The Pulse: Citizens League Issues Scan

"The Pulse", the Citizens League issue scan looks at topics of interest to members of the Citizens League (

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Saturday, June 29, 2002
Public Services. McKinsey Report for the City of Minneapolis on Economic Development. The front page of the June 24, 2002 Skyway News features a diagram of the steps to carry out a development in the city of Minneapolis. The chart is reminiscent of President Jimmy Carter's famous wall-sized flowchart of how to fire a federal civil servant. The chart itself suggests the need for urgent simplification and rationalization of city services. The e-government route is one way to push for redesigning public services around those using them rather than the various and numerous public service bureaucratic empires. The full report is on the web at: (52)

Friday, June 28, 2002
The Economy. Wealthy Countries Maintain Effective Trade Advantages. Writing in the June 20, 2002 issue of the Economist, Jagdish Bhagwati details his claim that while wealthier nations are preaching reductions of trade barriers, they in fact are maintaining protectionist measures in a variety of ways. There is no substitute, he says, for actually lowering the barriers to access in the wealthier countries' markets. The entire article may be found at: (51)

Thursday, June 27, 2002
K-12 Education. State Governance of Education. A good resource on how states govern their K-12 systems may be found at the Education Commission of the States governance project webpage. There are many state by state comparisons. The webpage is at (50)

Wednesday, June 26, 2002
Public Services. Crime Rates in US and EU. It is not what you think. The US rate of reported crime is about half that the England and Wales and well below Germany and France. The UK crime rate of almost 100 crimes per 1,000 people is spurring a toughening of laws - a process that the US has been through before. Details are in the June 22, 2002 issue of the Economist ( (49)

Technology. Web Logs (Blogs) in the Big Apple. Web logs or blogs are proliferating like wildfire. There are at least 1016 in New York City. The following site lists them by address and by subway line. Weblogs are another one of those "creeping innovations" like email and messaging online that is bursting on the technology and social scene. For the New York City site see: (48)

Monday, June 24, 2002
K-12 Education. Teachers as Owners. The book "Teachers As Owners: A Key to Revitalizing Public Education edited by Edward J. Dirkswager has just been published by Scarecrow Education ( The book explores the question: what if teachers worked for themselves rather than being employees. The employment models of other professions have not generally been applied to public education and the book takes a look at potential benefits to students and parents of teacher ownership as well as the broader implications of a professional partnership model for public education. Among the potential benefits: better attraction rates to education, more rapid uptake of technology, and more resources directed to student learning. The book follows up on a conference on teacher ownership held last year in the Twin Cities.

Sunday, June 23, 2002
The Economy. Technology: WiFi On the Rise. The wait for third generation cell phone service, so-called 3G, is getting to be a long one and into the breech comes wireless local area networks (WiFi) for short, or in technical jargon 802.11b. Access from a laptop requires a wireless network card (already in 40% of new laptops). There are 1,200 high-speed WiFi public sites in the US today, such as coffee houses and airports, with the number expected to rise to 25,000 by 2005. While WiFi may not have all the functions of the promised and much delayed 3G cellular phone systems, it is inexpensive and here today. For more on WiFi, see the article in at: