Charters not outperforming nation’s traditional public schools, report says (Washington Post) A recent report released by the Stanford University Center for Research on Education Outcomes shows divergent success rates for charter schools, compared with traditional public schools, across the nation. In the aggregated results, charter schools nationwide didn’t show significantly better results than public schools 56% of the time for reading and 40% of the time for math. However, in the District of Columbia, charter schools showed much more impressive academic results in both subjects – outperforming traditional public schools. This is seen as a major win for the D.C. Public Charter School Board, as two new charter schools are set to open next year and over 40% of DC students attend charters.
Latest Projections Show Increase in DC FY14 Surplus (DC Fiscal Policy Institute) The latest revenue forecast for the District of Columbia shows a substantial surplus for both the FY13 and FY 14 years: an additional $86 million in revenue for fiscal year 2013 (the current fiscal year), and $92 million for fiscal year 2014. The DC Fiscal Policy Institue (DCatalogueI) argues that these funds should be spent to keep economic growth strong, while supporting struggling residents. Programs could include increased investments in adult literacy, child care, job training, and housing. The Washington Business Journal reports that Mayor Vincent Gray would like to see increases in spending for pre-school, mental health programs, and the arts — among other areas that overlap with DCatalogueI’s priorities.
Volunteers More Likely to Land Jobs, Study Finds (Corporation for National & Community Service) We always knew that volunteering was an intrinsically good thing to do, but the Corporation for National and Community’s Service (CNCS) recent report on volunteerism and employment makes a different case for it. The report finds that unemployed individuals who volunteer over the next year have 27 % higher odds of being employed at the end of the year than non volunteers. “This research has far-reaching implications for the volunteer sector, for workforce agencies, for policymakers, and for those who are out of work,” Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, said. “We encourage nonprofits across the country to engage out-of-work Americans as volunteers, and to help them develop skills and contacts and take on leadership roles.”
And finally, the US Supreme Court issued rulings in four high profile cases this week — avoiding a major ruling on affirmative action in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, invalidating part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act in Shelby County v. Holder, and supporting the right of gays to marry and receive federal protection in Windsor v. United States and Hollingsworth v. Perry.