July Happenings . . .

. . . most of which have not been well-publicized in my view:

–DC is sponsoring vaccination clinics this summer for DC students. See here for the only listing I was able to find, courtesy of this tweet.

A roundtable on the subject held the other week by the DC council revealed that >25% of DC’s students are not vaccinated with routine vaccinations against deadly illnesses like measles and polio. Establishing herd immunity (i.e., when vaccination programs are most effective and disease transmission remains low) requires more than 95% vaccine compliance. To be sure, this is all of a piece: With the Supreme Court now embracing 18th century norms as our highest legal bellwether, DC residents may soon experience 18th century norms for transmission of deadly diseases unseen in developed nations. (But hey! It’s freedom . . . or something.)

–The DC council is holding a roundtable on July 14 on student literacy; sign up and more information is here. Interestingly, literacy was a subtext of the well-planned victory by Jessica Sutter in the state board of education’s president election, inasmuch as W2 rep. Allister Chang has made it his signature topic and told me he worked with colleagues who most supported his initiatives on literacy to ensure Sutter’s victory.

–The deputy mayor for education is holding two “stakeholder” meetings to discuss findings thus far of, and to get feedback on, a study of DC public high school athletics. The meetings are on July 20 and July 27. The study is being done by a private consulting firm (Windsor Athletics) headed by a former private school athletic director. A final product with recommendations is slated to be published in the fall.

Here’s what the website says:

“The Office of the Deputy Mayor for Education (DME) has commissioned a study that will identify opportunities to establish Washington, DC as a nationally recognized locale for competitive high school sports. The study will assess the current state of high school sports facilities, programming, and coaching development with the goal of creating recommendations to improve the level of, and access to, competitive high school sports.”

As long-time DCPS advocate Marty Welles noted to me, because nearly half of all DC’s public high school athletes go to charters and school proliferation has far outstripped student population in DC, few (if any) publicly funded DC schools have a well-rounded roster of teams to field in a wide variety of sports. That hasn’t stopped DC charters from forming their own athletic league, which apparently abides by different rules from DCPS’s (because freedom . . . or something). Such redundancies are wasteful enough—but the fact that charters often lack athletic facilities suggests that this study will be used as a tool to access to DCPS facilities.

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