Archive for February, 2013

by (RSS) City of Memphis Government | February 28th, 2013 3:10pm CDT | 4 Comments

It was inevitable that the Confederate parks controversy would attract national attention, but the best news of all for us is that after the Klan marches around while, we won’t have to ever worry about the faux history about Nathan Bedford Forrest as the great benefactor of African-Americans in the Brownlow era.  As for City […]

Read More →

by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Shelby County government | February 28th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | 1 Comment

From Governing: What began in the 1990s as a trend evolved toward a movement that has become commonplace in government organizations: the adoption and implementation of so-called “best practices” as a method for improving organizational performance. The problem with best practices is that they often merely masquerade as innovation. In the wrong hands, they become […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Tennessee Legislature | February 27th, 2013 12:53am CDT | 2 Comments

Who knew that when we wrote this posts in May 10, 2010, that we’d be looking back today to that time as the good old days?  The Tennessee Legislature, now recognized widely as the worst state legislature in the nation, continues to prove how deserving they are for the title.  Nothing spotlights the majority’s nihilistic […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Downtown Revitalization | February 26th, 2013 2:54pm CDT | Comments Off on Mutually Exclusive: Cars and Vibrancy

From Atlantic Cities: Big roads and parking garages are so common in American cities that it’s easy to forget these places once functioned exceptionally well without them. However, in their persistent battle to satisfy the demands of motorists, many urban areas are losing out. In the early 1960s – when highway construction was at its […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Education | February 26th, 2013 2:50pm CDT | Comments Off on Students Must Learn More Words

From Education Week: Children who enter kindergarten with a small vocabulary don’t get taught enough words—particularly, sophisticated academic words—to close the gap, according to the latest in a series of studies by Michigan early-learning experts. The findings suggest many districts could be at a disadvantage in meeting the increased requirements for vocabulary learning from the […]

Read More →

We’ve written often about the dangers of Memphis blindly pursuing cheapness as our chief competitive strategy for the future. We’ve seen it play out in our economic development behavior for two decades as we watched cities boom that invested in quality.  Meanwhile, the chase here for cheapness produced almost $100 million in city and county […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Trends and Issues | February 22nd, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Income Inequality: The Coming World Scourge

From citiwire.net by Neal Peirce: Across the world, the gap between rich and poor is widening. It’s a grim harbinger for 21st-century peace and progress. The United States and its communities are not exempt. That’s the case Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz makes in his recent book, The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Education | February 21st, 2013 3:20pm CDT | 2 Comments

From Education Week: As the number of charter schools continues to grow, one facet of their autonomy—the ability to set and enforce independent disciplinary standards—has raised difficult questions about whether those schools are pushing out students who pose behavior or academic challenges and how their policies affect regular public schools. Research on the issue is […]

Read More →

It has been just over six years ago that former Shelby County Commissioner John Willingham laid out  a plan for a payroll privilege tax that would eliminate the 2.25% local option sales tax, eliminate the wheel tax, slice the county property tax rate by 25%, and reduce the Memphis property tax rate dramatically.  With a […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Economic Development | February 20th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Southern Poverty Pimps

From Salon: Contemporary American politics cannot be understood apart from the North-South divide in the U.S., as I and others have argued.  Neither can contemporary American economic debates.  The real choice facing America in the 21st century is the same one that faced it in the 19th and 20th centuries — Northernomics or Southernomics? Northernomics […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Economic Development, Talent | February 20th, 2013 12:44am CDT | 1 Comment

All cities are working hard to answer challenges that face them, but the trick is to make sure the right questions are asked in the first place. Last month, People First, the human capital development campaign of the Memphis Fast Forward initiative and the Early Success Coalition co-sponsored a symposium. The first featured speaker was Robin […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Talent | February 19th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | 1 Comment

We’ve all had it happen before.  Some poor, well-meaning soul learns you’ve just gone through a break up, and with a genuine “bless your heart” expression, pats you on the head and says, “Cheer up honey.  There’s plenty of fish in the sea!”  My muscles tense, my plastic smile immediately appears, and I calmly reply […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Education, Shelby County government | February 18th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on How the County Commission Played the School Board for the Fool

Our friend and fellow blogger, Steve Ross, regularly shines light so people can find their own way (remember when Scripps-Howard said that was what its newspaper did), and today was no exception as he turned his attention to the budget kerfuffle of the unified school district.  You can check out his must-read insights at his […]

Read More →

by (RSS) City of Memphis Government, Taxation | February 18th, 2013 12:56am CDT | Comments Off on Tax Cuts Slice Into City Services That Matter

Although it’s not the most politically palatable talking point for elected officials, it is nevertheless inarguable that there is a point at which budget cuts and tax reductions become enemies of the government’s mission itself: to provide services that are needed by the public and in a way that ensure their maximum positive impact on […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Education | February 15th, 2013 3:15pm CDT | Comments Off on The Dangers of Teaching to the Test

For more than a decade now we have heard that the high-stakes testing obsession in K-12 education that began with the enactment of No Child Left Behind 11 years ago has resulted in high school graduates who don’t think as analytically or as broadly as they should because so much emphasis has been placed on […]

Read More →

So why do multi-national corporations taking in tens of billions of dollars a year in revenues demand incentives that shift their tax burdens over to homeowners?  Because they can. That’s being proven out yet again as International Paper asks for $56.9 million in tax breaks over the next 15 years. Just think about it this […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 14th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on The Risks of Changing the Electoral College System

From Governing:   The political world of late has been gripped not by speculation about who will run for president in 2016, but rather by the possibility that several states could change the way they allocate their electoral votes — a move that could significantly change how the nation elects its presidents. Currently, every state […]

Read More →

by (RSS) Uncategorized | February 13th, 2013 3:00pm CDT | Comments Off on Electoral College Chicanery

From Citiwire, by Neal Peirce: It’s the most overt effort to rig elections for president of the United States that I’ve seen in a half century of analyzing and writing about our electoral college system. Perhaps you’ve seen the news – the bids, recently mounted in Virginia and Pennsylvania and being widely discussed in Michigan, […]

Read More →