Blogs

Longtime KF Associate Kate Sheaffer Has Passed Away

Kate Sheaffer, a longtime associate who helped bring national attention to the Kettering Foundation’s work, died at a Hospice in Calvary Hospital in New York City Monday, November 3, after a long battle with cancer.  She had been a prominent part of the KF family for more than 30 years.

Developing Our Civic Culture: State Legislators and Public Engagement

Photo taken at the National Conference of State Legislatures & Kettering Foundation Citizen Engagement Workshop • Dayton, Ohio • July 9-10, 2014

Hawaii state senator Les Ihara Jr. has found many state legislators interested in engaging, deliberating, and collaborating with citizens and stakeholders on public policy issues. Former Kettering Foundation research assistant Jack Becker recently sat down with Senator Ihara to talk about his work in supporting legislators’ citizen engagement interests.

Barn Raising Matters: Nancy Cantor at September Dayton Days

Maura Casey, a former New York Times editorial writer and now an associate with the Kettering Foundation, reports on Nancy Cantor’s recent visit to the Kettering Foundation. Cantor was invited to speak during September Dayton Days, our monthly research meeting. In particular, she was asked to address one of Kettering’s research questions involving institutions of higher education: How can community engagement practices evolve beyond service and volunteer models to contribute to and strengthen the civic life of communities?

Understanding the Public: Lessons from Public Agenda’s Jean Johnson

Since its founding in 1975, Public Agenda has been intimately involved in nonpartisan opinion research and stakeholder engagement.

Americans and the Environment: What’s At Issue?

The environment doesn’t rank among our top priorities as a nation. Public opinion research shows that our most pressing concerns tend to revolve around the economy, unemployment, and the budget deficit.

Real Impact: The Challenges of Community Engagement in Higher Education

Many communities lack the basic civic muscle necessary to form a strong community. Conflict management and decision-making skills seem far and few, and basic political knowledge about our communities and nation, many argue, seem scarce.

Parent Involvement in Education: What Really Matters Most?

Would eating less margarine reduce the divorce rate in Maine? Could we increase the number of graduate engineering degrees by upping mozzarella consumption? Some correlations are ridiculous, which is exactly the point of the very clever web site “Spurious Correlations.”

Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums

We are happy to announce the publication of a new report, Developing Materials for Deliberative Forums, a guide for anyone interested in creating materials to support deliberative conversations on difficult public issues.

Citizens and Elected Officials: What Kind of Relationship Should There Be?

Matt Leighninger thinks the capacities of citizens have grown tremendously over the years. But one of the misalignments between having better engagement and more productive use of citizens’ capacities has been the inclination of decision makers to adopt a “child-to-adult” orientation to the public. What we need, he says, is an “adult-to-adult relationship.”

 

Is This Really Working for Us? Public Views on Foreign Policy

“We, as a country, are just spread way too thin to get involved in anything else . . . “

“I understand the need for world order . . . but it just seems like whenever there is a huge international crisis, the United States is always the first one to run out and open [its] mouth . . . “

“I think we really should focus on this country. We are in such trouble ourselves.”