Now that Greater Greater Washington is 5 (or 35 in blog years), we’re pleased to announce we’re having a baby (blog)! We’ve launched Greater Greater Education, a forum to explore how to improve education in DC.

Please head over there now to read today’s article by Laura Dallas McSorley on pre-K successes, Shree Chauhan’s “Morning Bell” roundup, and more. Subscribe to our daily email or RSS feed, or follow us on Twitter @ggdcedu. Finally, we’re looking for more contributors!

Also, we have a baby cousin (blog) as well! Former links editor David Edmondson has started a group blog about transportation and urbanism in the San Francsico Bay Area, called Vibrant Bay Area. Check it out!

Finally, we hope to see you at Greater Greater (Washington)‘s 5-year-and-one-month birthday party this evening, Tuesday 6-10 pm at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, 641 D Street, NW. Confirmed guests include Mayor Vincent Gray, DC Councilmembers Tommy Wells and Mary Cheh, and Arlington County Board member Chris Zimmerman. (Snow is supposed to hold off until much later tonight, forecasters think.)



Why Greater Greater Education?

Greater Greater Washington has focused for 5 years on what aspects of our neighborhoods and communities make them desirable places to live, and how residents want to see their communities improve. We’re especially interested in walkable urban places and what makes people want to live, invest, and stay in these communities.

For a great many people, far and away the number one factor in this decision is education. If they have children, they want to live somewhere where their children can get a good education. Period.

DC, in particular, has long had a trend of young people moving to its neighborhoods but decamping for suburbs once their children get to school age. That trend is changing as more and more people want to remain in walkable urban neighborhoods, but for many residents, the question is whether the education can get good enough, soon enough for their children.

It’s also important to build a city that’s inclusive of all people, in all economic circumstances and stages of life. On urbanism, that means having different price points for housing, affordable transit, and thriving businesses that meet people’s different needs. On education, that means also figuring out not only how we can improve education for our own kids (for those who have kids), but for all kids.

What will Greater Greater Education discuss?

While Greater Greater Washington has always been explicitly focused on the entire region, we anticipate Greater Greater Education will mainly focus on education in the District, particularly DCPS and public charter schools. However, articles about education issues in other parts of the region are also welcome.

Our aim is to step out of some of the polarizing fights that dominate news coverage. We’re not especially interested in debating whether Michelle Rhee was saintly or satanic, or if charter schools are inherently good or bad. On most of the burning questions, education professionals are just scratching the surface of actually figuring out the answers through research.

We’re hoping to look at real data, and real examples on the ground of what is working and what is not. We’re hoping to help educate readers, and stimulate a community and lively discussions, about what is happening and what needs to happen. We hope you will learn from our contributors who have experiences to share, and we in turn can learn from all of you through discussions in the comments.

We’ll be starting with a lower post volume than on Greater Greater Washington itself to begin with — about one post per day, and link roundups twice a week, ramping up as we build up a larger base of contributors.

This doesn’t mean we’ll entirely stop talking about education on Greater Greater Washington. Some education articles will also cross-post on both blogs, and share a comment section. But there will be many articles on Greater Greater Education alone to keep the total post volume on Greater Greater Washington from getting too high.

Can you contribute?

Speaking of contributors, we want you! If you have experiences to share with education in DC or information to share, please email us at info@ggdcedu.org with a brief introduction and a sense of what kinds of topics you might like to write about. We welcome everyone from education policy experts to regular average parents to former DCPS students and many more. As with all Greater Greater anything posts, our contributors are volunteers.

We hope you will read, comment, share, and contribute so that we can build a community of people dedicated to better education, as we have for urbanism on Greater Greater Washington. Thank you!

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Surface Transit. He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions here are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.