salary Tables Released by the Chronicle of Higher Education

These tables were just released. One can limit the search to full time faculty, contingent faculty, staff; college, state, sector, Carnegie classification; or by institution name. There are many additional criteria to allow for a greater drill-down, just take a look at what is encompassed in the “staff” section. A cursory review indicates that the salary figures only go until 2015. Here is NJCU’s profile.

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What You Need to Know About Wakanda

From the good folks at Citylab, here is a linked reading list of relevant sources.

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Latest U.S. Education Statistics

The latest iteration of the Digest of Education Statistics was recently published; it contains of plethora of data on the education sector from pre-k to graduate school.

“The Digest includes a selection of data from many sources, both government and private, and draws especially on the results of surveys and activities carried out by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). To qualify for inclusion in the Digest, material must be nationwide in scope and of current interest and value. The publication contains information on a variety of subjects in the field of education statistics, including the number of schools and colleges, teachers, enrollments, and graduates, in addition to educational attainment, finances, federal funds for education, libraries, and international education. Supplemental information on population trends, attitudes on education, education characteristics of the labor force, government finances, and economic trends provides background for evaluating education data.”

In addition, there are “web-only” tables as well as numerous new tables introduced with this latest (2016) version. Also, some tables provide historical data from decades previous; an example is this table showing school enrollments dating back to 1869.

For those who need verifiable information across the wide educational span, the Digest should be a resource of the first order.

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Largest U.S. Academic Libraries

Buried in the 2016 Digest of Education Statistics, is this table ranking the largest libraries by total number of volumes. Additional data such as the size of the staff, the number of weekly visits, hours of operation, etc. are also included.

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Presidential Rankings

From George Washington to Donald Trump, the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey of the American Political Science Association’s Presidents & Executive Politics Section reveals that certain presidents have maintained their status of greatness while others have shifted in the rankings from the 2014 survey, the last version conducted. Political affiliations of those surveyed are given along with the methodological considerations employed. Compare this to the C-SPAN 2017 Presidential Historians Survey.



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Mueller Grand Jury Indicts Russian Nationals

The indictment details their interference with the U.S. political system dating back to 2014 and explicitly states that they did indeed support then candidate Trump while issuing disparagements about candidate Clinton.(see page 4)

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Student Financial Aid Statistics

This impressively titled NCES report – 2015–16 National Postsecondary Student Aid Study (NPSAS:16): Student Financial Aid Estimates for 2015–16  – presents national aggregations along various indices. Among the measurements are: type of aid, level of income, type of college (profit and non-profit included), and undergraduate and graduate recipients. A very useful adjunct to this report is the College Board’s Trends in Student Aid 2017.

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Jersey City Is Again Named the Country’s Most Ethnically Diverse City

According to WalletHub, Jersey City has regained its position as the most diverse city in the country. Using information from the Census Bureau (and available to everyone for free, here are the basic facts about Jersey City), the folks at WalletHub crunched the numbers using their methodologies to arrive at their conclusions.

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Vintage Valentine Day Cards

From the Smithsonian Institution comes this collection of Valentine Day cards and images from handmade to commercially produced. Some are simply done while others are very elaborate in their fabrication; many pre-date 1900. The Peabody Essex Museum also has a large collection, almost two hundred, with a couple pre-dating 1800. Hundreds of comic valentines are available from Pennsylvania State University; additional collections are at the Library of Birmingham, the Museum of London, New York Public Library, and the Library of Congress.

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President Trump’s 2019 Budget and Related Documents

You can read them all here; past budgets can also be accessed at this site.

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Watch Immigration Debates Live

You can come to C-SPAN to watch either live or in its archival video library.

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Abraham Lincoln – Additional Primary Sources

We have quite rightly highlighted primary/secondary sources on whom some consider the finest of our presidents. (He ranks #1 in the C-SPAN Historians Survey of Presidents 2017, a position he has held in the previous iterations of this poll.) We have come across other collections at Brown University that we would like to recommend: “Brown’s Lincoln Broadsides collection comprises an assortment of printed materials intended for broad public distribution in a variety of formats. Within this digital collection you will find, for example: handbills (a single sheet of text intended for wide public distribution), leaftlets (a handbill folded to create multiple leaves), small pamphlets (unbound booklets, typically stapled or sewn), souvenir cards, circulars, broadsheets, brochures.”;

Lincoln Envelopes –  “This collection contains embellished envelopes created during the period surrounding Lincoln’s presidency and the time immediately after his assassination. Many of the envelopes depict Lincoln himself….”;

Lincoln Graphics “…include most of the known photographic images of Lincoln, along with engravings and popular prints by, among other firms, Currier & Ives and Kurz & Allen.”;

Lincoln Manuscripts –  “The Hay Library’s famed collection of manuscripts authored or signed by Lincoln, now comprises nearly 1,100 pieces.”; and

Lincoln Sheet Music “… comprises sheet music from the McLellan Lincoln Collection at the Hay Library written between 1859 and 1923. Music about Lincoln ranges from popular song to compositions for orchestral performance.”

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Driving While Drowsy

Prevalence of Drowsy-Driving Crashes: Estimates from a Large-Scale Naturalistic Driving Study from the AAA shows that drowsy driving accounts for 10% of all auto accidents; this is a much higher percentage than previous studies estimated. The most recent statistics can be found at this NHTSA site; Drowsy Driving: Asleep at the Wheel from the CDC offers additional data/information. Perusing the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s position statement – Confronting Drowsy Driving: The American Academy of Sleep Medicine Perspective – would prove of salutary benefit as well. In addition, reviewing these dozens of medical articles on this topic couldn’t hurt either.

In reading this literature, you will come across this term or a close variant of it – “naturalistic driving”; an explanation of this new procedure for recording driver behavior is found here.

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Congressional Misconduct Database

As developed by GovTrack,  “This page lists 372 instances of misconduct and alleged misconduct by Members of the United States Congress from 1789 to the present and is updated as new information becomes available.

The investigations, settlements, and resignations listed on this page do not imply guilt in the absence of a conviction, guilty plea, etc. We include investigations even if the Member of Congress is exonerated because the investigation and exoneration are themselves important events. Conversely, investigations that end without a guilty determination do not imply innocence.”

Links to outside sources, including CRS reports, are included.

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Isaac Asimov in Space!

Well, kinda, sorta. On board Space X’s Heavy Falcon are sequestered  copies of his Foundation novels. The Good Doctor would approve.

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Charles Dickens

It is appropriate that on this day, his birthday, we point you to some good sites containing relevant works. For his books, come here; for the journals he edited and wrote for, you can visit Dickens Journals Online.

There are numerous mentions of his travels and speeches in the United States in the Chronicling America site. He came to this country twice, in 1842 and 1867; the first trip produced American Notes for General Circulation (1842), a work that generated tepid reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.

Numerous helpful sites can be found here.

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