TABLE of CONTENTS September 2006Cover Story
BY Rob Gurwitt
After Katrina wiped out one of the worst school systems in the country, New Orleans has seized the chance to redesign its whole approach to public education.
The ravaged Gulf Coast has a rare opportunity to recreate itself. But it has to decide what it wants to look like.
State-sponsored Web sites are enabling consumers to compare hospital and physician prices and performance.
Sophisticated new tests reveal small amounts of steroids and other drugs in drinking water. How big a threat are these contaminants?
Illinois and Texas are competing to host a demonstration project they hope will ignite a whole new industry.
It looks like farmers can turn almost any crop into fuel. But can they make money at it without government help?
A new report tells governments something they need to know--but would rather not hear.
Miami built some reform momentum, then squandered it. Pete Hernandez will try to bring it back.
Congress hates to raise taxes--unless it can force other levels of government to collect them.
Huge cost overruns are the rule on major public works projects. But they aren't inevitable.
The Business of Government
Arizona plans to lure high school students to the biology lab and beyond.
The steep climb in gas prices is not only hitting drivers' wallets. It's also smashing holes in transportation department budgets for road repairs.
Amid the chaos that followed Hurricane Katrina, families were separated in the evacuation and sent to different cities. In some cases, it took weeks before they were reunited. Texas officials don't want that to happen should a disaster strike their state. To avoid it, they plan to track evacuees using scannable ID bracelets.
Despite all the advances in online services, e-governments are still stuck in the paper chase.
King County, Washington, has become the first county to join the Chicago Climate Exchange, a commodities market where members buy and sell pollution credits. "We're looking at this as a good decision from a business perspective," says County Executive Ron Sims.
A number of states are looking to career-building programs to grow their workforces of the future.
Some cities have sidewalks made of recycled tires.
There's economic turbulence ahead that state budget and fiscal systems may not weather well.