Archive for the ‘Media’ Category
May 13th, 2013
Washington Post, Op-Ed
By Lecester Johnson and Terri Lee Freeman, Published: May 10
Darnetta Hollis, a mother of four, survived domestic violence and overcame homelessness to earn her high school diploma at age 29. One of 36 graduates from Academy of Hope’s adult education program, Hollis told fellow students at their recent graduation: “We accomplished a goal that seemed at one time impossible. By taking our education seriously, we are saying we take our lives seriously.”
April 8th, 2013
Starting Wednesday, Gray is holding a series of town hall meetings where residents can get more information about his spending plan. Unless otherwise specified, the meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and end at 8:30 p.m.
Wednesday, April 10
Ward 5: Luke C. Moore Academy, 1001 Monroe St. NE
Thursday, April 11
Ward 1: Columbia Heights Recreation Center, 1480 Girard St. NW
Wednesday, April 17
Ward 8: Turner Elementary School, 3264 Stanton Road SE
Thursday, April 18
Ward 4: Brightwood Education Campus, 1300 Nicholson St. NW
Saturday, April 20
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. — Youth hearing: Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. — Ward 2: Charles Sumner School, 1201 17th St. NW
Thursday, April 25
Ward 6: Capitol Hill Montessori @ Logan, 215 G St. NE
Tuesday, April 30
Ward 3: Alice Deal Middle School, 3815 Fort Drive NW
Thursday, May 2
Ward 7: Department of Employment Services headquarters, 4058 Minnesota Ave. NE
April 5th, 2013
Mayor Gray’s budget shows that he wants to make a number of important investments to help DC residents — in education, housing, libraries, parks and more. That’s why we’re surprised that the mayor also wants to encourage investments outside of DC — by restoring a tax break to residents who invest in out-of-state bonds. That would make DC the only jurisdiction to offer this tax break, which ultimately will have costs that are more than half of what we spend each year on libraries.
Read more from our friends at DCFPI, here.
April 4th, 2013
With a recovering economy, Mayor Gray was able to propose a number of investments in programs across DC government in his fiscal year (FY) 2014 budget. Unfortunately, not all DC residents are recovering along with the economy and the mayor’s budget left out some of the programs that help these residents, behind. One of those programs is Interim Disability Assistance (IDA) which provides short-term assistance to residents with disabilities that prevent them from working. During the Great Recession, funding for IDA was cut and the number of individuals the program can serve dropped by 80 percent. The District should use its growing resources to reinvest in IDA, ensuring that all residents benefit from the city’s recovery.
The IDA program provides $270 a month — or about $9 a day — to residents who have disabilities that prevent them from working. These residents are in limbo — unable to work and waiting to learn if they are approved for federally Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits, which can take a year or two, if not longer. IDA provides critical financial assistance during this period, helping residents meet basic needs, such as rent (often shared with others), prescriptions, and necessities like toothpaste. Without IDA, many people with disabilities are forced to rely on more costly crisis services, such as emergency rooms and shelters, thus costing the District more.
March 28th, 2013
The Mayor’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2014
On behalf of the residents of the District of Columbia, I submit to you the District of Columbia Fiscal Year 2014 Budget and Financial Plan, entitled “Investing for Tomorrow.”
This proposal is the District of Columbia’s eighteenth consecutive balanced budget. As you know, the District’s economy is growing rapidly, with more than 28,000 private sector jobs created over the past two years and an unemployment rate that has fallen nearly three percentage points. To support our growing population and to continue building a more prosperous, equitable, safe and sustainable city for all, my proposed budget makes important investments in three key strategies: (1) growing and diversifying the District’s economy; (2) educating children and preparing the workforce for the new economy; and (3) improving the quality of life for all residents. As the title of the budget suggests, investing in these strategies will build a better tomorrow for all District residents.
read the Mayor’s full budget plan here.
D.C. school facilities plan considers charters for the first time
By Emma Brown, Published: March 27
Neighborhoods in Southeast Washington, on Capitol Hill and along the eastern border of Rock Creek Park are among those most in need of school renovations, according to a school facilities plan the Gray administration released Wednesday.
While previous facilities plans outlined projected timelines for individual school construction projects, the new document offers few specifics and no estimate for how much taxpayer money will be needed to meet the projected demand for improved schools.
D.C. Council committee approves amended truancy bill
By Emma Brown, Published: March 27
A bill meant to curb the District’s rampant truancy moved forward in the D.C. Council on Wednesday after its sponsor stripped out a controversial provision that would have mandated criminal prosecution of parents of chronically absent children.
The council’s Education Committee voted unanimously in favor of the amended bill, which specifies how and when a student’s unexcused absences would trigger the notification of parents and government intervention.
How Big Is a $100 Million Affordable Housing Boost? It’s All Relative.
Washington City Paper
By Aaron Wiener, Published: March 26
As regular readers of this blog well know, Mayor Vince Gray has pledged a one-time, $100 million investment in affordable housing. If that sounds like a lot of money, well, it is. While it’s nowhere near enough to meet Gray’s goal of constructing and preserving 10,000 new affordable housing units, Gray also scoffed, with reason, when I suggested at a press conference that it was just “a small down payment.” It could be a big boost to affordable housing, yes—but only if Gray makes a similar commitment in future years, which he’s not sure he’ll do.
D.C. named least affordable market in country
Washington Business Journal
By Wei Wei, Published: March 26
Two recent surveys show that Washington-area residents face one of the country’s biggest gaps between wages and housing prices, which analysts warn could blunt the city’s attractiveness to talented workers.
An analysis by ZipRealty Inc., an online residential real estate brokerage, found that the Washington region is the most expensive housing market among 30 major metropolitan areas.
Marketing isn’t enough to keep students when schools close
Greater Greater Washington
By Jessica Christy, Published: March 26
When DCPS starts school in late August, over 2,000 students will be attending a different school after 15 schools close at the end of the school year. Students at closing schools have a DCPS “receiving school” where they can go, but many students may instead choose to attend a charter or private school. Can DCPS keep the students in the system?
D.C. charter school board to start investigating special education practices
By Rachel Baye, Published: March 26
D.C. charter schools’ special education programs will be investigated if the schools appear to discriminate against students with disabilities, under a new policy announced Tuesday.
Eleven criteria can trigger an audit under the DC Public Charter School Board’s new policy, including whether schools expel or suspend students with disabilities more frequently than other students, whether students with disabilities leave schools midyear more frequently than other students, or whether students with disabilities make up at least 7 percent of enrollment.
The District’s commitment to serving homeless youth
By B.B. Otero, Published: March 26
This year, the D.C. Department of Human Services (DHS) has increased local funding for unaccompanied homeless youth by $1.1 million and for youth-headed homeless families by $1.8 million. While the article focused on funding for emergency beds for homeless youth, in fact DHS funds a robust continuum of services for homeless youth that includes specialized supportive services, transitional housing and independent living. Emergency beds are a part of that continuum, but DHS is focusing more effort on identifying and investing in permanent housing solutions for youth so that they don’t become homeless in the first place.
Additionally, since fiscal 2011, the Child and Family Services Agency (CFSA) has increased funding for its Rapid Housing program, which serves youth aging out of foster care.
March 27th, 2013
From our friends at D.C. Hunger Solutions.
Did you know that…
Every $3 a SNAP household spends on childcare (or the care of any disabled adult in the household) may increase their SNAP benefits by $1 – up to the maximum SNAP amount for their household size. If there is an adult working or attending job training in the SNAP household, they can deduct the full out-of-pocket cost of their child-care expenses from their income. Many D.C. households with children are not claiming this deduction. As of 2009, there is no longer a cap on the deduction for childcare expenses (previously $200 for children under 2 and $175 for children over age 2).
What you can do…
If your families are on SNAP, find out if they are claiming childcare costs and encourage them to submit proof of payment if they are not. If you know a family that might qualify for SNAP, make sure they claim childcare costs when they apply.
Child care costs include paying out-of-pocket for:
• Child care: all non-reimbursed, out-of-pocket payments, including co-payments for subsidized care.
• Before and after school activities: the cost of an adult-supervised activity before and after school, and during school vacations.
Follow these links to the SNAP application and resources.
March 26th, 2013
Gray names Abigail Smith deputy mayor for education
By Emma Brown, Published: March 21
D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray on Thursday named Abigail Smith, a former Teach for America executive with leadership experience in both traditional D.C. schools and charters, as the city’s next deputy mayor for education.
If confirmed by the D.C. Council, Smith will replace De’Shawn Wright, who resigned in the fall to take a job in his native New York. Wright’s chief of staff, Jennifer Leonard, has been serving in an interim capacity.
DC TAG financial aid payments expected to resume
By Emma Brown, Published: March 21
Congress has approved a short-term spending measure that will not only avert a government shutdown, but also will end a freeze on college financial-aid payments for hundreds of District students.
The federally funded D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program provides more than 6,000 high school graduates with between $1,250 and $5,000 per semester to pay for college.
Scores of youth turned away from shelter after city cuts
By Annie Gowen, Published: March 21
Counselors at one of the city’s largest shelters for homeless youths have had to turn away more than 80 unaccompanied children — some as young as 12 or 13 — who came to them for help in the past six weeks after the city cut more than $700,000 from the shelter’s budget.
The seeds of the H Street ‘miracle’
By Oramenta Newsome and Michael Rubinger, Published: March 22
A while ago, it was natural to think of H Street NE as a hub of the District’s shopping, dining and night life. But that was sometime around the Truman administration. A few years later, the end of segregation took a toll on the neighborhood, as African Americans and other minorities became freer to take their business elsewhere. The 1968 riots nearly finished off H Street for good. And then, many years later, something happened.
D.C. councilman proposes new domestic violence hotline
By Eric Newcomer, Published: March 25
Victims of domestic violence in D.C. searching for help might soon have a new resource: a centralized domestic violence hotline.
DC’s Prosperity must be shared in by ALL its residents
Washington Legal Clinic
Posted: March 25
Whether it be a time of prosperity or economic crisis, the community has a moral obligation to care for the least among us. The obligation is always there and we must respond. As leaders of faith communities and members of Good Faith Communities Coalition we remind those throughout the city of our common responsibility to share the gifts of God with all God’s Children. The District is prospering, adding thousands of new residents each month and announcing large surpluses in revenue. But many residents are struggling and the prosperity that has helped so many in DC has also left so many behind.
The Inequality of Playgrounds
By Emily Badger, Published: March 25
Low-income, minority neighborhoods in cities are often heavily disinvested places, with less money spent there on road repair, civic infrastructure or cultural projects than in other parts of town. This pattern, it appears, may even extend to public parks, with the result that the children who need exercise the most may be less enticed to get it.
Decision Time – DGS Needs Your Input On The Location Of The New Brookland Middle School
The Brookland Bridge
By Shani, Published: March 24
The DGS will be making their decision on the site location for the school in the next two weeks. If you want to voice your opinion on this decision – you have one week to do so. DGS is asking that the community email Darrell Pressley, their press secretary, at darrell(dot)pressley(at)dc(dot)gov, to give your feedback on what you think the best option is.
March 21st, 2013
Federal budget battles freeze financial-aid payments to more than 1,300 D.C. graduates
By Emma Brown, Published: March 20
The months-long federal budget showdown on Capitol Hill has forced District officials to freeze college financial-aid payments for more than 1,300 D.C. high school graduates, leaving those students struggling to pay tuition and make ends meet.
The federally funded D.C. Tuition Assistance Grant program provides more than 6,000 high school graduates with up to $10,000 a year to defray the cost of attending an out-of-state public university or up to $2,500 a year to attend a private university in the Washington area or any historically black private college in the United States.
DHS Continues To Violate D.C. Language Access Act; Non-English Speakers Left Behind
Bread for the City
By Allison Miles-Lee, Published: March 21
Our bilingual family law and public benefits attorney, Allison Miles-Lee, serves on the executive committee of the D.C. Language Access Coalition. On March 13, she testified before the D.C. Council at the Department of Human Services Performance Oversight Hearing to expose language access problems that harm needy limited- and non-English speaking community members.
I testified before DC Council three years ago about language access problems my clients encountered at the Department of Human Services (DHS). In February 2010, I told the stories of two Spanish-speaking clients who missed out on hundreds of dollars in food stamps and TANF benefits for their children when they were denied language access. I highlighted these stories at the time because I thought they were particularly egregious. Now, those types of stories have become the norm, and I rarely hear that a Spanish-speaking client has had a positive language access experience at DHS.
D.C. Council panel hears testimony on ‘living wage’ bill targeting large retailers
By James Arkin, Published: March 20
D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and opponents of his proposal to require a higher minimum wage at some large stores sparred Wednesday at a hearing that drew an overflow crowd and unleashed highly charged emotions.
“Just when the District is truly gaining traction to attract a new major retail outlets for redevelopment, the council is holding a hearing on legislation that would provide further proof to business that the District is not interested in changing its unfriendly business ways,” said Barbara Lang, president of the D.C. Chamber of Commerce.
Plenty of Fireworks at Walmart, Er, “Large Retailer” Bill Hearing
Washington City Paper
By Aaron Wiener, Published: March 20
Anyone concerned with the state of participatory democracy in America would do well to tune into the ongoing D.C. Council hearing on the Large Retailer Accountability Act of 2013, better known as the Walmart living wage bill. The measure, which would require retailers that bring in at least $1 billion a year and have a D.C. store of more than 75,000 square feet to pay a minimum wage of $11.75 an hour, inspires passionate reactions, which are on full display at today’s hearing.
Tackling truancy, part 3: The solution is collaboration
Greater Greater Washington
By Rahul Mereand-Sinha, Published: March 19
Truancy isn’t a new problem, nor one unique to DC. School systems around the country have tried various approaches that leverage state services and civil society to engage the child and their family on many levels. Many have been able to take a bite out of chronic truancy.
In the end, however, truancy isn’t the problem; it is a symptom of social dysfunction that requires a comprehensive social policy response. There’s nothing wrong with treating symptoms; many become a problem unto themselves. However, lasting success won’t come until someday we address underlying issues of poverty, alienation, community collapse, and educational failure.
Before considering those more comprehensive programs, let’s address the common trope of simply employing a “tough love” punitive approach with the children themselves.
March 20th, 2013
Families living in poverty need opportunities to earn a living wage and develop the skills they need to advance their careers. These opportunities will enable them to lift themselves out of poverty. By investing in programs and services that get employees the skills they need and close the educational and skills gap, we help families on the path to self-sufficiency.
According to the WOW Family Security a single person in DC would need to earn $14.99 an hour to afford the cost of living in Washington DC. The only way to make wages that support the cost of living in the District is to have strong skills and be in positions where you can advance your career.
The Large Retailer Accountability Act, proposed by Council Chairman Phil Mendelson and co-sponsored by 10 other council members, argues that “some large retailers pay very low wages and do not provide their workers affordable health benefits.” It is appropriate to set standards, the bill suggests, because large retailers can afford the cost of higher salaries and because “in other cities, the enactment of living wage laws has had no negative impact on retail employment and development.”
The bill requires that all retailers larger than 75,000 square feet and whose parent company earns at least $1 billion a year to pay their employees a minimum wage of at least $11.75 an hour and to provide health benefits. The legislative provisions do not apply if there is a collective bargaining agreement in place between a store and its employees.
We urge the council and our city’s leadership to invest in policies that promote work and get low wage earners the skills they need to succeed in the workforce and earn a living wage.
March 19th, 2013
Minimum Wage Worker in D.C. Has to Toil for 132 Hours Per Week to Afford Two-Bedroom Apartment
By Martin Austermuhle, Published: March 19
Everyone knows that D.C. is an expensive rental market, and affordable housing options are scarce. But just how hard would someone at the bottom have to work to afford a two-bedroom apartment within city limits?
A lot. One-hundred-thirty-two hours a lot, to be exact. That’s what a new report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition has found, determining that someone making minimum wage in D.C. would have to work just about every waking hour in a week to afford what average D.C. rents demand on a two-bedroom place. Or, to put it another way, D.C. workers have to make at least $27.15 per hour so as to afford the average two-bedroom rental cost of $1,412 while keeping something close to a 40-hour work week. Here’s the full breakdown for D.C.:
When DCPS closes a school, what happens to the building?
Greater Greater Washington
By Laura Dallas McSorley, Published: March 18
DC Public Schools plans to close 15 schools, based on declining enrollment and changing demographics. This isn’t a new experience; DC closed other schools in 2008. What happened to those school spaces?
There have been many debates in DC, and nationally, about whether it’s wise to close schools. But if schools do indeed close, it’s also worth talking about the spaces. What can we learn about what might happen to this next batch of 15, and what questions should that spark for our neighborhoods, and the city as a whole, about how we use physical space?
Exploring FQHCS That Practice Racial Equity
Bread for the City
By Paul Taskier, Published: March 18
Late last month, I traveled to New Orleans for tours of two Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs) with CEO George Jones, Medical Director Randi Abramson, and longtime Board member Dorothy Hawkins. The trip was arranged by Ron Chisum of the People’s Institute, the group that has been leading racial equity training at Bread for staff and Board members, so that BFC’s leadership could explore FQHCs that have sought to incorporate a sensitivity to racial equity into their medical practices. This means they seek to make their services and programs accountable to the predominately minority patients and community members they serve.
Capital Area’s Apartment Boom Could Fizzle
Wall Street Journal
By Dawn Wotapka and Robbie Whelan, Published: March 17
The construction cranes that have crowded this city’s skyline for the past few years were symbols of its red-hot apartment market. But now, the sight of them could be an ominous sign of overbuilding.
This year alone, developers are expected to deliver more than 15,000 new apartment units in the greater metro area, with 11,000 more expected in 2014. That is well above the more than 6,000 units delivered, on average, each year during the prior decade, according to research firm Delta Associates.
Despite mice and shootings, Tyler House is still a place called home
By Robert McCartney, Published: March 16
The nurses’ assistants, janitors and other low-wage workers who live in the subsidized apartments at Tyler House north of Union Station suffer many hardships:
●Regular infestations of mice and roaches.
●Security so tight that one resident likened it to living in a prison.
●Thirteen people wounded in a drive-by shooting directly outside the front door early Monday morning.
But talk to tenants in one of their plain, gray-walled units, where a peek out the window reveals nine cranes erecting new buildings in the rapidly gentrifying neighborhood, and you find that their biggest worry is not rodents or crime. No. They’re scared they might be forced to leave
Why Adult Education Applies to Our Youth Population
By Anne Abbott, Published: March 14
Since the Snowstorm that wasn’t closed down District government last week, the Committee on Education’s latest round of performance oversight hearings has been re-scheduled for this Friday, March 15th. DCAYA will be delivering testimony on the performance of the Bullying Prevention Task Force (which our Executive Director Maggie Riden served on), as well as the process for changing DC’s graduation requirements that is currently being undertaken by the State Board of Education (SBOE). Our testimony will also recognize the numerous successes our State education agency, the Office of the State Superintendent for Education, has had in the past year, as well as offer up some guidance as to how operations at OSSE might be further improved.
DC Public Charter School Board tries to reduce ‘zero tolerance’ policies
By Rachel Baye, Published: March 14
The DC Public Charter School Board is encouraging charter schools to eliminate their “zero tolerance” discipline policies in an effort to reduce the number of students being suspended and expelled, Executive Director Scott Pearson said Thursday.
“On the whole, charter schools expel and suspend too many students,” Pearson told The Washington Examiner following a D.C. Council hearing.
Some actions, like bringing a weapon to school or threatening to hurt or kill someone, are widely accepted or even federally mandated as actions meriting “zero tolerance” — meaning a school must automatically suspend or expel a student who commits such acts, he said. However, a zero-tolerance policy for students who get into fights or bring drugs to school are less productive “because it effectively ties their hands when they’re making discipline decisions.”
School librarian funding slips away in new budget
Greater Greater Washington
By Sandra Moscoso, Published: March 15
After parent outcry about librarians in schools last year, a DCPS task force recommended keeping existing full-time librarians and working toward having one in every school in 3 years. Unfortunately, the 2014 budget allocations do not put DCPS on track to meet this commitment.
Last year, DCPS moved librarians out of the category of “required staff” and into “flexible staff.” Required staff are those for programs required at every school, while flexible staff run programs that the principal and Local School Advisory Team (LSAT) can adjust based on the school’s programmatic needs. In short, librarians became optional for many schools.
Opinion: Give low-income families the support they need to help kids succeed
By Jared Bernstein, Published: March 13
What do we mean when we say we want “to help children succeed”?
The broad, general contours of the most important things we need to do are well understood. A healthy society is one in which all kids have the ability to achieve their intellectual and economic potential.
That doesn’t mean that if we get the policy right, every kid achieves her potential. Fate sometimes gets in the way. Nor does it mean that every kid makes it to the top 10 percent. Potentialities differ. But it does mean that neither your Zip code nor your parents’ wealth and education should influence the likelihood that you realize your potential.
Median D.C. charter school outperforms median traditional, study finds
By Emma Brown, Published: March 13
Student proficiency in math and reading improved at the median D.C. public charter school over the past five years, while student proficiency at the city’s median traditional school declined, according to a new analysis of school data.
The study, which the nonprofit D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute expects to release Wednesday, also found geographic trends. In more-affluent wards, proficiency rates at the median school rose over the past five years, while in poorer wards the median school’s proficiency rate fell.
The findings suggest that charter schools are slightly outperforming traditional schools and that to meet ambitious improvement goals, city school leaders will have to make greater strides over the next five years than they have in the past five, a period of rapid and wide-ranging reform efforts.
‘Large retailer’ living-wage bill is moving forward
By Mike DeBonis, Published: March 13
A D.C. Council bill that would require the city’s largest retailers — including Wal-Mart, Costco, Home Depot and others — to pay higher wages is showing signs of life.
The “Large Retailer Accountability Act,” introduced by Chairman Phil Mendelson (D) in January, will get a hearing next Wednesday before the council’s Business, Consumer and Regulatory Affairs committee.
The bill would require “large retailers” — defined as businesses operating an indoor store of at least 75,000 square feet and whose corporate parent has sales of at least $1 billion — to pay wages no lower than $11.75 per hour plus, benefits. That “living wage” would be indexed to the local consumer price index every year.
BFC’S Legal Clinic Testifies to Create Truly Affordable Housing
Bread for the City
By Rebecca, Published: March 13
One thing has been made clear by looking at the New Communities Initiative: the city must continue to create avenues to preserve and expand affordable housing opportunities for the city’s lowest income residents. The residents of the District of Columbia need affordable housing — especially now, as housing options dwindle for low income residents. Since 2000, low-cost rental housing has shrunk by more than one third. Nearly 1 in 5 DC residents are spending more than 50% of their incomes on housing costs. We see this every day at Bread for the City. Many of our clients spend as much as 50 to 70% of their income on housing — well above the accepted standard of 30%.
A Healthy Budget: Ensuring Residents Have Access to Healthcare in 2014 and Beyond
By Wes Rivers, Published: March 12
The District’s budget for Fiscal Year 2014 offers an opportunity to improve access to health services in the city, especially among low-income, uninsured residents and those in need of mental health services. While the Affordable Care Act will bring many improvements to health access over the next year, with creation of a new DC Health Benefit Exchange, the District’s health system depends on strong publicly funded programs for uninsured low-income residents including the Healthcare Alliance and Medicaid. The FY 2014 budget can be used to address gaps in both programs.
D.C. affordable housing plan proposed by Gray’s task force
By Mike DeBonis, Published: March 12
To address a pressing need for affordable housing in the city, the District government needs to commit more tax dollars and create new investment vehicles while streamlining incentive and permitting processes, a mayoral task force has concluded.
Mayor Vincent C. Gray (D) appointed the task force more than a year ago, weeks after the 1,800 attendees of a mayoral citizens summit said affordable housing should be the top priority for city government. In his State of the District address last month, Gray committed $100 million for affordable housing, and the report is expected to guide his efforts.
Does DCPS need application-only schools east of the river?
Greater Greater Washington
By Virginia Spatz and Jacques Arsenault, Published: March 11
DC Public Schools must serve both “kids who are ready to learn” and “under-performing kids,” according to David Catania, chair of the DC Council’s Education Committee. To accomplish this, he has asked DCPS to think about application-only secondary schools east of the river.
Will this strategy improve options for District families, especially those east of the Anacostia? Or will it further drain neighborhood schools? And what does this bifurcation of “ready” and “under-performing” mean for DC students?
Few job seekers get the intensive training they need
Greater Greater Washington
By Ken Archer, Published: March 11
Large numbers of DC’s jobless residents are going to the city’s One-Stop Centers for employment assistance, but very few actually receive the intensive services that they will need to compete for jobs, say internal workforce training documents obtained by Greater Greater Washington.
Jonetta Rose Barras: At last, education leadership in D.C.
By Jonetta Rose Barras, Published: March 11
In just a few months, at-large Councilman David Catania has demonstrated why many people were excited about his appointment as chairman of the Committee on Education and Libraries. He has awakened the District’s comatose education reform movement, bringing to the public square issues Mayor Vincent Gray has seemed reluctant to discuss.
For example, Catania has asked how the government should hold parents more accountable for their children’s excessive absences from school. What damage is done by promoting a child to the next grade before he is academically ready; should the city eliminate social promotions?
States draw a hard line on third-graders, holding some back over reading
By Lyndsey Layton, Published: March 10
A growing number of states are drawing a hard line in elementary school, requiring children to pass a reading test in third grade or be held back from fourth grade.
Thirteen states last year adopted laws that require schools to identify, intervene and, in many cases, retain students who fail a reading proficiency test by the end of third grade. Lawmakers in several other states and the District are debating similar measures.
DC Will Be A Stronger City If Everyone Succeeds: DCFPI’s Goals for the Upcoming 2014 Budget
By Jessica Fulton, Published:March 10
Last week, we let you know that even though DC is recovering from the recession, many of our residents haven’t been able to climb out. The fiscal year 2014 budget season and DC’s improving finances offer an excellent chance for DC to invest resources to make sure that all residents can experience a recovery as well.
School lottery demand shows sharp east-west divide
Greater Greater Education
By Jessica Christy, Published: March 8
Parents who have applied to preschool, pre-kindergarten, or out-of-boundary lotteries for DC public schools are anxiously looking at the results today. These lotteries are far from equally competitive; the most desired schools are all in 4 wards of the city, while the least in-demand are all in 3 other wards in the eastern part of the city.
Analyzing the lottery data from both the 2011-2012 school year and 2012-2013 school year, every school with more than 5 applicants per available spot was located in wards 1, 2, 3, or 6, while every school with less than 1 applicant per spot was located in wards 5, 7, or 8.
Marion Barry wants city to pay tuition at UDC’s community college
By Alan Blinder, Published: March 10
D.C. Councilman Marion Barry wants the District to pay the tuition tab for residents of the city who are students at the University of the District of Columbia Community College.
“Finances are the biggest impediment to going to college and staying in college, so I want to remove any impediment,” Barry told The Washington Examiner. “I want to fund tuition for students attending the community college.”
Barry is planning to ask Mayor Vincent Gray to include funding in his fiscal year 2014 budget, slated for release later this month, for scholarships for residents who attend the community college.
DCPS Launches Teacher Recruitment Campaign
By WI Web Staff, Published: March 9
The District of Columbia Public Schools (DCPS) systems is engaged in a new recruitment campaign aimed at attracting the best teachers and principals in the country to the nation’s capital.
“We are in the middle of historic change at DCPS and we need the most talented educators in the nation to help us reach the ambitious goals we’ve set for ourselves and for our students,” said DCPS Chancellor Kaya Henderson. “We are defying expectations about what an urban school system can achieve, and are looking for the best and the brightest to join us.”
As part of the campaign, the school system launched a new recruitment website (www.joindcpublicschools.com) featuring more than 20 professionally-produced videos showcasing top teachers, principals, and central office staff in DCPS.