ENGAGING IDEAS - 06/29/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Public shaming, the latest sign of political divide. What happens when local newspapers close? Civic engagement declines.


Gerrymandering Critics Suffer Twin Blows at the Supreme Court (Governing)
The Texas case involves racial gerrymandering, while the North Carolina case deals with partisan gerrymandering -- something the justices have hinted is unconstitutional but have yet to rule against.

The latest sign of political divide: Shaming and shunning public officials (Washington Post)
Anger and division in American politics are creating a rising phenomenon: the public shaming and shunning of political figures while they are going about their private lives.

How we know journalism is good for democracy (Local News Lab)
According to new data being released later this month, at least 900 communities across the United States have faced profound erosion in their access to local news and information since 2004.


The Minimum Wage Just Turned 80. Economists Don't Give It Enough Credit(Fortune)
At the deepest level, the minimum wage embodies justice. It speaks to the words of Martin Luther King Jr. that "all labor has dignity"-and so deserves a decent rate of pay..

'Squeezed' Explores Why America Is Getting Too Expensive For The Middle Class (NPR)
Author Alissa Quart writes that the costs of housing, child care, health care and college are outpacing salaries and threatening the livelihoods of middle class Americans.

An autopsy of the American dream (Vox)
Brill has been writing about class warfare in the US since 2011, and the picture he paints is as depressing as it is persuasive.


Re-released, Infogagement: Citizenship and Democracy in the Age of Connection (PACE)
So much about our lives, communities, and social compact is being re-envisioned. Yet here, in the intersection of information, technology, engagement, and public life, are seeds of current American upheaval.

Civic engagement declines when local newspapers shut down (Journalist's Resource)
Studies have found that areas with fewer local news outlets and declining coverage also have lower levels of civic engagement and voter turnout.

Smart Cities 3.0: 5G, Edge Computing and Citizen Engagement(State Tech Magazine)
With advanced technology and careful planning, city governments can alleviate growing problems seen in many of today's urban communities and become more sustainable for future generations.


AmeriCorps 'volunteers' in Denver schools were district employees, investigation finds (Chalkbeat)
The AmeriCorps program in Denver Public Schools has been terminated after an investigation found the district broke rules by recruiting its own employees to serve as volunteers, according to a report released Wednesday.

New education budget threatens dozens of low-performing Detroit schools with closure - again (Chalkbeat)
Dozens of struggling Detroit schools could face closure once again after Gov. Rick Snyder signed an education budget on Thursday that seeks to stiffen consequences for low-scoring schools.

A $1 billion Gates Foundation-backed education initiative failed to help students, according to a new report - here's what happened (Business Insider)
A seven-year, nearly $1 billion education initiative centered on improving teaching quality in low-income schools - and bankrolled in part by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation - largely failed to help students, according to a new report from nonprofit policy think tank RAND.

Higher Ed/Workforce

Vocational Programs Get Boost From Congress(Wall Street Journal)
Bill that provides incentives for technical training programs set to pass, in rare moment of bipartisan agreement.

Should America's Universities Stop Taking So Many International Students? (The Atlantic)
Critics say the country's higher-education institutions should focus on ensuring more Americans get four-year degrees, but college presidents highlight the benefits of global diversity on campus.

Health Care

Can Low-Intensity Care Solve High Health Care Costs? (The Upshot)
The shift toward cheaper settings like outpatient clinics and homes is a worthy goal, but new research is showing us where we shouldn't cut corners.

White House wants to cut this public health service corps by nearly 40 percent (Washington Post)
The White House is proposing to reduce by nearly 40 percent the uniformed public health professionals who deploy during disasters and disease outbreaks, monitor drug safety and provide health care in some of the nation's most remote and disadvantaged areas.

Fewer Americans are spending their final days in the hospital and more are dying at home(Los Angeles Times)
The American way of dying seems to have become less frantic, desperate and expensive. That's the upshot of a new study that finds that seniors insured by Medicare who died in 2015 were less likely to do so in a hospital and more likely to pass away in a home or other community setting than those who died in 2000.


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