February 22, 2019

Making News

This week was big in the education world. In addition to a flurry of activity in the legislature on education issues, there were two major announcements, one from State Superintendent Mark Johnson and the other from the myFutureNC Commission.

On Tuesday night, Mark Johnson announced his #NC2030 plan, which aims to make North Carolina the best place to begin, best place to learn, and best place to teach by 2030. In conjunction with this announcement, he released his legislative agenda, which outlines how to get there. In addition, he announced two new initiatives: the North Carolina Leadership Dashboard and Teach NC. Read a recap of the event, including Johnson’s legislative agenda, and view the live stream here.

On Wednesday morning, the myFutureNC Commission announced a statewide attainment goal of two million 25- to 44-year-old North Carolinians with a postsecondary degree or high-quality credential by 2030. View the live stream of the event and read the accompanying report in this week’s Weekly Insight.

Dropping Knowledge

The Economic Policy Institute released a new report this week titled “State of Working America: Wages 2018.” The report looks at wage growth over the last decade and breaks it down by subgroup. Here are a few relevant findings:

  • Wage inequality continues to grow, although from 2017-2018, wage growth was strongest at the 20th and 30th percentiles.
  • Men are experiencing greater wage inequality than women. The report states, “From 2017 to 2018, men at the 95th percentile saw large wage gains, while those at the middle and very bottom of their wage distribution experienced downright wage losses.”
  • From 2017-2018, wages grew more in states that raised their minimum wages than those that did not.
  • The black-white wage gap was larger in 2018 than in 2000, and average wages for black workers grew less than average wages for white and Hispanic workers at all education levels.

EPI graphic

For Your Consideration

Anyone who follows politics has likely seen the term “Medicare for All,” but what exactly does that mean? The short answers is there is no short answer. As the 2020 Democratic presidential field grows, so do the variations of Medicare for All plans. Yesterday, the Upshot published a build-your-own Medicare for All interactive explainer article that walks you through the various choices you can make in designing a Medicare for All plan and differentiates between the many alternatives proposed by various candidates, advocacy groups, and think tanks. Regardless of your political opinions on the issue, taking five minutes to walk through the exercise will help you better understand the nuances and variations of Medicare for All plans, which are likely only going to get more attention as we head into 2020.


  • Two NC school districts with major racial achievement gaps seek solutions

    Carolina Public Press | 02/21/2019

  • The Coming Care Crisis as Kids With Autism Grow Up

    The Atlantic | 02/20/2019

  • The other victims when colleges decline or close: their hometowns

    The Hechinger Report | 02/12/2019

  • In the zone: A new federal program may a boon to distressed cities -- if it targets the right ones

    Governing | 02/19/2019

  • Women with More Social Support are Less Likely to Die, New Study Finds

    George Mason University College of Health and Human Services | 02/20/2019

  • Utilities are starting to invest in big batteries instead of building new power plants

    The Conversation | 02/22/2019