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The Affordable Care Act insurance reforms seek to expand coverage and to improve the affordability of care and premiums. Before the implementation of the major reforms, data from U.S. census surveys indicated nearly 32 million insured people under age 65 were in households spending a high share of their income on medical care. Adding these “underinsured” people to the estimated 47.3 million uninsured, the state share of the population at risk for not being able to afford care ranged from 14 percent in Massachusetts to 36 percent to 38 percent in Idaho, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Nationally, more than half of people with low incomes and 20 percent of those with middle incomes were either underinsured or uninsured in 2012. The report provides state baselines to assess changes in coverage and affordability and compare states as insurance expansions and market reforms are implemented.
Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.;
In 2007, the District of Columbia (D.C.) passed the Public Education Reform Amendment Act, which established mayoral control of D.C. Public Schools (DCPS) and led to the appointment of Michelle Rhee as school chancellor. In an effort to boost student achievement, Chancellor Rhee replaced many school principals as one of her first reforms. For the 2008 -- 2009 school year, 39 percent of the principals in the school district -- 51 individuals -- did not return, and more were replaced in the following years. We measured whether students in a school with a new principal performed better on standardized tests than they would have if the original principal had been retained. To do so, we analyzed the changes in student achievement that occurred when principals who left at the end of each of the school years from 2007 -- 2008 through 2010 -- 2011 were replaced. We compared the achievement of students in DCPS schools before and after a change in school leadership, and then compared this change to the change in the achievement of students from a sample of comparison schools within DCPS that kept the same principal.
Washington Area Women's Foundation;
In this issue brief we find more than ever, families rely on Women's earnings to make ends meet. In the Washington Region, 72 percent of mothers with young childen participate in the workforce and, nationwide, 40 percent of mothers are either the sole or primary breadwinner in their households. Equal pay would reduce poverty levels among women, and would increase every woman's ability to provide for herself.
Pew Research Center;
The findings of this content analysis reveal that coverage by D.C.-based reporters stays more closely tethered to the institution and work of Congress than other reporting in the papers studied, usually with direct quotes from members of Congress. But there are also signs that these reporters are often Beltway-focused, with a tendency to keep the emphasis of the stories aimed at the government and in a way that does not tie the significance of the news back to the local community. But perhaps of more importance to the reader overall is that of all the coverage about federal government appearing in these papers, the portion that comes from D.C. based-reporters accounts for less than 10%. Instead, the greatest portion of federal government coverage by far comes from wire service stories.
DC Fiscal Policy Institute;
This report offers recommendations for reducing income inequality and for giving all residents of the District of Columbia the opportunity for a secure economic future. As Mayor Bowser and the new DC Council start their work in 2015, the District is in good shape in many ways. But it also faces greater challenges than ever. Prosperity and a growing population have pushed housing prices beyond affordable levels in every corner of the city. The rapidly rising cost of living makes it even more important for residents to have good-paying jobs, yet wages are falling and unemployment remains high for residents without a college degree. The District has always been a city of haves and have-nots, but the gaps are stretching close to a
breaking point. While the top five percent of DC households have incomes over $500,000, higher than the top earners in any major city, the poorest fifth of households live on average income under $10,000. This in part reflects a growing gap between the wages of lower-paid and higher-paid workers -- now at the widest gap in 35 years -- and public assistance benefits that are low and have not kept up with the rising costs of living.
The Kettering Foundation studies the problems that keep our democracy from working as it should. One of these is a lack of trust that has eroded confidence in our major institutions, including the public schools. To remedy this problem, federal, state, and local officials have pursued a broad range of reforms aimed at ensuring that the nation's public school system is more accountable.
Most Americans applaud the goals of this accountability movement, and they support some of what it has accomplished. However, new research from the Kettering Foundation and Public Agenda suggests that there are important differences between the way most leaders and most parents define and think about accountability in public education.
This report summarizes this research, which includes focus groups held in Washington, DC; Detroit; New Orleans; Westchester County, NY; Birmingham, AL; and Denver. The report lays out areas of agreement, where leaders and parents see eye-to-eye on accountability, and areas of tension, where the perspectives of leaders and parents part company. Finally, it explores whether it is possible to blend the competing views and poses some questions for the field.
Wallace Foundation, The;
In 2003, The Wallace Foundation began an initiative that eventually included five cities -- Boston, Chicago, New York City, Providence and Washington, D.C. -- to help them develop afterschool systems. At the time, a few cities and organizations were pioneering this approach (L.A.'s Best in Los Angeles, The After-School Corporation in New York, After School Matters in Chicago), but it was still a novelty. Five years later, Wallace examines lessons learned from this initiative, which posited two central premises:
Children and teens can gain learning and developmental benefits by frequent participation in high-quality afterschool programs.A coordinated approach can increase access to, and improve the quality of, afterschool programs.
Community Foundation for the National Capital Region;
More than 60,000 DC residents are essentially locked out of the City's economy because they lack a high school diploma or its equivalent, and need to significantly increase their education, skills, and credentials in order to progress to the goal of a family-supporting job. A successful economic development strategy must incorporate a strong workforce development plan to bring these residents into the District's economy as full and successful participants.
The Affordable Care Act insurance reforms seek to expand coverage and to improve the affordability of care and premiums. Before the implementation of the major reforms, data from U.S. census surveys indicated nearly 32 million insured people under age 65 were in households spending a high share of their income on medical care. Adding these "underinsured" people to the estimated 47.3 million uninsured, the state share of the population at risk for not being able to afford care ranged from 14 percent in Massachusetts to 36 percent to 38 percent in Idaho, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, and Texas. Nationally, more than half of people with low incomes and 20 percent of those with middle incomes were either underinsured or uninsured in 2012. The report provides state baselines to assess changes in coverage and affordability and compare states as insurance expansions and market reforms are implemented.