Monday was back-to-school day for D.C. public school students — and back-to-work day for this vacationing reporter. Students at two DCPS high schools were greeted with sparkling new buildings: Dunbar students walked into a new school built from the ground up to be as far from the prisonlike Brutalist tower they once were forced to learn in, while Cardozo students saw the fruits of a $130 million top-to-bottom renovation. The Post’s Emma Brown examines the high hopes that the rebuilt Cardozo will spark an academic renaissance for an institution known for its “low graduation rates, fistfights and shootings” — perhaps, someday, educating the children of the young families who have moved into the gentrifying neighborhoods around it. The renaissance will be fitful. “We got all the bells and whistles, so you got no excuse not to be the best students in the country,” longtime English teacher Frazier O’Leary told his students Monday. Later in the day, a fistfight broke out in his classroom.

In other news:

The first day of school is fraught for homeless students (Post column)

Laptops are swiped from the new Dunbar (WAMU-FMPostWUSA-TV)

Does today’s announcement of new paramedics and ambulances mean FEMS is on the right track? (PostWRC-TV)

Among some D.C. youth, dirt bikes are king (Post)

Has the Taxi Commission outlived its usefulness? (Post editorial)

Statehood rally precedes March on Washington commemoration (Loose LipsWAMU-FMDCist)

Emily Miller is not happy about the mess the marchers left behind (WaTimes)

Two D.C. cops recall walking the beat that day in 1963 (NPR)

Activists of today reflect on the activists of the past (Post column)

Muriel Bowser touts her free-student-bus-rides initiative (WAMU-FM)

Ed Lazere gears up to fight the soccer stadium (Capital Business)

The Lindner family offers rare comment on their longstanding parking and real estate business (Capital Business)

Feds sign off on Chartered settlement deal (WBJ)

Low-income discounts for medical marijuana: It’s the law (WJLA-TV)

Developer Morton Bender keeled over in front of the Uptown, was saved by unknown good Samaritan (WRC-TV)

AAA notes that parking meters are known to break from time to time (WTOP)

Why does the city care what the Commission of Fine Arts says about the Pennsylvania Avenue bike lanes? (GGW)

Police need help ID’ing body found in river (AP)

Ex-Michele Bachmann aide gets community service after theft allegation (WAMU-FM)

D.C. office vacancy rate remains really low (WBJ)

Everybody wants a Superior Court judgeship (Legal Times)