Science Education & Policy

A variety of programs have been introduced in UK hospitals to reduce patient deaths over the past decade and Advancing Quality - imported from the United States - was first to demonstrate a significant reduction in patient deaths. 

It was introduced in the North West region of England in 2008 and Advancing Quality was found to have reduced patient deaths by 890 in the first 18 months of the policy's introduction.  

A pilot program intended to implement and test a cost-saving strategy for orthopedic procedures at hospitals in California failed to meet its goals, succumbing to recruitment challenges, regulatory uncertainty, administrative burden and concerns about financial risk, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

The outcome represents a disappointing effort to widely adopt bundled payments, a much-touted strategy that pays doctors and hospitals one fee for performing a procedure or caring for an illness. The strategy is seen as one of the most-promising ways to curb health care spending.

Last week's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hearings in Atlanta on rules intended to "dramatically cut emissions" from coal-fired electricity generating stations were as contentious as expected. 
A new study commissioned by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) estimates that the Obama Administration's new ozone restrictions could reduce GDP by $270 billion per year and carry a compliance price tag of $2.2 trillion from 2017 to 2040 - the most expensive regulation the U.S. government has ever issued. 

In total, the study finds that letting the EPA revise the ozone standard for manufacturing from 75 parts per billion (ppb) to 60 ppb - below what even  exists at national parks, such as Yellowstone and Denali - could:

- Reduce U.S. GDP by $270 billion per year and $3.4 trillion from 2017 to 2040; 
- Result in 2.9 million fewer job equivalents per year on average through 2040; 
One day while shopping in your local supermarket in the next few years it's likely you'll run across a loaf of Arnold brand 100% Whole Wheat Bread with a label saying something like “Produced with Genetic Engineering.”

Multiple states are passing or debating laws that would require most packaged foods to declare whether genetic modification was used in their production, including Maine, Vermont, Connecticut, Oregon and Colorado.

The current government in Washington, D.C. may be dysfunctional but they still get together on some things. H.R. 5183, the Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) for Better Care Act of 2014,could improve the health of patients with chronic illness while reducing what they spend on the medicines and tests they need most.

Everyone says the 21st century is a high-technology one and so government agencies have spent billions pushing Science, Technology, Engineering and Math degrees in college, which has led to a glut among academics, while the government has pushed more math and science education in high schools, which is leading to...more dropouts.

Writing in Educational Researcher, scholars at Washington University in St. Louis have found that more rigorous academics drive more students to drop out. 

Teach For America is a group that recruits recent college graduates to teach in poorer public schools for two years, the idea being that they would be better than substitute teachers in those districts. Education unions dislike the organization and call them 'scabs' - because they are non-union labor.

Now, Teach for America is setting its sights on capturing school board seats across the nation. They are never going to win over an education union that wants to protect tenure and jobs, but if they win the school board, their goal of reforming education may succeed

Beginning in 1969, a court decision, motivated by a lack of racial integration in schools, led to students being shipped to schools in other neighborhoods. As part of a political campaign against Richard Nixon, his political opposition latched onto this forced busing and school desegregation to show they cared about minorities more. The trade-off was that kids were no longer in their own neighborhoods and felt like pawns in a culture war.

A new National Academy of Sciences (NAS) assessment examining the causes of the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident affirms the culture of safety adhered to by the U.S. nuclear industry.

Core findings from the NAS study, “Lessons Learned from the Fukushima Nuclear Accident for Improving the Safety of U.S. Nuclear Plants,” validate the actions that the nuclear industry has initiated in recent years to be ready to manage plants if extreme natural events occur that may exceed a plant’s design basis.