With support and a solid structure for collaboration in place, a talented team with a shared set of goals can be more innovative and successful.
Strengthening Collaboration in Districts, Schools and Classrooms

If collaboration is in much-too-short supply these days in our public life, in the workplace it is increasingly prized. This has been true for a while, as found in research, including some of our own, that points to the importance of "soft skills" in the modern workplace which enable people to work productively in teams, amplifying their individual knowledge and skills through their interaction with peers. 

One workplace where this has been less obviously true is in our schools, dominated by the classic image of the teacher closing the classroom door and getting down to business with her or his students. But even here, interest in the ways that peer collaboration can strengthen practice is growing. 

Public Agenda, in partnership with the Spencer Foundation, is proud to be supporting this cutting-edge development in K-12 education through the second installment of our In Perspective web resource series. Like our first on charter schools, our Teacher Collaboration site informs rather than advocates. Just in time for the new school year, it provides teachers and education leaders with new materials that can help foster a more collaborative environment, which can result in many benefits for students and educators alike. 
Working in isolation can only be so effective. With support and a solid structure for collaboration in place, a talented team with a shared set of goals can be more innovative and successful. These resources have the potential to help strengthen that type of system in districts, schools and classrooms, and I encourage you to share them with your friends and colleagues.  

Many thanks to the educators across the country for all that you do. Here's to a happy and successful new school year. 


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Will Friedman

New from Public Agenda

Our Senior VP and Director of Higher Education and Workforce Engagement, Alison Kadlec, talked with The Takeaway about job skills and how community colleges and regional universities are working to address the needs of today's students (starting at 14:45).  


Teacher Collaboration In Perspective
A joint project of the Spencer Foundation and Public Agenda, Teacher Collaboration In Perspective is designed to contribute to a better-informed dialogue about how teachers can work more collaboratively. 

Qualities That Matter
Measuring quality is crucial to improving quality, to paying doctors and hospitals based on patients' health outcomes, and to steering patients toward high-value providers. But quality has many dimensions that are measured in many ways. This research report surveyed people who have experienced one of three common types of health care for which quality and costs can vary: type 2 diabetes care, joint replacement surgery and maternity care.

Still Searching: How People Use Health Care Price Information in the United States
Half of Americans have tried to find price information before getting care, but obstacles remain to helping them find the information that can help them save money. This research report is based on a nationally representative survey conducted in conjunction with representative surveys in four states: Florida, New Hampshire, New York and Texas.

From the Blog
"Thick engagement doesn't scale, and thin engagement doesn't stick"

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation grantees examine how consumers are navigating the healthcare system, with a particular focus on their experiences, preferences, and values.

Every week we curate stories and reports on complex issues. This week: With single-payer health care, it's all in the name. What Hurricane Harvey can teach us about politics. Are town halls effective? Which American cities are losing the most jobs. What we're getting wrong about today's college students.

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Join us in Chicago for a Public Engagement Strategy Workshop

Let's get to work on revamping and strengthening your engagement strategy on October 19 in Chicago! 

Who: Leaders looking to revamp or strengthen their engagement strategy
Date: Thursday, Oct 19, 2017
Time: 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 
Location: University of Illinois at Chicago 
University of Illinois at Chicago, Student Center East - Room 602, 750 S. Halsted. St., Chicago, IL 60607 

Register by Oct 1 for early bird pricing


Public Agenda helps build a democracy that works for everyone. By elevating a diversity of voices, forging common ground, and improving dialogue and collaboration among leaders and communities, Public Agenda fuels progress on critical issues, including education, health care and community engagement. Founded in 1975, Public Agenda is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization based in New York City. Find Public Agenda online at PublicAgenda.org, on Facebook at facebook.com/PublicAgenda and on Twitter at @PublicAgenda.

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