ON THE AGENDA | JUNE 24TH, 2016 | Public Agenda

Engaging Ideas - 6/24

A collection of recent stories and reports that sparked consideration on ways to make progress on divisive issues.

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues including democracy, public engagement, education, health care and urban housing.


Dot-Govs Get a Much-Needed Facelift (Governing)
Several big cities are decluttering and redesigning their government websites to make them easier to use.

How to spend tax money? Ask the taxpayers! (Charlotte Observer)
Increasing citizen engagement and connection between government and residents is clearly something we should strive for, say Christopher Gergen, CEO of Forward Impact and a fellow in Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Duke University and Stephen Martin, deputy chief of staff at the nonprofit Center for Creative Leadership in Greensboro.


AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute Trains Fellows in Creating Dialogue on Climate Change (AAAS)
Climate scientists chosen to participate in public-engagement training at the first-ever AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute (LLI) spoke with reporters from National Public Radio, ClimateWire, and Science, and they took part in a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session that generated more than 3,000 “upvotes” from online followers. During a 6-10 June training program, the 15 AAAS Leshner Leadership Institute fellows also engaged in interactive sessions on the science of science communication, public attitudes about climate change, how Americans consume science news, best practices in leveraging social media, and the fundamentals of engaging policymakers in science-based dialogue. As part of their weeklong orientation, they worked with a media trainer and each other to develop and refine key messages about their climate change research, and they began to develop public-engagement plans to be implemented at each of their institutions.

K-12 Education

Where Are All the Principals of Color? (The Atlantic)
As the public-school population continues to grow more diverse, the percentage of nonwhite school leaders has remained relatively stagnant. “In districts where race, equity, and access to school leadership are discussed and addressed, such conversations set the stage for principals of color to succeed,” writes Melinda D. Anderson.

Having Other Teachers' Eyes Means Also Having Their Ideas (KQED)
Being a teacher sometimes means shutting the door to your classroom and cutting yourself off from colleagues all day. So, these teachers are opening the doors again to learn from one another.

LFA Drafts Guidelines on Stakeholder Engagement in ESSA (Learning First Alliance)
For the first time, the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) recognizes the expertise that educators can bring to the policymaking process and calls for collaboration by practitioners and policymakers – but it gives few details on how those groups should work together. To facilitate that process, Learning First Alliance (LFA) today proposes principles to guide stakeholder engagement.

Higher Education

Giving Young People an Alternative to College (The New York Times)
Jeffrey Selingo writes: At the Apprentice School in Newport News, Va., students choose from one of more than 20 occupational areas and are guaranteed a job with the military contractor that operates Newport News Shipbuilding. The school is just as selective as Harvard. It receives more than 4,000 applications each year for 230 spots, and significant numbers of its graduates go on to earn bachelor’s or master’s degrees.

Prisoners to Get 'Second Chance Pell' (Inside Higher Ed)
After receiving 200 applications, U.S. Education Department releases a list of colleges that will offer need-based grants to prisoners pursuing a degree.

Transfer Season: Lowering the Barrier Between Community College and Four-Year College (Brookings Institution)
Policy differences help to explain the very different stories of transfer rates in different states, revealed in a recent study by Davis Jenkins and John Fink.

Health Care

Healthcare shopping trends across U.S. all over the map (Healthcare Dive)
HealthSparq published Tuesday its 2015 Health Care Shopping Trends report, documenting shopping behaviors nationwide for routine medical services and major events. The report shows sometimes wide variations in what matters most to shoppers, depending on age, region, and season of the year. The data were collected from 237,000 people who searched for 523,000 cost estimates using HealthSparq’s online shopping tools.

The Payment Reform Landscape: Tailoring Payment Reforms To Local Market Dynamics (Health Affairs)
Payment reform is rapidly expanding across the nation. However, while a one-size-fits-all model may work in certain markets, it’s unlikely to work in others. CPR pioneered a market assessment tool to provide stakeholders with a way to navigate how their market's characteristics impact options for payment reform.


How Cincinnati Salvaged the Nation’s Most Dangerous Neighborhood (Politico)
Leaning on the power of local corporations, officials engineered a renaissance in the city’s heart.


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