By Rachel Goldfarb, originally published on Next New Deal
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College as a Catalyst for Civic Engagement (Medium)
Roosevelt Institute | Campus Network member Zach Lipp builds on a recent column by Frank Bruni, arguing that liberal education should develop the skills of civic engagement, not just citizenship.
Do colleges and universities exist to promote learning and citizenship or to produce skilled workers? New York Times columnist Frank Bruni took readers to this gulch in two recent columns. In one column, Bruni reflects on a particular lecture on Shakespeare’s “King Lear” as transformative. But many politicians dismiss such learning as superfluous. Bruni mentions Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s recent proposal that state universities shift their missions toward “work force needs.” This debate is not new — but the divide between the two sides seems to be growing. “In a democracy,” writes Bruni “college isn’t just about making better engineers but about making better citizens, ones whose eyes have been opened to the sweep of history and the spectrum of civilizations.”
As a current college student, I see the merits in both sides. Politicians have a point: for many students, college is explicitly pre-professional. However, Bruni is also correct: liberal education exists to develop citizens. I’d expand on Bruni’s argument. The role of colleges in fostering citizenship extends beyond simply opening students’ eyes to history. College years function as a pivotal time for civic engagement.
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Walmart Is Giving Raises. Walmart Is Feeling the Pressure. (Gawker)
Walmart hasn't decided to raise its wages to be nice, says Hamilton Nolan. Rather, it's a sign that Walmart is giving in to the ongoing campaigns by low-wage workers, who will win.
The Gig Economy Won't Last Because It's Being Sued to Death (Fast Company)
Sarah Kessler looks at these lawsuits, which center around the question of defining workers as independent contractors or employees, and how that question is changing the gig economy already.
Why Counting America’s Homeless is Both Imperative and Imperfect (Fusion)
Susie Cagle illustrates and writes about the 2015 homeless count in San Francisco, explaining how the homeless count works, why it's done, and what she encountered.
Hospital To Nurses: Your Injuries Are Not Our Problem (NPR)
Daniel Zwerdling looks at one hospital in North Carolina that has a history of dismissing nurses' cases for medical bills and workers' compensation when they are injured on the job.
A Whistleblower's Horror Story (Rolling Stone)
Speaking to the whistleblower from Countrywide Financial, Matt Taibbi says the lack of punishment beyond fines for companies could disincline future whistleblowers from coming forward.
New on Next New Deal
Four Ways to Prune a Rose: Why the NYT Missed the Mark on the Inequality Debate
Eric Bernstein, a program associate at the Roosevelt Institute, explains why a study that claims inequality isn't rising was framed and conducted incorrectly and should be dismissed.