Some area schools making it harder for students to fail

– Schools across the country and in some districts here in the Greater Washington region are changing grading policies to make it harder for students to fail, in an effort to make grades more accurately reflect student learning. Of course, the changes have supporters and naysayers (WaPo, 7/6):

Proponents of the changes­ say the new grading systems are more fair and end up being more conducive to learning, encouraging students to catch up when they fall behind rather than just giving up. Many believe that giving a student a score of zero for an F — rather than, say, a score of 50 — on even just one bad assignment can doom students because climbing back to a passing grade can seem almost mathematically impossible. And such failures can put students on a path to dropping out before graduation.

But many are critical of the shift, arguing that teachers are losing important tools to enforce diligence and prepare students for college and the workplace. They say that artificially boosting student grades can mask failure and push students through who don’t know the material they need to know to actually succeed.

FOIA: About 40 Percent of All D.C. Public Schools Have An Accessibility Issue (WCP, 7/5)

– In Prince George’s County, library puts books in barbershops to shrink achievement gap (WTOP, 7/4)

CSR | Hudson Kaplan-Allen, WRAG’s 2016 summer intern, writes about what companies need to know about motivating employees to volunteer, summing up the big take aways from the last Corporate Philanthropy Affinity Group luncheon. (Daily, 7/6)

RACE/ARTS | One theme that surfaced repeatedly throughout WRAG’s Putting Racism on the Table series this year is the role of the media and images in shaping unconscious biases toward African Americans. This interview with Sarah Lewis, a Harvard art history professor, explores the power of photography to change narratives and deepen the representation of the black experience in America. (NY Times, 6/30)

HEALTH/ARTS | Beyond chemo: Cancer patients, survivors take up paintbrushes to heal (WaPo, 7/6)

EQUITY | Nearly Three Percent of D.C. Residents Identify as Trans (WCP, 7/1)

HEALTH | A recent study reveals that providing students with condoms may not be the most effective strategy for reducing teen pregnancy. (Atlantic, 7/3)

PHILANTHROPY | What Foundations Are Missing About Capacity Building (HBR, 7/4)

A warning to those of you who enjoy snapping selfies…watch your elbows!

WRAG has a member program tomorrow morning, so the (Almost) Daily WRAG will be back on Friday.

– Rebekah