Monday, March 30, 2020

Michael Wiseman, longtime APPAM member, passes away

APPAM mourns the loss of distinguished member Prof. Michael Wiseman, a Research Professor of Public Policy, Public Administration, and Economics at the GW Institute of Public Policy.


Early View JPAM Articles Available

January 29, 2015 10:55 AM

Here are some Early View JPAM Articles:

Incentives, Selection, and Teacher Performance: Evidence from IMPACT, By Thomas Dee and James Wyckoff,

Teachers in the United States are compensated largely on the basis of fixed schedules that reward experience and credentials. However, there is a growing interest in whether performance-based incentives based on rigorous teacher evaluations can improve teacher retention and performance. The evidence available to date has been mixed at best. This study presents novel evidence on this topic based on IMPACT, the controversial teacher-evaluation system introduced in the District of Columbia Public Schools by then-Chancellor Michelle Rhee. IMPACT implemented uniquely high-powered incentives linked to multiple measures of teacher performance (i.e., several structured observational measures as well as test performance). We present regression-discontinuity (RD) estimates that compare the retention and performance outcomes among low-performing teachers whose ratings placed them near the threshold that implied a strong dismissal threat. We also compare outcomes among high-performing teachers whose rating placed them near a threshold that implied an unusually large financial incentive. Our RD results indicate that dismissal threats increased the voluntary attrition of low-performing teachers by 11 percentage points (i.e., more than 50 percent) and improved the performance of teachers who remained by 0.27 of a teacher-level standard deviation. We also find evidence that financial incentives further improved the performance of high-performing teachers.

Symposium on Policy Informatics, by Anand Desai and Yushim Kim,

It has not been long since we realized that the recent changes in information and communications technologies are altering the way society functions. Knowledge management is now an important management function in industry and government, spawning new titles—chief information officer—and the creation of new departments such as the Office of E-Government and Information Technology within the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (Whitehouse, 2014). These developments have generated considerable interest in new avenues for research in the pages of this journal (Cook, 2014; Pirog, 2014) and elsewhere (Lazer et al., 2009), giving rise to new analysis, evaluation, and management questions. Such questions have also been the subject of presidential addresses to the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (Archibald, 2012; Decker, 2014). Addressing these questions is important because the decisions we make today for the governance and study of information and information technologies will establish precedent for the future.

Policy informatics is an umbrella term that refers to this emerging field of study, which exists at the intersection of the public, private, and nonprofit sectors and has consequences for all aspects of civil society. Currently, the field consists of two research streams: (1) focusing on digitization of government agencies, functions, and processes; and (2) leveraging computational tools and techniques to understand the complexity of policy and managerial problems.



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