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Good afternoon sweet readers! No, LL does not appreciate jokes about his resemblance to Butler’s coach. News time:
It’s a busy day in D.C. politics. First, Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh is holding a hearing on the Gray administration’s hiring practices. And Mayor Vince Gray will try and turn the corner with his State of the District speech this evening.
Teacher Cheating?: USA Today has a must-read investigative story about DCPS’ Crosby S. Noyes Education Campus, which has had periods of impressive test score improvement that coincide with periods where there were “extraordinarily high numbers of erasures” from wrong answers to right answers on standardized tests. “On the 2009 reading test, for example, seventh-graders in one Noyes classroom averaged 12.7 wrong-to-right erasures per student on answer sheets; the average for seventh-graders in all D.C. schools on that test was less than 1. The odds are better for winning the Powerball grand prize than having that many erasures by chance, according to statisticians consulted by USA TODAY.” So, were the stats juked, and did the wrong teachers wind up getting bonuses from the edu-philanthropy circuit that’s made former Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee such a star? Good question, reader, good question. The story also highlights DCPS’ pushback against efforts to do a thorough investigation of these erasures. But DCPS put out a press release this morning talking up their commitment to “testing integrity.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Cop Shortage Coming; State of the District; Thefts Rising …
Cop Shortage Looming: Police Chief Cathy Lanier tells the public safety committee that there’s a cop shortage looming because the department doesn’t have the cash to recruit. “Lanier told The Associated Press that the current number of sworn officers — 3,879 — is about 200 fewer than it was in June 2009. The department is also bracing for the expected departure of officers who joined the force during a hiring surge 25 years ago and are becoming eligible to retire, creating a void of experience at a time when the department does not have funds to recruit a new crop of officers.”
The State of the District: According to Jonetta: “What is the state of the District? A certifiable mess.” Meanwhile, Colby King says that the District appears to be “steering without an ethical compass.” “[Marion] Barry still has supporters. But his ability to influence people out of their respect for his standards and values is gone. It’s called moral authority, and he has none. Gray and the council are headed in that direction.” Gray’s speech, meanwhile, has been promoted several times via the city’s emergency alert email system, as well as in the email signatures of dc.gov accounts.
In Other News: People stealing. Hotel growth sluggish. Gray lets cabbies charge an extra buck. The Post looks at Marion Barry‘s old block on Capitol Hill, finds it gentrified. DCPS McKinley Tech investigator fired.
Gray sked: 6:30 p.m. Eastern Senior High Auditorium, State of the District.