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NARPAC ADVICE ON DC 2006 ELECTIONS
(08/06) Time to Stand Up to DC's Future NARPAC suggests that DC voters consider where the candidates stand on six different major issues. We reference the chapters on this web site that deal with those issues and their importance to continuing the growth in stature of the nation's capital city.
These issues include DC's economic viability; modernizing DC's transportation infrastructure; poverty, its causes and fall-out; federal and regional partnerships; racial demagoguery and its fall-out; and petty legislation, mediocre bureaucrats, and 'NIMBYism'

CITY MANAGEMENT
(02/99) The Urban Mindset activist leaders run city as welfare/jobs program, city mgr vs admin; comparative costs; overstaffing, high benefits, etc
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronology of Post headlines re city management for 1997-2007, but not beyond
(06/98) Federal DC Task Force roles of inter-agency task force under OMB to assist DC
(01/98) Financial Control Board outline of basic purposes of Control Board (CB)
(04/98) Summary of '97 CB Reports links to 12 separate control board rpts in all functional areas
(05/98) Potential Turnaround in DC Personnel Problemsbroadening management base w/outsiders; new personnel reform bill, etc.
(06/00) Mayor Williams' Management Objectives are well summarized in his 2000 testimony before a Senate oversight subcommittee, explaining his emphasis on accountability
(08/99) DC Personnel Privatization initial hints and recent plans by new mayor for competing gov't services; cautions from ex-mayor of Indianapolis; new union contract with DC Housing Authority
(05/98) DC Consumer/Regulatory Agency Turnaround summary of Business Regulatory Reform Act based on Business Regulatory Reform Commission work
(05/98) DC Inspector General Turnaround rebuilding IG office, IG hotline, NARPAC concerns (incl. school system exclusion), report on 911 call problems
(08/98) EH Norton Memo to Resident Norton's summary of progress being made in DC
(01/02) Long Range Solutions upgraded table of long-range actions for Council, city administration, personnel, procurement, maintenance, and technology, updated 01/02

MANAGEMENT REPORTS
(12/07) Talk by new DCPS Facilities Manager, Allan Lew provides disappointing example of new administration's cavalier approach to serious DC problems: could erode the public trust of city residents
(04/07) The Mayor Presents His "State of the District" Address provides an abbreviated version of Mayor Fenty's first "State of the District" address, noting all the things he is "serious about" and "moving faster on". It is an interesting laundry list of everything the mayor's new "bull pen" is working on but leaves out all five of NARPAC's top priorities for DC!
(01/07) Inaugural Addresses by Mayor Fenty, and Council Chairman Gray provides highlights and indicates level of agreement with NARPAC's agenda
(02/05) Mayor's 2004 Accomplishments highlights of Mayor's past year according to his own press release
(12/98) CMO 1998 Annual Rpt highlights of CMO's report to Congress
(12/98) Chairman's 1998 Rpt of Control Bd highlights of Mrs. Rivlin's report to the Congress
(12/99) Chairman's 1999 Rpt of Control Bd highlights of Mrs. Rivlin's report to the Congress, with NARPAC comments indicating disappointment that report fails to address major remaining issues
(05/98) Control Bd Rpt on Human Resources Management summary of long report highlights
(12/98) Control Bd Rpt on Info Technology highlights of report
(12/98) Control Bd Rpt on Consumer/Regulatory Affairs highlights of long, critical, report
(12/98) Control Bd Survey of Residents provides 'baseline' views of residents about what needs to be done to fix city services, etc.
(05/99) Letters to Post for Mayor listing of titles of 100 residents' letters to new mayor--and mayor's resulting short-term improvement program goals--including dates
(03/00) Feb, 00 Washington Post Poll shows very great support for mayor's efforts including economic redevelopment, little indication of racial splits, only 3 high priority concerns: crime, education, and city services--all else secondary
(03/01) Feb, 01 Poll of DC Business Executives shows substantial improvements in business climate in DC over past five years; but shows superficial views of DC's remaining problems, and acknowledges that main reasons for locating in DC are access to federal government and other businesses. How many would stay without Fed Govt?
(05/02) Mayor's 2002 State of the District Address is summarized to note the highlights of his accomplishments and remaining aims. NARPAC finds little to disagree with among the mayor's primary efforts, but laments the lack of interest in the bigger picture: DC as a capital city; regionalism; transportation; and the real basis of DC's "structural imbalance".
(02/03) Mayor's Second Inaugural Address, Jan 2003 is summarized by a word count of the subjects included and excluded, reinforcing NARPAC fears of his overly neighborly focus. A full text is attached.

COMMENTS FOR FENTY TRANSITION TEAM
(11/06) Education: the Process this is the first of nine summary analysis and recommendations provided to Mayor-elect Fenty's "pre-transition team"on subjects of interest to NARPAC
(11/06) Education: the Infrastructure
(11/06) Affordable Housing
(11/06) Safe Streets
(11/06) Economic Development
(11/06) Affordable Health Care
(11/06) Democracy and Voting Rights
(11/06) 21st Century Technology
(11/06) Diversity, Vibrancy

PUBLIC EDUCATION
(11/98) DC Post-secondary Institutions universities and enrollment
(12/99) The University of DC drop in students, few graduates, high costs, critical Control Bd rpt, Davis bill to subsidize attendance elsewhere--final passage and implications; Fate of mayor's proposal to move UDC to Anacostia; problems with UDC board
(11/98) DC Law School establishing law, students, high costs,
(11/98) DC Charter Schools expanding numbers, problems at Marcus Garvey, variety of new ones coming, including "boarding school" for disadvantaged
(11/98) Public School System two school boards; comparing local schools, and large urban school districts, rising costs of shrinking student base, old schools
(12/99) Dysfunctional Elected School Bd description, NARPAC concerns, arguments for an appointed board
(03/00) Typical US School District Size summarizes NASBE state-profiles, showing DC single school district many times larger in students and schools per district than US norm--suggests DC might want to split into more, smaller districts
(01/02) DC Problems in Literacy summarizes results of Nat'l Adult Literacy Survey, using Nat'l Institute for Literacy measures: DC ends up behind everyone but Mississippi
(12/99) Special Education Problems problems in special education department, high costs, poor personnel, latest problems with courts, transportation staff, etc.
(01/02) Blunt Comments on DC Special Ed provides summary version of Post columnist Marc Fisher's blast at DC special ed biases and the lawyers that compound the problem
(03/01) Characteristics of Special Ed Kids describes major disabilities and impairments of special ed kids nationally and in DC, noting differences by race based on DoEd annual report to Congress re IDEA. Also notes distribution of schooling environments by age group
(09/01) Educating Kids -- Linear Process or Complex System estimates number of drop-outs that perpetuate poor quality of life among kids entering DCPS. Strongly suggests need to consider all aspects of problem and emphasize providing second chance for those drop=-outs
(10/01) Spending Control Problems (FY01) discusses big unexpected overrun due to special ed costs and failures in Medicaid reimbursement
(10/01) FY02 Public Education Budget explains budget in some detail in context of overall DC budget, showing Medicaid contribution and high special ed costs
(10/01) Area School Comparisons provides rudimentary comparisons of 16 public school-related parameters for the six "inner metro area" jurisdictions
(12/01) Insights into the Education Gap summarizes three recent articles on urban school problems, the test score gap in Ohio, and the lack of test score gap in military base schools. Suggests lack of parent(s) may contribute to that gap more than low income
(03/98) Federal Assistance summary of 1998 DC Task Force Update
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronology of Post articles re DC and near-by school systems for 1997-2007, but not beyond
(11/99) Public School Turnaround early indications of academic improvements, roof repair issues, departure of Gen. Becton, early moves by new superintendent Ackerman, hopes for '99-00 school year
(01/02) Long Range Solutions long table of potential improvements for higher education, minority assistance, secondary school quality of: academics; facilities; staff; operations; environment; oversight; competition; special ed; adult re-education -- updated 01/02

DCPS FACILITIES MODERNIZATION
(06/01) Analysis of Facilities Plan describes plan guidelines; FMP enrollment projections for DCPS, charter schools, etc; rules of thumb for space per student, students per school, etc.; excess floor space; planned changes and costs; general data on decline in class size as grade increases
(06/01) NARPAC Critique of FMP provides NARPAC's much lower enrollment projections; time delays in built-in enrollment decline; importance of DC's trends in live births and to single moms!; shows elapsed funding/construction times; suggests savings from common school designs; importance of economies of scale; large revenues resulting from re-using surplus floor space and acreage. FMP may be overestimating future DCPS enrollment, schools needs by factor of two.
(11/02) 25 Vacant/Abandoned Schools describes cost impacts of retaining 25 abandoned schools, shows pictures of a few, provides NARPAC's testimony to DC Council re their disposition, including as "GED Boarding Schools"
(09/03) Structural Imbalance in DC's Public School System triggered by a recent GAO report predicting a very large DC financial structural imbalance, NARPAC has explored the financial impact of DC's 6-yr facilities plan and its impact on potential city financial deficits. It concludes that DCPS may be able to reduce operating costs by $350M and capital improvement costs by $1300M by lowering its rosy out-year projections for school enrollment, and building fewer, larger schools to the US
norm for large urban districts, and selling off surplus properties for private sector (taxable) uses. DC may well have 75 such surplus properties. This alone would eliminate DC's threatened shortfall in capital improvement funding.
(11/03) Draining the Schools, Preserving the Empties looks at the impact of having school enrollment drop 12,800 kids in six years without closing any of the 28 schools no longer needed to keep the past kids/school average. Presents a rough estimate of how school funds are distributed between functions, highlighting those made redundant by reduced enrollment.
(03/04) 2003 Facilities Plan Lowers Expectations -- Slightly summarizes new draft plan that lowers enrollment projections into negative territory, but still no planned school closings . NARPAC points out that black births are dropping faster than whites, which probably indicates enrollment will drop faster. Also show high degree of "migration" between local schools which lowers importance of "neighborhood schools".

DOWNSIZING DCPS FACILITIES
(04/06) Downsizing DCPS Facilities In the spring of 2006, there are finally indications that DC's public school system may be getting ready to cut back on its vastly over-capacity, over-age school system. The latest school superintendent's new Master Education Plan provides several constructive suggestions, and the School Board has already decreed that up to one million square feet of school capacity should be eliminated this year, and another two million square feet by 2008. The superintendent had proposed a far smaller reduction. However, the new (2006) Master Facilities Plan, scheduled for publication in a few months, does
not yet provide any confidence that it will include a comprehensive road map for a very major re- structuring. The longer this action is delayed, and the more open-ended the decisions are, the greater the chance that the resulting turmoil will collapse the system. NARPAC estimates that the current facilities are essentially twice as big as they will ever need to be, and that re-aligning the system is likely to take at least five years. Many of the superintendent's other planned academic and administrative system improvements will be impossible to put in place as long as the physical turbulence of "four-dimensional musical chairs" persists. NARPAC strongly recommends that a thorough and comprehensive plan be prepared, and that "extraordinary measures" be put in place to assure that the plan does not stall in mid-stream.

A NEW DAY FOR DCPS, OR MORE OF THE SAME?
(07/07) Summary and "Articles of Faith" This chapter intends to serve as a "primer" for 10 years of NARPAC analysis re DC's education problems. It provides a list of NARPAC's basic tenets in this area, and raises concerns that Fenty's new team will not think sufficiently "outside the (schools) box"
(07/07) NARPAC's Answers (its own) 10 Questions why so many dropouts? Why such low scores? Why such run-down schools? why such high per-kid costs? Why so little progress? Will the new chancellor
succeed? How about separating out management of DC high schools? Is a Deputy Mayor for Education a good idea? Is the new team headed in the right direction? Sample graphics are provided from prior chapters.
(07/07) Specific Recommendations NARPAC offers 20-odd suggestions for specific near-term actions (in 'bulletized' form)
(07/07) Reference Chapters and Editorials NARPAC provides hot links to many of the other relevant chapters on this web site, and to the many relvant editorials written since 2000

STATE OF DC ADULT LITERACY
(05/07) Introduction and Summary provides instigation for report, and concludes that the effort by DC's "State Education Agency" and its consultants is quite amateurish and misses some of the major issues
(05/07) Background provides origins of adult literacy testing via DoEd, IES, NCES, and NAAL, and explains how DCSEA consultants used a sophisticated "Reder Report" to predict DC's literacy rates based on the various characteristics of the 25,000 person test sample nationwide
(05/07) NARPAC Comments finds the quoted illiteracy rate for adults and laborforce likely understated; doubts that such a complex analytical process is necessary; finds little indication of progress in reducing problem; finds too much emphasis on race; shows variation by Ward; shows jobs most likely held Points out that most graduates of DCPS high schools are still testing among illiterate
(05/07) Summary of SEA Literacy Report provides a complete listing of the titles of the ten sections and their wordy subtitles. Covers a lot of ground with a lot of platitutdes, but misses some of the basic issues and causes

"FAMILY POTENTIAL" INDICATOR
(02/07) Introduction and Summary discusses the origins of the Fenty Administration's plans to revamp the DC School System, and indicates the origins of the dismal urban test score data being used as the basis for making radical changes in DCPS management. In fact the data are being used inappropriately by ignoring the importance of family structure
(02/07) School Characteristics compares some basic characteristics of DCPS compared to the eleven other districts and concludes that DC's school system gets no advantage whatsoever from the unusually small school size, and that its pupil-to-staff ratio is also abnormally low with no visible benefit
(02/07) Racial Parameters shows that test score performance by race is remarkably consistent and that household conditions re number, education, and poverty of parents reflects ethnic customs between Asians, Whites, Hispanics and Blacks
(02/07) "Family Potential" Development develops a figure of merit by which to characterize household composition, and to show how well it correlates with kids' test scores . It also points up the importance of using proper data (if available) since household composition varies between state aggregates, individual school districts within a state, and the school systems themselves.witin the geographic district

EDUCATION, POVERTY,and IGNORANCE
(03/02) Correlation of Test Scores and Householder Education develops analysis of relationship of Maryland test scores to poverty, and poverty to householder(s) education level. It leads to March '02 editorial claiming "schools don't produce dumb kids, dumb parents do".

DEMOGRAPHICS OF PARENTS
(12/07) 2007 Economic Mobility Project Questions the 'American Dream' A new scholarly study from Brookings suggests that many kids are not 'doing better' financially than their parents. Very dubious methodology ignores parental influence (in education or number) and produces results which have been misinterpreted by the media
(07/02) The Special Demographics of Parents provides current DC and regional data on households with parents; how many parents and kids in each; their household income; how many are renters; when the moms have their kids; what poor kids can expect in life;
and what share of parents are at risk for their kids. It leads to the July '02 editorial wondering why black (religious) leaders haven't been able to curtail teenage pregnancies.
(04/04) Parental Education Data by DC Planning Clusters" provides a series of scatter plots of various demographic and crime parameters by DC's 43 quite different individual planning clusters vs total parental education. In almost every case, there is a substantial correlation demonstrating that neighborhood quality of life improves with both education level and presence of both parents.

RECALLING STUDENT DROPOUTS
(03/05) An Imaginary 'Class Action Suit' to Recall Student Dropouts NARPAC develops (without legal help) a rough draft for a class action suit against the DC Government and its Congressional overseers for failing to recall students that fail to get a minimal high school education. It provides representative data on the human impact of illiteracy and the associated poverty for DC residents over the past 30 years of home rule
(03/05) An Imaginary 'Education Deficit' Recall Procedure A detailed draft equivalent to the "Defect and Non- compliance Report" required to be submitted the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration for faulty automobiles is ginned up for 'educational deficits'
(03/05) Group Home Preliminary Design NARPAC sketches a design for a group home to be collocated with DC Schools that would house teen moms and their kids, plus other adults in poverty and homeless. Capital and operating costs are estimated based on selling other surplus DCPS facilities, and using residents of the affordable housing units included to share the teaching and on-the-job training chores

DCPS STRATEGIC PLAN
(06/05) NARPAC Commentary Following brief background material and a tabular summary of the major content of the new plan, a tabular summary is presented of NARPAC's own comments, expressing considerable disappointment over both a dearth of "first-order" elements, and a wealth of extraneous elements certain to boggle an administratively-challenged management structure
(06/05) Quantitative Goals an analysis is given of the plan's few quantitative goals, which appear to be overly optimistic compared to American norms, either in nearby school districts, or across large cities;
(06/05) Interrelated Parameters graphic quantitative comparisons are presented of relevant parameters, using 22 nearby school districts and 10 major US cities, and concluding that DC schools aren't doing that badly considering equivalent demographic components, varying teacher proficiency, graduation rates, and school sizes;
(06/05) Education Costs comparative school district costs are shown and the relative burdens they present to different jurisdictions are developed, subjects which, along with the DCPS facilities mess, are deflected in the plan

DCPS MASTER EDUCATION PLAN
(04/06) Master Education Plan It seems clear to NARPAC that the new DCPS superintendent has put together an extraordinarily ambitious "master education plan" that may well be well beyond the capacity of the school system administrators to accomplish. In fact, it varies rather superficially from the "strategic plan" published nine months earlier, and which NARPAC has already critiqued.
This analysis, therefore, looks into only two aspects of the plan that together form only five line items in a 36 line litany. The two subjects singled out involve parental involvement, and restructuring the school system's physical plant. NARPAC is encouraged by the proposed steps outlined in each case, but in the case of the school re-alignment efforts, it is not clear that the superintendent has stepped up to the full, and growing, magnitude of the challenges that must be faced in downsizing DCPS.

SCHOOL SYSTEM REPORTS
(03/04) DCPS '03-'4 School Year: Season of Citywide Discontent Provides background of current frantic calls for changes in DCPS management and academic program. from Council of the Great City Schools, and local "power brokers", as well as others. Long NARPAC commentary points up that public education is a major national racial issue, and that poor academic performance did cause current "crisis" alone. Suggests several creative 'real world' solutions. Warns against trying to set academic bar too high.
(03/04) Exploring the NAEP Performance Scores Uses extensive graphics to illustrate how scores work, importance of breaking out scores by race, and providing examples of how much improvement would be required in DC scores to match or exceed city average, national average, or best city school. Shows black kids cannot be expected to reach white scores. Works with reading scores only
(06/03) Kids Views of High School Problems Close Up Foundation gives high school kids chance to learn how to fix the problems they see: lists what they are
(08/98) Views of the Control Bd early views from Control Bd members Ladner and Newman
(08/98) Control Bd Rpt on DC Public School System extensive quotes re failures, mismanagement, poor personnel, serious problems with facilities, budget and finance, planning, information, documentation, accountability; foundations for future; settling lawsuits, educating adults
(08/98) 1997 Rpt of Bd of Trustees details re: acdam ics; facilities; management; community involvement -- discouraging "organizational culture"
(08/98) Baltimore Public Schools TIME magazine report of problems in Baltimore school system -- like those in DC
(08/98) Prince George's Schools summary of Post articles detailing growing problems in PG school system
(03/99) Public School Test Scores regional SAT scores, "education quotients", regional verbal/math score comparisons, graph of school performance vs neighborhood poverty;
(08/98) Public Agenda Parents Poll provides indications of parental dissatisfaction
(12/99) 1999 DCPS Test Scores demonstrates that relatively small improvements in reading and math test scores can provide a better future for hundreds of kids;
(06/00) 2000 DCPS Test Scores exhibit continued improvements in lower Grades, perhaps more lasting in reading than in math;
(03/99) Weighted Student Formula analysis of Ackerman's new plan to change school funding basis
(09/99) Reinventing DCPS System mixed news of DCPS progress, failures of elected school board, leads to summary of chronic problems, unsatisfactory school "output", systemic problems outside school system, ironies of suburban school successes. Leads to need for new school design; amalgamation of DCPS with other city agencies (housing, police, etc.); cooperation with rest of region; and need for an expanded, partly appointed, 'tough love' school board; Chavous eight-step "startsmart" program outline
(11/99) DCPS Compared to Catholic School System the success of the 'regional' parochial school system under the Archdiocese of Washington is compared with DCPS, and some of the reasons for difference offered
(03/00) Ackerman's Informal Progress Report, Feb 00 DCPS superintendent provides her own assessment of significant progress to date, acknowledging there's a long way to go to become an 'exemplary system"
(06/00) Ackerman's Resignation Letter, May00 DCPS superintendent decides to call it quits, and Joyce Ladner expresses her disappointment in her treatment
(09/01) DCPS Business Plan for Strategic Reform summarizes many valuable aspects of Superintendent Vance's new plan to 'transform' DCPS schools, and presents suggestions in 4 missing areas: unique capital city needs/opportunities; greater use of regional expertise; need for adult education; and need to acknowledge declining enrollment

SAFETY and JUSTICE
(03/98) Introduction a litany of serious problems, with police, emergency services, corrections, and court systems; comparative crime rates, costs of courts and correction facilities
(03/01) Crime Comparisons shows comparative '97 crime ratings in metro area, and with Baltimore, provides charts of 7-yr trends ('93-99) in crimes against people and property in DC by police district
(03/01) Homicide Trends in DC homicides declining over decade, but half remain unsolved -- planned rewards did not improve closure of mostly local neighborhood shootings. DC Council report of Feb 01 shows basic selection/management problems with DC detectives
(05/99) Latest Police Reorganization Plans describes new chief's plans--4th in four years, lists many of problems still cropping up, virtually every month
(09/01) Improving Safety and Justice DC adopts new sentencing guidelines consistent with federal practices, but is still plagued by DC's troubling excessive use of "jury nullification"
(09/01) Crime Statistics Level Off statistics for 2000 shown little if any change from 1999 and 1998, raising worries that improvements of prior years are over
(10/06) DC Crime Trends through 2005 Five additional years of data show DC crime trends still declining, but the number of law enforcement employees abnormally high
(01/02) DC's Violent Crime Problems compares numbers of law enforcement people in various jurisdictions: DC way high. Breaks out homicide victims by race and age, concludes DC has "war among its drop-outs"
(01/02) National Crime and Corrections Statistics shows break-out of 7 million arrests in 2000, with black kids making up 24% of arrests, and 44% of minors'arrests for violent crimes. Shows distribution of 6.3 million Americans in prison or jail, on probation or parole. Indicates almost 5% of DC adults "in the system" somewhere
(04/04) Police Department Reorganizes Again provides detailed analysis of planned regrouping of MPD's "field forces", halving the number of PSA's and manning them in proportion to various crime parameters within each. Shows "tooth-to-tail" ratio of overall MPD personnel, including various "overhead" groups, and special field operations. Indicates that police workload is not strongly related to homicide rates, not to commuters and federal workers that flood downtown.
(11/00) Continuing Unfavorable Press lists many of problems still cropping up, virtually every month, from low crime solving rate to Wilson Bridge jumper; traffic violations nullified--and ignored--to resistance to working same shifts as criminals; etc.
(11/00) Progress in Justice signs of progress, but continuing surfacing of embarrassing problems
(08/00) Modernizing DC's Sentencing Guidelines presents rationale of Councilman Brazil for overruling activists and adopting federal sentencing guidelines--as required by Congress in return for taking over prisons at Lorton
(11/00) Threats to American Justice System discussion of "jury nullification" issue, growing in DC and across US, as well as jury skewing for racial purposes
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronological listing of all Post headlines dealing with crime and justice for 1997-2007, but not beyond
(01/02) Long Range Solutions NARPAC table of possible long-range solutions for police, fire and emergency services, corrections, and the court system -- updated 01/02

SAFETY and JUSTICE REPORTS
(06/98) Control Bd Rpt on Crime Fighting extensive detailing of problems within police department
(06/98) Control Bd Rpt on Fire/Emergency Medical Services more problems detailed
(06/98) Control Bd Rpts on Dept of Corrections summary of problems throughout the corrections system and the Youth Services Agency
(06/98) Federal Assistance summary of assistance provided by 10-15 federal agencies, and updated in mid-1998

CRIME IN DC, 2002
(01/04) Crime in the "Murder Capital of the US" provides up-to-date data on causes of US deaths, homicides and other major crimes. Describes characteristics of murderers and jail/prison populations. Shows how crime rates vary with jurisdictional boundaries and between cities and US overall.
Discusses differences in crime types and occurrences, and lack of basis for numbers of law enforcement personnel. Develops relationships between crime rates and various socioeconomic factors. Concludes higher urban murder rates can be better explained by circumstances rather than race. Trends in crime rates for school kids added as postscript

HUMAN SERVICES
(07/99) Composition of the DC FY2000 Human Services budget describes all the primary and secondary budget items in health services and human services budget in terms of dollars, manpower (where available) program content and approximate estimates of numbers of beneficiaries
(1/00) Hospitals and Health Care comparative community hospital costs, costs of being 'provider of last resort', declining patient population, "bizarre" bookkeeping problems; saga of privatizing Greater Southeast Community Hospital; etc.
(12/00) Health Service Turnaround 1998 improvements at the disgraceful DC Morgue, new morgue staffing problems in 1999 as new director tries to change the 'culture of dysfunction', problems in foster care, care of mentally retarded; provides Deputy Mayor's (slow) progress report on MRDDA of 11/00
(01/02) Community Health Indicators summary by Metropolitan Washington Public Health Assessment Center shows DC 1.5x to 4.8x worse than its surrounding suburbs: the higher the education and income levels, the better the health behaviours
(08/98) Welfare Problems compares higher DC costs to those of 20 other states
(08/00) Day of Reckoning for DC General--and the Public Benefits Corporation describes the long-overdue recognition of problems at DC's largest public hospital and at its close-to fraudulent management corporation, and wonders why this long-festering example of DC dysfunctional management has not received more prominent media attention
(06/01) Shrinking TANF Caseload provides more encouraging 2001 data on declining DC TANF caseload and indications of reductions in out-of-wedlock births which impact on future DFCPS school enrollment!
(08/98) Welfare Turnaround some progress in welfare, medicaid and food stamp programs
(03/01) DC Drags Its Feet on Welfare Reform New Brookings report indicate inner cities lag in reducing welfare caseload--with DC ranking amongst those that have done least; recent study by Urban Institute show DC progress in welfare-to-work lags behind US as a whole
(1/00) DC Dept of Recreation and Parks discusses shortages in 'orphan' department, provides excellent answers to NARPAC questions re integrating operations with DCPS
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronological isting of all Post articles dealing with health and human services for 1997-2007, but not beyond.
(08/98) Control Bd Rpt on DC Dept of Health listing of problems throughout department in management, communications, budgets, procurement, planning, various subagencies
(05/99) Urban Institute Studies DC overspending on the aged, AFDC payments, new reports of problems with mental health administration
(08/98) Federal Assistance long listing of assistance from HHS, PHS, others to DC, with 1998 update
(01/02) Long Range Solutions table of long-range solutions for welfare, medical services, elderly care, child welfare updated 1/02

FABRICATING A NATIONAL CAPITAL MEDICAL CENTER (NCMC)
(12/05) Summary/Background provides substantial background on the political formulation of the need and specifications for a new hospital on the site of the defunct DC General Hospital
(12/05) The Sense of the Community notes that most concerned parties and medical experts disagree with the need for such a hospital on several grounds (following)
(12/05) Location, Location, Location takes exception to the "spin" adopted by city officials that the DC General site is the best place to locate a new hospital
(12/05) DC's Most Pressing Health Problems shows that a goodly number of the current hospital patient stays could have been avoided through proper primary healthcare provided in neighborhood clinics
(12/05) Negative Consequences of Surplus Beds provides extensive rebuttal to the claims of the expert consultants (Stroudwater Associates) that more beds are likely to be needed
(12/05) City Finances, Uses of Res 13, By-Passing Certificate of Need points out high costs of unnecessary new hospital, usurpation of more productive uses for the DG General site (Reservation13), and unwise political attempts to circumvent the established decision-making process
(12/05) Analysis of Existing Statistics notes the dangers of failing to exploit the many statistics available that indicate a new hospital will probably not be needed
(12/05) Two Major Risks notes likelihood of cost overruns, and higher costs than existing hospitals, and suggests that NCMC could actually bring about the collapse of the only DC hospital East of the Anacostia

GRADING ACEP'S REPORT CARD ON EMERGENCY MEDICINE
(03/06) Defining the Components of the Methodology The American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) has developed a fledgling methodology for measuring the support each state provides for its emergency medicine system. It involves a series of four "weighted" categories, 50 individual "weighted" factors, and an odd system for converting from quantitative scores to letter grades. NARPAC supports the concept of measuring government performance, but finds this methodology inadequate to the task. It cannot illuminate the current debate on DC's new NCMC (above)
(03/06) NARPAC Comments (Negative) NARPAC finds a lot to criticize: failure to estimate varying need for emergency services; using only "additive" factors; ignoring different ER uses; mixing in disaster-relief preparedness, and medical liability statutes; and appearing to misunderstand its own grading system
(03/06) NARPAC Comments (Positive) providing the full range of comparative quantitative data is useful, and should be made even more "transparent": DC's data seem out of line

PUBLIC HOUSING
(06/03) "FalseHOPE" Report on HOPE VI Programs advocates for poor claim HUD's HOPE VI programs have not measured up to needs: NARPAC strongly disagrees from DC's experience
(11/98) Control Bd Rpt on Dept of Housing/Community Development litany of problems with DCHD
(03/00) Progress in Salvaging DC's Public Housing descriptions of excellent efforts by housing receiver, specific programs at Edgewood Terrace, Ellen Wilson, Howard University, Arthur Capper, other 'blighted areas', summaries of recent Receiver's reports, new HUD funding to raze Douglass and Stanton Dwellings, importance of HUD's HOPE VI program, impact of renters on affordable housing
(05/00) DCHA Receivership Drawing to a Close summarizes David Gilmore's final semi-annual progress report, noting the need for enabling legislation; a new governing board; new leadership; and partnership with the DC government-- and indicating they are all in place
(05/00) Housing Impact on Poverty Sharing limited ability of poor to move, concern for PG County tearing down housing to keep low income families out; impact of rental properties vs homeowners; notes lack of affordable housing in the suburbs; PG County Executive's call for regional solutions to housing; copy of COG letter urging regional cooperation in affordable housing
(05/00) DC Spotlight Finally Falls on Slum Landlords, Abandoned Properties deals with DC crackdown on slum landlords in spring, 2000, need for additional legislation; 'faith institutions' playing the race card; and derelict properties. NARPAC notes relatively restrained efforts at blight removal
(1/00) Anti-Sprawl Movement Leads to "Brownfields" discusses important new EPA projects to reclaim abandoned/underutilized commerical/industrial/gov't sites in inner city, inner suburbs, potential godsend for DC
(07/00) Assessing Status of "Section-8-Induced Mobility" provides lengthy analysis of recent Urban Institute Study on Section impact on "deconcentration" of poverty with extension suggestions for improvement, with NARPAC commentary on best and worst points, as well as significant omissions;
(07/00) Increasing Regional Interest in "Section 8 Mobility" addresses recent Urban Institute study re DC metro area, plus COG reactions and intentions to get more regional involvement. NARPAC strongly endorses, suggests additional areas that need to be addressed for DC's special category of poor: single moms with several kids;

AFFORDABLE HOUSING
(04/05) Summary of "Unintended Consequences" this new book describes how US and DC public housing deteriorated, and recommends new and distinct community-based approaches to caring for the "poorest of the poor"
(04/05) Deconcentrating the Poor addresses issues involved in deconcentrating the poor and sensing impending deterioration in housing units. NARPAC wonders out loud if its time to reconsider some modern equivalent to settlement houses and poor houses
(04/05) Quantifying the Problem NARPAC goes on to quantify the problem of how many poor there are compared to middle income households potentially willing to help, and again concludes that it will take the whole metro area to share the costs
(04/05) The Mayor's 2005 "State of the District Address" picks out some relevant quotes relative to fixing up DC's most distressed neighborhoods, including the upgrading of major community streets. NARPAC doubts these initiatives will solve the problems of poverty and crime rather than just pushing them elsewhere
(07/04) Summary of UI Rpt: Equitable Housing Strategy for DC provides brief summary of sections that follow critiquing the 2004 Urban Institute report on "Equitable Housing Strategy for DC"
(07/04) UI Report Outline shows report's major challenges, goals, and next steps
(07/04) "UI-Proposed Specific Actions Re-cast duplicates report's recommended actions, but re-orders them in proportion to their difficulty. Concludes they could be the reasons why ambitious objectives cannot be met
(07/04) "NARPAC's Alternate Formulation of UI Strategies Raises 13 basic underlying issues that need to be addressed re unique role of national capital city, regional responsibilities, inevitability of gentrification, deconcentration, and relocation, etc
(07/04) Regional Distribution of Housing and Household Income Provides relative statistics on distribution of housing values of units owned and rented or DC's five immediately neighboring jurisdictions as well as household incomes. Demonstrates that DC has only two revenue-producing households for every one needing assistance, while inner suburbs average almost 10:1
(07/04) NARPAC Alternate Strategies Offers basic points that need to be decided before any kind of "equitable strategy" can be developed
(07/04) "U Street, Mood Indigo" Reproduces letter to Post from Amanda Miller re ongoing gentrification of Duke Ellington's U Street. Provides poignant views of Howard University undergraduate re emotional consequences of "gentrification", "relocation", and "deconcentration" (without using those impersonal, offensive words)

THE FUTURE OF DC'S ROW HOUSES
(05/06) Introduction and Background NARPAC finds frequent references and strictures applied to DC's thousands of row houses in the new Comprehensive Plan draft, and explores the ways in which these units could be better utilized to house the city's planned population increase. We start out by reviewing the broad variety of available row house types available, and singling out the more pedestrian units for possible re-development
(05/06) Accommodating Changes in Demographics and Lifestyle An analysis is given of the changing urban demographics and lifestyles that are leaving many of the more common units out of step with the times
(05/06) Quantifying and Visualizing the Opportunities This section analyzes and visualizes the changes in typical "row house blocks" that could produce significant increases in residential population, and larger increases in numbers of (smaller) households. Along the way, we discover a fascinating example already in being: Bryan Square near Lincoln Park which involves the redevelopment of a long-surplus DCPS school. It creates a 21st Century row house block that meets (possibly excessive?) neighborhood, and Comprehensive Plan, insistence on "preserving the character" of the locale

DIGESTING DC'S WASTEWATER
(08/06) A Gateway to End All Gateways This section describes the new plan to add giant new "digester vats" at DC's Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant on the Potomac River. It describes DC's silly fascination with city "gateways"; the background of DC's Water and Sewer Authority; and the opportunity to turn Blue Plains into a monumental gateway.
It compares the size of the site to a US warship, with its own wastewater treatment requirements. NARPAC then illustrates (primitively) a series of different ways to "decorate" these 100-ft tall jugs under different themes: terrorism and evildoers; the American dream; global responsibility; and national capital pride. A touch of humor that may or may not work!

DC'S NEW BASEBALL STADIUM
(08/05) DC's Internal Self-Image this attempt at levity presents 20 cartoons of potential "signatures" for the new DC baseball stadium, based on different perspectives on the city. The first group reflect DC's view of itself as "Chocolate City"; the Chili Bowl; a pothole; a tin cup; a topographic bowl; and structurally imbalanced
(08/05) DC's External Image including its high crime rate; poor public schools; too many single moms; and too many poor residents
(08/05) DC's Constitutional Proscriptions involving Congressional oversight, and its lack of voting rights
(08/05) DC's Regional Position as the center of regional gridlock, and of diminishing regional socioeconomic significance
(08/05) DC's National Image as a giant pork barrel; a castle laced with federal loopholes; or a city full of K Street lobbyists
(08/05) DC's International Image as the seat of American power; the home of the pre-emptive strikers; or 'ground zero' for terrorists

PUBLIC WORKS
(11/98) Control Bd Rpt on Dept of Public Works DPW called in 'gross disrepair', lack of accountability, etc. national shortfalls in rebuilding infrastructure
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronological listing of all Post headlines re public works (including Metro) in 1997-2007, but not beyond
(11/98) Scope of DC Public Works listing of hoped for improvements in all services from snow plowing and street lights, dead trees and parking meters, to hydrants, city vehicles, street maintenance, and equipment repair
(08/99) Public Works Turnaround major improvements during first six months of Williams Administration, efforts of DCDHCD, concerns for too many activists, catching up with the suburbs?
(11/00) Downtown Parking describes continued lack of emphasis on the need for downtown parking
(05/01) Garbage In, Garbage Out Just What the Doctor Ordered describes and provides photos of typical DC trash transfer site--concludes they are essential part of urban life, should be part of urban planning
(11/01) Coping with Vacant/Abandoned Housing describes problems associated with derelict housing, and steps underway to help alleviate the situation in the next two years
(11/01) Picture File of Derelict Housing provides additional slow-to-load pictures for those interested
(02/02) DC Housing Act(s) of 2001 summarizes aspects of new DC housing bill, giving pros (get rid of derelict buildings, improve low income housing) and cons (risk of attracting more low income households from the suburbs)
(12/98) Federal Assistance extensive list of federal assistance to public housing, the homeless, roads and highways, and snow removal, with 1998 update adding community revitalization, environmental management, parks and open spaces
(01/02) Long Range Solutions NARPAC table listing suggested long-range solutions in public housing, public maintenance, public utilities, and environment -- stressing opportunities for regional cooperation -- updated 01/02

FINANCIAL and OTHER
(11/98) Federal Assistance a sizeable list of aid in summer jobs, dislocated worker retraining, transfer of pensions, economic development, tax incentives, changed medicaid payments, etc.
(11/98) Personnel Levels comparisons of gov't personnel levels in DC compared to its much more efficient neighbors, descriptions of where they worked, reductions in progress since 1996
(11/98) Control Bd Rpt on Procurement/Contracts list of very poor practices culminating in conclusion that procurement system is 'dysfunctional'
(11/98) Control Bd Rpt on DC Asset Management shortcomings listed in property, cash, investment, and pension management, and in property maintenance
(08/99) Turning DC's Financial Processes Around progress noted in budget balancing, new automated financial systems coming on line, more bond ratings above "junk" category
(12/07) Daily Headlines chronological listing of Post headlines dealing with DC's financial matters, including the Control Bd for 1997-2007, but not beyond, and continuing 'micromanaging' by Congressional subcommittees of DC budget--through FY2000 and now in FY2001
(01/02) Long Range Solutions NARPAC table listing potential long range solutions to DC's problems in budget planning, and fiscal operations -- updated 01/02
(01/98) DC Economic Recovery Act Extensive NARPAC opposition to Norton's 1998 bill to "bribe" people to return to live in DC--basic arguments about how to revive city, disagreements over who's leaving, how many, and why. Major early NARPAC effort, now somewhat dated, but arguments hold.

This page was updated on Feb 15, 2008

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