This DC high school is struggling to prepare students for college

EDUCATION | Low-income students in the District can face many barriers to attending school regularly, including hunger and other factors arising from poverty, so it’s important for their school to offer supportive services to help them succeed. An NPR and WAMU investigation has found that last year Ballou High School graduated a large number of students that were chronically absent and possibly not prepared for college. (WAMU, 11/28)

An investigation by WAMU and NPR has found that Ballou High School’s administration graduated dozens of students despite high rates of unexcused absences. WAMU and NPR reviewed hundreds of pages of Ballou’s attendance records, class rosters and emails after a DCPS employee shared the private documents. The documents showed that half of the graduates missed more than three months of school last year, unexcused. One in five students was absent more than present — missing more than 90 days of school.

According to DCPS policy, if a student misses a class 30 times, he should fail that course. Research shows that missing 10 percent of school, about two days per month, can negatively affect test scores, reduce academic growth and increase the chances a student will drop out.

– Next month the Arlington County Board will vote to create “Housing Conservation Districts” to protect affordable housing in certain counties. (Arlnow, 11/28)

Montgomery, Prince George’s reach deal to preserve affordable housing along Purple Line (WaPo, 11/28)

WORKFORCE | DC has allocated more funding to apprenticeships in hopes that residents will take advantage of the program. (WaPo, 11/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Anthony Williams, former mayor of DC and chief executive officer of the Federal City Council, discusses how philanthropy and city officials can work together to ensure that funds are given to those who need it most. (Citylab, 11/28)

CRIMINAL JUSTICEJustice from Within: The Death Penalty and a New Vision for Criminal Justice through a Racial Justice Lens (NPQ, 11/28)

DISCRIMINATION | There has been an increase in anti-Muslim assaults since 2015 and 23 percent of Muslim adults in the US see discrimination, racism or prejudice as the most important problem facing them today. (Pew Research Center, 11/15)

ENVIRONMENTAL JUSTICENortheast DC residents concerned about sharing the air with neighboring construction dumping site (FOX 5 DC, 11/27)

How many spiders do you think you’ve eaten in your lifetime?

– Kendra