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Daily Archives: January 21, 2014

New Open Data Tool Helps Countries Compare Progress on Education

“The World Bank Group today launched a new open data tool that provides in-depth, comparative, and easily accessible data on education policies around the world. The Systems Approach for Better Education Results (SABER) web tool helps countries collect and analyze information on their education policies, benchmark themselves against other countries, and prioritize areas for reform, with the goal of ensuring that all children and youth go to school and learn…SABER helps countries improve their education systems in three ways:

  1. Providing new data on policies and institutions. SABER collects comparable country data on education policies and institutions that are publicly available at:, allowing governments, researchers, and other stakeholders to measure and monitor progress.
  2. Benchmarking education policies and institutions. Each policy area is rated on a four-point scale, from “Latent” to “Emerging” to “Established” and “Advanced.” These ratings highlight a country’s areas of strength and weakness while promoting cross-country learning.
  3. Highlighting key policy choices. SABER data collection and analysis produce an objective snapshot of how well a country’s education system is performing in relation to global good practice. This helps highlight the most important policy choices to spur learning.”

NOAA Product Highlight: U.S. Climate Extremes Index

“The U.S. Climate Extremes Index or USCEI brings together several climate indicators to illustrate the occurrence of specific extreme events in the contiguous United States from 1910 to the present. These climate indicators include extremes in average monthly maximum and minimum temperatures, heavy one-day precipitation events, drought severity, the number of days with and without precipitation, and… Continue Reading

New Study – Made in China for us: Air pollution as well as exports

News release: “Chinese air pollution blowing across the Pacific Ocean is often caused by the manufacturing of goods for export to the U.S. and Europe, according to findings by UC Irvine and other researchers published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences [see China’s international trade and air pollution in the United States]. The study is… Continue Reading

Study – Who Will Reach College Age in the Next 14 Years?

Chronicle of Higher Education – Who Will Reach College Age in the Next 14 Years? by Justin Myers “As the U.S. population changes, so, too, will the makeup of American colleges and universities. In the coming years, they can expect to see significant changes in the demographics of their student bodies—and the regions from which… Continue Reading

IMF – Domestic Revenue Effort in Resource-Rich Countries

Resource Blessing, Revenue Curse? Domestic Revenue Effort in Resource-Rich Countries, Ernesto Crivelli; Sanjeev Gupta. January 2014. “This paper uses a newly constructed revenue dataset of 35 resource-rich countries for the period 1992-2009 to analyze the impact of expanding resource revenues on different types of domestic (non resource) tax revenues. Overall, we find a statistically significant negative… Continue Reading

OPM and Mobile Work Exchange release new telework toolkit

Brittany Ballenstedt, NextGov: “Telework-ready federal employees were required to work on Tuesday after another snowstorm shut down federal offices in the Washington, D.C. region. And now, managers have a new toolkit to help them calculate how much telework saves them on days such as this, when productivity would otherwise be lost. Also on Tuesday, the Office of Personnel Management… Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Defense Management, Defense Efficiencies

DEFENSE MANAGEMENT – DOD’s Conference Policy Is Generally Consistent with OMB’s Requirements, GAO-14-150, Jan 21, 2014 DEFENSE EFFICIENCIES – Action Needed to Improve Evaluation of Initiatives, GAO-14-134, Jan 17, 2014: “GAO recommends that DOD establish a requirement for the military departments and SOCOM to develop approaches for evaluating the impact of their efficiency initiatives, such as developing performance measures… Continue Reading

OECD employment rate nudges up to 65.2% in third quarter of 2013

News release: “The OECD area employment rate in the third quarter of 2013 – defined as the share of people of working-age who are in employment – increased for the second consecutive quarter (by 0.1 percentage point to 65.2%).  In the euro area, the employment rate rose for the first time since the second quarter… Continue Reading

Report – Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies

Defense Science Board (DSB) Task Force Report on Assessment of Nuclear Monitoring and Verification Technologies, January 2014. This report is UNCLASSIFIED and releasable to the public. “A relatively straightforward, albeit technically rich, charge was given to this Task Force to assess technologies in support of future arms control and nonproliferation treaties and agreements. The Task Force, however, quickly realized… Continue Reading

IRS Announces Program to Obtain Copies of Past Returns Online or by Mail

Get Transcript – “Get a record of your past tax returns, also referred to as transcripts. IRS transcripts are often used to validate income and tax filing status for mortgage applications, student and small business loan applications, and during tax preparation. View and print your transcript immediately. Choose among Tax Return, Tax Account, Record of Account, or Wage and Income transcripts… Continue Reading