Loose Lips

Loose Lips Daily: Parents Dig School Edition

A deliberative roundup of one city's local politics. Send your tips, releases, stories, events, etc. to lips@washingtoncitypaper.com. And get LL Daily sent straight to your inbox every morning!

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:

  • Vince Gray Channels Inner Barbara Walters
  • Senior Gray Staff to Have Media Training
  • Tommy Wells: Not Ruling Anything Out
  • Good morning sweet readers! Pureed prunes for LL's bean: gross smelling going in, even worse coming out. News time:

    It's Getting Better: Big news on the schools front: For the first time in a long while, a majority of District parents have good things to say about the city's public schools. "Fully 53 percent of those with children in the public school system say the city’s 123 schools are doing a “good” or “excellent” job, a sharp jump from January 2008, when 31 percent of parents expressed such approval. Former chancellor Michelle A. Rhee, a divisive figure during her 31 / 2-year tenure, is viewed more favorably than she was before her resignation in October. The survey found that 55 percent of all D.C. adults — parents and others — approve of the job she did in office, up 11 percentage points from late last summer," reports the Post, which is trying to wring every last red cent out of the poll it recently conducted. Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson, who was confirmed unanimously yesterday by the D.C. Council, says she's "thrilled" with the poll's findings but notes there's plenty of heavy lifting yet to do. Also of note: the school voucher program, which Mayor Vince Gray opposes, enjoys support of nearly two-thirds of residents.

    AFTER THE JUMP: Gray's Approval Rating by Ward; The Mayor's Reality Show; Council Looking for Good PR...

    You Can Never Go Home: The Post breaks down Gray' approval numbers by ward and finds the mayor "earning only tepid support in wards he won by landslide margins less than a year ago in the Democratic primary. Gray carried 82 percent of the vote in both Ward 7 (where he lives) and in nearby Ward 8 in the Democratic Primary contest with then-mayor Adrian Fenty. Today, however, barely more than half of all residents in those two wards approve of Gray’s performance in office." More interesting to LL is Gray's lowly 39 percent approval rating in king-making Ward 4, where Gray handily beat Crestwood resident and fellow Muriel Bowser constituent Fenty last September.

    Who Needs Reporters: Speaking of Hizzoner, Gray's new reality show debuted last night on public access channel 16. The format: Gray interviews/commands his underlings to talk about a certain topic of the mayor's choosing. Yesterday it was all about summer entertainment options. "With so many activities in store this summer, there should be no reason for anyone to be bored," Gray warns. Gray's show spawned attempts at Twitter humor with suggestions for a house band. LL's suggestion: a death metal band called "Collabracus." LL could not devote his full attention to the new show but is still ready to give it a final judgment: campy, but not horrible. Sign it up as a mid-season replacement, networks!

    P.R. Push: The Examiner's Freeman Klopott notes that the recent spate of ethic problems in District government have created an opportunity for some councilmembers to make a little buzz for themselves by promoting ethics legislation. So far, Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells and At-Large Councilmember Vincent Orange are in the lead with two bills each. Wells, by the way, announced yesterday to reporters that he's running for mayor (kidding... sort of).

    In Other News: Councilmember David Catania tries to stick it to beloved group home leader David Wilmot with legislation that would require frontline Medicaid-funded health workers be paid a living wage. Also:

    • Woodley Park now entirely in Ward 3, final redistricting vote only gets 8-5 approval.
    • Council Chairman Kwame "Fully Loaded" Brown's advocacy of chocolate milk explained.
    • Brown's brother, Che Brown, filed for bankruptcy shortly before Office of Campaign Finance audit released showing he was paid $240,000 by Kwame Brown's 2008 campaign.
    • Airports authority picks former postmaster general as new head.
    • Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry's old spokeswoman in tax trouble.
    • Gray having trouble finding willing  and qualified non-Democratic candidates for Board of Elections and Ethics.
    • U.S. Department of Transportation will audit the airports authority’s handling of the Dulles Rail project.
    • Big companies like Apple and TD Bank are saddled with D.C. tax bills.
    • Hine Junior HS developers, neighbors clash over future plans.
    • D.C.’s homicide rate among blacks drops, still remains high.
    • Tenants refile Washington Harbour lawsuit.

    Gray sked: Monthly breakfast with Council, Room 507 JAWB, 9 a.m., weekly press briefing, Room G-9 JAWB, 10:30 a.m., Convention and Sports Authority rebranding press conference, Convention Center, 11:40 a.m., desk work, Black Women for Obama 4 Change reception, Channel Inn Restaurant, 6 p.m.

    Council sked: Hearing on Medicaid billing improvements, Room 500 JAWB, 2 p.m.

    With additional reporting by Nick DeSantis.

    ...