Launched in 2000 as a project of the OECD, the PISA is administered every three years to nationally representative samples of students in each OECD country and in a growing number of partner countries and subnational units such as Shanghai. The 74 education systems that participated in the latest PISA study, conducted during 2009, represented more than 85% of the global economy and included virtually all of the United States’ major trading partners, making it a particularly useful source of information on U.S. students’ relative standing.
The United States’ historical advantage in terms of educational attainment has long since eroded, however. U.S. high-school graduation rates peaked in 1970 at roughly 80% and have declined slightly since, a trend often masked in official statistics by the growing number of students receiving alternative credentials, such as a General Educational Development (GED) certificate.
in many respects the U.S. higher education system remains the envy of the world. Despite recent concerns about rapidly increasing costs, declining degree completion rates, and the quality of instruction available to undergraduate students, U.S. universities continue to dominate world rankings of research productivity. The 2011 Academic Rankings of World Universities, an annual publication of the Shanghai Jiao Tong University, placed eight U.S. universities within the global top 10, 17 within the top 20, and 151 within the top 500. A 2008 RAND study commissioned by the U.S. Department of Defense found that 63% of the world’s most highly cited academic papers in science and technology were produced by researchers based in the United States. Moreover, the United States remains the top destination for graduate students studying outside of their own countries, attracting 19% of all foreign students in 2008. This rate is nine percentage points higher than the rate of the closest U.S. competitor, the United Kingdom.
Abel, H. (1959). Polytechnische Bildung und Berufserziehung in internationaler Sicht. International Review of Education / Internationale Zeitschrift für Erziehungswissenschaft / Revue Internationale de l’Education, 5(4), 369–382. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01417254
At one time it was left to teachers and administrators to decide exactiy what level of math proficiency should be expected of students. But, increasingly, states, and the federal government itself, have established proficiency levels that students are asked to reach. A national proficiency standard was set by the board that governs the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), which is administered by the U.S. Department of Education and generally known as the nation’s report card.
a crosswalk between NAEP and PISA. The crosswalk is made possible by the fact that representative (but separate) samples of the high-school graduating Class of 2011 took the NAEP and PISA math and reading examinations. NAEP tests were taken in 2007 when the Class of 2011 was in 8th grade and PISA tested 15-year-olds in 2009, most of whom are members of the Class of 2011. Given that NAEP identified 32 percent of U.S. 8th-grade students as proficient in math, the PISA equivalent is estimated by calculating the minimum score reached by the top-performing 32 percent of U.S. students participating in the 2009 PISA test. (See methodological sidebar for further details.)
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CAO perspectives: The role of general education objectives in career and technical programs in the United States and Europe
by Schanker, Jennifer Ballard, Ed.D., National-Louis University, 2011, 162; 3459884
€416 a month allowance for 250 people over a three year period.
The pilot programme emulates the two-year experiment by Finland’s Social Insurance concerning Universal Basic Income which ended in January.
The broad conclusion in Finland is that the programme bettered the general quality of life of its participants without achieving a major boost to their employability or social standing.
The German experiment, however, has significant differences. Unlike what was rolled out in Finland, Germany’s planned programme – referred to as Harz Plus – is a private initiative by the Berlin-based non-profit organisation Sanktionsfrei.
Unlike normal “job-seeking” allowances, the so-called Harz Plus payment will not require that an individual provide proof that the beneficiaries are seeking employment. The German experiment will provide a safety net and the participants will be regularly interviewed to document the effect of the allowance.
Social media is the best friend disinformation ever had, and the cure is far from obvious.
Anya Schiffrin is an adjunct faculty member at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University. She worked in Hanoi from 1997 to 1999 as the bureau chief of Dow Jones Newswires.
Network Propaganda: Manipulation, Disinformation, and Radicalization in American Politics By Yochai Benkler, Robert Faris, & Hal Roberts
Oxford University Press
A Harvard law professor who is a well-known theorist of the digital age, Benkler and colleagues have produced an authoritative tome that includes multiple taxonomies and literature reviews as well as visualizations of the flow of disinformation.
white supremacist and alt-right trolls
a history of the scholarship on propaganda, reminding the reader that much of the discussion began in the 1930s.
Benkler’s optimistic 2007 book, The Wealth of Networks, predicted that the Internet would bring people together and transform the way information is created and spread. Today, Benkler is far less sanguine and has become one of the foremost researchers of disinformation networks.
Fox News, Breitbart, The Daily Caller, InfoWars, and Zero Hedge
As a result, mainstream journalists repeat and amplify the falsehoods even as they debunk them.
There is no clear line, they argue, between Russian propaganda, Breitbart lies, and the Trump victory. They add that Fox News is probably more influential than Facebook.
after George Soros gave a speech in January 2018 calling for regulation of the social media platforms, Facebook hired a Republican opposition research firm to shovel dirt at George Soros.
The European Union has not yet tried to regulate disinformation (although they do have codes of practice for the platforms), instead focusing on taxation, competition regulation, and protection of privacy. But Germany has strengthened its regulations regarding online hate speech, including the liability of the social media platforms.
disclosure of the sources of online political advertising.It’s a bit toothless because, just as with offshore bank accounts, it may be possible to register which U.S. entity is paying for online political advertising, but it’s impossible to know whether that entity is getting its funds from overseas. Even the Honest Ads bill was too much for Facebook to take.
Norman Stone’s sparkling new book, Hungary: A Short History, is a warning against ignoring history. It presents a country that never quite “caught up” with the West, and therefore never “settled down” to a calm post-nationalist existence. The modernising influence of industrialisation has always been subsumed in the problem of borders, religions, languages, and nationalities.
Germany adopted the social market system of economic rules separated from political democracy, known as ordoliberalism, after 1945; it was later used as the ideological basis of Europe Union economic policy.
by François Denord, Rachel Knaebel & Pierre Rimbert
Ordoliberals, like the Anglo-Saxon advocates of laissez-faire, believe the state should not distort the workings of the markets, but they also believe that free competition does not develop spontaneously. The state should establish a legal, technical, social, moral and cultural framework for the markets, and make sure everyone follows the rules.
The rise of ordoliberalism was part of a vast international renewal of liberal thought in the 1930s — neoliberalism. In this context, the ordos opposed those nostalgic for laissez-faire — Ludwig von Mises and his disciple Friedrich Hayek — who, Rüstow complained, “found nothing to criticise or to change in traditional liberalism.”
A large global change in data protection law is about to hit the tech industry, thanks to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). GDPR affects any company, wherever they are in the world, that handles data about European citizens. It becomes law on 25 May 2018, and as such includes UK citizens, since it precedes Brexit. It’s no surprise the EU has chosen to tighten the data protection belt: Europe has long opposed the tech industry’s expansionist tendencies, particularly through antitrust suits, and is perhaps the only regulatory body with the inclination and power to challenge Silicon Valley in the coming years.
So, no more harvesting data for unplanned analytics, future experimentation, or unspecified research. Teams must have specific uses for specific data.
According to a survey by the European Commission, two out of three EU online providers use geo-blocking, forcing third country customers to pay more for products or not offer their services.
Customers in smaller countries like Malta, Luxembourg, Cyprus, and Slovenia were affected by practices experienced by residents of border regions. They are often unable to order services or goods online from a neighbouring country.
In the 8 projects that LIBER was involved in under the previous funding programme, FP7, nearly 10% of LIBER’s members (around 35 libraries) were partners. They worked on diverse activities such as the digitization of cultural heritage, digital preservation, research data sharing, open access policies and the interoperability of research infrastructures. We’d like to see even more libraries participating under H2020.