ON THE AGENDA | DECEMBER 16TH, 2016 | Public Agenda

Engaging Ideas - 12/16

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: A look at equality and equity in deliberation. Where does higher education fit into a country where many feel left behind? New research on American views of the ACA, Medicare and the nation’s economy.


Words of Wisdom for Public Officials Trying to Connect With Citizens (Governing)
For one, realize that you have the "curse of knowledge."

How Public Engagement is Evolving (Government Technology)
The continuum of public engagement is bookended by social media and face-to-face consultations.

Equality and Equity in Deliberation: Introduction to the Special Issue (National Coalition for Dialogue & Deliberation)
The 11-page article, Equality and Equity in Deliberation: Introduction to the Special Issue (2016), was written by Carolyne Abdullah, Christopher Karpowitz, and Chad Raphael, and published in the Journal of Public Deliberation: Vol. 12: Iss. 2. The authors make the distinction within deliberation between equity and equality, and confront what this means to fairness and participants being able to fully engage in deliberation. The article examines different approaches to inclusion within deliberative theory and practice, as well as, the authors address some challenges and opportunities.


Globalization Doesn't Make as Much Sense as It Used To (The Atlantic)
Both major-candidates abandoned what had come to be the standard pro-globalization position of those vying for the nation’s highest office. Most economists and many think-tank researchers have bemoaned this development, insisting that globalization generally leaves most nations—and most people—better off. But a review of American economic history suggests that something fundamental has changed: Increased globalization may make less sense now than it did in the recent past.

In adults, income inequality drives apathy. In young people, it inspires them to make a difference. (New York University Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development)
The findings, published in the November issue of the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, contradict what research has shown among adults, which is that higher inequality results in lower civic engagement. “Despite income inequality having a plethora of negative consequences both for societies and individuals, we view these findings as a testament to the resiliency and optimism of youth,” said Erin Godfrey, assistant professor of applied psychology and the study’s lead author.

The Conservative Plan to Tackle Poverty (The Atlantic)
House Speaker Paul Ryan says that improving the lives of low-income Americans is a top priority. To do that, the GOP plans to help businesses first.

K-12 Education

It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education (The Upshot)
A study, published by the National Bureau of Economic Research in July, was conducted by the economists Julien Lafortune and Jesse Rothstein of the University of California at Berkeley and Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach of Northwestern. They examined student test scores in 26 states that have changed the way they fund schools since 1990, usually in response to a lawsuit like Connecticut’s, and compared them with those in 23 states that haven’t. While no two states did exactly the same thing, they all had the effect of increasing funding for the poorest districts.

Students Engage With Scientists at 'Cafes' (Education Week)
A growing number of 'teen science cafes' across the country offer a way for students to ask questions of real scientists in an out-of-school setting.

New Help for States That Want to Bolster Principals (Education Week)
As state officials set agendas for K-12 under the Every Student Succeeds Act, new resources are being released to help them figure out how to elevate school leadership.

How Investing In Preschool Beats The Stock Market, Hands Down (NPR)
A new study on high-quality early learning programs show a robust long-term return on investment. The most potent ingredients? Parental engagement and empathy. That's the crux of a new paper out today, The Life-Cycle Benefits of an Influential Early Childhood Program co-authored by Nobel Laureate James Heckman, a professor of economics at the University of Chicago and the director of the Center for the Economics of Human Development.

Higher Education & Workforce Development

Loan Counseling Program Pilot Participants Unveiled (Politico Morning Newsletter)
The Education Department yesterday announced that it will grant regulatory waivers to 51 colleges and universities so they can experiment with requiring additional loan counseling beyond what’s already mandated by federal law. The department says the pilot program will last “several years” and affect some 100,000 students — half of whom will receive the additional counseling. The remaining half will be the “control group” that only receives the counseling required under existing law. See the full list of the 35 community colleges, 14 public universities, one private nonprofit college and one for-profit school that were selected to participate here.

Bridging Higher Education’s Rhetoric and Reality in a Changing World (The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation)
From Dan Greenstein: "An increasingly anxious and angry nation vexed by widening gaps in educational and economic opportunity, and a growing sense that too many people are being left behind in today’s America. Where does higher education fit into this picture? I believe it starts with recognizing the gaps between our rhetoric and reality, the places where our aspirations for increasing equity and meeting the economy’s needs simply aren’t being realized."

Students Who Get Better Career Guidance Remember College More Fondly (NPR)
A new survey of 11,483 college graduates, for the Gallup-Purdue Index, found graduates who reported "very helpful" campus career-services experiences were 5.8 times more likely to say their university prepared them for life after college, 3.4 times more likely to recommend their school and 2.6 times more likely to donate to their alma mater than graduates who found their campus career help "not at all helpful."

Report: Choice Deserts: How Geography Limits the Potential Impact of Earnings Data on Higher Education (Urban Institute)
Kristin Blagg and Matthew Chingos’ analysis of data from Virginia indicates that only about a third of high school seniors can use earnings data to make a meaningful distinction between programs of study at two or more institutions.

Health Care

Views of the ACA, Medicare and the nation’s economy (Pew Research Center)
Dan Diamond of POLITICO’s Pulse writes: Nearly 90 percent of public are barely aware of GOP's Medicare reform plan. That's according to a new Pew survey, which found that only 12 percent of respondents had heard "a lot" about Republicans' proposal to change Medicare into a system where future beneficiaries would receive a credit to buy private insurance. Meanwhile, 39 percent of respondents said they had heard "a little" and 49 percent said they'd heard nothing or didn't know. Among respondents who'd heard about the proposal, 49 percent opposed it and 38 percent favored it. However, respondents who had heard a lot about the idea were much more likely to be opposed; 67 percent of those respondents opposed the proposal, while 32 percent were for it.

Editorial: Making 'more skin in the game' for patients work (Modern Healthcare)
Making informed decisions on complicated medical matters is beyond the skill set of most Americans—including college-educated Americans. Most people want choice about what oncologist they see when diagnosed with cancer. But few want the responsibility of choosing their chemotherapy regimen or want to make that choice based on price. There is an alternative.

Why Obamacare Enrollees Voted For Trump (Vox)
Sarah Kliff writes: I spent last week in southeastern Kentucky talking to Obamacare enrollees, all of whom supported Trump in the election, trying to understand how the health care law factored into their decisions. Many expressed frustration that Obamacare plans cost way too much, that premiums and deductibles had spiraled out of control. And part of their anger was wrapped up in the idea that other people were getting even better, even cheaper benefits — and those other people did not deserve the help.

CMS releases its Person and Family Engagement Strategy (CMS Blog)
At the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), we are working with numerous partners to transform our health care delivery system to one that delivers better health outcomes while spending dollars more wisely. In November of 2015, we updated the CMS Quality Strategy, incorporating the ongoing work to shift Medicare from paying for the number of services provided to paying for better outcomes for patients. We know that a key strategy to achieving better outcomes is to meaningfully engage patients as partners in decisions about their health care. Therefore, one of the six goals outlined in this strategy is: Strengthen person and family engagement as partners in care. Today, we are excited to announce the release of the CMS Person and Family Engagement Strategy, which we believe can lead to significant progress toward this important goal.

Should Big Data Pick Your Next Doctor? (Forbes)
Grand Rounds is focused on matching patients with the right doctors. The company uses a database of some 700,000 physicians, 96% of the U.S. total, and merges it with insurance-claims data and biographical information to grade doctors based on the quality of their work. The idea is to help people find a physician who will give them the right diagnosis the first time around and link patients with experts who can give second opinions. For individuals, it costs $600 to get a doctor recommendation and $7,500 to get a second opinion. Patients are more likely to trust Grand Rounds than their own insurers. When an insurance company denies a claim, employees just become angry; they're willing to believe Grand Rounds if its doctors provide the same reason. "There's nothing like an objective party that is different from the insurance plan," says Donna Sexton, Costco's director of employee benefits.


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