Monday, January 19


DC Examiner - D.C. Councilman Phil Mendelson says he's worried that schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee is trying to get rid of veteran educators and is asking Rhee to detail her plan to weed out "underperforming" teachers. . . Rhee hasn't explained her proposal yet, but says she wants to put failing teachers in a 90-day mentoring program. Those who don't improve would be fired or reassigned. The teachers union has blasted the plan, saying that Rhee is trying to bust the union under the guise of helping failing teachers. . . "It's important that there is not only a clear set of criteria that is used when labeling a teacher "underperforming,' " Mendelson's letter states. "But also a fair way to measure the performance of the supervisors responsible for helping these teachers to proficiency."

Mendelson has given Rhee until Wednesday to explain: How many teachers are on the "underperforming"
list; how they got there; the years of service for each teacher on the list; the years of service for the "mentors."

Washington Business Journal -
D.C. Councilman Marion Barry, D-Ward 8, said he will do everything he can to prevent what he called a "giveaway" of 11 public school buildings by Mayor Adrian Fenty and that there were enough votes on the D.C. Council to stop any sale of the properties. . . Barry said the entire process of closing and managing the schools had been done without proper input by residents or the D.C. Council, which would have to both declare the properties surplus and approve any sale or long-term lease. "I am going to fight as hard as I can, and I think I can get six other votes, to stop the surplus-ing of those schools," he said. "And I know I have seven votes to stop the disposition."

Washington Post - Obama stopped short of promising an aggressive pursuit of D.C. voting rights. . . He described himself as a 'strong proponent' of amending the District's lack of voting representation in Congress but did not portray it as a top priority. . . 'You've got a president who is supportive of it, and I think you've got a majority in both the House and Senate who'd be supportive of it,' Obama said. . . 'But this takes on a partisan flavor, and, you know, right now I think our legislative agenda's chockfull. I would like to explore how quickly we can get it done.'

District Chronicles - Only a year ago, South Capitol Street was a dust-filled road amid the National's stadium construction and the lowering of the Fredrick Douglass Bridge. Businesses in the area suffered due to the decreased traffic into the area, and some of them closed as a result. Business owners struggled to stay afloat in hopes of being able to prosper once all of the construction was complete. The bridge lowering was completed in August of 2007, and the stadium was ready in time for opening day in March of the following year. Eight months have past since opening day, though, and even more businesses have been lost. . . The loss of businesses that is being experienced in the Southwest region is not a much different scenario than what has played out in other predominately Black communities in America. Nearly a half-century ago hundreds of Black-owned businesses thrived in San Francisco's Fillmore District. Then, by use of eminent domain, the government's redevelopment displaced almost 900 businesses and nearly 4,700 homes in San Francisco's Western Addition, where the Fillmore District is located. Many of the businesses did not return after the development.

DCist - The Post and WTOP are reporting that Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has is moving to abolish the death penalty in his state, following the recommendations of a state panel late last year. O'Malley has pledged to push for abolition during the state legislature's current three-month session, though he is already facing opposition from Senate President and fellow Democrat Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. O'Malley believes capital punishment is too expensive, unequally used and largely ineffective as a deterrent.

Loose Lips, City Paper - Harry Jaffe slaps local politicos for the Wilson Building reviewing stand: "The cost, according to my sources, is in the neighborhood of $250,000. Four years ago, a similar viewing stand cost $100,000 less. Inflation, or inflated egos?. . . Tommy Wells, who represents Capitol Hill on the council, told me: 'I want to keep it as a homeless shelter after the inauguration.'"


At 4:29 PM, Blogger Joe said...

I noticed that this year's DC Wilson building reviewing stand had two downspouts, one on each side. It's a pity that it hasn't rained since before the thing was constructed. Many years past the stand simply had a red and white striped tent top, and in more recent years had a plywood roof. This one looks like a Habitat for Humanity House!


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