We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT:
Good morning sweet readers! How ’bout those Cowboys? A 9-7 record isn’t that bad. News time:
National Shaming: It’s not very often that the New York Times singles out a D.C. councilmember for a harsh scolding. On Saturday the Gray Lady let loose on Ward 6 Councilmember Tommy Wells for suggesting that D.C. shouldn’t be on the hook for looking after Maryland’s homeless population. “Councilman Tommy Wells, who leads the human services committee, is wrestling with a $175 million shortfall in the human services budget and is eager to show that he can make tough choices. Tough and inhumane. Mr. Wells should instead be looking for any help he can find to expand the shelter system—dunning Congress, charitable foundations, local philanthropists. Waiting until someone freezes to death will be too late. Poverty, hunger and homelessness know no borders. The Supreme Court underscored this truth 41 years ago when it said states can’t adopt policies to restrict the freedom of the poor to travel from one to another, whether pursuing their destiny or survival. If the nation’s capital won’t honor the spirit of the law—and its own statute and long history—all Americans will be shamed.” Tommy Wells, why are you trying to bring shame to the entire nation! Wells, like a myopic little twit, went to Twitter to respond, as TBD City Paper’s Jason Cherkis reports. “”Overflow for homeless families is DC Gen. 135 fams now at capacity. Should DC provide unlimited capacity for other states. NY Times says yes … Fams and individs in DC have right to shelter during cold. Surrounding states do not. % of fams in DC shelters from Md has tripled.”
AFTER THE JUMP: Uneven Teachin’; Do We Need an Appointment?; Gray’s Biz Team …
Good Teachers Go To Good Schools: The Post‘s Bill Turque looks at where DCPS’s top performing teachers are located and finds that they tend to gravitate to the richer parts of the city. “The inequity is reflected in the distribution of teachers judged to be most effective under the school district’s rigorous new evaluation system, known as IMPACT. Just 5 percent of the 636 top performers work in Southeast Washington’s Ward 8, home to many of the city’s lowest-achieving schools and its highest concentration of children living in poverty. In contrast, 22 percent of the top-performing teachers are in affluent Ward 3 in Northwest Washington, home to some of the most successful and sought-after public schools. The area has eight fewer schools than Ward 8 and about 60 percent of Ward 8’s enrollment. … The imbalance is the result of longtime personnel practices in the District and other big public school systems, where traditional lock-step salary schedules provide no financial incentive for teachers to accept jobs in low-performing schools. Seniority rules often allow seasoned educators to transfer to less-challenging posts, leaving behind a higher proportion of younger, greener instructors.”
What Do We Do With Kwame’s Seat: Both the Post editorial board and Greater Greater Washington wonder why the 82 kind souls of the D.C. Democratic State Committee should have so much power in appointing a replacement for Almost Chairman Kwame Brown’s seat before a special election can be held where everyone (meaning 3 percent of the population) can vote. “The DCDSC should select someone who doesn’t plan to run permanently, and the Home Rule Act should be amended to remove this appointment power,” says Mark Jordan at GGW. “An appointment to an elected office immediately endows the appointee with unearned incumbent status, giving that person an unfair advantage in the subsequent election. The appointee will have several months to cast votes on important issues, including the budget, give out favors and accumulate loyalties. A party committee should not have the power to grant the advantage of incumbency. Only the voters should do that.” Over at the Post, they ask: “Is it really fair to give one person a leg up going into the special election? Does the process reward those with the best connections as opposed to those with the best qualifications or the best ideas?”
Who Will Plan?: The Post‘s Jonathan O’Connell looks at some likely candidates for key development posts in a Gray administration. They include Gregory O’Dell from the Washington Convention and Sports Authority; former Housing Finance Agency and Department of Housing and Community Development boss Milton Bailey; Harriet Tregoning, head of the Office of Planning; Emily Durso, out-going head of the Hotel Association of Washington D.C.; Developers Jeff Miller and Gregory Jeffries.
You Should Be Fired: The Examiner‘s Jonetta Rose Barras takes aim at the DCPS financial team led by Gregory Dines, saying they ought to be shown the door for being lousy at math. “According to knowledgeable city hall sources, on Sept. 29 Dines sent a note to then-Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee announcing a $4 million surplus for fiscal 2010, which was ending Sept. 30. A few weeks later, he told now interim Chancellor Kaya Henderson there was, in fact, an $11.5 million deficit because of overspending. Further, he indicated DCPS may have to return an additional $12 million or more in grant money to the feds because spending was not correctly charged to the grant account. Dines allegedly also advised DCPS officials they could borrow against the 2011 budget to address $11.5 million deficit from 2010. In other words, the man who’s supposed to keep DCPS on the fiscal straight and narrow appears to have caused the school system to violate the federal Anti-Deficiency Act, which prohibits agencies—including those in the federal enclave that is Washington—from overspending their authorized budgets.”
Marion Barry writes a very unfriendly letter to the Department of Housing and Community Development over the purchase of a liquor store in historic Anacostia.
More bad mouthing in teachers union race.
Access denied: to your child’s juvie records.
Smart growth and affordable housing are mutually exclusive, so says the Examiner.
Post gets some agency response to travel costs.
The formidable West End/Foggy Bottom advisory neighborhood commission is not to be taken lightly.
Sorry, suffering from a “hangover” will not qualify you for medicinal marijuana in D.C.
Zoo keeper chats with Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh.
Barry’s plan to break the cycle of poverty won’t work, says Susie Cambria.
Dorothy Brizill watchdogs Gray and Brown transition teams.
Fenty Schedule: None
Council Schedule: At 10 a.m., hearing on Food, Environment and Economic Development. At 11 a.m., hearing on limiting public assistance to needy families, and at 12 p.m., a hearing on forensics lab.