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Despite Gains On Tests, D.C. Students Have Furthest To Go

The National Assessment of Educational Progress, known as The Nation's Report Card, finds that D.C. students show more growth than any state — but they also have the furthest to go.

The U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan calls the improvement in NAEP scores for 4th and 8th graders across the country modest. But D.C.'s five- to seven-point increases on math and reading — on a 500-point test — are a remarkable story.

"Given all the doubters, all the naysayers, all the people who said it wouldn't be done or couldn't be done or that progress would stop, this is irrefutable evidence quite to the contrary, the pace of change is speeding up, its accelerating here in D.C.," he said on Thursday.

But while the District is ahead of states in terms of growth, it's only fair to point out that D.C. ranks worst in the nation in terms of overall scores. Just 23 and 28 percent of 4th graders are what's called proficient or above in reading and math. At the 8th grade level it's worse — not even 20 percent of students are proficient or higher in either subject.

Jack Buckley, a commissioner of the National Center for Education Statistics, says there's also a substantial black-white gap. "White students on average in 8th grade outperform black students by 54 points, in math its 56 points. D.C. gaps are close to double what we see in the nation on average," he explains.

But Buckley says D.C. is on the right trajectory — he says you can't get from the bottom to the middle overnight, and that doing so will take time.

NPR

Shante, He Stays: RuPaul Reflects On Decades Of Drag — And 2 Emmy Nominations

RuPaul is the most recognizable drag queen in America. His hit show, RuPaul's Drag Race is up for two Emmy Awards as it begins filming its ninth season. But drag, he says, will never be mainstream.
NPR

Food World Rallies For Quake-Hit Amatrice, Home Of Famous Pasta Dish

In Italy and the U.S., restaurants are pledging to use sales of Amatrice's signature dish, spaghetti all' amatriciana, to raise funds for the Italian town devastated by Wednesday's earthquake.
WAMU 88.5

Turmoil At D.C. Agency Linked To Contract Disputes With Top Campaign Contributor

The head of the D.C. Department of General Services has resigned and two top staffers are being forced out after a company that has been a key contributor to Mayor Muriel Bowser’s campaigns lost out on two major city construction contracts, sources tell WAMU 88.5.

NPR

WhatsApp Will Start Sharing Data, Including Phone Numbers, With Facebook

It will also test new ways for businesses to communicate with users on the app. The privacy policy changes mark the long-expected move by Facebook to begin making money from the free app.

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