Students not up to grade

first_imgTo help reach their goal of 90 percent proficiency among incoming freshmen, CSU and state education officials have developed proficiency exams that are given to high school juniors to test their skills in English and math. The so-called Early Assessment Program is still too new to determine whether it is working, Jones said. “We have some preliminary information showing some early signs that there are significant increases in proficiency, but it’s still too early,” Jones said. At Cal State Northridge, one of the largest CSU campuses – with some 34,500 students – the number of incoming freshmen who needed remedial math edged up slightly last fall to 57 percent, while those who needed help with English lingered at nearly 40 percent. “Why the percentage has increased is not really clear,” said Michael Neubauer, director for the Developmental Mathematics Program at CSUN. “We’re trying all kinds of immediate things, such as offering a remediate course in the summer before students start classes,” he said. “We have the capacity to teach as many students as want to take it, but students don’t often come in.” The glut of students stuck at remedial levels is having a direct impact on the work force in California, which is facing shortages in the health care, manufacturing and even building and construction industries. “Without literacy skills coming out of the high school system, you are challenged in a number of ways, including access to higher education,” said Bruce Stenslie, deputy director for the California Workforce Association. Instructors are trying to help students apply math and English skills to specific interests. “What we’re trying to do is find ways to make sure that we’re giving them the bridge to these careers,” Stenslie said. “It’s a lot easier for me to figure out geometry if you show me why I need those figures to build something.” The CSU study also found that students who are unable to achieve proficiency within one year, and who are thus dismissed from the university, are unlikely to go to community colleges to seek additional help. From 2000 to 2003, an estimated 10 percent to 13 percent of students returned to CSUs one year after being ousted. The board is expected to discuss the effectiveness of the dismissal policy at today’s meeting. Meanwhile, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is scheduled to attend a Career Technical Education summit today to discuss how California can attain a competitive global work force. Schwarzenegger has increased funding for technical education by 18 percent and has proposed $52 million for technical education programs. This includes $32 million in new funding to reform technical instruction in high schools and community colleges. susan.abram@dailynews.com (818) 713-3664 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The report is expected to be presented today to the CSU system board of trustees, which has reviewed similar studies since 1996. The trustees had hoped to have just 10 percent of students in remediation by this fall. The study also found that 68 percent of the freshmen who received remedial help when they entered a CSU in 2001 had either graduated or were still enrolled by 2006. That compares with 69 percent of freshmen who entered the university at the same time but didn’t need remedial classes. “That means we’re doing a good job in providing remedial classes to these students,” Jones said. Researchers found that students were more likely to struggle with reading comprehension than with writing or math, Jones said. NORTHRIDGE – Despite efforts at local, state and federal levels to improve achievement, more than one-third of the students who enrolled last fall at California State University campuses needed remedial help in math, while nearly half needed help in English, a study released Monday says. Some 37 percent of students who entered as freshmen in fall 2006 were not proficient in math, while 45 percent fell short in English. The study also found that while the student population grew by 19 percent from 1998 to 2006, the need for remedial classes was up 24 percent during the same period. “What is disappointing is those from the graduating (high school) classes who don’t need remedial classes has leveled off,” said Allison Jones, vice chancellor for academic affairs for the CSU system. “The students are not demonstrating the level of proficiency that we would like.” last_img read more

Sudafrikas Transportnetzwerk

first_imgSudafrika hat die Transportinfrastruktur einer Industrienation. Die Strassen sind erstklassig. Das Flug- und Schienennetz ist das Großte auf dem Kontinent. Und die Hafen des Landes bieten einen naturlichen Zwischenlandungspunkt fur die Schifffahrt von und nach Europa, den Amerikas, Asien, Australasien und beide Kusten Afrikas.Die Transportbranche wurde von der Regierung als einer der Hauptfaktoren zur Verbesserung der sudafrikanischen Wettbewerbsfahigkeit im weltweiten Markt anerkannt. Sie wird in zunehmendem Maße als Motor fur wirtschaftliches Wachstum und soziale Entwicklung gesehen.2010 Fifa Fußball-WMSudafrika plant Ausgaben in Hohe von 9 Milliarden Rand zur Verbesserung und Erweiterung der Transportinfrastruktur in den neun Spielstadten, um den massiven Besucherzustrom bei der Fifa Fußball-WM 2010 bewaltigen zu konnen.In Vorbereitung sind Großmodernisierungen der Flughafen des Landes sowie Verbesserungen im Beforderungswesen, u. a. ein Taximodernisierungsprogramm, die Vereinheitlichung des Zugverkehrs und eine Umstrukturierung des Busverkehrs.Hafen und SchifffahrtHauptschifffahrtsrouten fuhren an Sudafrikas Kuste entlang in den Sudatlantik und den Indischen Ozean. Auf dem Seeweg finden ca. 96% der Exporte Sudafrikas statt und die sieben Handelshafen sind die Handelsadern zwischen Sudafrika und den anderen Partnern im sudlichen Afrika sowie Dreh- und Angelpunkte fur den Handel mit Europa, Asien, Nord- und Sudamerika und der Ost- und Westkuste Afrikas.Die staatliche Behorde Transnet National Ports Authority verwaltet die Hafen des Landes. Diese Hafen sind: Richards Bay und Durban in KwaZulu-Natal, East London und Port Elizabeth am Ostkap und Mossel Bay, Kapstadt und Saldanha am Westkap.Durban ist Afrikas geschaftigster Hafen und hat die großte Containeranlage Afrikas, wahrend Richards Bay der weltgroßte Bulkterminal fur Kohle ist. Zusammen genommen haben Sudafrikas Hafen 2007 183 Mio. Tonnen Fracht umgeschlagen. Umfangreiche Erweiterungen sind in der Vorbereitung, um die Kapazitaten zu steigern.Ein achter Handelshafen (Ngqura) ist derzeit in Entwicklung vor der Kuste von Port Elizabeth in der Provinz Ostkap. Die Inbetriebnahme ist fur 2009 vorgesehen. Nqura wird der tiefste Containerterminal in Afrika sein. Das Areal gehort als wesentlicher Bestandteil zu Coega, einer der strategischen Industrieentwicklungszonen in Sudafrika.StraßenSudafrikas Straßennetz umfasst ca. 754.000 Kilometer, von denen 9.600 km auf befestigte Nationalstraßen entfallen. Die Fahrt von Messina an der sudafrikanischen Nordgrenze bis nach Kapstadt im Suden ist eine Reise uber 2.000 km auf gut unterhaltenen Straßen.Ca. 2 400 km des Straßennetzes sind mautpflichtig.Wahrend das Verkehrsministerium die Leitlinien vorgibt, obliegt der Bau von Straßen und deren Instandhaltung er South African National Roads Agency sowie den neun Provinzen und den Kommunen.EisenbahnSudafrikas hat ein großflachiges Schienennetz – das zehntgroßte der Welt – das an die Schienennetze Schwarzafrikas angebunden ist.Die staatliche Gesellschaft Transnet Freight Rail ist die großte Bahngesellschaft und Schwerlastspedition im sudlichen Afrika mit einem Schienennetz von 22.000 km, von denen 1.500 km fur den Schwerlastverkehr geeignet sind. Die Schieneninfrastruktur des Unternehmens verbindet die Hafen mit den restlichen Landesteilen und macht ca. 80% des gesamten afrikanischen Bahnnetzes aus.Die Regierung hat ein Projekt zur Verbesserung der Bahnsicherheit und zur Neubelebung des Zuges als offentliches Verkehrsmittel gestartet. 2008 hat die Regierung Investitionen in Hohe von 19,5 Milliarden Rand pro Jahr uber einen Zeitraum von vier Jahren zur Modernisierung der Hafen und der Bahninfrastruktur angekundigt. Davon ist die Halfte fur den Schienenfrachtverkehr vorgesehen.Die South African Rail Commuter Corporation betreibt die Metrorail-Nahverkehrszuge in Kapstadt, in der Provinz Ostkap sowie in Durban und im Großraum Johannesburg/Pretoria. Diese Zuge werden hauptsachlich von weniger reichen Sudafrikanern benutzt.Fur Touristen und andere gut betuchte Passagiere bietet sich der Blue Train, einer der beruhmtesten Luxuszuge weltweit. Shosholoza Meyl befordert wahrend dessen ca. vier Millionen Fahrgaste zwischen den wichtigsten Stadten des Landes.Zugverbindungen bestehen ebenfalls mit anderen Landern im sudlichen Afrika (Simbabwe, Mosambik und Swaziland).Gautrain Rapid Rail LinkDer Gautrain, ein 80 km langes Schnellzugnetz, wird Johannesburg und Pretoria mit dem OR Tambo International Airport verbinden und bietet gleichzeitig eine sichere und bequeme Alternative zu den haufigen Staus auf der Autobahn von Johannesburg nach Pretoria.Das 25-Milliarden-Rand-Projekt ist eine Partnerschaft zwischen der Provinz Gauteng und der privatrechtlichen Bombelo Concession Company, einem kanadisch-franzosisch-sudafrikanischen Konsortium. Es wird geschatzt, dass der Gautrain bis 2009 etwa 33.000 Arbeitsplatze schafft.24 Zuge werden 18 Stunden am Tag mit einer Reisegeschwindigkeit von 160 km/h verkehren, mit einem veranschlagten Fahrgastaufkommen von 135.000 pro Tag. Fur den Zubringertransport von und zum Bahnhof und zu nahe gelegenen Zielen werden Luxusbusse bereitstehen.Es wird 10 Haltepunkte geben, 3 davon unterirdisch. Der unterirdisch gefuhrte Streckenabschnitt wird 14 km lang sein und an manchen Stellen bis zu 96 m unter der Oberflache verlaufen.Die erste Phase, der Abschnitt zwischen dem Flughafen, Sandton und Midrand, wird rechtzeitig zur Fifa Fußball-WM 2010 fertig gestellt. Die Fertigstellung der zweiten Phase ist fur 2011 vorgesehen.Flughafen und FluggesellschaftenÜber 50 Fluggesellschaften mit 230.000 Landungen und uber 33 Mio. Passagieren pro Jahr verkehren an den zehn sudafrikanischen Hauptflughafen. Dazu gehoren auch die drei wichtigsten internationalen Flughafen Johannesburg, Kapstadt und Durban, sowie die Flughafen Port Elizabeth, East London, George, Kimberly, Upington, Bloemfontein und Pilansberg.21 Fluguberwachungszentren uberwachen den Betrieb von 145 lizenzierten Kleinflughafen mit asphaltierten Landebahnen und mehr als 580 Flugplatzen mit unasphaltierten Landebahnen.Die halbprivatisierte Gesellschaft Airports Company South Africa (Acsa) ist fur die Koordination der Infrastrukturerweiterung auf den Flughafen des Landes zustandig.2007 legte Acsa den Entwurf fur ein funfjahriges Kapitalaufstockungsprogramm im Werte von fast 20 Milliarden Rand vor, um die Flughafen auf die neue Flugzeuggeneration vorzubereiten und um das Passagieraufkommen bewaltigen zu konnen.Der Johannesburger OR Tambo International Airport ist Afrikas meistfrequentierter Flughafen mit ca. 8,9 Mio. Passagieren pro Jahr. Er wurde 2007 vom Airports Council International zum besten Flughafen des Kontinents gekurt.Cape Town International mit 3,8 Millionen Passagieren pro Jahr wurde zum fuhrenden Flughafen Afrikas gewahlt und erhielt uber sieben Jahre in Folge die Auszeichnung World Travel Award.South African Airways, Sudafrikas nationale Fluggesellschaft, fliegt uber 700 Stadte an (darunter 20 Ziele in Afrika) und bietet Wartungsdienstleistungen fur eine Vielzahl von anderen Fluggesellschaften in der Welt.Letzte Aktualisierung: September 2008SAinfo reporter. Quellen (Englische Websites):Standard Bank: Economic Profile: South AfricaSouth Africa YearbookDepartment of TransportTransnet National Ports AuthorityCoega Development CorporationTransnet Freight RailSouth African Rail Commuter CorporationGautrain Rapid Rail LinkAirports Company South AfricaSouth African Airwayslast_img read more

Algorithms, Rules, Values, and Artificial Moral Intelligence

first_imgI have no way to know whether or not what was reported is true, but I read that an algorithm decided which passenger was to be removed from the United Airlines flight that caused such a stir. It makes sense to me that a computer would analyze the factors determining who stays and who gets off the plane. And it shows us the limits of artificial intelligence now.I would guess it looked at a person’s status. You aren’t likely to remove someone who has flown 1,000,000 miles with you. I am certain it looked at the price paid for the seat. It might make sense that the person with the cheapest seat has a smaller claim than someone who paid far more for theirs. I imagine that the gentleman removed from the plane was the last to check in, or something close to it.Right now, this is a weak algorithm on which to base a decision.I am doubtful that the decision included factors like identifying the person with the best chance of getting to their final destination on another flight and arriving at close to the same time. These people may have been more easy to sell another flight, especially if you somehow sweetened the pot.Because the airlines operate from a scarcity mindset, I am certain the decision did not factor in other flights on other airlines that might have been leaving and arriving at close to the same time, or  direct flights to the final destination on other airlines for people who may have opted for that flight.The algorithm isn’t yet programmed to take into account any complex factors, and it isn’t likely to have considered choices that would have cost the airlines more money but protected their brand and their relationship with their customers. Worse still, the hand off to the humans was done in the same way the decision was made: rules-based.The problem with rules-based decisions is that you remove the “human” from “human relationships.” Values-based decisions are better. I am certain that somewhere at United Airlines headquarters, there is some written statement about their commitment to their customers. I am certain that the decision to use force instead of persuasion is at odds with their values, and I can’t imagine it being otherwise. I am certain that United Airlines wants empowered employees to exercise their resourcefulness and solve problems like this without resorting to physical violence, the end result of their decision to follow the rules instead of their values (which appear to be very legalistic and not very human as written here).This isn’t about AI. But if it is, it’s about Artificial Moral Intelligence, something that isn’t being widely discussed as we blaze into a future where our reliance on computers is already beginning to exceed our reliance on our machines. Right now, humans still possess an ability that computers cannot, and may never be able to possess. That ability is the ability to be compassionate (or empathetic, if you like that word better).In situations like this, the easiest way to decide how to move forward is to imagine how you would want to be treated. Resourceful employees, operating with a values-based approach instead of a rules-based approach to this decision could certainly have found a way to get a single passenger to leave the plane without physical harm. Get the Free eBook! Learn how to sell without a sales manager. Download my free eBook! You need to make sales. You need help now. We’ve got you covered. This eBook will help you Seize Your Sales Destiny, with or without a manager. Download Nowlast_img read more

Three minors pregnant after summer break

first_imgThree minor students of a government-run girls high school here tested positive after undergoing pregnancy tests upon their return from summer vacation. The Child Welfare Committee, Khordha, a quasi-judiciary body having the power of a judicial magistrate under the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Amendment Act, 2006, has ordered further inquiry into the incident.A person was arrested from Salia Sahi, Bhubaneswar’s biggest slum, where he was accused of having relationship with one of the three girls.A mobile unit of the Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram had carried out health screening of 101 inmates of a girls hostel in the presence of hostel superintendent in the last week of June. As many as 29 girls were found to have different health problems.Subsequently, eight students were asked to undergo pregnancy test with help of the Nischay Pregnancy Kit. Three tested positive.Incidents of girl inmates testing positive on pregnancy tests have been widely reported from tribal-dominated and backward regions of the State, especially from southern Odisha districts. However, the incident of three girls getting pregnant in a particular government school in the Capital city where awareness level is perceived to be higher than that of the backward region has shocked administrators.last_img read more

Jamaica Hosts ACCP Conference April 30 to May 4

first_img “It also focuses on how to improve the exchange of information in criminal investigations, the sharing of common services across the region to strengthen local efforts, which may include training, forensic analysis and research to effectively manage law enforcement agencies,” she said Jamaica will host the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) conference from April 30 to  May 4,  at the Montego Bay Convention  Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, under the theme: ‘An Integrated Approach Against Serious and Organised Crime – Implications for Regional Growth and Development’.Speaking with JIS News, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP), Dahlia Garrick, who is the Commanding Officer for the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), said the four-day event will have officials from 25-member countries across the region, Ministers of  National Security and  Tourism, and members of social development agencies.“There will be discussions about the challenges and priority matters related to securing the Caribbean, and the implications crime has on the growth and development of this country and others,” she pointed out.She also noted that the conference will have open and closed sessions, plenary sessions and discussions to cover topics, such as: Community Policing, Gun Violence, Firearms Trafficking in the Caribbean, Difficulties in Prosecuting Gang Cases, Digitalized Document Management System (DDMS), as well as the Emerging Technologies and their impact on Law Enforcement.ASP Garrick  said that in regional cooperation, the ACCP  seeks  to combat criminal activities, such as narcotics, terrorism and organized crime.“It also focuses on how to improve the exchange of information in criminal investigations, the sharing of common services across the region to strengthen local efforts, which may include training, forensic analysis and research to effectively manage law enforcement agencies,” she said Story Highlights Jamaica will host the Association of Caribbean Commissioners of Police (ACCP) conference from April 30 to  May 4,  at the Montego Bay Convention  Centre in Rose Hall, St. James, under the theme: ‘An Integrated Approach Against Serious and Organised Crime – Implications for Regional Growth and Development’. She also noted that the conference will have open and closed sessions, plenary sessions and discussions to cover topics, such as: Community Policing, Gun Violence, Firearms Trafficking in the Caribbean, Difficulties in Prosecuting Gang Cases, Digitalized Document Management System (DDMS), as well as the Emerging Technologies and their impact on Law Enforcement.last_img read more

Indonesia pardons woman jailed for recording harassment

first_imgJakarta: Indonesia’s Parliament on Thursday approved a pardon for a woman sentenced to jail for recording a call with her boss to prove he was sexually harassing her. Baiq Nuril Maknun, 37, had complained of getting lewd phone calls from the headteacher of the school she worked at in Mataram, a city on the island of Lombok. She recorded one of the calls in which the head teacher allegedly made sexually explicit and abusive comments. The recording was later distributed among staff at the school and submitted to the head of the local education agency. Also Read – Saudi Crown Prince ‘snubbed’ Pak PM, recalled jet from USThe headteacher – who court documents say lost his job after the recording was circulated – reported her to the police for distributing the recording of their conversation. She says it was shared by someone else, the BBC reported. A local court initially cleared the woman but prosecutors took the case to the Supreme Court. It found her guilty in November of “violating decency” and fined her 500 million rupiah ($35,200). The woman was held in police custody during the trial for two months and three days, but did not serve time in prison.last_img read more