ENGAGING IDEAS - 06/08/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Bipartisan progress comes to Congress. Looking at the relationship between income inequality and crime. New initiative that turns community members into community ambassadors. A new strategy for desegregating America's schools. Exploring where to draw the line with free speech on college campuses. Looking at ways to decrease health care costs.


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


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


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


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


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