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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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?

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