Tag: Prince George’s County Public Schools

Join us for WRAG’s 2015 Annual Meeting: Philanthropy All In | Thursday, November 19

It’s that time of year again! WRAG’S 2015 Annual Meeting will take place on Thursday, November 19 at the National Press Club.

WRAG members will hear from Jennifer Bradley, author of The Metropolitan Revolution, as well as a panel of regional leaders about how philanthropy, government, and business can work together to position our region for prosperity.

At the luncheon (open to the community), keynote speaker Harvard’s David Williams will discuss the ways that racism and discrimination continue to impact individuals and communities. Click here to register for Philanthropy All In.

– Capital One, Junior Achievement of Greater Washington, and Prince George’s Public Schools have teamed up to open a JA Finance Park on the campus of G. James Gholson Middle School and Cora L. Rice Elementary School in Landover, Maryland. This 13,500-square-foot experiential financial literacy supercenter is the second in the region and the first in Maryland. It will serve 9,000 Prince George’s County Public School students each year. Another center will open in Montgomery County in 2017. (WaPo, 10/27)

– This year, Virginia schools saw significant improvements with eight in 10 schools meeting state benchmarks for standardized tests. (WaPo, 10/27)

– In Maryland, state-level results on national reading and math tests saw one of the most significant declines in the country in 2015. On the bright side, officials note that the state remains above the national average in some areas, and has also become more inclusive in its testing of students.  (WaPo, 10/28)

One in 10 D.C. students score ‘college ready’ on new high school math test (WaPo, 10/27)

DISTRICT | On the heels of the recent announcement of the Wizards’ practice facility coming to D.C.’s ward 8, residents express their concerns over what it could mean in the long run. (WCP, 10/27)

HEALTHCARE | When hospital patients don’t have the ability to make decisions regarding their own care and have no family to step in and help, hospitals are often overwhelmed with the loss of resources and money.  Some hospitals in D.C. facing similar issues have banned together to create a task force to take a further look at the problem. (WBJ, 10/27)

FOOD/POVERTY | Study: Food stamps do much more to fight poverty than we thought (Vox, 10/27)

When art gets mistaken for trash who’s to blame?

– Ciara

Increased spending for affordable housing and homelessness following D.C. Council vote

The D.C. Council unanimously passed Mayor Bowser’s $13 million budget yesterday. As a result, major funding will go toward affordable housing and homelessness programs. Many of Bowser’s proposals remained intact, though some were slightly altered (WAMU, 5/27):

While the Council did strip out a proposed increase in the sales tax and cut funding for body-worn cameras for police, it largely left Bowser’s other initiatives — including close to $150 million in new spending for the homeless and affordable housing — intact, and in some cases even put more money towards them.

The approval of the budget drew applause from advocates for the homeless and for affordable housing, who said that the spending increases will help residents find — and stay in — homes in a city that has grown increasingly expensive in recent years.

Council, Bowser Win Big In Fight For Budget Autonomy (DCist, 5/27)

– According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, incomes for District residents born in another state rose around 12 percent, while incomes for D.C.-born residents decreased around 16 percent in the period between 2006 and 2012. (GGW, 5/27)

– With the help of community groups and local nonprofits, the area presently known as Marvin Gaye Park has undergone extreme revitalization over the years that residents hope will continue on and spread to nearby areas. (WCP, 5/28)

YOUTH | DC Trust provides a glimpse into the lives of young men of color using the cultural safe-haven of a barbershop as the backdrop for their ShopTalk Storytelling Series. In this second installment, individuals discuss the ins and outs of D.C.’s juvenile justice system that so often affects the lives of young men of color in the city. (YouTube, 3/12)

Tax Increase Plan For Schools Is Shelved By Prince George’s County Leader (WAMU, 5/28)

– Enrollment at DCPS middle schools has seen a dramatic downward trend compared with the number of students who entered kindergarten within the system. Efforts are underway to change the course of that movement and improve the city’s middle schools. (GGW, 5/27)

Your name can reveal a lot about your age, birthplace, profession, and more. How accurate are your results?

– Ciara

Friday roundup – April 20 through April 24, 2015

Many older Americans across the U.S. are experiencing food insecurity, a lingering effect of the Great Recession that has not yet shown signs of recovery for the growing senior population. According to a new report ranking each state’s percentage of seniors facing the threat of hunger, the Greater Washington region’s senior population is among those facing hard times. (WaPo, 4/23)

A new national report on food insecurity among older Americans ranks the District fourth, just behind Mississippi.

The report says that more than 20 percent of the District’s elderly have concerns about eating enough food or the right kind of food, compared with more than 24 percent of seniors in Mississippi.

The estimates of senior hunger range from about 8 percent in Minnesota to more than 26 percent in Arkansas, which was ranked highest among states where seniors face the threat of hunger. Virginia and Maryland both had rates of about 14 percent.

The Atlantic explored the economic inequalities that exist for many Americans well beyond retirement age, despite the shared experiences of growing older that most seniors endure. (Atlantic, 4/20)

– Lynn Tadlock, Vice Chair of WRAG’s board and Deputy Executive Director of Giving at the Claude Moore Charitable Foundation, discussed the upcoming Loudoun County Philanthropy Conference on May 14 and how it aims to strengthen the “three-legged stool” of government, business, and the social sector to meet the often unnoticed needs of Loudoun County. (Daily, 4/22)

– Prince George’s County braced itself for what could potentially be a $20 million loss in state school funding. (Gazette, 4/22)

D.C. schools budget includes wide range in per-student spending (WaPo, 4/23)

National Parks Brought $1.4 Billion to the D.C. Region in 2014 (DCist, 4/24)


Northern Virginia LEG: The Art of Successful Site Visits (co-sponsored with Exponent Philanthropy and the Southeastern Council of Foundations)
Wednesday, April 29  10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Brightest Minds: Dr. Isabel Sawhill on Creating a New Ethic of Responsible Parenthood (WRAG members and non-members)
Thursday, April 30  9:30 AM – 11:30 AM (At PNC Bank)

Today is the Library of Congress’ 215th birthday! Find out what’s actually in there.

– Ciara

A deeper look into the District’s 2016 budget

The DC Fiscal Policy Institute (DCFPI) has released a Budget Toolkit full of resources that provide an in-depth analysis of the 2016 budget proposed by Mayor Bowser. You can access the toolkit here. (DCFPI, 4/21)

While the budget provides a record level to build affordable housing, it offers a much more modest increase to help families pay rent, yet rental assistance is key to making housing affordable to very low-income families. In addition, a one-year plan to keep families from being cut off the TANF welfare-to-work program gives the new mayor time to repair a flawed system, but leaves vulnerable families with too little to make ends meet, about $156 a month for a family of three. And the budget reduces some key programs, such as job training for adults. These programs face administrative and implementation problems that have kept them from fully spending available funds – and thus the reductions may make sense – but this highlights the urgency of strengthening programs critical to helping all residents thrive. These challenges could be addressed by the DC Council as it takes up the budget, or they will need to be addressed in future years.

The mayor’s budget shows that building a city where everyone can succeed requires substantial new commitments to housing, jobs, and other needs. In that light, the proposed revenue increases – which equal less than half of one percent of the budget – stand out as modest. Moreover, the revenue increases will fall on all residents instead of asking well-off residents to contribute more to building a stronger city. Given DC’s substantial income inequality – and the fact that taxes on DC residents are the lowest in region – raising additional revenues from residents most able to pay is a key to expanding economic opportunity to all residents.

Related: Last week, Ed Lazere of DCFPI clued us in to what funders should know about the District’s 2016 budget here. (Daily, 4/15)

– The Washington Area Women’s Foundation has released a new issue brief on the economic security of girls within the Washington region. Exploring demographic trends, the issue brief examines the challenges and opportunities girls in the region face as they move toward economic security as adults. The full issue brief can be found here. (WAWF, 4/21)

The New York Times takes a look at the “Missing Black Men” phenomenon in America, in which 1.5 million African American men are “missing,” due to early death or incarceration. (NYT, 4/20)

Opinion: What’s one good way to expand the tax base in Prince George’s County in order to boost the economy and fund public schools? Some say developing the underdeveloped areas surrounding the Metro stations in the area is a great place to start. (GGW, 4/21)

– The Washington region is the world’s 77th largest urban area (GGW, 4/20)

What’s it take to be wealthy in D.C.? Apparently a net worth of $1.25 million. (WaPo, 4/21)

Have you ever come across another person who looks a lot like you? Some people are taking to social media to find their doppelganger

– Ciara 


Making economic development initiatives good deals for everyone

As D.C. continues to make the appeal to the technology sector for greater economic growth in the city, tax subsidies for investors and companies abound. The D.C.Fiscal Policy Institute has some recommendations for how the District can further its work to ensure that economic development initiatives are effective and beneficial to everyone. (DCFPI, 1/5)

Currently, the District has one large economic development initiative that requires the same level of thoughtful analysis – initiatives to grow the burgeoning technology (or high-tech) sector.


Focusing incentive programs on income taxes benefits very few and does nothing to help DC’s tech start-up community grow. If the District wants to promote tech investment, it can do so by providing entrepreneurs with the upfront supports and resources they need to attract investors – highly skilled employees, affordable work space, and access to experienced business expertise. Here are a few ways to do that:

  • Make investments in workforce development. Ensure that District residents have the resources and capacity to take high-tech, high-skilled positions. Expand internship and mentoring programs for high school, trade school, and community college students and help small businesses access skilled labor via the District’s universities.
  • Ease access to capital. Augment efforts by the Small Business Administration to guarantee loans for long-term business financing. This may mean targeting a locally funded loan guarantee for small tech start-ups.
  • Provide affordable work space. Continue the support of tech company incubators and consider targeted property tax assistance for tech businesses with limited revenue

– The wait for a decision on which American city will be an entry for the 2024 Summer Olympics may come to an end this week. Boston, L.A., San Francisco, and Washington are the final cities who may go on to face off against other strong contenders “including Rome, a yet-to-be-named German city, and possibly Paris or South Africa.” (WAMU,1/5)

– Nine economic development questions facing Muriel Bowser (WaPo,1/5)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING |  With yesterday marking the first full business day of the Bowser administration, Washington City Paper takes a look at those who have been appointed to reshape housing and development in the District. (WCP, 1/5)

FOOD | At the close of year one as first lady in Virginia, Dorothy McAuliffe reflects on what has been her biggest focus since husband, Governor Terry McAuliffe, took office – healthy food and improving access to it for Virginia’s children. Also, recently appointed by her husband to head the Commonwealth Council on Bridging the Nutritional Divide, first lady McAuliffe will lead a number of key players in the push to bring healthy food to more communities in Virginia. (Richmond Times Dispatch, 1/5 and WUSA9, 12/19)

EDUCATION | Maryland county adds Spanish immersion programs at three elementary schools (WaPo, 1/4)

PHILANTHROPY | Opinion: During a recent speech marking the anniversary of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s “Grand Challenges” project that rewarded around 80 countries with billions of dollars to improve education and health, Bill Gates surprised everyone with the tone of his speech. His candid admissions make one thing clear – we don’t always have the perfect answers to solve the world’s problems…even if you are Bill Gates! (WaPo, 1/3)

YOUTH | Judge in Maryland Locks Up Youths and Rules Their Lives (NYT, 12/19)

Is your work space a mess? As you begrudgingly make your way back into your offices this week, here are some helpful tips for organizing your desk for maximum productivity!


Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility!

Congratulations to the inaugural class of the Institute for Corporate Social Responsibility! Take a walk with us down memory lane as we highlight some of the best moments from the past year.

As hypothermia season begins tomorrow in the District amid an estimated 16 percent rise in homeless families in need of shelter, city officials try to decide on a plan to identify overflow beds. (DCist, 10/31)

In the plan, 213 overflow beds for men and 53 for women are listed as “to be determined,” while there are just 409 units at D.C. General (many already occupied) and no money in the budget for hotel rooms. There are fewer units at the family shelter this winter because of a ruling that states families must be placed in private rooms, while Mayor Gray’s administration insisted funding not be provided for hotel rooms.

A Council roundtable on the plan held Wednesday was recessed as city officials said they were not able to share details about procuring additional beds as the process was ongoing.

HEALTH/YOUTH | With as many as 5,000 D.C. children not receiving much needed mental health services, the D.C. Fiscal Policy Institute offers recommendations for how schools can further address the mental health challenges of students, particularly those from low-income areas who often face a great deal of stress and trauma. (DCFPI, 11/3)

Related: On Thursday, December 11th at 12 PM, WRAG members interested in mental health or substance use disorders are invited to a special brown bag lunch discussion hosted by our Healthy Communities Working Group. The brown bag will be a great opportunity to network with colleagues interested in issues related to behavioral health and to share your own work in this area. You can register here. A location will be announced at a later date.

– As many as 400 students may be barred from attending school in Prince George’s County this week, after being out of compliance with school policies requiring vaccinations. (WaPo, 11/2)

EDUCATION | For D.C. Schools, Race and Class Still Define the System (WAMU, 10/31)

AGING | Though America’s population is living longer, many are living with debilitating conditions or injuries that increase the likelihood of  a fall that can prove to be fatal. Care facilities are challenged with providing safety for residents while helping them maintain a sense of independence. (NYT,11/2)

FOOD | App Helps Low Income Moms Stay Connected to Nutrition (NextCity, 10/30)

PHILANTHROPY | What are the issues that weigh most heavily on the minds of America’s wealthy individuals? PNC‘s Wealth and Values Survey found what at least two-thirds of the 476 millionaire survey-takers are concerned at least a little about income inequality. (WBJ, 10/31)

Nearly half (49 percent) said they favor raising the minimum wage, while just 44 percent support raising taxes on high-income earners such as themselves. Far more of the wealthy are interested in supporting charities that focus on poverty and hunger (69 percent), or providing educational opportunities to children of low-income families (64 percent).

You’re a nonprofit right on the verge of unveiling your latest and greatest viral marketing campaign when suddenly, everyone starts pouring ice buckets on their heads in the name of raising money for ALS research. What do you do? See how other social media campaigns have fared and the creative ways organizations are trying to raise awareness around issues


WRAG members named to WBJ Power 100 list

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)

– 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

A plan for D.C. General

Amid a great deal of controversy and a number of complaints about the building, the city is taking the first steps toward closing D.C. General Homeless shelter by housing families in smaller facilities across D.C. The new plan for shelter is expected to be less isolating to families, as they would be spread around the city instead of being placed in one large shelter. (WAMU, 10/14)

As part of the plan, the city is seeking to lease buildings across D.C. that would be used to house as few as 15 and as many as 50 families in apartments, single-occupancy rooms and efficiencies. The buildings would be used as emergency shelters during the winter months.

– Among other things, one major area the next D.C. mayor will need to act on is homelessness. And fast. Check out how the candidates plan to approach the 16 percent increase in homeless families expected this winter.  (WaPo, 10/13)

– For some Virginia students, school may not, in fact, be out for summer as Governor Terry McAuliffe will award more than $1.6 million in grants to support year-round instructional programs at 29 Virginia schools in 13 school districts. The effort is to combat the “summer slide” that can often set students back academically when there is no reinforcement during the time away from school. (WAMU, 10/13)

– A school in D.C. is rethinking the way most schools view time, with a greater emphasis on giving ninth graders the tools they need to make it through to graduation right from the start. (HuffPo, 10/10) Thank you to Mieka Wick at the CityBridge Foundation for sharing.

Opinion: When a child becomes sick, many parents are faced with the tough decision of whether or not they will have to send them off to school or keep them at home. Being sick or caring for a sick child, after all, could lead to a loss in wages – or worse yet – a job. Should we change the way we enforce sick leave policies at school and work? (WaPo, 10/14)

‘Men Make a Difference’ in Prince George’s County Schools (WaPo, 10/13)

COMMUNITY WEALTH BUILDING | What exactly does it take to launch a new initiative? WRAG president, Tamara Copeland, gives us some insight by discussing the Evergreen Cooperatives in Cleveland and how local funders are getting involved. (Daily, 10/14)

NONPROFITS | Nonprofit lending circles that help low-income individuals and immigrants with no credit history gain access to the things they may not otherwise have access to are gaining momentum. (NYT, 10/10)

AFFORDABLE HOUSING | A Bureau of Labor Statistics report already pointed out that the D.C. metropolitan area is the most expensive place to live in the country, but here are some visuals that help drive the point home, (WaPo, 10/13)

HEALTH | How family planning programs save taxpayers billions of dollars each year (WaPo, 10/14)

TRANSIT | How the Silver Line may already be remaking Tyson’s (ElevationDC, 10/14)

 A recipe for cuteness? Treating a group of second graders to a fancy seven-course meal. Thanks to Kristina Kloberdanz at IBM for sharing

– Ciara

Prince George’s schools debut new initiatives

Continuing with all of the education news this week, The Washington Post highlights Prince George’s County Schools as they put forth new initiatives and programs ultimately aimed at bringing middle-class families back into the school district. After some major changes in the school system last year, officials are hopeful about turning the district’s reputation around. (WaPo, 8/26)

[Prince George’s County schools chief Kevin] Maxwell said the 126,000-student district experienced an increase of 1,400 students last year and is projected to grow by an additional 1,200 this year, which he believes is a positive sign for a district that has seen its enrollment dwindle.

“We were falling for over a decade,” Maxwell said. “It’s a pretty good change.”

– Mayor Gray’s recent announcement of school boundary plans has shifted into somewhat of a chicken or the egg argument, prompting some to ask what should come first – reassigning students to new schools or improving school quality? (GGW, 8/26)

Generation Later, Poor Are Still Rare at Elite Colleges (NYT, 8/25)

REGION Study may give Maryland the edge in landing FBI headquarters (WBJ, 8/27)

– The National Association for Music Education has announced the new National Core Music Standards, replacing the old standards from 20 years ago. (PRWeb, 8/27)

– In an effort to create an environment more conducive to healing, a number of hospitals are using art to quell anxiety and promote a sense of hope and optimism. Research supports that patients have responded well to the calming effects of art. (WSJ, 8/18)

HEALTH │ According to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) Americans report a lower overall well-being compared with their non-LGBT counterparts, with particular attention to their financial and physical well-being. The index revealed a number of disparities in overall well-being, especially for LGBT women. (Gallup, 8/25)

POVERTY A study from the University of Minnesota found evidence suggesting that growing up poor can dampen one’s sense of self control in their life beyond adulthood, increasing their likelihood of making impulsive choices and giving up on challenging tasks. (Quartz, 8/23)

In celebration of their 125th anniversary, the National Zoo is going back in time by bringing back their first-ever exhibit!

– Ciara

DCPS principals to get merit raises…The Women’s Foundation on the importance of community colleges…Census data show demographic changes in the region [News, 9.28.12]

– Thanks to a new $62 million grant from the Department of Education, high performing DCPS principals will be eligible for raises. Principals at the 40 lowest performing schools will be eligible for the biggest raises. (WaPo, 9/27)

Prince George’s schools make steady progress but continue to face challenges (WaPo, 9/28) Toward the end of the article is this startling nugget: nationally, “only 43 percent of students who took the SAT are considered ready for college.”

– On the Washington Area Women’s Foundation blog, Mariah Craven writes about the need for investment in community colleges, which, as a lower-cost alternative to traditional four year colleges, enable many women to get a postsecondary education and improve their job prospects.

DEMOGRAPHICS | A new census report shows that the number of people identifying as multiracial in Virginia and Maryland increased at almost twice the rate of the rest of the country over the last decade. (Examiner, 9/28)

HEALTH | Grantmakers in Health has released an issue brief on the benefits and challenges of integrating oral health and primary care. (GIH, September 2012)

DISTRICT | D.C. agency fails elderly and disabled adults in need, inspector general says (WaPo, 9/28)

BUDGETS | Greater Greater Washington looks at the potential impact of sequestration on the region’s transit system. (GGW, 9/27)

IMPACT | Public Allies’ CEO Paul Schmitz reflects on the challenges facing collective impact efforts. (Huffington Post, 9/27)

Related: Paul Schmitz is the keynote speaker at our Annual Meeting this year, and registration is open. Don’t miss it!

Remember Babe? He’s real!