EDUCATION | A new report finds that the achievement gap is widening in Montgomery County schools, as schools become more divided by race and income (WaPo, 4/9):
The report, which comes amid county discussions about the school district’s $2.3 billion budget request, creates a portrait that is at odds with the popular image of Montgomery as a prosperous suburb of high-performing schools. It points to an economically divided county where the level of high school poverty appears to make an academic difference.
The share of black and Latino students grew in high-poverty schools, while the share of white and Asian students grew at low-poverty schools during the past three years, according to the report. Performance also diverged.
At high-poverty schools, students were 9 percent less likely to graduate on time and 45 percent less likely to earn at least one passing score on an Advanced Placement exam than their counterparts at wealthier schools. Students at high-poverty schools were 29 percent less likely to complete an Algebra 2 course with a C or better by the 11th grade, and they were 56 percent less likely to score a 1650 or better on the SAT than students at more affluent schools.
VETERANS | The latest installment of the Post‘s excellent multi-part series on veterans looks at the physical and mental consequences of deployments in Iraq and Afghanistan, beyond injuries sustained in combat (WaPo, 4/9):
But their ailments nonetheless can be life-altering – chronic pain, fits of anger, sleeplessness, incessant ringing in the ears – and have added to the ongoing cost of the wars. Of those no longer serving in the military, 45 percent have sought compensation for service-related disabilities, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. Thirty-seven percent of them have been deemed disabled enough to receive lifelong payments, a figure that could increase as the department works through a mountain of unprocessed claims.
The Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts may have their own unique health legacy. Thousands of troops who walked away from roadside bomb blasts, because of luck or mine-resistant trucks or both, may nonetheless have suffered moderate brain injuries that could cause long-term health consequences.
COMMUNITY | In honor of Equal Pay Day (which technically was yesterday, but I think the sentiment still holds today), Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, interim president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, wrote about why we can’t afford to wait to close the gender pay gap. (WAWF, 4/8)
- To address the need for more playgrounds throughout the city, particularly in low-income areas where many children don’t have access to safe places for outdoor activity, the Office of Planning has launched a design competition for “arts-based” play spaces. The competition is funded by a grant from ArtPlace America. (GGW, 4/9)
TRANSIT | Many thanks to the Daily reader who yesterday sent me a link to the, in her words, “most thorough and frequently updated resource” on the progress of the Silver Line.
WRAG | Not to toot our own horn, but we very (very) happily announced the launch of our brand spankin’ new website this morning. Check it out!
Ever heard of Schlieren flow visualization? Despite the name, it’s actually kind of cool.
The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.