ENGAGING IDEAS - 08/24/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Tech giants the new defenders of democracy. Elizabeth Warren's new plan to fight inequality. One city's new platform meant to foster public engagement. A new strategy to increase education quality in schools. Exploring why some students are dropping out of college before they even get there. Movement on price transparency efforts continue.


Elections 2018: Is misinformation killing democracy? (ZDNET)
We all create a bit of propaganda and misinformation everyday. Is it all that surprising we're so primed to fall for social networking misinformation campaigns? Continue Reading

OPINION: Breaking Norms Will Renew Democracy, Not Ruin It (New York Times)
Most of President Trump's alleged transgressions offend against the etiquette of modern liberal governance, not the Constitution. Continue Reading

Tech Giants are Becoming Defenders of Democracy. Now What? (Wired)
ON TUESDAY, A trifecta of tech companies announced that they had thwarted what appear to be significant cyberattacks from Russia and Iran. Continue Reading


Many Data Sets Show High U.S. Inequality (Wall Street Journal)
A variety of measurement angles show that economic inequalities are higher in the U.S. than in most other OECD countries. Continue Reading

Elizabeth Warren's revolutionary plan to reduce income inequality (Washington Post)
Why increased corporate responsibility could diminish the need for government redistribution. Continue Reading

OPINION: Why Prosperity Has Increased but Happiness Has Not (New York Times)
Our well-being is local and relative - if you live in a struggling area and your status is slipping, even if you are relatively comfortable, you are probably at least a bit miserable. Continue Reading


City launches new public engagement platform (Mercer Island Reporter)
The City is launching this new platform to make it easier for residents and business owners to engage with City issues at a time and place that is most convenient for them. Continue Reading

What's New in Civic Tech: South Bend, Ind., Launches New Digital Inclusion Center (Government Technology)
South Bend, Ind., has launched a new digital inclusion center through a collaboration between the city, St. Joseph County Library and St. Joe Valley Metronet, officials announced in a press release. Continue Reading

LA County OKs Open-Source Election System (Government Technology)
California Secretary of State Alex Padilla's office has certified the first open-source, publicly owned election technology for use in the county. Continue Reading


How Do You Get Better Schools? Take the State to Court, More Advocates Say (New York Times)
The legal complaints have different areas of focus - from school funding to segregation to literacy - but all of them argue that the states are violating their constitutions by denying children a quality education. Continue Reading

Students are dropping out of college before even starting. Here's how educators are trying to stop the trend. (Washington Post)
Every spring, thousands of high school seniors in the District make plans to go to college. Every summer, many of their ambitions get shelved as graduates miss registration deadlines, overlook the fine print in financial aid packages or shift course because of worries about jobs and money. The phenomenon known as "summer melt," which sidetracks an estimated 10 percent or more of college plans nationwide, hits teenagers from low-income families harder than others. Continue Reading

Union chief says de Blasio's plan to scrap the SHSAT is going nowhere in Albany (Chalkbeat)
The head of New York City's teachers union offered a bleak assessment of Mayor Bill de Blasio's plan to integrate the city's specialized high schools Thursday, saying it likely won't come to fruition any time soon and the plan's rollout was "fraught with mistakes." Continue Reading

Higher Ed/Workforce

Why some new higher education reforms may hurt students rather than help (Washington Post)
Colleges and universities have been trying to find ways to provide wider and easier access to what they have to offer - or, at least, that is what many say they are trying to do. Continue Reading

Tuition Insurance Catches On as Costs Rise, Students Struggle to Adjust (Wall Street Journal)
'The cost of college is driving this,' said an official with one firm selling the policies. 'Families cannot afford the loss of $30,000.' Continue Reading

Welcome Students, Let's Talk About Confederate Statues (Wall Street Journal)
In the South, colleges grapple with historical markers; Silent Sam falls at UNC Continue Reading

Health Care

Democratic lawmakers say Medicaid work requirements could force families off coverage (Fierce Healthcare)
Work requirement programs have become a centerpiece of the Trump administration's plans for Medicaid, but two Democratic lawmakers are urging HHS and CMS to consider how the new rules will affect low-income families. Continue Reading

Trump's Plan on Drug-Pricing Transparency Takes Step Forward (Bloomberg)
White House staff are reviewing a proposal that may require pharmaceutical companies to be more transparent about their pricing, a key piece of President Donald Trump's plan to lower drug costs. Continue Reading

The case for price transparency: Why it pays to empower patient choice (Becker's Hospital Review)
As consumers become more responsible for footing their own healthcare bills, they have an urgent need to know upfront costs associated with their medical needs. While enabling a more transparent system poses risks to both patients and providers, consumers are ready for a more open environment when it comes to healthcare pricing. Continue Reading


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