ENGAGING IDEAS - 12/07/2018

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: A look at how journalists can provide solutions to the problems their work unveils. A new minimum wage for Uber and Lyft drivers. How public engagement could have eased Amazonís arrival to New York City and Virgina.


How journalists can be both watchdog and guide dog (Solutions Journalism)
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant." It's a well-known saying in journalism. Louis Brandeis first made the statement in a 1913 article for Harper's Weekly. The idea is simple, and it's a tenet of journalism that is still upheld today: shed light on wrongdoing, and that exposure will be enough to ignite transformation. It's the reason journalists call themselves watchdogs. Their job is to locate and reveal misbehavior. But what happens next? How do communities figure out what to do about a problem once it's been spotlighted? Continue Reading

How democracies slide into authoritarianism (Washington Post)
Part political philosophy, part literary criticism and part a personal memoir, "The Captive Mind" sought to "create afresh the stages by which the mind gives way to compulsion from without, and to trace the road along which men in people's democracies are led to orthodoxy." Continue Reading

Opinion: WhatsApp skewed Brazilian election, showing social media's danger to democracy (PBS.org)
Using WhatsApp, a Facebook-owned messaging service, Bolsonaro supporters delivered an onslaught of daily misinformation straight to millions of Brazilians' phones. They included doctored photos portraying senior Workers Party members celebrating with Communist Fidel Castro after the Cuban Revolution, audio clips manipulated to misrepresent Haddad's policies and fake "fact-checks" discrediting authentic news stories. Continue Reading


Americans Value Equality at Work More Than Equality at Home (The Upshot)
A study finds broad support for gender equality, but a disparity in people's views of gender roles in public and private. Continue Reading

Why a push for a living wage for congressional staffers should resonate in hyper-expensive D.C. (Washington Post)
On Twitter, Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pointed out that she wasn't alone and that many Hill employees had to work second jobs to afford to live in the city. "Time to walk the walk," she wrote. "Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them." Continue Reading

NYC Establishes First Ever Minimum Wage For Uber & Lyft Drivers (Gothamist)
Tens of thousands of drivers who work for app-based companies in New York City are set to receive a raise, after the Taxi and Limousine Commission voted on Tuesday to enact a minimum pay standard for the independent contract workers. The move makes New York the first city to establish pay regulations for the ride-hailing giants, and comes on the heels of a first-of-its-kind cap on app-based cars passed by City Council. Continue Reading


Elevating Community Authority in Collective Impact (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
To achieve greater equity, we must yield to the decision-making authority of the communities we seek to help. StrivePartnership and other partnerships in the StriveTogether national network are enhancing collective impact to integrate and elevate the expertise and authority of those closest to the problems we're trying to solve. Continue Reading

PA Mention - Engaging the public would have eased Amazon's arrival-and it still can (Crain's New York)
Engaging people in decisions about the future of their community leads to smarter, more broadly supported policies, and when that engagement is sustained it leads to more economic success. Continue Reading


The Charter-School Teachers' Strike in Chicago Was 'Inevitable' (The Atlantic)
The move could signal a shift in the long, contentious relationship between teachers' unions and these privately run schools. Continue Reading

Do Children Get a Subpar Education in Yeshivas? New York Says It Will Finally Find Out (New York Times)
The city's yeshiva probe began in 2015, after Mr. Moster's group filed a complaint claiming that scores of students - boys, in particular - graduate from ultra-Orthodox yeshivas unprepared for work or higher education, with little exposure to nonreligious classes like science and history. Instead, some yeshiva graduates say, students spend most school days studying Jewish texts. Younger boys sometimes attend about 90 minutes of nonreligious classes at the end of the day, a city report found. Continue Reading

School Spending Is Up, and Other Key Takeaways From Latest Federal Data (Edweek)
Despite a growing chorus of teachers and public school advocates complaining about America's spending on its public schools, spending actually increased 2.9 percent between fiscal year 2015 and 2016, according to a report released Thursday by the National Center for Education Statistics. Continue Reading

Higher Ed/Workforce

Switching majors is adding time and tuition to the already high cost of college (Hechinger Report)
Despite the spiraling cost of the investment, some students commit to it without a plan. Continue Reading

For-Profit College Chain Closes, Shutting Out Nearly 20,000 Students (New York Times)
The for-profit college chain Education Corporation of America said this week that it would shut down nearly all of its schools, leaving almost 20,000 students with partially completed degrees and credits that many other schools will not accept. Continue Reading

How colleges are preparing students for jobs that don't exist yet (PBS)
Eighty-five percent of the jobs that today's students will do in 2030 don't exist yet, the Institute for the Future has predicted. Continue Reading

Health Care

NYC Health & Hospitals projects $362M loss from Trump-proposed changes to public charge rule (Modern Healthcare)
New York City Health + Hospitals said Wednesday it could see a loss of up to $362 million in the first year alone if proposed changes to the public charge rules are enacted. Continue Reading

Patient portals still largely unused, Health Affairs finds

(Healthcare Dive)
Patient portals can be important tools for increasing patient interaction with personal health data and fostering communication with providers, but only if patients are willing to use them. In a sample of U.S. adults, 63% reported not using a portal in the past year, a new Health Affairs study shows. Continue Reading

Physician fee schedule reform needed to bridge primary-care gap (Modern Healthcare)
Reforming the physician fee schedule would help close the income gap that has led to a shortage of primary-care physicians, according to a new paper. Continue Reading


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