ON THE AGENDA | FEBRUARY 3RD, 2017 | Public Agenda

Engaging Ideas - 2/3/2017

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: Why it's so hard to set aside our mutual misconceptions. The difference between diversity and inclusion. What inequality in America really means. Big Data's role in predicting college success. And the next frontier in quality care measurement: how patients feel.


How Donald Trump Challenges What We Assume About Each Other (Indivisible, WNYC)
Kerri Miller hosts a national conversation with Republican strategist Reed Galen and Metro State University anthropologist and social scientist Jose Santos about why it's so hard to set aside our mutual misconceptions.

Red State, Blue City (The Atlantic)
The United States is coming to resemble two countries, one rural and one urban. What happens when they go to war?


Diversity is different from inclusion, and one doesn’t work without the other. (Harvard Business Review)
Laura Sherbin and Ripa Rashid write: In the context of the workplace, diversity equals representation. Without inclusion, however, the crucial connections that attract diverse talent, encourage their participation, foster innovation, and lead to business growth won’t happen.

Persuasion in a “Post-Truth” World (Stanford Social Innovation Review)
To make progress on ideologically or politically sticky issues, social sector organizations must reshape their messaging to do more than cite facts; they must use smart storytelling and craft solutions that don’t require those they want to reach to sacrifice their values.


Visualizing the Shifting Income Distribution of American Jobs (Visual Capitalist)
There’s a very wide range of incomes out there, even within a particular type of industry. Some people can barely make ends meet, and others make millions of dollars more. These charts show a concerning shift towards greater income inequality.

Inequality in America: More than just a question of where to live and what to study (Deseret News)
It is one thing to cite statistics about the past. It is another to discuss the chances a person has to reach the top fifth in income distribution starting from the bottom fifth.

How Tech Policy Can Mitigate Income Inequality (Forbes)
While trade and foreign agents received most of the blame during the presidential campaign, technological developments can have an even larger impact on income inequality.

K-12 Education

What Are School Vouchers and How Do They Work? (Education Week)
Today nearly 30 states have vouchers or some closely related form of private school choice, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. What follows is an overview of the big trends, research data, and concerns associated with school vouchers. Links to additional resources are included for those who would like to dig deeper.

Higher Education & Workforce Development

A surprising group is taking over college campuses (MarketWatch)
The number of college students with kids of their own grew by more than 1 million, or 30%, between 2004 and 2012, according to a report released Monday by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank focused on women’s economic issues.

Hope and Denial Are Not Strategies (Inside Higher Ed)
In the end, institutions cannot predicate their planning on the hope that, in time, external realities will change and they will once again regain their previous stability. Nor can they deny external realities and their own circumstances.

Will You Graduate? Ask Big Data (The New York Times)
At Georgia State’s nursing school, the faculty used to believe that students who got a poor grade in “Conceptual Foundations of Nursing” probably wouldn’t go on to graduation. So they were surprised, after an analysis of student records stretching back a decade, to discover what really made a difference for nursing students: their performance in introductory math.

Health Care

The next frontier in quality care measurement: How patients feel (Modern Healthcare)
The answer varies from patient to patient, said Baumhauer, an orthopedic surgeon at the University of Rochester (N.Y.) Medical Center. A highly useful tool for determining the most effective treatment is a patient survey from Promis, or Patient-Reported Outcomes Measurement Information System, composed of questions about the patient's quality of life and ability to function.

Delivery system overcomes challenges in achieving price transparency (Health Data Management)
As healthcare organizations consider ways to make pricing more transparent for consumers, many are finding it’s easier said than done. INTEGRIS Health was one of the nation’s first health systems to adopt a price-estimate tool that gives patients a quote on their expected out-of-pocket costs. One reason the Oklahoma-based network launched the tool back in 2010 was to save patients from medical billing surprises. “One of the worst phone calls I get is from a patient who has a big liability and says, ‘If I had only known it was going to cost this much, there is no way I would have had this procedure done,’ ” says Amber Harris, administrative director for patient access.

Unlikely pair pushes for transparency in medical pricing in Colorado (9News Denver)
She’s a socially conscious liberal. He’s a fiscally responsible conservative. They might not agree on much this legislative session, but right now Senator Irene Aguilar (D-Denver) and Senator Kevin Lundberg (R-Bethoud) agree on this: health care providers need to do more to provide transparency of cost to patients. It’s why they’ve introduced Senate Bill 17-065, otherwise known as the “Transparency in Health Care Prices Act.”


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