ENGAGING IDEAS - 06/22/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Can you tell the difference between factual and opinion statements in the news? Talk to a bus driver if you want to build a better bus system. How one hospital might be the model for reducing health care costs. And how does religion influence politics?


What Role Does Religion Play In American Politics? (NPR)
Rachel Martin talks to Cokie Roberts, who answers listener questions on how religion has influenced public policy in America. Continue Reading

Distinguishing Between Factual and Opinion Statements in the News (Pew)
The politically aware, digitally savvy and those more trusting of the news media fare better; Republicans and Democrats both influenced by political appeal of statements. Continue Reading

** And take the quiz!

Video- Money in Politics with Robert Reich and Debbie Dooley (Living Room Conversations)
A conversation co-hosted by Tea Party Patriots co-founder Debbie Dooley and President Clinton's fmr. Secretary of Labor and UC Berkeley professor Robert Reich. Continue Reading


Living Paycheck to Paycheck, and Hour to Hour (CityLab)
A new survey finds that service workers in Connecticut are hungry for more hours, and for more predictable schedules. Continue Reading

It's time to move beyond the word gap (Brookings)
In our recent article in Child Development we sought to test the claim of Hart and Risley of a 30-million-word gap between the amount of vocabulary heard by our nation's poorest and most affluent children. Continue Reading

Poor Americans Really Are in Despair (The Atlantic)
The wealth gap is also a happiness gap. Continue Reading


Not That Long Ago, New York City Really Was Run From a Smoke-filled Backroom (New York Magazine)
As late as 1989, an undemocratic entity called the Board of Estimate made the city's key decisions. When it was banned, a new political era was born. Continue Reading

Inclusive Growth and the Happiness Factor (Governing)
Tracking residents' feelings of well-being can guide cities toward policies that create opportunities for everybody. Continue Reading

To Build a Better Bus System, Ask a Driver (CityLab)
The people who know buses best have ideas about how to reform the system, according to a survey of 373 Brooklyn bus operators. Continue Reading

Higher Education/Workforce

The Costly Downside to Ditching AP (Inside Higher Ed)
While the program has its downsides, schools looking to give their students a more equal footing as college candidates shouldn't overlook the benefits, argues Ali Lincoln. Continue Reading

Harvard Rated Asian-American Applicants Lower on Personality Traits, Suit Says

(New York Times)
Harvard consistently rated Asian-American applicants lower than others on traits like "positive personality," likability, courage, kindness and being "widely respected," according to an analysis of more than 160,000 student records filed Friday by a group representing Asian-American students in a lawsuit against the university. Continue Reading

The College-Graduation Problem All States Have (The Atlantic)
Across the country, black and Latino adults are far less likely to hold a college degree than white adults. Can better support for colleges that serve a high percentage of minorities change that?

Continue Reading


How bad is teacher pay? Nearly 1 in 5 teachers works a second job, report says (Washington Post)
Across the country, 18 percent of teachers earn income outside the classroom, according to a National Center for Education Statistics report released Wednesday. The finding comes from a nationally representative survey of teachers conducted in the 2015-2016 school year. Continue Reading

Why Are Rich, White Girls Struggling in Math? (The Atlantic)
A new study reveals the extent to which children's geographic surroundings contribute to gender disparities in schools. Continue Reading

After five years, the Tennessee-run district isn't performing any better than low-performing schools receiving no intervention, research says (Chalkbeat)
After five years of trying to turn around low-performing schools, Tennessee's state-run schools aren't performing any better than schools that haven't received any intervention, according to new research released Tuesday. Continue Reading

Health care

Healthcare price transparency in U.S. not improved in recent years (Reuters)
Although government measures and healthcare industry initiatives have tried to make prices more accessible to U.S. patients recently, researchers say there has been little improvement. Continue Reading

Is This the Hospital That Will Finally Push the Expensive U.S. Health Care System to Innovate? (Harvard Business Review)
There was a time when the American steel industry seemed invincible. The American automotive industry looked rock-solid. American consumer electronics industry seemed untouchable. In every one of these cases, global competition changed the game forever. Will the same happen to health care in the United States? Continue Reading


Comment on this article.

Recent Blogs


Public Agenda knows what it takes to fuel progress on critical issues.
We need your support to keep things moving!

Join the Community


Take Action