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February 4, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Alarming statistics from Raise D.C. report [News, 2.4.13]

YOUTH | Last year, District Mayor Vincent Gray launched Raise D.C., an initiative that brought together leaders in the government, philanthropic, and nonprofit sectors to consider improving outcomes for the city’s youth. The group released a snapshot of collected data and the facts are alarming. Only 40% of third-graders can read proficiently and only 40% of young adults have full-time jobs.

The report also looks at math proficiency, graduation rates, and truancy. Terri Lee Freeman, WRAG’s board chair and president of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, is a member of Raise D.C. and shares her thoughts on the initiative’s goals (WaPo, 2/4):


[S]he believes that Raise D.C.’s clear goals will focus citywide efforts, helping nonprofits and city agencies make more efficient and effective use of donations.

“It’s not just pulling stuff out of the air, but looking at data to determine how should we use resources in the public school system, and in the community, to move young people to the points where we want them to be,” Freeman said.

PHILANTHROPY | Pablo Eisenberg writes about the retirement of Tom Scanlon, a 40 year veteran of the Public Welfare Foundation’s board. Upon his retirement, Scanlon penned a letter reflecting on how mistakes of the past can teach valuable lessons for the future. (Chronicle, 2/2)

HOUSING | A Georgetown University professor did some interesting research on home ownership vs. renting and whether the distinction makes a difference in civic engagement. He points out that the government spends twice as much as HUD’s budget on home ownership subsidies every year – but it might be a huge waste of money. (Gtown, 1/31)

GROWTH | As Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker looks at options for locating a new hospital, advocates are pushing for him to ensure that the location is near a Metro station. (WaPo, 2/4)

EDUCATION | Two-and-a-half years after her term as chancellor ended, Michelle Rhee is still in the national spotlight talking about her philosophy and tactics. She was on George Stephanopoulos’ show yesterday. (ABC, 2/3)

LOCAL
– Apparently our region is going to be guarded by giant surveillance blimps. They’ll take the skies by September of this year. (Yahoo, 2/4)

- Congratulations to our neighbors up I-95 on their Super Bowl win. Here in our region, we have something to celebrate, too – Robert Griffin III was named the NFL’s Rookie of the Year. And he walked on stage unassisted! (WaPo, 2/3)


Well, New Orleans did itself no favors in the reputation department by having a massive power outage during the Super Bowl. It did provide an opportunity for some amusing commentary though. My favorite was a tweet that anticipated that the blame would be placed on George W. Bush.

Anyhow, there weren’t a ton of great commercials last night, but there were my favorites: Taco Bell’s ode to youth, Kia’s explanation of where babies come from, Axe’s trumping of romantic cliches, and Deion Sanders’ need to prove himself.

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