Do you want the good news or the bad news first? The good news is that it’s Thursday (thus, nearly Friday). The other good news is that D.C. public schools posted the largest test score gains of any urban school district in the country. The bad news is that the scores are still well below average (WAMU, 12/19):
In a statement, Mayor Vincent Gray said the test results show DCPS is on the right track.
“We are very proud of our students and our teachers, and these results are another reason why we need to stay the course and double down on what’s working for our students,” Gray said.
But while D.C. may have had largest gains, the city is still in the back of the pack overall, posting below-average tests scores [compared] to other large cities in the study.
The District also has the largest gap in achievement between white students and black students.
Related: The Atlantic takes a broader look at the country’s schools systems and calls them “a mess.” (WaPo, 12/19)
HOLIDAYS | Have you ever heard the story of Fake Christmas? It all started with a trip to South America when…well, let Tamara tell you about it! Check out her holiday message in today’s Daily. (Daily, 12/19)
HOUSING/HEALTH | The New England Journal of Medicine isn’t a typical Daily source, mostly because we’re not doctors (unless we’re pretending we are so that we win arguments). But the journal features a post today that should be interesting to many of you.
It looks at the connection between housing and healthcare, and a pilot program in New York that is exploring the link between them (NEJM, 12/19):
Among the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the United States ranks first in health care spending but 25th in spending on social services. These are not two unrelated statistics: high spending on the former may result from low spending on the latter.
Studies have shown that the costs of supportive housing are largely offset by resultant savings in services used, mostly from reduced use of the health care system. Some studies of high-risk patients have found that savings exceeded the costs of providing housing, thus yielding a net positive return on investment.
LOCAL | Our region is home to six of the ten highest-earning counties in the country. The federal government accounts for much of the wealth, but the Atlantic points out that “comparing counties can be a bit like comparing apples to, well, enormous fruit baskets.”
Related: As our region grows, the government might not be its driving force for much longer. Check out the Post’s article on our new start-up economy. (WaPo, 12/19)
TRANSIT | Metro has unveiled plans for 10 new stations to increase the system’s capacity, including a few in Georgetown. The stations would be built by 2040 (aka 2193 Metro Standard Time), at which point we should already have flying cars, resorts on Mars, and possibly streetcars on H Street. (WaPo, 12/18)
CNN has recently been a mixed bag of misreported news, Huffington Post-esque drama, and occasional bits of excellence. Somewhere in that bag belongs this neat list of 10 big ideas. Each one is interesting, but my favorite would be dividing the United States into only two time zones.
Tomorrow is the last Daily of 2013! See you then.