A Recap of This Week’s Top News – December 15, 2023

Changes to policy, scientific discovery, and expert recommendations and opinions all have the power to rapidly influence the landscape of a sector. Whether you’re a leader at a non-profit, a member of a university’s marketing department, or a stakeholder for a public health agency, being informed about the latest industry happenings can be the difference between exceeding and falling short of organizational goals. At Hager Sharp, our experts vigorously scan media coverage to identify areas of opportunity. And now, with the introduction of the Sharp Round-Up, you too can review what we consider to be some of the top news of the week.

Below you will find a compilation of news spanning the health and education, labor, and economy sectors. This list includes mainstream, DC-focused, and trade publication coverage from Saturday, December 9, to Friday, December 15. Let these clips serve as a resource when developing thoughtful strategies and use them to further foster organizational innovation and adaptability.

Here’s what you need to know.

Education News:

  • Almost 45 percent of students in the United States were below grade level in one or more subjects at the beginning of the school year, according to a recent Washington Post article centered on the National Center for Education’s latest School Pulse Panel results. The release also found that over 25 percent of public schools across the country are dealing with staffing shortages, leading to bigger class sizes and problems with student transportation.
  • A recent report revealed that 45 percent of companies may eliminate employee requirements for a bachelors degree, according to an article in Higher Ed Dive. The decision comes as workforces across the nation are increasingly removing degree requirements in order to “create a more diverse workforce.”
  • The Washington Post published a story this week breaking down the Biden administration’s latest student loan forgiveness plan―and why there’s still no consensus on its limits.
  • Newburgh Free Academy in New York bans cellphone use for students―even during lunch―and students are saying that it’s helping their mental health. According to a CBS News story on the topic, the increased screen time for adolescents during the COVID-19 pandemic likely had negative effects on mental health and cyberbullying. Newburgh’s phone policy may be an example of how a forced break from a phone may have beneficial payoffs for students.

Health News:

  • A new Gallup survey revealed that American’s physical and mental health has decreased since the COVID-19 pandemic. According to an Axios article breaking down the survey, there was a higher number of diabetes and high cholesterol diagnoses, reports of lower confidence, and less people eating healthy meals since the pandemic.
  • A recent report found that 7 out of 10 people feel “very and fairly supported in their daily lives,” and almost 1 in 10 feel no support. The survey accounted for 143,600 people across 142 countries last year, and it analyzed how supportive relationships affect people’s finances and physical and mental health.

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