Wednesday, September 15th, 2010 - 7:10
Tuesday, September 14, 2010 - 13:51
Intriguing articles, reports and commentary about the Recovery Act.
Recovery Board Chairman Earl Devaney says the federal stimulus has eaten into the already limited capacity of federal contracting oversight staff to a “breaking point,” according to Gregory Korte of the USA Today. In a piece titled, “Auditors: Staffing shortages stymie stimulus,” Korte points out, “Government spending on contractors rose 144% from 2001 to 2008, while contracting staff increased 12%.” The article lists several program-specific bottlenecks and other problems that have occurred due to the lack of adequate oversight staff. It also indicates that many staff members who are on board have received insufficient training.
Have federal stimulus funds overstimulated the battery industry for electric and hybrid cars? That’s one question raised in this interesting piece from the Associated Press’s Ken Thomas. While the $2.4 billion in stimulus funding has accelerated U.S. production of these advanced batteries, some in the industry doubt the demand for hybrid and electric cars will rise to meet the new supply. One hope: The article also notes that the administration may be working on additional policies to spur adoption of the new auto technology.
Maryland received $250 million in Round 2 of Race to the Top in order to improve student and teacher performance. Now the state is tackling one of the big questions of our time: How do you measure teacher performance? For that matter, how you measure student improvement? And once you’ve evaluated teacher performance, how should those evaluations be applied in order to boost educational outcomes? Listen to the full story from Maryland Morning’s Bruce Wallace.
Here’s a tricky problem: federal and state officials are trying to recover stimulus money already spent by the Show Me Social Justice Film Festival in Warrensburg, Missouri. Film organizers say they found out too late that the film festival was not a permissible use of the $100,000 Community Services Block Grant they had received, but the show must go on, writes Jack Miles for the Warrensburg Daily Star-Journal. No one is quite sure how the money will be recovered now that it has been spent, though the organization does have reserves.