PRRAC Update  

February 7, 2013    




Welcome to the PRRAC Update!  Every other Thursday, PRRAC sends out a brief digest of news, recent publications, and other points of interest related to our work in housing, education, and health. We welcome feedback and encourage you to forward to others. To join the PRRAC email list, click here.  



Housing mobility report & toolkit:  A new resource from PRRAC and the Urban Institute, "Expanding Choice: Practical Strategies for Building a Successful Housing Mobility Program," provides a step-by-step outline and extensive resources for public housing agencies, state and local governments, and non-profits interested in helping Housing Choice Voucher families make moves to higher opportunity areas.  Chapters include "Thinking Regionally," "Setting Program Goals," "Building Your Program," "Measuring Success," and "Funding and Implementing Your Program."  A followup to the PRRAC & Urban Institute "Fifth National Conference on Assisted Housing Mobility" last summer.    


More on our "HUD Report Card":  After releasing our review of HUD's first term fair housing progress last week, we received a number of comments from colleagues who thought we had been "too lenient," that we shouldn't have "graded HUD on a curve," etc.   We understand these critiques, but we see our job as advocates not only to criticize the agency for its shortcomings, but also to credit and to support the efforts of agency leadership and staff who are trying to make change in the face of significant institutional and political resistance.  It is up to all of us to keep the pressure on, and to make sure that we see more actual results during the next four years, especially in the crucial first 18 months.  We hope that everyone on this email list - whether through litigation, policy advocacy, blogging, organizing, or research - will do their part to help make this happen.  Read the HUD First Term Report Card here.



Other news and resources:


The 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation: Reflections on history and current meaning from Louis Masur, Nicolas Lemann, Elijah Anderson, Taylor Branch, and many others - in a special forum issue of the Washington Monthly.    

Addressing school segregation in Virginia: The Moving Forward Conference on March 13-14 will focus on the contemporary scope and impact of Richmond metro area school segregation, with a goal of generating new possibilities and regional solutions for advancing high quality, diverse learning opportunities.

An inspiring magnet school story from Tennessee: Several PRRAC staff attended the national conference of Magnet Schools of America this week, and we were lucky to hear an inspiring speech by Jill Levine, the association's 2012 "Magnet School Principal of the Year", who runs an award winning "Museum Magnet Middle School" in Chattanooga. Ms. Levine's presentation included this entertaining 5-minute video about how the local community came together several years ago to rescue the old school building from abandonment. See more about the school here.


Philip Tegeler

Poverty & Race Research Action Council

Washington, DC