Post-Conference Reading: To Shrink Achievement Gap, Integrate School Districts

Does segregation still matter? When it comes to educating our nation’s school children, the answer is yes, according to research published last week by the Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis. But the problem isn’t race, the study finds. It is poverty. Decades after the end of legalized segregation, and the funding disparities that accompanied it, minority students remain disproportionately concentrated in high-poverty areas. Academically, they trail students in more affluent areas, and they fall increasingly behind as the years pass. The result is an achievement gap that limits the educational and career opportunities of nonwhite children. But the gap narrows, according to the research, when school districts are integrated, exposing poor minority students to the same opportunities as their richer peers. (WSJ)

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Post Conference Reading: Can Maryland follow a Massachusetts model on education funding?

As a Maryland public school parent and as an educator, I know firsthand the difference that public schools can make for students. They made all the difference for me (literally saving my life). I also know that the future is in great hands because students, including my daughters, are leading the way to build a better tomorrow, thanks, in large part, to public schools. (Wash. Post)

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Ted Venetoulis - Welcome to Baltimore, Mr. President

It appears our president is coming to our city, home of some of his most recent verbal vitriol.

Welcome Mr. President. We suggest you be careful. There's a new infestation of crabs coming into our city. They pour in every day. We actually eat them. Perhaps another infestation you can knock. After all, you are a first class “knocker” — war heroes, hispanic judges, four star parents, immigrants, women who are not your type, long time global allies, members of congress.

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Post-Conference Reading: Officials set regional housing targets, call for collaboration to address production and affordability challenges

Today at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia adopted three regional targets on housing, agreeing to collaboratively address the area’s production and affordability challenges. This collective action, outlined in a resolution approved by the COG Board of Directors, is the culmination of a year-long effort by local planning and housing director staff and COG to determine 1) how much housing is needed to address the area’s current shortage and whether the region could produce more, 2) the ideal location for new housing to optimize and balance its proximity to jobs, and 3) the appropriate cost of new housing to ensure it is priced for those who need it. (MWCOG)

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Malone: Katrina’s Legacy

This summer, my father died; he was 89 years old and suffered from Alzheimer's.  I loved my Father and miss him very much, but I am comforted by the fact that he lived a full life.  He received excellent medical care until the end of his life, and he died comfortably in hospice. My father was of Irish American descent. 

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MEMO: With a Dearth of Affordable Housing in Howard County, a Memo to the County Council Explains How a Proposed Housing Tax Puts Moderate Income Housing Farther Out of Reach

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Conference Reading: In Howard County, a ‘courageous’ plan to redraw school boundaries tests community’s commitment to diversity

In Howard County, people pride themselves on making everyone feel welcome. Bumper stickers say “Choose Civility.” The county’s pioneering newtown, Columbia, was founded on the premise that people of different races and economic status should live side by side. Now, those convictions are being tested by a proposal that seeks to redistribute some 7,400 of the school system’s 58,000 children to different schools — in part to address socioeconomic segregation that leaves children from poor families concentrated in certain schools. Signs like “No Forced Busing" and “Don’t Dismantle Communities” are appearing in protests in front of River Hill High School, where nearly everyone is affluent and very few are black or Hispanic. A Facebook page called “Howard County School Redistricting Opposition” has more than 1,900 members. (Balt. Sun)

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Conference Reading: D.C. region’s leaders face big challenges as they tackle affordable-housing shortage

Last year the Washington region came together to fix a 40-year-old problem by providing Metro with dedicated funding. Now elected officials and business and nonprofit leaders are preparing a push to overcome another challenge: the critical shortage of affordable housing. It’s going to be a lot more difficult. A new report issued Wednesday says the Washington region needs to add a whopping 374,000 housing units by 2030. Officials say that’s about 30 percent more than expected at present. (Wash. Post)

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