ENGAGING IDEAS - 07/20/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Challenging reporters to cover controversial issues differently. Rising income inequality in the Asian community. Including voices from the community in Houston development projects. How food deliveries can change school lunch. A look at how more Americans are finding it more difficult to afford health care than a year ago.


Complicating the Narratives (The Whole Story)
What if journalists covered controversial issues differently - based on how humans actually behave when they are polarized and suspicious? Continue Reading

FBI Director Says Russia Still Seeking To Interfere In U.S. Democracy (NPR)
FBI Director Christopher Wray said Wednesday that he stands by the U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 election, and he warned that the Kremlin has not stopped trying to undermine American democracy. Continue Reading

America's Factory Towns, Once Solidly Blue, Are Now a GOP Haven (Washington Post)
A generation ago, Democrats represented much of the country's manufacturing base. Now, it's in GOP hands, a swing remaking both parties. Continue Reading


Income Inequality in the U.S. Is Rising Most Rapidly Among Asians (Pew)
Asians displace blacks as the most economically divided group in the U.S. Continue Reading

The U.S. Does Poorly On Yet Another Metric of Economic Mobility (Forbes)
A new report from the World Bank tracks 148 countries, with 96 percent of the world's population, to answer the age-old question of how much economic opportunity and upward economic mobility a country really offers its citizens. Continue Reading


Inside the Creation of New York City's New Affordable Housing Design Guidelines (Pacific Standard)
A public design commission has created a guide that instructs developers in how to create more coherent design for housing projects across the city. Continue Reading

National Day of Civic Hacking (Code for America)
On August 11th, 2018, join the Code for America Brigades for a nationwide day of action that brings together civic leaders, local governments, and community organizations to tackle some of our toughest challenges. Continue Reading

Houston's Third Ward Residents Want More Say over Development (Next City)
"Because we don't have zoning and we don't have many regulatory processes, the community land trust means that we at least have an opportunity to determine who benefits from development in our community." Continue Reading


How food deliveries could change lunchtime at school (Christian Science Monitor)
Across the country, more food catering programs are making it easier for students to enjoy healthy lunches at school and easing the stress of packing lunches on parents by providing alternatives to what is offered at the cafeteria. Continue Reading

The Private-School Persuasion of the Supreme Court (The Atlantic)
Brett Kavanaugh, Trump's latest nominee for the bench, graduated from a Catholic high school. So did four of the current Justices. Continue Reading

Indiana spends $3M on scholarships for future teachers, but few students of color win them (Chalkbeat)
For the second year in a row, very few students of color received a prestigious Indiana scholarship designed to attract new teachers. Out of 200 high school seniors and current college students who received the Next Generation Hoosier Educators Scholarship this year, only five come from under-represented minority groups, the Indiana Commission for Higher Education said. Continue Reading

Higher Ed/Workforce

To Recruit Students, Colleges Turn to Corporate-Marketing Playbook (Wall Street Journal)
Schools borrow retailers' approach in analyzing consumer databases; triggering online ads. Continue Reading

Perpetuating Inequity Despite Higher Education Expansion (Inside Higher Ed)
Responding to the complex realities behind equity challenges is not especially easy in the context of a young, rapidly 'massifying', and under-resourced system. Continue Reading

Some Colleges Cautiously Embrace Wikipedia (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Academics have traditionally distrusted Wikipedia, citing the inaccuracies that arise from its communally edited design and lamenting students' tendency to sometimes plagiarize assignments from it. Now, Davis said, higher education and Wikipedia don't seem like such strange bedfellows. At conferences these days, "everyone's like, 'Oh, Wikipedia, of course you guys are here.'" Continue Reading

Health Care

Maryland health regulator expands hospital price transparency efforts (Fierce Healthcare)
The Maryland Health Care Commission is expanding its price transparency initiative with tools aimed at getting consumers pushing for information about cost and quality directly from hospitals and doctors. Continue Reading

The Astonishingly High Administrative Costs of U.S. Health Care (The Upshot)
Hidden from view: The complexity of the system comes with costs that aren't obvious but that we all pay. Continue Reading

Poll: Half of Americans find health care harder to afford this year (The Hill)
Nearly half of respondents in a new poll said they are now finding it more difficult to afford health care than they were a year ago, according to a poll released Thursday. Continue Reading


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