September 18, 2020

Need to know: COVID-19

A new slant

If you’ve been following EdNC’s reporting around attainment, you’ve likely heard the term “the skills gap.” I’ve probably written it dozens of times in my research and reporting on educational attainment.

A new paper from Brookings Institute argues we should shift the framing from skills gap to opportunity gap. The term skills gap, the authors say, frames labor market issues through a deficit lens — low-income and displaced workers lack the skills that businesses need — and ignores the effects of race, class, gender, and zip code in determining who has access to opportunities.

The authors recommend a “more holistic and nuanced approach” for connecting people to economic opportunity. They recommend:

  • Information about quality jobs and career navigation assistance
  • Affordable education and on-the-job learning
  • Supportive services such as child care and transportation
  • Professional networks and peer support
  • A foot in the door to a new field, including first jobs, internships, and apprenticeships
  • Equitable hiring, mentoring, and management practices

Contextual healing

Five, six months (how many months has it been?) into the pandemic, it can be easy to become numb to the bad headlines week after week. The Hamilton Project just published a report, “Ten Facts about COVID-19 and the U.S. Economy,” that provides a good snapshot into our economy right now. And while it’s mostly bad news, there are some interesting highlights and nice charts. Here are a few examples:

New business formations declined in the spring but have picked back up and are on track to outpace recent years.

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 3.10.56 PM

In North Carolina, 21-28% of renters surveyed in late July said they did not pay or deferred paying rent.

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 3.13.29 PM

The personal saving rate reached its highest recorded level in April as people dramatically reduced spending. It has declined since then but is still higher than anytime in the past 20 years.

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 3.11.59 PM

For your consideration

A report from the group More in Common looks at how COVID-19 has impacted everything from finances to feelings of belonging to trust in the media across seven countries: United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, and Italy. The group surveyed roughly 2,000 people in each country in June and July. This slideshow presents findings from all seven countries, and this slideshow presents the U.S. findings.

The group sorts Americans into seven population clusters it calls “tribes” based on political preferences and core beliefs. They break the responses into these seven groups, showing how political ideologies impact behaviors and beliefs around COVID-19. In the slide below, you can see how opinions on the media differ between groups.

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 3.42.36 PM

In the comparison of responses from the seven countries, only people from Germany and the Netherlands feel their government handled the crisis well. View the rest of the report to see more.

Screen Shot 2020 09 17 at 3.47.41 PM

  • Remote monitoring is rapidly growing — and a new class of patient-consumer is driving the shift

    STAT news | 09/16/2020

  • Learning pods for all, the Hoosier way

    Center on Reinventing Public Education | 09/15/2020

  • A New Arctic Is Emerging, Thanks to Climate Change

    Scientific American | 09/15/2020

  • COVID-19 Is Crushing Newspapers, Worsening Hunger for Accurate Information

    Stateline | 09/08/2020

  • The pandemic is spotlighting longstanding issues with America’s school buildings

    Chalkbeat | 09/15/2020

  • Nudging and Shoving Students Toward Success

    Education Next | 09/15/2020

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