ON THE AGENDA | JULY 22ND, 2016 | Public Agenda

Engaging Ideas - 7/22

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.


Participatory Budgeting’s Promise for Democracy (Governing)
More and more communities are trying it, bringing tens of thousands of people into decisions on local spending.

'Politics Has Become Celebrity-Driven': How 2016 Surprised Political Thinkers (NPR)
Over the last month, we asked a group of political scientists and analysts how 2016 is changing how they think: what conventional wisdom is gone now; what surprised them? Perhaps unsurprisingly, a lot of these answers revolve around the Trump phenomenon, but others say we may have to rethink what voters want — and how to measure those attitudes.


Why everyone is so mad: 99% of post-recession jobs went to those who went to college (Quartz)
A new report might suggest why people are so angry in a world that should be experiencing much less turmoil as it recovers from the Great Recession. Jobs have come back back in post-recession America—but they’re reserved almost exclusively for people who went to college. Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce put out an extensive report this week revealing that while the US created 11.6 million new jobs after the recession, 11.5 million of those went to individuals with at least some college education.

Bernie Sanders is right the economy is rigged. He’s dead wrong about why. (Vox)
Sanders thinks Koch and his billionaire comrades did it, more or less. Koch thinks an active, hands-on approach to economic regulation — an approach Sanders strongly favors — has allowed interest groups to capture the regulatory process and rig markets in their favor. Sorry, Bernie fans: Charles Koch is a lot closer to the truth.

K-12 Education

Measuring Childhood Inequity and Opportunity in U.S. Cities (Next City)
A comprehensive new tool by diversitydatakids.org compiles a staggering array of data about children’s neighborhood environments, much of it broken out by race or ethnicity and socioeconomic status. Ample research has shown that a child’s neighborhood environment bears heavily on well-being and life chances, even after they move elsewhere.

How Better Engagement Can Support Innovation and Deeper Learning (EdWeek)
An experience of a young teacher building an arts program and helping and watching as experienced teachers, who for a collective 60 years of teaching had commanded their classrooms and created amazing learning environments for their students, re-learned how to teach in a collaborative, personalized way.

Letters: How to Improve Teacher Training (The New York Times)
Does this country have the public will to prepare excellent teachers for all our children? Every aspect of it done right would be expensive; in that way, it is like medical education.

Higher Education

Understanding and Overcoming Common Barriers to Transfer (Evolllution)
Eduardo Padrón, president of Miami-Dade College writes on student transfer facilitated by a statewide 2+2 guarantee that enables any Associate in Arts (AA) graduate from a Florida College System institution to be admitted to a baccalaureate degree program at a state university or Florida College System institution. It has been in place for decades and is a well known mechanism for students. There are challenges, but they are more nuanced than in other states that do not have a similar statewide policy.

Closing the inequality gap in college savings (CBS News)
Ultimately, the college inequality gap can be closed in two fundamental ways,” writes John Wasik. “Dramatically boost state and federal subsidies for public universities to assist middle- and low-income students, or help families target schools that are likely to offer nonloan aid packages.”

Report Emphasizes Institutional Change Before Initiatives (Inside Higher Ed)
A new paper from the Community College Research Center at Teachers College at Columbia University examines the use of integrated planning and advising for student success initiatives, or iPASS, at six colleges.

Health Care

Medicare Prepares To Go Forward With New Hospital Quality Ratings (Kaiser Health News)
Despite objections from Congress and the hospital industry, the Obama administration said it will soon publish star ratings summing up the quality of 3,662 hospitals. Nearly half will be rated as average, and hospitals that serve the poor will not score as well overall as will other hospitals, according to government figures released Thursday. The government says the ratings, which will award between one and five stars to each hospital, will be more useful to consumers than its current mishmash of more than 100 individual metrics, many of which deal with technical matters. The hospital industry, however, fears the ratings will be misleading and oversimplify the many types of care at the institutions.

Holy MACRA! Half of docs have never heard of Medicare payment reform (Modern Healthcare)
Half of non-pediatric physicians have never heard of the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act of 2015—a new CMS payment plan that will put 4% or more of their Medicare reimbursement at risk beginning in 2019, according to a new Deloitte survey.

How Policymakers Can Foster Organizational Innovation In Health Care (Health Affairs blog)
To make rapid progress toward a higher value health system, health care needs organizational innovations---new models---that are less dependent on culture and leadership and can become the basis of readily replicable, sustainable, locally competitive health systems.


It takes way too long to build new housing in expensive cities (Wonkblog)
What’s holding back more housing in cities that really need it.


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