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November 7, 2013 / Christian Clansky

District near the top of the pack for national test gains

The 2013 National Assessment of Education Progress (NAEP), a biennial ranking of academic progress by state, finds that District fourth- and eighth-graders posted higher gains on math and science tests than almost every state. The gains show progress in the school system, though the District still has a huge amount of work cut out for it (WaPo, 11/7):

Between 2011 and 2013, D.C. eighth-graders broke more than a decade of stagnation in reading and posted bigger score gains than in any other two-year period, climbing six points to 248 on a 500-point scale. Still, only 17 percent of D.C. eighth-graders scored well enough in reading to be considered proficient or above, compared to 36 percent nationwide.

– Earlier this week, the Annie E. Casey Foundation released a report about the effects of a family’s income on student achievement. The District continues to make gains in education, but it will certainly hit a wall as long as 27% of the city’s children are living in poverty. (AECF)

– Here’s a broader look at the NAEP and how the District fits in with the rest of the country. (WaPo, 11/7)

POVERTY | By age 60, nearly 40 percent of American adults have lived in poverty for at least a year. That’s a huge number of people. The Atlantic has a feature piece on this alarming fact, and an accompanying look at how poverty is affecting young adults.

Young adults, age 25-34, are the most likely age group to be broke, unemployed, and in need of welfare assistance. (Atlantic, 11/7)

BUDGETS | Fairfax County is facing a major budget gap for its school system, but its superintendent is still aiming to raise teacher salaries to boost morale and attract good candidates. (WaPo, 11/7)

Again, it would be really great if the title “superintendent” could be replaced with something easier to type. Maybe “head honcho” or “big kahuna”? Montgomery County Big Kahuna Joshua Starr says…

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: Linda Wood of the Center for Effective Philanthropy writes about a recent survey that finds that nonprofit leaders don’t feel well supported by funders (CFEP, 11/7):

I think that there are two parts to this problem. First, not enough funders are investing in strengthening the leadership of their grantees. And second, many of those who do may not be providing the kind of support that nonprofit leaders want and need.

CSR | Goldman Sachs thinks it can make money by being a do-gooder (WaPo, 11/7)

Related: In September, we launched the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility. Check it out here.

LOCAL | You are all highly encouraged to turn your speakers up to maximum volume and play this important local song in anticipation of tonight’s big event.

Do you remember being a kid and learning that the olden days weren’t really in black and white? What? Uh…me neither. Well, for those of you who did have that experience, here’s a neat series of famous black and white photos with color added to them. I think Einstein is wearing women’s shoes in one of them.

And if you aren’t concerned about Einstein’s sartorial standards or any of the rest of the cool pictures, then you should spend a few minutes practicing your Chicken Little impression

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