A virtual high school in Fairfax?…Lumen8Anacostia opens on Saturday…More metro fare hikes coming soon [News, 4.13.12]

EDUCATION | Fairfax County is looking at a proposal to create a virtual high school. (WaPo, 4/13)

ARTS | Lumen8Anacostia, a project funded by ArtPlace featuring 100 artists, pop-up spaces, live music, and performances along the commercial corridor of Anacostia, opens on Saturday. The goal of the three month project is to creatively use empty storefronts to showcase the history and culture of the neighborhood, in order to “bring people here, connect people and to give people a better understanding of what it’s like to live in Anacostia.” (WTOP, 4/13)

REGIONALISM | City Paper‘s Lydia DePillis questions whether a regional economic plan, rather than economic competitiveness among local jurisdictions, makes the most sense for the Greater Washington region. (City Paper, 4/12)

HEALTH | Chapters of the Susan G. Komen Foundation have restarted their grantmaking to Planned Parenthood affiliates throughout the country. (WaPo, 4/12)

TRANSIT | Metro board members approve fare hikes (Examiner, 4/13). The increases will go into effect on July 1. Needless to say, the changes are extremely complicated.

I have been very distracted this morning while trying to write the Daily by Google Art Project, a huge collection of extremely high resolution photos of art from museums around the world. I highly recommend that you don’t click this link if you have work to get done.


Bracing our region’s economy for federal spending cuts…Effective teachers are spread fairly evenly across the District…Rosenman shares more data about funding priorities [News, 1.30.12]

REGION | Frank Principi, Chairman of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments, says that our region’s economy has become overly reliant on the federal government. With major federal spending cuts expected, he says (WaPo, 1/30):

To maintain and improve the region’s economic growth and competitiveness, we need to develop new job sectors and recruit and retain skilled workers for those sectors. Which sectors should metropolitan Washington focus on? How will this development and recruitment occur? What resources are needed to ensure success?

To answer these questions, the Council of Governments is working “to hammer out a plan for economic growth and competitiveness in a new reality of fewer federal workers and less federal spending.”

EDUCATION | One complaint in the conversation around education reform in the District is that there is a disproportionate number of “highly effective” teachers in wealthier school districts. The Examiner ran an analysis and found that when “effective” teachers are mixed in with the “highly effective” ones, the distribution is far more even across all wards. (Examiner, 1/30)

COMMUNITY | The Prince Charitable Trusts’ Kristin Pauly shared the news that Leonard Berman has joined their D.C. staff as a part-time Senior Program Officer. He has been serving as a consultant to Prince Charitable Trusts since 2001. He came to Prince with 15 years of philanthropic experience, having previously served as a Program Officer with the Public Welfare Foundation and as Senior Program Officer/Consultant with the Arlington Health Foundation and the Case Foundation.

Len has always been an important member of the WRAG community, and we’re excited to hear about his new role. Congratulations, Len!

FOLLOW UP | In a comment on my response to Pablo Eisenberg, reader K.L. Davis cited Mark Rosenman’s “Charities Suffer From a Wealth Gap, Too” article in last week’s Chronicle of Philanthropy as useful evidence to support Eisenberg’s position. Rosenman himself then weighed in with some interesting additional data related to the conversation:

According to the most recent data available in Foundation Center publications, well under a third of grant dollars are aimed at the “economically disadvantaged” and only about 12% (including many of those same dollars — double counting them) go to human services. That compares to 23% going to education and 23% going to health. As to “social justice” — (which includes — again double-counting — some grants categorized as for the economically disadvantaged, human services, health and education in the preceding sentence), that figure is about 12%.

Thank you to both Mark and K.L. – and our other readers who sent comments – for the thoughtful engagement!

ENVIRONMENT | You can thank a “Bandalong litter trap” for helping keep the Anacostia cleaner. The device, paid for by the District’s bag tax, captures floating trash. (WAMU, 1/30) I wonder if it captures floating bodies, like the one my little brother’s crew team bumped into on the Anacostia last year. True story.

HEALTH | Anti-Sprawl Doctor to Host PBS Series on Urban Design and Public Health (DC Streets, 1/27) “We have built America in a way that is… fundamentally unhealthy.”

- Related: This series sounds like it will be a good companion to the 2008 series Unnatural Causes, which generated great conversation in the funding community.

- New Potomac river crossing coming? (WTOP, 1/30) Don’t hold your breath!

- ‘Social Equity’ to Be Weighed in U.S. Transit Funding Rule (Bloomberg, 1/28)

Happy Monday, friends. It looks like it is going to be a beautiful late spring mid-winter week, with temperatures in the mid sixties?!

In colder news, something pretty crazy happened at the X-Games this weekend. Snowmobiler Heath Frisby (great name) became the first person to successfully land a front flip in competition. Watch this video, and then consider what might have happened if he wasn’t absolutely perfect in the execution.

New study from Bank of America finds that women are primary philanthropic decision makers in wealthy households [News, 12.13.11]

GIVING | A new study released yesterday by Bank of America on high net worth individuals finds that women are the primary decision makers when it comes to philanthropy. Highlights from the report include (MarketWatch, 12/12):

- Women spend more time than men on due diligence before making decisions about giving to a charitable organization.

- Women expect a deeper level of communication with the organizations they support and place greater importance than men on the efficiency and effectiveness of the organization and hearing about the impact of their gift.

- Women want to be actively involved with an organization and its mission, with volunteering being among the most important motivations for women to give.

- Women are more likely than men to stop giving to an organization they had previously supported whereas men tend to support the same causes year after year.

Related: Why Wealthy Women Give: to Influence the Young (Chronicle, 12/13)

WORKFORCE | In September, District Mayor Vincent Gray announced a program that would match 10,000 unemployed D.C. residents with private-sector jobs. A thousand residents have been matched so far, and private businesses have lined up to participate. But now the city is having trouble finding more unemployed candidates for the program, so it is planning to try new tactics to identify them – including using Twitter, Facebook, and text messaging. (WaPo, 12/13)

So despite the fact that parts of the city are experiencing “depression level” unemployment, the government can’t find them? Well, here’s a map of where the unemployed people are -just roll your mouse over each ward!

HOUSING | Low-Income Housing Advocates Upset Over Cuts (WAMU, 12/12) “[T]he District cut $18 million from its Housing Production Trust Fund, which many low-income families depend on for their housing.”

REGION UNITED | Richard Hall, Maryland’s Secretary of Planning, writes about how the state’s PlanMaryland effort – a comprehensive sustainable growth and development plan – aligns well with the Region Forward plan. (RF Blog, 12/12)

- Washington Gas to clean Anacostia riverbank under new agreement (WaPo, 12/13)

- D.C. mayor planning environmental initiative (WaPo, 12/13) “[A]n environmental initiative [Vincent Gray] thinks will one day make the city a national model for clean energy, urban farming, green space and car-free transportation options.”

EDUCATION | DCPS is cracking down on enrollment fraud, and some cases are being taken by federal prosecutors. (WaPo, 12/13) I hate situations where kids get stuck paying for their parents’ mistakes, but parents also shouldn’t have to feel like their local public school options aren’t good enough for their kids.

Scientists claim that they are getting closer to being able to directly inject knowledge (in layman’s terms) into a human brain. What would our world look like if that comes to pass? Exciting and scary to think about!


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