- Blame Bush: 5 years later, that’s still the mantra, pollsters find
- Dutch prostitutes demand same retirement benefits as soccer stars
- John McCain to Harry Reid: I’ll ‘kick the crap’ out of you
- Dogs that talk: Researchers seek $10K for ‘No More Woof’ technology
- 1,000 firefighters called to battle stubborn Big Sur wildfire
- Black Friday brouhaha: Millions of Target shoppers hit by credit card theft
- Britain orders airplane to rescue citizens from violent South Sudan
- Mega Millions winner emerges as Georgia mom, in ‘disbelief’
- ‘Duck Dynasty’ Phil Robertson suspended ‘indefinitely’ for gay quip
- John Podesta eats crow: ‘I apologize to Speaker Boehner’
SIMMONS: Give venture philanthropy a good look
Question of the Day
Those of you paying close attention to the race for the White House probably have noticed the two concurrent themes on center stage. One is government-driven solutions; the other encompasses market-based solutions.
There’s not much discussion about the third way, through the philanthropic efforts of the private sector, which includes venture philanthropy.
Like traditional nonprofits and foundations, venture philanthropy aids governmental and nongovernmental programs that bring about socioeconomic change. But unlike traditional nonprofits and foundations, venture philanthropy groups often look outside the typical boxes and use dual-purpose magnifying glasses to peer at the scope of a problem as well as the effectiveness of solutions.
One such group, Venture Philanthropy Partners, focuses on education in general and, with its first-of-a-kind comprehensive study of the Washington region, early childhood education in particular.
Planning to announce a major initiative on Wednesday, VPP supports school choice, youth mentoring and internship programs, and organizations with pipelines into careers and higher education.
Pre-K education is a tricky and prickly cause mostly because preschool hasn’t produced academic results that were sustained by the third and fourth grades, when federal and state education systems measure the effectiveness of teaching and learning.
A 2012 VPP study, “Capital Kids: Shared Responsibility, Shared Future,” provides keen insight into who is holding the short academic stick, where they reside and why our region should be repositioned to think outside geographical boundaries to grow a workforce for our already-global economy.
“I got a chance to get a great education,” said D.C. native and founding VPP investor Raul Fernandez, chairman and CEO of the Reston-based ObjectVideo Inc., during an interview in his office at the edge of Georgetown.
While VPP’s charitable ways always have embraced low-income families, the chief reasons why early childhood is ripe for microscopic innovation include:
Mr. Fernandez’s point regarding the plight of those who fail to master the basics. Children who do not master reading by the third grade have a much lower chance of graduating from high school by age 19, according to the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
The National Scientific Council on the Developing Child has pointed out that middle-class children have a vocabulary of about 1,100 words by age 3, compared with low-income youths who have a vocabulary of about 525 words.
There are other factors. In the capital region, the U.S. Census reported declines between 2000 and 2010 in the number of white children younger than 5 (42 percent from 36 percent), and substantial growth in that age range among Asian children (8 percent to 11 percent) and Hispanic children (14 percent to 23 percent).
These additional facts from “Capital Kids” sharpen the image. The proportion of immigrant children rose across our region from Loudoun County in Virginia to Montgomery County in Maryland, with Arlington County being the only area to see its numbers decrease. Also, 1 in 5 students in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax County is an English-language learner and 40 percent of children in our region have at least one immigrant parent.
Also, wealthy Fairfax and Montgomery counties are home to the largest numbers of children of immigrants in the region. In D.C. proper, the largest number of immigrants live in Ward 4, whose landmarks include the former Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
Award-winning opinion writer Deborah Simmons is a senior correspondent who reports on City Hall and writes about education, culture, sports and family-related topics. Mrs. Simmons has worked at several newspapers, and since joining The Washington Times in 1985, has served as editorial-page editor and features editor and on the metro desk. She has taught copy editing at the University of ...
- SIMMONS: A season to be jolly all around the world
- SIMMONS: A little girl's life shows scars of domestic violence
- SIMMONS: Pictures of Obama and 'Dane' lady don't lie
- SIMMONS: Mandela: May the man of many roles rest in peace
- SIMMONS: Obama visits Southeast D.C. with minimum wage on his mind
Latest Blog Entries
By Andrew P. Napolitano
Fourth Amendment says Obama is not at liberty to collect metadata
- Duck Dynasty Phil Robertson suspended indefinitely for gay quip
- Half of America strips religion from Christmas
- Bill Gates: The Secret Santa disguised as a 'friendly fellow' on Reddit
- Gov't wasted $30 billion on 'pillownauts,' crystal goblets -- buying human urine!
- U.S. Army mulls wiping out memory of Robert E. Lee, 'Stonewall' Jackson
- Armed response, not restrictive gun laws, brought swift end to school shooting
- NAPOLITANO: NSA spies pick up interference from the Constitution
- BOLTON: Nero in the White House
- 'Duck Dynasty' star Phil Robertson: Gays 'wont inherit the kingdom of God'
- John McCain to Harry Reid: Ill kick the crap out of you
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Politics, economics, and business from a real world perspective.
The cold hard truth about politics in America today and the state of this once great nation.
Nobody likes to talk about dying. But we can help.
Top 10 handguns in the U.S.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow