Henderson cites new policies for student gains, but skeptics cite demographic changes in city schools. (Katherine Frey/The Washington Post)

City leaders have now gotten in the regular habit of announcing continued progress in public-school standardized test scores. That continued Wednesday, with Mayor Vincent C. Gray and D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Kaya Henderson touting the District’s gains among large urban school systems — the largest gains, in fact, recorded on this year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress. But some perspective, from the Post’s Emma Brown: DCPS remains well behind the large-city average, let alone the overall national average. And DCPS, Emma notes, “also continues to have the nation’s widest achievement gaps between white and black students and white and Hispanic students, according to the study, which shows that poor black children in the District continue to score lower, on average, than their counterparts in other cities” — contributing to a robust debate about how much an influx of more affluent, mostly white students are contributing to the gains vs. the policy changes that Gray and Henderson tout. More from WAMU-FMWUSA-TVDCist, and Housing Complex.

In other news:

Tax Revision Commission makes final recommendations: higher, broader sales tax; more progressive income tax; lower business tax offset by new employer fee (Post)

Vincent Orange’s “unsavory campaign” for losing bidder for parking contract “should bolster efforts to end the council’s noxious involvement in and politicization of city contracts” (Post editorial)

Linwood Barnhill Jr., cop accused of prostitution, had been investigated two years ago, will remain in jail until at least Jan. 28 (PostWUSA-TVAP)

J.C. Hayward had direct stake in company that profited from Options PCS, city lawyers say (PostWUSA-TV)

Taxi Commish Ron Linton says cabbies who don’t pick up black passengers aren’t racist, but just want better fares (WUSA-TV)

Vince Gray will officially kick off his mayoral campaign on Jan. 11 (Vince Gray 2014)

The owner of shadowy lien buyer speaks, defends his business (Post letter)

WTU president: “Our voices matter in this political and media-driven climate — even if we sometimes have to yell to be heard” (Post letter)

Time to raise the bar on D.C. ballot access, Jonetta Rose Barras says (WUSA-TV)

Unified public-school lottery Web site goes live (My School DC)

Metro plans for new downtown line, “superstations” (Capital Business)

Rhode Island Avenue gets $200,000 in Main Streets money (Post)

Gray says extracontractual pay raise for cops, firefighters “completely undermines our collective bargaining apparatus” (WJLA-TV)

Planning for 11th Street Bridge park rolls along (Post)

Does everyone really need a new Supercan? (City Desk)

Jack Evans would throw $25 million at film incentives (Washingtonian)

Neighbors want to make sure farmers market survives Reeves Center redo (City Desk)

Why Jim Graham, “old-world Soviet apparatchik,” is out of bounds dictating the use of the Reeves site (Blade)

Police investigate vandalism of gay newspapers’ street boxes as hate crime (Blade)

Albrecht Muth continues to fast but his trial is proceeding anyway (Homicide Watch)

D.C. Solicitor General Todd Kim is among three making final cut for D.C. Court of Appeals seat (PostLegal Times)

Property negotiations continue to bog down Metropolitan Branch Trail construction (WAMU-FM)

Another church objection to a downtown bike lane (WashCycle)

Council hearing today on sealing records of nonviolent marijuana offenders (WAMU-FM)

Woman is struck by SUV and killed in Southwest (Post)

Suburbanite won’t follow directions for challenging incorrect ticket, instead demands satisfaction via TV station (WJLA-TV)

More maps of D.C. change (Housing Complex)

More on the same-sex wedding officiated by Jack Evans (Blade)

Tom Sherwood goes inside CityCenter (WRC-TV)

Behold the $5.2 million three-bedroom condo (WBJ)

JBG plans bog office building for Dupont (WBJ)

Brits join Qataris in downtown real estate (WBJ)

D.C. now only has the fourth-most-expensive downtown office space in the country (WBJ)

Hizzoner takes the big scissors to five new Shaw businesses (DCist)

Car barns used to be a lot nicer (RPUS)

Look at the baby panda starting Jan. 18 (AP)

The NIMBYest NIMBYs who ever NIMBY’d? (PoPville)