Recent research indicates that the single most important factor in student performance is teacher quality.
Though the literature on professional development programs is less advanced, researchers agree that most forms of professional development fail to foster teacher quality along these five key dimensions. For 30 years, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has been developing a unique model for improving teacher quality. Other research suggests that Institutes also serve to foster teacher leadership, to develop supportive teacher networks, to heighten university faculty commitments to improving public education, and to foster positive partnerships between school districts and institutions of higher education. In recent years, educational researchers have converged on the conclusion that the best way to help students learn is to improve teacher quality. Though researchers differ on some important issues, virtually all experts agree on the value of five features.
The chief caveats here are first, that due both to costs and program structures, relatively few professional development program evaluations have included randomized controlled trials or rigorous quasi-experimental designs with well-matched participant and non-participant groups.20 Few existing programs, then, can claim to have been validated through those forms of empirical research. Since 1978, the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute has been developing a unique approach to improving teacher quality, one now employed by affiliated Teachers Institutes in three other cities: Pittsburgh, Houston, and Philadelphia.
At the heart of the Teachers Institute approach is a special sort of partnership between institutions of higher education and public schools. In these seminars teachers gain more sophisticated content knowledge, and they also enhance their writing and oral skills by preparing substantial curriculum units that they discuss with their fellow teachers in the seminars, then teach to their students.
The Institute approach thus involves a stress on improving teachers' content knowledge and on the development of pedagogical strategies tied to the content of their units. The Institutes are especially well-suited to insure that teachers do not learn advanced content in isolation from attention to how it can be conveyed effectively, and that they do not passively receive content from curriculum prepared by others. Since the founding of the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute in 1978, its leaders have consistently supported external and internal evaluations to discern and improve the efficacy of the Institute's work. But random assignment of teachers to treatment groups is not appropriate for evaluating the Teachers Institute approach.
The second-best research option for determining causality is generally considered to be quasi-experimental designs, in which subjects are not randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. The external evaluator of the National Demonstration Project, Policy Studies Associates, also found "clear evidence of important accomplishments" and concluded that the Project had "succeeded in reaching its goal" of showing that the Institute model could be replicated in different contexts, especially districts that respect "teachers as leaders" and value "teachers' professional learning."31 Using qualitative techniques including seminar and classroom observations, in-depth interviews, and focus groups, sociologists at the University of Houston and educators at Carnegie Mellon University and Chatham College, Pittsburgh conducted their own evaluations of their Teachers Institutes during the National Demonstration Project, with similarly positive results.
The Houston and Pittsburgh Teachers Institutes continued in conformity with the Institute model along with the original Yale-New Haven Institute, each engaging in annual surveys of teacher participants and in other forms of continuing evaluation. The administration by each Institute of similarly structured annual surveys of teacher seminar participants, which all must complete in order to receive their stipends, makes it possible to update the survey findings of the 2004 National Demonstration Project evaluation, determining whether teachers at the various Institutes continue to rate their seminar experiences favorably.
First, the Fellows' surveys from over 1200 Fellows at all four existing sites from 2003-2008 show that teachers chose to participate in Institute seminars out of desires to improve themselves in precisely the areas that research indicates to be vital to teacher quality.
Pittsburgh teachers placed slightly greater relative stress on improving their mastery of their subject matter than teachers at the other three sites, while Philadelphia teachers cited this motive somewhat less often than teachers in the other cities.
These responses from the local Institutes in New Haven and Philadelphia and from the National Initiative seminars may indicate the comparative appeal for teachers of working with faculty in Ivy League institutions. There were also interesting variations in the responses among categories of teachers, though none were consistent across all four local sites and the National Initiative seminars, and they cannot be considered statistically significant.33 At three of the four sites middle-school teachers were somewhat more likely than high-school or elementary-school teachers to stress the goal of motivating their students (rather than high-school teachers, as in the National Demonstration Project).
After completing their seminars, teachers at all four local sites overwhelmingly reported that they had benefited along dimensions that the professional literature indicates to be vital to teacher quality. As in the National Demonstration Project, the surveys show other variations by categories of teachers, though again these patterns are not statistically significant. The National Demonstration Project included a one-time survey on unit use; and in New Haven, the annual survey of teachers provides an opportunity for open-ended comments on teachers' previous use of Institute curriculum. The results of the National Demonstration Project survey showed that, except for those who are unable to do so due to shifts in assignments or health reasons, virtually all Fellows at each site went on to teach the units they prepared, in whole or in part; and many also reported use of other Teachers Institute units.
The Fellows in the National Demonstration Project expressed very strong satisfaction with the units.
Overall, an impressive 65% of all Fellows rated the units written by themselves or other Institute Fellows as superior to all other types of curriculum they had used, with almost 34% rating them the same. It should be noted that during the National Demonstration Project, no Institute made a concerted effort to persuade teachers to use Institute-prepared units instead of other curriculum. Because the DeWitt Wallace-Reader's Digest Fund, sponsor of the National Demonstration Project, wished evaluators to focus on the Project's impact on teachers, it did not authorize funds for the complex task of directly evaluating the impact on students of having had teachers who had been Fellows. In commenting on their experiences teaching units in the classroom during the five-year (2000-2005) period of the New Haven quantitative study discussed in the next section, teachers spoke often of how student attention, enjoyment, comprehension and retention improved whenever they used Institute units, both ones they had personally written or ones written by other Fellows.37 Many also reported that their units were written to be interdisciplinary and served as bases for successful team-teaching, sometimes in pairs, sometimes in larger groups. As in the earlier National Demonstration Project, the populations of Fellows participating at the four current sites from 2003-2008 display some demographic differences. Experiences at the four sites during the three years of the Demonstration Project, in New Haven for three decades, and in Pittsburgh, Houston, and Philadelphia since a Demonstration Project, all indicate that the Institute approach generates significant corollary benefits that are not easily grasped through survey responses and not always visible in a relatively short time period.
The development of university-public school institutional partnerships in ways that promote respect and strengthen education in both settings.
To augment those findings, the Yale National Initiative sponsored a retrospective quantitative study of the impact of the Teachers Institute on New Haven teachers and students from the 2000-2001 academic year to the 2004-2005 academic year. Not all of the data sought proved available, particularly in regard to teacher and student outcomes. In regard to the demographics of teachers who participate in Institute seminars, the chief hypothesis was that they would be broadly representative of all New Haven teachers, not drawn primarily from particular demographic subsets, with the partial exception of elementary-school teachers.45 In regard to teacher outcomes for which data were available, the chief hypothesis was that participation in Teachers Institute seminars would correlate with heightened teacher retention, as the seminars would increase teacher enthusiasm and satisfaction with their teaching. In regard to student outcomes for which data were available, the central hypothesis was that student exposure to teachers who had been Institute Fellows would be positively but weakly associated with standardized test scores and grades. A multilevel model was used to account for variation explained at the school, teacher, and student levels.
During the study period, African American teachers were 83% more likely than white teachers to be Fellows when holding years of teaching experience, sex, subject, grade level, and degrees constant.
In regard to students, no statistically significant relationships were found between having a teacher who had been a Fellow and student performances on standardized tests and in course grades. The continuing positive results of annual surveys of teachers at each Institute site and of National Seminar participants leave little doubt that teachers consistently rate their Institute experiences and the curriculum units that result favorably along the five dimensions agreed to be key ingredients of teacher quality: teacher knowledge, teacher skills, teacher enthusiasm, teacher expectations of their students and teacher capacity to motivate students. At the same time, these results underscore the importance of continuing and improved program evaluation.
To summarize the main options: Insofar as possible, each site should seek to institutionalize annual data collection on the use of curriculum units and on their results for students. Institutes should also continue to collect and analyze descriptive data on teachers and on teacher outcomes. If circumstances permit, Institutes might also seek to obtain and analyze more systematic data that can help answer the question of whether collective participation by teachers from the same school, grade, or department has benefits exceeding those obtained when individual teachers are mixed without any such clustering. Both individual Institutes and the National Initiative should also seek to identify and employ researchable forms of randomization that are consistent with the Institute approach. There are, then, many routes for continuing and improved evaluation that merit consideration, and there are strong reasons for undertaking such steps. Ferguson, "Teachers' Perceptions and Expectations and the Black-White Test Score Gap," 273-317; Ferguson, R. Gates Foundation Staff, "High-Performing School Districts: Challenge, Support, Alignment, and Choice," 18.
Pittsburgh public schools have experienced severe and continuing declines in student enrollments in the decade since the Pittsburgh Teachers Institute was established. Suggesting the value of collective participation, one Philadelphia teacher stated that initially she was the only teacher from her school enrolled in the program and that "I'm so happy now there are four. To use a political science analogy, it would be similar to trying to evaluate the comparative success of "winner take all" and "proportional representation" presidential primary systems by randomly assigning winning candidates to the two different parties. Yoon et al., "Reviewing the Evidence on How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement," 5.
All percentages reported here are percentages of the Fellows who actually responded to particular questions.
Because the numbers of teachers in particular categories were sometimes low, and because some teachers were Fellows multiple times, standard tests for statistical significance are not appropriate. In the National Demonstration Project, more experienced teachers, presumably more familiar with alternative forms of professional development, rated the overall program especially highly.
Overall statistics are drawn from the National Demonstration Project Survey of Fellows' Unit Use, Table 111.
The standardized tests employed in the study are the Connecticut Mastery Test (CMT), which was administered in the study period in grades 4, 6, and 8, and the Connecticut Academic Performance Test (CAPT), which was administered in grade 10.
Elementary teachers, who were not initially eligible for New Haven seminars, came to be more proportionately represented over the years. Kindergarten to College has achieved its goal of reaching all elementary schools in the San Francisco Unified School District. This year, Citi Microfinance and the Citi Foundation partnered to drive a discussion on agricultural value chain finance through a panel titled "From Farm to Plate" (check out this blog post for one attendee's take). Citi Community Development was proud to support the 38th Annual Lunar New Year Banquet of its long-time community partner, Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE.) Citi Foundation has supported the work of AAFE's affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation, a CDFI and technical assistance provider focused on low-income, minority and women-owned businesses in low-income immigrant neighborhoods.
CurrenC SF is a partnership between the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment, the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of the Bay Area, with generous support from Citi Community Development, Visa and the Levi Strauss Foundation. For employers, moving to direct deposit and paperless pay can lower payroll processing costs by up to 90 percent, and eliminates the headache of lost and stolen checks.
CurrenC SF is an extension of the City's pioneering program Bank on San Francisco, which has provided over 72,000 bank accounts to low-income San Franciscans and spread to more than 100 cities across the country. More than 67,000 households in San Francisco are paid with paper checks, including 68 percent of low-income workers. Several CurrenC SF Employer Champions including Recology, Blue Shield of California, William Watlington Foods, Walgreens, Rickshaw Bagworks, Bi-Rite Market and Goodwill Industries were recognized for their leadership in financial empowerment efforts and participated in the launch. The CurrenC SF website provides resources to help employers initiate or expand direct deposit in their organizations. As Black History Month draws to a close, I am mindful of how fortunate I am to work for two organizations that are strongly committed to the twin, complementary goals of diversity and empowerment. Similarly, New York City Mission Society, for which I am Chair of the Board of Directors, promotes the positive development of underserved young people and families in order to strengthen communities and, as a consequence, our city's diversity. As it turns out, both Citi and New York City Mission Society are celebrating 200 years of service in 2012. Citi's commitment to diversity spans the organization a€” particularly through the activities of Citi's Employee Networks a€” and the calendar, with events and activities highlighting the months that have been formally designated to celebrate the culture, history and contributions of various communities. Across the country, Citi's African Heritage Networks (AHN) provide a wide range of educational, cultural and fellowship-building opportunities during African American History Month. Ellen Stafford, who has been with Citi in Irving, Texas for a little over four years, got involved with the Dallas-Fort Worth AHN as Communications Chair this year.
As Executive Recruiter for North America, Ellen is very aware that Citi provides an even playing field on which qualified applicants, both within and outside Citi, can compete.
Ellen is shifting her recruiting focus from IT to sustaining Citi's overall culture of diversity. More broadly, Ellen would like to see an increase in positive, healthy messages in popular culture, particularly for children, and a continued and strong policy focus on education. Annette Griffin of Baltimore agrees about the importance of education and how helpful it can be to have a mentor, as she did.
Annette is a Senior HR Generalist and supports employees in Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In Columbus, Ohio, Jenine Johnson of Securities Processing notes that Citi has had a major impact on diversity in her metropolitan area, thanks in particular to the leadership of the Columbus Office Director Mark Bjorstrom. Jenine has taken an active role herself in expanding diversity, including introducing Citi's African Heritage Network in Columbus.
Jenine strongly values African American History Month and all the diversity months that Citi celebrates. Willie Henry Jr., of Citi's Graduate Recruitment Team in Jacksonville, Florida, is co-chair of the AHN there.
Willie draws inspiration from football legend Jerry Rice a€” "who showed that, with the right tools and hard work, you can compete with anyone even without traditional stamps of status" a€” and from his own brother-in-law, who moved up the ranks at one of the country's largest retailers.
On July 17, 2009, a national consortium of non-profit affordable housing developers submitted an application to the U.S.
CPLC has organized this coalition in partnership with National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders (NALCAB).
Listen to Jason Ott's experiences with the San Miguel Cristo Rey Corporate Internship Program.
Citi volunteers will contribute about 150 service hours at local VITA sites this tax season. Volunteers also will be out in force at Tucson's 2011 Money Faire on April 2 to help the United Way of Tuscon and Southern Arizona's mobile VITA team prepare tax returns for free.
Citi has partnered with United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona to transform and expand a successful, six-year financial education program called Citi Youth into a dynamic and holistic family financial capability center, called the Prosperity Center. Imagine teaching a young person about how to find available college scholarships and then helping his parents complete the standard financial education application form. With the Prosperity Center, Citi has partnered with United Way (UW) of Tucson and Southern Arizona to transform and expand a successful, six-year financial education program called Citi Youth into a dynamic and holistic family financial capability center. The Prosperity Center offers financial education classes from 3-6pm, when students typically participate in after-school programs, and will remain open until at least 7pm so that adults (including those who don't have children at the host school) also can participate in workshops and avail themselves of the Center's other asset-building services.
The Citi Youth financial education program, now in its sixth year, teaches basic financial concepts to youth aged 5-16 and also offers "train-the-trainer" sessions for financial education teachers. Citi Community Development has partnered with the USC-operated MBDA Business Center in Los Angeles, the City of Los Angeles Mayor's Office of Economic & Business Policy, the Southern California Minority Business Development Council, SBA SCORE, and three ethnic minority chambers to launch the Bridges to Business Success (B2BS) Program to provide an advanced business training program focused on building the capacity of minority small business owners in Southern California.
With a lending commitment of more than $100 million, Citi is helping to revitalize the Bayview district of San Francisco.
AnewAmerica Community Corporation's Green Business Certificate program" part of its comprehensive, three-year Virtual Business Incubator model" educates and encourages budding, low-income entrepreneurs to adopt green, sustainable business practices. Since the Green Business Certificate program began in 2008, 270 people have received intensive training in green business practices and 80 have achieved green business certification. In California's Central Valley, Citi has invested more than $28,000 to support four EITC sites. In 2010, with Citi's support, local VITA sites helped bring over $14.9 million in tax refunds back to more than 11,000 low- and moderate-income clients and their local communities. The Citi Foundation supports the Financial Literacy and Asset Development Program, a ten-week course that teaches concepts and skills for saving money, using credit and practicing sound money management. Participants spend twenty hours in classroom sessions and receive individualized guidance in creating personalized money management plans and analyzing their credit scores with the goal of repairing damaged credit.
In California, Cabrillo Economic Development Corporation is making affordable housing available and sustainable. In 2009, the Citi Foundation provided a grant to Cal State University Northridge (CSUN) Student Outreach and Recruitment Services to support its College Can Happen Initiative (CCHI), a strategic and comprehensive program to improve enrollment at the university. CCHI provides information and encouragement to middle and high school students and their parents, in low to moderate-income (LMI) communities in San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles, to help them prepare for entrance into a four-year college. Many of the students reached by CCHI would be first-generation college students, and the program aims to foster a college-going culture. As part of the CCHI program, Citi volunteers have taught financial education workshops at CSUN on how to manage finances on a student budget, credit, savings and investing. Citi is working with Self-Help to expand financial inclusion for thousands of Californians. A supportive and welcoming environment, achieved through staff preparation and branch design. Additionally, through financial education that is provided, innovatively, to customers waiting in line, the Micro Branch encourages individuals who use only its check cashing services to expand their relationship by becoming savings account holders and credit union members. To enable replication of the Micro Branch model, the CCD grant also supports analysis of the operating model and customer outcomes. Jose came regularly to the Micro Branch, every Friday, to cash his check and send money to his family. Read the latest announcement from the City and County of San Francisco about the Kindergarten to College program. Kindergarten to College is an easy-to-use savings platform that will help more families start saving earlier for college. The program will continue to motivate college savings through additional matches and incentives. An important part of the Kindergarten to College program is its financial education component.
In a recent USA Today supplement on Financial Literacy, Citi's collaboration with the City and County of San Francisco is featured prominently in the article "Milk money, crayons, bank account," and Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development, is among the Panel of Experts weighing in on Youth Financial Literacy. On October 5, 2010, the City and County of San Francisco and Citi announced the launch of the Kindergarten to College partnership, the nation's first city-wide, universal college savings program for children.
Citi's commitment and success in developing innovative, collaborative and impactful solutions to critical community needs was recognized on November 8, 2011, when Citi Community Development received the Community Impact Award at the 15th Annual CRA & Fair Lending Colloquium. Jenny Flores, Senior Vice President for Citi Community Development in California, receives the Community Impact Award on behalf of Citi from Edward B. The Community Impact Award is bestowed each year "to dedicated compliance professionals and their institutions," to honor "outstanding and innovative efforts in furtherance of the goals of the Community Reinvestment Act." The Award also is intended to encourage innovative community lending and to provide the financial industry with examples of superb programs that have made a large impact on underserved communities. K2C was developed with participation across Citi's businesses and with leadership by Citi Microfinance and Citi Community Development. The award was accepted on behalf of Citi by Jenny Flores, Senior Vice President for Citi Community Development in California.
Citi is a longtime supporter of the FRC's Family Economic Success Program, which includes free tax preparation services for low-income individuals and families through VITA. In Oakland, California, the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation (EBALDC) is ensuring that students in elementary school learn good money management habits.
Students who complete the program are provided with a popular board game that involves purchasing and money management issues or a $50 savings bond that's intended to jump-start their good savings habits. Citi Community Development is providing a $150,000 grant to enable Enterprise Community Partners and Waypoint Homes to provide a financial capability program coupled with the purchase, renovation and rental of "real estate owned" (REO) properties.
Meet the participants in Bridges to Business Success, a pioneering, multi-stakeholder program that enables the City of Los Angeles to leverage its allocation from the Federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program to provide contracting opportunities to local, minority-owned small businesses.
Entrepreneurs in the food service industry face sizeable start-up and operational costs, among other challenges.
The Chef's Center of California is run by the Episcopal Housing Alliance and Economic Development (EHAED), which also provides business training courses for aspiring chefs and food entrepreneurs.
Part of the facility, the Citi Small Business Technology Center, offers training and technical assistance to incubator participants.
A variety of food-related business have been launched through the Chef's Center, including popular food trucks, gourmet bakeries, farmers market vendors and restaurants. Victor Ramirez of Citi Community Development serves as vice-chair of the Center's Board of Directors. Microloans that enable people to start small businesses and lift themselves out of poverty have proven their effectiveness in developing countries.
The program makes loans of $250, $500 and $1000 to women with very low incomes to empower them to start small businesses in their communities. With Citi's support, FFW has been able to expand its impact by opening new loan centers in the poorest communities of San Diego County.
The program benefits primarily Latin American and African immigrant women, specifically those who have no banking or credit history and lack access to capital.
Chinese diplomat Wu Hongbo was sworn in as the new United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) at the UN headquarters in New York on Monday. The swearing-in ceremony was conducted by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, with Ban's senior management team.
Wu, born in 1952 in Shandong province in eastern China, was Chinese ambassador to Germany since 2009 and assistant foreign minister. Development issues had a different and broader meaning, and the MDGs and sustainable development goals can integrate into each other, Wu told a group of Chinese resident UN reporters after his swearing-in ceremony. He said some developing countries may fear they will lose some of the assistance promised when the MDGs were set up. Zhu Zhiqun, professor of political science and international relations at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, said Wu is "fully qualified and competent" for this role because of his diverse background serving as ambassador to both developed nations (Germany) and developing nations (the Philippines) in addition to working at China's foreign ministry. Wu has more than 30 years of high-level experience, including close collaboration in international conferences with multilateral organizations, and has been involved in China's contribution to the implementation of the UN Conventions on Environment and Development, as well as China's report on its progress towards the MDGs. He is expected to "play a key role in working with member states in formulating the UN Development Agenda beyond 2015", said a statement on the UN website after his appointment was announced in May.
Wu said it was quite a transition for him personally to shift from being a Chinese diplomat to an international civil servant serving the UN. At least nine people in Liaoning province, five in Hubei province and one in Yunnan province were confirmed dead in floods and mudslides triggered by rainstorms on Monday.
Six in Xiuyan county and three in Haicheng city were found dead, and four others remain missing after Typhoon Damrey swept through Northeast China's Liaoning during the weekend, flood control authorities said.
Floods trapped 201 construction workers in a tunnel of a high-speed railway in the province's Benxi about 9:40 am on Monday, said Ban Yue, a publicity official for the city's government. Benxi rescue crews managed to transfer all of the workers to safety within four hours, said Zhang Jingqi, a firefighter. When China Daily reporters arrived at the scene, two dark-colored rivers were flowing quickly through the tunnel, and a temporary bridge was severely damaged. Most of the construction workers returned to their tents after being rescued, while several others carried on with the construction work in safe areas.
The typhoon cut off electricity, paralyzed road traffic and damaged drinking water facilities in Xiuyan, leaving more than 110,000 people homeless. Floods triggered by rainstorms in Dalian, Liaoning, retreated on Sunday night, as many residents in Chengzitan township tried to dry their clothes in the sun on Monday.
In Southwest China's Yunnan, a 92-year-old woman was found dead and a 82-year-old woman was missing in Eryuan county of the Dali Bai autonomous prefecture, where a mudslide occurred on Monday morning.
Forty villagers were injured by the mudslide and all were sent to hospital for treatment, Zhou Hongbing, a publicity official for Eryuan, said on Monday.
The mudslide initially trapped more than 200 people in the mountainous Fengyu and Liantie townships. Li Xiangyang, a resident of Fengyu, said that the rainy weather had lasted for nearly half a month. The mudslide caused economic losses of more than 98 million yuan ($15 million) in Eryuan, with 193 hectares of farmland destroyed, 81 houses collapsed, 488 heads of livestock killed, 17 roads and eight bridges destroyed, and three power plants damaged, according to the county government.
As of 2 pm on Monday, at least five people had been confirmed dead and one remained missing due to heavy rain in Shiyan and Xiangyang in Central China's Hubei province, according to the provincial flood control headquarters. More than 1,200 people were trapped by flood in Gucheng county of Xiangyang, said Xiao Haifeng, a firefighter.
Rescuers managed to transfer more than 830 people to safety and rescued 324 people from places surrounded by deep water by Monday afternoon. The heavy rain collapsed 178 houses and destroyed 409 hectares of crops, the Xiangyang government said on Monday. The country is faced with a tremendous burden from floods and other disasters due to frequent typhoons since mid-July, Chen Lei, minister of water resources, said on Monday. While the country is still dealing with the impact of typhoons Saola and Damrey that caused extensive damage over the weekend, typhoon Haikui is fast approaching, said Chen, who is also deputy commander-in-chief of the State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters.
New tropical cyclones will be formed in the next two days, which may continue to challenge the country's flood control capacity. Haikui strengthened into a fierce tropical storm on Sunday and further strengthened into a typhoon on Monday afternoon.
Heavy rainstorms brought by Haikui are expected to hit Shanghai and Zhejiang, Anhui, Fujian and Jiangsu provinces in next three days, according to the China Meteorological Administration. According to the Shanghai Meteorological Bureau, Haikui is moving northwestward at 15 kilometers an hour. Haikui is expected to move over the central and northern coastal areas of Zhejiang between midnight on Tuesday to noon on Wednesday, wind speed may reach 108 to 119 kilometers per hour as the center of the storm moves across the coast. Shanghai is expected to be lashed by rainstorms brought by Haikui from Tuesday to Thursday, with heavy rains in some areas, said Yao Jianqun, deputy director of the Shanghai Central Meteorological Station. Real-time weather information will be sent to residents via TV, radio, micro blogs and text messages. The Shanghai Railway Bureau has decided to suspend the sale of train tickets of the Ningbo-Taizhou-Wenzhou Railway along the southeast coast on Wednesday in order to ensure the safety of passengers. Tourism authorities in Zhoushan, Zhejiang, issued a notice on its micro blog, warning tourists to evacuate, and saying all sightseeing places will be temporarily closed.
The State Flood Control and Drought Relief Headquarters sent four work teams on Monday to Shanghai and Zhejiang, Jiangsu and Jiangxi provinces to supervise flood control work. Local authorities should step up inspections to prevent any potential typhoon inflicted damage to major facilities such as the chemical industry, nuclear power plants and railroads. Nearly 560,000 online comments were made on the proposed amendments to the Labor Contract Law over the monthlong public suggestion period, according to the website of the National People's Congress. It is the highest number of comments that the top legislature has received on a legal revision, the second highest number received was 331,000 regarding the Budget Law.
It is not the first time since drafts of laws started to be published online in 2005 that the labor contract bill has attracted wide attention due to its effect on labor rights. The draft labor contract law received nearly 190,000 public comments within a month in 2006 when the law was drafted, a record at the time. Wang Xiaolong, a consultant with the Chinese Education, Science, Culture, Health and Sport Workers' Union, said such a large number of opinions collected showed labor outsourcing is overused and it should have been regulated earlier. The law allows employment agencies to be established to provide companies with workers for temporary, supportive and substitute positions, and stipulates that outsourced workers should receive the same pay as those doing the same jobs for the same employers. Unlike people employed directly by companies, outsourced workers have labor contracts with employment agencies. There are more than 60 million outsourced workers in China, making up almost 20 percent of the urban workforce, according to a report released last year by the All-China Federation of Trade Unions. State-owned enterprises and public institutions and industries, such as petrochemical, telecommunication, finance and banking companies, employ the most outsourced workers, the report said. Wang said in many public hospitals, doctors, pharmacists and nurses are outsourced and in many universities, teachers, researchers and administrative staff are also outsourced. Ye Jingyi, a labor law expert at Peking University, said although the draft defines the three types of positions for the first time, it is not specific enough, and could still leave loopholes for employer manipulation. A draft amendment to the Budget Law, the latest attempt to shore up supervision on government spending, has apparently struck a chord with the public.
During a monthlong online campaign to solicit feedback on the proposed changes, the proposal received almost 331,000 comments and suggestions from about 20,000 members of the public, as of Sunday, according to the National People's Congress, the top legislature. This is the second-largest number of comments received by a draft law since the practice of publishing drafts online to solicit opinions was introduced in 2005. The largest number, 560,000 comments, was received by a Labor Contract Law draft amendment. However, several analysts said such attention to the draft shows an unusual public interest in levies and expenses, as the government continues to harvest surplus revenue. The amendment, if passed, would establish a set of requirements on budget making and enforcing, such as requiring governments to include all revenues and spending in annual budgets, making the budget public after it is approved by the people's congresses, and submitting budget adjustments for local legislature's review before making any fiscal changes.
Liu Jianwen, a financial law professor at Peking University, said the draft makes progress in outlawing undeclared incomes and sets up a system to supervise all revenues and spending. He said the amount of undeclared income has reduced significantly in recent years, especially since a regulation requiring governments to publicize information on spending was introduced in 2008. The annual amount of undeclared funds can reach 300 to 400 billion yuan ($47 billion to $63 billion), said Yang Zhengwu, a deputy to the NPC Standing Committee, during a session to discuss the draft in June.
Li Weiguang, a professor of government finance at Tianjin University of Finance and Economics, approved of some of the changes proposed in the draft, but said the proposal dodged the basic principle of budget making and implementation. For instance, he said, although the draft requires government budgets and adjustments to be approved by legislatures before being carried out, it does not specify the procedures if legislatures decide not to approve the proposed budgets. The authority of legislatures in reviewing and approving budgets, Li said, is the cornerstone of other measures in the draft law to regulate government income and spending. The Budget Law, the country's fundamental law to regulate government spending, was first introduced in 1995, a year after China reformed its taxation system and drastically improved the fiscal power. As China continues to rack up gold medals in London, Beijing's fitness centers are also enjoying golden times.
Gyms across the capital have seen a spike in new members, with many residents inspired to get in shape by Olympic heroes such as badminton ace Lin Dan. However, the marketing department of another fitness club in the capital, Tera Wellness Club, said it witnessed a year-on-year increase of new members of less than 10 percent in July. Gao Feng, a salesman at Hosa, said he signs up most new members in spring, but added the sales performance last month was "impressive".
The enthusiasm of the new recruits, partly inspired by the Games, also provided inspiration for the clubs' marketing departments. In addition to the annual membership dues during the Olympics, clubs across Beijing also come up with various promotions to attract customers. Many members came after work for a jog on the treadmill while watching the Games, said a marketing officer who gave her name as Wu at Nirvana Fitness and Spa, a high-end gym chain. Jia Nan, 27, a Beijing resident, comes to the gym with his wife when time allows, to keep fit after his wedding. The increasing membership at the gym and growing popularity of the fitness clubs is not a short-term effect of the London Games alone, said Zhang at Hosa.
According to the marketing department of Hosa, to welcome the upcoming National Fitness Day on Aug 8, it will also come up with various promotion activities like free experience and lottery draws.
Sports events can always spark enthusiasm for fitness among the public, and it is necessary to seize the opportunity of the Olympics, as well as the National Games next year in Shenyang, Liaoning province, to further encourage more of the public to exercise, he said.
More than 30 mothers breast-feed their babies for one and a half minutes to promote World Breastfeeding Week in a shopping mall in Wuhan, Hubei province, on Saturday.
The bodies of four workers were pulled from a well on Saturday after the men were allegedly poisoned to death by toxic gas while working at a landfill in Northwest China's Ningxia Hui autonomous region.
Zhang Lei, director of the Dawukou Landfill in the city of Shizuishan, conducted a routine check about noon on Saturday at an observation well. Three people died and four others were injured in an explosion in Fengyang county, East China's Anhui province, on Saturday, local authorities said.
One person was killed after the blast occurred at 4 pm in a farmer's house, in Lingquan village of Fengyang county, on Saturday.


A rescue team was sent to the village on Saturday and four slightly wounded were sent to No 123 hospital in Bengbu city, Anhui province. A discipline official in Zhongshan city of South China's Guangdong province has been suspended from his post for his role in a public servant exam fraud, the city's commission for discipline inspection said on Sunday.
Liang Guoying, a discipline official with Zhongshan Bureau of Human Resources and Social Security, is accused of helping his son change the score he received on a writing test for a public servant exam so his son would get the post, according to a statement from the city's commission for discipline inspection.
The statement said Liang's post was suspended and relevant officials will be punished for the fraud. A chemical container on an 80,000-ton cargo ship parked at Yantian Port in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, leaked toxic gas at around 8:38 am on Sunday, according to a Xinhua News Agency report.
Ten fire engines and 75 firemen were sent to the port and dropped 800 kg of dry ice to lower the temperature of the container from 70 C to 30 C.
The report said the cargo ship's registered country is Panama, and the goods belong to a trade company in Kunshan of Jiangsu province. Ownership of about 78 percent of China's collectively-owned rural land had been clarified by the end of June in a government campaign to protect farmers' land rights, the country's land watchdog said on Sunday. Local authorities should step up their efforts to certify ownership of all collectively-owned land in the countryside by the end of 2012 as planned, the Ministry of Land and Resources said in a statement on its website. Vice-Minister Hu Cunzhi warned that authorities should not approve the expropriation or transfer of collectively-owned rural land that remains unidentified as of the end of this year.
A 38-year-old man in Shanghai's Qingpu district has been arrested for allegedly killing his housing agent, Shanghai Evening Post reported on Sunday.
The man killed his agent because he regretted selling his house years ago when the price was only about one-sixth of current price, according to the report. In 2004, the man, whose name was not revealed, sold his house for 450,000 yuan ($71,000) to a man who operated a precision instrument enterprise through an agent.
A nurse who run away after she failed to pay back a 365 million yuan ($57 million) loan was arrested in Shanghai in July, local media Modern Express reported on Sunday. The nurse, surnamed Wang, previously worked at Taixing People's Hospital in Jiangsu province and became involved with an automobile decoration business and real estate investment. She borrowed money at an extremely high interest rate to invest in real estate, but failed to pay back the loan in full, police said. The mother of a forced prostitution victim in Central China's Hunan province was sentenced to 18 months of re-education through labor on Thursday for disrupting public order, police said on Sunday.
Two criminals were sentenced to death, four received life imprisonment and another received 15 years in jail, according to the ruling made by Hunan High People's Court on June 5.
Tang Hui, the girl's mother, protested the sentences, saying all of the convicts should be executed. Identified only as Luo, the boy died on July 23 in the city's Nanfang Hospital, where he was receiving treatment for a malignant brain tumor. Luo is the 91st person to donate organs in Guangdong province since the province began taking part in a trial of a national organ donation system in April 2010, said Li Jindong, deputy director of the organ donation office of the Guangdong branch of the Red Cross Society of China. To bring the supply of organs closer to meet the demand for them, the RCSC and the Ministry of Health started a trial donation program in 10 provinces and municipalities in March 2010 and later expanded it to include 16 places. In the long run, the system is meant to establish a national system through which information on organ donations can be shared and donated organs can be allocated in a transparent manner.
Data from the RCSC show the system helped to arrange 343 donations from March 2010 to July 15, leading to transplants of 924 large organs such as hearts, livers, kidneys and lungs.
A staff worker at the organization, who declined to be identified, said Guangdong and Zhejiang provinces and Tianjin municipality had the largest number of donations among the 16 places in the system by June 30. Guangdong, Zhejiang and Tianjin have also seen increases in donations in the past three years, according to their respective branches of the RCSC.
Cao Yanfang, who works for the organ donation office of the Zhejiang branch, said 44 people in Zhejiang have donated their organs since the start of the system. He said Tianjin worked with a television station last year to broadcast an advertisement encouraging organ donations. Zhai Xiaomei, a professor at Peking Union Medical College's bioethics center, praised the work, saying: "Organ donation is noble and altruistic. Zhai said the trial program is progressing well and believed that the country will have a fair and transparent national system for organ donations in the near future.
Even so, the more than 300 donations that have taken place since the start of the system are still far from adequate to meet the demand for organs, Zhai said.
Experts called on Sunday for authorities to improve hospital supervision to prevent the trade and trafficking of human organs. Police announced on Saturday that 137 suspects had been caught in the latest crackdown on human organ trafficking.
The investigation was conducted around the end of July by 18 provincial authorities who rescued 127 potential organ suppliers, according to a statement from the Ministry of Public Security. In April, police in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, uncovered a gang suspected of organizing and trafficking in human organs with other "black agencies" in Beijing, Shandong and Anhui provinces, the statement said. The gangs coordinated with each other and formed a large network for human organ sales, the ministry said. The suspects illegally recruited suppliers over the Internet, facilitated the deals and made huge profits from the transactions, which endangered the health of the suppliers and placed a heavy financial burden on the recipients, the ministry added.
The 2011 amendments to China's Criminal Law introduced three clauses related to the illegal organ trade. Criminals convicted of "forced organ removal, forced organ donation or organ removal from juveniles" could face homicide charges under the law.
According to the Ministry of Health, about 1.5 million Chinese need organ transplants every year, but only around 10,000 transplants are performed annually due to a lack of donors.
The huge gap has led to a thriving illegal market for human organs, although the government has repeatedly pledged to improve regulations on organ transplants and increase the supply. China's central government issued its first national level regulations on human organ transplants in 2007, banning organizations and individuals from trading human organs.
Liu said hospitals urgently need to establish a nationwide online database to share information on organ receivers and providers. To increase the supply of legally harvested organs, Chinese health authorities are building an official network to facilitate organ donations. Huang Jiefu, vice-minister of health, said in late March that because of a shortage of organ donations from the public, the majority of organs came from prisoners - with their consent - who had been executed. Huang promised to change the situation in three to five years by promoting a reliable donor system and encouraging donations from the public. Police have arrested more than 1,900 people suspected of making and selling fake medicine in a series of raids on underground production bases, the Ministry of Public Security said on Sunday. The nationwide operation, which started on July 25 and involved 18,000 police officers in 31 provincial-level regions, has crushed 24 networks manufacturing counterfeit medical products worth 1.16 billion yuan ($182 million).
Police seized 205 million tablets designed to look like brand-name products for treating hypertension, diabetes, skin diseases and cancer, the ministry said.
Some medicines contained sibutramine, a chemical used to treat obesity that was banned by the State Food and Drug Administration in 2010 due to fears that it increases the risk of cardiovascular problems. The suspects also put sedative and hallucinogenic chemicals into the tablets to deceive consumers into believing that the fake drugs had an effect. The ministry said it has destroyed a large number of production sites and trade channels in the past two years.
However, the crime is "far from being rooted out, as such criminals have come up with new methods", the ministry said in its online statement.
The ministry also said it had found sham promotions of fake products on the Internet, television and magazines during the crackdown. A ministry spokesperson warned that people should purchase medicines in hospitals and pharmacies who are trusted vendors of genuine products, and advised against buying medicines that do not have approved names and numbers distributed by the SFDA. Li Zhongdong, a pharmacist at the Air Force General Hospital in Beijing, said the crime is likely to continue because of "the huge profits" it brings. Li suggested buyers check with the online inquiry system at the SFDA to ensure the medicines they bought are genuine.
The system provides information such as the name and approval number of medicines whose production has been approved by the SFDA.
Six-year-old gorilla Feijie (center), dressed as an Olympic athlete on Thursday, is seen with other gorillas in Xiangjiang Safari Park in Guangzhou, the capital of South China's Guangdong province. The death toll from a gas blast on Thursday in Southwest China's Sichuan province rose to two after an injured person died in a hospital, local authorities said on Friday. A 30-year-old man died at 8:50 pm on Thursday, following the death of a 44-year-old woman earlier that day, according to a statement issued by the Nanjiang county government. The 24 injured were still receiving treatment at two local hospitals, and two of them were in critical condition. The accident occurred at around 3 pm on Thursday on the second floor of an eight-story building belonging to the China Mobile branch in the county. An initial investigation indicated that the blast was caused by a natural-gas leak in a kitchen.
A prolific robber who stole 88 motorbikes in five months had bad luck when he was stealing his 89th bike, the Chengdu Business Daily reported on Friday. The alleged thief surnamed Zhang was caught red-handed in Pengzhou, Sichuan province, when he offered a tricycle driver five yuan (78 US cents) to help him carry away a locked motorcycle. The paper said that when police searched Zhang's home, they also found an unusual diary where he had recorded a history of all the 88 motorbikes he had stolen and the prices he had sold them for. Zoologists at a Northeast China breeding center announced on Friday the beginning of a wilderness training program for Siberian tigers.
Seven Siberian tigers are participating in the program and the figure is expected to rise to 11 by the end of the year, said sources with the Heilongjiang Siberian Tiger Garden, the world's largest breeding center for Siberian tigers.
Participating tigers must be cubs born within the breeding center, said chief engineer Liu Dan, adding that they will be sent to demarcated areas within the center's reserve accompanied by their mothers. Authorities in Hunan province have suspended the production licenses of more than 200 coal-mine pits for safety reasons.
At a conference on preventing coal-mine gas outburst accidents held on Thursday, the provincial coal industry bureau released a list of 216 coal-mine pits, which failed to pass the inspection on gas outburst prevention. All these pits are small in production scale, with annual production capacities of less than 90,000 tons each. The bureau requested its lower-level branches to withhold licenses of relevant collieries by Aug 15 and supervise them on their correctional measures.
The inspection was put forward following two gas outburst accidents in early July in the province's Lianyuan city and Jiahe county that killed 10 people.
Three astronauts, Jing Haipeng, Liu Wang and Liu Yang, who successfully completed China's first manned space docking mission, will arrive in Hong Kong next Friday for a four-day visit at the invitation of Hong Kong Chief Executive CY Leung.
The 40-member delegation comprises key commanders and designers of the manned space program, who contributed to the success of the docking mission between the Shenzhou IX spacecraft and the Tiangong-1 lab module.
Rice of different colors that creates text and graphics in the fields has attracted the attention of many in the farmland of the Xiangjiadang provincial agriculture zone on Aug 2, in Jiaxing, Zhejiang province. The multicolored rice was successfully planted by the agricultural sciences authority of Xiuzhou district, Jiaxing city. Ye Tongxin, 50, can easily hit any close-range target, quick and hard, with a playing card. Ye, who works at a bus company in Nanjing, capital of East China's Jiangsu province, has spent 10 years practicing his card-throwing skills. A 21-year-old motorcycle driver surnamed Tan was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve - a penalty usually reduced to life in jail - for rapes at a local court in Sanya, South China's Hainan province, on Thursday, local media reported on Friday.
Tan drove female passengers to remote areas or followed women who were walking alone, the paper said. Chinese scientists started on Friday a research program on the country's largest freshwater lake to boost economic development in the region. The program, the second in three decades, will bring scientists together from 30 institutes around the country to conduct research on the ecological, environmental and hydrological systems of Poyang Lake in East China's Jiangxi province, said Hu Zhenpeng, director of the program.
The three-year program at a cost of 10 million yuan ($1.59 million) will also look into the social economy of the lake region, Hu said. Video: London's green spaces are being called into use as campsites, where international communities are developing. Culture: Find the Peach Blossom Valley described by poet Tao Yuanming of the Eastern Jin Dynasty (AD 317-420), a mountain-encircled land laced with crystal-clear rivers and girded with bridges, whose inhabitants live a carefree life of peace and prosperity. A woman picks up her belongings from the debris of a makeshift house destroyed in a typhoon in Ganyu, Jiangsu province, on Friday. More than 2 million residents in East China's coastal regions were affected by two typhoons on Friday, and one person died in Shandong province, even as the tempests weakened to tropical storms after making landfall. As of 10 am on Friday, Saola and Damrey had forced the evacuation of about 124,000 residents in Jiangsu province, 180,000 in Shandong province, 237,000 in Zhejiang province, and 173,000 in Fujian province, according to the Ministry of Civil Affairs.
The two typhoons landed less than 10 hours apart on Thursday evening and Friday morning, according to the National Meteorological Center. The storms brought torrential rain to Jiangsu and the southern coastal areas of Shandong early on Friday morning after Damrey landed in Jiangsu at about 9:30 pm on Thursday, the center said. Similar weather hit Fujian and its neighboring provinces on Friday morning after Saola made landfall in Fuding city at 6:50 am, it said. The 21-year-old student told China Daily on Friday that he went to bed as usual on Thursday night because the rain was not very heavy.
Since Wednesday, five people in Taiwan have died, two remain missing and more than 16 have suffered injuries because of Typhoon Saola, according to the island's emergency operation center. The Chinese mainland-based Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits sent a letter of condolence to the Taiwan-based Straits Exchange Foundation on Friday over the devastation wrought by the typhoon.
The letter said the ARATS was "deeply concerned" about the death and injuries as well as property losses caused by the floods and mudslides on the island, and it asked SEF to convey its "sincere sympathy" to relevant authorities and affected people, Xinhua News Agency reported.
Premier Wen Jiabao called for intensifying flood-control efforts and ensuring the safety of the public amid recent severe flooding in several areas. Wen made the remarks during a two-day tour of Henan and Hubei provinces, where he inspected local flood-control facilities and water-control projects, including Three Gorges Dam, Xinhua News Agency reported on Thursday. He urged local authorities to ensure safety and conduct evacuations in a timely manner, adding that observatories and hydrologic monitoring stations should enhance monitoring and guard against possible disasters. Local authorities need to improve the construction of infrastructure such as flood-control facilities and sewage networks, which he said have been overlooked in many cities. He ordered local officials to draw up emergency response plans to minimize losses in the event of severe flooding.
The National Meteorological Center alerted local authorities to gear up their preparations for natural disasters such as floods, mudslides and landslides since heavy rainfall will lash more than 10 provinces and municipalities in coming days.
Chen Weifeng, mayor of Qinyu in Fujian province, said that although the typhoon has made landfall, the town will still be geared up to tackle the downpour and prevent marine staff and fishermen from going back to sea to ensure safety. The command center of Fuzhou airport said 28 flights have been canceled because of strong winds. Tourism in Fujian also took a toll, as individual tourists and tour groups have dropped because of Saola, said a manager surnamed Chen with Fujian Comfort Travel Co. But Gulangyu, a popular tourist destination in Xiamen, remained open on Friday afternoon as the city was barely affected, said an official with Gulangyu Management Committee.
The combined impact of Saola and Damrey will continue to dump rain on Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Hebei, Liaoning, and Tianjin in the next two days, with the highest rainfall reaching 300 mm in parts of coastal regions in Fujian and Zhejiang, according to the China Meteorological Administration on Friday. In Tianjin, a city that has rarely seen flooding in the past decade, self-protection became a hot topic among local residents since it was hit by the heavy rainfalls in July that flooded many downtown streets, vehicles and even houses. Meanwhile, the death toll from Beijing's devastating downpour on July 21 rose to 78 after another body was discovered, government authorities said on Friday. The body of a 65-year-old man from neighboring Hebei province was retrieved from a pond near Dongguan village of Fangshan district, according to a statement issued by the Beijing municipal government on its official Sina Weibo micro blog, citing the city's floods control and drought relief office. The statement also said one of the 11 unidentified bodies previously discovered had been identified.
Despite the increasing number of tourists from abroad that Beijing received in the first half of the year, the growth is slowing down.
However, the growth has slowed since the second quarter of the year and is expected to continue slowing down, according to the Beijing Tourism Development Committee. Places of historical interest and scenic beauty have long been attractive for overseas tourists, according to the committee. An official with the marketing office of the Badaling section of the Great Wall said that Badaling received about 320,000 overseas tourists in the first six months, up 6.7 percent over the same period of last year. However, even though inbound tourism has seen a year-on-year growth of 9.1 percent in the first quarter, the growth for the second quarter slowed to 1 percent, partly due to the slow recovery of the global economy and the budget deficit, debt and unemployment problems that are hitting many developed countries, the committee said in a report on Friday.
The committee said that the deceleration of inbound tourism might continue until the second half of the year. To further boost the capital's inbound tourism, the city is likely to introduce a 72-hour window to explore the city without a visa, and other policies, according to the committee. Kajiya Yoichi, an accountant now living in his native Japan, has always wanted to come back to China, where he spent years studying in Tsinghua University, to explore the ancient city again with his family. A coordination group has been set up to facilitate the implementation of the policy, said the committee.
The committee will also carry out more market promotion abroad to attract inbound tourists and make the capital known worldwide, especially in the emerging markets of Africa and the Middle East. It was revealed that South Korea's Jeju Island has signed a memorandum in May with the Beijing Badaling section of the Great Wall to boost tourism development.
Zhao Baige, the executive vice-president of the Red Cross Society of China, at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. In a bid to regain diminished public trust, the Red Cross Society of China has promised a series of reforms, including an online donation tracking system that is expected to be in place by year-end.
Zhao Baige, the society's executive vice-president, outlined the plans at a news conference in Beijing on Thursday. The news conference follows the State Council's Tuesday release of guidelines on developing the country's Red Cross missions. The guideline recognized the Red Cross as an indispensable auxiliary to the government in the humanitarian field, and as such, one that requires a favorable environment of law, policy, and public opinion.
The Red Cross faced such questions of its credibility last year after Guo Meimei, who claimed to be a manager of a Red Cross-related organization, flaunted a lavish lifestyle over the Internet. The Red Cross Society at various levels must provide information related to fundraising, financial management, tenders, procurement and distribution of donations. To facilitate that, an efficient, transparent and normative system of management, information and supervision, including a donation-tracking system, will be established within three to five years, Zhao said.
Furthermore, the system will be expanded to 80 percent of the provincial branches of the RCSC by the end of 2013 and later to more than 50 percent of the Red Cross organizations at the county level by the end of 2014, she added.
The costs for carrying out humanitarian tasks supported by donations can be disbursed but must be publicly publicized, the guidelines said. A spokesman system will be introduced to better communicate with the public and help secure transparency, she added. Deng, the Tsinghua University professor, praised the reforms but expressed concerns about their implementation. Wang Rupeng, the society's secretary-general, said that in some areas, there is too much government interference into the local Red Cross's organizing mechanism, internal governance, and routine operation. At more than 40 percent of the Chinese counties across the mainland, the Red Cross remains under local health departments, he said.
He expected that such a document issued by the State Council would help propel the new reforms, particularly at the local level. Zhao Baige, the executive vice-president of the Red Cross Society of China, pointed out at a news conference on Thursday that it was unreasonable and unacceptable for the Red Cross branch in Beijing to charge the families of flood victims to move corpses. Chinese Internet users revealed that emergency buses from an RCSC-affiliated rescue center charged 620 yuan ($100) to help transfer the bodies of people who died during a severe rainstorm in Beijing on July 21, the heaviest rainstorm in six decades that left at least 77 residents dead in the capital.
The incident briefly stirred up heated public discussions on the Sina micro blog, with most of the netizens saying that the RCSC's behavior was hurting people's feelings. Another writer who claimed to be lawyer said the charge was against humanity and the values of the Red Cross.
Rescue centers should focus on boosting rescue capabilities and service levels rather than charging citizens during emergency situations, said Zhao, adding that the money has been refunded to the families. The National Audit Office's report, released on Thursday, concluded China has "basically" established a social security management system from 2005 to 2011. The report inspected the operation of 18 security funds in 2,790 counties, 404 cities and 37 province-level regions over that period. It also detected flaws in the management system and found 132 cases of malpractice concerning 300 suspects. Since 2005, the central government has injected nearly 80 percent of its social security investment into central and western parts of China - where 53.8 percent of the Chinese population lives. At the same time, the investment in social security funds for farmers has grown substantially as well, the report said. Financial subsidies for the new rural pension system increased from just over 1 billion yuan in 2009 to 35.2 billion yuan in 2011. Meanwhile, subsidies for the new rural cooperative medical system surged from 542 million yuan in 2005 to 80.1 billion yuan in 2011.
Monthly allowances for low-income families in rural areas also grew 87 percent over the period. Lu Quan, an expert with the social security research center at Renmin University of China, said taxation, which subsidizes the security funds, varies in places and therefore leads to security gaps regionally. Officials from the top audit authority said the audit aims to assess whether China's economic boom has been shared by its people and if the security system serves the people well. Citing the report, Chen Taihui, head of the office's social security audit division, said China's social security system made a "historical breakthrough and has built itself a network that covers the largest number of people in the world".
Despite the strong financial standing and extensive coverage, the network has flaws too, as the report revealed.
The audit found local governments appropriated or illegally operated 1.73 billion yuan of the funds for other ends such as building stadiums, office buildings and buying cars. A total of 1.85 billion yuan had been handed out to ineligible recipients or compensation claims. Less standardized management of the funds in 392 counties, 96 cities and 13 province-level regions resulted in 42.7 billion yuan not being managed directly under designated fiscal accounts. Officials of the National Audit Office added that in the wake of some high-profile court sentences on fund grafts, the funds have become a "high-tension line" that few dare to cross. A court meted out a death sentence in July to Liu Baolu, former director of a social security fund in Gansu province, for embezzling 28 million yuan over 10 years. Another official, Zhang Xun'an in Huainan, Anhui province, was put behind bars for 10 years for keeping pensions and subsidies that were paid to more than 50 pensioners who had died. Chen Hang, an officer of the Mawei district border defense brigade in Fuzhou, capital of Fujian province, shows local primary students how to update a micro blog.
Public security authorities are most influential of all the government departments with micro blogs on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like website, according to an analysis. Authorities nationwide began signing up for Sina accounts two years ago, and there are now 25,866 official micro blogs, 8,583 of them administered by police authorities. According to a new report by Sina, four public security micro blogs are on the list of the 10 government micro blogs with the most followers.
During the heavy rainstorm and subsequent floods on July 21, Beijing police published constant updates on its micro blog about dangerous roads and the rescue efforts. Zhao Feng, a publicity official at the city's public security bureau who manages the account, said he received hundreds of thousands messages from residents asking the police for help, as well as with tips about the places hardest hit by the downpour.
But it was the micro blog that was able to send important information out and was not affected by the rain, helping residents and the police, Zhao said. Five police officers currently work on the bureau's micro blog, which was launched in August 2010 and now has almost 3.5 million followers. Public security departments in other cities have also created their own ways to improve communication with residents and their effectiveness. Sun Haidong, an officer responsible for the micro blog of the Jinan public security bureau in Shandong province, said the bureau has established a team of officers specialized in various fields to address followers' varying problems.
Unlike the Beijing and Jinan police micro blogs, which are run by police publicity officials, the Guangzhou police micro blog is operated by police officers in the central control room, through which it can directly mobilize officers to respond. Meanwhile, 4,973 police officers nationwide use their private Sina Weibo accounts to interact with residents of their jurisdictions - these are about a quarter of the micro blogs used by Chinese public servants in their own names, the report said.
Luo Jian, 38, a police officer in Beijing's Fengtai district, has nearly 7,500 followers on the micro blog he began on Jan 8. However, Wang Yibo, a police officer who operates the Shanghai railway police's micro blog, said there is insufficient investment in the micro blog and sometimes updates have to wait until the next day because of a personnel shortage. While police micro blogs are booming, some government departments have also been diversifying their micro blogs to attract and serve residents. The Ministry of Railways has been developing the interactive "Summer Holiday on Railways" via its micro blog.
Meanwhile, the high people's court in Henan province gives live text reports about the judges' work and what is going on in the court. Fishermen in Hainan and Guangdong provinces have resumed operation after the annual fishing ban in the northern part of the South China Sea was lifted on Wednesday, said local fishery authorities. In Yangjiang, a port city in western Guangdong province, more than 1,000 fishing boats headed out to sea on Wednesday for the first time since their forced two-and-a-half-month break, after Liu Kun, a deputy governor of Guangdong, announced the opening of the province's fishing festival. From Wednesday, more than 14,000 fishing boats registered in Guangdong province will start their journey to the South China Sea to fish, Liu said. In Hainan province, about 9,000 ships holding 35,611 fishermen affected by the ban are going to fish in the South China Sea, according to Hainan provincial fishery authorities. Lin Lijin, captain of Qiong Sanya 11181, plans to start fishing offshore from a port in Sanya, Hainan, on Saturday. Lin's ship had just finished an ocean fishing operation in the Nansha Islands from July 12 to July 29 as part of a trial to develop the industry in Nansha, which has abundant fishing resources. According to fishery authorities in Hainan, the 18-day operation to Nansha marked the beginning of the province gradually moving from offshore fishing to ocean fishing.
Chen Yiping, who owns a 110-ton ship Qionghai 03889, started his ocean fishing operation on Wednesday afternoon in waters off the Xisha Islands from Tanmen port in Hainan province. Popular sea products like lobsters and sea snails could be easily found in the Xisha Islands, and fish in the area are much larger than those in offshore areas, the captain said. Chen said with more ships fishing because the ban is lifted, the price of sea products will drop in the short term. With the establishment of Sansha city in July, Chen hopes more processing factories will be established in the new city, which could save fishermen time and money. The fishing ban in the South China Sea, which has been in place since 1999, has been imposed for two and a half months since 2009, and covers areas north of the 12th parallel north, including Huangyan Island but excluding most of the Nansha Islands. Fishermen who ignore the ban will face punishments such as fines, license revocations, confiscations and possible criminal charges, according to a statement issued by the fishery bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture. According to Zheng Weiyi, director of Guangdong Administration of Ocean and Fisheries, none of the fishing boats in Guangdong broke any rules during the ban period. And more than 20,000 law enforcement personnel and 4,000 enforcement vessels patrolled the Guangdong waters to prevent local fishermen from violating the fishing ban, Zheng said.
In East China's Fujian province, a fishing ban was also expected to end on Wednesday, but as the coast is expected to be battered by gales and rainstorms brought about by typhoon Saola from Wednesday to Sunday, the ban was extended in order to protect local fishermen, the fishery authorities of Fujian said. Harrow will open its fourth international school in China's southwest city of Chengdu, while Juilliard has decided to open a branch of its music and arts focused school in the north coastal city of Tianjin.
Huang said the admission process will require prospective students to take an exam, and both students and parents will be interviewed and quizzed on Harrow's traditions. The Institute approach includes all of the seven elements of successful professional development programs, five very extensively; and it significantly strengthens teachers in all five of the major dimensions of teacher quality.
Over 96% of all participating teachers rated the Institute seminars overall "moderately" or "greatly" useful.
Though causality cannot be imputed, Institute participants also had nearly twice the retention rate of non-participants in local teaching.
To confirm, maintain, and improve these impacts, it is advisable for Institutes to continue surveys of teacher participants and to undertake a variety of additional continuing quantitative and qualitative studies of the effects of Institutes on student and teacher outcomes. Section I summarizes the conclusions of recent research on the ingredients of teacher quality and effective professional development programs.
2 Scholars also see an "emerging" consensus on the characteristics of professional development programs that can contribute to this goal.3 The mandate of Sec.
Second, the research literature suggests that districts may face a choice "between serving larger numbers of teachers with less focused and sustained professional development or providing higher quality activities for fewer teachers," since "good professional development requires substantial resources" in terms of time, expertise, and dollars.21 As the Gates Foundation recently stated, an "effective professional learning community" requires "teachers who work together to improve each other's practice," including "weekly time to work together to meet shared challenges and improve their skills.
Each Institute provides professional development designed to help teachers face the challenges of educating effectively in low-income communities with high proportions of racial and ethnic diversity. The Institutes also provide opportunities for collective participation and all engage in continuing evaluation, though with some variations. These units of roughly fifteen pages or more are based on research into a topic inspired by the seminar and assisted by the faculty member, but adapted to the teachers' courses and students. Teachers are active learners in these seminars, receiving feedback from their peers and often trying out the units with their students as they prepare them.
Instead, they research and write curriculum themselves, challenged and aided by their peers to insure that it is exciting for students and teachers alike.
The distinctive approach of the Institute does pose challenges for rigorous empirical evaluation.
That approach relies heavily on teacher leadership, including not only the decisions of teachers concerning their own participation, but also the decisions of Teacher Representatives on applicants' eligibility for the program and on the seminars to which teachers are assigned.
Instead, researchers construct or identify a control group that matches the treatment group as closely as possible on all measurable characteristics.
Beginning in 1981, distinguished experts have been invited periodically to conduct site visits to the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and to provide evaluations. In 1981 it began requiring all seminar participants to complete detailed questionnaires on their experience, and in 1981 and 1985 it undertook surveys both of teachers who had and teachers who had not been seminar participants to determine their experiences with using curriculum units.
The external evaluator's report included suggestions for improved continuing evaluation that have been incorporated into the ensuing Yale National Initiative. In brief, the results from each individual Institute, from the National Seminars, and in the aggregate national data all show that teachers throughout the country have consistently evaluated their Institute experiences much as the teachers did in the National Demonstration Project. When asked to choose among 12 reasons for participation in the seminars, the teachers at every site listed the "opportunity to develop materials to motivate my students" as their leading reason.


Nonetheless, teachers at all the sites rated their overall experiences at their Institutes very similarly. Elementary-school teachers most stressed the goal of developing curriculum that fit their needs. In contrast to most professional development programs, the surveys revealed no widely shared criticisms of the seminars.
These data strongly support the conclusion that virtually all teachers who complete Institute seminars feel substantially strengthened in their mastery of content knowledge and their professional skills more generally, while they also develop higher standards for what their students can achieve. At most sites, elementary-school teachers were most likely to say that the seminars had increased their knowledge. Though such comments are not available from the other Institutes and so they do not constitute a systematic national data set, they indicate that in this regard, too, the patterns discerned in the National Demonstration Project appear to persist. About 87% taught their units in from 2 to 5 classes, usually over a full academic year, sometimes half a year.
Roughly the same percentages rated the units as more enjoyable or equally enjoyable to teach than other curricula.
Teachers using units did, however, provide a great deal of data concerning student responses to those units. These collaborative teaching efforts often involved teachers who had not been Fellows, expanding the influence of the Institute's work.38 And teachers frequently stated that Institute curriculum units enabled them to meet "state and district standards" with materials that were more exciting for their students and for themselves, in part because these were units "tailor made to suit" the "personalities and interests" of the students to whom they were taught. For many teachers, Institute experiences reinforce their desires to continue working in the nation's most challenging educational environments.
In comparison with the other local sites and the National Seminar participants, New Haven Fellows were roughly twice as likely to be under 30. The study design called for obtaining information on teacher retention, promotion to leadership positions, awards, and attendance, and data on student test scores, grades, awards and recognition, attendance, and promotion to higher grades. The fact that teachers self-selected to apply for seminars means, however, that the analysis can only identify correlations, not support claims for causality. Because Fellows' curricular units are designed to fulfill general state and district content standards and goals, not to prepare the specific knowledge and skills examined in state standardized achievement tests, no strong impact on test scores was anticipated, even when the math test scores of students of math and science teachers and the reading test scores of students of English and history and social science teachers were examined. The results at the school level did not produce statistically significant results varying from those found at the teacher and student levels, leaving unsettled the question of whether collective teacher participation by school produces benefits beyond individual teacher participation. This result is statistically significant at the 95% confidence level; but the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute actively sought to encourage participation by African American teachers during these years. Because these descriptive differences in teacher retention could be traceable to other teacher characteristics, the researchers ran an inferential statistical test to illuminate the Fellow correlation.
Though we have less data on teachers' experiences in using Institute curriculum units, those data are also positive. The annual surveys of Fellows at each site and in National Seminars, with high rates of participation guaranteed by the requirement to complete the surveys to obtain Institute stipends, provide invaluable data on teacher responses that need to be sustained. These data could include annual surveys of former Fellows on their use of the units they have written, on their use of units written by other Fellows, and surveys of non-Fellows on their unit use — though past experience suggests that achieving high response rates will be difficult even with modest financial incentives. It is vital to monitor whether Institutes continue to attract teachers from a broad range of demographics. Because teachers' voluntary choices do sometimes produce collectivities of teachers from the same school or grade in particular seminars, and because the number of Fellows teaching in a school often grows over time, there are opportunities to study the patterns of student and teacher performance associated with these clusters; although the impossibility of constructing randomized controlled tests will still prevent claims for causality. One possibility in large school districts may be to assign schools randomly to be targeted for recruitment into Institute seminars, though the availability of units written by Fellows to all teachers in the district would arguably limit the "controlled" character of such a study. The consistently positive results of the great variety of evaluations conducted at multiple sites over the past three decades suggest that, while further research can surely suggest improvements, the fundamentals of the Teachers Institute approach will continue to be shown to be a distinctive and valuable contribution to both teacher and student learning and achievement throughout the nation. Coleman and Christopher Jencks, that socioeconomic backgrounds strongly affect student achievement (Coleman, J. This section reports data from the Teacher Surveys on Seminar Experiences conducted in Houston, New Haven, and Pittsburgh from 2003-2008 and Philadelphia in 2006-2008. Teachers with Master's as well as Bachelor's degrees were more likely than those only with Bachelor's degrees to say the seminars raised their expectations of their students, especially in the humanities. Data on relative ratings by teachers in different subject areas are drawn from Tables 311 and 321. One teacher commented that whereas the previous year, only 4 out of 20 regularly completed all reading and writing assignments, with the Institute unit those numbers were reversed. One teacher noted that "In my school, we had projects generated by the seminars of the Institute involving several teachers not all of them Fellows.
During the period of the study, the tests assessed student learning in Mathematics, Reading, and Writing (grades 4, 6, 8, and 10) and Science (grade 10). During the test period, a number of New Haven elementary schools were made part of K-8 schools.
The Skoll World Forum, viewed by many as the social impact sector's version of the World Economic Forum meetings in Davos, Switzerland, brought together 900 highly-selected attendees from leading organizations to explore new ways for civil society, often in partnership with business and government, to address global challenges like financial inclusion.
Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Microfinance and Community Development, led a conversation with representatives from Nestle, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Root Capital (a Citi Foundation grantee) about how to bring additional value to smallholder farmers that grow staples like coffee and cocoa that many multinational buyers in turn sell to consumers. Employees who receive paper checks often turn to check cashers and other fringe financial services, costing the average worker $1,000 per year in fees.
The CurrenC SF website offers how-to guides, marketing materials, best practices, and expert advice to employers, and connects employees to low-cost checking accounts and other healthy financial products.
Department of Housing and Urban Development in response to the Neighborhood Stabilization Program Round II (NSP II) Notice of Funding Availability released on May 4, 2009.
The Prosperity Center is strategically located in a local middle school for convenient access by low- and moderate-income families and offers a wide range of free financial education workshops and services, including Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) knowledge and free tax preparation that translates into recovered earnings and increased assets. This program targets communities of people who often are underbanked or unfamiliar with available financial services, including immigrants from Southeast Asia who live in the Sacramento area. Learn about their impact in the community and meet someone who has a decent, affordable place to live thanks to Cabrillo. In December, after being a customer for eight months, he declared he was ready to open an account.
E-FILE web-based program developed by the Legal Aid Society of Orange County to help people file their taxes at no charge. Kramer, Executive Vice President for Regulatory Programs at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. Kramer, Executive VP for Regulatory Programs at Wolters Kluwer Financial Services (sixth from right).
A Citi Foundation grant supports FRCs free volunteer income tax assistance (VITA) program, which helps low-and moderate-income (LMI) individuals and families claim the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), enabling them to save up to $360 by avoiding costly commercial tax services. Citi employees will donate their time through the entire tax season, providing onsite banking services at VITA sites in the Bay Area including at the FRC to help low-income families. Citi also has supported FRC's offering of Money$mart, a 10-module financial education program created by the FDIC, as well as financial counseling and coaching. Through its Money Savvy Youth program, which is supported by Citi, EBALDC teaches financial education to fourth and fifth graders in the Oakland public school district. With Citi's help, EBALDC was able to expand its Money Savvy Youth Program in 2011 to serve 20 out of 60 public schools in Oakland, reaching 750 students a€” almost double the number from the year before.
Minority-owned businesses are extremely effective at driving economic growth and and the 'Bridges' program will create more than 200 jobs by the end of 2012. The Center offers a ten-week series of small business seminars, taught by Citi volunteers, on entrepreneurial skills including developing a business plan, strategic marketing, product presentation, food-handling requirements, licenses and certification requirements. To date, 107 businesses have utilized Chef Center's community kitchen and their business training programs.
He graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University and pursued his master's degree from Victoria University in New Zealand from 1978 to 1980. Effectively dealing with issues will help build a better world for our future generations," he added.
Sha recently chaired the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in Rio de Janeiro, where more than 190 countries agreed on a plan to achieve a set of sustainable development goals and to promote global "green economy".
It changes from serving my country to serving the international community, which of course includes protecting the interests of China.
The rescuers managed to save more than 80 as of Monday afternoon and authorities are still working to free the remaining trapped people, Zhou said.
Those organizations pay the workers' wages and, in return for supplying the workers, charge employers commission and management fees. A proposed amendment that would slash the tax burden levied on personal incomes elicited more than 230,000 comments last year. Many of the proposed requirements are unprecedented, and others improve existing obligations.
He believes the fitness craze will keep its momentum and bring considerable prospects to the business. He reportedly discovered that something was wrong with a gas valve and entered the well with another worker to repair it, according to a statement from the city government issued on Sunday. Years later, the price of the house quintupled or sextupled, which made the man extremely upset, the report said.
Her protests severely disrupted public order and court proceedings, the Yongzhou public security bureau said in a statement on Sunday. An employee with the municipality's Red Cross, who declined to be named, said six donations took place there from March to December 2010. Convicted offenders face prison terms of more than five years and fines, said Zeng Xinhua, a researcher in criminal law at Beijing Normal University.
The crew succeeded in the first manual space docking between an airship and a space laboratory, and had the first female astronaut in a China space mission", Leung said. For the first time, more than 30,000 square meters of experimental fields were cultivated at the agriculture zone.
After years of practice, his cards can easily hit an apple three meters away and slice 16 cucumbers in one minute, the Yangtze Evening News reported on Friday. Typhoon Damrey made landfall in the province late on Thursday night, bringing heavy rains and gales, and causing damages. Zhang Chang'an, deputy director of the typhoon and marine meteorology center of the China Meteorological Administration, said on Thursday that in 2006, Typhoon Bopha and Typhoon Saomai caused severe losses. I never thought my house would collapse before my eyes,"said Shen Kaixuan, from Jufeng township of Rizhao, 347 kilometers away from Jinan, the capital of Shandong province. When the heavy rain comes, I would rather stay at home for safety than drive outside to make money," Wang Yongqiang, a 43-year-old taxi driver, said on Friday.
Average precipitation hit 170 mm, while a township in the suburban district of Fangshan recorded 460 mm of rainfall. The RCSC should be a life-saving model, not to extract harsh terms under emergency conditions," said an online writer using the name "Chengzhongcun 007".
Shan is a researcher at the website of People's Daily, the Communist Party of China's flagship newspaper.
In cooperation with local museums and tourist attractions, it tells followers about outings they can make on their travels.
The initiative is intended to give the public a glance at law practitioners' work and put the court under tighter scrutiny.
The ban is part of ongoing efforts to protect marine resources and promote environmental awareness among fishermen, Huang Zuoping, an official from the South China Sea fishery bureau under the Ministry of Agriculture, told China Daily.
As the voyage is about one month long, we also stored enough vegetables and food," Chen said. There were no statistically significant effects on the only measures of student achievement for which data were available, standardized test scores and grades.
1119 of the No Child Left Behind Act for school districts to employ "highly qualified" teachers who receive "high quality" professional development has prompted more thorough data collection by school officials and more rigorous evaluations of teacher quality and of professional development programs.
In New Haven, where 45 schools serve over 20,000 students, 70% of the students come from families receiving school meal financial assistance, and 87% are African American or Hispanic.
Each year, the Institutes offer weekly seminars over several months, led by university or college faculty members, on topics that the teachers, through their Representatives, have selected to enhance their knowledge of what they teach.
The units often represent the first substantial research and writing project that teachers have undertaken since college. Teachers play leadership roles in every stage of the program, including designation of seminar topics, approval of faculty proposals for seminars on those topics, approval of teacher participants, and assistance in coordinating seminar activities and program schedules throughout the year.
The Institute approach does embrace the alternative of "higher quality activities for fewer teachers." Each Institute offers seminars for roughly 50 to 80 teachers per year. Most scholars agree that causality can best be determined via randomized controlled trials, in which subjects are randomly assigned to two groups. To obtain a close match, researchers generally need a great deal of information on a large number of potential group members. The results showed that the use of Institute-developed units was growing rapidly, with units taught in more than 1500 school classes by 1984. Every Institute administered similar annual questionnaires to all participants on their seminar experiences, and the Project also sponsored a one-time survey on unit use by participating and non-participating teachers at each site. Through the National Initiative, the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia was established, joining the League of Teachers Institutes in 2007. Along the dimensions most associated with teacher quality, they rate the Institute approach very highly, markedly better than the low evaluations scholars report for most other existing forms of professional development.
A similar pattern is visible in the survey results of teachers who have been "National Fellows" in recent years. Instead, over 96% of participating teachers praised the overall program, rating it "moderately" or "greatly" useful, in a remarkably consistent range running from 96.5% in Houston to 100% in Philadelphia. And perhaps surprisingly, teachers with more than 10 years of teaching experience most often indicated that the seminars had raised their expectations for their students — a pattern also discerned in the National Demonstration Project.
Most teachers chose to present their units via teacher-led discussion rather than extensive lecturing. Only Fellows teaching in the physical sciences were more likely to rate them "somewhat" instead of "very useful." All teachers particularly valued the sample lessons and activities the units provided, along with the resource lists for teachers and students. There were no statistically significant variations according to the grade levels or subject areas in which Fellows taught. Although all sites attracted similar ratios of more experienced and less experienced teachers, Philadelphia and, particularly, National Fellows were somewhat more likely to have less than 10 years teaching experience.
In practice, researchers were only able to document teacher retention and attendance and student performances on standardized tests and course grades.44 These results were examined both at the level of individual teachers and students and at the school level. The study cannot rule out the possibility that teachers who choose to participate in the Institute are more likely to continue teaching in New Haven for reasons other than Institute participation. Because more effective teachers may also grade more strictly, it was also not clear that even enhanced student interest and performance in courses led by Institute Fellows would be associated with higher grades in relation to students of non-Fellows. In regard to teachers, there was no statistically significant relationship between participation as a Fellow and teacher attendance. The data show that these efforts succeeded and that the Institute was at least as attractive to these racial minority teachers as to whites. It underlines the need for future evaluations to use data more closely tied to the goals of the curriculum units written in Institute seminars, and the need for the accumulation of much more extensive data on student outcomes.
The New Haven quantitative study indicates that Institute seminars attract a broad range of teachers from every observable demographic category and that those who choose to be Fellows are much more likely to continue teaching in the district than those who do not. If resources permit, Institutes might also survey students on their experiences of units used in their classrooms; and they might seek to use pre-unit and post-unit student tests to determine the extent of student learning. It would also be useful to assess systematically at every site whether experiences as Fellows are associated with heightened teacher retention and with the promotion of teachers to positions of academic leadership within their districts and beyond. Even so, if students of teachers at schools randomly assigned for recruitment appeared over time to perform better on appropriate measures than those from the same pool of schools whose teachers were not eligible for Institute participation, the results would provide additional reasons for confidence in the value of the distinctive Teachers Institute form of professional development. Browne Distinguished Professor of Political Science at the University of Pennsylvania, with the assistance of Dr.
L., "Reviewing the Evidence on How Teacher Professional Development Affects Student Achievement," Issues and Answers Report, REL 2007-No. Because the overall completion rate for these surveys was over 98%, percentages of all Fellows surveyed, whether or not they responded to a particular question, are only slightly smaller.
Though teachers in the physical sciences rated their seminar experiences highly, their ratings were slightly less positive than those provided by teachers in the humanities, social sciences, and other areas.
Another reported that students showed detailed knowledge of a unit involving films a year and half after it was taught.
Science is particularly prone for projects with broad participation of students and staff." Another reported that "we have formed a number of teams, often involving teachers who never were Fellows. Many teachers were reclassified as K-8 school teachers, leading to an apparent decline in elementary school teacher participation.
With a dramatically growing demand for sustainable and certified products (fair trade, organic, etc.), multinationals such as Nestle are developing shared value approaches to their sourcing and supply chain to ensure a higher quality and quantity with greater consistency. CurrenC SF empowers San Francisco's businesses and workers by helping them adopt modern, innovative payroll solutions. In addition, the San Francisco Office of Financial Empowerment has worked with payroll companies, payroll card providers, banks, and other financial institutions to develop a list of healthy alternatives for businesses to consider when moving to direct deposit. Citi volunteers will participate as financial education teachers, tax preparation guides and mentors for the students. Since its inception, the Financial Literacy and Asset Development Program has helped hundreds of individuals to understand the financial services available to them and to acquire the knowledge needed to build assets.
He had heard the tellers talk about the accounts for months, but needed time to build his trust. Since 2004, more than 14,000 filers have taken advantage of this program, resulting in the return of more than $21 million in federal refunds, including $12 million through the EITC. In addition, Citi has provided Individual Development Accounts (IDAs), which are matched saving accounts, through FRC.
As an added benefit, the participating small businesses will renovate foreclosed properties and increase the supply of affordable housing. The center of Haikui was in the ocean, about 580 kilometers southeast of Shanghai by 3 pm on Monday. In 2011, the number increased to 11, and 13 donations took place in Tianjin in the first half of this year.
After September, we will fish near Beibu Gulf of Guangxi, and then go to the Xisha Islands in Sansha city," Lin told China Daily on Wednesday.
Teachers Institutes offer five to seven seminars each year meeting weekly over roughly three months, led by university or college faculty members, on topics that teachers have selected to increase their mastery of what they teach.
This expected result underlines the need for evaluations focused on the specific outcomes Institutes seek to achieve, including heightened student interest and attendance and improved student content knowledge in curricular areas featured in local district standards and goals.
Much remains unsettled, but some features contributing to effective teachers and successful professional development are clear. The seminars sometimes include teams of participants from a single school, but most also combine teachers from different schools teaching different subjects at different grade levels, who all wish to learn more about topics in history, literature, politics, chemistry, biology, art, or other areas, in order to improve their teaching. They contain a narrative describing the unit's goals and strategies and several sample lesson plans.
The seminars are of substantial duration, involving a minimum of 26 hours in session, while Fellows also meet with seminar leaders, research seminar topics, and write their units over many more hours.
But through dissemination of their units, Institutes can impact far more teachers than they enroll; and over time, significant percentages of teachers in particular schools and regions can be direct participants. Over 97% of the teachers using the units praised them highly for their quality and the positive responses they invoked in students.
These surveys were analyzed in a 2004 study sponsored by the Institute, "To Motivate My Students," the precursor to this report. The Santa Ana Teachers Institute relied solely on state funding instead of the recommended diversified funding base, while the Albuquerque Teachers Institute reported to a dean, not a President or Provost.
Since 2005, the National Initiative has conducted National Seminars in New Haven for teachers from cities contemplating starting Institutes, as well as for Fellows from existing sites.
Only 3% of the respondents said the program was useful only to a small extent, with the remainder non-responses. But whereas during that Project science teachers were slightly more likely than other teachers to list their seminar experiences as "moderately" rather than "greatly" useful, in these surveys teachers currently teaching or planning to teach in the humanities, social sciences, or the sciences showed no consistent variations across the sites in their program evaluations.34 All rated their seminar experiences very highly.
They also stressed writing exercises and activities designed to strengthen speaking, listening, vocabulary and reasoning skills, much more than test taking. Roughly 75% of teachers also compared the units favorably to commercially available curriculum in terms of sample lessons and activities, teaching strategies, resources and other features. Both Philadelphia and National Fellows were also more likely to be high-school teachers, though in Philadelphia this pattern arose as a condition of one of the Institute's grants. Kisker of Twin Peaks Partners and executed with the aid of graduate student research assistants from the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education.42 It used data compiled by the Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute and by the Department of Research, Assessment, and Student Information in the New Haven Public Schools. It was also hypothesized that Institute participation might be positively but weakly associated with teacher attendance (an outcome affected by many factors, including release time for professional development and service). Still, in the aggregate, improved student interest and learning should be associated with better test scores and better grades. But the hypothesis that Fellows are roughly demographically representative of New Haven teachers as a whole was supported by the data. Overall, over 50% of those teaching in New Haven in 2000-2001 had stopped being New Haven teachers by 2004-2005, a turnover rate consistent with national averages, especially for urban districts.46 That turnover percentage was substantially less for those who had been Fellows. If the impact on standardized test scores and grades is, as hypothesized, positive but highly indirect, those relationships will only be discernible when a great deal of reliable data can be analyzed. Institutes should also seek to work with school districts to gather more data on student outcomes that are more closely tied than standardized tests to the content and goals of units written for Institute seminars and used in classrooms. Researchers who stress the importance of pedagogy acknowledge the comparable importance of content knowledge. 245-247; Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Staff, "Challenges to Teaching Capacity in New and Redesigned Schools," Gates Foundation, 2006, 4. These teams have allowed Institute material to benefit many, many children other than those in classes taught by Institute teachers." A third stated, "My school has become a strong YNHTI center school with a Fellow involvement of at least 40% of the faculty.
The goal of this initiative is to achieve a fully electronic, paperless payday, helping to bring thousands of San Francisco households into the financial mainstream and reducing reliance on high-cost check cashing services. Motivated by a desire to build his savings so that he could return home to visit his family, he decided that a 'My Piggy Bank' account would work well for him. Households that earned less than $49,000 in 2010 are eligible for free tax preparation at VITA sites. This unique public-private collaboration, designed and supported by Citi Community Development, provides a blueprint for other local governments to put minority-owned small businesses at the center of neighborhood revitalization.
After the courses, many of the students took the next steps in starting food service enterprises, and many have continued to use Chef's Center's kitchen services. Roughly 60% of all participants rated student motivation and attention as higher during these units, producing substantially greater content mastery. Programs that contribute to teacher quality, as well as promising strategies for ongoing program evaluations, can be identified with confidence.
In Pittsburgh, 65 schools serve 28,000 students, 68% financially eligible for school lunch aid.
By presenting their units in progress to their fellow teachers, seminar participants receive useful pedagogical feedback as they also improve their oral communication skills.
Commissioner of Education, who wrote in 1981 that the Institute was a "dramatic exception" to a pattern of unsuccessful school-college collaborations; Theodore R. The study found that teachers at all sites rated the Institute programs higher than other professional development programs in developing the knowledge, skills, enthusiasm, high expectations of students, and capacities to motivate students that most studies indicate to be central to successful teaching.
After the completion of the National Demonstration Project, these departures from the Institute approach appear to have contributed to financial difficulties that forced the suspension of operations in Santa Ana, and to substantial changes in the forms of professional development offered by the Albuquerque Teachers Institute. These seminars provide teachers with experiences comparable to those in local Institutes in a more compressed time frame.
About a fifth of the teachers used units to develop math skills, largely but not exclusively teachers in the physical sciences. In these comparisons, teachers in the physical sciences rated the units as high as or higher than their counterparts in other subject areas. Due to their very low numbers, the responses from Fellows using other Fellows' units, as well as from non-Fellows using units, must be interpreted with caution. In comparison with other sorts of curriculum they had used, Fellows found the Institute-prepared units received strikingly superior student responses.
At all Institutes, teachers in the humanities were the most frequent participants, though the varying, often interdisciplinary responsibilities of teachers make these categorizations difficult, and for Pittsburgh they are not fully available.
Women were found to be slightly more likely than men to become Fellows, but the difference was not statistically significant. Ellen Kisker has designed a technical research guide that can assist Institutes and school districts in preparing programs for continuing evaluation.48 It describes alternative means that may be appropriate in different settings.
As one Houston teacher put it, "My experience with most professional development is that I dread it.
In Institute seminars teachers gain more sophisticated content knowledge, and they also enhance their skills by preparing curriculum units adapting the themes of the seminars for their students. Section V describes a quantitative study of the impact of participating in Institute seminars on New Haven teachers and students from the 2000-2001 through the 2004-2005 academic years.
They need ongoing, job-embedded professional development."22 These needs cannot be met through forms of professional development that feature brief workshops for passive audiences of large numbers of teachers.
Roughly half of each seminar's time is devoted to improving teachers' content knowledge, half to developing effective teaching strategies for their students. The seminars involve a mix of collective and individual forms of teacher participation, though they are weighted toward individual participation.24 And each site engages in continuing evaluation, though for reasons discussed below, chiefly through means of teacher surveys and qualitative studies, not randomized controlled trials or quasi-experiments. Researchers hope that, apart from this treatment, all other characteristics will be randomly distributed among the two groups, so that differences in their subsequent performance can confidently be attributed to the study's causal variable. Sizer, Founding Director of the Annenberg Institute for School Reform, who termed the program "remarkable" for its "clear and useful focus" and "constructive collegiality"; and Norman C. Wilder of the Education Policy Research Division of the Educational Testing Service assisted the Institute in refining the questionnaires for seminar participants, crafting the format that New Haven and the other Institutes continue to use, with only minor modifications. Still, these responses were essentially indistinguishable from those of Fellows teaching their own units.
The different grade levels and subject matters in which Fellows taught produced only minor variations, although again science teachers rated units somewhat less highly.
New Haven, Philadelphia, and National Fellows were more likely to have advanced degrees, Master's or PhD's, than those in Houston and Pittsburgh. The research also included demographic and performance data for those teachers, schools, and students. But in light of the high percentages of New Haven teachers who become Fellows, it is reasonable to view this correlation between participation as a Fellow and teacher retention in the district as substantively, as well as statistically, significant.
Less direct but still pertinent evidence of the impact of having had Fellows as teachers might also come in students' relative success in winning academic awards and in graduating.
Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance, Regional Educational Laboratory Southwest, October 2007, 5; Blank, R. Most teachers are enthusiastic about the seminars and the opportunity to teach the units they have written. The Teachers Institute of Pittsburgh has drawn participants from most schools in the district.23 In Houston, the nation's seventh largest school district includes over 300 schools and serves 202,000 students, 58% Hispanic, 30% African American, many with limited English proficiency, with 78% of all students eligible for meal assistance. Both faculty and teachers are paid stipends, in recognition that all are giving time and expertise to improve teaching and curriculum. Francis, President of Xavier University, who stressed the "absolute need for" and "inestimable value" of the Institute's example. She wrote at that time that the surveys showed New Haven Fellows to be representative of the larger population of New Haven teachers in terms of subjects and grades taught, and that all teachers rated their seminar experiences highly with remarkable consistency.
Where possible, these indicators should be supplemented by observational research on the teaching of units or material derived from units, both by Fellows and non-Fellows, in actual classrooms. Catherine McCaslin, Director of Research, Assessment, and Student Information of the New Haven Public Schools, and her staff for generous, skilled, and invaluable assistance. The Houston Teachers Institute has Representatives in roughly 30 schools and draws extensively from those schools, though all Houston public school teachers are eligible to participate. In 1991, Wilder helped develop a "Progress Report" that analyzed the accumulated data from the annual questionnaires and the surveys on unit use. Analyses of in-depth interviews with the Fellows and students in those classes would also be desirable. He casually mentioned that he had thought about buying a house one day but knew it would be difficult since he did not have any credit history. In Philadelphia, where 281 schools serve over 167,000 students, with 80% eligible for meal assistance and the same percentage either African American or Hispanic, the Teachers Institute of Philadelphia targets 25 schools in the South and West Regions, representing over 18,000 students. On average, teachers who were Fellows during the study period had 1.87 fewer years of experience than non-Fellows, a difference that was not statistically significant. Ideally, these should be accompanied by comparable observations and interviews with teachers and students not directly affected by Institute experiences. See also Odden and Kelly, "Strategic Management of Human Capital in Public Education," 5, 20. The teller described our 'My Fresh Start' loan, a product she was very familiar with since she had recently completed her own loan. Each Institute makes the curriculum units written by the teachers who participate in its seminars, designated "Fellows," available to all interested teachers in their districts and beyond, in electronic and print formats. In short, the seminars attracted both new and experienced teachers, so that over time, experienced teachers were more likely to have been Fellows in one year or another. She mentioned the benefits of the loan: in addition to building credit history it is structured so the member amasses $500 in savings when the loan is paid off. As anticipated, holding all else equal, teachers in higher grades were also more likely to be Fellows than teachers in lower grades. In the span of 12 months, Jose went from being a repeat check-cashing client to an account-holder with a 'My Piggy Bank' account and, now, a borrower.
Wenglinsky, "How Schools Matter: The Link Between Teacher Classroom Practices and Student Academic Performance," Educational Policy Analysis Archives 10, no.



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