This week, we discuss how Brexit led British Prime Minister Theresa May to resign; why “great-power competition” doesn't describe the world today; social and emotional learning; doctor reviews in health care; reducing suicide among U.S. veterans; and the value of a good teacher.
Last Friday, British Prime Minister Theresa May announced that she will soon resign. Several factors led to her downfall, writes RAND's Charles Ries. He cites the “essential contradictions” of Brexit, messy negotiations with the European Union, and May's poor political judgement. The British public's indecision was also working against her. What might come next? Ries says that these same problems could handcuff May's successor.
Many foreign policy experts have said that the world is in a new era of great-power competition. But viewing today's global politics this way is both inaccurate and dangerous, says RAND's Michael Mazarr. If Washington thinks of itself as “one desperate, self-interested geopolitical chess player among many, grasping for temporary and transactional advantages,” then its role as leader of the international order will likely further diminish.
There is evidence that social and emotional learning contributes to student success. But how do educators feel about this approach? Results from a new RAND survey show widespread support for SEL. Most educators believe these programs improve both student outcomes and school climate. Notably, many principals and teachers said that they needed more time to address SEL.
There are dozens of websites that allow patients to rate and review their doctors. Does this feedback help other patients make better-informed decisions? And do the reviews help providers understand how to improve care? RAND researchers have been exploring the power—and pitfalls—of using reviews in health care. The goal: develop a more effective and reliable way for patients to provide narrative feedback about the care they receive.
Twenty U.S. veterans die each day by suicide. A comprehensive public health approach could help prevent these tragedies, says RAND's Terri Tanielian. In a recent congressional testimony, she listed several specific recommendations. These include promoting better sleep, restricting access to firearms among at-risk veterans, and eliminating the culture of sexual harassment and assault in the military community.
Effective teachers can make a difference beyond their own classrooms, according to RAND research. How? Better-educated students go on to have a positive effect on their peers. By failing to consider this “spillover effect,” schools may be undervaluing teachers by at least 30 percent. This evidence could be particularly valuable to policymakers who assess teacher improvement programs.
Get Weekly Updates from RAND
If you enjoyed this weekly recap, consider subscribing to Policy Currents, our newsletter and podcast.