Research briefs, June 19, 2003

June 19, 2003

The following are summaries of findings from Penn State researchers.

Academic achievement on upswing

In many nations worldwide the quality of schools has risen over the past three decades. Although children in wealthier nations still tend to learn more mathematics and science than their counterparts in poorer nations, this trend has been decreasing since the early 1970s.

This phenomenon is reported by David P. Baker, professor of education and sociology, Brian Goesling, instructor of sociology, and Gerald K. LeTendre, associate professor of education.

"A worldwide revolution in education enrollment and funding has seen many nations investing in the best educational processes they can afford and spreading educational resources throughout their populations," explained Baker. "An ironic consequence of this change is that, as school quality becomes more uniform across schools within many nations, what family advantages that children might bring to school play a bigger role in differences in learning among all children."

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Day-care lunch program monitors vital in successful program

Day-care monitors employed by sponsors of family day-care homes must carefully balance the demands of the job to represent the sponsoring organization, ensure that Child and Adult Care Food Program regulations are met and train the care providers.

According to a study sponsored by the Applied Research Division of the National Food Service Management Institute, monitors perform job duties beyond what is expected and the monitors and organizations they work for agree nearly completely on job duties and training needs.

Family day care homes that operate under the guidelines of the Child and Adult Care Food Program receive reimbursement for meals and snacks served, but providers must sign an agreement with an approved sponsoring organization to participate in the program. The sponsoring organizations are public or nonprofit private organizations that supply monitors to ensure compliance with the regulations.

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European-style networks of firms may hold
key to building wireless market share

American wireless companies searching for a business model to build market share can look to European providers who are creating networks of firms to roll out new information and entertainment services, according to a Penn State researcher.

Such networks of multiple firms offer mobile operators the best chance of providing new services in the highly competitive and rapidly changing telecommunications sector, said Carleen Maitland, assistant professor of information sciences and technology (IST).

"The next generation of mobile technology could be as dependent on the business models adopted by operators as on the infrastructure and handsets," she said. "In the wireless market, a company's business model has the possibility of being an asset and a competitive advantage."

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Last Updated March 19, 2009