Wednesday, April 30, 2014
I read articles such as this one from Fast Company about how a biz solved a problem and wonder why the human services (nonprofit) sector doesn't do more of this. Sure, nonprofits seek to help, but in my experience, there's not a lot of problem-solving going on.
What do I mean by problem-solving? I mean looking at how your clients are doing―are things better, worse, or the same for them? Why? What can we (the organization) do to change this? Of these things to change, which are ours (nonprofit's) to change and which are for others to change?
Beyond this, what is the organization's natural inclination? Is it to look inside or outside first? I think the answer to this question is incredibly important. Not sure all change must be done on the outside.
What do you think?
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
With more than 30 million copies sold worldwide since it was first published in 1960, according to HarperCollins, To Kill a Mockingbird, along with another holdout, J.D. Salinger's The Catcher In the Rye, represented a large literary gap in the digital reading library. It continues to sell 1 million copies a year and is a staple in classrooms and reading programs across the country.
Monday, April 28, 2014
The council's case was presented to the public on April 18 on NewsTalk8. Watch segment with attorney Brian Netter.
Interested in Ward 6/SW history? Sociology in My Neighborhood: DC Ward Six is a terrific resource.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
how companies like Apple and Southwest Airlines use this strategy to ensure long term success. But finding your competitive advantage is only step one, the world changes quickly, and just as fast as you find your niche, you should be looking for another one.
"Self-awareness," says Belsky, "is the only sustainable competitive advantage you can find."
Saturday, April 26, 2014
Friday, April 25, 2014
If 2012 was the year of the Massive Open Online Course, according to the New York Times, 2013 was something of a reality check. MOOCs were meant to give people all over the United States (and the world) access to the best lecturers and classes from some of America's top universities. But their first iterations have been beset with problems--lack of student engagement, high dropout rates--leading critics to question their long-term value. MOOCs highlight the usual trajectory of new technologies that are supposed to transform education: big promises, followed by the trough of disillusionment, and a return to the status quo. So, what's next for technology in higher education in 2014 and beyond? Should we just give MOOCs some room to grow? Does big data have the answers? And anyway, is college even the best option in the tech economy?
The town hall will consider whether the District is still a city divided by race, class, and opportunity. Panelists and participants will also discuss how DC Public Schools teachers and high school students tackle DC's complex local history through class readings, discussions, oral histories and community projects.
RSVP to Mandy Brown via email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
A DC Humanities Council grant allows the Center and community to celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Dream City's publication.
What prompted the event
Cosby Hunt, Inspired Teaching's Manager of Teaching and Learning and a native Washingtonian, came up with the idea for the town hall to solve the very real problem that the DCPS
middle school curriculum – which focuses on world geography, ancient civilizations, and early US history – doesn't allow for a deep dive into DC politics in the mid-late 20th century.
Hunt's journey to create this event started during his early days in DC. A House Divided in the Dream City describes Hunt's thinking about DC, its history, and its future and is worth a read, especially if you are planning on attending the event.
Cosby Hunt is a native Washingtonian who earned his bachelor's degree in Non-Western History at the University of Pennsylvania and began his teaching career in rural Georgia as part of the Teach for America program ('93 Corps). He stayed in Georgia to get his masters degree in Secondary Social Science Education at the University of Georgia. He returned home to DC in 1997 and spent thirteen years teaching social studies at Bell Multicultural High school (now the Columbia Heights Educational Campus) where he led the social studies department as well as the tennis and debate teams. Cosby earned his National Board Certification in 2006 and is one of only a handful of National Board Certified social studies teachers in the city.
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Join us and other community organizations this THURSDAY as we discuss youth violence and how we can get all of our young people involved in positive activities.
When: Thursday April 23rd
Time: 6pm - 8pm
Where: Anacostia Neighborhood Library
I'm a strong believer in knowing what has happened in the past and understanding the research associated with a problem I am trying to solve. To help prepare myself for the meeting tonite, I'm looking at the following so thought I would share:
- Combating Violence and Delinquency: The National Juvenile Justice Action Plan: While published in 1996, this plan contains the fundamentals and is a must-have and -use resource.
- Broken Windows: New Evidence from New York City and a Five-City Social Experiment (PDF): This paper dispels the broken windows theory. A good and necessary read.
- Business improvement districts: Impact on public safety within BIDs and in nearby areas: A summary of the research and valuable links.
- What is Theory of Change?: An easy-to-understand description of this term.
- Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence, a research program of the Institute of Behavioral Science (IBS) at the University of Colorado at Boulder: This is the mother ship for best practices.
Here's some history on youth violence plans and intervention in DC:
- D.C. YOUTH DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION PLAN: This was written in 2005 to address the spike in youth homicides during the Williams Administration. The two purposes of the strategy were: 1) Launch a youth violence intervention strategy that can deliver near-term, powerful results; and 2) Lay the groundwork for a sustainable investment in our city’s young people guided by the values of positive youth development.
- Positive Youth Development Continuum Matrix
- Draft notes from the July 11, 2005 hearing on juvenile violence and homicides:
- Need better outcomes and greater accountability
- There are gaps in knowledge about funding for programs for children and youth. The city (government and nonprofits) should maximizing funding
- The city must institutionalize collaboration, coordination among government agencies and between government and the public
- Improving quality
- Involve youth in the process of program and anti-violence plan development
- Improve the capacity of community-based organizations to do the (outcome-driven) work required to prevent and intervene effectively
- Put in place required youth worker training
All the best Jack!
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
CFSA Colleagues and Partners:
The wonderful, transformative program getting underway in the District deserves a better name than “IV-E waiver” (z-z-z-z-z-z). Please help us give this worthy effort an appealing identity as other jurisdictions have done. We’ve narrowed the field to three choices, and you can play a part in picking the winner. To cast your vote, use this link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K2NS9L8.
Need background to make the best choice? Here’s a short refresher about what we hope to do under the waiver:Over the next five years, CFSA will spearhead development of a more robust local safety net that includes best practices in child abuse prevention and support services. Families all over town will be able to tap effective services in their neighborhoods before difficulties overwhelm them. Help will range from one-time or short-term supports to long-term, intensive assistance depending on what families need. The Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaboratives will serve as the primary coordinators for these services and will ensure they are available throughout the city.
Your vote must be in by Wednesday, April 30, so please don’t delay. We very much appreciate your help.
Tuesday, April 22, 2014
@OneCityYouth asked this important question and knowing my readers can help out, I decided to blog. If you are a school (DC Public School, public charter school, or private school), feel free to Tweet One City Youth. Even better, add your social media information to this list so everyone can find you! You'll see that the info requested is expansive―and it includes PTAs/PTOs so those organizations should also provide their information.
Monday, April 21, 2014
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(Updated 4/21/14 9:46a)
On April 22 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm at Langley Education Campus (101 T S NE), Mayor Gray will present a special first year progress report on the implementation stage of Sustainable DC.
As pleased as DCEN is with the progress, the organization also believes that the river cleanup and other work must be accelerated. According to the email from DCEN:
Mayor Gray will not be Mayor in 2015 and it is not clear that the current candidates for this office will support a sustainability plan for the District. The environmental community needs a strong showing at this first year progress report and other sustainability focused events over the next 8 months to make it clear to decision makers that we want to make real progress on Sustainable DC now and after the Gray Administration leaves office.
LOT'S OF WORK TO DO: Our work has just begun. We all need to work hard to accelerate progress to clean up our rivers; reduce carbon emissions; develop a meaningful zero waste plan that does not include incineration; and continue to pressure our elected officials to promote sustainability principles with every decision that is made.
Sunday, April 20, 2014
From the event page (Update: Link updated 4/21/14 8a):
Terry Golway, director of the Kean University Center for History, Politics, and Policy, recounts Tammany Hall politics in New York City. The author contends that the political machine that controlled the city's Democratic Party in the 19th century has been miscast as crooked. Instead, he asserts that Tammany Hall afforded immigrants to New York a political voice and was responsible for social and political reforms, which included greater worker's compensation and a ban on child labor. Terry Golway speaks at the Irish Arts Center in New York City.
Saturday, April 19, 2014
Friday, April 18, 2014
Thursday, April 17, 2014
I love this from Fast Company: Pixar President Ed Catmull On How To Run A Creative Business. I don't know about you, but while I love my first ideas, they are rarely where I end up. And that is good; my last ideas, those that have been massaged and edited and torn apart, are much better.
What about your first ideas?
The event takes place at Virginia Williams Family Resource Center (33 N St NE).
Background from the release:
The Department of Human Services (DHS), in collaboration with TCP and THC, has launched an aggressive initiative to identify 500 apartments for homeless families in 100 days. Mayor Gray met with the Apartment and Office Building Association (AOBA) in the first week of the campaign, which began April 1, to advocate for housing on behalf of homeless families. He will continue the appeal to landlords and for-profit as well as not-for-profit developers to identify quality, affordable housing for families currently living in temporary shelters.
Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Smith will oversee the recently re-established Office of the Ombudsman for Public Education, responsible for responding to concerns and resolving complaints, disputes, and problems faced by students and their families in District of Columbia public and public charter schools. As a clearinghouse for addressing concerns, the Ombudsman’s office also will report on trends in issues and complaints, thus helping to improve the delivery of educational services and informing policy.
Tuesday, April 15, 2014
Information about the entire day: biketoworkmetrodc.org.
Monday, April 14, 2014
My proposal is to embrace evaluation across the government and government-funded services. Before adding or subtracting more money, let's look at what works. Some of this is already being done. One City Summer Initiative, which has morphed into One City Youth, is all about evaluation. Take a look at the evaluations of One City Summer Initiative.
And before you jump all over me, this is not directed at a particular candidate or set of proposals. This is based on years of work in public policy in DC. And understanding that it's easy to criticize without having all the information.
All I'm suggesting is that we work smarter based on agreed-upon outcomes and evaluation tools.
The Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) is holding a mandatory training for new new and returning sponsors for the 2014 program Wednesday, April 30 from 9:30 am - 1:30 pm.
On the agenda are updates from USDA, a review of site eligibility, site monitoring requirements, and much more.
More information about the training is on the OSSE website in the events calendar item 2014 DC Free Summer Meals Program Sponsor Training.
Not sure being a sponsor is right for your organization? Contact Elisabeth Sweeting at (202) 724-7628 (office), (202) 368-3009 (cell), or via email, email@example.com. For immediate response, contact Norma Birckhead at (202) 442-4010.
Sunday, April 13, 2014
Neither article actually concerns the feds dumping on DC. Rather, they are about whether the DC government must comply with the Home Rule Act (PDF) or the voters' decision to support budget autonomy via referendum.
The letters from Mayor Vince Gray, CFO Jeff DeWitt, and AG Irv Nathan are below.
Friday, April 11, 2014
The screenshot shows about one-third of the Tweets associated with #dcfy15. And while the people tweeting have fairly good reach across the city, I was most surprised that so few advocates (individuals and organizations) were using Twitter to share information and ask questions. The illustration below was generated using Tweet Binder. You can see how few people are using Twitter for #dcfy15 advocacy, information-sharing, information-seeking, and the like. This is in sharp contrast to Twitter traffic last year, at least as I recall the activity. I understand we are only one week into the #dcfy15 budget, so I'm not expecting a huge quantity of Tweets, but ones from more people.
Thursday, April 10, 2014
Wednesday, April 9, 2014
To read more by Katz, go to his page on the Harvard website.
Tuesday, April 8, 2014
Monday, April 7, 2014
Dorothy Brizill, firstname.lastname@example.org
Last week, the District had the lowest voter turnout for a primary election in thirty years. Only 22.5 percent of all registered voters went to the pools, with only 11.47 percent in Ward 8 and 16.48 percent in Ward 7. Yet, despite the low number of votes cast, the DC Board of Elections again proved unable to conduct the election and tabulate the votes properly. I visited all the early voting sites between March 17 and March 29, and nearly twenty polling precincts on April 1, and I witnessed serious problems that raised concerns about the BOE’s ability to conduct elections. For example, electronic voting machines and poll books didn’t work, precinct captains were left to fend for themselves and repair equipment, several poll workers were poorly trained, supplies at polling precincts were inadequate, etc. On election night, as has already been reported (http://tinyurl.com/lfk6bg3), the BOE was unable to tabulate the turns in a timely and accurate manner.
On April 29 at 1:00 p.m., Councilmember Kenyan McDuffie, the chairman of the council’s Government Operations Committee, will conduct a hearing regarding the BOE’s conduct of the April 1 primary and the problems that arose. Prior to the hearing it would be helpful if voters and poll workers sent me E-mails detailing the issues and/or problems they encountered when they voted, whether at an early voting center or a voting precinct on election day. I hope to hear from concerned citizens and research the problems that arose, and to make recommendations for fixes to be made prior to the general election on November 4. Please send your comments to me directly at email@example.com or at 202-234-6982.
The National Building Museum's free How Housing Matters Conference will take place Thursday, October 16 from 8:30 am – 4:30 pm and registration is required.
From the meeting invitation:
Housing matters to everyone. The upcoming How Housing Matters conference will explore how having stable, secure, and affordable housing affects child development and education, physical and mental health, and long-term economic success.
This day-long event will explore these important connections and how policymakers and practitioners can better integrate programs and services to achieve improved outcomes for individuals, families, and communities. Key leaders, researchers, practitioners, and advocates from housing, education, health, and economic development will discuss practical and cross-platform solutions with local, state, and federal policymakers.
More information is on the event website.
If you can't make it to the JAWB, you can watch it via OCT link (better audio than the DC Council video).
Sunday, April 6, 2014
Friday, April 4, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014
OBP will make the budget available on CDs again this year.
Wednesday, April 2, 2014
- Early morning budget briefing for the cabinet
- Briefing for the DC Council from 9:30 – 11:00 am. This briefing is open to the media.
If the mayor's schedule changes, it will be posted online.
This list is on top of the offerings by Wild Apricot itself.