A Recap of This Week’s Top News – October 13, 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, October 2, to Friday, October 13. 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:

  • A new report released by ACT found that nationwide ACT scores are averaging at 19.5, a 32-year low. The results reflect that students graduating high school may not be as prepared for postsecondary education as they believe.
  • Schools run by the U.S. Department of Defense are outperforming America’s other public schools in both reading and math, according to a recent New York Times article on the topic. These schools, which account for about 66,000 students across the country, showed a steady increase in achievement―even during the pandemic. “If the Department of Defense schools were a state, we would all be traveling there to figure out what’s going on,” said Harvard professor Martin West, who was quoted in the article.
  • Georgia students applying for the fall 2024 college admissions cycle will get to experience direct admissions, a new policy that will automatically admit high school students with certain qualifications to some universities. The policy includes 22 institutions within the Technical College System of Georgia and many of the 26 University System of Georgia schools. Students who receive confirmation of a reserved spot would still need to apply for the universities, said K-12 Dive.
  • A recent report highlighted a rising concern that the pandemic is aggravating rates of chronic absenteeism. In fact, “66 percent of schools experienced students repeatedly missing from their classes,” said a Washington Post article.

Health News:

  • As the fall weather comes in, health officials advise that it’s time for the public to get their yearly flu and COVID-19 shots. While some worry about side effects from the shot, experts say that the chills, headache, and fatigue that may come after the vaccines are a sign that they’re working, according to a New York Times article.
  • While some claim to have evaded COVID-19 entirely, some people have had the virus at least five times, says a recent NBC article. For some repeat offenders, the virus was often less severe the subsequent times they experienced it, although continually “mentally and emotionally exhausting each time.”
  • The overdose reversal medication Narcan no longer needs a prescription, but some worry that the price, availability, and lack of awareness may prevent the decision from having as much impact as it could. A recent Kaiser Family Foundation article on the topic described it as a small step with much more work still needed.