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In The News …

Welcome to the first Wednesday in March and your weekly news round-up!

State Arts Agencies — Over at Createquity, Ian David Moss follows up on this post by pointing to two new, online national resources for arts advocates. At the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, you can find a simple (albeit unpleasant) breakdown of “major restructuring or funding elimination proposal” by state. The State Arts Appropriation Network, an affiliate of Americans for the Arts, even provides a click-able US map where you can access past and proposed budget numbers. Moss also makes a great point: check to see if your state representatives are already “in the tank for arts funding” so that you can reach out to friends and networks elsewhere!

North Dakota and Washington, DC, Best Job Markets in 2010 — Gallup released this report on state-by-state job markets on Monday. In sum, “more than half of the 10 best job markets in 2010 were in energy- and commodity-producing states.” DC ranked #2 and Maryland #7, both of which (obviously) “benefit from having a large percentage of federal government workers.” However, while the District also appeared in the “Most Job Creation” index, Maryland and Virginia experienced markedly little development in 2009-2010. As a region, we are doing comparatively well, but many of our residents are still in need. So do check out our non-profits focused on job training and life skills!

Flip the Curve: Student Achievement vs. School BudgetsThis graph on the Gates Foundation Blog is pretty striking: “Over the last four decades, the per-student cost of running our K-12 schools has more than doubled, while our student achievement has remained flat.” Why have other nations outpaced us? Bill Gates blogs that “compared to the countries that outperform us in education, we do very little to measure, develop, and reward excellent teaching. We have been expecting teachers to be effective without giving them feedback.” For sure, we need monetary resources to make that happen. But perhaps we need to redirect and rethink how they are used?

Philanthropy on the Edge — On the last day of the month, Philanthropy News Digest re-features their most popular posts. Definitely check out this piece on the role of philanthropy during the upheaval in Egypt: “Imagine what it’s like to be a foundation that has staff and grantee partners in Egypt at the moment. Imagine what it’s like put your foundation’s money behind press freedom and see journalists arrested, beaten, and harassed … This is philanthropy on the edge: driven by a sense of justice and a willingness to take risks.”

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