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March 18, 2013 / Christian Clansky

Baker seeks more control over – and accountability for – Prince George’s schools

EDUCATION | Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker has announced his intention to take over the county’s school system. Pending the passage of state legislation, the next school superintendent would report directly to Baker while the role of the Board of Education would be minimized (WaPo, 3/17):

County officials said the takeover would allow the government to coordinate resources with the school system, potentially sending more money to the classrooms. “This is about every single child getting the best education possible,” Baker said.

Related: A day after the announcement, reaction from elected officials and county stakeholders was mostly supportive. (WaPo, 3/18)

Related: In July 2011, Baker and former superintendent William Hite spoke with WRAG members about the county’s education priorities. Upon review, two things still stick out.

First, Baker specifically mentioned that he was committed to improving the county’s schools regardless of political risk. That seems to still ring true considering the accountability he is seeking. Second, he mentioned that better schools promote economic growth. He continues to champion that notion in the article above. (Daily, July 2011)

Raise DC tries to bring coherence to education chaos (GGE, 3/15)

– If you missed it, here’s Rebekah’s recap of a recent briefing on Raise DC. (Daily, 3/7)

LOCAL | Last week, we linked to the Post’s article about our local population growth slowing. Here’s a look at some other trends from Greater Greater Washington, including the fact that inside-the-Beltway growth is still among the nation’s highest. (GGW, 3/18)

DEMOGRAPHICS | Montgomery County has officially passed the one million residents mark! (WTOP, 3/16) About 900,000 of them drive around looking for parking spots in Bethesda on the weekends.

HOMELESSNESS | Plans For Year-Round Homeless Shelter In Arlington Approved (WAMU, 3/17)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Pablo Eisenberg says that philanthropy should increase giving to government watchdog groups. He cites the need to challenge “how Washington works” and offers this sharp opinion (Chronicle, 3/18):

The need for strong watchdogs has become more apparent because of the inept way both President Obama and nonprofit group[s] have responded to America’s most urgent needs.

NONPROFITS | Opinion: Charity Tax Data Are Too Valuable Not to Have in Digital Form (Chronicle, 3/10)

– Tomorrow, the Washington AIDS Partnership and the Institute for Public Health Innovation are hosting an event titled The Opportunities of a New Reality: Health Care Reform, Paradigm Shifts, and the Future of HIV/AIDS Services in the D.C. Region. More info and registration here.

– On Tuesday, April 30th, Georgetown University’s Center for Public & Nonprofit Leadership will host a forum called Giving Boldly & Strategically: Why is it important now more than ever?

The forum features WRAG member Nicky Goren (Washington Area Women’s Foundation), former WRAG board members Margaret O’Bryon and George Vradenburg, as well as Trish Vradenburg and the Case Foundation’s Michael Smith. More info here.

DAILY | As promised, The Daily WRAG has reemerged from its maintenance day completely transformed! Hopefully you think it looks more like a beautiful butterfly than an ugly caterpillar – a blue morpho, perhaps? We’re testing out a new email delivery system internally this week that should be much more attractive and functional than the current one. More to come soon.

That’s it. Punxsutawney Phil is on probation until his credibility can be restored. And so are all the weathermen who keep incorrectly labeling storms as “one last taste of winter.”

Well, Mondays usually aren’t too much fun and the weather has us shivering, but I have a temporary fix! Paul Simon’s I Know What I Know. Enjoy!

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