New Visions for Public Affairs Volume 9 


  • Children in Foster Care: Improving Outcomes through Intervention by Jessica Velez
    • Abstract

      This policy paper discusses the problems, potential solutions and recommendations for improving the quality of care and long-term child outcomes for children in the United States foster care system. Children in foster care experience adversity in the form of abuse and neglect prior to entering the system, and often experience instability in the form of placement changes while in the system. A combination of trauma from maltreatment and long-term instability make these children especially vulnerable to poor developmental outcomes. These outcomes include poor emotional and behavioral regulation which can lead to social delinquency, externalizing behaviors in middle to late childhood and poor academic performance, which can lead to unemployment and homelessness in adulthood. This paper discusses two possible solutions to counter the negative effects of maltreatment trauma and instability in foster care, including intensifying permanency efforts and implementing child-caregiver interventions. The second option provides a more comprehensive approach to solving the multifactorial issue at hand. This paper recommends a systematic approach to implementing three interventions for specified age groups of children within the foster care system. These interventions include the Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-Up (ABC) intervention for children birth to three, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) for children ages three through seven, and Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) for children ages six through fifteen. Each intervention has been shown to improve both child outcomes and the child-caregiver relationship, however each provides a different approach that corresponds with developmental changes and challenges.

  • Seoul Cycle: Making Seoul a Bike-Friendly Destination by Savannah Edwards & Mesut Karakoc
    • Abstract

      During the fall 2016 semester, students from the University of Delaware’s School of Public Policy and Administration had the opportunity to learn from Seoul’s Metropolitan Government (SMG) and the University of Seoul as part of the 21st Seoul Case Study Program. During the program, we were given unique opportunities to learn about policy management practices in Seoul. At the end of the experience, we were asked to present analyses and recommendations for SMG to adopt. Drawing upon strategies used to make Newark, Delaware a bicycle-friendly community, this report discusses policy opportunities to enhance the city of Seoul’s cycling network.

  • Improving the Equity and Adequacy of Public Education Funding in Maryland by Kathryn Carns
    • Abstract

      Maryland’s current funding formula for public education was constructed with the express intent of ensuring equitable and adequate funding for each student in the state, regardless of county of residence, wealth, or other individual circumstances. However, the state’s funding for education falls short on both counts. The funding formula used in Maryland consists of a foundation amount per student, with additional weights for students receiving free and reduced-price meals, students with limited English proficiency, and students receiving special education services. The per-student amount is increased by a certain percentage for the 13 counties in which the provision of education is more expensive. This funding scheme was created based upon a series of adequacy studies carried out in the early 2000s, and was intended to ensure that each county received sufficient funding to enable all students to perform adequately on state-level performance measures. This policy brief uses empirical measures to evaluate the equity and adequacy of funding for public education in Maryland, identifies opportunities for improvement in both areas, and recommends policy adjustments intended to increase equity and improve performance. The equity of Maryland’s public education funding has shown limited improvement but still falls short on three relative measures of equity. Adequacy, as measured by passing rates on standardized tests, was achieved by only half of Maryland counties in 2012. The General Assembly must take immediate action to re-evaluate the definition and cost of the provision of an adequate education, and revise the state’s funding formula to ensure equitable and adequate funding.

  • Delaware Goes to College: Providing Equitable Access to Quality College Counseling and Increasing College Attendance Rates for High School Students in the State of Delaware by Tim Danos
    • Abstract

      This article examines the challenges faced by public high school counselors in their efforts to help students prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in a collegiate environment and other postsecondary options. National advocacy groups and contemporary research note that students are better prepared for postsecondary success when their schools have a counselor-to-student ratio of one-to-250 or less, as well as equitable access to quality college counseling services. Yet fiscal and professional challenges often prevent public high schools in states like Delaware from meeting that optimal counselor ratio and from providing robust college counseling services, especially to historically underrepresented students such as firstgeneration college students, low-income students, and students of color. This paper reviews several policy options for increasing college attendance and providing equitable postsecondary success in Delaware, and provides recommendations on best practices that can be implemented in the state of Delaware.

  • Complete Streets Policies: Impacts on Urban Freight Transit by Gemma Tierney
    • Abstract

      Complete Streets-oriented planning and policies are touted as offering a way to make streets safer and more accessible to all modes of transport, as well as to sidewalk life in general (children playing, restaurant seating, outdoor markets). Complete Streets policies have become increasingly popular in metropolitan areas across the U.S. and Canada. Smart Growth America reports that the number of Complete Streets policies in the U.S. climbed from 216 in 2010 to 712 in 2014 (Smart Growth America, 2014). The Complete Streets philosophy advocates for designing streets and sidewalks to accommodate all users. Significantly, many strategies tend to overlook the accommodations needed for urban freight transportation. While there are far fewer industrial and freight rail demands on our urban thoroughfares than there were a century ago, the rise of e-commerce in the twenty-first century has brought more delivery trucks into urban streets of all sizes. Despite the fact that the Complete Streets mission is to make streets more accessible to all users, many Complete Streets policies do not address urban freight vehicles in a significant way. Nevertheless, as cities develop and share best practices over time, they are learning how to better accommodate urban freight transportation, rather than treating it as incompatible with streets that are safe for cyclists and pedestrians. This paper reviews examples of Complete Streets concepts that have posed challenges for urban freight transportation, and policies to broaden the concept of Complete Streets and better accommodate urban freight.

  • The Failure of the Language Policy in Belarus by Yuliya Brel
    • Abstract

      The Republic of Belarus, which used to be part of the Soviet Union, became an independent state in August of 1991. It was expected that Belarus would follow the same path on the way of its independent nation building as the other former Soviet republics, i.e. it would promote its national identity and the use of the national language in the public and private spheres of life. The tentative attempt of the nationalist-inclined part of the Belarusian intelligentsia to introduce a new language policy that stipulated for a gradual switch to Belarusian as the sole state language first seemed quite successful. The referendum of 1995, however, reintroduced the Russian language as the second state language, which in practice meant squeezing Belarusian out of the public sphere, and going back to Belarus being a predominantly Russian-speaking country. Based on the available scholarship, official and historical documents, and other secondary data, the essay argues that the new language policy failed because Belarusians had not formed into a nation by the beginning of the 20th century. With the Russian language being the medium of urban dwellers’ communication and a means of upward social mobility since the times of the tsarist empire, the value of being fluent in Belarusian still remains questionable for the majority of the Belarusian population.

  • Urban Greenspace and Economic Health in Cities: A Comparative Case Study of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Rachel Mabel
    • Abstract

      This paper examines the potential links between urban greenspace and economic health. The scope of urban greenspace includes parks, canopy coverage, and number of trees. This paper evaluates economic health through statistical indicators such as unemployment, median household income, population levels, and gross domestic product (GDP), and provides relevant historical and political context to establish the basis for more comprehensive analysis. Confounding variables are minimized by limiting the comparison to two cities in Pennsylvania: Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

  • Community Involvement Needed: Food Deserts, Food and Nutritional Security by Christy Mannering
    • Abstract

      This paper discusses food security, nutritional security, and the growing number of food deserts that exist in cities throughout United States. The paper first reviews current policies that aim to improve nutritional security and decrease the number of food deserts. These policies include the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), the National School Lunch Program (NSLP), and Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC). The paper then presents new alternatives for eradicating food deserts and improving food security in ways that engage more members of the community in a sustainable manner. These alternatives include 1) Small business tax incentives to encourage urban gardens, 2) Cooperative Extension agents and master gardener volunteers to provide agriculture training to currently unemployed community members, and 3) Enhancing current programs to provide better education families on how to prepare fruits and vegetables to create healthy, delicious, and cost effective meals. These policies also require community customization, which will call for a basic framework to be developed to make the programs replicable yet flexible.

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