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April 24, 2012 / Christian Clansky

New 20-year sustainability plan for the District…Fairfax hears from many advocates on county services budget…Prince George’s middle schoolers get longer days [News, 4.24.12]

LOCAL | Mayor Gray will release a 20-year sustainability plan for the District today that features a far-reaching vision for how the city’s residents live, eat, and commute (WaPo, 4/24):

In 20 years, nearly everyone would get around by foot, bicycle, new streetcar lines, bus or Metro. Homes and apartment buildings would feature compost piles and adhere to more aggressive recycling standards. Roofs would be green, and the city government would monitor fossil fuel consumption.

I wish we would create a network of canals across the city so that we could jet-ski everywhere. We could call D.C. “The Venice of the Mid-Atlantic.” Maybe I should be a city planner.

BUDGETS | As Fairfax County prepares to make final changes to its FY2013 budget, a large and diverse group of advocates showcase the difficulties in making funding decisions. (WaPo, 4/24)

ARTS | Here are the winners of the 28th Helen Hayes Awards, led by the Signature Theare’s production of Hairspray. (CityPaper, 4/24)

YOUTH | Two quick recaps from yesterday’s Human Services Committee hearing on the District’s youth services budget and management:

Youth nonprofit executives endure tough questioning (WaPo, 4/23)

Troubled D.C. grant organization lax on own financial controls (Examiner, 4/24)

EDUCATION | Earlier this month, Darryl Robingson, a former student of the Parkside campus of the Cesar Chavez Public Charters Schools for Public Policy, wrote an article for the Post about feeling unprepared for college. Tracy Wright, Chief Academic Officer at Cesar Chavez, says that Darryl’s story is an important illustration of the challenges D.C. educators are rising to meet:

Darryl’s insight brings light to the great challenge we face as educators of urban students in Washington, DC. Our teachers are tasked with remediating skills, some of which should have been mastered in elementary school and others in middle school, while simultaneously teaching college preparatory content. Darryl’s words serve as a reminder that our mission is urgent and our work is most important.

Four new charter schools to open in 2013 (WaPo, 4/24) The charter board selected the four schools from 11 applications, but they rejected my proposal of a school for mutants.

– Starting in August, most Prince George’s middle schoolers will have a longer school day with the extra time devoted to science, math, and reading for remedial students and enrichment classes for others. The plan faces some serious opposition though (WaPo, 4/24):

“What?!” one shocked student at Oxon Hill Middle School said when she and some friends learned of the plans.

National resolution against high-stakes tests released (WaPo, 4/24)

FOOD | Mike Curtin, CEO of D.C. Central Kitchen, writes about the complexities of healthy food access. (HuffPo, 4/23)

NONPROFITS | An ethical question debated: Is it ok to solicit large gifts by lubricating funders with drinks? (Chronicle, 4/24)

I know that I’ve included a bunch of obituaries in the space recently, but I have to share one more. British citizen Alex Cassie has passed away at 95 – but his story is part of a legend. Cassie was a British bomber in WWII who expertly forged documents to help 76 fellow POWs escape a Nazi prison camp. Sound familiar? Here’s why.

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