Tag: Pepco

Few transit options for the region’s lower-income riders

TRANSIT
With a year’s worth of maintenance slated to take place throughout the Metrorail system, the impact is expected to be felt by most in the region. Those earning less than $30,000 annually, however, may be hit the hardest with fewer options for teleworking or affordable commutes to work. (City Lab, 5/19)

Among the 11 percent of Metrorail customers who earn less than $30,000 per year, many work low-wage, hourly shifts that don’t offer the option to telework. These riders can’t necessarily afford the convenience of a cab, an Uber, or even a smartphone to hail one. These riders still need to be able to get to their jobs, and for 29 hours in March, it was a lot harder for some.

EDUCATION
– Natalie Wexler – education blogger/editor of Greater Greater Education and DC Eduphile, and trustee of the Omega Foundation  discusses the challenges in achieving reading success for low-income students. On June 2, Dr. Willingham, psychology professor at the University of Virginia, will dive further into the role of background knowledge in reading comprehension and the persistent achievement gap among affluent and low-income students. (Daily, 5/23)

– Does Mindfulness Actually Work in Schools? (Atlantic, 5/20)

COMMUNITY
 The Citi Foundation announced the 40 social profit organizations selected as inaugural recipients of their Community Progress Makers Fund – a $20 million grant initiative supporting community organizations leading urban transformation efforts that create economic opportunities for low-income households and communities. D.C. is one of six U.S. cities with organizations that were selected, such as: Arlington Partnership for Affordable Housing; Capital Area Asset Builders; Enterprise Community Partners Mid-Atlantic; Latino Economic Development Center; and LIFT

– The Center for Nonprofit Advancement has announced Higher Achievement as the winner of their 2016 AIM (Advancement in Management) Award, along with A-SPAN and National Children’s Alliance receiving honorable mentions. Pepco, Capital One Bank, and the Rotary Club of Washington, DC were sponsors of the award. Award recipients will also host an informative best practices session on May 24 at 10:00 am.

IMMIGRATION/POVERTY | Many of the young, recent Central American immigrants to the Washington region find that post-traumatic stress and poverty, along with attending high school, can result in a difficult cycle. (WAMU, 5/19)

HEALTH/CHILDREN
– With a growing number of students showing signs of mental health problems at school, educators are struggling to meet their needs. WAMU and nprED have presented a series on the challenges and possible solutions to approaching mental health issues in children. (WAMU, 5/23)

Due to a several challenges, the federal Summer Food Service Program – aimed at providing meals to children from low-income families during school break – only ends up reaching around 15 percent of those eligible. In places like Silver Spring, MD, for example, some children may have a hard time qualifying for such benefits when low-income housing is often in close proximity to affluent neighborhoods. (City Lab, 5/20)

–  Should Pediatricians Ask Parents If They’re Poor? (NPR, 5/18)

DISTRICT | The Washington Post explores the surge in homicides in D.C.’s ward 7. (WaPo, 5/21)


We all need to get adequate sleep, and trees are (possibly) no different.

– Ciara

WRAG launches new “Fundamentals of CSR” workshop

By Katy Moore
Director of Corporate Strategy
Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

In the fall of 2013, WRAG, in partnership with Johns Hopkins University, launched the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility – an exciting new professional development program designed specifically for CSR professionals. Since then, WRAG has received more than 30 requests for information about the Institute from business students, aspiring CSR professionals, fundraising consultants, and nonprofit leaders seeking to better understand CSR for the purposes of, for example, launching a CSR career, identifying and building new corporate relationships, or strengthening existing corporate partnerships.

WRAG heard these requests and is proud to announce the launch of The Fundamentals of CSR: A Two Day Workshop. The inaugural class will be held on April 23-24, 2015 at Pepco Edison Place Gallery and will feature more than 15 speakers and panelists from some of the largest and most respected companies in the Greater Washington region.

Participants will have the opportunity to learn directly from CSR professionals about topics such as the history, key components, and recent trends in CSR; the breadth, depth, and variety of CSR disciplines; how corporate philanthropy and community involvement fit within a company’s overall CSR strategy; what it’s REALLY like to be a CSR professional; understanding a company’s community investment resources; how to think like a corporate funder; and best practices for building strong corporate partnerships.

There will also be a number of interactive sessions where participants engage with each other, stretch their thinking, and apply their learnings, including sessions on “Learning to make the CSR Business Case” and “Designing a Community Investment Strategy.” Each of these sessions is designed to help registrants think like a corporate funder and understand – from the inside out – what motivates CSR professionals and a company’s overall CSR strategy.

We’re proud to offer this new opportunity and would like to thank the members of our curriculum design committee for making this new program a reality:

Naomi Smouha (Capital One)

Pam Holman (Pepco)

Tracye Funn (Washington Gas)

Kelly Waldron (United Way Worldwide)

Lori Vacek (Freddie Mac)

Jeannan Peterson (Bank of America)

To learn more about the workshop or to register please click here. For questions about the program, please contact Katy Moore at moore@washingtongrantmakers.org.

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

THIS WEEK IN CSR
– 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)

THIS WEEK IN THE WRAG COMMUNITY
– 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)

THIS WEEK IN EDUCATION
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)

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

THIS WEEK IN THE ENVIRONMENT
– 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)


WRAG EVENTS NEXT WEEK
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

 

A six-month update on Helping Families Home

HOMELESSNESS 
Earlier this year, 25 organizations (including eight grantees of the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation) gathered to release Helping Families Home: A Roadmap for the District – a community plan outlining their recommendations on what D.C. should immediately do to get to a high-quality homeless services system. Now, the DC Fiscal Policy Institute has a six-month update on the District’s progress, including a full report and report card summary. (DCFPI, 12/9)

There has been progress in some important areas: a new homelessness prevention program is set to be launched this winter, there are new investments in affordable housing for families, and the District is securing additional shelter capacity for this winter. The District has released a plan for a new system of smaller shelters to replace the DC General Family Shelter, but it is not clear if this plan will yield enough shelter capacity to meet the need.

Yet there has been a tremendous lack of progress in several key areas. Many of the problems with DC’s Rapid Re-housing program – the main tool for getting families out of shelter – have not been addressed. Little progress has been made to meet the unique needs of youth-headed households, which make up nearly half of all families seeking shelter. The DC General Family Shelter has received only some of the improved case management and services it needs. Also, the District is planning to fill the gap in the homeless services budget by using Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funding, and it is not clear whether this will lead to cuts in other vital programs. Finally, DC has made little progress towards the goal of providing access to shelter year-round.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/DISTRICT
– A plan by a developer to put a luxury hotel, condos, and retail in Mount Vernon Triangle, along with an affordable housing component in Anacostia, has left many residents east-of-the-river underwhelmed. In an area with an abundance of low-income housing, residents question why the location of the projects cannot be reversed. (WCP, 12/10)

– A new report from the Washington DC Economic Partnership – with support from Capital One Bank, Pepco, and Washington Gas  says that District developers will add 12,000 new residential units in next three years. (DCist, 12/9)

ARTS | On their blog, Americans for the Arts considers how starting the conversation about diversity in the arts isn’t always easy, but it must be done. This is part of a series of updates on their ongoing Greater DC Diversity Pilot Initiative (supported in part by the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation). (Artsblog, 12/9)

EDUCATIONA Battle Expected Over School Spending in Montgomery County (WAMU, 12/9)

TRANSIT | With transit costs taking up nearly a quarter of low-income commuters’ income, why are bike-share, car-share, and ride-share services that promise to save people money mostly used by those who earn more than the median wage? (GGW, 12/9)


Here’s just one way to keep thieves from stealing packages off your doorstep.

– Ciara

The region looks to move away from federal spending

REGION/WORKFORCE
A new study, “Improving the Washington Region’s Global Competitiveness,” from George Mason University’s Center for Regional Analysis points to the region’s ongoing reliance on federal spending as a major cause for concern for local governments. The report also calls for D.C., Maryland and Virginia to join forces in the effort to attract business and investment in the region and boost the private economy. (WaPo, 11/24 and WTOP, 11/25)

Exacerbated by federal sequestration cuts that went into effect last year, the decline in federal spending has contributed to a regionwide shift from higher-paying jobs — government contractor or subcontractor, for example — to jobs that pay less, according to the Center for Regional Analysis.

 Between September 2013 and this past September, the Washington region lost 13,000 jobs in federal government, business and professional services, education, health care and other higher-paying fields, according to federal data analyzed by the center.

FOOD
– Last month, the Washington Regional Food Funders (WRFF) convened over 100 stakeholders from D.C., Maryland, and Virginia to learn about federal funding opportunities to strengthen the region’s food system and discover ways in which nonprofits, philanthropy, government, and others can partner effectively to do so. Today, WRFF releases a summary of the meeting with thanks to their members, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Dietel Partners, and the Gannett Foundation.

– For The Next Food Drive, Go For the Canned Tuna, Not the Saltines (WAMU, 11/24)

PHILANTHROPY | The 2014-2015 edition of the Catalogue for Philanthropy is here! A number of WRAG members like Booz Allen Hamilton, the Morris & Gwendolyn Cafritz Foundation, Capital One, the Naomi and Nehemiah Cohen Foundation, the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation, the Richard E. and Nancy P. Marriott Foundation, the Meyer Foundation, and Pepco helped to make this publication possible.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING/DISTRICT | Many housing units east of the river, that were once sold for as much as six times their current sale price, are among the lowest-priced properties available. A lack of development has made the units very difficult to sell, despite the ever-increasing demand for housing to the west. (CHOTR, 11/24)

HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | According to a new report from the National Center on Family Homelessness at the American Institutes, in 2013 the number of children who were homeless increased in thirty-one states and the District of Columbia, and was also up by at least 10 percent in thirteen of those states and the District. In a composite state ranking from 1 – 50 (from best to worst) across four domains: 1) Extent of Child Homelessness; 2) Child well-being; 3) Risk for child homelessness; and 4) State policy and planning efforts, Maryland came in at number 11 and Virginia at number 15.   (PND, 11/24)


Due to the holiday, there will not be a news roundup for the rest of this week. Safe travels to those hitting the road.  I leave you with this and, most importantly, this. Happy holidays!

– Ciara

WRAG members named to WBJ Power 100 list

COMMUNITY
The Washington Business Journal has released its third annual Power 100 list, featuring the region’s power players with the most influence in the community. Congratulations to the leaders of WRAG member organizations who made this year’s list! (WBJ, 10/23)

  • Rosie Allen-Herring, President and CEO, United Way of the National Capital Area
  • Carolyn Berkowitz, Managing vice president/community affairs, Capital One Financial Corp.
  • Chet Burrell, President and CEO, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield
  • Wes Bush, Chairman, president and CEO, Northrop Grumman Corp.
  • Nicky Goren, President and CEO, The Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation
  • Mike Harreld, Regional president, PNC Bank
  • Kim Horn, President, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of the Mid-Atlantic States Inc.
  • Bill Marriott, Chairman, Marriott International Inc.
  • Robert Musslewhite, Chairman and CEO, The Advisory Board Co.
  • Chris Nassetta, President and CEO, Hilton Worldwide
  • Joe Rigby, Chairman, president and CEO, Pepco Holdings Inc.
  • Stu Solomon, Managing director for the Washington region, Accenture
  • Gary Tabach, Regional managing director for the Southeast, Deloitte LLP

DISTRICT | Here’s a rundown of the master development bids for the impending project at St. Elizabeths east campus. The winning bid is expected to be announced at the end of the year. (WBJ, 10/22)

HOMELESSNESS
– While a plan for changing the way homeless families are sheltered across the city is very necessary, could the recently-announced strategy for closing the D.C. General Homeless Shelter be overly ambitious? (WCP, 10/22)

More Cities Are Making it Illegal to Hand Out Food to the Homeless (NPR, 10/22)

NONPROFITS | We’re already aware of the importance of annual reports to convey an organization’s past, present and future, but here’s a great case for making those reports digital to expand their reach. (Chronicle, 10/23)

FOOD | Given how important good food and nutrition are to early childhood development, we’re excited to start hearing about efforts to bring healthy food and nutrition education to our youngest residents of the region. Next stop farm-to-preschool? (Gazette, 10/22)

EDUCATION | According to figures from Prince George’s County school system officials, the average SAT scores of students continue to decline. Scores in the county have dropped 77 points in the last two years. (WaPo, 10/23)

WORKFORCE | Labor Group Pushing for $15 Minimum Wage, Including for Tipped Workers (WAMU, 10/22)


In case you were wondering, D.C. has 98 toilets per 100 people.

– Ciara

Anacostia River bridge park to connect neighborhoods and residents

DISTRICT
An architectural team has been chosen, after a national seven-month competition, to design the 11th Street Bridge that will be D.C.’s first elevated park hovering the Anacostia River. The project seeks to promote greater access to healthy food, physical activity and nature for residents in the area. The bridge park is a collaboration between the nonprofit Building Bridges Across the River at THEARC and the D.C. government, and is supported by private donations. Though the project will take time to further develop, you can view additional photos of how it will look here. (WBJ, 10/16 and DCist, 10/16)

So what can we expect in the new 11th Street Bridge Park? Well, the design, which has a distinct “X” shape and will be built on concrete piers used to support an old freeway bridge, is divided up into sections, each with their own specific attractions. There will be rain gardens, and amphitheater, a picnic garden, a hammock grove, a plaza, a cafe, urban agriculture, interactive art (including a tribute to Frederick Douglass), waterfalls, lawn space, a boat launch port, an environmental education center, and a modern playground for children.

– Once hailed as a potential spark for economic revitalization for Anacostia and Congress Heights, the U.S.Coast Guard Headquarters in Ward 8 has not had much impact so far on the surrounding community. (WCP, 10/15)

HOMELESSNESS/YOUTH | Yesterday, officials cut the ribbon on the new playground at D.C. General Homeless Shelter, run by the Homeless Children’s Playtime Project and funded, in part, through donations by Pepco. The new supervised playground will be for the 600 children who currently reside at the shelter until it is ultimately closed down. (WAMU, 10/15)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | Why is D.C. so Expensive? Because of Congress (CityLab,10/15)

HEALTH | The days of searching your medical symptoms on the web and diagnosing yourself with every condition may soon be over. Google plans to roll out a new project that will allow people to connect with doctors via video chat to ask questions and learn more about basic health information. (InTheCapital, 10/15)

FOOD | Would You Take the ‘Walk to Get Your Groceries’ Challenge? (CityLab, 10/15)

TRANSIT | Newly released data on Silver Line ridership shows that fifteen percent of commuters who take the train to Tyson’s Corner or Wiehle Avenue are coming from east of the Anacostia River or Prince George’s County. Economic necessities that remain unavailable in the eastern-most areas of the region are a common reason for most to embark on the often complicated and lengthy commute each day. (GGW, 10/15)

EDUCATION | Enrollment in Prince George’s Rises Again (WaPo, 10/15)

NONPROFITS | The Aspen Institute’s Nonprofit Data Project announces that the Bureau of Labor Statistics will soon release research on nonprofit employment and wages. The employment findings will be released in conjunction with a webinar on the new data on Friday, October 17th at 2:00 PM. To find out more, click here.


In honor of the upcoming election, can you name each of the District’s mayors?

-Ciara

Suburban and urban poverty in the region

POVERTY/REGION
The Brookings Institution recently released new data and an interactive map that show how poverty has shifted in various metro areas from 2000-2012. During that period, most areas saw a jump in suburban poverty, as well as larger concentrations of poverty in existing high-poverty neighborhoods. The Greater Washington region had some significant shifts that varied greatly across the metro area.  (WCP, 8/20)

In the “primary cities” of the D.C. region—namely D.C., Arlington, and Alexandria—the population in poverty declined by 3.5 percent between 2000 and 2008-2012. Meanwhile, the percentage of poor people living in both census tracts with 20 percent or higher poverty and census tracts with 40 percent or higher poverty declined. In other words, poverty became less prevalent and less concentrated.

Compare that to the rest of the metro area. There, poverty shot up by more than 42 percent. And the percentage of poor people living in tracts with at least 20 percent poverty increased from 4.2 percent to 14 percent. (The share living in tracts with at least 40 percent poverty remained at zero.)

– In this fascinating look at D.C.’s campaign to attract those who are young, educated and willing to spend their healthy salaries, The Washington Post examines the perils of building a city around middle-income families and the forced movement of low-income residents into suburban areas. (WaPo, 8/19)

– Many people move to D.C. (especially from New York), but few people who are born in the District end up staying. In fact, around half of D.C.’s natives moved to Maryland and Virginia in the period from 1900 to 2012. (NYT, 8/19)

Race-based hate crimes rose in D.C. in 2013 (WTOP, 8/20)

PHILANTHROPY
Opinion: Has too much emphasis been put on how much donors give, instead of why donors give? (Philanthropy Daily, 7/17)

Throwing Cold Water on Ice Bucket Philanthropy (NPQ, 8/19)

WORKFORCE │ If a proposed merger is approved between Pepco and Exelon Corp., officials say the state of Maryland could see as many as 7,100 jobs added. Additionally, the merger could bring about a fund that would assist low-income customers with greater energy efficiency. (WBJ, 8/19)

ART │ Has D.C. been looking a little more aesthetically pleasing during the month of August to you? It could be due to the Art Everywhere US campaign that also includes some public displays of great American art on billboards, buses and bus stops in the Washington region. The campaign aims to promote dialogue around supporting creativity in schools and everyday life. (DCist, 8/19)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING D.C. Home Prices Jump at the Top and Bottom ( WCP, 8/19)


Bao Bao is simply having the best week ever!

– Ciara

OSSE seeking another waiver for No Child Left Behind as D.C. schools fail to meet original goals

EDUCATION
– D.C. officials are seeking another extension of the city’s No Child Left Behind waiver, setting off debate as to whether the Office of the State Superintendent of Education, responsible for monitoring the implementation of the terms of the waiver, has done enough to address chronically low-performing schools (WaPo, 5/11):

OSSE officials plan to submit their proposed revisions for the Education Department’s initial review on May 12, with a final vote by the state education board sometime this summer.

Under the proposed revisions, the lowest-performing schools would get three years to make progress: one year for planning and two to implement changes. If the school does not make gains within those three years, then the OSSE would intervene directly.

The 2014-2015 school year is the first in which OSSE will be expected to serve in that more direct role, overseeing the improvement of 10 schools. OSSE officials said they are in the midst of making plans for how such oversight will work.

Some state education board members are skeptical that the OSSE — an agency that has struggled with high turnover and made a number of public stumbles since its inception in 2007 — has the ability to lead successful turnaround efforts. Jeff Noel, OSSE’s director of data management, said the agency has been working to build such capability.

– In Montgomery County, parents and school officials are grappling with how to address inequities in school improvements across the county, where schools in wealthy enclaves are able to fundraise for non-essential projects like new playing fields, while schools in lower-income communities go without. (WaPo, 5/11)

Opinion: One way to improve the effectiveness of Head Start would be to allow children from families at all income levels to participate. The op-ed writer cites an early education program in a gentrifying D.C. neighborhood that serves both low-income and upper middle class children, with all kids in the program seeing improvement in their social and behavioral skills. (NY Times, 5/10)

CSR | Opinion: Citing PNC‘s exemplary record of corporate social responsibility in the region after it bought out Riggs Bank, Jim Dinegar of the Greater Washington Board of Trade encourages positive thinking about Exelon’s purchase of Pepco, another CSR leader in the region. (WaPo, 5/11)

WRAG’s Tamara Copeland, echoing Jim’s commentary, says, “I like Jim’s positive outlook for the purchase of Pepco by Exelon. Welcome to the region, Exelon. We look forward to you becoming a part of the local philanthropic community.”

WORKFORCE
– In honor of Mother’s Day, the Washington Area Women’s Foundation produced this excellent infographic depicting mothers’ participation in the region’s workforce. (WAWF, 5/9) (And speaking of the Women’s Foundation, kudos to them for being named one of the best places to work by the Washington Business Journal!)

– Microsoft plans to open one of its first U.S.-based “innovation centers” on the St. Elizabeths campus in Southeast, where the company will provide digital literacy classes to students and job-seekers and support entrepreneurs. (WaPo, 5/11)

HEALTH | Hagerstown, MD, is emblematic of the relationship between high unemployment rates and high rates of obesity. (WaPo, 5/11)

VETERANS | A recent report from Student Veterans of America found that slightly over half of veterans attending college on federal education awards for vets graduate with a degree or certificate. (NPR, 5/11)

PHILANTHROPY | Here’s more coverage of the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropys new site, Philamplify – a Yelp of sorts for foundations. (WaPo, 5/11)

ARTS | An entrepreneurial couple have opened an affordable artist workspace in an old warehouse in the neighborhood of Langdon Park in northeast D.C. (WaPo, 5/9)

NONPROFITS | The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments and Grant Writing USA will present a two-day grants workshop, July 8-9, 2014. More information here.


Well, that was fast!

– Rebekah

D.C. school renovations harness the “transformative power of architecture to improve lives”

EDUCATION
– D.C. has been renovating and modernizing nearly a third of the city’s public school buildings over the last decade. Some of the buildings in the worst condition are being completely transformed into schools that are architecturally notable, designed to enhance students’ experience and create attractive community gathering places: (WBJ, 5/6):

At Ballou, students will experience “an explosion of space,” predicts [architect Brian] Hanlon, as they enter the building under a huge archway filled with curving glass. Large windows and expanses of glass will brighten learning spaces with daylight and visually connect them to the outdoors.

Nearing completion is the brick-clad academic wing where collaborative learning spaces are interspersed among classrooms with computer stations. Students will be able to share ideas with classmates and learn at their own pace in comfortable surroundings open to hallways.

[…]

Build a new school and the children will come… The community will come, too, for adult education classes, recreation, performances and public meetings in spaces designed into the new and remodeled schools.

Through such resources, the modernized D.C. schools fulfill a broader civic purpose in serving neighborhoods. They are contemporary in design, but built on an old-fashioned idea — the transformative power of architecture to improve lives.

– A program in D.C. middle and high schools teaches kids how to use public data to create maps that can identify problems and inform advocacy for social change. (GGE, 5/8) Kids today!

– Related: One such map created by students showed where homeless students in D.C. attend school. (GGE, 5/6)

– While national high school graduation rates are at an all-time high, 12th graders continue to do pretty terribly on the National Assessment of Educational Progress exam. The results are especially troubling when it comes to the racial achievement gap – a 30 point black-white divide on the math exam. (NPR, 5/7)

Congress to consider charter-school legislation (WaPo, 5/7)

– The Humanities Council of Washington, DC and the Schimel Lode are accepting nominations of D.C. teachers for the Abraham Lincoln Schimel and Beatrice Schimel Award for Excellence in Teaching Leadership to High School Students through the Humanities. More information here.

HOMELESSNESS | The effort to build a playground for kids living at the homeless shelter at D.C. General, financially supported by Pepco and other donors and community groups, is getting tangled up with the D.C. Council’s attempt to close the homeless shelter for good. (WCP, 5/7)

HOUSING | Tenants of an apartment building in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood in D.C. that was destroyed in a fire in 2008 are finally getting their building re-built – no small feat for an affordable project in a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood. (WaPo, 5/8)

IMPACT INVESTING | Judith Rodin, the head of the Rockefeller Foundation, reflects on 7 things the foundation has learned in 7 years of impact investing. (HuffPo, 5/6)

Related: Earlier this year WRAG and the Aspen Institute convened a panel of funders who similarly related their lessons learned from their experiences with impact investing, particularly in affordable housing. (Daily, 2/24)


How to never lose at rock-paper-scissors (or at least, win more often than you lose). You never know when this might actually come in handy.

– Rebekah