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March 14, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Special WaPo report on youth…Education news from across the region…Local population boom slowing

CHILDREN/FAMILIES | The Washington Post has a special section today on children and families. Here’s the editorial frame:

About 75 million Americans are under the age of 18, and more than 16 million of these kids live in poverty. Many sit in bright classrooms where they are taught by excellent teachers and go home to parents who shower them with every advantage. But far too many kids are stuck. They are trapped in drab schools of little learning and in troubled neighborhoods filled with jobless adults. These young people — and their difficulty in finding a path to a better future — are a growing national concern.

The full section of articles, opinions, and videos is located here. Highlights include:

- Opinion: Three simple rules poor teens should follow to join the middle class by the Brookings Institution’s Ron Haskins

- Opinion: Give low-income families the support they need to help kids succeed by Jared Bernstein from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

- After 20 years, some want more from Family and Medical Leave Act

- Policymakers, business leaders say preschool can pay big dividends

EDUCATION
– Prince George’s County has narrowed its schools superintendent candidate list to three – current interim superintendent Alvin Crawley, Durham superintendent Eric Becoats, and Chicago schools chief Harrison Peters. The Post profiles all three candidates and says that the stakes are very high (WaPo, 3/14):

The superintendent will step into a struggling system that is working to implement Common Core standards, reform its teacher-evaluation process and improve student achievement.

It is also a pivotal moment for Prince George’s County at large, as parents, elected officials and civic and business leaders have pinned much of the county’s future on the turnaround of its schools.

- Some District parents are concerned that some schools’ budgets will cause cuts to key staff and services while lower-priority positions get new funding. (WaPo, 3/14)

- As Montgomery Council considers budget, questions about “crown jewel” schools (WaPo, 3/14) I don’t think England would be very happy about us trying to pay for our schools with their jewels.

- In Montgomery schools, achievement gap widens in some areas, drawing criticism (WaPo, 3/13)

- Are early education (pre-K) efforts in the District working? (GGE, 3/13)

SEQUESTRATION | Here’s a brief look at some of the proposed tax hikes and service cuts that local jurisdictions are considering to deal with sequestration. George Mason University professor Frank Shafroth says of local officials (WAMU, 3/14):

The last decade, I think they saw everything growing…Now I think they are with Rod Serling in the Twilight Zone.

“It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition…and sequestration…and it lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.”

DEMOGRAPHICS
– Unfortunately we’re not dealing with imaginations here, and the Post reports that our region’s population growth rate is slowing down after years of “explosive” increases. (WaPo, 3/14)

- D.C. population swells, immigrants flock to suburbs (Examiner, 3/14)

COMMUNITY | Here’s a great look at Capital One’s method of aligning corporate social responsibility goals with its full body of work. (CSRwire, 3/13)

NONPROFITS | C.Fox Communications is accepting applications for its fourth annual inspired thought Award. The it Award is worth up to $20,000 of pro bono public relations services for nonprofit award winners. [More info.]

PHILANTHROPY | Providence has been announced as the winner of the Bloomberg Philanthropies’ Mayors Challenge for innovation in early childhood education. Read more about it and the five other winners. (Atlantic, 3/14)

DAILY | Tomorrow, Friday the 15th, the Daily WRAG will be offline for maintenance. When it returns, your minds will drift to thoughts of an ugly caterpillar that entered a pupa and emerged a beautiful butterfly.


Happy Pi Day, everyone! Here are some ways you can celebrate. I’ll be eating pie today, 3/14, at 1:59 and 26.54 seconds.

And an early Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Here’s my favorite song from the Irish band Flogging Molly – Rebels of the Sacred Heart.

See you Monday!

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