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In The News …

In DC schools, 59 percent of students get diploma on time (Washington Post): “Less than 60 percent of DC high school students graduated on time in 2011, according to a new and more rigorous calculation of completion rates announced Thursday.” DC officials pointed out that reported graduations rates have dropped, in part, due to the new counting system that “call[s] for schools to track individual ninth-graders and follow them if they move.” The new numbers also revealed a widening gap between the city’s public charter schools and traditional public high schools in the ability to graduate students on time.” The overall graduation rates for charters was 79.7 percent versus 52.9 perfect for traditional schools, a much larger differential than in 2010 (86.6 percent and 75.75). However, in a follow-up piece, Bill Turque noted that “four-year completion improved from 73 percent to 80 percent under the old calculus there is some movement in the right direction.”

Using the Whole Talent Pool: An Interview with Shannon Maynard and Robert Grimm (Nonprofit Quarterly: Management): “Nonprofit Quarterly editor in chief Ruth McCambridge spoke to Shannon Maynard and Robert Grimm of the Corporation for National and Community Service about their work, the latest research on volunteering, and trends in effective nonprofit staffing management.” Grimm pointed out that both the volunteering rate and the voting rate have increased among young people, and that “there was recently a 25-year high in entering college students who believed that it was essential or important to help others.” Discussing the nonprofit contribution to “social capital,” he also explained that “volunteer associations are part of the core, or the building blocks, of the civic tradition of a community. When organizations are doing a good job of engaging the community, you?re going to see high levels of citizen engagement.”

A Novel Idea: Arlington Plans To Add To Library Budget (WAMU 88.5): “As government leaders across Northern Virginia prepare their budgets for fiscal year 2013, many are considering another round of cuts to libraries. One jurisdiction, at least, has chosen to buck the trend. Arlington County is considering a plan that would add $605,000 and eight employees to the library system at a time when other jurisdictions are considering cutbacks. The budget debate comes at a time when libraries across the region are experiencing a steady increase in demand.” County Board member Chris Zimmerman attests that libraries and their free services” are one of the great levelers in American society that give everybody a fair shot.” On a related note, you can learn more about teaching (and learning) literacy in the area through the Literacy Council of Northern Virginia.

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