Cover Story

How Education Reform Taught Teachers to Cheat

BY J. Brian Charles

In school districts across the country, being held accountable for grades and graduation rates has motivated educators to tamper with results. Some places are starting to crack down on this temptation.

FEATURES

Politics

How Centrist Is Colorado? Governor's Race Will Test That Reputation

Rather than going after voters in the middle, both the Democratic and Republican nominees are playing to their base. BY
Public Safety & Justice

Fire Departments Struggle to Meet New Demands

The job of a firefighter has changed almost beyond recognition. That, combined with lagging pay and personnel problems, is making it difficult to recruit enough of them. BY
Finance

States' Capital Budgets Have Become Partisan Battlegrounds

The once-quiet place reserved for technical experts is increasingly being held hostage in political fights. BY
Health & Human Services

'It's the New Form of Affordable Housing': More People Are Living in Their Cars

With rents on the rise, cities are grappling with a growing population of "vehicular homelessness" -- a way of life considered illegal in many places. BY

OBSERVER

Politics

Why California Lawmakers, Begrudgingly, Banned Soda Taxes

The beverage industry used a tactic that could become more common with other interest groups. BY
Health & Human Services

Mysterious Savings: Health Providers Question Iowa's Medicaid Claim

In the span of five months, the state says it tripled the amount it was saving by privatizing Medicaid. BY
Finance

Too Soon for Louisiana to Celebrate Its Budget?

Louisiana has "stopped the bleeding," but political observers point out that the financially strained state still has several major spending problems. BY

POLITICS + POLICY

Assessments

2 Southern Cities, 2 (Very) Different Approaches to Transit

When it comes to transportation planning, Atlanta and Nashville are both at a crossroads. BY
Washington Watch

On Water Problems, Governments Actually Work Together

When it comes to dirty lakes and rivers, governments have learned how to cooperate. BY
Politics

Sorry Politicians, You Can't Block Critics on Twitter

Courts have ruled that access to public figures on social media is a constitutional right. BY
Health & Human Services

How a Rural Region in the South Cut Its Infant Mortality Rate in Half

Babies die at higher rates in the U.S. than in poorer countries like Cuba and Poland. BY
Infrastructure & Environment

Climate Change Has Been a Losing Battle for Governments. Could a New Lawsuit Turn the Tide?

Rhode Island is using new tactics to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for disaster-related infrastructure damage. BY
Transportation & Infrastructure

An E-Scooter ‘Scourge’? Not So Fast.

Urban transportation planners need to remember who the streets are for. BY
Urban Notebook

For Cities Seeking to Grow, Bigger Isn’t Always Better

Smaller-scale infrastructure projects can pay off in major ways. BY

PROBLEM SOLVER

Workforce

Why Unions' Supreme Court Loss May Not Be as Bad as It Seems

It’s widely assumed that the Janus ruling dealt public-sector unions a major blow. But the numbers may play out differently. BY
Smart Management

Government Purchasers Confront a Problem: Not Enough Vendors

Procurement officers are having to get more active -- and more creative -- to find companies willing to work with the public sector. BY
On Leadership

Racial Justice Can’t Be Achieved Without This

Civic leaders must reclaim racial integration as a policy goal. BY
Public Money

When Cities Rely on Fines and Fees, Everybody Loses

They’re a tempting alternative to raising taxes, but their long-term costs far outweigh the revenue they bring in. BY
Politics

Behind the Lens: The Only State With an ‘Embassy’ in D.C.

It's just a block away from the U.S. Capitol. BY

PUBLISHER'S DESK

Publisher's Desk

Houses, Not Shelters

Mattie Quinn’s feature in this issue examines another variant in the increases in homelessness that cities are struggling with, in this case a surge in the number of people living in their cars. BY

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