NoVa street car plan is about much more than transit…Huge demand for District charters…MoCo faces budget shortfall [News, 6.26.12]

TRANSIT (AND MORE) | There are critics of Northern Virginia’s proposed Columbia Pike Transit Initiative. Some think it is unnecessary and a waste of funds, but the Post illustrates the broader importance of the street car line (WaPo, 6/26):

They are trying to put into place a vision that would turn the traffic-clogged, sun-blasted camino of concrete into a tree-lined boulevard fronted by a diverse set of businesses. They also want to entice new businesses that will cater to the 7,000-plus new residents expected to move into 3,900 new apartments over the next 30 years.

They are talking about preserving affordable housing amid growing development pressures and expanding the counties’ tax bases. Last but not least, they want to change societal behavior by coaxing residents and commuters out of their cars and into public transit.

- This week, a group of WRAG members will visit a number of sites along the proposed streetcar line to consider how the expected economic boom caused by the project will affect the low- and moderate-income families who currently live there.

- Neighborhoods Plan Envisions Greater Density for Columbia Pike (ArlNow, 6/26)

- Sharon Bulova, chair of Fairfax County, talks about plans for Tyson’s Corner. (WaPo, 6/25)

EDUCATION | Demand for charter schools is huge in the District. The Examiner reports that there are 17,396 students on waiting lists (Examiner, 6/26):

That’s 51 percent of the total number of students successfully enrolling in the city’s public charter schools in the fall, or 33,699 children. This year, 31,562 students attended charter schools, while 45,630 attended DC Public Schools.

DEMOGRAPHICS | Slate has a short piece that looks at the District’s racial demographics from a quasi-statistical point of view (Slate, 6/26):

Because most Americans aren’t black, if a bunch of “people” go move somewhere that’s currently majority black the tendency will be for the influx to dilute the existing black population.

BUDGETS | Montgomery County facing a $71 million shortfall in fiscal 2014 budget (WaPo, 6/25) The gap is the result of increased debt payments, retiree health benefits, and rising costs for teacher pensions.

CRIME | Two little kids and an adult camp counselor were shot in Southeast yesterday in the middle of the day. Some idiot fired a dozen rounds at another man and didn’t seem to care that there were 30 kids standing there. (WaPo, 6/25) It is utterly unacceptable that these kids aren’t safe playing outside at 12:30 in the afternoon.

ENVIRONMENT | Dirty water puts Washington’s stretch of the Potomac River off-limits to swimmers (WaPo, 6/26)

So it was 66 degrees when I walked to work this morning, and the cool breeze felt like San Francisco. But since this little slice of paradise is going to be replaced by 100 degree heat at the end of the week, here’s some relevant trivia for you.

As everyone is scarfing down ice cream, slurping blended coffee drinks, and crunching ice this weekend, you can impress all of your friends by telling them what causes brain freeze!

Homeless parents risk losing their kids when seeking out services…Patricia Mathews named to Nonprofit Roundtable board…Big demographic shifts in Prince George’s [News, 6.25.12]

HOMELESSNESS/FAMILIES | Family homelessness in the District has jumped 74 percent during the recession, but homeless families are facing a disturbing barrier in receiving services. If a family can’t provide a safe place to sleep for children, the parents can be reported to the Child and Family Services Agency for abuse and neglect. Homeless advocates say that this creates a “climate of fear” while the District says that it is an unfortunate but necessary tactic for keeping children safe. (WaPo, 6/24)

Related: OMB sued for not disclosing full records on federal buildings that could be used for homeless services (WaPo, 6/25)

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County schools Superintendent William Hite is a finalist to take over Philadelphia’s school system. (WaPo, 6/25) It seems like the press could have waited until a decision is made.

AGING | Here’s an in depth look at a terrible national trend – elder fraud. (WTOP, 6/23)

COMMUNITY | The Nonprofit Roundtable has elected Patricia Mathews (Northern Virginia Health Foundation) to its Board of Directors. She also currently serves as WRAG’s vice chair and is the former chair of our Health Working Group.

- No ruling on the healthcare law today. While we wait for the verdict, check out this interesting comparison of causes of death in the United States in 1900 compared to 2010. Fascinating! (WaPo, 6/22) The full report breaks down the decades in between.

- D.C. inmates in federal prison file suit alleging lack of mental health care (WaPo, 6/25)

GRANT REVIEW | The DC Children and Youth Investment Trust Corporation is seeking individuals to review new funding proposals for two grant competitions: Green Team: Tag Removal and Community Beautification and DC YouthLink – Service Coalition.

DEMOGRAPHICS | New census data show that for the first time in more than forty years, “the number of whites in Prince George’s is on the upswing” – as is the number of Asians and Hispanics. The county’s African American population has decreased slightly. (WaPo, 6/25)

Related: Watch These American Cities Segregate, Even As They Diversify (Atlantic, 6/25) Our region (not just the District) is one of the case studies.

Fun facts: When Napoleon Bonaparte retreated from Egypt, he brought back a collection of beautifully woven scarves. Demand for the scarves was very high, but the Egyptian production process was difficult to replicate. Joseph Jacquard solved the problem by inventing a system where punch cards would automate the patterns for looms, vastly reducing labor demands.

In America, statistician Herman Hollerith became convinced that the punch card system could be applied to other things. He invented a tabulating system for the Census Bureau that used punch cards to collect demographic information. Analysis of census data was cut down from eight years to only seven months. Years later, Hollerith’s company was run by Thomas Watson, who renamed the company International Business Machines Corporation – which eventually used punch card technology to create…the IBM computer!

I have no idea why, but Jimmy Soul’s hilarious song If You Wanna Be Happy has been stuck in my head.

And, if you have three minutes to spare, check out this artist(?) who recreated Van Gogh’s The Starry Night painting using falling dominoes.

Data show alarming HIV rates for low-income African American women [News, 6.21.12]

A new study from the District’s Department of Health finds that the HIV infection rate for low-income, heterosexual African American women in the city has almost doubled in two years. Officials attribute the jump to wider testing efforts among high-risk populations revealing infections in previously untested women.

Overall, the city’s HIV/AIDS rate of new cases has decreased slightly in the last four years. (WaPo, 6/21)

Channing Wickham, executive director of the Washington AIDS Partnership, says:

The statistics on this high-risk population are alarming, and are a call to action. An important part of the story that shouldn’t be missed is that the District has made huge strides in its ability to gather useful and accurate data. With this report, the District provides information that shows us exactly where our work needs to be done.

EDUCATION | The College Board has installed a poignant reminder of the nation’s dropout rate in front of the Washington Monument. 857 empty desks sit on the lawn, representing the number of students who drop out of school each hour of every school day. The effort is aimed at making education a top priority for the upcoming presidential race. (MSNBC, 6/20) Thank you to Viki Betancourt at the World Bank for pointing this out.

YOUTH | Rebekah recaps a WRAG event that looked at disconnected youth in the District and the barriers to serving them. (WG Daily, 6/21)

WORKFORCE | From George Mason’s Center for Regional Analysis: “The Washington Metro Area gained 47,000 jobs in May 2012 compared to May 2011. This was the largest year-over-year increase since March 2011. Most of the new jobs are in the Education and Health Services Sector which increased by 16,600. The Federal Government Sector continues to shrink, declining by 3,400 jobs.” Read the full stats here.

VETERANS | The Department of Labor has awarded $15 million in grants to support workforce training for 8,600 homeless veterans. (WaPo, 6/21)

GIVING | According to a new survey, 69 percent of wealthy Americans said that they have an obligation to teach children about philanthropic giving. (Chronicle, 6/22) While that qualifies as a solid majority, what the heck do the other 31 percent think?

HOUSING | Census Bureau: Millions more Americans shared households in face of recession (WaPo, 6/21)

SARTORIAL STANDARDS | GGW has a good piece on how dress codes (federal ones, in particular) make it difficult to bike or walk to work. (GGW, 6/20) I propose a new summer dress code called “beach formal” – shorts/skirts, tucked in polos or dress shirts, and sandals. And sunscreen so the office smells like the beach.

LOCAL | Do you know where St. Elizabeths is? The District is planning summer events at the campus to familiarize the region’s residents with the location. (City Paper, 6/21) According to the District’s website (and a scolding from Rebekah), there is no apostrophe in the campus’ name. This confuses me. How many Elizabeths is the place named after? And even if it is more than one, there should still be an apostrophe! Argh!

Just a reminder that we won’t have a Daily tomorrow. Our computers will probably be melted from this heat by then anyway.

Here’s a story that will make you lose and then regain your faith in humanity. A 68-year old school bus monitor in New York was disgustingly verbally abused by a group of jerk teenagers in New York. Their stupidity was confirmed when they posted the harassment on Facebook.

Well, the video went viral and compassionate masses began donating money to send the victim on the “vacation of a lifetime.” So far, the efforts have raised $170,000. No word yet on how much has been raised to drop the teens off in the middle of a desert.

Hope you all have a nice weekend. Stay cool – and do something nice for somebody.

Meyer Foundation’s Kristen Conte to retire [News, 6.20.12]

COMMUNITY | After thirteen years at the foundation, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation’s vice president for finance and operations, Kristen Conte, will retire. Foundation President and CEO Julie Rogers offers these words of praise:

Kristen Conte

It has been an enormous privilege to work with Kristen for the past 13 years…Although she has not been highly visible to our grantees, her work has been the bedrock on which everything else rests. Kristen has created impeccable systems and policies that have kept the Meyer Foundation stable and well managed even in challenging times. She has also been a wonderful friend and colleague, and will be sorely missed.

WRAG is proud to have counted Kristen as a member, and we send our best wishes and congratulations on her retirement.

ARTS | Ten years ago, the Lorton correctional facility was creatively converted into a regional arts center. It provides theater and studio space, as well as galleries where local arts can showcase their work. But the center is in major financial trouble. (WaPo, 6/20)

- Kaiser Health News notes that if the healthcare law is struck down by the Supreme Court, Medicaid could be severely impacted as states would gain more control over the program. (WaPo, 6/20)

- How Cities Can Help Fight Obesity (Atlantic, 6/19)

- Lead Exposure Affecting Certain Kids In Montgomery County (WAMU, 6/20)

GIVING | Million-Dollar Donations Are on the Decline in 2012 (Chronicle, 6/20)

NONPROFITS | William C. Basl, executive director of the Washington Commission for National and Community Service, will be the new head of AmeriCorps. (Chronicle, 6/20)

BUDGETS | Opinion: The District Should Fully-Fund and Reimburse Interim Disability Assistance (DCFPI, 6/20) “Although $270 may not seem like a lot, recipients depend on this money for rent (often rent shared with others), prescriptions, and necessities like toothpaste.”

WEBINAR | PolicyLink is hosting a webinar titled The Power of Regional Equity Networks next Wednesday. The session will “explore the formation [and maintenance] of effective regional equity networks and coalitions” and look at how these networks can be instrumental in the public policy arena. [More info.]

TRANSIT | Marion Barry wants to stop work on the District’s streetcar plans. Of course, the tracks have already been laid, stations built, and cars ordered. So when he says the new system isn’t well thought-out, one might wonder why he didn’t voice his concerns when the planning and implementation was taking place over the last few years. (WaPo, 6/19)

Related: Greater Greater Washington points out that a streetcar line on H St. was actually Barry’s own idea 15 years ago. (GGW, 6/20)

POLITICS | Well, it has been a full seven days since I used the word “scandal” in the Daily. But following yesterday’s nomination of Michael Kelly to take over the D.C. Housing and Community Development agency, it has been revealed that Kelly resigned his last job in Philadelphia over a sex scandal. (WAMU, 6/20)

Today is officially the first day of summer and, wouldn’t you know it, also Brian Wilson’s 70th birthday. So grab some slices of watermelon and a cold beer (or a delicious watermelon beer), slip on your flip flops, and feel those Good Vibrations! I love summer. 

Giving USA report says prolonged economic struggles are seriously hampering charitable giving recovery [News, 6.19.12]

GIVING | Giving USA’s annual yearbook of American philanthropy finds that charitable giving barely grew last year. The report suggests that the country’s continuing economic struggles are causing serious, long-term damage (Chronicle, 6/19):

“If we continue to grow at this rate, it will take more than a decade to get back to where we were in total giving in 2007,” said Patrick Rooney, executive director of the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy, which compiles “Giving USA.”

Last year Mr. Rooney predicted that a recovery in giving could occur by 2016; now, given current conditions, he says it will more likely be 2022.

Related: Sources of Giving in America: How They Are Recovering From the Recession (Chronicle, 6/19)

- House leader John Boehner and Senator Joe Lieberman announced that they have reached an agreement with the Obama administration to fund and slightly expand the Opportunity Scholarship Program (school vouchers). (WaPo, 6/19) I am unfamiliar with the political concept of “agreement.” Is this something new?

- Last year, two DCPS principals left their jobs to start what has become a very successful cupcake bakery. It sounds like an uplifting story of entrepreneurship, but the former principals’ motivations were as much from disillusionment with the state of school reform as their love for sweets. (WAMU, 6/15)

- Secretary of Education Arne Duncan talks about the importance of parent involvement in a child’s education – and how responsible fatherhood is a thing of increasing rarity in our country. (HuffPo, 6/19)

Related: Fathering Court helps fathers and mothers be better parents (WaPo, 6/17)

- A change in the District’s child welfare laws aimed at eliminating as a subsidy discrepancy has cut funding to 142 children with guardians. (WaPo, 6/19)

COMMUNITY | Council on Foundations Vice President Andrew Schultz is heading to a new position as Executive Vice President & National Director of Community and Legal Relations at Foundation Source. (FS, 6/19)

HOUSING | After resigning from the D.C. Housing Authority under the Fenty administration, Michael Kelly will return as the new director of the District’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The Post calls Kelly’s appointment, which needs to be confirmed by the D.C. Council, an “unexpected shake-up.” (WaPo, 6/19)

BUDGETS | Report: Maryland, Virginia pension underfunding ’cause for serious concern’ (Examiner, 6/19) I’m pretty sure that I could accurately write “cause for serious concern” next to any given budget news item.

Has anyone seen Ridley Scott’s brilliant sci-fi movie Prometheus? At the beginning, Scott runs his panoramic camera over some of our planet’s most beautiful landscapes for a creation sequence. The images are stunningly beautiful. In the same vein, here are ten natural wonders that you might not know about – including a terrifying “Gate to Hell” in Turkmenistan. Wouldn’t want to fall in there!

Region Forward progress measured…Normal Heart called ‘flawless’…A smart and simple solution to a food desert [News, 6.18.12]

REGION | The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments has released a Baseline Progress Report for the Region Forward plan. The report breaks down Region Forward’s 28 goals into three categories – major, moderate, and minor challenges. (RF, 6/14)

Following up on the report, Tamara asks, “Is the Region Forward plan making a difference?” It’s too early to tell, she says, but the plan is worth sticking to (WG Daily, 6/18):

WRAG continues to believe that the Region Forward framework affords funders tangible goals around which to align their giving. It provides the community, writ large, with a shared vision for the future.

Related: A former UMD professor writes in the Post that things are looking pretty optimistic for our region. (WaPo, 6/17)

- Today’s Post reviews Arena Stage’s production of The Normal Heart and praises it as “flawless.” (WaPo, 6/17)

On July 23, a special performance of the show will benefit the Washington AIDS Partnership and its fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic in our region. Tickets can be purchased via this form.

- Aaron Dorfman, executive director for the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, looks at the impact of arts and humanities funding and concludes that the economic activity sparked by such funding – $135.2 billion, to be precise – is a benefit to everyone. (HuffPo, 6/15)

- The Community Foundation for the National Capital Region is accepting nominations for the Linowes Leadership Awards which recognizes “unsung” community leaders region. The nomination form is available here.

- The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation and Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation have partnered with CompassPoint and the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund to conduct a national research project exploring the role of the development director in nonprofit organizations. If you are a Development Director or an Executive Director, they would appreciate your participation in a brief survey.

CIVIC ENGAGEMENT | Meet Terry Lynch, a District resident who keeps a running list of public problems – trash, graffiti, dead trees, potholes, abandoned bikes – and bugs city officials until the problems are fixed. Annoying? Maybe. But Lynch says that 85 percent of his complaints get resolved, so we should all be thanking him. (WaPo, 6/17)

HEALTH | Washington state provides case study on effects of heath-care reform (WaPo, 6/17)

FOOD | A new, free shuttle service gives Ward 8 residents access to a local farmers market where they can buy fresh (and cheap) produce. (WaPo, 6/17) That’s a smart way to fight food deserts.

Related: In April, Wilt Corkern, a trustee at the Corina Higginson Trust and a WRAG Board member, wrote about the importance of getting rid of food deserts. (WG Daily, 4/30)

POLITICS | The Examiner looks at how the absence of Jeffrey Thompson – one of the most influential donors in District politics – will affect the upcoming race for council chair. (Examiner, 6/17)

HOUSING | Columbia Pike housing eyed (WaPo, 6/16) Arlington residents have “expressed concerns Saturday about whether the planned addition of new apartments will overwhelm their small single-family-home areas.”

GAMBLING | MGM Announces Plans For Casino In Prince George’s County (WAMU, 6/18) Hopefully they will also provide transportation into the District so it becomes easier to actually get to National Harbor. Also, Wayne Newton better books some dates there. With all of that plastic surgery, Newton really doesn’t look a day over 70.

We have two big birthdays to celebrate today. Both Paul McCartney and Roger Ebert are turning the big 7-0.

Here’s a snippet from Sir Paul’s awesome 2009 tour (his FedEx Field stop was one of the best concerts I’ve been to) featuring Beatles classics Get Back, St. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and The End.

And here’s a pretty inspiring TED talk that Roger Ebert delivered on how his loss of the ability to speak and eat has given him the opportunity to consider the meaning of communication. Fascinating stuff.

Happy birthday to both!

Virginia cuts funding for disabled foster care…Women’s Foundation announces $358,000 in grants…A UFO on the Beltway! [News, 6.13.12]

YOUTH | Virginia Cuts Funding For Disabled Foster Care Kids (WAMU, 6/13) “[T]here’s a chronic shortage of families willing to take children, and lately the challenge of placing kids has multiplied.”

EDUCATION | Henderson declines to name programs discontinued to pay for school grant competition (WaPo, 6/13)

COMMUNITY | Two announcements from the Washington Area Women’s Foundation:

- The foundation has made $358,000 in grants to 12 local nonprofits that are “transforming the lives of women and girls.” Read about them here.

- The University of Maryland’s Bob Grimm – who partners with WRAG for our Philanthropy Fellows program – and HII Finance Corporation’s Samia Farouki have both been named to the foundation’s board of directors.

- Metaphor of the Day: D.C.’s Housing Market Is the Titanic, Iceberg in Sight (Atlantic, 6/13) At least it isn’t an Avatar metaphor, because that movie was even worse than Titanic.

- D.C. Still Can’t Help You Get a Mortgage (City Paper, 6/13)

LOCAL | Did you happen to see a UFO getting towed on the back of a flatbed last night? Twitter blew up with pictures and tweets about the mysterious object, which turned out to be a Northrop Grumman drone. So really, it actually was a UFO. (Fox, 6/13)

POLITICS | Here are some highlights from yesterday’s strange D.C. Council session to pick a chairman pro tempore:

- After Marion Barry started talking about the Council’s ethical problems, David Catania pointed out that Barry “is a convicted criminal, hasn’t paid his taxes and yet he’s allowed to lecture others on ethics and vote on tax policy.”

- Marion Barry went so far as to say of the Council’s problems, “The only more serious [thing] I can think of is 9/11.”

- And Vincent Orange slammed his fist on the table and affirmed, “Today, Vincent Bernard Orange Sr. is the best candidate for council pro temp [sic]. The best!”

Michael Brown ended up winning the position, with only Orange voting against him. (Examiner, 6/13) I feel like Aaron Sorkin should write a television show about the Council. Actually a comedy writer might be more appropriate.

Related: There’s a good chance that the actress who played Steve Urkel’s girlfriend on Family Matters might be linked to the Harry Thomas scandal. (HuffPo, 6/13) When Thomas was convicted, she probably said this.

TRANSIT | Don’t forget that Metro starts its new “Rush Plus” service on Monday. It is too confusing to explain, so I will operate like nothing has changed and hope that I don’t end up like Charlie on the MTA.

SUMMER SCHEDULE | Over the summer, the Daily will run Monday through Thursday. We’re going to use the extra day to work on a couple of big projects at WRAG. Since we won’t have Friday posts for a bit, you have my permission to start your weekend on Thursdays!

Is anyone going to see the tall ships in Baltimore to celebrate the bicentennial of the War of 1812? Here’s some information if you are interested.

And though it is unrelated to the war, it seems like a good opportunity to listen to Tchaikovsky’s beautiful 1812 Overture.

Have a great weekend!

More than 70% of teens are jobless this summer…Having a father is a ‘luxury’…Mendelson voted in as interim D.C. Council chair [News, 6.13.12]

YOUTH | More than 70% of U.S. teens are jobless this summer, and the Bureau of Labor Statistics says that teen employment might never get back to where it was before the recession. The District leads the list of jurisdictions “most likely to have teens wanting summer work but unable to get it.”

With older adults, immigrants, and recent grads now filling low-skill jobs, teens are feeling the ripple effect. Experts argue that this causes a big problem for teens who were planning to enter the workforce rather than going to school, and it creates debt-risk for teens who want to save for college. (WTOP, 6/13)

FAMILIES | Courtland Milloy considers fatherhood in America and decides, unfortunately, that it has become a “luxury item” for newborns. (WaPo, 6/13)

Roughly one out of every three babies in the United States don’t get the dad. For black children in, say, Maryland and Virginia, 60 percent live in fatherless homes. In the District, it’s 80 percent.

Given all that is known about the benefits of fatherhood — kids less likely to live in poverty, more likely to do well in school, stay healthy and avoid incarceration — why is it so hard to have a two-parent household?

EDUCATION | Rushern Baker forms panel to offer ideas on Pr. George’s schools (WaPo, 6/13)

GIVING | Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has a clear philanthropic philosophy: “I would never give a gift that has restrictions.” (Chronicle, 6/13)

ECONOMY | Maryland, Virginia residents deeper in debt than most Americans (Examiner, 6/13)

TRAFFICKING | Northern Virginia Bill Signing Puts Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence in Spotlight (Connection, 6/13) “A rare moment of bipartisanship between Republican governor and Democratic legislators.”

- The D.C. Council has elected Phil Mendelson to serve as its interim chairman. The Post outlines why he is the right choice. (WaPo, 6/13)

- Interesting question from The AtlanticWhat If Mayors Ruled the World? (Atlantic, 6/13)

DEMOCRACY | The District government is allowing residents to assign grades to some of its agencies. It will release a report card later in the summer. (WaPo, 6/13)

COMMON GRANT APPLICATION | WRAG recently revised its Common Grant Application. This week, we hosted an information session about the revisions. Here are the highlights, as well as registration information for a second information session. (WG Daily, 6/13)

This might just be typical Hollywood patting itself on the back, but Paramount gathered 115 of “the greatest talents to ever work at the studio” (and also Justin Bieber, inexplicably) for a 100th anniversary photoshoot for Vanity Fair. It is pretty neat to see so many icons in one place. Needless to say, Tommy Chong is wearing a marijuana t-shirt and isn’t looking at the camera.

Have a question about the revised Common Grant Application?

Earlier this week the Foundation Center hosted the first of two informational sessions about WRAG’s revised Common Grant Application (CGA) and related forms. Miyesha Perry Chappell of the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation and chair of the Common Grant Application Streamlining Committee spoke with nonprofit organizations about how best to approach some of the application questions. Here are some highlights:

Boards of Directors: Through this new question, funders are looking to find out about the role of organizations’ boards. Does the board help fundraise? Set organizational policies and procedures? Evaluate the executive director? Are there committees of the board? Funders like to know how potential grantees are governed.

Evaluation: The application now places more emphasis on results than on outputs and outcomes, and allows grantseekers to be more flexible in how they describe the goals of their work. Be sure to describe what it is you plan to achieve, how you will measure your success, and the timeline for accomplishing it.

Financials: Always include both pending requests to other funders and other grants that have already been committed. All program officers require this information, but it is often omitted in proposals.

Reports: Be honest about the challenges your organization faces and realistic about how you address them.

To find out Miyesha’s personal top five tips for grantseekers, register for the final information session on June 20 at the Foundation Center.

District says it has universal pre-K, GGW says it doesn’t… Three-quarters of millennials gave to charity last year…Fairfax to weigh student achievement more heavily [News, 6.12.12]

- Fairfax has proposed a plan that would base 40 percent of a teacher’s performance review on student achievement (i.e. test scores). In D.C., student scores count for 50 percent, and Maryland will count for the same amount beginning next year. (WaPo, 6/12)

- Opinion: Greater Greater Washington extensively disputes the District’s claim that is has achieved universal pre-K, and goes so far as to say the Office of the State Superintendent of Education “has misrepresented auditors’ findings.” (GGW, 6/12)

- The Gates Foundation has awarded a large grant for the development of a bracelet that would use “galvanic skin response” to measure whether a student is paying attention. The Post’s Valerie Strauss doesn’t like the idea. (WaPo, 6/11)

- With so much focus on data collection, it is worth stepping back and also considering what is being lost in the name of measurement. You might have seen this since it is the most viewed TED talk ever, but Sir Ken Robinson makes a brilliant and disturbing case for how our school systems are killing creativity. It’s worth 20 minutes of your time to watch the whole talk, I promise.

GIVING | A new survey – the 2012 Millennial Impact Report - finds that 75 percent of people in their 20s and 30s gave to charity last year. The amounts were mostly under $100, but the participation rate is gigantic. (Chronicle, 6/12)

DEMOGRAPHICS | On a list of the 25 U.S. zip codes that gained the largest percentages of white residents from 2000-2010, the District has three spots: zip codes 20001, 20010, 20005. The article outlines the associated neighborhoods. (WaPo, 6/11)

BUDGETS | Members of Fairfax County’s Board of Supervisors want the budget process to be easier to understand, so they are looking at ways to educate the public. An online tool is one possibility. (WAMU, 6/12) Excellent idea.

PHILANTHROPY | The Foundation Center announced that it has acquired IssueLab, “an online publishing forum containing an extensive and diverse body of research produced by the third sector.” (FC, 6/11)

TRANSIT | This weekend, Arlington will vote on a streetcar agreement with Alexandria. The agreement, which is expected to be approved, would let Arlington build a streetcar line in Crystal City while Alexandria looks at a Potomac Yard Metro station. (Arlnow, 6/12) That’s it! I can’t write another blurb about streetcars without linking to this.

POLITICS | Editorial: D.C. Council could usher in a fresh start with overdue reforms (WaPo, 6/12) “More powerful than electing a new chairman or naming a different president pro tem would be the elimination of long-held policies and practices that feed the council’s sense of entitlement.”

Marketing fail of the day: AT&T sent me an email about adding an extra phone line to my account. The subject line read, “OMG Christian, you gotta see this deal.” OMG, delete.

On a different note, here’s a fun video of ten bets that you will always win.


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 47 other followers