Youth employment becomes political…Exploring the aging brain…Good and bad budget news in the region [News, 12.6.11]
YOUTH | GOP frontrunner Newt Gingrich recently made comments about a lack of work ethic in “really poor children in really poor neighborhoods.” In response, the Washington Post points to the fact that the District’s summer youth employment program drew nearly 50% more applications than available spots. (WaPo, 12/6)
Gingrich responded that his comments were taken out of context and that he is focused on teaching skills to make low-income populations more competitive in the workforce.
Let’s synthesize something positive: There are a lot of low-income teens who want to work, and our leaders should help them learn to be more competitive in the labor pool. Everyone can agree on that.
AGING | It used to be thought that brain cells die as we get older. New research shows that cells in disease-free brains stay alive, though the connections between them break. Here’s a cool graphic that takes a look inside the old noggin and gives advice on slowing aging. (WaPo, 12/6)
– MoCo Scrambles To Pay For Teacher Pensions (WAMU, 12/6)
– Opinion: A local author writes for the Times about Why School Choice Fails (NY Times, 12/5) “There aren’t enough slots in the best neighborhood and charter schools.”
– D.C. education agency’s progress questioned (WaPo, 12/6)
– First, the good news. Maryland agencies are expecting much smaller budget cuts than in the past three years. (Examiner, 12/6)
– But Fairfax County is bracing for a tight budget next year, and a $114 million gap could hurt school funding. (WaPo, 12/6)
TRANSIT | More construction ahead for H Street trolley line (Examiner, 12/6) Jeez! Get this thing running already. The tracks have been teasing us for years.
EQUITY | Income inequality isn’t just a problem in the United States (though we have one of the worst rates). A new report finds that the wage gap is rising in much of the developed world. (WaPo, 12/6)
Feels like a slow news day. Anyway, as we quickly approach 2012, here’s some new information on why the Mayan civilization might have ended. Pretty interesting read about human impact on the environment.