D.C.’s standardized test rates creep upward after last year’s big gains

Student proficiency rates on D.C.’s annual standardized tests saw small gains in improvement. One year after substantial four-point gains in math and reading, District schools improved by 1.4 percent and less than one percent, respectively. Though improvement is always welcome, the numbers reveal other areas for concern. (WaPo, 7/31)

Citywide, 54 percent of students scored high enough to be considered proficient in math, and just shy of half — 49.9 percent — were considered proficient in reading. The city’s wide achievement gaps did not narrow and in some cases grew: 44 percent of African American students were proficient in reading, for example, compared to 92 percent of white students.

Opinion: When it comes to low-achieving students, a search for the root causes can often be a never ending blame game. One writer wants the conversation surrounding low-income black parents and student achievement to change in order to honestly address problems. (WaPo, 7/30)

– The D.C. Association of Public Charter Schools is suing the city alleging that the District has not met its obligation to fund charter and traditional schools at equal and uniform levels. Advocates for traditional schools ponder whether charter schools and D.C. Public Schools should have comparable funding to begin with due to their differences. (WaPo, 7/30)

YOUTH │The unaccompanied minor crisis has been at the center of news lately, particularly in the Greater Washington region, where one of the largest concentrations of Central American immigrants in the U.S. resides. Here is a great breakdown of the key issues surrounding the crisis. (WAMU, 7/31)

ARTS │ Circling Back: What became of the plans for Southwest D.C.’s Randall School? (WBJ, 7/31)

PHILANTHROPY │ Grants management software platforms, such as Fluxx, MicroEdge, roundCorner and SmartSimple, have announced that their software will integrate a new data-sharing approach called Simplify, that aims to help funders access information more easily from grantees and streamline the overall grant application process. (PRWeb, 7/30)

REGION │ Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against Metro Challenging Background Check Policy (WAMU, 7/30)

Ice cream that absolutely refuses to melt sounds like a warm weather dream, but in reality, it’s not so amusing!