We value your support now more than ever.

All year we’ve been covering the issues that matter most to you—the pandemic, the election, policing, housing, and more—and now our end of year membership campaign is here. Will you support our work to ensure we can bring you the same informative local reporting in 2021?

Is Our Children Learning?: Get ready for the latest skirmish in the ongoing war to define Michelle Rhee‘s legacy. New data released by DCPS shows little improvement on standardized tests from last year to this year, though scores were higher than they were when the testing regime first started. How you feel about the tests, of course, varies based largely on how you feel about the neo-liberal education reforms Rhee and Kaya Henderson, her successor, put in place. We’re just glad we don’t have to take any. -1

Lottery On Wheels: Food trucks have gone from a novelty item in D.C. to a fixture in the urban landscape. Now the D.C. Lottery is hoping it can join in the fun. Lottery officials will unveil their new “Lucky Lottery Mobile” next week, apparently inspired by the mobile food vendors. Unless they’re serving food and/or Chuck Brown drives it, we suspect it won’t be quite as popular. +1

Beer Is The New Wine: Being a sommelier requires an encyclopedic knowledge of wine varieties, food pairings, which glasses to use—and now, apparently, hops. Food & Wine named Greg Engert, the beer director at ChurchKey and Birch & Barley, one of its sommeliers of the year, citing the seriousness with which he and the chefs he works with approach suds. (John Wabeck, at Inox, in McLean, also made the list.) And you thought there was a long line to get in to ChurchKey before! +1

D.C. Is Hot: And now, time for another installment of arbitrary rankings by national magazines! In this case, actually, it’s more like national networks. The Weather Channel declared the District the hottest city in the Northeast, actually using the line, “It’s not the heat, it’s the humidity” in the process. Other regional winners: Medford, Ore.; Wichita, Kan.; Montgomery, Ala.; Laredo, Texas; and Yuma, Ariz. So don’t plan to move to any of those spots to escape. -2

Yesterday’s Needle rating: 50 Today’s score: -1 Friday bonus: +2 Today’s Needle rating: 51