- The Washington Times - Monday, December 21, 2009

The D.C. schools chief and the mayor of Sacramento have more in common than being engaged to each other.

Standing up for school choice

Michelle A. Rhee and Kevin Johnson now share ties with the Broad family, whose coast-to-coast philanthropic efforts are rooted in education. Mrs. Rhee is a member of the board of the Broad Center for the Management of School Systems, and Mr. Johnson last week announced a new partnership with the Broad Foundation, which supports charter schools.

The foundation is providing $500,000 in seed money for Stand Up for Sacramento Schools, a nonprofit charged with raising academic achievement and college-completion rates. The initiative will focus on five key areas — accountability, parent engagement, human capital, school choice and external resources.

Urban families have suffered for too long, and school and city officials should make sure that children’s ZIP codes “do not determine their choices in life,” said Mr. Johnson, a charter-school founder and former NBA star.

“For decades, we’ve seen poor academic results in far too many urban schools across America. Mayor Johnson and Sacramento’s leadership are ready to begin a very different story here, starting by making public education a citywide priority. We are proud to be partnering with this impressive mayor and share Stand Up’s belief that a quality education for all students is the cornerstone of economic and civic success,” said Broad Foundation Director Erica Lepping.

Want to be a Marriott scholar?

One of the giants in the hospitality wants to help you help yourself to a career in the industry.

The Marriott Foundation’s Marriott Scholars Program is accepting applications for financial support of up to $9,000 per year for four years. Scholars also will be mentored by executives and managers of Marriott International Inc., which is based in Bethesda. Requirements include being a college freshmen and high school graduate with a GPA of at least 3.0. Eligible majors include culinary, food and beverage, and hospitality, hotel and restaurant management.

Marriott’s storied “spirit-to-serve” history began in the nation’s capital with a root beer stand in 1927. Today, it is the largest and most rapidly growing leader in the hospitality industry, with more than 3,200 properties in 67 countries.

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