front page - editorial archives  - search - community 

Control board accountability

(Published February 28, 2000)

We’ve heard a lot of talk about accountability in government but have seen none of it where the D.C. Financial Responsibility and Management Assistance Authority is concerned. We can assume that means the U.S. Congress doesn’t care how its control board creation spends D.C. tax dollars.

But control board chairman Alice M. Rivlin invited such scrutiny when, shortly after taking the reins, she signed an Oct. 26, 1998, "Memorandum on Returning Authority to the Board of Education." It read, in part: This Memorandum affirms the Authority’s prior commitment to return control over the District of Columbia public schools to the Board of Education by June 30, 2000. ...The procedures described in this Memorandum ...provide a basis under which the public can measure the Authority’s progress toward that end.

However, the control board has been negligent in fulfilling its end of the deal. And it has perpetuated the "crisis" in our public schools that it declared the day after Election Day 1996.

We think the D.C. City Council should publicly call the control board to account — and subpoena all present and past board members in their capacity as D.C. residents if a simple invitation to testify doesn’t suffice.

Copyright 2000, The Common Denominator