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April 22, 2014 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Prince George’s County ends decade of declining school enrollment

EDUCATION
– There are nearly 2,000 more students enrolled in Prince George’s County public schools this year than there were last year – a turnaround after 10 years of declining enrollment. Of those 2,000, 65 percent of them are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch, which could be a challenge for county officials (WaPo, 4/22):

The latest figures do not bode well for County Executive Rushern L. Baker III’s school takeover effort because he said one of his central goals was to attract the county’s middle-class families — many of whom send their children to private schools — back to the county’s public schools.

[…]

Experts say that increasing the middle-class enrollment in Prince George’s schools could pay dividends for low-income students, who generally benefit from an environment where their peers have their eyes on college and have parents who are involved in their education. Baker (D) also hopes that improving county schools — which have made strides on testing but still languish near the bottom of Maryland rankings — will be a draw for business development and potential residents.

Greater Greater Education looks at how DCPS could strengthen pre-school programs to better serve low-income children and help close the achievement gap that persists despite the city’s universal pre-k program. (GGE, 4/21)

Related: What Exactly Is ‘High-Quality’ Preschool? (NPR, 4/22)

D.C. officials to consider eight proposals for new charter schools (WaPo, 4/22)

WRAG | Rick Moyers, vice president for programs and communications at the Meyer Foundation, explains why storytelling skills are important for both nonprofit organizations seeking funding for their work, as well as for grantmakers themselves. (Daily, 4/22)

Related: Join us at the next Brightest Minds event, coming up on May 6, to hone your own storytelling skills. Check out more information here.

ARTS | The 30th Annual Helen Hayes Awards were held last night. I think this quote from one of last night’s winners really sums it up nicely (WAMU, 4/22):

The Helen Hayes are a chance to help people understand that what’s happening here is as good as anything that’s happening anywhere, and that you don’t have to go to New York and that it’s not about stuff being brought in,” [director and playwright Aaron] Posner said. “It’s stuff being made here by local artists for local audiences that really counts.”

Related: This is a sentiment shared by WRAG’s Arts & Humanities Working Group. Funders: there’s still time left to register for the group’s next meeting, coming up this Thursday. More information here.

ENVIRONMENT | Some positive news on Earth Day… Underwater grasses seem to be rebounding in Chesapeake Bay, which is considered “critical” for the health of the Bay’s ecosystem. (WAMU, 4/22)

HOMELESSNESS | A report from the National Coalition for the Homeless found that the majority of D.C.’s homeless population have experienced discrimination, particularly from private businesses and from law enforcement. (DCist, 4/21)

PHILANTHROPY
– In light of recent research into the major transfer of wealth that will happen over the next few decades as the Baby Boomer generation ages, the White House is engaging young philanthropists and heirs to significant family fortunes on major issues. (NY Times, 4/18)

Related: WRAG’s Family Philanthropy Affinity Group will look at similar issues this fall with a session on engaging the next generation in family philanthropy. More information here.

Donors to Community Funds Praise Their Leadership, Knowledge, and Integrity (Chronicle, 4/20)

EVENT | The University of Maryland’s Center for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership (WRAG’s partner on our Philanthropy Fellows program) is hosting the 3rd annual Do Good Challenge Finals on Tuesday, April 29. Six student teams have spent the last two months raising funds and awareness for their favorite causes and will face off before high-profile judges to pitch their ventures. More information here.


Well…Norwegians certainly have interesting taste in reality TV shows.

The (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.

– Rebekah

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