A Recap of This Week’s Top News – February 16, 2024

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, February 10, to Friday, February 16. 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:

  • The Education Department’s launch of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) has experienced numerous technical glitches, leading to some families being locked out of the form, while others who have completed the FAFSA likely have incorrect estimates of aid because the agency initially failed to update a crucial income formula. Additionally, colleges will not receive most data until March, meaning students will have to wait longer for financial aid awards and have less time to weigh offers.
  • A new analysis concluded that students from the lowest-income families are the most likely to attend schools that do not systematically vet their education technology, leaving their data privacy more vulnerable. The apps used in these schools are also the most likely to contain ads, with the schools three times more likely to recommend or require apps with behavioral ads, which use data collected on users to target personalized ads to them.
  • A new report shows that for nearly half of all families considering new school options, the main reason they’d make a switch is for their children’s mental health. Among parents who were “open-minded” about school choice, academic performance came in second as a motivating factor, consulting firm Tyton Partners found.

Health News:

  • A study conducted at a community testing site in Maryland suggests that patient-administered BinaxNow COVID-19 rapid antigen tests have similar accuracy as those performed by a clinician, although the results can be misinterpreted or falsely negative. The study authors noted that self-tests might exhibit a higher rate of false negatives due to inadequate sampling, false positives due to inadvertent sample contamination by untrained individuals, or misinterpretation of visual results.
  • Many types of exercise—including walking, jogging, yoga, tai chi, aerobic exercises, and strength training—showed benefits as strong as therapy when treating depression, according to the study published Wednesday in the BMJ. The study found that more exercise and a higher intensity of workout were better, but you don’t need to start training like a professional athlete, according to the data.
  • A study published this week concluded that smoking has harmful effects on the immune system for much longer than previously understood. People who smoked had increased inflammatory responses, but those higher levels were transient, dropping after smoking cessation. However, the effects on the adaptive response persisted for many years after quitting, changing the levels of cytokines released after infection or other immune challenges.

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – February 9, 2024

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, February 3, to Friday, February 9. 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:

  • Ivy League university Dartmouth College announced this week that they would reinstate the SAT and ACT requirements for applicants in the 2024–2025 cycle, according to an NPR Like many other colleges and universities, Dartmouth chose to enact test-optional policies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Dartmouth’s decision comes as recent research indicates that standardized testing scores may help first-generation and low-income students get accepted.
  • Career and technical education courses in high schools are gaining popularity, but experts say more research is needed before they can prove the courses’ efficacy. An article by the Washington Post says there is a data disconnect when a K-12 student goes to college and/or joins the workforce, leading to little data on how the courses actually prepare students.
  • Amidst learning recoveries from the COVID-19 pandemic, experts are concerned that students won’t fully catch up to pre-pandemic learning levels before the $122 billion federal aid package expires this September, according to the New York Times. Experts also worry that gaps in inequity—which existed pre-pandemic—have only worsened since recovery began.

Health News:

  • The Washington Post released an analysis showing that Native American people are less likely to get a spot on the national liver transplant list when compared to other racial groups. According to the article, Native Americans also have the highest rate of death from liver disease.
  • This week, the White House announced plans to partner with the NFL, NHL, MLB, NBA, WNBA, MLS, PGA Tour, and NWSL to encourage physical activity and nutritious eating as a part of the Administration’s Challenge to End Hunger and Build Healthy Communities. A CNN article said more partnerships will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • New research suggests that you may want to alternate arms for each vaccine dose you receive to “produce a more powerful immune response,” said a New York Times If confirmed by future research, the findings may apply to any multidose vaccine, including routine childhood vaccinations. The research focused specifically on the COVID-19 vaccine.

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – January 26, 2024

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, January 20, to Friday, January 26. 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:

  • For the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic, college enrollment is on the rise, according to an article in the Washington Post. Data from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center reflects a 1.2 percent increase in undergraduate enrollment. Despite the increase, experts say there’s still more than a million less students enrolled compared to five years ago.

Health News:

  • A new study in Lancet Regional Health – Americas estimates that hearing loss is more common in men and in rural areas, according to an article from the Associated Press on the topic. The study also found that approximately 37.9 million Americans are affected by hearing loss.
  • A recent story in Axios explores the impact of AI on healthcare. Emerging research and ideas around AI have experts hopeful, even if the tool’s use isn’t widespread within healthcare currently. “Even AI optimists don’t envision the technology fundamentally remaking the U.S. healthcare system anytime soon, but there’s widespread agreement that it has the potential to vastly improve the quality of care and trim costly waste,” said the article.

Perspectives and Opinions:

  • An opinion article by STAT News recommends that skin color should be removed as a criteria for the Apgar Score. The Apgar Score is a test for newborn babies that’s taken twice: one minute and five minutes after birth. The score measures five categories that check the baby’s vital signs: heart rate, breathing effort, muscle activity, reflexes, and skin color. Authors of the article argue that while the score has reduced infant mortality, the skin color category is limited by perception and has even led to healthy children of color being placed in neonatal intensive care with “more unnecessary interventions.”

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – January 12, 2024

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, January 6, to Friday, January 12. 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:

  • Thousands of public schools across the country risk closing or merging with nearby schools due to a decrease in student enrollment, according to a recent story by The 74. The decline in student enrollment, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is “projected to continue throughout the decade,” said the article.
  • A 2023 Florida state law concerning removing books with mentions of “sexual conduct” led to the removal and investigation of dictionaries and reference books from a Florida school district, according to an article by the Washington Post.

Health News:

  • Taxes targeting sugary drinks helped decrease sales of those drinks, according to a recent article by NPR. According to the article, as prices for sugary drinks increased, purchases decreased proportionally. Sugary beverages make up one-fourth of the added sugar in adults’ diets, and too much sugar is associated with diabetes, obesity, heart disease, and other diet-related diseases.
  • According to a recent article by ABC News, public schools in America lack access to running water for drinking due to the presence of lead. While some schools provide bottled water to students, regulation and enforcement of change is hard to track, especially as there isn’t a federal law that requires schools to test their water for lead.
  • A new study found that plastic water bottles could contain “10 to 100 times more bits of plastic than previous estimated,” according to an article by CNN. The study reaffirms health experts’ recommendations to drink tap water from glass or stainless-steel containers to avoid ingesting plastic particles.

Opinion:

  • An opinion article from STAT News criticizes the wealth of health data available through fitness trackers, health apps, and smart scales. The author advises that consumers turn their focus away from health data and towards listening to how their body is managing sleep, food, and exercise in real time.

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – December 29, 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 23, to Friday, December 29. 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:

  • More parents are choosing to homeschool their children instead of sending them to a public or private school. This has invoked more conversation over oversight within homeschools, assessments, and Education Savings Accounts. A recent analysis by the Washington Post found that requirements for homeschooling―specifically if homeschooled students have to take standardized tests―vary widely from state to state. Some states don’t require families to disclose that they are homeschooling their child, causing concern for educators and legislators.
  • As teachers enter the new year, discussions on raising math scores from their pandemic-fueled low are “heating up,” according to a recent Education Week article.
  • Forbes contributor Derek Newton argues that college education should not be dismissed. “If young people buy the hype and bypass college, they will likely miss out on their best and perhaps only ticket to even middle-of-the-road prosperity,” said Newton in the article.

Health News:

  • While it is common for new year’s resolutions to have a health-focus, a New York Times story provides 10 ideas to support better health in 2024. The ideas included enforcing a better sleep schedule, taking a break from technology, practicing “5 things tidying,” and knowing when it is time to seek help for problematic anxiety.
  • This year has had its fair share of social media health trends, and experts shared which trends are legitimate and which to leave behind in 2023. Experts recommending people try trends like eating cottage cheese, cozy cardio, and the 12-3-30 walk, but warned against weight loss misinformation, self-diagnosing, and using social media as a “therapy replacement.”

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – December 22, 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 16, to Friday, December 22. 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:

  • Chronic absenteeism in Washington D.C. and in school districts around the nation remains high. School leaders, lawmakers, and community organizers are vexed on how to keep students in school. Principals and staff are forced to get creative with pizza parties or even making wake-up calls.
  • The U.S. Education Department recently released updates for borrowers pursuing student loan forgiveness under an initiative called the IDR Account Adjustment. This temporary program can provide borrowers retroactive credit toward their loan forgiveness milestones under income-driven repayment loans and Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Health News:

Perspectives and Opinions:

  • A doctor provides ten tips to help readers live better. The list includes eating more magnesium rich foods, using a simple skin-care routine to keep skin looking and feeling healthy, incorporating a variety of flavors into meals to prevent a post-meal sweet craving, and more.

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.

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – December 8, 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 2, to Friday, December 8. 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:

  • The amount of students chronically absent, or missing 10 percent of the school year, dropped to 40 percent last school year in the DC area. During the 2021–2022 school year, 48 percent of students were chronically absent. Prior to the pandemic, the amount hovered between 26 and 30 percent.
  • Teacher turnover in the DC area has increased again after showing a dip during the COVID-19 pandemic. Over 25 percent of teachers left their schools between the 2021–2022 and 2022–2023 school years.

Health News:

  • Recent research has shown that when healthcare providers focus on weight as a measure of health, it can lead patients to avoid or delay health care. Overweight people often report that when they go to the doctor, their concerns are ignored or written off as a result of their weight. Additionally, providers sometimes miss major health problems when they are too focused on a patient’s weight.
  • New data shows that mood, gut health, and other factors can contribute to a healthy immune response after vaccination. For instance, those who were in a positive mood when receiving a flu shot produced higher levels of antibodies to fight the illness. Other lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and even social interactions may affect how much protection people get from vaccines.

A Recap of This Week’s Top News – December 1, 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, November 25, to Friday, December 1. 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:

  • An organization called The Konnection is working to address chronic absenteeism in Detroit schools, according to a recent article in Chalkbeat. The organization gives students exercises that focus on “positive attendance and academic habits” like going to bed early, following a routine, and organizing their backpack.

Health News:

  • Life expectancy is finally on the rise, but still hasn’t fully recovered following the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent CNN article. Expectancy dropped 2.4 years after the first two years of the pandemic and rose 1.1 years in 2022.
  • New research reflects that legalizing cannabis may lower the usage of alcohol and tobacco in 18–20-year-olds, according to Forbes. The research was based on legalization of the drug in California and contributes to the conversation on whether cannabis should be considered a “gateway drug” in the future.
  • A new report by the Population Reference Bureau says that “progress in women’s health since the 1960’s is backsliding,” according to an ABC News article on the topic. The report indicated that Millennial and Gen Z women are more at risk of death associated with childbirth, suicide, and being murdered. Political division, impacts of COVID-19, harmful social media content, and limitations on access to reproductive health resources were cited as possible reasons.

At Hager Sharp, volunteering and giving back to our community is a core feature of our company culture. Our founder, Susan Hager, devoted her life to helping others. She was one of the early VISTA volunteers (now incorporated as AmeriCorps VISTA), started a Head Start program at a small village in Alaska, blazed a trail for women business owners, and founded Hager Sharp as a means to harness marketing and communications as powerful tools for positive change.

Susan inspired a sense of service in all who knew her, and her legacy in this regard remains strong to this day within Hager Sharp. Each year, Hager Sharpers make use of their Hager Hours – 16 hours of paid time off annually – to volunteer and serve their community in ways that matter most to them. This year, our team’s service has included volunteering with:

With these organizations, Hager Sharpers have chaperoned activities, planned and implemented events, organized fundraisers, directed people to resources (like vaccinations, free locally grown fruits and vegetables, yoga and meditation) at a community wellness event, developed strategic communications plans, raised awareness, participated in panel discussions and presentations, and more. The beauty of our Hager Hours benefit is its flexible design that allows each of us to serve in a way that is most meaningful to us personally.

We also volunteer as a team to magnify our individual impact. To mark Hager Sharp’s 50th anniversary in June, we visited JK Community Farm in Purcellville, Virginia, a local farm and nonprofit that grows and provides produce for people to enhance their nutrition security. While there, we planted more than 35,000 sweet potatoes for harvest this Fall.

As the world marks International Volunteer Day on December 5th – a day for celebrating and thanking people around the word for their voluntary service – we are encouraging our team to close out 2023 with an act of service. Do you have an organization or activity to recommend?