Oct. 25, 2018
A sound education system is a cornerstone of a thriving democracy and an economy that offers expanding opportunity for all Americans. It is not surprising, then, that it is one of the issues that we pay a great deal of attention to at Public Agenda. Here's what we're up to lately on that front:

Later this month, in partnership with the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, we'll be releasing Our Next Assignment: Where Americans Stand On Public K-12 Education, offering a roundup of existing public opinion research on Americans' thinking about the purposes of public education and what students should be learning, as well as the specific views of employers.

In September, with support from the Spencer Foundation, we re-released a suite of resources for smarter thinking and decision making about how teachers can work collaboratively to boost student success. We also co-hosted a webinar with the Albert Shanker Institute on how teachers, principals, superintendents, school board members and other administrators and leaders can work together to foster such collaboration among teachers.

Finally, keep an eye out this December for updates to our Charter Schools In Perspective materials that enlighten and improve conversation and decisions about this often-times controversial topic. Lauded by education reformers on both the left and right, these resources are designed to help voters, communities, policymakers and journalists think through the issues in an informed and fair-minded way.

With teachers and administrators now deep into the school year, we invite you to get acquainted with these materials that support better schools and more successful students. Please give them a look, let us know what you think, and we'll continue to work on the issues that you care about most.
Will Friedman PH.D.




Will Friedman
President
@wkfriedman
"Not all schools get equal funding. We have some rural communities which don't have a lot of resources, or a lot of kids get stuck with no money coming from the states."

- Employer in Greenville, South Carolina
Our Next Assignment: Where Americans Stand On Public K-12 Education
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You may have noticed some changes to our website. We want to make it easier for you to learn about our latest initiatives and help you find the materials, resources and reports that interest you the most. Stay tuned for more updates in the coming weeks. 

The Public Engagement team has been hard at work in local communities across the country. Over the last several weeks, they've held listening sessions in the Gulf Coast, where they helped community organizations and residents discuss how they can work together to address a range of local issues like reducing crime and economic development. They also held a series of meetings and workshops in Vermont, where they discussed how parents and school administrators and faculty can work together to make decisions impacting the local schools.

From the Blog: 
Working Together to Advance Student and Teacher Success
A growing body of research shows that when teachers work more collaboratively, student outcomes can improve, teachers can be more satisfied in their jobs and teacher turnover can decrease. Continue Reading


Where Americans See Eye to Eye on Health Care
This report from the Hidden Common Ground Initiative focuses on hidden or otherwise underappreciated common ground in health care. How do people talk across party lines about the problems facing our health care system? What do people think should be done to make progress?

_ Where Americans See Eye to Eye on Incarceration
This report from the Hidden Common Ground Initiative focuses on hidden or otherwise underappreciated common ground in the realm of criminal justice reform, specifically with respect to incarceration.

 A Major Step_ What Adults Without Degrees Say About Going _Back_ to College

This report from Public Agenda and sponsored by The Kresge Foundation offers insight into why some adults are considering going (back) to college and the challenges they think they'll face once they enroll.

Democracy
Estranged in America: Both Sides Feel Lost and Left Out (The Upshot)
Nearly half of Democrats say they feel this way, slightly more than Republicans. Continue Reading 

Democracy and the Internet (New York Times)
An expert discusses the continuing battle with tech companies to safeguard our institutions. Continue Reading
Opportunity and Inequality
Income inequality is changing how we think, live, and die (Vox)
Why society might be more stable if we had more poverty and less inequality. 

This Map Shows Income Inequality in Every American Metro Area (HowMuch.net)
Wealth and income inequality are growing areas of concern. A report from Oxfam found that 82% of all wealth created throughout the world in 2017 went to the top 1%. 8 individuals literally own as much money as 3.8 billion people. It's hard to grasp what these numbers really mean, so let's reframe the issue at the local level. How bad is income inequality where you live? 
Engagement
Bringing the e-commerce experience to civic engagement (eGov Innovation)
Boosting digital citizen interaction does not have to be complicated. Powered by the right technology and streamlined processes, both citizens and government entities benefit from a smarter approach to interactions. 

How governments can let citizens call the shots (GovInsider)
Participatory budgeting can help citizens become decision-makers, serve the underprivileged and be a force for good on a national scale. 
Higher Education and Workforce
The Little College Where Tuition Is Free and Every Student Is Given a Job (The Atlantic)
Berea College, in Kentucky, has paid for every enrollee's education using its endowment for 126 years. Can other schools replicate the model? Continue Reading

Boston judge permits lawsuit against Harvard to go forward (Christian Science Monitor)
In a closely watched case that could influence affirmative action practices in college admissions decisions, a federal judge on Friday rejected a motion from Harvard University to rule in its favor. The university faces a lawsuit on the basis of discrimination against Asian-American applicants. The trial is set to begin on Oct. 15. Continue Reading
K-12 Education
In These Districts, Friday Is Not a School Day (Wall Street Journal)
For most students here, the weekend starts when the final bells ring on Thursday afternoons. Pueblo City Schools, in southern Colorado, this year joined a growing number of school districts hoping to save costs and attract teachers by shifting to a four-day week, a schedule once primarily used by rural districts that is now moving into suburban and urban areas. Continue Reading

Report: 44 states have implemented at least one K-12 computer science policy (Education Dive)
Since 2013, the number of states with at least one policy related to computer science education in K-12 schools has increased from 14 to 44, according to a State of Computer Science Education report released Thursday from the Code.org Advocacy Coalition and the Computer Science Teachers Association. Continue Reading
Health Care
Health Care Transparency Effort Lags (WLRN)
With just months left in his term, one of Gov. Rick Scott's key health-care initiatives remains in limbo. Scott convinced legislators to set aside $3.5 million to create a new website and to create a claims database that would allow Floridians to shop around when it comes to health care. But with Scott ready to leave the governor's office in January, the health-care price information still isn't available to Florida consumers. Continue Reading

New Report Examines Healthcare in the "Amazon Era" (Healthcare Informatics)
Hospital business leaders are open, and even optimistic, about the benefits of innovation from non-traditional healthcare players, such as Amazon and Apple, according to a new report from Captains of Industry, a marketing consultancy. Continue Reading
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