White House Katrina Report Praises Ed. Dept.’s Response
A White House report examining the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina that was critical of several federal agencies lauded the Department of Education for several of its actions after the storm.
“The Federal Response to Hurricane Katrina: Lessons Learned” was written by a committee led by Frances Fragos Townsend, President Bush’s homeland-security and counterterrorism adviser, and released last week.
It lists 17 “critical challenges” that must be addressed to improve the nation’s response to natural or man-made disasters. Among them are improving military response to such disasters, developing a national emergency-communications strategy, and bolstering federal search-and-rescue operations.
Though the report focused primarily on systemic problems uncovered by the storm and its aftermath, the Education Department was praised along with other Cabinet departments and federal agencies in an appendix called “What Went Right.”
In the appendix, the Education Department was praised for an “innovative” Web site that provided assistance to schools that accepted students displaced by the hurricane. The site listed the needs of students and donors submitted what they could provide.
Hundreds of matches have been made as a result of that effort, the report says. The department is also lauded in the report for working with other government agencies to provide furniture, computers, and other surplus federal equipment to needy schools.
Vol. 25, Issue 25, Page 22