If nothing else, the OECD comment that students in Shanghai, as well as other Chinese cities, may be functioning at levels as much as three years higher than their age counterparts in other OECD countries, should get our attention. Canada gets a “middling-good” grade, while the USA is at about the OECD average. Of the … More PISA results provide some eye-openers
How much does our local community influence living standards, inclusiveness, health? Can communities activate resources to pull themselves, or their vulnerable residents, out of poverty? Can they improve health standards, reduce crime, increase life opportunities? What are the strengths and limits of community-based development, and do regional/national policies encourage community action? How well are those … More Neighbourhood influences and place-based intervention: The impact and potential of community on well-being
We used to think it was pretty straightforward to rank countries on how much they spend on their “welfare state” – or social programs. Scandinavian countries on top, western Europe next, followed by the Anglo countries and southern Europe. Sweden was the ultimate welfare state – “high tax – high transfers.” The USA generally came … More Lessons about National Social Spending
European countries are reporting emerging evidence that mental health problems are becoming more prominent in the overall incidence of disability. In a study of programs aimed at youth with mental health and disability issues, Eurofound (see reference below) reports that: In many countries, a growing number of new disability pension claimants report …mental health conditions, … More Mental Health and Disability Among Youth
Even if the Occupy movements and protests have faded from the media and public attention, concerns about increased inequality of wealth and income have remained a public preoccupation in many countries. On Dec. 4, 2013, President Obama addressed the issue in what reads as a classic articulation of challenges to social policy in a global, … More Does Inequality Signal the Failure of the Welfare State?