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June 27, 2012 / Christian Clansky

The ripple effect of transportation policy…Less than 25% of DCPS grads finish college in six years…National HIV Testing Day [News, 6.27.12]

POLICY | Yesterday, we linked to a Post article about the wide-ranging implications of the Northern Virginia streetcar project. In today’s Daily, WRAG President Tamara Copeland reflects on the history of Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood and how its demise offers important lessons for new transportation policies (WG Daily, 6/27):

[W]hen regional leaders start to talk about transportation policy and locations of streetcars, bike paths, and new roadways, I sometimes glaze over. I’m far more concerned about access to health care, community stabilization, and educational and workforce opportunities. I said that one day and a very wise colleague reminded me that transportation policy has historically played a pivotal role in creating pockets of geographic isolation and poverty.

HIV/AIDS | Today is National HIV Testing Day. Under a new two-year pilot program announced by the CDC yesterday, Walgreens and a number of other pharmacies will offer fast and free HIV tests. (WaPo, 6/27)

Related: Here’s where to get tested locally.

EDUCATION | According to estimates from the District’s Office of the State Superintendent of Education, only 23% of graduating D.C. high schoolers end up finishing college or post-seconday school within six years. (Examiner, 6/27)

Editorial: Pr. George’s faces an education reality check (WaPo, 6/27) “Leading any school system is challenging. It’s especially difficult in Prince George’s, where pretty much every politician, from school board member on up, thinks he or she knows what’s best and doesn’t hesitate to interfere.”

GIVING | The Annie E. Casey Foundation has announced that it will close its Casey Family Services foster-care unit, which operates in seven states. The closure will free about $20 million in annual giving (Chronicle, 6/27):

Patrick McCarthy, president of the Casey Foundation, said he believes his organization can do more good by providing grants to improve child welfare across the country than it can by continuing to assist the 400 to 600 youngsters it now helps through direct services.

VETERANS | Three Families Unite to Raise $30-Million for Aid to Veterans (Chronicle, 6/27)

HUNGER | Opinion: Share Our Strength’s Billy Shore writes about childhood hunger and the 2012 election. He closes with a particularly powerful thought that we should all consider (HuffPo, 6/26):

Government once played the noble role of fighting for those among us without champions. That abandoned territory now is too often the province of nonprofits, foundations, and philanthropy, whose good intentions and entrepreneurial approaches lack the resources to scale. Sadly we are long past the point of expecting nobility from politicians of either party, but we should still demand it of ourselves.

LOCAL | The Anacostia Riverwalk Trail has been given a $10m grant from the Department of Transportation to build a new four-mile stretch. The expansion will connect 16 waterfront communities and link to trails in Maryland and the District. (WTOP, 6/27)

It is really sad to hear of the great filmmaker Nora Ephron‘s death. She made huge contributions to Hollywood, but I have a special fondness for her underappreciated script for the Steve Martin-Rick Moranis comedy My Blue Heaven. When I was looking through her IMDB page, I found this neat photo of Ephron and another legend stolen by cancer – Sydney Pollack.

On a happier note, Tamara’s piece on Jackson Ward reminded me how much I loved Cab Calloway in The Blues Brothers. No video available, but the sound is great here for Minnie the Moocher.


  1. kldavis / Jun 27 2012 1:13 pm

    Re: DCPS high school grads’ postsecondary education completion rate: But the Examiner article didn’t put this in comparative context. What’s the national rate of postsecondary completion? What’s the comparable rate for other cities with high low-income minority populations? Is this simply The Examiner’s usual District bashing or is there a remarkable difference?

  2. christian clansky / Jun 27 2012 2:39 pm

    Agreed – it lacks context. The data set seems to focus on the class of 2005.

    That said, I do think it is an alarming rate regardless. It will be interesting to track rates over the next few years.

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