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DC Appleseed Center Update

Third Quarter 1998

733 15th Street, N.W., Suite 700, Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202-393-1158 Fax: 202-393-1495 email:

DC Appleseed Begins School Governance Project
Enhanced Leadership
DC Appleseed Examining Stormwater Management in the District
DC Appleseed Thanks
Stormwater Task Form

Board of Directors

Nicholas W. Fels
Covington & Burling

Gary Ratner
Law Office of Gershon M. Ratner

John Payton
Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering

Bert T. Edwards (retired)
Arthur Andersen

Peter D Ehrenhaft Ablondi, Foster, Sobin & Davidow, P. C.

Rev Graylan Ellis-Hagler
Plymouth Congregational
United Church of Christ

John Graebner
Legg Mason Wood Walker, Inc.

John Hechinger, Sr. (retired)
Hechinger Company

Jacquelyn V Helm
Law Office of Jacquelyn V. Helm

Carolyn E. Lamm
White & Case

Kevin Lanigan
Hogan & Hartson

Edward M Levin
U.S. Department of Commerce

Alan B Morrison
Public Citizen Litigation Group

Daniel M. Singer (of counsel)
Fried Frank Harris Shriver & Jacobson

Lawrence Walders
Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy

Melody Webb Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless

Roderic L. Woodson
Bethel & Nicastro, P. C

Affiliations listed only for purposes of identification

Executive Director
Joshua S. Wyner

DC Appleseed Begins School Governance Project

A year before the Control Board assumed power over the District's public schools, the nonprofit Committee on Public Education concluded:

"Many elected officials and citizens claim that the current situation [of school governance] is intolerable.... The District's elected officials and citizens must resolve the governance question. Overhauling this structure will not guarantee school improvement, but it would remove a major barrier to school reform."

Yet, despite all of the major efforts over the past two years aimed at reforming the District's public education system, no one has examined how to improve the system of governance over the long run. And, when the Control Board's power over the schools expires (currently scheduled for June 2000), few observers expect that Congress will return the system of school governance to the form it took before the Control Board assumed authority. Because the system of governance will again change, it is important that the issue be addressed thoroughly before the transfer of authority happens.

The DC Appleseed Center is assembling a project team of experts in education policy, other thoughtful professionals, and community leaders that will:

  • examine the forms of school governance utilized by other jurisdictions in the country;
  • analyze the advantages and disadvantages associated with each form of governance based on the experiences of other jurisdictions, detailing the extent to which some systems seem more desirable than others;
  • enumerate the distinct elements of the District that should be considered in evaluating options for governance (such as the fact that the District has no State Education Department); and
  • publish a report detailing its findings that will be made widely available to citizens and policy makers.

After the report is published and distributed, the project team will remain involved in the discussion about school governance in the District in order to ensure that (1) the report's findings are considered by policy makers and citizens as they determine the future governance structure for the D.C. Public Schools, and (2) the school governance structure chosen will foster the best classroom education possible.


The DC Appleseed Center welcomes our two newest board members:

  • Peter D. Ehrenhaft, an international trade lawyer at Ablondi, Foster, Sobin & Davidow, P.C.
  • Carolyn B. Lamm, an international trade lawyer at White & Case, and the most recent past President of the D.C Bar Association

DC Appleseed Examining Stormwater Management in the District

DC Appleseed recently began work on a project directed at protecting the Anacostia River by helping to improve the District's stormwater management system. The Anacostia River has generally poor water quality, and the section of the River which flows through the District is the most polluted body of water in the region. Pollution of the Anacostia threatens the health of residents who come into contact with the River and eat fish caught there, and impedes economic development where it is needed most, in the poor neighborhoods surrounding the River.

Stormwater is a primary source of pollution of the Anacostia River, as well as the other waterbodies in the District. Yet, the District has not complied with the stormwater provisions of the federal Clean Water Act, under which the District should have submitted a stormwater permit application to the Environmental Protection Agency earlier this decade.

A DC Appleseed project team is helping the District resolve two important issues that must be reflected in the stormwater permit: which government agency will be responsible for stormwater management, and how the stormwater management system will be financed.

To address these issues, DC Appleseed is:

  • examining institutional and financing structures in other jurisdictions that have effectively managed stormwater pollution;
  • examining the unique institutional structure and financing limitations in the District that affect its ability to respond to this problem; and
  • preparing a report that will recommend a government structure and financing mechanism that can be employed by the District to better manage stormwater pollution.

DC Appleseed anticipates issuing its stormwater management recommendations in late 1998, and will subsequently work to ensure that an effective system of stormwater management is established in the District of Columbia.

DC Appleseed thanks:

  • the Summit Fund of Washington for its generous support for the third consecutive year, and
  • the Bailey Family Foundation for its first time grant in support of our School Governance Project.

Stormwater Task Force:

Terry Davies, Resources for the Future
Sarel Kromer
Anna Laitin,
DC Appleseed Center
Sarah Layton, American Public Works Association
Kate Probst, Resources for the Future
Steven Schatzow, Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius
Jonathan Wilan, Morgan, Lewis & Bockius
Joshua S. Wyner, DC Appleseed Center
Affiliations listed for identification purposes only.

In addition to the School Governance and Stormwater Projects, DC Appleseed’s work continues in other areas, including:

Reforming Operations of the DC Council;
Retaining Federal Facilities in the District of Columbia; and,
Improving Governance of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

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