Friday, November 27, 2015

The Economic Imperative of Bilingual Education (1965)

In a break with tradition, more schools are adopting language-immersion programs, in which English and another language are integrated into the curriculum and instruction. The Center for Applied Linguistics, a D.C.-based nonprofit, found an exponential growth in foreign-language immersion in a comprehensive survey of public schools and some private schools. Over a 40-year span language-immersion schools grew steadily, with the largest increase in the decade that started in 2001. Spanish remains the most popular for immersion programs at 45 percent, followed by French (22 percent) and Mandarin (13 percent), with a wide array of languages rounding out the list of 22 selections—from Hawaiian and Cantonese to Japanese and Arabic.

As two-way immersion grows, the variety of language options now available marks a turning point in the evolution of bilingual education. Once the mainstay of immigrant children, bilingual instruction has a new band of converts: English-speaking parents, lawmakers, and advocacy groups. Research shows that students gain cognitive and academic benefits from bilingualism. Yet an overarching reason for the heightened interest is giving U.S. students a jump on the competition in a global workforce. And some activists find even with this flurry of attention, equal access to dual-immersion remains a thorny issue and persistent challenge.

More from The Atlantic.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day: Nov. 26, 2015

In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims — early settlers of Plymouth Colony — held a three-day feast to celebrate a bountiful harvest. This event is regarded by many as the nation’s first Thanksgiving. The Wampanoag Indians in attendance played a key role. Historians have recorded ceremonies of thanks among other groups of European settlers in North America. These include the British colonists in Virginia as early as 1619.
The legacy of thanks and the feast have survived the centuries, as the event became a national holiday 152 years ago (Oct. 3, 1863) when President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed the last Thursday of November as a national day of thanksgiving. Later, President Franklin Roosevelt clarified that Thanksgiving should always be celebrated on the fourth Thursday of the month to encourage earlier holiday shopping, never on the occasional fifth Thursday.
Where to Feast
117 million
Number of occupied housing units across the nation in the second quarter of 2015 — all potential stops for Thanksgiving dinner. Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing Vacancies and Homeownership, Table 8 <>

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Guthrie, Robbins ordered to remove all the garbage (1965)

Alice's Restaurant - Arlo Guthrie

Is Your Passport Full? Request Extra Pages Now

The U.S. State Department is Eliminating Page Inserts

If you like to travel and you're running out of passport pages for visas, the time to request extra pages is now. Starting January 1st, 2016, the U.S. State Department will no longer add additional pages to U.S. passports. You will need to renew your passport altogether after this date if you need more space.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Completion of 2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: Professional, Scientific and Technical Services

The 2012 Economic Census concludes the Geographic Area Series for the professional, scientific and technical services sector. This series includes statistics for legal services, accounting and tax preparation, computer systems design, and advertising and public relations services. 

The files provide statistics on the number of establishments, receipts/revenue, payroll, number of employees and other data items by industry. Geographic Area Series data is the only series that provides this data at a U.S. summary level as well as an economic place level; other geographies included are statescombined statistical areas, metropolitan statistical areas and counties.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Wives’ Earnings Make Gains Relative to Husbands’

Families and Living Arrangements
New Statistics Reveal a Variety of Characteristics About U.S. Families
Between 2000 and 2015, the share of married couples where the wife earned at least $30,000 more than the husband increased from 6 to 9 percent, according to statistics released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Married couples where the husband earned at least $30,000 more than the wife decreased from 38 to 35 percent. Conversely, husbands and wives whose earnings were within $4,999 of each other grew slightly from 24 percent in 2000 to 25 percent in 2015.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The US used to accept a lot of refugees

The United States has pledged to take 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016 — five times the number the country has resettled since 2011, when the Syrian civil war began.

So needless to say, there are questions of whether the US will actually be able to resettle 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year.

But to get a sense of how many refugees this actually is, it's helpful to look at how many refugees the US admitted in the past. And when you do that, you start to see that in historical context, 10,000 Syrian refugees isn't a very big influx at all.

The Refugee Processing Center at the State Department publishes information on how many refugees have arrived in the US.

More from Vox.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Global Support for Principle of Free Expression, but Opposition to Some Forms of Speech

Although many observers have documented a global decline in democratic rights in recent years, people around the world nonetheless embrace fundamental democratic values, including free expression. A new Pew Research Center survey finds that majorities in nearly all 38 nations polled say it is at least somewhat important to live in a country with free speech, a free press and freedom on the internet. And across the 38 countries, global medians of 50% or more consider these freedoms very important.

Still, ideas about free expression vary widely across regions and nations. The United States stands out for its especially strong opposition to government censorship, as do countries in Latin America and Europe – particularly Argentina, Germany, Spain and Chile. Majorities in Asia, Africa and the Middle East also tend to oppose censorship, albeit with much less intensity. Indonesians, Palestinians, Burkinabe and Vietnamese are among the least likely to say free expression is very important.

More from Pew Research Center.

Monday, November 16, 2015

25 of America's worst charities

In 2014, Americans donated an estimated $350 billion to charities. A generous country we are, but how much of those funds actually went to the advertised causes? You might not want to know. There are good charities. There are bad charities. And there are the worst charities.

America’s Worst Charities gain their titles by how much they raise in donations and how little of that money goes to the actual causes they advertise. As these deceptive organizations ask you for your financial support, they lie about to where or whom that is alloted, sometimes paying themselves “multiple salaries” and “consulting fees.” One “cancer charity” paid the company president's son nearly $18 million over eight years, to solicit donations. The Tampa Bay Times reports:

Some nonprofits are little more than fronts for fundraising companies, which bankroll their startup costs, lock them into exclusive contracts at exorbitant rates and even drive the charities into debt.

More from Daily Kos

A list, plus other resources from the Tampa Bay Times.