ENGAGING IDEAS – 06/15/2018


Democracy

Maine Tests a New Way of Voting, and Opts to Keep It (Governing)
On Tuesday, the state became the first to use ranked-choice voting, a system that could prevent "spoiler" candidates from causing havoc in crowded races. Continue Reading

Poll Finds Most Parents and Kids Agree on Trump, Economy (US News & World Report)
A survey conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research and MTV finds that parents and their kids agree about a lot of things when it comes to politics. Continue Reading

California? Or Cali-Three-Nia? Proposal To Split State Will Be On Ballot In November (NPR)
A proposal to divide California into three separate states will appear on the ballot in November, after an idiosyncratic, years-long quest by a venture capitalist. Continue Reading


Opportunity/Inequality

What To Do About the Rise of Mega-Regions (CityLab)
We need to make urbanism more inclusive and democratic if we want to realize a better future, and that means devolving power from the dysfunctional nation-state to cities and neighborhoods. Continue Reading

Building a strong middle class in the American Mountain West (Brookings)
In a new paper for Brookings Mountain West, "Upward Mobility in the American Mountain West," Mr. Reeves digs into some of the data on mobility, education, and class in the major cities and institutions of the region. Continue Reading

A radical plan to fix inequality is making waves with its many moral dilemmas (Quartz)
What if everything was for sale? What if you had to name a price for everything you owned and be willing to sell it if a buyer matched your offer? And you couldn't cheat by overestimating the price to keep your property because your taxes would be based on the value you chose. It's enough to make even the most ardent believers in free markets squirm a little. Continue Reading


Engagement

Digital Equity Lab Launches in NYC (Government Technology)
The effort, based out of The New School, is led by Maya Wiley and addresses equitable models of digital access, digital equity frameworks for online issues, and the ways that smart cities create both benefits and risks for vulnerable communities. Continue Reading

The Future of Civic Engagement (Government Executive)
From its earliest days, American democracy has been rooted in vigorous civic engagement. More recently, there have been fears that increasing distrust in institutions will lead to large scale disengagement in civic life. Continue Reading

Community Engagement in Public Schools and How Not to Do It (Nonprofit Quarterly)
Community engagement provides the opportunity to open dialogue and hear different voices. Especially if you're a governmental entity, bureaucratic invitations and biased polling is no way to engender trust in the process. Continue Reading


Higher Education/Workforce

At Christian Colleges, a Collision of Gay Rights and Traditional Values (New York Times)
Christian colleges are also grappling with a giant generational rift over what it means to be Christian - from students' more accepting views of L.G.B.T.Q. individuals and the conviction that faith demands social justice activism, to their comfort with using social media to organize a counter movement. Continue Reading

Colleges and State Laws Are Clamping Down on Fraternities (New York Times)
There has been at least one school-related hazing death each year in the United States since 1961, according to Hank Nuwer, a Franklin College journalism professor and the author of multiple books on hazing. Most, but not all, have occurred during fraternity initiation events. Continue Reading

A New Spelling Champion; And Walmart Adds A College Option For Workers (Southern California Public Radio)
One dollar per day is all that Walmart employees will need to pay to take online classes towards a college degree. The company announced this week it will cover the rest - including books and other fees. Continue Reading


K-12

Dividing World History (Inside Higher Ed)
Another AP history exam comes under scrutiny, with critics saying a proposed rewrite of the AP World History exam, focusing on events after 1450, is too Eurocentric. Continue Reading

As caregivers struggle to make ends meet, 28,000 Detroit children go without care (Chalkbeat)
The financial demands of providing early education in Michigan have contributed to Detroit's status as a "child care desert," a place where access to quality early learning is limited or unavailable. The city is short licensed or registered early child care and education slots for at least 28,000 children ages birth to 5, according to IFF, a nonprofit community development financial institution. Continue Reading

Parkland students to travel cross-country to register young voters (Christian Science Monitor)
Students will also be advocating for gun control measures such as tighter regulation, universal background checks, and training for individuals who own an AR-15 and other semi-automatic riffles. Continue Reading


Health care

More independent rural hospitals will seek some type of affiliation with a larger hospital. (Modern Healthcare)
More than 40% of the country's rural hospitals that have been operating in the red as they try to manage care for a declining population that is often older, sicker and poorer than their urban counterparts. Continue Reading

NJ Passes Healthcare Price Transparency Law to Stop Surprise Bills (RevCycle Intelligence)
Providers in New Jersey must give patients information on out-of-network services and publicly post their standard charges under a new healthcare price transparency law. Continue Reading

Would a Single-Payer System Require Painful Sacrifices From Doctors? (New York Times)
It is true that there clearly would be constraints on the income of doctors and other service providers in a single-payer system, and many of them would surely feel aggrieved by any attempt to reduce their salaries. But cutting their pay directly probably wouldn't happen, nor would it make sense. Continue Reading

ENGAGING IDEAS – 06/08/2018


Democracy

A How-To Guide for Politics (New York Times)
American politics today is rife with cynicism. Many Americans don't vote. Others do, while lamenting polarization in Congress and distrusting the two major political parties. Continue Reading

Unexpectedly, Congress has begun to make bipartisan progress (The Hill)
At the end of March, pundits in Washington believed the legislative process was sputtering to a halt. As The Associated Press reported: "With passage of an enormous budget bill, the GOP-controlled Congress all but wrapped up its legislating for the year." But then something happened. Continue Reading

Please be polite: civility is the key to winning midterm elections in 2018 (USA Today)
In a time with so much political vitriol, candidates will win by being polite but firm. Without civility, our leaders cannot work together to govern. Continue Reading


Opportunity/Inequality

Seven reasons to worry about the American middle class (Brookings)
We have already wrestled with how we define this group, considered its changing racial composition, and called upon experts to outline major policies geared toward improving its fate. But why all of this attention? Here are seven of the reasons we are worried about the American middle class. Continue Reading

The stark relationship between income inequality and crime (The Economist)
Both theory and data suggest that if you've got it, don't flaunt it. Continue Reading

American Job Openings Now Outnumber the Jobless (Wall Street Journal)
U.S. job openings rose to 6.7 million at the end of April, compared with the 6.3 million Americans who were unemployed. Continue Reading


Engagement

Mapping Tool Takes Regional View of New York City Tri-State Area (Government Technology)
The Metro Region Explorer has revealed shifts in demographics, housing and workforce, which could impact the region's transit needs and overall economy. Continue Reading

City restarts program for new community ambassadors (WTOL)
Engage Toledo started an ambassador training program Wednesday night.

The initiative was launched last year to inspire civic engagement and participation. Continue Reading

Civic Innovation Day poses new challenges for local technologists, urbanists (Charlottesville Tomorrow)
Technology professionals, university students and other community members worked together on projects to improve local quality of life at the second annual Charlottesville Civic Innovation Day. Continue Reading


K-12

In the Age of Trump, Civics Courses Make a Comeback (New York Times)
For those teaching civics and civic engagement, the goal isn't to get students to finish one project, but to make community involvement a habit - and one type of action often does lead to another. Continue Reading

Can lowering class size help integrate schools? Maybe, according to new research (Chalkbeat)
A recent study suggests a concrete way that schools can attract and keep white families, while also boosting student achievement: lower class sizes. That approach drew in tens of thousands of students from California's private schools into the public system, according to the research. Continue Reading

D.C. passes emergency law to allow chronically absent students to graduate (Washington Post)
High school seniors who missed more than six weeks of class would still receive their diplomas under an emergency measure approved by the D.C. Council, even as the city remains mired in a graduation scandal. Continue Reading


Higher Ed/Workforce

Another big-name university drops SAT/ACT essay requirement (Washington Post)
On Friday, Yale University said applicants will no longer be required to submit an essay score from the SAT or the ACT. The policy will take effect for rising high school seniors who seek to enter the university's Class of 2023. Yale's action comes weeks after Harvard University and Dartmouth College dropped the requirement. Continue Reading

Colleges Grapple With Where - or Whether - to Draw the Line on Free Speech (New York Times)
Higher education is struggling to balance the demand by some students to be protected from offensive speech while guaranteeing freedom of speech to others. Continue Reading

The Confusing Information Colleges Provide Students About Financial Aid (The Atlantic)
Families need clarity when it comes to figuring out how much higher education is going to cost them. Unfortunately, that's not what they're getting. Continue Reading


Health Care

Sharing health costs with faith: Ministries offer coverage, savings as an alternative to traditional insurance (Duluth News Tribune)
"We're not a health insurance company, but it does meet the requirements to have some sort of health care solution," Gardner said.Continue Reading

Ideas to Make Health Care Affordable Again (Senator Bill Cassidy)
Price transparency mandates are catching on. But they may codify that which hasn't worked all that well so far. Continue Reading

If You Make Them Build It, They Still May Not Come (Managed Care Magazine)
Price transparency mandates are catching on. But they may codify that which hasn't worked all that well so far. Continue Reading