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Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International... Before you read this report, remember to sign up to for 100% free stock alerts Chase Bank has moved to limit cash withdrawals while banning business customers from sending...

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Richemont chairman Johann Rupert to take 'grey gap... Billionaire 62-year-old to take 12 months off from Cartier and Montblanc luxury goods groupRichemont's chairman and founder Johann Rupert is to take a year off from September, leaving management of the...

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Cambodia: aftermath of fatal shoe factory collapse... Workers clear rubble following the collapse of a shoe factory in Kampong Speu, Cambodia, on Thursday

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Spate of recent shock departures by 50-something CEOs While the rising financial rewards of running a modern multinational have been well publicised, executive recruiters say the pressures of the job have also been ratcheted upOn approaching his 60th birthday...

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UK Uncut loses legal challenge over Goldman Sachs tax... While judge agreed the deal was 'not a glorious episode in the history of the Revenue', he ruled it was not unlawfulCampaign group UK Uncut Legal Action has lost its high court challenge over the legality...

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OSSTF/FEESO Ratification Vote Results

Category : Stocks

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – Nov. 27, 2012) - Three OSSTF/FEESO teacher bargaining units held ratification votes today. The results of those ratification votes are as follows:

Continued here: OSSTF/FEESO Ratification Vote Results

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Business leaders criticise slipping standards of ‘exam factory’ schools

Category : Business

CBI suggests abolition of GCSEs at 16 as part of reforms necessary to produce ’rounded and grounded’ leavers

Business leaders have called for a radical rethink of England’s schools system, including abolition of GCSEs at 16 and a break from the “exams factory” of the national curriculum and league tables.

Ahead of its annual conference, beginning on Monday, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has released a manifesto of proposed changes to every layer of the school system, from pre-school to 18.

Employers sought school-leavers who did not just possess a clutch of exam passes but were “rounded and grounded”, said John Cridland, the CBI director general. Emphasis on exams and league tables “has produced a conveyor belt, rather than what I would want education to be, an escalator,” he said.

“It’s very rigid and it emphasises the typical and the average. It doesn’t necessarily well support the 30% who struggle and doesn’t necessarily well support the 10% who are flying.”

Given plans to raise the leaving age to 18, Cridland said, it made less sense to have GCSEs at 16 followed by A-levels two years later. “If we’re all committed to raising the education leaving age to 18 over the next few years, then the tests at 16 are hugely important but they’re not the end point. They’re a staging post.Sometimes the entire debate seems to be about our exams at 16,” he said.

“The logic of what we’re saying is that over time, the critical moments become 13 to 14 and then 18. Thirteen to 14 because of the choices people make, which school they go to and what subjects they study, and then four years of learning which culminates in the choice of university. Sixteen is important, but it’s not an end point.”

In its report, First Steps, the CBI argues that school standards have slipped in comparison to those internationally after three decades of policy focused on “narrow measures of performance” such as league tables and exam passes. Matching the best standards in Europe would boost GDP growth by about an extra 1% a year.

The CBI’s prescription for change is varied, ranging from better childcare in disadvantaged areas to an overhaul of the primary school curriculum and a revised A-level system also offering “gold standard” vocational qualifications for those less suited to academia. The report calls for teachers to be allowed to tailor lessons to pupils’ aptitudes and interests.

“The best teachers we’ve talked to are rebels against the system,” said Cridland. “They have had to break out of the straitjacket of the curriculum which has stopped them delivering the sort of education our young people need.”

New technology made this possible, he added. “You can have Brian Cox beamed onto a whiteboard to teach science interactively. In years gone by with one teacher, doing his or her best with chalk and talk in front of 30 kids in the 1950s, there was no alternative. Now there is: laptops, tablets, whiteboards, beamed-in satellites. There’s much more we can do.”

Brian Lightman, general secretary of the Association of School and College Leaders, said the CBI was wrong to say standards had slipped in international comparisons, but agreed there was far too much focus “on statistics relating to institutional performance, as opposed to learning outcomes for individuals”.

Stephen Twigg, the shadow education secretary, said: “This report suggests that the government’s planned EBacc certificates are the wrong approach. When business leaders say his approach to education is wrong, [education secretary] Michael Gove looks seriously out of touch.

“It confirms that Michael Gove has focused on the wrong thing by spending two years tinkering with exams at 16, rather than offering all young people the skills and knowledge they need when they leave education at 18.”

A Department for Education spokesman said: “No school should settle for second best – and every one of our reforms is designed to drive up standards so all children have a first-class education.

“The CBI rightly recognises the importance of English and maths, calls for greater rigour in the curriculum and in exams, welcomes the academy programme, wants a new accountability system and backs greater freedom for teachers. These are all part of the government’s radical package of reforms that will give England’s education system the thorough overhaul it needs.”

The great mobile technology leap forward

Category : Business

Sales of smart tech devices are soaring as the traditional PC declines. Observer writers look at their impact, which is already helping children to learn, spreading literacy, improving healthcare, boosting harvests in Africa – and making the web giants sit up


For years teachers have been battling against the use of mobile phones in class. But that is changing as schools start to embrace the sophisticated technology many of their pupils carry in their pockets.

At its most simple, teachers allow students to use the internet for research. But imaginative lessons take it a step further. One teacher describes a history lesson that required students to do mock archaeology around the classroom to find hidden quick-response barcodes. Once found, the students scanned them with their smartphones and video clips about the subject appeared on their screens. And it is not just secondary schools. Increasingly, primary schools are using iPads and other tablet computers, which are quick to set up and young children take to because they are so intuitive.

But the uptake has been painfully slow. Valerie Thompson is head of the e-learning foundation that helps schools to provide children with computers. “Schools are the last institutions in the UK to come to the technology table,” she says. “What technology allows teachers to do is give children an individual learning experience; not give all children the same lesson at the same speed in the same place.”

Teachers, she says, will have an entirely different job in this new world. “You don’t need a teacher who knows everything when you can go onto the internet. The revolution is not the technology, it is the changing role of the teacher to make the most of the technology.”

There are already some 200,000 educational apps. One of publisher Pearson’s products allows the student to do their homework on their mobile device and participate in class, the teacher to analyse the student’s performance, and the parents to see what they are doing.

These types of companies have been pushing mobile education for years, but it is only with the rise of tablet computers that schools have caught on. Apple chief executive Tim Cook recently said: “The adoption rate of iPad in education is something I’d never seen from any technology product . Usually, education tends to be a fairly conservative institution in terms of buying and we’re not seeing that at all on the iPad.” Last week, the Scottish government announced plans to spend around £30m on tablets for use in schools, colleges and universities.

Juan Lopez-Valcarcel, chief digital officer at Pearson International, says: “We’re reaching the tipping point in terms of adoption and interest of mobile technology in the classroom. Soon we won’t be talking about mobile education as a separate thing; all education will be on mobile devices.”JM


The internet began changing the music and newspaper industries over a decade ago, but its impact on book publishing was not felt until the arrival of the tablet computer.

The digital revolution has been painful for record labels and press barons, as the number of people willing to pay for what they produce dwindles by the day. Book publishers, by contrast, have enjoyed a smoother transition, largely thanks to Amazon.

The online retailer’s success may have sounded the death knell for “physical” bookstores, and squeezed publishers’ margins, but its popularisation of the e-reader has created a new market where digital books can be sold, rather than pirated.

The Kindle appeared in the UK in 2009, the first iPad in April 2010. Thanks to these two devices, instant gratification is now possible for the book buyer and the result has been more reading. Studies say that e-reader owners buy more books, and this summer Amazon announced that digital formats had outsold paper for the first time in the UK.

Publishers are racing to adapt. HarperCollins employs a data analyst, recruited from American Express, to monitor online sales around the clock and tweak prices accordingly. Its venerable Collins World Atlas is now an app, displaying its data on clickable globes. Nosy Crow, the children’s publisher founded two years ago by former Macmillan MD Kate Wilson, is doing a brisk trade in apps commissioned from the likes of Gruffalo illustrator Axel Scheffler, creating original content, rather than “existing books squashed onto phones”.

Amazon’s success is not without problems for publishers. While it has modernised their business, its market power, particularly in the UK, is almost completely unchallenged. The concern is that it will force damaging price reductions on publishers, in order to pull in customers with heavily discounted bestsellers.

Publishing houses responded by forming an alliance with Apple, which allowed them to set the prices and the iPad maker to take a 30% cut on every title sold. Bestsellers could then be withheld from Amazon if it did not play ball on pricing.

Unsurprisingly, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos fought hard to have the agency model outlawed, and he has now won his battle both in the US and Europe, where most of the big publishers have offered to settle. Penguin was not among them, but a merger is being arranged with Random House, to create the world’s largest publisher – and a stronger base from which to counter the might of Amazon. JG


In Africa, mobile phones are not only changing lives, but saving them. The prevalence of mobiles in Africa – there are more mobiles than toilets and 10

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Connecticut town stunned after man kills masked prowler — his son – Detroit Free Press

Category : Stocks

Connecticut town stunned after man kills masked prowler — his son
Detroit Free Press
NEW FAIRFIELD, Conn. — A small Connecticut town is reeling in grief and confusion after a popular fifth-grade teacher shot and killed a knife-wielding prowler in a black ski mask, only to discover it was his 15-year-old son. No immediate charges were
Cops: Father didn't realize he shot sonSan Francisco Chronicle
Conn. teacher kills masked teen, learns it was son The Associated Press
Police: Masked Boy Killed by Dad Had KnifeABC News

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Chicago teachers, schools fail to reach deal – Los Angeles Times

Category : Stocks

CBS News
Chicago teachers, schools fail to reach deal
Los Angeles Times
CHICAGO — After more than 10 hours at the bargaining table, Chicago teachers and school officials adjourned without an agreement Tuesday night, leaving the city's first teachers strike in 25 years poised to continue for a third day.
Second day of Chicago school talks ends without an accordCNN
Mayor's plan to close schools fuels union fears during teachers strikeChicago Tribune
Chicago Public School Teachers Highlight Perennial Debate of Teacher SalariesABC News

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Chicago’s children left ‘hopeless’ – CNN

Category : Stocks

ABC News
Chicago's children left 'hopeless'
Parents fear for their children who are out of school and could be exposed to the city's violence, because of a strike.
Teacher strike in Chicago hometown may be headache for ObamaReuters
Rahm Emanuel versus Chicago Teachers Union is new breed versus extinct breed Washington Times
Chicago teachers walk off the jobAlbany Times Union

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California teacher fired for porn appearances fighting to get her job back – Fox News

Category : Stocks
California teacher fired for porn appearances fighting to get her job back
Fox News
OXNARD, Calif. — A California junior high school teacher who was fired for appearing in pornographic videos plans to contest her termination, the Los Angeles Times reported Saturday. The Oxnard Unified School District voted unanimously last Wednesday
California middle school teacher fired over porn film roleChicago Tribune
Oxnard teacher who allegedly appeared in porn movie is firedLos Angeles Times
Southern California Teacher Fired Over Porn VideoABC News

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100% Inside Hana’s Suitcase

Category : Entertainment, World News

Fumiko Ishioka is a teacher who is on the volunteer staff of a museum in Tokyo devoted to the study and documentation of the Holocaust. One of the artifacts collected by the museum was a suitcase bearing the name “Hana Brady” that had been found in…

Read this article: 100% Inside Hana’s Suitcase

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100% Inside Hana’s Suitcase

Category : Entertainment, World News

Fumiko Ishioka is a teacher who is on the volunteer staff of a museum in Tokyo devoted to the study and documentation of the Holocaust. One of the artifacts collected by the museum was a suitcase bearing the name “Hana Brady” that had been found in…

View post: 100% Inside Hana’s Suitcase

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92% Monsieur Lazhar

Category : World News

In Montreal, an elementary school teacher dies abruptly. Having learned of the incident in the newspaper, Bachir Lazhar (Mohamed Fellag), a 55-year-old Algerian immigrant, goes to the school to offer his services as a substitute teacher. Quickly…

Go here to see the original: 92% Monsieur Lazhar

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