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December 11, 2012 / Christian Clansky

D.C. ranks third for school choice…Food options remain sparse east of the river…Pablo Eisenberg on philanthropy’s challenges [News, 12.11.12]

EDUCATION | The Brookings Institution’s Education Choice and Competition Index ranks the District third in the entire country, behind only New Orleans and New York City. (Would D.C. have been number one if it had been named “New D.C.”? Hard to say.)

The ranking considers the variety of school choices – traditional public, charter, and private (WaPo, 12/11):

“The thing that of course stands out about the District of Columbia is that 40, 45 percent of kids are in schools of choice — which is very high with respect to the rest of the nation,” said Grover J. Whitehurst, director of the institution’s Brown Center on Education Policy and a key figure in developing the index.

Brookings does take issue with the District’s admissions process, however.

COMMUNITY | Last week, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region honored the Hill-Snowdon Foundation’s Dick Snowdon with its 2012 Civic Spirit Award. The Washington Business Journal’s publisher, Alex Orfinger, shares his thoughts on the honoree (WBJ, 12/8):

Listening to Dick, you heard the passion of a man committed to making Greater Washington a better place, and an evangelist for bringing others on, either by encouraging people to part ways with some money or just giving more of time.

Congratulations, Dick, on a well deserved award!

PHILANTHROPY | In celebration of our 20th anniversary, WRAG released a special publication titled Reflections on the Past & Possibilities for the Future – generously sponsored by Capital One. For a section of the publication, we asked national thought leaders to consider the future of philanthropy in our country.

This week and next, we are cross-posting their vignettes in the Daily. We start today with Georgetown University’s Pablo Eisenberg who identifies three critical challenges for the future of philanthropy. (WG Daily, 12/11)

FOOD | There’s been recent controversy about the potential closing of Yes! Organic Market in Anacostia. The good news is that it will remain open. But as WTOP reports, the bad news is that there still aren’t nearly enough fresh food options east of the river. (WTOP, 12/11)

GIVING | Online Giving Streak Continues With 13% Rise Last Week (Chronicle, 12/11)

POLITICS | Anita Bonds has been named to fill the D.C. Council seat left open when Phil Mendelson was elected chairman. A citywide special election will be held on April 23 to formally vote on the seat. (WaPo, 12/11) I almost wrote “fill Phil Mendelson’s seat,” but that would have been a mouthful.

TRANSIT | Yesterday, I joked that I wanted D.C. taxi’s to look like the Jurassic Park SUVs. Take a quick peek. Then I saw the real concept cars and this was one of them! What the heck?! That’s pretty darn close! And actually really ugly! (DCist, 12/10)

I caught a late-night showing of Lincoln yesterday. It’s an obvious contender for a whole range of Oscars, but I was absolutely fascinated by Spielberg’s success in pulling back the curtain of American mythology and showing the complex mechanics behind Lincoln’s drive to pass the 13th Amendment. And the cast is phenomenal all around – particularly Daniel Day-Lewis (obviously), Tommy Lee Jones, and James Spader.

And now for something completely different. Try to watch this without gasping loudly.

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