Aceing the Test

The methodology employed by the Atlanta Journal Consitution to identify schools that manipulate test scores may be going on the road.  Principals beware!  If you teach political science or public administration, or even plain old statistics, this case is well-suited for showing that statistical analysis is a real public policy and management tool, not just disembodied math stuff students are forced to learn.

Beware of Interns

Another Pennsylvania political corruption case, ho hum.  Two interesting angles, the convicted defendant’s sister is a Pennsylvania Supreme Court judge and the initial whistleblower was an intern.  Fresh-eyed, with college-age naivete, the intern noted as a bad thing that co-workers were doing poltical campaign work on taxpayer time.  The horror.

Pennsylvania–Land of Giants

John Perzel, one of Pennsylvania most powerful Republican legislators as House Speaker in the early 2000s is soon off to jail, where he joins Vince Fumo, long the legislature’s most powerful Democrat.  Each was found to have diverted millions in state funds to personal and/or partisan purposes. Steve Lopez, a political columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer before moving to the LA Times, used to end pieces on such milestones with “Pennsylvania, Land of Giants,” wry sarcasm hard to improve on. The timeline of the “Computergate” case that ensnared the former House Speaker is here.

Institutionalization–What’s That?

In my breakdown of organizational diseases, insitutionalization is a chronic, usually progressive, condition where a business or agency increasingly loses its focus on customers/clients as employees turn the organization’s energies more and more to their own benefit.  I’ve not looked closely at this firm but that’s certainly the gist of what this Goldman Sachs resignee is saying.

Police Advisory Commission must cut through backlog of complaints

Philadelphia–where unions are muscular and civil service mechanisms, including state-level arbitration, extend and dilute just about any discipline meted out to errant officers.  So independent  civilian complaint review comes last, can’t force action, suffers budget cuts and faces calls for its extinction.  Anybody want a job?  Police Advisory Commission must cut through backlog of complaints.