Engaging Ideas - 11/10/2017

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Examining Silicon Valley’s responsibility to prioritize American national interests over their neutrality. A glimpse of the unequal wealth distribution in the world. Moving past the “get out the vote” campaign once a year. Telling results from one teacher survey - they’re more stressed than average people. How the Republican tax plan can hurt grad students and research. The changing landscape of the health industry.


Why Congress Has Done Nothing on Guns (The Atlantic)
In the weeks after Representative Charlie Dent signed on to legislation that would have banned bump stocks following the massacre in Las Vegas, the moderate Pennsylvania Republican was “besieged” by responses from his constituents. These were not thank-you calls.

Is it time for Facebook, Twitter, and Google to become more American? (Quartz)
This week, US Congress members accused Facebook, Twitter, and Google of being everything from hapless to stupid in a series of public hearings in Washington D.C.

Tuesday’s election proves it: American politics are a disaster (Washington Post)
It might be comforting to believe that Tuesday’s election can be explained as a political primal scream aimed at President Trump and his dangerous excesses. Unfortunately, that pipe dream ignores the more profound meaning of this week’s election results: The shellacking Republicans took proves again just how unmoored American politics has become in the 21st century.


Charlotte, North Carolina: A City with One of the Lowest Economic Mobility Rates in the Nation (The Davidsonian)
In 2013, Harvard University, Stanford University, and the University of California- Berkeley released findings from their joint Equality of Opportunity Project. The project looked at causes and potential solutions for cases of intergenerational poverty and inequality throughout the United States. Charlotte, Davidson’s most prominent urban neighbor, did not fare well in the study.

Our renter's republic is broken: one in five tenants can't pay the rent (The Guardian)
In the waning days of white-picket-fence America, the burgeoning tenant class is faring worse than ever before. Rents are rising faster than wages and the math is catching up to us. Tenants who spend more than a third of their income on rent doubled from 24% in 1960 to 48% in 2015.

The Paradise Papers Are Just a Glimpse at the Unreal Wealth Gap (Vice)
A new report on spiraling inequality in America is even more concerning given what the Paradise Papers showed us about how good rich people are at hiding money.


Opinion: Looking past 'get out the vote' (Crain's New York)
More New Yorkers watched the World Series than voted in yesterday’s election. Advocates will say we need to make voting easier, and that’s true. But what if an important and overlooked part of increasing voter turnout actually involves increasing civic participation the other 364 days per year?

How Can Government Deliver an Amazon-esque Service Experience to Constituents? (Government Technology)
States at the forefront of developing a unified, customer-centric digital government experience share some of their top insights.

How the people of Ithaca will help decide next year's budget (Ithaca.com)
Starting next year, residents of the city’s Second Ward will have the ability to participate in a concept called “The People’s Budget,” a participatory budgeting program that will allow a neighborhood true democratic control of a $10,000 piece of the city’s budget.


Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Jumps Into Tech Training, and K-12 Curriculum (EdWeek MarketBrief)
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has launched a company focused on giving people online training for technology jobs—a project that is meant to encourage K-12 students to enter the field, too.

Educators Are More Stressed at Work Than Average People, Survey Finds (Education Week)
Teachers are feeling especially stressed, disrespected, and less enthusiastic about their jobs, a new survey has found. The survey, released by the American Federation of Teachers and the advocacy group Badass Teachers Association on Monday, included responses from about 5,000 educators. It follows a 2015 survey on educator stress—and finds that stress levels have grown and mental health has declined for this group in the past two years.

In more than 200 school districts, at least 1 in 10 students attends a charter (Chalkbeat)
Charter school enrollment is continuing to tick upward in cities across the country. And in 208 districts, at least 10 percent of public-school students attended a charter last school year.

Higher Ed/Workforce

How the GOP Tax Plan Could Hurt Graduate Students — and American Research (The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Under current law, college employees are allowed to get a break on tuition without counting that break as taxable income. Graduate students who work as research or teaching assistants are among the chief beneficiaries of that policy. But the bill released last week recommends that tuition waivers be counted as income and be subject to taxes. If that provision becomes law, graduate students could find themselves paying taxes on a far greater amount of money than they actually receive in paychecks from their college.

Part-Time Students Deserve More Attention (Real Clear Education)
Nearly four in ten college students are studying part-time, and most of them will never graduate. It’s a true scandal, one that much of the higher education world has managed to ignore.

When College Classrooms Become Ideologically Segregated, Everyone Suffers (NBC News)
College classrooms, one of the few spaces capable of encouraging civil disagreement, are becoming partisan islands.

Health Care

A nation of McHospitals? (Politico)
Why the health landscape might change more than we imagine.

Health Care Professionals’ Quality of Life is Critical to Hospital Performance, Industry Leaders Say (US News & World Report)
Health industry leaders participated in a panel Thursday at U.S. News' Healthcare of Tomorrow Conference to discuss the importance of promoting health care providers' well-being. By advancing their employees' quality of life, hospitals can enable them to better serve their communities.

Doctors face barriers in move to value-based care under MACRA, congressional committee told (Fierce Healthcare)
Physicians continue to face barriers and need support as they move to new payment models under MACRA, physician leaders told a congressional committee this morning.


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