Thursday, February 25, 2010

I'd Rather Go Hungry Than Read Half-Baked Arguments

Social commentary is great. Especially when a writer can concisely delve into a hot button topic, dissect the sticking points, and deliver a powerful conclusion with a sound underlying premise. Raina Kelly's piece includes none of the above. In fact, I would argue that a writer does more harm than good when they grab a hot button topic without their literary Ove Glove, and burn their little fingers in the process losing all grip on the little critical thought and analysis they could muster.

What topic did Kelly intend to tackle wholly unprepared? Affirmative Action. It isn't a topic I have written on much (or at all really), and that isn't because I'm not prepared to tackle it. It's because there are impassioned arguments, whether for or against, already being argued. No sense in throwing my hat in the ring if it isn't clearly adding value. Maybe that's part of the problem with Kelly's work - some of it just isn't needed at all, whether she's prepared or not.

Kelly says:
"Affirmative action wasn't supposed to be controversial. In 1961 when President Kennedy issued an executive order mandating that beneficiaries of federal monies "take affirmative action to ensure that applicants are employed, and that employees are treated during employment, without regard to their race, creed, color, or national origin," it was a bold call to arms for the American government to walk the walk of desegregation.
First, if a policy is bold it's likely to be controversial. Why? Because bold is usually a euphemism for monumental change. Those who have a vested interest usually don't warm to change easily, and in this case all employers had a vested interest to stick with the status quo of segregation. Second, Kennedy's taking issue with the status quo was certainly controversial. It meant that the federal government was willing to take decisive action to correct a social ill that had persisted for far too long. To be sure, the actual directive that Kelly cites doesn't sound all that strong - but remember this was at a time when even some public schools were still not accepting minorities.

Kelly also writes, "But I gotta tell you, writing a defense of affirmative action would have been a perfect addition to Hades' arsenal. Not only is the policy poorly understood by both its supporters and detractors, but it seems, at first blush, to fly in the face of American precepts of equality. "

Kelly believes that AA is misunderstood by "its supporters and detractors" but she doesn't mention how the supporters misunderstand the policy. Instead, she focuses on the detractors solely. Which is somewhat understandable because her writing is a defense of the policy, however, by doing so she does not present a balanced, thoughtful defense. In the end, she throws some half-cooked spaghetti on the wall to see what sticks. Keep that arm warm, Ms. Kelly.


For more on Affirmative Action (read real arguments) watch the videos below of Tim Wise and John McWhorter debating one another.











Articles of the Day

Female professors are finding it hard to break through the teaching ranks in b-school.
Moderates are not independents.
The US playing both sides with China and Taiwan.
The Death Penalty: not exactly justice.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Want to Fix the Budget? Make Some Tough Choices

Jeff Frankel proposes a way forward (or 10 really) on the budget.

"Here are my ten proposals to move the budget back to a sustainable path (like the one it was on until January 2001):
First, auction off most greenhouse gas emission permits, rather than giving them away to firms (which would confer windfall profits). This is what President Obama originally proposed last February, but it is not in the congressional climate change legislation.
Second, raise the gas tax. Among the benefits, besides raising revenue, would be reducing traffic congestion, accidents, pollution, the trade deficit, and dependence on Mideastern oil.
Third, cut agricultural subsidies to rich farmers and agribusiness, saving money and improving economic efficiency. This is another measure that Obama proposed when he first took office, but that was rejected by Congress.
Fourth, continue to cut expensive weapons systems that the military doesn’t want, but have in the past been been kept because the suppliers are in the districts of influential congressmen.  President Obama and Defense Secretary Gates have, amazingly, managed to do this with the F22.
Fifth, end manned space exploration. We don’t need it. Spend half the money on useful science instead, including research on energy and medicine (and unmanned space exploration).
Sixth, let George W. Bush’s tax cuts for the rich expire as under current law. Of course the Bush plan to eliminate the estate tax completely in 2010 and have it bounce back to its 2001 level thereafter is absurd.  We should instead level out the taxable threshold at some reasonable estate size: a few million dollars, something high enough to de-legitimize the hysterical stories about inheritors supposedly being forced to sell their small farms or small businesses to pay the tax.  (Use some of the revenue in these proposals to fix the Alternative Minimum Tax once and for all. And, in the meantime, continue Obama’s return to honesty in budget accounting regarding the costs of AMT, wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, tax cuts, etc.    Bush’s habitual trick of purposely understating such costs in future budgets allowed him to pretend that we could afford his profligate fiscal policies, which in turn added far more to the national debt than the current recession measures have added.)
Seventh, encourage hospitals to standardize around national best-practice medicine – to pursue the checklist that minmizes patient infections and to avoid unnecessary medical tests and procedures – using levers such as making Medicare payments conditional on these best practices. This is another part of the Obama plan.   (Don’t pursue the logic of radio talk show propaganda, which labels even modest government involvement in health care as “socialism,” because that logic would require dismantling veterans’ hospitals, which provide good medical care relatively efficiently, even before it would require dismantling Medicare.)
Eighth, limit or eliminate the tax-exemption for employer-paid health insurance (as proposed by Senator McCain), at least the Cadillac plans which are very expensive but don’t even pay off in health results (as proposed by Senator Kerry).
Ninth, ideally, eliminate the tax deductibility of mortgage interest too. I realize proposing this would be political suicide. Congress and the public are still virtually unanimous in wanting to tilt the playing field in favor of owner-occupied housing and against rental housing and the rest of the capital stock, notwithstanding that such policies contributed to the housing bubble and crash.
Tenth, to save Social Security, raise the retirement age (just a little), tax higher incomes (just a little), and progressively index benefits for future retirees to price inflation, rather than to wage inflation (just a little)."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Grinnell steps outside of the box in hiring new president. Inside Higher Ed reports that Raynard S. Kington has been chosen as Grinell's 13th president.
His selection, some say, reflects an increased willingness of colleges and universities, most notably liberal arts colleges, to consider as presidents people who have never been provosts or presidents at similar institutions, but who have achieved significant accomplishments in other kinds of research or educational institutions. In several other cases, deans of research universities have landed liberal arts college presidencies -- and while that is not new, experts perceive a change in attitude as more institutions embrace this model.

Kington, who is black and gay, also reflects what many see as an increased willingness by many colleges to consider a more diverse pool of leaders than they might have in the past.
Richard Ekman, president of the Council on Independent Colleges, said that less competitive colleges have been selecting non-traditional presidents for some time. Where the pattern is growing, he said, is among more prominent liberal arts colleges that in the past might have been more likely to go with someone with considerable experience in the liberal arts sector.

More selective institutions are departing from the traditional norms," he said. "The argument is that someone who has extensive experience in a wider institution could be an effective president of a small private college," he said. And when those people come from research universities, many of them "are a job two or three steps down from the presidency," not the provost. (This path is also leading, after some years of concern over the graying of the presidency, to the naming of a number of presidents in their 40s, including Kington, who is 49.)

Consider some new or incoming presidents who moved or are moving from very different institutions. The new president of Dartmouth College (admittedly not a liberal arts college, but an institution that embraces many liberal arts college values) is Jim Yong Kim, who was chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard University. Williams College just tapped as its next president Adam F. Falk, a physicist who is a dean at Johns Hopkins University and has spent his entire higher education career at research universities. At Hopkins, Falk followed Daniel H. Weiss, who went from Hopkins (and a career outside liberal arts colleges) to become president of Lafayette College. Hampden-Sydney's new president is Christopher B. Howard, who was previously an administrator of the University of Oklahoma. Marvin Krislov became president of Oberlin College in 2007, coming from the University of Michigan, where he was vice president and general counsel.

Articles of the Day

Chefs are not scared to talk back.
Lack of networking can slow that job search.
Prosecutors helping to train law students.
Law schools consider specializing further.

Articles of the Day

The military brass starts reigning in its people.
John Mellencamp for Senate. 
PITT MBA students do some consulting outside of the classroom.
Pinching pennies to save up for the bar exam.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Preparing for Law School as an Underrepresented Minority Applicant

(This article is cross-posted at Toplawschools.com and was written and shared by an intern there.)

Programs Geared toward URM (Under-Represented Minority) Applicants


There are a number of programs intended to assist minority law school applicants as they seek to earn a spot in increasingly competitive law school classrooms. The following organizations, while not affiliated with any law school or worth any academic credits, provide a unique opportunity for URM applicants to get a jump-start on understanding the J.D. curriculum and the legal job market.


Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) Career Program

SEO is a nonprofit organization founded in 1963 as one of New York City’s first mentoring programs for high school students of color. Over the past four decades, SEO has expanded its programs to benefit more than 5,000 young people, helping them develop throughout high school, college, and their professional careers. SEO has offices in New York City and London, more than 50 full time staff, and programs that serve over 1,000 students and SEO alumni each year. One such program is the SEO Corporate Law Program.

What is it? 

The SEO Corporate Law Program is a 10-week paid, mentored summer internship at one of SEO’s partner law firms, including Sullivan & Cromwell, Cravath, Wachtell, Skadden, and several others. The program provides students of color with an opportunity to intern at a top law firm before beginning law school. The internship encourages participants to network with current and future lawyers and to become familiar with the inner workings of the law firm environment. Additionally, the program provides an opportunity to participate in the Corporate Law Institute, a two-week intensive pre-law prep program designed to maximize participants’ performance during 1L by introducing them a typical first-year core curriculum.

Who can participate? 

The SEO Career Program is open to students or graduates of color (Black, Hispanic/Latino, Native American and Asian) from accredited 4-year U.S. colleges and universities. Candidates must be enrolled in an ABA accredited law program for the fall immediately following the internship. Students with F-1 visas or CPT/OPT work authorization are not eligible for the Corporate Law program.

What are the benefits of participation? 

There are varying benefits to participation in the SEO career program. Primarily, participants are given a jump-start on the law firm recruiting process and are also provided the unique opportunity to network with students outside of their graduate institution. SEO interns have, in the past, been asked back by their firm during their 1L summer and (on occasion) been hired after earning their J.D. Alumni of the program are also considered for a prestigious summer clerkship program during their 1L summer.
The program also includes a two-week prep course that further prepares students for the rigors of the J.D. curriculum. Furthermore, a generous stipend (ranging from $750-$1300/wk) is provided for the duration of the program.

How Competitive is the SEO program? 

The program is quite selective; by utilizing LSAC's CRS (Candidate Referral Service) and yearly college visits, the SEO recruits more than 3,000 applicants for the Corporate Law program each year. In previous years, the acceptance rate has hovered around 10% according to SEO officials; however, the current economic climate is likely to alter the number of spots available within the program. Additionally, the program’s notoriety has permitted them to select most of their interns from the “Top 20” law schools, as dictated by U.S. News and World Report’s ranking system.

How should I apply?

The application for the program can be found on SEO’s website located here: http://www.seo-usa.org/CareerApplyNow. All applications must be filled out online and before starting the application applicants should be sure to have:
  • A professional photograph of themselves (in digital format)
  • An updated resume
  • An idea of why they wish to participate in the program (There is a required short essay which permits approximately 2,000 characters.)
  • A list of all ABA accredited law schools to which they have applied to or will apply to and the status of those applications
What is the application process? 

Applicants to the program in 2009-2010 had three opportunities to apply:
Deadlines
Round 1: November 6th
Round 2: December 15th
Round 3: January 31st
Much like law school, acceptances to the SEO program are granted on a rolling basis, so it is advisable to apply and interview as early as possible. Once the application is submitted, applicants enter into the all-too-familiar territory of waiting.

After applying, select applicants are selected for interviews; these invites are sent out in waves via e-mail. Candidates may be interviewed via telephone (if studying abroad) and/or in-person in New York City or in select regional locations. Past regional sites have included Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC. The Admissions Committee reserves the right to interview candidates at any point after their applications is received.
After the interview, candidates are requested to submit seat deposit receipts after finalizing enrollment plans. Additionally, SEO also requests an official transcript and a letter of recommendation. Only after SEO has received these items will they make a final decision on an applicant's file.

I got an interview invite; now what? 

Congratulations on getting an invite to interview with SEO. Read over the interview invite email before doing anything else. Schedule and confirm your interview as soon as possible, as spots tend to fill up quickly. Candidates preparing for the interview should listen to the webinar found on the SEO career program website and also review the interview preparation tips located here:
http://www.seo-usa.org/CareerInterviewTips 

What can I expect? (Note: answers compiled from numerous threads on TLS)

SEO utilizes the stress interview method, which means that applicants must be prepared. The interview consists of two parts: the personal portion and a reading comprehension (case study) portion. The latter part of the study requires candidates to read a case study and then analyze and respond to it. The first portion of the interview is where candidates tend to need the most preparation. Previous applicants have urged candidates to review their resume, SEO's website, their partner firms, current events, and to have a basic understanding of why they might like to pursue a career in corporate law. Questions are delivered at a frighteningly quick pace, often offered out of the expected order. Listen closely to the questions asked and evaluate what the interviewers are asking for.

SEO echoes much of this advice in their preparation tips found on their website. The key during the interview is to remain calm, think through all answers, and to verbalize all thoughts clearly.

Other Questions

For further questions please visit the SEO’s official FAQ:

http://www.seo-usa.org/CareerFAQ
Or contact the SEO office at:
55 Exchange Place
New York, NY10005

seoinfo@seo-usa.org
Career Program General Information:
careerprogram@seo-usa.org

For relevant TLS threads please see the following:

http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=50541&start=850
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=99748
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=23865

Council Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) Six-Week Pre-Law Summer Institute

In 1968, the ABA Fund for Justice and Education founded a non-profit project known as the Council on Legal Education Opportunity (CLEO) in order to expand law school aid opportunities for minority and low-income students. In 1968, Congress passed the Higher Education Amendments Act, creating the Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program, which they deemed be administered by CLEO.

What is it? 

The CLEO program serves as an academic jump-start and law school placement service to its participants. Many students with low LSAT scores and GPAs would not be admitted to law school without the benefit of CLEO. Participants attend a six-week summer program designed to prepare them for the challenges of a law school course load. Designed to evaluate the student’s capacity for learning the law while simultaneously acclimating them to the law school process, the curriculum is taught by full-time professors and simulates the rigors of 1L. While CLEO Summer Institute participants must meet predetermined academic requirements, CLEO recognizes and considers the numerous challenges that many applicants have overcome in pursuit of their goals.

The program takes place in two locations (selected in late December) each year and work is periodically evaluated with an option to have law schools review evaluations and/or interview participants. Virtually all CLEO attendees (including those who had no law school offer at the beginning of the program) go off to law school at the end of the summer. As it celebrates its 41st year, CLEO remains the only national program that has successfully placed applicants with “less than traditional academic indicators” in more than 180 ABA-accredited law schools. Students who complete the program successfully become CLEO Fellows and may be eligible for scholarship grants once they enter law school.


Who can participate? 

The program is geared toward candidates who have had significant emotional, physical, or socioeconomic disadvantages. In order to qualify, applicants must be eligible to attend an ABA-approved law school at the completion of the summer program. All applicants must also apply to at least one CLEO Member School or Supporting/Sustaining Institution found at the three links below:
http://www.cleoscholars.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=506&grandparentID=482&parentID=530&nodeID=2 (Member Schools)
http://www.cleoscholars.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=505&grandparentID=482&parentID=530&nodeID=2 (Supporting Schools)
http://www.cleoscholars.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=Page.viewPage&pageId=504&grandparentID=482&parentID=530&nodeID=2 (Sustaining Schools)

What are the benefits of participation?

The CLEO program boasts an impressive ability to prepare its students for law school by permitting them to participate in a curriculum that successfully simulates first semester of law school classes, while also providing participants with social opportunities, seminars, and various other perks. Many consider the almost guaranteed grants provided to Cleo-Fellows to be the biggest bonus of the program. However, the academic support, bar prep, career development, and the access to an expansive alumni network are nothing to scoff at.

According to CLEO’s representatives, those who attend CLEO go on to outperform their peers, and often their own personal standards once they are in law school. Although the price may seem steep, participants contend that the program is well worth the cost, often holding immeasurable benefits for its participants.

How Competitive is the CLEO program? 

The program remains relatively competitive by utilizing LSAC's CRS (Candidate Referral Service) and university visits to recruit more than 1,000 applicants each year. Though in previous years the acceptance rate has hovered around 8%, resulting in about 80 seats, the number can vary from year to year.

What are the financial logistics of the program? 

The program costs $2,000 (including a required $200 seat deposit). For those students who qualify for a scholarship (parent’s combined income must be less than $40,000/year) the price tag drops significantly to $500. Transportation is not included in the tuition; food and living quarters, however, are provided.
After completing the program, participants are eligible for a grants beginning at $2,000/yr, other scholarship considerations, and full funding for bar prep classes.

How should I apply? 

Applicants must apply online and mail the application confirmation e-mail, along with a personal statement, four self-addressed stamped envelopes, and a $25 application fee in the form of a money order (personal checks cannot be accepted) to:
Council on Legal Education Opportunity
740 15th Street, NW 9th Floor
Washington, D.C. 20005
When applying you will need the following items:
  • Your most recent resume
  • Your personal finances information (tax information, liabilities, assets)
  • You personal statement (not to be in excess of four pages)
  • One letters of recommendation (optional)
  • Four self addressed and stamped envelops.
Additionally, all applicants must register for the Law School Data Assembly Service (LSDAS) through the Law School Admission Council, where the CLEO code is 5096. Students applying under the low-income category must also fill out a Free Application for Federal Student Aid, which can be found at www.studentaid.ed.gov. Students whose application is completed by November 27 will be part of the first group of applicants to be considered for the program.

More questions?
Additional information about the summer institute and various other programs can be found on the CLEO website: http://cleoscholars.com/index.cfm?nodeid=2
For Relevant TLS threads please see the following:
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=8779
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=14&t=45795
http://www.top-law-schools.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=26395&hilit=CLEO

Articles of the Day

When lawyers work for free - by accident.
How the next bailout should look.
Comparative effectiveness research takes a hit.
Ezra Klein takes on Paul Ryan's Budget.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Thinking of Transferring Law Schools?

The following is a how-to on the law school transfer process. It's been vetted by some very experienced folks who know the process intimately. Unfortunately the writer is pretty much anonymous. He (or, better yet they) go by the nom de plume "Arrow," and previously posted this essay on Toplawschools.com. I would love to give them their proper attribution, however, and if they ever go public I hope to interview them! *Update* I have interviewed Arrow. Please read the interview here.

Articles of the Day

Big Pharma and Harvard Med get even cozier.
What Toyota and Tiger can learn about seeking redemption.
Getting technology right in education.
How job losses are turning off a generation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

We're Not Capping Our Way Out

Tort refom takes a hit in Illinois.

President Obama recently mentioned how tort reform is seen as a cure-all in some circles (mostly GOP) for runaway health costs. Usually this debate hinges on an example or two of how state(s) have implemented tort reform and then malpractice costs have decreased. I don't think that's enough evidence to support the contention that tort reform is the solution to lowering health costs, though. (And to be fair, those who champion tort reform do so for more reasons than lowering health costs, like alleviating the financial pressure physicians face - which is very real.)

Articles of the Day

How does public opinion influence judges?
FL preparing for Haitian refugee students.
FL schools grumble about disproportionate funding.
Improving student performance by better school design.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Loans Are Making a Comeback At Elite Schools

Not too long ago Ivy League universities and other elite colleges sought to rid loans from students' aid packages and replace them with solely grants and work-study. The decision was largely hailed as a step in the right direction, one that would increase socioeconomic and racial diversity (though some do not believe diversity is still a top priority - more on that later). Now those same schools are reversing course.

Articles of the Day

Will the health reform bills control costs?
Why are nurses jailed for doing the right thing?
LA learning about charter schools.
Palin's Cheat Sheet.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Playing With Numbers - The Government is Growing, Growing, Growing

The Washington Times published "breaking news" recently. The federal payroll exceeded 2 million employees for the first time in history. That's a lot of folks. Of course that number includes both civilian workers and members of the military but still - 2 million! The article does a great job of framing the 'big government' mantra and throwing out statistics to support the cause. What the article doesn't do - until nearly the end - is put employment numbers into their proper perspective. And that is: how many federal workers are there per U.S. resident? Understandably, that is not a great measure of whether the federal government has grown too much. But neither are raw numbers such as this that are doled out with the purpose of merely overwhelming our senses.
Mr. Obama says the civilian work force will drop by 80,000 next year, mostly because of a reduction in U.S. census workers added in 2010 but then dropped in 2011 after the national population count is finished. That still leaves 1.35 million civilian federal employees on the payroll in 2011.
From 1981 through 2008, the civilian work force remained at about 1.1 million to 1.2 million, with a low of 1.07 million in 1986 and a high of more than 1.2 million in 1993 and in 2008. In 2009, the number jumped to 1.28 million.

But by quoting how many federal workers there are per U.S. resident we have a barometer that can be applied throughout the history of federal employment. We can see if there is a correlation between population growth and employment growth (as there should be in my opinion). As budget director Peter Orszag notes:
"[M]ore people have been hired to oversee outside contracts. Over the past eight or nine years, those contracts have doubled in size. The acquisition work force has stayed constant. It's not too hard to figure out that oversight of those contracts has not kept pace with what it should be."
Toward the end of the article the writer mentions what the employee to U.S. resident ratio is and how it has declined tremendously.
Even as the total number of federal employees rises, the ratio of employees to Americans has declined steadily, from one employee for every 78 residents in 1953 to one employee for every 110 residents in 1988 to one employee for every 155 residents in 2008. 
 Hmmm....I wonder why that's not at the beginning of the article? Again, if we are going to put the amount of federal workers into perspective and try to gauge historical data objectively, you would think we would start here. Instead, the writer interviews a Mr. Paul Light, who is a fellow at the Brookings Institution and studies federal bureaucracy (Don't worry I didn't know people studied that either) and he said, "I'm shocked that the 'tea party' hasn't focused on it yet, and the Obama administration only has a thin sliver of time to deal more directly with it, I believe."

So really it's about the politics of federal employment, not what is an appropriate level of growth. That's too bad because I believe there should be a frank conversation about the appropriate level of growth in the federal government. For instance, is federal employment crowding out private employment? Are some states overly reliant on federal government resources? These are just some of the questions that worth finding answes for. However we won't find those answers or even a decent conversation about this in the Washington Times.

Articles of the Day

New ways to distribute insulin.
Marrying social work and public health.
Can coffee help to stave off diabetes? 
Dating gets scientific.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Obama's New Budget - The Education Money

 The 2011 Department of Education budget in full:

EDUCATION DEPARTMENT 2009 Appropriation 2010 Estimate 2011 Request
Financial Aid      
Pell Grants (discretionary) $17,288,000 $17,495,000 $0
Pell Grants (mandatory) 2,090,000 3,030,000 0
Pell Grants (Recovery Act) 0 6,463,059 34,878,000
Pell Grants (Total) $19,378,000 $26,988,059 34,878,000
Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants 757,465 757,465 757,465
Work Study 980,492 980,492 980,492
Perkins Loan cancellations 67,164 0 0
College Access and Completion Fund (proposed) n/a n/a 63,852
Leveraging Educational Assistance Partnerships 63,852 63,852 0
Academic Competitiveness /SMART Grants 73,000 1,336,000 (36,000)
Iraq/Afghanistan Service Grants 0 232 240
TEACH Grants 0 23,008 12,711
Institutional aid 84,000
Strengthening Institutions 80,000 84,000 88,200
Strengthening Tribally Controlled Colleges and Universities      
--Discretionary 23,158 30,169 31,677
--Mandatory 30,000 -- --
Strengthening Alaska Native/Native Hawaiian Institutions  
--Discretionary Funds 11,579 15,084 15,838
--Mandatory Funds 15,000 --
--
Strengthening Historically Black Colleges and Universities    
--Discretionary Funds 238,095 266,586 279,915
--Mandatory Funds 85,000 -- --
Strengthening Historically Black Graduate Institutions 58,500 61,425 64,496
Master's Degree Programs at HBCUs and Predominantly Black Institutions 11,500 11,500 11,500
Strengthening Predominantly Black Institutions
--Discretionary Funds 0 10,801 11,341
--Mandatory Funds 15,000 -- --
Minority Science and Engineering Improvement 8,577 9,503 9,503
Developing Hispanic Serving Institutions 97,919
--Discretionary Funds 93,256 117,429 123,300
--Mandatory Funds (Hispanic STEM and articulation programs) 100,000 --
--
Promoting Postbaccalaureate opportunities for Hispanic Americans      
--Discretionary 0 10,500 10,500
--Mandatory funds 11,500 11,500 11,500
Strengthening Asian American and Pacific Islander-serving Institutions 2,500 3,600 3,780
--Discretionary 2,500 3,600 3,780
--Mandatory 5,000 --
--
Strengthening Native American-serving Nontribal Institutions  
--Discretionary 0 3,600 3,780
--Mandatory 5,000 -- --
Tribally controlled Voc-Tech Institutions 7,773 8,162 8,162
Gallaudet U. 124,000 123,000 118,000
National Technical Institute for the Deaf 64,212 68,437 64,677
Howard U. 234,977 234,977 234,977
International education/foreign language 118,881 125,881 125,881
Fund for Improvement of Postsecondary Education 133,667 159,403 64,036
Demonstration Projects to Ensure Access for Students With Disabilities 6,755 6,755 6,755
Vocational and adult education    
Carl D. Perkins Act State Grants 1,160,911 1,160,911 1,264,000
Tech Prep 102,923 102,923 0
Adult Education 567,468 639,567 653,661
Student assistance  
TRIO programs 905,089 910,089 910,089
Gear Up 313,212 323,212 323,212
College Access Challenge Grant Program 66,000 0 0
Special programs for migrant students 34,168 36,668 36,668
Child Care Access Program 16,034 16,034 16,034
Graduate education
Byrd Scholarships 40,642 42,000 0
Javits Fellowships 9,687 9,687 9,687
Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need 31,030 31,030 31,030
Thurgood Marshall Legal Educational Opportunity Program 3,000 3,000 3,000
Other offices
Research and statistics 617,175 659,006 738,756
Statewide Data Systems (Recovery Act) 250,000 0 0
Office for Civil Rights 96,826 103,024 105,700
Inspector general 54,539 60,053 65,238
LABOR DEPARTMENT      
Adult Employment and Training 861,540 861,540 861,540
Innovation Fund     45,344
Dislocated Workers Training 1,341,891 1,435,500 1,413,000
Innovation Fund     63,307
Career Pathways Innovation Fund 125,000 125,000 0
OTHER AGENCIES      
AmeriCorps state and national grants 267,000 372,000 488,000
Institute of Museum and Library Services 275,000 282,000 266,000
National Endowment for the Humanities 155,000 167,500 161,315
National Endowment for the Arts 155,000 167,500 161,315
National Historical Publications and Records Commission 9,000 13,000 10,000
State Department Academic Exchanges (Fulbright, etc.) 323,000 359,000 357,000

Friday, February 5, 2010

Health Affair's Best of 2009

The top 20 read articles on Health Affairs last year.

Top-viewed articles published in 2009
  1. Annual Medical Spending Attributable To Obesity: Payer-And Service-Specific Estimates
    by Eric A. Finkelstein, Justin G. Trogdon, Joel W. Cohen, and William Dietz
  2. Health Spending Projections Through 2018: Recession Effects Add Uncertainty To The Outlook
    by Andrea Sisko, Christopher Truffer, Sheila Smith, Sean Keehan, Jonathan Cylus, John A. Poisal, M. Kent Clemens, and Joseph Lizonitz
  3. National Health Spending In 2007: Slower Drug Spending Contributes To Lowest Rate Of Overall Growth Since 1998
    by Micah Hartman, Anne Martin, Patricia McDonnell, Aaron Catlin, and the National Health Expenditure Accounts Team
  4. What ‘Patient-Centered’ Should Mean: Confessions Of An Extremist
    by Donald M. Berwick
  5. The Recent Surge In Nurse Employment: Causes And Implications
    by Peter I. Buerhaus, David I. Auerbach, and Douglas O. Staiger
  6. Building Organizational Capacity: A Cornerstone Of Health System Reform
    by Janet Corrigan and Dwight McNeill
  7. Take Two Aspirin And Tweet Me In The Morning: How Twitter, Facebook, And Other Social Media Are Reshaping Health Care
    by Carleen Hawn
  8. Fostering Accountable Health Care: Moving Forward In Medicare
    by Elliott S. Fisher, Mark B. McClellan, John Bertko, Steven M. Lieberman, Julie J. Lee, Julie L. Lewis, and Jonathan S. Skinner
  9. Health Reform: A Bipartisan View
    by Jim Cooper and Michael Castle
  10. Meeting Enrollees’ Needs: How Do Medicare And Employer Coverage Stack Up?
    by Karen Davis, Stuart Guterman, Michelle M. Doty, and Kristof M. Stremikis
  11. What Does It Cost Physician Practices To Interact With Health Insurance Plans?
    by Lawrence P. Casalino, Sean Nicholson, David N. Gans, Terry Hammons, Dante Morra, Theodore Karrison, and Wendy Levinson
  12. Evidence On The Chronic Care Model In The New Millennium
    by Katie Coleman, Brian T. Austin, Cindy Brach, and Edward H. Wagner
  13. Preventing Chronic Disease: An Important Investment, But Don’t Count On Cost Savings
    by Louise B. Russell
  14. Do Prevention Or Treatment Services Save Money? The Wrong Debate
    by Ron Z. Goetzel
  15. Obesity And The Workplace: Current Programs And Attitudes Among Employers And Employees
    by Jon R. Gabel, Heidi Whitmore, Jeremy Pickreign, Christine C. Ferguson, Anjali Jain, Shova KC, and Hilary Scherer
  16. The Kaiser Permanente Electronic Health Record: Transforming And Streamlining Modalities Of Care
    by Catherine Chen, Terhilda Garrido, Don Chock, Grant Okawa, and Louise Liang
  17. Hospital Quality And Intensity Of Spending: Is There An Association?
    by Laura Yasaitis, Elliott S. Fisher, Jonathan S. Skinner, and Amitabh Chandra
  18. Rising Out-Of-Pocket Spending For Chronic Conditions: A Ten-Year Trend
    by Kathryn Anne Paez, Lan Zhao, and Wenke Hwang
  19. Is Health Spending Excessive? If So, What Can We Do About It?
    by Henry J. Aaron and Paul B. Ginsburg
  20. Increased Spending On Health Care: Long-Term Implications For The Nation
    by Michael E. Chernew, Richard A. Hirth, and David M. Cutler

Articles of the Day

Delegate Christopher Peace (R-VA) on why VA needs more charter schools.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm has a plan to trim Michigan's deficit...and it involves retiring teachers.
Florida's A's and F's.
Neurosurgeons going paperless at conferences.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Simulated Medical Care

Dr. Pauline W. Chen details how simulated care has its benefits.

GOP Retooling for Midterm Elections, Could Use Sharper Tools

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that " half a dozen leaders of the Republican Party have joined forces to create a new political group with the goal of organizing grass-roots support and raising funds ahead of the 2010 midterm elections." Included in the group are Jeb Bush, Karl Rove, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, Norm Coleman and others.The group will be called the American Action Network. As the article notes, there has been somewhat of a frenzy of new Republican organizations as of late. And the results so far have been lackluster at best.
A recent example of those unsuccessful efforts was Freedom’s Watch, a group operated by former Bush administration aides, which sought to be a major player in the 2008 campaign cycle but failed to make a significant impact. It also faced financial and organizational difficulties and closed its doors after the 2008 elections.

While I think there is a need for a MoveOn.org type advocacy organization on the right, I don't believe one should be created from whole cloth. There are plenty of organizations that are already in existence. More so, what needs to be done is to find an organization that has key objectives that appeal to the majority of the base, install competent leadership, and effectively utilize social media. All that coupled with the momentum the GOP seemingly has following the Scott Brown victory in MA should be enough.

Another interesting tidbit is how close the American Action Network sounds like Al Sharpton's National Action Network. Is the GOP taking cues from Al?

Guest Posts Are Welcome

I am always interested in accepting guest posts. If you want to share an experience or thought and have an interest in public policy, politics, public health, law, or just social commentary, you're welcome to contact me: john@policydiary.com.

Articles of the Day

NCAA shows black coaches some love.
The disparity in hospital costs.
Thinking beyond Plan B.
Is the iPad going to hurt publishers?