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National Report Card Scores DCPS Below Average

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D.C.'s public school students took a step forward in math but a step back in reading. That's the word according to the "Nation's Report Card" -- a federal education study.

The average DCPS score in both reading and math was lower than the average score for public school students in large cities across the U.S, but while fourth and eighth graders in the District improved slightly in math, their scores went down slightly in reading.

The last time the report was released in 2009, DCPS showed large gains at the fourth grade level. And the improvement was attributed to aggressive reform efforts under former chancellor Michelle Rhee.

Michael Casserly who heads Council of the Great City Schools, says organizational changes laid the groundwork, but teacher quality and a clear curriculum matter: "Typically for school districts undergoing reform, you have to do a number of these structural things at the beginning but unless you pair them with instructional reforms it's very hard to sustain the initial gains that you get from just the structural ones."

Casserly says current chancellor Kaya Henderson's efforts to improve classroom instruction have not been implemented long enough to show results.

Charter schools were not included in the study. Approximately 40 percent of children in the District attend charter schools.

NPR

Cult Survivor Documents 2 Decades Inside 'Holy Hell'

Will Allen directed the documentary Holy Hell, which depicts his experience as a videographer and member of The Buddhafield cult. Allen used his own footage, as well as his interviews with other former members, to make this documentary.
NPR

Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says

Companies cultivating a healthful image often list "evaporated cane juice" in their products' ingredients. But the FDA says it's really just sugar, and that's what food labels should call it.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 27, 2016

Congress votes to override DC's 2013 ballot initiative on budget autonomy. Virginia governor faces a federal investigation over international finance and lobbying rules. And DC, Maryland and Virginia move to create a Metro safety oversight panel.

NPR

After Departure Of Uber, Lyft In Austin, New Companies Enter The Void

Earlier this month, voters in Austin, Texas, rejected an effort to overturn the city's rules for ride-hailing companies. Uber and Lyft tried to prevent fingerprinting of their drivers, and now both have left town. A few other ride-share companies have popped up to help fill the void. NPR explores how people are getting around town without Uber and Lyft.

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