[News 12/6/07] Hijacked?

Sponsored by WG member Bank of America, “Portraits of Donors” is believed to be “the first quantitative study of high-dollar philanthropists.” (WaPo, 12/6) [Download the report – .pdf]

Study: About six in 10 U.S. households contribute to charity routinely [Center on Philanthropy] (wire, 12/5) 

“Unions Launch Ad To Fight School Plan” (WaPo, 12/6) – A new radio ad from the unions representing employees of D.C. Public Schools says the D.C. school reform effort has been “hijacked.” But it sounds like the unions may be trying to hijack the strong emotions surrounding school closings in an effort to protect nonunion central office employees. Without question, there are many hardworking and dedicated professionals in the central office. But as an office, it’s a proven systematic failure. So how can Chancellor Rhee address this issue without the authority to remove underperforming employees? For the union to characterize the leaders of the reform effort as “back stabbers” is outrageous. The school closings (wherever they end up occurring) will probably be controversial, but the community must remember the larger issue: D.C.’s school system fails children. Changing that is going to require…change.  [This might be a good time to say that the opinions expressed here are those of the blogger, not necessarily the employer. – ng]  [Related: Public Education]

[Md.] “Usual Efforts to Raise Scores Have Weak Effect, Study Says” (WaPo, 12/6)

“Teenage Birth Rate Rises for First Time Since ’91” (NYTimes, 12/5) – It’s up 3 percent nationally. The District’s rates had been improving dramatically through ’05, so it will be interesting to learn what happens ’06–will D.C. buck the national trend?

TRANSIT – “Appetite Grows for Purple Line Data” (WaPo, 12/6)
HIV/AIDS – “New HIV-AIDS Cases Dip in Va.” (WaPo, 12/6)
ENVIRONMENT – A regional effort to save the bay (WaPo, 12/6)