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This report from the Canadian Literacy and Learning Network (CLLN) is a must-read for everyone with an interest in the practitioners/workers/educators who work in the literacy and essential skills (LES) field and the students/learners whom these individuals work tirelessly to support.
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Celebrating 25 years of Copian: Canada's premier national adult literacy database

In 2014, adult literacy educators in Canada and other nations celebrate 25 years of service by Copian, formerly known as the National Adult Literacy Database (NALD).
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Ottawa delivers on commitment to protect Canadian consumers from spam

James Moore, Minister of Industry, has announced that Canada's anti-spam law will come into force on July 1, 2014. "Our government does not believe Canadians should receive emails they do not want or did not ask to receive," he said. "These legislative measures will protect consumers from spam and other threats that lead to harassment, identity theft and fraud.
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PISA 2012 results: Which countries do best at reading, math and science?

How do countries compare for reading, math and science performance? The latest PISA results from the OECD show which countries are making the biggest improvements and which could do better. Canada is ranked at 13 out of 65 countries while France and the UK are at 25 and 26, respectively, and the US scored at 36.
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According to the findings of the OECD report, Canadian 15-year-olds placed well above the OECD average and remain among the top performers in mathematics. Of the 65 countries and economies participating in the assessment, only three OECD countries and six non-OECD countries and economies outperformed Canada.
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According to the results of a comprehensive set of international exams released Tuesday, America's teens have remained mid-pack among their peers worldwide and utterly stagnant in reading, math and science over the last 10 years.
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"PISA results reveal what is possible in education by showing what students in the highest-performing and most rapidly improving education systems can do. The findings allow policy makers around the world to gauge the knowledge and skills of students in their own countries in comparison with those in other countries, set policy targets against measurable goals achieved by other education systems, and learn from policies and practices applied elsewhere."
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Asian countries outperform the rest of the world in the OECD’s latest PISA survey, which evaluates the knowledge and skills of the world’s 15-year-olds. The OECD’s PISA 2012 tested more than 510,000 students in 65 countries and economies on math, reading and science. The main focus was on math as math proficiency is a strong predictor of positive outcomes for young adults.
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PISA: Canada’s fall in math-education ranking sets off alarm bells

Canada has dropped yet again in international math standings, falling out of the top 10 and raising alarm bells about the country’s future prosperity. Canada placed 13th overall in mathematics, down three spots from 2009 and six spots from 2006, in the latest results from the OECD’s Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
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Employers can now apply for Canada Summer Jobs 2014 funding, which will create thousands of job opportunities for students across the country. The employer application period has changed. Applications are now available at servicecanada.gc.ca/csj and must be submitted by January 31, 2014. These new timelines mean successful employers will be notified sooner and have more time to recruit students.
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In the spirit of the holiday season: Our Feature of the Month

Donna van Esch of Hamilton, Ontario, has written a heartwarming Christmas story with heart, humour and flair. With assistance from talented illustrators, she has been able to show how much can be accomplished by people with disabilities. Donna is a client of deaf/blind literacy specialist Katey Walker who works with CNIB in Hamilton.
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It's never too late to complete school in Latin America and the Caribbean. The region is home to 36 million adults who are unable to read or write however millions of adults in the region are returning to school to complete their studies and improve their prospects.
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New UNESCO report highlights the challenge of measuring literacy

There is still no common understanding of how to approach literacy as a lifelong learning process, particularly how to define and measure it. This is evident in the second Global Report on Adult Learning and Education (GRALE II), recently published by the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning.
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Ministers of Education and high-level representatives from 33 countries, as well as development partners, met during UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference in Paris recently to discuss the use of affordable technologies to accelerate progress in literacy.
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Oilsands offer fast career tracks for women (with video)

Working with guys isn't for everyone, says Marina Smith, a 28-year-old electrician. “There’s days over the last 10 years I wanted to quit, but at the end of the day, if you work with a good group of guys, they have your back over anything. They’re like family,” said Smith, born and raised in Fort McMurray and working “obscene hours” as an electrical co-ordinator at Suncor.
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Canadians are using social media to find jobs, says global study

Ignore that request from LinkedIn or Twitter at your peril — it might be a job offer, according to a new global study. Commissioned by U.S. human resources firm Kelly Services, the study found that 39 per cent of Canadians polled have been contacted through a social media website or network in the last year about a possible job opportunity.
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On January 27, 2014, Family Literacy Day will celebrate 16 years of learning together. The initiative, first celebrated by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999, has since been embraced by literacy and learning organizations such as schools and libraries in communities across Canada.
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Every night, a similar drama unfolds at dining tables across the country. There’s nagging, cajoling, not to mention tears. Homework is the bane of existence for students – and parents, too. Are the reams of assignments they bring home relevant to their education? Are they getting enough? Too little?
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New online tool to help Canadians plan and reach their financial goals

Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance), and Lucie Tedesco, Commissioner of the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada (FCAC), have unveiled the Financial Goal Calculator, a new tool that will help Canadians of all ages plan and reach their financial goals.
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Ottawa helps Canadians with disabilities get training they need for available jobs

The Government of Canada will provide the March of Dimes Canada with more than $7 million through the Opportunities Fund to help Canadians with disabilities across the country overcome barriers to employment and develop the skills needed to enter and participate in the job market.
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This not-for-profit initiative is being led by Mary Ann Baynton who is a recognized national expert on workplace mental health. It's Baynton's way of showing appreciation for the employers, union representatives, and managers across Canada who quietly support employees through all kinds of mental health concerns.
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Literacy secrets: Understanding how children learn to read

What are the best ways to promote literacy in children? As an early literacy specialist who taught parents and preschool teachers, Trelani Milburn answered that question many times.
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Canada Reads finalists, celebrity panellists announced

Host Jian Ghomeshi has announced the final contenders and celebrity panellists who will defend the books in the upcoming 2014 season of Canada Reads. For 2014, Canada Reads asked, "What is the one novel that could change Canada?" to find the book that changes readers' hearts, minds and lives, ultimately with the goal of inspiring social change.
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CNIB Library introduces Direct to Player

Starting in December 2013, the CNIB Library will be rolling out an easier and faster way to get DAISY audiobooks called Direct to Player. This new way of downloading will allow users to get DAISY audiobooks directly on their players, without having to use a computer or wait for a CD in the mail.
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High unemployment among young Montreal anglophones taking its toll: report

It’s getting tougher for young English-speaking residents of Montreal to find work, despite a generally high level of educational achievement, says a new report. Among English-speaking youth aged 15-to-24 living in the Montreal area, 42.8 per cent were not in the labour force.
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Developing, managing teams is essential for future competitiveness: EY survey

An overwhelming majority (84%) of business executives say their organization's ability to develop and manage teams will be essential for future competitiveness, according to a new EY survey. The firm, recently named one of Greater Toronto's Top Employers for 2014, takes that belief seriously in its own organization, too.
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From the corner office to the coffee shop, Canadians want to redefine 'workplace'

The workplace as we know it is shifting. According to the new Rogers Connected Workplace report conducted by Harris Decima, technologyconnectivity is a key driver. The report shows that over half of Canadians - including both Baby Boomers and Generation Y - think it's important to work with the latest technologies and to do so from anywhere, but they don't have access to resources or workplace policies to make this a reality.
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How PISA became the 'world's most important exam'

"Your education today is your economy tomorrow," says Andreas Schleicher from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, who has become one of the world's most influential figures in education. Next week, the state of today's education standards across the developed world will be revealed with the publication of the results of OECD's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA).
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TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund awards $1.1 million in grants to 15 organizations

Social and Enterprise Development Innovations (SEDI) announced that the TD Financial Literacy Grant Fund has awarded $1.1 million in grants to 15 community organizations in support of financial literacy projects. The Fund supports organizations that deliver financial literacy programming to people living in low income and economically disadvantaged circumstances across the country.
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Saskatchewan has highest job vacancy rate in Canada

Saskatchewan continues to have the highest job vacancy rate in Canada in the third quarter at four per cent, up from 3.9 per cent the previous quarter, according to the Canadian Federation of Independent Business (CFIB) help-wanted report.
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N.B. announces new apprenticeship incentive programs

Four new apprenticeship incentive programs designed to engage employers and support apprentices have been announced. Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour Minister Jody Carr made the announcement at the New Brunswick Apprenticeship Summit, in Moncton, hosted by the Canadian Apprenticeship Forum.
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Living in retirement: 'Why I never intended to stop working entirely'

"Everything I required to retire from my full time job was in place: the defined benefit pension I’d contributed to, coupled with CPP, would pay out 50 per cent of my teaching salary. On top of that, I would continue to teach on a part-time basis at the college. With that, I reasoned, my standard of living would not decrease substantially." - columnist
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