New poverty stats from the census bureau…VA wants everyone to meet the same educational standards…HUD seeks housing funds back from Prince George’s County [News, 9.21.12]

POVERTY | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute digs into new American Community Survey statistics on the District released yesterday. Some of the stats are truly alarming (if not necessarily surprising) (DCFPI, 9/21) In 2011:

- 109,000 residents lived below the poverty line (defined as $23, 021 for a family of four), an increase of three percent since 2007.
- 32,000 children lived below the poverty line.
- Over 60,000 people lived below half the poverty line ($11, 511 for a family of four), an increase of 21 percent since 2007.

EDUCATION
- While stories earlier this week looked at how some states are proposing to close the racial achievement gap by setting different goals for different groups, Virginia is proposing to set the same, rigorous standards for everyone. (WaPo, 9/21)

- Some charter schools in D.C. suspend and expel a whole lot of students. (Examiner, 9/21)

Rethinking the Classroom: Obama’s overhaul of public education (WaPo, 9/21)

EVENT | The Nonprofit Roundtable’s 10th anniversary celebration is coming up on October 10, and will feature the Meyer Foundation‘s Julie Rogers and Venture Philanthropy PartnersMario Marino. More information and registration here.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | The Department of Housing and Urban Development wants $2.4 million in federal funds intended for affordable housing back from Prince George’s County, which they say were mismanaged during former county executive Jack Johnson’s administration. (WaPo, 9/20)

PHILANTHROPY
- Opinion: Philanthropy Isn’t Waiting for Politicians to Assign it a Role 
(Chronicle, 9/16)

Past philanthropists: How giving has evolved (BBC, 9/16)

NONPROFITS | The Eight-Word  Mission Statement (SSIR, 9/18)


Election season would be altogether more awesome if all candidates got the West Wing cast to do their ads.

-Rebekah

VA farmers’ markets to accept food stamps…Local arts leaders join CDP board…The latest on employment trends in the District [News, 8.17.12]

FOOD | Virginia farmers’ markets will soon begin accepting food stamps. (WTOP, 8/17)

ARTS
The Cultural Data Project, an online data collection system for arts and culture organizations, recently announced the makeup of its new board of directors as it transitions into an independent nonprofit organization. The board includes two local arts leaders: Board chair Glen Howard, managing director at Pew Charitable Trusts, and Suzan Jenkins, CEO of the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County.

Related: Last year, The Morris and Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation‘s Michael Bigley wrote about why he’s excited about the DC Cultural Data Project (WG Daily, 10/11/11)

- Michael Kaiser eavesdrops on a conversation that underscores the value of engaging people in the arts. (Huffington Post, 8/13)

JOBS | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute looks at the latest employment data in the District. The not-remotely-unexpected take away: unemployment is falling, but more so for white and college-educated workers. (DCFPI, 8/14)

CHILDREN/YOUTH | For the first time, D.C. will ask about children’s immigration status in applications for after-school programs as required by federal law, but their status won’t keep them out of programs. (WaPo, 8/16)

DISTRICT | Facts and Fictions of D.C.’s Gentrification (Atlantic Cities, 8/10) A long, but thought-provoking look at how U Street has changed over the past decades.

HOUSING/HEALTH | Prince George’s County Bans Smoking In Public Housing (WAMU, 8/17)

GRANTMAKING | Opinion: For Foundations, Clearer Writing Means Wiser Grant Making (Chronicle, 7/22 – subscription) “…When you next look down at the sentence in that grant write-up that says, ‘The primary stakeholder will operationalize the leverage so they can scale their sustainability infrastructure,’ please change it to ‘They will hire a fundraiser.’”


In honor of Shark Week, one of the best scenes from my all-time favorite movie.

-Rebekah

The very special ‘Once Every Four Years’ edition of The Daily [News, 2.29.12]

EDUCATION | District Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson is calling for the creation of national standards for investigating cheating on standardized tests. At a symposium with the Department of Education yesterday, she said (Examiner, 2/29):

Because there is no standard, either for identifying potential wrongdoing or for investigating once cheating is alleged, we are left with a fuzzy picture of what reliable outcomes are.”

YOUTH | D.C. Council Examines Cancelled Youth Job Training Contract (WAMU, 2/29)

ARTS
- The annual Helen Hayes Awards nominations for local theater have been announced. Here’s the full list. (Washingtonian, 2/29)

- Opinion: Robert Bettman, board chair of DC Advocates for the Arts, asks, Why Don’t Mary Cheh or Tommy Wells Support $10 Million for D.C. Arts? (HuffPo, 2/29)

WORKFORCE | A new report from the DC Fiscal Policy Institute takes a look at the steadily rising unemployment rate in the District, which was 10.3 percent at the end of 2011. Highlights of the report include (DCFPI, 2/28):

- Residents with a high school diploma faced a substantial increase in unemployment.
- Unemployment among Black residents has risen notably.
- Young workers still have a high unemployment rate.
- Low-wage workers saw a slight decrease in unemployment rates this year.

HEALTH
- The head of Dimensions Healthcare System, the company that operates Prince George’s Hospital Center, has resigned following allegations that he received kickbacks. (WBJ, 2/29)

- With Few Other Options, More Low-Income Patients Visit ER for Dental Care (WAMU, 2/29)

- Georgetown medical students check up on underserved (WaPo, 2/29)

BUDGETS | Fairfax Executive Presents $6.7 Billion Budget (WAMU, 2/29) The headline reminded me of this clip.

ENVIRONMENT | Graph of the Day: Suburbanites Pollute More (City Paper, 2/29) I’m not sure if I believe this, but the reasoning is that city dwellers pollute less “[n]ot because they’re better people, necessarily, but because their surroundings just allow them to be more efficient.”

Related: Perhaps it has something to do with the District being the first local jurisdiction to have a bag tax. Montgomery County now has one, too, but Virginia recently rejected the option. (Pilot Online, 1/21)

TRANSIT | Metro creates new bus alert system for delays (Examiner, 2/29) The new system is just a permanent statement on WMATA’s homepage that reads, “Metro buses are delayed.” Just kidding, but that would be accurate.

LEAP DAY | On the subject of Leap Day – which is rather unjustly not recognized as a federal holiday – do you know the legend of Leap Day William (pictured to the right)? If you aren’t wearing yellow and blue today, then you probably don’t. But rest easy, NBC’s 30 Rock dedicated an episode to it which you can see on Hulu for free.

Also, here’s a great explanation for why we need leap years - and it isn’t nearly as simple as we were all taught in second grade. (UPDATE: fixed the link. Sorry about that.)


Greater Greater Washington linked to this very cool blog post about the history of Constitution Avenue, which was once an above-ground canal that is now underground. Definitely worth a read. An added bonus for those of you dreading the upcoming tax deadline – the IRS building is apparently built on top of wooden piers that extend into the underground creek. So there’s always the possibility that the IRS could sink…

How Harry Thomas used youth funds…Education rankings released (congrats Maryland)…Local workforce development services mapped [News, 1.12.12]

HOMELESSNESS | Mary Otto, editor of Street Sense, reflects on the sad trend of homeless individuals’ lives being cut short by disease, addiction, and violence. (Street Sense, 1/11)

EDUCATION | According to Education Week’s annual survey, Maryland public schools are the best in the nation – a ranking held now for four consecutive years. Virginia isn’t far behind with fourth place, but D.C. is scraping the bottom at number 49. (WaPo, 1/12)

WORKFORCE | The DC Fiscal Policy Institute has created a resource map that locates workforce development services in the District. Here’s a blog post that explores the map. (CFNCR, 1/11)

LOCAL | The Post takes a deeper look at how Harry Thomas took money from the city. In particular, the article details how $110,000 was directed away from the D.C. Children and Youth Investement Trust Corporation by its former executive director – from a city fund for drug prevention and at-risk children – to fund an inaugural ball.

Amid the fallout, current Trust executive director Ellen London remains focused on the thousands of District youth that the organization serves. “It is more important than ever that this work continue,” she said. (WaPo, 1/12)

WWW… | Get ready for a digital identity crisis. Due to concerns over the ease of securing a .org domain name – which frequently leads to fraud – oversight groups are pushing for nonprofits to adopt a new and more secure suffix - .ngo – instead. The change would have a lot of consequences though. (Chronicle, 1/12)

ARTS | Thanks to the Cafritz Foundation’s Michael Bigley for pointing out this article that runs some numbers to answer the question, How Good Is D.C. to Artists, Musicians, and Writers? (Atlantic, 1/3)

NONPROFITS | Budget Cut Could Curtail Oversight of National-Service Programs (Chronicle, 1/12)

TRANSIT
- A WTOP investigation has uncovered hundreds of dashboard camera videos from Metro buses that show reckless driving, accidents, and even pedestrians being hit. (WTOP, 1/11) And also, remember how great this movie was?

- D.C.’s streetcar program has hit another snag. (WBJ, 1/12) Ancient proverb: Don’t lay down streetcar tracks until you actually have streetcars, a power supply, a turnaround point, and the money to pay for everything.


In case you have a good chunk of free time to ponder ethical questions, here’s one for the digital age courtesy of The Atlantic: How much does file sharing resemble stealing – and does it matter?

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