The CitiStat model, which recently celebrated its 10th anniversary, has expanded and evolved in many different ways over the last decade. Even during the early years of CitiStat in Baltimore under then-Mayor O’Malley, the Stat model began its spread outside of City Hall. The Housing Department set up its own version of CitiStat—called “HousingStat”—and used it as a vehicle for project management and tracking. As the Deputy responsible for achieving the aggressive acquisition of 5,000 vacant properties in two years, I can tell you in no uncertain terms that we would not have achieved that goal without the Stat process.
What is probably less known is how the Stat model has begun to take root in the public education arena. “SchoolStat”, which was first implemented in the Baltimore City Schools during O’Malley’s second term as Mayor, has been successfully applied in several school districts and state education agencies across the country, including Philadelphia, PA, Washington, DC, Wichita, KS, Paterson, NJ, and Jackson, MS, among many others. School districts are Stat-ing everything from building cleanliness to effective teaching techniques, and with the current federal push for more accountability and data-based decision-making in education, we are likely to see much more of SchoolStat in the coming months and years. While SchoolStat usually looks slightly different the the CitiStat model I participated in during its early days, the same four valuable tenets always apply: accurate and timely intelligence shared by all; effective tactics and strategies; rapid deployment of resources; and relentless follow-up and assessment.
I have no doubt that the “Good Government” practice of CitiStat will continue to find its way into other areas of public sector management. Baltimore and Maryland deserve a lot of credit for that.