Tag: Joshua Starr

Friday roundup – Feb. 16 through Feb. 20, 2015

– Rachel Tappis, the associate director of community impact for The Advisory Board Company, gave us some insight into what she has learned so far as a participant in the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility, and why she can’t wait for the next session. (Daily, 2/19)

– The Washington Business Journal features a profile of each of this year’s Minority Business Leader Awards honorees. Congratulations to Rosie Allen-Herring of United Way of the National Capital Area, Terri Copeland of PNC, and WRAG Board member, Debbi Jarvis of Pepco, on a well-deserved honor! (WBJ, 2/20)

– In her latest post, WRAG president Tamara Copeland shared some great news concerning the Community Wealth Building Initiative (Daily, 2/18)

High-poverty schools need better teachers, but getting them there won’t be easy (GGW, 2/20)

– A new map was released showing the changes in reading proficiency for third graders in the District from 2007-2014 (WCP, 2/19)

– Upon his departure from Montgomery County Public Schools, former Superintendent Joshua Starr gave his thoughts on his time with the district in this exit interview. (WAMU, 2/15)

Metro failed to notify fire officials that radio alarms weren’t working (WaPo, 2/19)

– A government advisory committee has developed new recommendations for American diets that includes eating less processed and red meats to reduce the negative impact on the environment. The Department of Health and Human Services and the Agriculture Department may use the recommendations to inform the next version of their Dietary Guidelines later in the year. (WaPo, 2/19)

Maryland Environmentalists Want to Get Serious About Rising Sea Levels (WAMU, 2/19)

Brown Bag Discussion: Financial Capability, Financial Literacy, and Economic Asset Building (WRAG members)
Monday, February 23, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Funders’ Roundtable of Montgomery County: Investing in Our Neighbors With Special Needs from Cradle to Career (The Funders’ Roundtable is a networking group exclusively for donors, foundations, and companies interested in giving in Montgomery County, MD)
Thursday, February 26, 2015  12:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Find out who police in one city have issued a warrant for in connection with the cold weather. 

– Ciara


New report on well-being of boys and young men of color

The Urban Institute has released a new report that examines the risks of poor health and developmental outcomes on boys and young men of color who have been exposed to chronic stress from living in poor households. (Urban Institute, 2/2015)

Boys and young men of color are at risk for poor health and developmental outcomes beginning at birth and persisting through childhood, adolescence, and young adulthood. As a result of household poverty and residence in segregated neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage, they are disproportionately bombarded by environmental threats – often without the benefits of supportive systems of prevention, protection, and care. This exposure to chronic stress undermines cognitive, social-emotional, and regulatory human development as well as the immune system. The parents of boys and young men of color are similarly affected, which affects boys directly in utero and interferes with their parents’ abilities to promote their health and development and to protect them from harm as they mature.

There are no simple or inexpensive solutions to these challenges. But investing in promising
strategies now will have long-term benefits for both the boys and young men themselves and for society as a whole.

– A new report from the D.C. Office of Human Rights shows that last year, there was a 41 percent increase in the number of reported discrimination cases in the District. (DCist, 2/13)

– Opinion: A Kaffeeklatsch on Race (NYT, 2/16)

DISTRICT | After Historic Anacostia Facade Collapses, Neighbors Charge City With “Demolition by Neglect” (WCP, 2/16)

EDUCATION | Former superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools Joshua Starr reflects on his time with the school system after three and a half years. (WAMU, 2/15)

WORKFORCE | A new study by the Migration Policy Institute reveals some significant disparities in the literacy and numeracy skills of the American workforce compared with other developed countries, as well as among racial groups in the United States. (CityLab, 2/16)

Within the U.S. workforce, there is a gap between the foreign-born and native-born populations, largely due to language barriers. Foreign-born immigrants are overrepresented in the pool of low-skilled workers in America (33 percent), compared with their share in the total U.S. adult population that participated in the survey (15 percent).

Still, the majority of American adults with low literacy and numeracy skills were born in the United States, according to the report.

Boston doesn’t want to hear about how much snow D.C. has.

– Ciara

MCPS Superintendent to step down

Montgomery County Public Schools will soon have a new leader as the current superintendent, Joshua P. Starr, will step down as head of Maryland’s largest school system next month (WaPo, 2/3):

Starr’s tenure also included the revelation that a majority of 30,000 high school students in the high-performing district failed their final exams in key math courses in 2013, a problem that has stymied school officials. The district also has been criticized for its handling of allegations of sexual abuses at county schools. Starr also drew public concern after he shelved a popular proposal to change high school bell times, leading the school board to ask him to come up with low-cost options.


Starr’s departure leaves the well-regarded school system without a leader at a time of surging enrollment, budget strain and changing academic standards. It also leaves many parents and advocates asking: If Starr was not the answer, what is the system looking for?

– Researchers from Duke University found that access to high-quality early childhood education programs can significantly reduce the number of students who need special education programs by the third grade, which can translate into significant special education savings for the U.S. Typically, special education programs cost around double that of regular classroom education. (WaPo, 2/3)

– Closing Education Gap Will Lift Economy, a Study Finds (NYT, 2/2)

– Capital One, in partnership with the Center for NYC Affairs, has produced a FAFSA resource guide, intended to provide in-depth, tactical support to low-income students and the adults who help them in managing through the most common hurdles to the FAFSA. The resource guide can be accessed here.

FOOD | Are you a D.C. resident? Ready to roll up your sleeves and improve food security in the city? Applications are being accepted for the District’s first Food Policy Council and the city is seeking diverse representation to make it work. There’s been a flurry of legislation in D.C. in recent years on issues like improving healthy food options for the District’s youngest residents, urban agriculture, and more. A good summary can be accessed here.

Related: For more background on what’s happening in our regional food system, check out Washington Regional Food Funders’ recently released policy brief.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | As part of their 12-part thought leadership series sponsored by Enterprise Community Partners and authored by Dr. Lisa Sturtevant from the National Housing Conference, HAND offers their second installment of Matters@HAND – this time focusing on new housing construction in the region, and the direction it should go in 2015. (Helping Hands Blog, 2/2)

YOUTH/POVERTYOpinion: In response to the national debate regarding “free-range parenting,” Judith Sandalow of The Children’s Law Center offers her thoughts on how we view child neglect and how we can prevent children and families from getting to that point. She argues that the answer may lie in putting more support in place for the struggling families who are most likely to be swept up into the child welfare system by investing in programs such as Head Start, affordable housing, quality day care and more. (WaPo, 1/30)

MARYLAND | Maryland has established its first Latino legislative caucus made up of officials from Anne Arundel, Montgomery, and Prince George’s counties who will advocate for issues affecting one of the state’s fastest growing populations. (WaPo, 2/2)

CSR | The Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce is now accepting applications for their 2015 Outstanding Corporate Citizenship Awards. The awards honor individuals, businesses and non-profits for above-and-beyond business leadership, employee engagement, and corporate social responsibility. To find out more and to apply, click here.

– Nonprofit Finance Fund is conducting its seventh annual nationwide survey examining the current state of the nonprofit sector. The anonymous nonprofit survey gathers data on challenges and emerging trends in the nonprofit sector. The survey will close on Wednesday, February 18.

– Nonprofits and Government Agencies React to Obama’s Proposed Budget (Chronicle, 2/2)

Maryland’s state flag isn’t just a symbol…it’s also a fashion statement!

– Ciara

New VPP report calls for a regional approach to issues affecting children and youth [News, 9.6.12]

Today Venture Philanthropy Partners released Capital Kids: Shared Responsibility, Shared Future, which examines the state of children and youth across the National Capital Region:

While previous studies have provided important and valuable research on specific issues and/or focused on data from individual communities and specific parts of the Region, this is the first comprehensive look at the state of children and youth across the National Capital Region that identifies the trends and issues that will shape a generation critical to our collective long-term health and sustainability… The needs of the area’s children and youth do not stop at jurisdictional boundaries—and neither should our efforts to ensure their future well-being.

In addition to the report, the website has a wealth of data on poverty, immigration, the educational achievement gap, and the opportunity divide for youth across the region.

– Dr. Stephen Fuller of the Center for Regional Analysis at GMU spoke to WTOP yesterday about the positive economic impact that the Nationals’ excellent season has had on D.C. (WTOP, 9/5)

– Tourism dollars top $20 billion in Virginia in ’11 (WTOP, 9/5) Fun fact from this article: 60 percent of the U.S. population lives within a day’s drive of Virginia.

JOBS | Mayor Vincent Gray is touting his success so far at creating jobs and connecting District residents to jobs in D.C. (WaPo, 9/2) Not-so-fun fact from this article: of the 736,000 jobs in D.C., fewer than a third are filled by city residents.

– A new report from Montgomery County Public Schools shows that 25 percent of the system’s middle schools have reduced the racial achievement gap over the last three years. (Gazette, 9/5)

Related: Last year, then-incoming MCPS Superintendent Joshua Starr talked with WRAG members about his goals for the system, including reducing this gap. (WG Daily, 10/12/11)

HEALTH | Health advocates seek additional federally funded health clinic in Prince George’s (Gazette, 9/6)

HOMELESSNESS | Report: Inspectors neglected D.C.’s largest homeless shelter (Examiner, 9/5)

POLITICS | The Chronicle of Philanthropy discusses the Democratic and Republican party platforms as they relate to issues affecting the social sector. (Chronicle, 9/4 and 8/30)

It has now been both hilariously and scientifically proven that a) income inequality is infuriating, and b) grapes are way better than cucumbers.

– Rebekah

The “School is Awesome” edition [News, 8.28.12]

– Before you read the rest of today’s Daily, just watch this video.  (WTOP, 8/28) It’s…awesome.

– The DC Fiscal Policy Institute takes a look at DCPS grants awarded through the Proving What’s Possible program, which went to 59 schools to implement innovative programs this year. (DCFPI, 8/27)

– The Montgomery County public schools system is already the state’s largest, and it keeps getting bigger. (WaPo, 8/27)

Related: Last year WRAG members met with Joshua Starr, Montgomery County’s superintendent of schools, about his priorities for the school system. (WG Daily, 10/12/11)

While social media and online giving platforms have helped nonprofits raise money from individuals, they haven’t translated into a reliable and consistent revenue stream for nonprofits. (WaPo, 8/26)

Related: Report Explores Nonprofit Social Media Trends (NPQ, 8/24) The report found that the cost of an average Facebook “like” for a nonprofit organization was $3.50, with the average annual revenue from a single Facebook supporter being $214.81.

– Mitt Romney and the Nonprofit World (Chronicle, 8/27)

AGING | Here’s an interesting look at how a program in Los Angeles combines affordable senior housing with arts and theater classes, resulting in better health outcomes for residents. (NY Times, 8/15)

TRANSIT | Capital Bikeshare Expands to Alexandria (WAMU, 8/27)

This is super cool. The website Ghosts of DC, which is definitely worth checking out from time to time for tidbits of “lost history” of D.C., has a video of Pennsylvania Avenue in July 1909. Clearly crosswalks had not been invented yet.


Region’s schools show wide racial disparities in suspensions…Women and the recession…Apply by December 30 to work at WRAG! [News, 12.29.12]

– A new report by the Post shows that in school districts across the Washington region, black students are suspended and expelled at a much higher rate than their white peers, a national trend that is not fully understood. (WaPo, 12/28)

– After holding a series of listening sessions since he started in his post last summer, Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Joshua Starr has found that the issues of highest concern in the community are special education services and the achievement gap between white and black students in the county. (Examiner, 12/28)

Related: This fall, funders met with Dr. Starr to hear about his priorities during his transition. (WG Daily, 10/12)

– A teacher at a Prince George’s County high school connects with students through Twitter. This article is worth reading just for the students’ Twitter names. (WaPo, 12/28)

– On the Washington Area Women’s Foundation blog, Mariah Craven writes about the economic impact of the recession on women, and the need for women to pursue education and career opportunities in STEM fields. (WAWF, 12/21)

– Nationally, more women than men are returning to school to improve their job prospects rather than take low-paying jobs during the current economic downturn. Economists predict that in the long-term, women may have significant employment advantages over their male peers. (NY Times, 12/29)

Opinion: D.C. residents must get serious about recidivism (Examiner, 12/28) The op-ed cites a recent report from the Council for Court Excellence, “Unlocking Employment Opportunity for Previously Incarcerated Persons in the District of Columbia,” which was supported by the Herb Block Foundation,  Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, and the Meyer Foundation.

ARTS | The American Voices New Play Institute at Arena Stage is relocating to Emerson College in Boston. (WaPo, 12/28)

PHILANTHROPY | Just what you’ve been waiting for… the top 10 buzzwords of the philanthropic and nonprofit sector for 2011.  (Chronicle for Philanthropy, 12/27)

NONPROFITS | The Georgetown Barnes and Noble is closing on December 31, and it has a store full of bookshelves, furniture, and office supplies to donate to local nonprofits. More information is available here.

WE’RE HIRING! | WRAG is looking for a creative and talented individual to serve as our new Manager of Membership and Development. The ideal candidate will be a quick thinker and a team player who will lead the organization’s efforts in member recruitment, retention, and involvement, as well as fundraising and grants management activities. If you or someone you know is interested in applying, don’t wait – the application deadline is tomorrow. [Full job description.]

If you’re looking for a non-New Year’s Eve related activity this weekend, one Daily reader highly recommends checking out the fascinating “RACE: Are We So Different?” exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History before it closes on January 8.

The Daily will be back on Tuesday, January 3. Happy New Year everyone!

– Rebekah

DCPS has widest racial achievement gap in the country…MoCo schools chief unveils budget…Are new Census poverty measures misleading? [News, 12.7.11]

– A study based on federal reading and math exams finds that D.C. public schools have the widest achievement gap between black and white students in any of the country’s urban school systems, as well as the widest gap between white and Hispanic students. (WaPo, 12/7)

– The D.C. Public Charter School Board has released the first-ever rankings of the city’s charter schools. Fifteen schools of the seventy-one schools were labeled with “inadequate performance” and four are likely to lose their charters. (Examiner, 12/7)

– Montgomery County Superintendent of Schools Joshua Starr has proposed a two percent increase for the school system’s FY13 budget. It would include proposed pay raises for teachers. (Gazette, 12/7)

Related: WRAG’s Public Education Working Group met with Starr to discuss his priorities in October. (WG Daily, 10/12)

Opinion: Thank you to one of our readers for pointing out this rebuttal to the New York Times op-ed on school choice. Sarah Mead, a member of the D.C. charter schools board, says (Education Week, 12/6):

Contrary to Hopkinson’s assertions, all the available evidence suggests that the past decade of reform efforts has improved, not worsened the quality of educational options available to D.C. students.

YOUTH | The Montgomery County Council has delayed a vote on the contentious youth curfew legislation. County Executive Ike Leggett is displeased that the council wouldn’t at least vote “yes” or “no.” (WaPo, 12/7)

– The D.C. Council passed the first draft of an ethics bill yesterday, though the legislation leaves out stricter measures that were initially considered (WAMU, 12/7):

“Elected officials have a higher standard of conduct than non-elected officials,” says [Marion] Barry. But, he adds, if the rules are too burdensome, no one of quality will run for office.

“Quality” candidates won’t run for office if they will get in trouble for being unethical? Which definition of “quality” is he using?

– Jack Johnson is going to prison for seven years. (WaPo, 12/7)

POVERTY/HOUSING | The Census Bureau now considers housing as a factor in its Supplemental Poverty Measure, and that change has totally shifted poverty rankings – New York has a higher poverty rate than Mississippi, for example. The Urban Institute’s Robert Lerman says that the stats are misleading. Here’s why. (Urban, 12/6)

FACTOID | You might know the year 1643 as the birth year of Isaac Newton, or the year when the mercury barometer was invented, or even the year when ol’ Abel Tasman discovered the Fiji Islands. But did you know that it was also the year of the first-recorded fundraising drive? (WG Daily, 12/7)

So we might get some snow tonight, which would be great. And now for something completely different – the surprising differences between dog lovers and cat lovers. I don’t buy it. I’m a dog person, and George Harrison is definitely my favorite Beatle.