May 19, 2017

Making News

The 74 has an overview of N.C. Congresswoman Virginia Foxx’s plans for the U.S. House Education and Workforce Committee, which she chairs.  She spoke at an American Enterprise Institute event on higher education.

Representative Foxx focused on her plans to reauthorize the Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, the primary federal law that oversees career education programs.  The legislation is in its early stages, so we will spare the details.  Here is the Fact Sheet for the legislation and a video of Representative Foxx’s remarks.

This issue has the potential for a bipartisan effort in Congress.  As Inside Higher Ed notes, Representative Foxx’s remarks coincides with the liberal Center for American Progress’s “Marshall Plan for America,” a policy proposal that similarly focuses on job training outside the four-year college model.

Food For Thought

Our Insight column this week reflects on “rural” in North Carolina. As a complementary read, The Atlantic has a thoughtful examination of how we think about towns and cities that are losing population and dying. Like with human death, city death is one of those subjects that people struggle to cope with. The piece frames recent social commentary on the subject. It also provides explanations for why people get stuck in struggling towns: moving costs, lack of social networks in new locations, and higher housing costs that are not offset by higher wages.

Contextual Healing

The Pew Research Center has a great 150 second overview that will teach/remind you how random sampling works.

A New Slant

We often focus on politicians as reactionary figures; they take what other sectors develop and connect them to the public sector. U.S. Senator Mike Lee, R-Utah, is upending that structure and leading the “Social Capital Project,” a multi-year research project that “will investigate the evolving nature, quality and importance of our associational life.”

Senator Lee has a clear viewpoint–he is a Mormon, Republican from Utah who clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Alito and was General Counsel to former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman–but this report feels less like Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America and more like something that a think tank might produce.  Indeed, the piece references the work of Harvard Policy Professor Robert Putman whose Bowling Alone is an anchor resource for social capital discussions.

For anyone following discussions about social capital, the report will not be profound, but it does provide some interesting data points. The interactive, web-based version is easy to skim for highlights.

It will be interesting to see if Senator Lee’s approach will be one of a pioneer or a maverick. Either way, it will be something to watch.


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    The Upshot by the New York Times |

  • A Farm Grows in the City

    The Wall Street Journal |

  • Six of the Top Occupations Already Declining Due to Automation

    Factor |

  • States Where the Economy Isn't Struggling to Recover

    Bloomberg | 05/12/2017

  • Mapping America's Bike Commuters

    CityLab |

  • What's on the road ahead in health care?

    American Enterprise Institute |