Tag Archives: report card

The Millennium Development Goals – wiping out disease, famine, and poverty on Earth

By Bill Gates

People sometimes say that the United Nations doesn’t do enough to solve the big problems of the world. I’ve never really agreed with that point of view, but if anyone is looking for evidence of the UN’s impact, a good place to start is the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

They were agreed to in 2000 by all 193 UN member countries and 23 international organizations. Creating that kind of consensus is—by itself—a significant achievement.

The great thing about the MDGs is that they provide clear targets and indicators of progress in key areas, including:

  • Ending poverty and hunger
  • Universal education
  • Gender equality
  • Child and maternal health
  • Combatting HIV/AIDS
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Global development

Although a number of countries won’t be able to achieve all of the goals by the target date of 2015, the MDGs have been helpful in getting everyone to really think about their part, the progress they’re making, and what they can learn from others. The goals have focused political attention in developing countries, encouraged UN groups to work together, and inspired wealthy and fast-growing donor countries to coordinate their efforts.

In February, the World Bank announced that the MDG goal of cutting extreme poverty by half had been achieved five years early. A week later, UNICEF and the World Health Organization announced that the goal of halving the number of people without access to safer drinking water was also reached five years early.
Source: The Gates Notes - A Report Card on Helping the World’s Poor

 

 

Continue reading

Beach Report Card – iPhone app – monitor the water quality at your beach

Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card app puts the only comprehensive, weekly analysis of coastline water quality for the West Coast at your fingertips. Now, any time and anywhere, you can get access to A to F grades for the health risks of swimming, surfing or playing at more than 650 beach locations in California, Oregon and Washington.

Use the Beach Report Card to find out which beaches are safe and unsafe for you and your family; check the weather; look up water quality history for any beach during dry or rainy seasons; keep your own list of Favorites; view comments, photos or videos from other beach goers; and share your own tips and feedback.

Remember, a day at the beach should never make you sick. Before you dive in, find out if there’s an increased risk of getting a rash, ear infection or even diarrhea at that beach. The lower the beach’s letter grade, the higher your risk of getting sick!

Download Heal the Bay’s Beach Report Card, because you can’t tell if your favorite beach is safe just by looking at it.

Continue reading

Beach Report Card – for Los Angeles, San Diego, & Orange County (2012)

San Diego County

San Diego continued to exhibit excellent beach water quality, with 93% of all monitoring locations receiving an A grade during summer dry weather.

Winter dry weather water quality was also excellent with 93% A grades. During wet weather 77% of locations received an A or B grade, besting both the five-year average for San Diego (68%) and this year’s statewide average (64%).

 

Orange County

Water quality in Orange County was excellent this year with 94% A or B grades (89% were A grades). Beach water quality during the winter dry weather was also very good with 87% A or B grades. Wet weather grades were fair (69% A or B grades) and bested the five-year average by 15%. Two Orange County beaches appear on the dreaded Beach Bummer list: Doheny State Beach at San Juan Creek outlet and Poche Beach.

 

Los Angeles County

Summer dry weather water quality in Los Angeles improved 7% from last year with 82% A or B grades. Winter dry water quality was nearly the same as summer dry water quality with 81% A or B grades (besting the five-year average by 13%). Wet weather water quality in Los Angeles continues to be poor overall with 49% of monitoring locations receiving F grades this year (27% worse than the state average).

Los Angeles County was also host to seven out of the 10 beaches on the statewide Beach Bummer list this year: Topanga State Beach at the creek mouth (No. 10), Escondido State Beach at Escondido Creek (No. 9), Cabrillo Beach harborside (No. 6), Dan Blocker County Beach at Solstice Creek (No. 5), Surfrider Beach at the Malibu Lagoon outlet (No. 4), Puerco Beach at the Marie Canyon storm drain (No. 3) and Avalon Harbor Beach on Catalina Island (No. 1).
Continue reading

Can Every Child Get Straight A’s?

Over the weekend you missed a stellar debate I had with Amy. It started from the piece, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, by Amy Chua in the Wall Street Journal. You have to read it and then come back and tell me how deeply it offended you.

The thing that got us going was a debate over straight A’s.

My point of view is that I will demand straight A’s, no matter what. I mean with the ultra-low requirements of our schools getting an ‘A’ simply means turning in homework. It is amazing how few can even do that. Just thinking about it makes me want to set the bar even higher, with honors classes and extra projects.

Simply put, I do not see any reason why students in America should not get A’s. I think that striving to do so is the only way to fix our schools because it requires resetting parental expectations – both to get parents more involved in homework and to get us as a group and a nation to expect nothing but the best.

I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive about this. Maybe I should consider those students who have trouble in math and let them off.

What do you think, am I a complete tyrant for thinking this? Will you hold your children to the same standard that I and “Chinese Mothers” do/will?

If not, please give a reason why.

Update: a response to this post was added: No! Every Child Cannot Get Straight A’s

 

Can Every Child Get Straight A's?

Over the weekend you missed a stellar debate I had with Amy. It started from the piece, Why Chinese Mothers Are Superior, by Amy Chua in the Wall Street Journal. You have to read it and then come back and tell me how deeply it offended you.

The thing that got us going was a debate over straight A’s.

My point of view is that I will demand straight A’s, no matter what. I mean with the ultra-low requirements of our schools getting an ‘A’ simply means turning in homework. It is amazing how few can even do that. Just thinking about it makes me want to set the bar even higher, with honors classes and extra projects.

Simply put, I do not see any reason why students in America should not get A’s. I think that striving to do so is the only way to fix our schools because it requires resetting parental expectations – both to get parents more involved in homework and to get us as a group and a nation to expect nothing but the best.

I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive about this. Maybe I should consider those students who have trouble in math and let them off.

What do you think, am I a complete tyrant for thinking this? Will you hold your children to the same standard that I and “Chinese Mothers” do/will?

If not, please give a reason why.

Update: a response to this post was added: No! Every Child Cannot Get Straight A’s