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Tackling The Tough Issues With Your Help

by Scott Bittle

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

It's been a tumultuous year for the country: economic hardship, political change, and a full slate of pressing problems that seem more intractable than ever. The challenges facing the nation have never been greater, and neither has the need to engage citizens in shaping their own future.

Public Agenda has been working all year to address that need, producing groundbreaking opinion research and citizen engagement programs around major domestic policy issues. Through those initiatives, and on the web and through social media, we've helped to educate and empower citizens by helping them consider the challenges facing our nation, including:

  • Insightful Research on Why Too Many Young People Don't Finish College: With Their Whole Lives Ahead of Them and Can I Get A Little Advice Here?, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, probe the reasons behind sometimes-surprising barriers young people face in getting a postsecondary diploma.

  • Engaging Communities to Improve Lagging High School Graduation Rates With funding from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Public Agenda supported the Carlsbad, New Mexico School District in its efforts to engage local parents, students and educators in increasing high school completion rates. We provided technical assistance and training for a local "Graduation Summit."

  • Survey On Math & Science Education in America Our study done with the support of the GE Foundation, in which we asked parents and the general public how well the schools are getting the job done, continues to be cited on a regular basis by educators and others concerned about the U.S. maintaining a competitive position in the world.

  • Bridging the Gap between Leaders and the Public on Climate, Energy and Science Through presentations to scientists, like this one made by Public Agenda co-founder Dan Yankelovich at the American Association for the Advancement of Science; books, and blog posts, we've encouraged some of the world's most prominent scientists to change the usual - and largely ineffective - model used to engage with the public on issues like climate change.

  • Helping the Public Make Fiscal Choices In the Choosing Our Fiscal Future initiative, in partnership with the National Academy of Public Administration, with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, we work to help citizens think through the options for dealing with our rising national debt.


As a subscriber of Public Agenda's Alert, we hope you will contribute to ensuring that Public Agenda will continue to meet these central goals in 2011. We greatly appreciate contributions of any size from people like you who help make our work possible. To make a secure, online donation, click here.

Or, if you prefer, you can also make a donation by mail: Public Agenda, 6 East 39th St., Floor 9, New York, N.Y. 10016, or by phone: contact Alex Trilling at 212-686-6610 ext. 20.

Thank you for your support of our work.



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