News story: Amanda Spielman statement on Public Accounts Committee report

first_imgOfsted Chief Inspector Amanda Spielman said: I welcome the Public Accounts Committee’s recognition of the vital role that Ofsted plays in our education system. As with all of the public sector, we have had to do more with less. However, I remain confident that our inspections provide parents, schools and the government with the assurance they need about school standards and that we do so in a way that compares very favourably in terms of quality and value for money with school inspection regimes internationally. However, as I said at the hearing, we have reached the limit in terms of being able to provide that level of assurance within our current funding envelope. That is why, with our ongoing framework review, we are looking at how to ensure that schools and parents get everything they need from our reports, and why many of the committee’s recommendations are already long in train. I understand that the committee is disappointed that I would not be drawn into giving my views on some wider issues in the sector. My role is to provide Parliament and the Secretary of State with an evidence-based appraisal of educational standards. It would be irresponsible of me to make comment on those areas where we do not have clear evidence of the impact on standards or young people’s wellbeing. Where we do have that evidence, be it about the dangers of illegal unregistered schools, the risks of radicalisation, the narrowing of the curriculum or the importance of early literacy, I have not hesitated to speak out and will continue to do so.last_img read more

7 Strange Long Island Facts You Likely Didn’t Know

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By Michael Bakshandeh and Tyler CianciulliEveryone knows Long Island is home to the busiest commuter railroad, Charles Lindbergh’s first trans-Atlantic flight, and New York State’s first lighthouse (the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the nation), in Montauk, but here are some lesser-known local facts that may surprise even longtime Long Islanders.The Great Neck Giraffe (Photo courtesy of Village of Kensington)7. The Giant GiraffeThose not living under rocks have all heard about the Big Duck in the Hamptons and the Smithtown Bull. But those aren’t the only oversized animal structures on Long Island. A giant giraffe sculpture is considered the “mascot of Great Neck,” according to the Village of Kensington. You know, because giraffes have great, big, long necks. 6. LI Runs on 7-Eleven CoffeeIt came as little surprise when it was widely reported that some of the busiest 7-Elevens in the nation are on Long Island. But the region’s stores also sell more coffee than any other 7-Elevens in the country, according to the company. That fact may shock those serving in the war between Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks drinkers.Tennis For Two on a DuMont Lab Oscilloscope5. The First Video Game Was Invented HereSure, LI is where Guglielmo Marconi innovated the wireless radio and Nikola Tesla tinkered with wireless electricity. But, even more importantly, in 1958 physicist William Higinbotham created the first video game, Tennis for Two, to make the Brookhaven National Laboratory visitors’ day more interesting, according to the lab. It wasn’t sold commercially, like Atari’s like-minded game “Pong,” one of the earliest video games, which wasn’t released until ’72. 4. Not So Long Island?On the other side of the country, there was a little-known side effect of the controversial (and geographically inaccurate) 1985 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that Long Island is really a peninsula. Officials and gift-shopkeepers in the 45-mile-long Whidbey Island north of Seattle in Puget Sound used the decision to market themselves as the longest island in the contiguous United States, according to The New York Times. Not that many on 113-mile-long LI noticed.Claudio’s Restaurant in Greenport.3. LI Had The Oldest Family-Run RestaurantSure, King Kullen may be America’s first supermarket. And other businesses make similar historical claims. But Claudio’s Restaurant, founded in 1870 in downtown Greenport village on the North Fork, bills itself as America’s oldest same-family-run restaurant in the nation. After four generations, the restaurant was sold to someone outside the family in 2018.2. Jaws Was Based on a Shark Caught Off Long IslandThe Amityville Horror wasn’t the only scary movie set on LI decades before the region was transformed into Hollywood East. Captain Quint, the salty character that the actor Robert Shaw played in Jaws, was based on the late Montauk-based shark fisherman Frank Mundus, who made headlines in 1964 by catching a massive, 4,500-pound great white shark. The news caught the eye of author Peter Benchley, whose book was turned into a 1975 blockbuster by Steven Spielberg. Mundus, a New Jersey native, reportedly called the final result the “funniest and stupidest” movie he’d ever seen.The Southern State Parkway median west of Belmont Lake State Park used to be a tree-lined driveway to a mansion.1. The Parkway Is a Driveway“Why do we park in a driveway and drive on parkway?”, the old joke goes. But on part of the Southern State Parkway, what drivers pass was once a driveway. Ever wonder why there are parallel rows of tall pine trees with nothing between them in the parkway median just west of Belmont Lake State Park in West Babylon? The area used to be a tree-lined driveway to the Belmont family’s historic mansion before the parkway was built by Robert Moses in 1925.Correction: A previous version of this article cited Montauk Lighthouse as the oldest in the nation. It is the fourth oldest active lighthouse in the nation, according to Montauk Lighthouse National Historic Landmark.last_img read more

Why do five year olds need to know this??

first_imgThis is what Family Planning wants to teach five year olds under the marketing banner of “sexuality education”Includes…• Describing themselves in relation to their genderUm… I’m a boy, you’re a girl. Yuck. Or should it be “At the moment I’m a boy, but that could come under review if I let groups like Family Planning or Rainbow Youth anywhere near me”• Identifying body parts, including sexual partsWhy? For what purpose? And is this because parents don’t know? Do they not have those parts?• Discussing changes to the body and ways to care for the bodyDoes that mean things like how to get felt-tip marks off hands, and mud out of hair?Based on the misinformation that Family Planning and other groups push towards our teenagers (covered in our report R18: Sexuality Education in NZ ), we would encourage parents to keep a close eye on what their local school is doing in this area.As a parent, you have a right to know what is being taught, AND to withdraw your children from any of these programmes.READ YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS.last_img read more

Syracuse gets scoring from more than just first line in 3-0 win against RIT

first_imgFor the last several weeks, Syracuse head coach Paul Flanagan has stressed additional second-line and third-line scoring as a means of improving the Orange’s offensive output. SU particularly struggled on the attack Friday against Rochester Institute of Technology, scoring only one goal on 42 shots in an overtime loss.“I think we were a little frustrated last night,” Flanagan said. “I thought our top line was pressing too much.”But on Saturday night, Flanagan’s wish for unusual scorers was granted.Dakota Derrer, Heather Schwarz and Alysha Burriss provided that “secondary scoring” as the Orange (11-12-3, 7-3-2 College Hockey America) glided to an easy 3-0 victory over RIT (6-19-1, 2-9-1). Since Dec. 1, the trio had combined for just one goal, which was scored by Burriss on Jan. 12.“You just don’t want to be one-dimensional,” Flanagan said. “It’s good to see some different names on the score sheet.”AdvertisementThis is placeholder textThe second-line began scoring early. Syracuse’s Jessica Sibley won a faceoff near RIT’s net just a minute and a half into Saturday’s action. She passed the puck toward the blue line, where Derrer corralled it and moved slightly to her right.“I didn’t want to get my shot blocked (by an RIT defender) again,” Derrer said. “We’ve been working on not getting our shots blocked and working on our feet. I’ve been working on that a lot this week.”Her practice paid off, as her shot hit Tiger goalie Jetta Rackleff’s left side and dribbled into the net. Derrer scored on SU’s second shot, and the Orange lead 1-0 lead just 99 seconds into the contest.In the second period, SU’s Megan Quinn fired the puck from just outside the right faceoff circle. The puck hit Rackleff in the chest, bouncing off in front of the crease. Schwarz crashed the net, finding the puck on the left side of the net.Seven minutes later, Syracuse would earn its third goal of the night thanks to Burriss who, like Schwarz, attacked the net and batted the puck into the net.But the Orange’s aggressive approach harmed its quality of shots on several occasions. Syracuse struggled throughout the first period after Derrer’s goal, as its offensive strategy of creating shots close to the goal was countered by RIT’s collapsing, tight-knight defense that seemed to huddle Rackleff in goal.When Sibley tried to overpower a defender inside, she was immediately double-teamed. Most of Melissa Piacentini’s passes across the ice were intercepted. And while a good amount of Syracuse’s shots were near the crease, only two of them found their way inside the goal. But on Saturday, that didn’t matter, because Syracuse managed to get three goals and allowed none.“We’ve been trying to push our bodies into the net,” Schwarz said. “It’s how we score a lot of our dirty goals. You don’t need pretty goals to win a game.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on January 23, 2016 at 11:56 pm Contact Chris: [email protected]last_img read more

US House Honors Jamaican Businessman, Kevin Hendrickson

first_imgAmbassador Richard Bernal (left) presents proclamation to Jamaican businessman, Kevin Hendrickson. KINGSTON, Jamaica – The United States House of Representatives has honored renowned Jamaican businessman, Kevin Hendrickson, managing director of The Courtleigh Hospitality Group (CHG) in Kingston.Hendrikson was recognized for being “a courageous, resilient, intelligent and loving community leader, and as a valued member of the community who dedicated his time to ensuring the betterment of his employees and customers.”According to CHG, the US Congressional Proclamation was signed by Democratic Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke, the daughter of Jamaican immigrants, who represents the 9th Congressional District in Brooklyn.“A continual effort to strengthen local communities here in Jamaica is at the heart of our business model,” said Hendrickson in a statement. “We take great pride in giving back to local charities, engaging our guests to do the same, and empowering staff involved in community service programs.“It is particularly gratifying to see that our efforts have resonance within the US House of Representa­tives,” he added. “I’m truly honored to receive this proclamation on behalf of my family, our dedicated staff and partners.”A veteran of 35-odd years in the Jamaica hospitality industry, CHG said on Wednesday that Hendrickson owns and operates the majority of hotel accommodations in Kingston (870 rooms).His CHG comprises The Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, The Knutsford Court Hotel, The Jamaica Pegasus and the former Wyndham Kingston Hotel (now in re-development).CHG said Hendrickson’s hospitality portfolio also includes the 512-room Holiday Inn Resort® Montego Bay, “a property long renowned for providing Jamaica’s best all-inclusive vacation value.”“Personalized service and excellent value are hallmarks of every Hendrickson-owned hotel, ensuring optimal guest satisfacti­on,” the statement said. “Mr. Hendrickson employs a hands-on approach to maintaining the high service levels for which his properties are known.“Whether greeting guests in the lobby, overseeing new construction, or serving on the buffet line, Mr. Hendrickson is never above doing whatever it takes to provide the ultimate guest experience,” it added.A strong believer in giving back to the community, CHG said Hendrickson also supports numerous charitable organizations, including Missionaries of the Poor, the Jamaica Cancer Society, The Salvation Army and Food for the Poor.“Corporate social responsibility and giving back to the local community go hand-in-hand with business success,” Hendrickson said.In addition to his noteworthy hospitality holdings, CHG said Hendrickson also owns and operates other businesses, including several popular bakeries in Jamaica – Dr. Lushus in Old Harbour, Yummy in Kingston, Holsum in Manchester and Kingston’s Courtleigh Corporate Centre.last_img read more

No compensation for festive season

first_imgWCD flooding Villagers on the West Coast of Demerara who were affected by mass flooding back in March were expecting to be compensated for their losses for the festive season but this never materialised despite Government’s promises.After confirmation by the regional officials that no assistance was given thus far, Guyana Times spoke to some of the affected persons and moreover those who suffered.Karamchand Singh, whose fence was destroyed by the breach, explained that he was unable to repair the structure due to other losses he suffered when his livestock died in the water during that same period.With constraints to produce an income, he was unable to fix any structures on his property which were damaged. Voicing his concerns along with other persons, he explained that Central Government has made no effort to engage the residents after the flooding.“The only thing we hearing is that they have to do an assessment and they repairing the seawall. We though we getting this help for the Christmas but like we might never get anything. A lot of us had plenty losses during that time and some people still yet to return to where they used to live,” a distraught Singh related.Two houses away from him, a widow with three children explained that her one-flat house was completely inundated during the flooding, and she was left to discard most of the items in her house.“My children clothes and everything get damage. I had to stay by my sister not too far from here till the water go away and by then, the stove and everything damage… We thought we getting something from the Government to help out we but nothing.”Minister of State Joseph Harmon had informed Guyana Times some time ago that his last visit to the area surfaced discussions about the compensations and it was agreed that the Civil Defence Commission (CDC) and the Neighbourhood Democratic Council (NDC) of Tuschen-Uitvlugt would make a ‘proper assessment’ of the damages that were cause.However, the Minister of State posited that no response was generated from the NDC and related that he is awaiting that assessment before a decision is taken on the allocation of monies to the hundreds of affected residents.Harmon was quoted as saying, “I haven’t heard back from the CDC or from the NDC Chairman. So I think that is where it is. Once that is done, then we can make a decision where that is concerned.”However, the Tuschen-Uitvlugt NDC Chairman, Vishal Ambedkar told Guyana Times when contacted that the CDC was engaged in separate consultations with a few residents, the Council is unclear as to whether their calculations were ‘comprehensive’ and all the factors surrounding the damages were considered.Since March of this year, waves from the Atlantic Ocean which were generated during a spring tide battered the seawall, leaving several villages completely inundated by the floodwaters. At that time, the waves pummelled 20 feet over the structure.last_img read more

Hot Jupiter!  Exoplanets Found Very Close to Stars

first_imgTwo examples of Jupiter-size planets have been found by the European Southern Observatory.  They are so close to their parent stars, they orbit in less than two earth-days each.  Mercury would be 17 times farther out than one of them.  They belong to a new class of exoplanets scientists are terming “hot Jupiters.”A few years ago, solar system models would have always put the small, rocky planets close in and the gas giants farther out.  Discoveries like this have caused a major rethink of the old nebular and planetesimal hypotheses (see 05/16/2003 headline).  Ideas are floating around, seriously, that gas giants could form in just hundreds of years, and if the nebula doesn’t disperse fast, could be dragged into the parent star in just thousands of years.  Our solar system is looking rare or unique (see 07/21/2003 headline).  Are we privileged?(Visited 8 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

SAA to nurture black business

first_img15 June 2015Black-owned businesses are set for another boost following a pledge by South African Airways (SAA) to support black industrialists, including women and youth, when procuring goods and services in the future. It is the first initiative of its kind in the South African aviation industry.Dudu Myeni, the chairperson of the SAA board, made the announcement at a gathering of over 200 entrepreneurs in Midrand, on Friday, 12 June. Attendees included small, medium and micro enterprises that are 50% or more black-owned, black women-owned, disabled and youth-owned.The gathering followed last month’s signing of a memorandum of understanding between SAA and the Department of Trade and Industry that ensured commitment to develop and support black-owned businesses.Myeni said the meeting was a step away from talking about supporting black business to finally acting upon the idea. “There has always been a lot of talk- shopping and not enough doing. Now is the time for inclusive participation. Now is the time for organic development and support for business.”Myeni said the future of South Africa was largely dependent on state-owned enterprises nurturing small, medium and micro enterprises.She added that SAA’s procurement arm had a large enough capacity to incubate a group of black industrialists. “As SAA, we are committed to empowering entrepreneurs from disadvantaged backgrounds by levelling the playing field to deliver inclusive opportunities.”SAA was taking seriously its leadership role in developing business within the aviation industry. Myeni quoted a study by economic forecaster Oxford Economics that the SAA Group contributed R9.2-billion to the South African gross domestic product, of which R1.6-billion was contributed through spending by employees and the company’s supply chain. It found that 16 400 jobs were created directly through SAA’s supply chain.Friday’s event was the first in a series of suppliers’ engagement summits that SAA will be hosting. At the gatherings, small, medium and micro enterprises will have the opportunity to engage with SAA group buyers, as well as network with other black-owned businesses. An overview of SAA’s Procurement Transformation mission and the SAA Annual Procurement Plan 2015 will also be given.SAA said the engagements would be held in major cities around the country, including in Cape Town, Durban and Port Elizabeth.SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

Facebook Makes Big New Move to Capture More User Data

first_imgTags:#Data Services#Identity#news#web More Data for FacebookFacebook is gobbling up user data left and right, that’s the price for the power, convenience and security the company’s identity services offer. Facebook said earlier this month that ten thousand sites are adding Facebook Connect every day. Peter Kafka reports today at All Things D that Facebook execs at the highest levels are out visiting major media companies like Time Warner and Verizon, trying to convince them to institute Facebook as the user registration and login system across their properties, too.This new service will undoubtedly make Facebook the defacto registration service for countless more websites. Even people who don’t have Facebook accounts will be able to register for websites using this tool – and perform that registration through Facebook.What does all this mean? It almost feels futile to argue against the growth of Facebook as identity provider across the web. The company is just so good at powering this important feature. Individual websites don’t want to mess around with it.But with great power, comes great responsibility. Right? Facebook is already the world’s greatest living census, filled with data about our lives, interests, social connections and activities. Imagine that data being made available for analysis – what an incredible opportunity for social self-awareness it would provide. Imagine that data cross-referenced with other data sets; each new permutation might shed new light on an opportunity for economic growth, on a social injustice that needs to be remedied or on something simply good for us to know about ourselves.I’ve been calling for that to happen for years – right up to the point of a one on one conversation about the importance of aggregate user data analysis with Mark Zuckerberg at Facebook headquarters.My favorite example of how aggregate data can change the world: it was when US census data and bank mortgage loan data were first made available for computer analysis that a historical pattern of discriminatory lending keeping families of color out of key neighborhoods in major US cities was discovered. Real estate red-lining, as it is called, was illuminated by aggregate data analysis. Comparable issues are sure to be hidden in the huge trove of data about how we live our lives on Facebook.Now more voices are calling for the same thing. In this month alone so far, writers at Slate, The Atlantic and Forbes all called on Facebook to open up its data to outside researchers. Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Facebook today unveiled an incredibly simple new service that will allow any website owner to hand over user registration for their site to Facebook, undoubtedly something countless independent sites have considered since seeing the disaster that resulted from the hacking of Gawker’s user account info earlier this month.The new tool, called simply Registration Tool, is both simpler and more powerful than Facebook Connect. It works as a pre-populated iFrame for logged-in Facebook users, allows site owners to ask for fields of information not offered by Facebook and can be used to register people who do not have Facebook accounts. All under the watchful eye of Facebook, a company that leads the world in online identity and specializes in user data security. It’s a very smart move, but raises questions about the company’s growing power.Web development thought leader Jeff Atwood articulated what’s becoming an increasingly common sentiment in a recent blog post called The Dirty Truth About Web Passwords:I’m not here to criticize Gawker. On the contrary, I’d like to thank them for illustrating in broad, bold relief the dirty truth about website passwords: we’re all better off without them. If you’d like to see a future web free of Gawker style password compromises — stop trusting every random internet site with a unique username and password! Demand that they allow you to use your internet driver’s license — that is, your existing Twitter, Facebook, Google, or OpenID credentials — to log into their website.That’s exactly what the new Facebook Registration tool will make it easy for websites to do. In some cases, with a single line of code. marshall kirkpatrick Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic…center_img A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Related Posts Cliff Kuang, designer and contributor to Fast Company, Wired and more, wrote yesterday about Facebook’s new graph of user friend connections around the world and year-end list of trending topics: “But what really boggles the mind is why Facebook isn’t doing more work like this with its data, or least letting a select few use it — the company possesses the greatest catalog of human life ever created. It’s no wonder that social scientists dream of getting just a fraction of that data, to study everything from how social connections are related to job markets, to disease transmission across city borders. After all, Facebook users are the ones who’ve provided this data. Shouldn’t we be getting more out of it than the Top Status Trends of the Year?”Web 2.0 grandaddy Tim O’Reilly agreed on Twitter, saying, “He’s right. Facebook should do more with this data.”Facebook should do more with this data, especially if it’s going to insist on gobbling up more and more of it all over the web. That’s the least it could do to share some of the wealth, our data wealth, that it’s compiling. Otherwise it will be hard to think of the company as something other than a big hungry monster. 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more

Can We Crowdfund Our Lives?

first_imgWhy Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#crowdsourcing#Finance#web mike melanson Related Posts A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai…center_img Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting What do a chipped tooth, a world record and the relocation of a popular café in downtown Oakland all have in common? Each needed money to achieve a goal and, rather than going the usual routes of taking out loans or operating on credit, each found funding through crowd funding.At a panel at Social Media Week in San Francisco today, The Next Web’s Hermione Way led a discussion on the new, age-old form of financing that’s become uniquely possible with the advent of social media.Attending the panel were Jeffery Self, Tammy Camp and Cortt Dunlap, each with an interesting tale of how they used crowd funding to achieve their goals. Self said he raised $3,400 total in just three days to help pay off an emergency root canal and surgery for a chipped tooth that resulted from a misplaced head-butt. Camp, an entrepreneur and kiteboarder, related her 48 hour funding of a kiteboarding world record in the Dominican Republic. Cortt Dunlap told his tale of how he raised enough money to move his local coffee shop to a new location when circumstances caused the lease to be pulled from beneath it. How was this all achieved? Each story hinged on the idea that social media made this sort of crowd funding uniquely possible. That, and a site called IndieGoGo. According to IndieGoGo director of marketing Erica Labovitz, crowdfunding is nothing new, but social media certainly makes a difference.“Crowd funding is nothing new. What’s new about it is that it’s happening on line and through social media,” said Labovitz. “A fun fact that most people don’t know is that the Statue of Liberty was crowd funded. What’s different now is that you have access to so many more people than you otherwise would.”Labovitz said that IndieGoGo, which was founded in 2008, has expanded to more than 160 countries worldwide and currently has more than 16,000 campaigns on the site. While all three panelists offered tales of successful crowd funding, moderator Hermione Way offered that more than 60% of all crowd funding efforts ended unsuccessfully. What, then, had been at the center of their success, she asked? The general consensus, it seemed, was to offer a genuine vision for why such funding was needed and what you planned to do with the money raised. Self said that this video helped with his campaign, while others simply said that it was through existing connections on social media sites that their campaigns really got rolling.If a chipped tooth, a world record and a relocation are all viable crowd-funded projects, then could we not crowd fund our lives, asked Way? Or how about our start-ups?“I wouldn’t say it cancels out VCs at all,” offered Camp. “Maybe it will give you proof of concepts for angel investing. I don’t think it will disrupt that industry, but it will give it proof of concept.”We’ve seen examples of successful startup crowd-funding before. Will this be a new, disruptive force in the tech world? Or will it simply be a new step on the way to economic viability, somewhere between bootstrapping and venture funding? 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more