EDUCATION | In an op-ed in the Washington Post today, Montgomery County public schools superintendent Joshua Starr explains the value of the Common Core Standards, and calls for school systems to back off standardized testing and teacher accountability reforms until curricula based on these standards are successfully implemented (WaPo, 2/8):
The Common Core State Standards should be our primary focus. But districts around the country are spending so much time implementing new accountability measures and other supposed reforms that they are not developing the system capacity to change teaching and learning in the classroom in ways that will enable our students to achieve Common Core’s promise. School districts are not investing in new curricula, assessments, professional development or data systems… A moratorium on standardized tests would give our school systems the ability to implement the Common Core with fidelity.
ARTS | The DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities has issued a call to artists seeking ideas for “a unique landmark that expresses the character, strength and vibrancy of the Parkside-Kenilworth neighborhood.” (ART202, 2/7)
HEALTH | Virginia lawmakers are moving forward with including the state in Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, contingent upon reforms to the program. If it ultimately passes, 300,000 Virginians would qualify for Medicaid coverage. (Examiner, 2/8)
HOUSING | The D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute points out that Mayor Gray’s one-time commitment of $100 million to affordable housing production isn’t enough to reach his goal of 10,000 units. (DCFPI, 2/6)
GIVING | Because it’s Friday and a slow news day, here’s Stephen Colbert’s take on trendy new bars that donate their proceeds to charity (like D.C.’s Cause PhilanthroPub). (Colbert Report, 2/5) This weekend, remember: friends don’t let friends drink and donate.
Next week an asteroid will be flying past Earth with a margin of error of only 17,200 miles. In the grand scheme of the universe, that seems uncomfortably close to this. Sounds like a good reason to head to the bar, have a beer, and donate to a local nonprofit tonight!