September 1, 2017

Dropping Knowledge

The Rand Corporation released a report examining the economic impact of earlier start times for U.S. schools.  The study finds that “delaying school start times to 8:30 a.m. is a cost-effective, population-level strategy which could have a significant impact on public health and the U.S. economy.”  Some specifics:

  • Benefits of later start times far outweigh the immediate costs. Even after just two years, the study projects an economic gain of $8.6 billion to the U.S. economy, which would already outweigh the costs per student from delaying school start times to 8:30 a.m.
  • After a decade, delaying schools start times would contribute $83 billion to the U.S. economy, with this increasing to $140 billion after 15 years.

For Your Consideration

The American Enterprise Institute released a public opinion study about the attitudes towards work in the U.S. The study is published annually around Labor Day and provides an update to data sets that go back more than 20 years. A few highlights:

  • Ninety-one percent of employed adults told Gallup they were completely or somewhat satisfied with their jobs in 2016.
  • A 2016 Pew survey found higher levels of satisfaction when they asked employed adults about “the kind of work” they did (87 percent said they were satisfied) than when they asked them about “their current job or career” (79 percent were satisfied).
  • From 1973 to 2016, the median tenure of employees working for their current employer rose from 3.5 years to 4.2 years.
  • Between 1993 (86 percent) and 2016 (87 percent), workers’ sense of loyalty to their employer has remained high and steady.

Food for Thought

Governing’s September issue is out and has a number of particularly thought-provoking articles.

  • There is a poignant profile of Wilmington, N.C. and how it is dealing with the opioid crisis.
  • For the tech geeks, there is a good explainer article on how blockchain technology can impact public administration. Blockchain is a kind of electronic ledger system that is used by electronic currencies like bitcoin and has the potential to revolutionize processes where governments facilitate the distribution of services or things with value.
  • There is a particularly good article examining whether population growth is a good metric for an area’s economic health. We tend to assume that people vote with their feet which means growth is good.  The piece questions whether we overplay the importance of growth at the expense of other factors related to community health.
  • Finally, in light of this week’s Weekly Insight column, it feels wrong not to highlight a post on The Fractured State of Federalism.

Contextual Healing

Public radio affiliate WFAE in Charlotte has a cool interactive map and a series of short articles demonstrating Charlotte’s growth over the last 10 years across various neighborhoods. It is a good demonstration of how a dynamic city is changing.


  • Education isn’t a commodity for labor

    The Conversation | 08/31/2017

  • What the public wants from schools

    The Atlantic | 08/29/2017

  • Colorado apprenticeship program turns the factory floor into a classroom

    PBS NewsHour | 08/29/2017

  • 4 charts on how people around the world see education

    Pew Research Center | 08/28/2017

  • Millennials are driving the suburban resurgence

    Bloomberg | 08/25/2017

  • Will America catch up With East Africa in adopting medical drones?

    Real Clear Health | 08/25/2017