Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Video: APPAM/Westat Forum - Bringing Rigor and Intentionality to Mixed Methods Evaluations

A day-long forum sponsored by Westat and APPAM will focus researchers on sharpening and expanding the mixed method paradigm to respond to these concerns and t enable impact evaluations to make larger contributions to policy learning. Major themes include the roles of mixed methods evaluation in explaining/understanding impact findings from randomized control trials and in strengthening quasi-experimental analytic methods to ward off selection bias.

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APPAM Volunteer Opportunity Alert

Dec 18, 2018 04:06 PM

We are looking for individuals to join the International Conference Program Committee, which reviews the submissions for our Barcelona conference. Reviewers are essential to efficiently evaluate proposals and to ensure the quality of session offerings for conference attendees.


2018 Mentor Program is Nearly Full - Apply Today

Sep 11, 2018 01:26 PM

There are only a few mentee spots left for APPAM student members in the 2018 Mentor Matching Program. Complete your application today.


Register for the next APPAM Webinar: You're Hired! Now What?

You’ve defended your dissertation, aced the interview, and snagged a coveted faulty position – congrats! But now what? Join APPAM policy academics as they divulge what to do (and not do) after you’ve received a faculty position. Attendees will learn how to negotiate offers, what your new employer expects from you, how to prepare as a new-hire, and what the post-interview timeline looks like.


APPAM Leadership Win Moynihan Prize

Feb 17, 2016 09:22 PM

The American Academy of Political and Social Science (AAPSS) named social policy experts Ron Haskins and Isabel Sawhill as the winners of the 2016 Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize.


APPAM Closed for Holiday Season

Dec 24, 2014 02:00 PM

The Association will be closed from 12/24/2014 through 1/4/2015. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season!


Incremental Delivery of Financial Aid to Promote College Success

Dec 22, 2014 02:30 PM

A large-scale evaluation of whether an innovative approach to distributing financial aid – through bi-weekly payments, like a paycheck, instead of one or two lump-sum payments – can improve academic outcomes for low-income college students.


A Grad Student Experiences First Fall Conference

Dec 22, 2014 02:00 PM

As a graduate student in economics from the University of Washington, the Fall Research Conference organized by APPAM was a fantastic opportunity to learn and interact with scholars and practitioners from different fields and institutions. I attended this conference to present my work on educational policy, more specifically, how environmental pollution may impact students’ academic performance.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Dec 20, 2014 02:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


Housing America’s Seniors: Demand, Supply, and Public Policy

Dec 18, 2014 06:00 PM

Affordable and accessible housing is a central tenet for people of all ages, especially so for older adults over the age of 65. Housing is often the largest cost in most household budgets, which directly affects day-to-day financial security and future wealthbuilding. Over the next three decades, the number of American households headed by people of age 65 and older will increase dramatically.


A Call for Big Changes to Meet a Big Challenge at Community Colleges

Dec 18, 2014 03:00 PM

More than a decade of efforts to propel low-income and underserved students through community college have fallen short because states and colleges haven’t made systemwide commitments to strategies like streamlining degree requirements, accelerating remediation, and financially rewarding colleges for raising graduation and persistence rates, according to a report being released today by Jobs for the Future.


Johns Hopkins to get up to $49M for evidence-based health care work

Dec 18, 2014 02:00 PM

Johns Hopkins' Evidence-Based Practice Center has been awarded a five-year federal contract worth up to $49 million. The award from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality is intended to promote the use of data for making medical decisions and shaping public policy. The Evidence-Based Practice Center at Hopkins is one of 13 in the country.


Reimagining the Educational Path to the Workforce

Dec 17, 2014 05:00 PM

One of the most longstanding problems that plagues the American postsecondary education system is the lack of a clear pathway for students to follow from the start of their education to their career. Complete College America, a national nonprofit that is dedicated to expanding the pool of American college graduates, tackles this problem as one of its five “game-changer” strategies, the Guided Pathways to Success (GPS).


Staunton school leaders, teachers learning data literacy

Dec 17, 2014 03:00 PM

Analyzing data from past performances can often be a good indicator of future success. It’s true in many industries, and true for education. But when you have so much data, scores and benchmarks for thousands of students, how does a school division break down that data? How does it set aside the data that isn’t going to be beneficial and focus on the information that is?


Affordable Care Act swelling ranks of self-employed, report says

Some economists and health experts say the ACA is spurring people to quit their jobs to pursue self-employment – and the trend is already starting to reap benefits for the economy as people feel free to pursue their desired careers.


Want better schools? Pay for them

Dec 16, 2014 03:00 PM

Public policies shape the footprints we leave as a society. The establishment of schools and the commitment to educating the masses during our nation's early history have been instrumental in creating the type of nation we have experienced over time.


Local and State Minimum Wage Laws

Dec 16, 2014 02:00 PM

A wave of states and cities have recently passed laws raising their local minimum wage requirement above the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Earlier this year, my home city of Seattle passed a new law raising our minimum wage to $15 per hour by 2017, and San Francisco voters this month likewise approved a ballot measure to raise the city’s minimum wage to $15 by 2018. Many commentators were surprised that voters in traditionally “red” states passed minimum wage increases.


What Might Evidence-based Policy 2.0 Look Like?

Dec 15, 2014 03:00 PM

Vivian Tseng has been reading about the evolution of the internet lately, and it has her thinking about what the next generation of evidence-based policy might look like.


Data and the Quest for Available Access

Dec 15, 2014 02:00 PM

Data is the bedrock of our work as scholars and teachers of public policy and management and as we study and educate with the goal of improving the quality of policy and management. Our approaches vary, but whatever our discipline and methodology, we learn by observation.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Dec 13, 2014 02:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


The U.S. Middle Class Has Faced a Huge “Inequality Tax” in Recent Decades

Dec 12, 2014 04:00 PM

In 2014, rising income inequality became a front-burner political issue, as policymakers and the general public became more aware of the enormous stakes for the American middle-class.


Creating Access to Opportunities for Youth in Transition from Foster Care

In “Creating Access To Opportunities For Youth In Transition From Foster Care,” the American Youth Policy Forum has highlighted best practices and policies and made recommendations to support youth in transition from foster care in three critical areas of need – sustainable social capital, permanency supports, and access to postsecondary opportunities.


When It Comes to Early Learning, Preschool Isn't Enough

Dec 12, 2014 02:00 PM

The country still needs a lot more investment to really change the life trajectory of young kids being raised by poor, single moms.


The Moderating Role of Leader-Leader Exchange

Dec 11, 2014 04:00 PM

In this study, the authors propose that the upward leader-leader exchange (LLX) relationship is an important moderating condition in predicting the consequences of leader-member exchange (LMX) differentiation within work groups.


Corporate Tax Cuts and Foreign Direct Investment

Dec 11, 2014 03:30 PM

Accurate policy evaluation is central to optimal policymaking, but difficult to achieve. Most often, analysts have to work with observational data and cannot directly observe the counterfactual of a policy to assess its effect accurately.


Short-Sighted Challenges to Evidence-Based Policy

Dec 11, 2014 03:30 PM

Something revolutionary is happening: Evidence-based policy is taking hold in Washington. As described in two new books – "Moneyball for Government" and "Show Me the Evidence" – the Obama administration has made a series of strategic moves to increase the use of evidence by federal agencies and state and local programs. In other words, these programs are being assessed to see if they actually work – not a common occurrence inside the Beltway.


Report: The pros and cons of using big data to monitor drug safety

Dec 11, 2014 03:00 PM

A new report by researchers at RTI Health Solutions (RTI-HS) and parent company RTI International, found that although healthcare databases have allowed for greater access to real world medical data, using databases to evaluate the safety of medical products is complex and requires careful research consideration.​


Now Taking Applications for Open Student Seat on APPAM's Policy Council

Dec 11, 2014 02:02 PM

As part of the approved changes to APPAM's Policy Council from 2013, two student seats were created to better include the student voice in APPAM's governing body. Each seat is a two-year staggered term. One student will be appointed annually by a committee co-chaired by the APPAM President, Jane Waldfogel, and the Chair of Institutional Representatives, Michael Shires. Sarah Cordes was appointed in 2014 and is halfway through her term as student representative.


How the 1986 immigration law compares with Obama’s program

Dec 10, 2014 04:00 PM

As the federal government gears up to offer deportation relief to about 4 million unauthorized immigrants, it’s worth looking back to 1986, when a new law established what was then the biggest legalization and citizenship process in U.S. history. One similarity between then and now: No one knows how many people will apply.


New York Federal Reserve Bank Establishes Integrated Policy Analysis Group

Dec 10, 2014 03:00 PM

The New York Fed has announced the formation of its Integrated Policy Analysis Group (IPA).


Rutgers Ph.D. Student Helps Revitalize Park in Camden

Dec 10, 2014 02:30 PM

Growing up in a poor neighborhood in the Southeast Bronx, Rasheda L. Weaver knew that she was going to make a difference. “I believed that I was smart and could do anything I put my mind to, while many of my peers felt poverty limited their potential to do and be something great,” recalls the Ph.D. candidate in public affairs-community development at Rutgers University–Camden.


Outgoing President Angela Evans Looks Back at 2014

Dec 10, 2014 02:00 PM

APPAM's outgoing president, Angela Evans, took a few moments to look back at her term and share her thoughts on future challenges facing the Association, entering APPAM leadership roles, and her excitement for the organization's future.


Newly named center to expand its public policy role

Dec 09, 2014 03:30 PM

UMass Dartmouth has renamed and relaunched its Center for Policy Analysis as the Public Policy Center under the direction of Dr. Michael Goodman. The PPC will play a critical role in regional and statewide policy discussions by providing public, private, and non-profit leaders with the analytical support required to make the Commonwealth, region, and Massachusetts cities and towns better places to live, work, and do business, the university said in a statement.


The Search For A National Child Health Coverage Policy

Dec 09, 2014 02:15 PM

Thirty-eight percent of US children depend on publicly financed health insurance, reflecting both its expansion and the steady erosion of employment-based coverage. Continued funding for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is an immediate priority. But broader reforms aimed at improving the quality of coverage for all insured children, with a special emphasis on children living in low-income families, are also essential.


Call for Proposals: Spring Conference 2015

Dec 08, 2014 03:00 PM

The goal of the conference is to begin a dialogue among academic researchers; policymakers, who create policy; and practitioners, who implement policy. The conversation aims to advance the exchange of knowledge and information among these sectors, creating better informed policy deliberations. APPAM will use this conference to determine if the Association can play a role in this exchange, and if so, what that may entail.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Dec 06, 2014 02:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


Institute for the Social Sciences supports diverse faculty research

Dec 05, 2014 05:00 PM

Understanding why college students check Facebook so often and whether the stigma of having a father in jail affects elementary school teachers’ expectations of students are just two of many questions social scientists are exploring using research grants awarded last month by the Institute for the Social Sciences.


Activists Wield Search Data to Challenge and Change Police Policy

Rather than relying on demonstrations to force change, a coalition of ministers, lawyers and community and political activists turned to numbers. They used an analysis of state data from 2002 to 2013 that showed that the Durham police searched black male motorists at more than twice the rate of white males during stops. Drugs and other illicit materials were found no more often on blacks.


University of Michigan joins national effort to expand college access

Dec 04, 2014 05:40 PM

The University of Michigan was invited to join President Obama and hundreds of college presidents and other higher education leaders on December 4 to announce new actions to help more students prepare for and graduate from college.


Student Update: Winter 2014

Dec 04, 2014 03:00 PM

Policy Council student representative Sarah Cordes gives a recap of this year's fall conference and other Association issues that impact students.


Show Me the Evidence: Highlighting the Fight for Results in Social Policy

Dec 03, 2014 02:30 PM

A vast majority of social programs active today are never evaluated; those that do undergo evaluation are found to be ineffective. Yet these programs continue to be paid for by American taxpayers. In a new book, Ron Haskins and Greg Margolis found that the Obama administration began expanding the work begun during the Bush presidency in planning, enacting, and implementing several initiatives to fund social programs based on rigorous evidence of success.


Figuring out what works, whether the goal is curing Ebola or improving public policies

Urban Institute believes in the power of good research to strengthen public policy, help find solutions, and elevate the debate about what works. Random control trials constitute a very important tool in their tool kit.


The Hubert Project: Where Interactive Teaching Meets Interactive Technology

Dec 02, 2014 03:00 PM

From conversations with public affairs colleagues both nationally and internationally, Jodi Sandfort has found that we are largely missing the boat when it comes to applying the latest research on teaching and learning in what we do in our classrooms. Interactive pedagogies, experiential learning, multimedia presentations are all things documented to improve adult learning outcomes. However, many of our teaching methods have not kept abreast.


APPAM Office Closed for Holiday

Nov 27, 2014 10:00 AM

The APPAM office is closed Nov. 27 and 28 for the Thanksgiving Day holiday.


Obamacare’s Complexity is Not Designed to Fool People

Nov 25, 2014 05:00 PM

Obamacare’s complexity is really driven by the complexity of our present health care system—and the preferences of the American people.


Study: Public support for LGBT rights up in last three decades

Nov 25, 2014 03:30 PM

Public support for the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender ( LGBT ) people in the United States has increased significantly over the last three decades, according to a new study released today by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law. National trends suggest that increased support for LGBT rights is not exclusively due to a generational shift, but due, in part, to a broad cultural shift towards acceptance that has impacted people of all ages and ideologies in the country.


Early-Life Origins of Life-Cycle Well-Being

Nov 25, 2014 02:00 PM

Mounting evidence across different disciplines suggests that early-life conditions can have consequences on individual outcomes throughout the life cycle. Relative to other developed countries, the United States fares poorly on standard indicators of early-life health, and this disadvantage may have profound consequences not only for population well-being, but also for economic growth and competitiveness in a global economy.


Are Children Better Off Than They Were 25 Years Ago?

Nov 24, 2014 04:00 PM

25 years ago, the United Nations laid the foundation for children's rights and protections - at least as part of international theater. The Convention on the Rights of the Child is the most ratified human rights treaty in history but three members, Somalia, South Sudan and the United States, have not signed it even though the Reagan administration wrote most of the verbiage.


Training Future Leaders to Master Policy and IT

Nov 24, 2014 03:19 PM

Data-driven decision-making is becoming an increasingly important part of government management. But public policy schools still tend to treat data analysis as a very separate, segregated function. That could be changing. This year, the University of Chicago launched a two-year master’s program that blends public policy education with IT skills.


The Civil Rights Act and the War on Poverty: 50 Years Later

Nov 24, 2014 03:00 PM

The Civil Rights Act and the War on Poverty: 50 Years Later served as a forum to discuss the legacies of arguably two of the most important legislative and policy agendas of the past half century.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Nov 21, 2014 07:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


Chicago Harris Shines at APPAM Conference

Nov 21, 2014 03:30 PM

Chicago Harris had a strong presence at the Association of Public Policy and Management’s Annual Fall Research Conference, held November 6–8 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


New portal to provide broad access to public data in Vermont

Nov 21, 2014 02:00 PM

Public data abounds in modern times, but relatively little of it is publicly accessible, and even less of it is linked in a meaningful way. Spreadsheets and databases often live on closed computer networks inside individual state agencies or organizations. The information is difficult to access and analyze, and thus its usefulness is limited.


Reassessing the Effects of Extending Unemployment Insurance Benefits

Nov 21, 2014 02:00 PM

In October 2009, the civilian unemployment rate in the U.S. touched 10 percent, higher than at any time since WWII save a year in the mid-1980s (figure 1). This severe, almost unprecedented, increase in unemployment prompted equally unprecedented public policy responses from federal and state governments.


Medicare, Medicaid get ‘big data’ chief

Nov 20, 2014 04:30 PM

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is creating the position of chief data officer to improve transparency, agency officials said Wednesday. Niall Brennan, the agency official who will take on the role, will be charged with collecting and disseminating information about Medicare, Medicaid, the ObamaCare marketplaces, the Children's Health Insurance Program and other initiatives.


Absent Major Change, High Wealth Inequality Will Likely Remain the Norm

There is no doubt that income inequality is growing. A recent CBO report that traced market income (before taxes or government transfer payments) shows that 80 percent of U.S. households had a smaller share of market income in 2007 (before the Great Recession) than in 1979. Even the top 20 percent, taken as a whole, increased its share of market income by less than half a percentage point.


Study shows amount of learning time falls at high-poverty schools

Teachers in high-poverty schools are more likely than their peers in low-poverty schools to report more time lost for academic instruction due to poor access to libraries, technology and qualified substitute teachers, a new study by the UCLA Institute for Democracy, Education and Access (IDEA) found.​


Introducing APPAM's New President-Elect Ron Haskins

Nov 18, 2014 07:00 PM

At the recent Fall Research Conference, the Association's Nominating Committee, co-chaired by past presidents Paul Decker and Sandra Archibald, submitted to the membership the nomination of Ron Haskins as the next President-Elect. The motion was carried unanimously.


Former Metro Atlanta Chamber Exec Joins Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State

Nov 18, 2014 03:47 PM

Retired Metro Atlanta Chamber President Sam A. Williams, a nationally recognized expert in urban competitiveness, has joined the faculty of the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University.​


Urban Institute: Evaluation: Rebuild by Design Phase I

Nov 13, 2014 03:00 PM

Rebuild by Design launched in June 2013 by the federal Hurricane Sandy Task Force. HUD, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the JPB Foundation partnered with the Urban Institute to evaluate the first phase of RBD from conception through design awards. The evaluation found that RBD’s implementation held true to its innovative vision for integrating design competition into disaster recovery and its ambition for regional and resilient infrastructure.


Analyzing Different Enrollment Outcomes in Select States

Nov 13, 2014 03:00 PM

Researchers analyze why two pairs of states in the federally facilitated marketplace (FFM) had very different enrollment rates in 2014, comparing North Carolina with South Carolina, and Wisconsin with Ohio.


Paternity Leave: The Rewards and the Remaining Stigma

Nov 12, 2014 03:00 PM

Women’s role in society and the economy has been transformed over the last half-century. Today, 70 percent of women with children at home are in the labor force, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. But only recently have men’s roles begun to change in significant ways. APPAM President-Elect Jane Waldfogel, Columbia University, is quoted in this NYT article.


Session Recap: Medicaid Policy, Scope of Practice Regulations, and Access to Care

Nov 12, 2014 02:00 PM

With the ACA increasing coverage of low-income people through Medicaid expansions, there has been much research on the effect of such an expansion on healthcare and health. The group of researchers presenting in this panel look at the impacts of Medicaid on various aspects of healthcare.


APPAM Phones Down

Nov 12, 2014 02:00 PM

APPAM's office phone system is currently down. If you need to contact an APPAM staff member, please email them with your contact information and they will get back to you as soon as possible.


Works in Progress: Poster Session Profiles

Posters at this year’s Fall Research Conference spanned a wide realm of policy topics with a varied range of descriptive and analytical methods. Some of the winning posters gave a short video presentation, which you can find on the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday announcements.


Jobs-Plus: An Evidence-Based Program for Public Housing Residents Expands

Oct 30, 2014 02:30 PM

Jobs-Plus — a model proven to help public housing residents find work — is about to be replicated across the country. But to expect similar results as have been achieved in the past, practitioners need to learn from others’ experiences with the program. MDRC has developed a guide to implementing Jobs-Plus, and in 2015 will release a new report on replicating the model.


Humphrey School welcomes inaugural Ph.D. cohort

Oct 29, 2014 04:00 PM

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota this fall welcomed seven highly accomplished students to its new Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Public Affairs program. Together these emerging scholars bring extensive experience and a passion for studying policy and planning related to many pressing societal concerns, including energy innovation and environmental practices; private sector philanthropy and social welfare; and transit development and social equity.


Know Before You Go to the 2014 APPAM Fall Research Conference

Oct 28, 2014 05:00 PM

The Association’s 36th annual Fall Research Conference is in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attendees from locations all around the world will be arriving to learn about the latest in research. Several special events, symposia, and networking opportunities round out these intensely packed three days. To make the most of your conference experience, here are some last-minute tips...


NCAA's Graduation Rates Don't Necessarily Prove Success

Oct 28, 2014 01:00 PM

Last year, the association reported that 82 percent of Division I athletes had graduated within a recent six-year period, up from 74 percent a decade before. Last year’s data also showed that a record proportion of football players from major conferences completed college in that time.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Oct 24, 2014 06:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


Sec. Duncan Urges California to Become a National Model of Early Learning

Oct 24, 2014 01:30 PM

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan challenged California to stand up as the model of what a high-quality early child care and education system should look lik


Help APPAM Select Conference Sessions to Record

Oct 23, 2014 01:00 PM

This year, APPAM wants our members and others in the public policy profession to help us select sessions at this year's Fall Research Conference to record for post-conference viewing. Whether you're attending this year's conference in Albuquerque, New Mexico or not, everyone has a say!


What Really Happens at Community Colleges? A Tool Taps Data for Answers

Oct 22, 2014 01:00 PM

How do community-college students move from their first class to their first job? Plenty of educators and analysts would like to know more about that process.


It's Time to Rethink Education Policy and Consider Pre-K Plus

Oct 20, 2014 04:00 PM

A new report released earlier this month shows that “universal” policies aren’t actually doing a good job of helping the low-income children who need pre-K the most and get the greatest benefits from it.​


Slow Health Care Spending Growth Moderates GDP Growth In The Short Term And Policy Targets Should Reflect This

Oct 20, 2014 02:00 PM

Economic growth is most often measured by growth in gross domestic product (GDP), which is the value of all final goods and services produced in an economy. Recent revisions to the first quarter 2014 estimates of U.S. GDP growth have raised concerns over the extent to which the Affordable Care Act (ACA) might be impacting economic growth.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Oct 18, 2014 01:00 PM

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


EPI: Home Values Have Seen Starkly Disparate Recoveries by Race

Oct 17, 2014 01:00 PM

Though it is widely believed that home values have stabilized in most areas during the recovery, a recent report by the Federal Reserve found that between 2010 and 2013, the inflation-adjusted median home value for all homeowners declined 7 percent. Even more startling, however, is how unevenly home values have recovered by race of the homeowner.


MDRC: The Effects of New York City’s Small High Schools of Choice on Postsecondary Enrollment

Oct 16, 2014 02:00 PM

Since 2010, MDRC has released three research reports on the New York City Department of Education’s multiyear initiative to create small public high schools that are open to any student who wants to attend. This brief adds evidence from a fourth cohort on high school graduation and presents MDRC’s first results with respect to these schools’ effects on postsecondary enrollment.


Chronicle: A Response to 'An Open Letter to Journal Editors'

Oct 16, 2014 01:30 PM

The problem in doctoral education is not students writing scholarly articles; the problem is the dissertation and the publishing process.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


NIH Awards $32 Million to Tackle Big Data in Medicine

Oct 10, 2014 01:30 PM

The National Institutes of Health on Thursday awarded almost $32-million in grants to more than two dozen institutions to devise innovative ways of helping researchers handle huge sets of data seen as increasingly central to future medical discoveries.


10 States Where Income Inequality Has Soared

Oct 08, 2014 01:30 PM

Although average real income in the United States increased by more than a third between 1979 and 2007, not all workers benefited equally. In each of the 50 states, income growth among the top 1% of earners rapidly outpaced that of the bottom 99%, according to a recent study. APPAM member and Cornell professor Richard Burkhauser is quoted within.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Best tweets and posts across the research and policy social media feeds for the week.


Is Marriage Coming Back?

Oct 03, 2014 04:00 PM

At a seminar to discuss my new book, Generation Unbound, we had a lively debate on the question of whether marriage can be restored in the United States with some believing it will be and others being more skeptical. Although I have tended to fall into the latter camp, the simple truth is that none of us knows. Here is my current list of reasons to be optimistic or pessimistic on this front. (by Isabel Sawhill, an APPAM past president)


EPI: Flexibility and Overtime Among Hourly and Salaried Workers

Oct 03, 2014 01:45 PM

Some of the debate over raising the threshold hinges on the idea that salaried workers newly eligible for overtime pay would become more like hourly workers because their employers would need to track these workers’ hours.


Could work-study jobs, Section 8 Housing help Students?

Oct 02, 2014 01:30 PM

Longtime University of Texas at Brownsville President Juliet García — currently focused on creating a new academic institute in South Texas — is proposing two innovative ways to increase retention and completion among at-risk college students: offering them Section 8-like housing assistance and tying their federal financial aid to on-campus jobs.


Sen. Mike Lee says conservatives need to lead new war on poverty

Oct 02, 2014 01:00 PM

Sen. Mike Lee told a Sutherland Institute audience Wednesday that Americans are ready to launch a new war on poverty, "if conservatives can somehow summon the courage to lead that very fight." The Utah Republican spoke at a fundraising dinner for the conservative public policy think tank along with Arthur Brooks, the head of the American Enterprise Institute who has written about the morality of free enterprise.


Jobless Receiving Unemployment Insurance at a Record Low

Oct 01, 2014 04:00 PM

It has been nearly nine full months since Congress allowed a program extending state unemployment benefits to the long-term jobless to expire. In that time, millions of Americans, who less than a year ago would have been eligible for an additional six months of unemployment benefits, have seen them cut off.


New AIR Report Looks at Ph.D. Gender Imbalance in Academic Fields

Oct 01, 2014 03:00 PM

A new American Institutes for Research (AIR) research brief identifies the most gender imbalanced academic fields in which Ph.D.'s are awarded. In the STEM field, animal sciences and mathematics had far more men earning doctorates while forestry, information science/studies and three categories of engineering had more women. The findings come from one of two new research briefs on STEM Ph.D.'s AIR released today. The other paper looks at graduate school funding.


Navigant Launches New Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis

Sep 30, 2014 03:00 PM

Navigant has launched the Navigant Center for Healthcare Research and Policy Analysis (Center) - a data-driven, non-partisan resource center designed to bring valuable insights relative to how changing health policy and market dynamics are impacting the U.S. healthcare system.


Humphrey School Announces New President Bill Clinton Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion

Sep 30, 2014 01:00 PM

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota announced last week the creation of a special President Bill Clinton Scholarship for Diversity and Inclusion, in honor of President Clinton’s June 9, 2014, visit to the University of Minnesota.


Volunteers Still Needed for 2014 Fall Conference

Sep 29, 2014 02:00 PM

APPAM is in need of a few more volunteers to work at the 2014 Fall Research Conference, November 6 - 8, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


Where Poverty and Inequality Intersect

Sep 26, 2014 01:30 PM

In the United States, the gap between those at the top of the economic ladder and those at the bottom is wide and growing. Since the Great Recession, public discourse has focused primarily on the earnings of top executives—the top 1 percent—in comparison with low-wage workers.


Best of Social Media for the Week

See what all the fuss was about on public policy in social media this week.


Spending cuts to education and nutrition will hurt kids

Sep 19, 2014 01:00 PM

A new report Thursday found that only 2% of the projected increase in federal spending over the next decade will be dedicated to programs benefiting children.


Four Ways to Fix the U.S. Retirement System

Sep 18, 2014 02:00 PM

Boomers have expressed a strong desire to remain engaged in the market economy. They still want to make a difference. They’re a creative force for change. (APPAM member Richard Burkhauser, Cornell University, is quoted within.)


USC Funding Opportunities for Entering Masters Students

Sep 17, 2014 06:00 PM

The USC Price School of Public Policy is happy to announce PPIA's new Leadership in Diversity Fellowships, which recognize entering graduate students who demonstrate strong leadership abilities and are committed to diversity, inclusion, and social justice. Students entering the Master of Health Administration, Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Master of Planning, Master of Public Administration, and Master of Public Policy programs will be considered for these fellowships.


Student Update: Fall 2014

Sep 17, 2014 05:00 PM

APPAM Policy Council Student Representative Sarah Cordes discusses an important workshop taking place prior to this year's Fall Research Conference, networking opportunities at the conference, and the next opening for a student representative on the Association's Policy Council.


Baker Institute Student Forum competition to feature undergraduate public policy proposals for energy

Sep 16, 2014 06:00 PM

Twelve undergraduate finalist teams from universities across the country will present their policy proposals on how best to address existing problems or emerging opportunities in the energy sector and other areas of energy policy in the United States at the Baker Institute Student Forum (BISF)’s second annual public policy conference Sept. 20 at Rice University.


Medicaid expansion will sting Utah's economy

Sep 16, 2014 02:30 PM

A new report published by the Federalism in Acton Project (FIA) definitively shows that Medicaid expansion will reverse the recent post-recession growth in Utah's private sector. This means two things for Utah families: they will bring home less income and will suffer from the loss of private sector jobs.


Beyond Marriage

Sep 15, 2014 06:00 PM

MARRIAGE is disappearing. More than 40 percent of new mothers are unmarried. Many young adults drift into parenthood unintentionally. They may be cohabiting at the time of their child’s birth, but about half of these couples will have split up by the time their child is 5 years old. College-educated young adults are still marrying before having children and planning their families more intentionally. The rest of America, about two-thirds of the population, is not.


Aging Behind Bars

Sep 15, 2014 03:14 PM

Did you know that people who have spent time behind bars can experience “accelerated aging” so that the physiological age of some older prisoners is up to 15 years greater than their chronological age? While this may be caused by a host of related factors—including histories of unhealthy behaviors and inadequate healthcare—there is little doubt that the trauma and stress of the prison environment can have an impact on prisoners’ accelerated aging and deterioration of health.


Best of Social Media for the Week

Sep 12, 2014 06:00 PM

Here's some interesting items from around the public policy social media circuit this week.


Why the Geographic Variation in Health Care Spending Can’t Tell Us Much About the Efficiency or Quality of Our Health Care System

Sep 12, 2014 03:00 PM

This paper by Louise Sheiner examines the geographic variation in Medicare and non-Medicare health spending and finds little support for the view that most of the variation is likely attributable to differences in practice styles. Instead, she finds that socioeconomic factors that affect the need for medical care, as well as interactions between the Medicare system and other parts of the health system, can account, in an econometric sense, for most of the variation in Medicare health spending.


An Untapped Force in the Fight for Literacy

Sep 12, 2014 01:00 PM

Resources are always short in education. So it is welcome news that two recent studies show that task-shifting tutoring programs can work on a wide scale — and that scale can be achieved relatively affordably. A look at two studies from MDRC and NORC.


Mason Unveils Merged Policy and Government Units

Sep 11, 2014 02:16 PM

As the intricate world of government and international affairs has changed, George Mason University has worked to prepare students for this evolving landscape by creating a new school. Classes have begun at the new School for Policy, Government, and International Affairs. The school offers students a varied choice of majors, degrees and professional opportunities that will prepare global and domestic government and policy leaders.


Limited Impact on Health and Access to Care for 19- to 25-Year-Olds Following the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act

Sep 09, 2014 01:00 PM

Implementation of the PPACA was associated with increased health insurance coverage for 19- to 25-year-olds without significant changes in perceived health care affordability or health status. Although the likelihood of having a usual source of care declined between 2009 and 2012 for all, this decrease was smaller among 19- to 25-year-olds, and younger adults were more likely than 26- to 34-year-olds to have a usual source of care.


Why I’m not freaking out too much about the foreign funding of American think tanks

Sep 08, 2014 05:00 PM

Before we cry havoc and let slip the dogs of hypocrisy charges, it’s worth considering that think tanks have to get their funding from somewhere. One can argue for greater transparency in revealing their sources, but the important point is that the sources are pretty narrow: foreign governments, the U.S. government, foundations, large corporations, or really wealthy individuals.


Foreign Powers Buy Influence at Think Tanks

Sep 08, 2014 02:00 PM

More than a dozen prominent Washington research groups have received tens of millions of dollars from foreign governments in recent years while pushing United States government officials to adopt policies that often reflect the donors’ priorities, an investigation by The New York Times has found.


Best of Twitter This Week

Sep 05, 2014 05:00 PM

Here's some interesting tweets from around the public policy Twitter circuit this week. Follow us @APPAM_DC and join the conversation!


Shortcomings of State Lottery-Funded Scholarships Outlined in New Paper from AASCU

Sep 05, 2014 02:00 PM

Despite their political popularity, state lottery-funded scholarship programs may not be the best mechanism to address college access and affordability, according to a new policy brief from the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. There are 44 states with lottery programs, 26 of which have earmarked funds for K-12 or higher education. While 11 states fund higher education with lottery revenues, eight use the money for merit-based scholarships specifically.


The Race Gap in America’s Police Departments

Sep 04, 2014 02:00 PM

In hundreds of police departments across the country, the percentage of whites on the force is more than 30 percentage points higher than in the communities they serve, according to an analysis of a government survey of police departments. Minorities make up a quarter of police forces, according to the 2007 survey, the most recent comprehensive data available.


Dietary Quality Improves in US But Gap Between The Rich And Poor Increases

Sep 02, 2014 04:00 PM

Dietary quality in the United States has improved steadily in recent years - spurred in large part by reduced intake of trans fat - but overall dietary quality remains poor and disparities continue to widen among socioeconomic and racial/ethnic groups, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).


Colorado's policy leads to stunning drop in teen births

Sep 02, 2014 02:30 PM

Between 2007 and 2012, Colorado saw the highest percentage drop in birthrates among teens 15 to 19 in the country, according to a report released recently by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics.


U.S. $2 a Day Poverty in a Global Context: Five Questions Answered

Aug 29, 2014 03:00 PM

What percentage of Americans live on under $2 a day? This question was posed in an important study of U.S. poverty last year by Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin. The authors found that millions of Americans live on less than $2 a day. This finding is striking. The $2 threshold has traditionally been used to measure poverty in the developing world and is far below the official U.S. poverty line, which is equivalent to around $16 per person per day.


Urban: The costs of gun violence go beyond the hospital price tag

Aug 29, 2014 02:30 PM

The Urban Institute's new study on the consequences of gun violence in six states has gotten a lot of attention for its findings about the cost of hospital care and who pays for it. And with good reason—the financial costs of gun violence are enormous. In 2010, national costs totaled nearly $670 million, most of which is paid for by the public, either through public insurance programs like Medicaid or through the public subsidy of uncompensated care costs for the uninsured.


Who won the War on Poverty?

Aug 28, 2014 03:00 PM

President Ronald Reagan quipped: “In the ’60s we waged a war on poverty, and poverty won.” Did it? This month, 50 years since President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Economic Opportunity Act, effectively kicking off the War on Poverty, is a good time to answer that question.


High-Ranking United Nations Official Returns to Academia as New Dean of UMD’s School of Public Policy

Aug 28, 2014 02:09 PM

The University of Maryland announced the appointment of Robert Orr, Ph.D., as the incoming Dean of the School of Public Policy. Dr. Orr’s 10 years with the United Nations and his leadership within academia, U.S. Government, and the think tank and not-for-profit sectors make him the clear choice to set the school’s strategic vision for the future.


Study: Minority-Serving Schools Serve Students of Color as Well as Predominantly White Institutions

Aug 28, 2014 01:00 PM

A new study challenges the notion that Black and Latino students are less likely to earn a college degree if they attend minority-serving institutions, such as historically Black universities or Hispanic-serving universities. The study reports that Black and Latino students who enroll at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) are equally as likely to complete college as Black and Latino students who attend other colleges and universities.


Study: LGBT Americans report less access to health care

Aug 27, 2014 04:00 PM

Gallup released a new study authored by Williams Distinguished Scholar Gary J. Gates, Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law, showing that LGBT adults are more likely than their non-LGBT counterparts to lack health insurance coverage ( 17.6% v. 13.2%, respectively).


Preservice Elementary Teachers’ Understandings of Competing Notions of Academic Achievement Coexisting in Post-NCLB Public Schools

Aug 27, 2014 02:30 PM

Since the 2002 implementation of No Child Left Behind , teaching in public school contexts has become more complex and challenging. Today, public school teachers at all grade levels are accountable for maintaining a steady focus on their students’ academic achievement. However, many teachers have found themselves wrestling with two conflicting understandings of academic achievement.


Federal stimulus fails to protect college affordability, study finds

Aug 27, 2014 01:32 PM

Whilst state lawmakers honored provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 by not slashing their appropriations for greater education during the current financial crisis, a new analysis by larger education professional Jennifer A. Delaney indicates that the stimulus program could have failed to market college access and affordability.


Brookings: Saving Horatio Alger - Equality, Opportunity, and the American Dream

Aug 26, 2014 06:00 PM

Contrary to the Horatio Alger myth, social mobility rates in the United States are lower than in most of Europe. There are forces at work in America now—forces related not just to income and wealth but also to family structure and education—that put the country at risk of creating an ossified, self-perpetuating class structure, with disastrous implications for opportunity and, by extension, for the very idea of America.


Urban Institute: State TANF Policies as of July 2013

Aug 25, 2014 05:00 PM

The Welfare Rules Databook provides tables containing key Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) policies for each state as of July 2013, as well as longitudinal tables describing selected state policies from 1996 through 2013. The tables are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database tracking state cash assistance policies over time and across the 50 states and the District of Columbia.


The Scope and Demographics of Hunger in America

Aug 25, 2014 04:00 PM

A new report on hunger in America has been released by Feeding America and the findings are sobering, to say the least. As we justifiably feel increasingly confident about the state of the economy as it continues to emerge from the Great Recession, it is healthy to remind ourselves just how much need is out there, and this report hits the nail on the head.


Implementing New Ways to Measure Economic Activity

Aug 25, 2014 01:00 PM

The Obama administration has been implementing new ways to measure economic activity in the United States. Although not exactly front-page news, this initiative deserves praise from anyone, regardless of political party or economic views, who believes policymakers are more likely to make wise decisions if they are provided timely, valid, and informative data on economic performance in their states and regions.


MDRC's Dan Bloom's Testimony on Subsidized Job Programs

Aug 22, 2014 05:00 PM

On July 30, MDRC's Dan Bloom testified in front of the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Human Resources Subcommittee regarding research evidence on subsidized employment programs.


Police in Los Angeles Schools to Curtail Arrests, Citations for Minor Offenses

Aug 20, 2014 03:00 PM

The police force for the nation's second largest school system will now send most students who get into trouble for fighting, bringing tobacco or alcohol to campus, and other minor offenses to counseling rather than issuing citations or arresting them. In 2013, nearly 95% of the 1,100 arrests made by the district's police department were students of color. Black students were disproportionately arrested that year: They make up less than 10% of the district, but comprised 31% of the arrests.


The Impact on Family Caregivers from Patients with Cognitive or Behavioral Conditions

Aug 20, 2014 01:00 PM

The United Hospital Fund and AARP Public Policy Institute issued a report with compelling new evidence that family caregivers who provide complex chronic care to people who also have cognitive and behavioral health conditions face particularly demanding challenges, including high levels of self-reported depression.


More Education = Delayed Fertility = More Mobility?

Aug 18, 2014 02:00 PM

Inequality during childhood appears to have harmful implications for the prospects for social mobility later in life. Economically disadvantaged children tend to have worse teachers, whether measured by inputs or outputs, and effective teachers matter a great deal. Time-use studies find that highly-educated mothers spend more time on all forms of child care than less-educated mothers and are also more likely to change the type of child care based on children’s developmental needs.


Gentrification and the Persistence of Poor Minority Neighborhoods

Aug 14, 2014 01:30 PM

A new study finds that neighborhoods that are more than 40 percent black are far less likely to gentrify. This is the subject of a path-breaking new study by Harvard doctoral student Jackelyn Hwang and urban sociologist Robert Sampson published in the August issue of the American Sociological Review.​


Higher minimum wages will improve economic well-being in DC

Aug 13, 2014 03:00 PM

The District of Columbia raised its minimum wage as of July 1 and is slated to raise it again each July through 2016 and adjusted for inflation thereafter. What will this mean for employers and employees? Will minimum-wage workers see a real difference in their bank accounts after paying higher taxes and losing public benefits as their earnings rise? And will employment fall, now that workers cost more?


Narratives Reveal Trauma for Homeless Women Living in Hotels

Aug 13, 2014 01:25 PM

“Traumatic Transitions: Homeless Women’s Narratives of Abuse, Loss, and Fear,” published in Affilia: Journal of Women and Social Work (2014), reveals that women living in extended stay hotels as a result of homelessness are at increased risks for victimization, sexual assault, chronic health challenges and mortality born from temporary living conditions for low-wage residents.


What We Mean When We Say Student Debt Is Bad

Aug 12, 2014 03:00 PM

Once again, the headlines are filled with claims that student loans are bad. Several articles have highlighted results from a Gallup poll that shows that college graduates who borrow for college are less happy, healthy and wealthy than debt-free graduates. The Gallup report (which is cautious in its interpretation of the data) has been drawn into a rising chorus of news media reports on the negative consequences of borrowing.


AEI: Did cutting jobless benefits promote work?

What happens to the unemployed in the worst labor market in living memory when their long-term jobless benefits end? Some people, including many Republican lawmakers, had a theory: ending benefits would give the unemployed a nudge. With no more government checks coming, these folks would start looking harder — much harder — for a job or perhaps accept a job they wouldn’t have earlier.


Study on Parental Longevity Is Short on Causation

Aug 11, 2014 02:26 PM

In this New York Times post, APPAM Policy Council member Susan Dynarski looks at a recent paper comparing the life spans of people whose children did and did not go to college.


Millions of Americans changed their racial or ethnic identity from one census to the next

Aug 06, 2014 03:00 PM

Millions of Americans counted in the 2000 census changed their race or Hispanic-origin categories when they filled out their 2010 census forms, according to new research presented at the annual Population Association of America meeting last week. Hispanics, Americans of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders were among those most likely to check different boxes from one census to the next.​


College, Career, and Civic Readiness: How Can a State Measure It?

On July 9, 2014, the National Association of State Boards of EducationExternal Links icon (NASBE) hosted the Webinar, “College, Career, and Civic Readiness: How Can a State Measure ItExternal Links icon?” The Webinar highlighted different methods of measuring college, career, and civic readiness (CCCR) that have been overlooked by more traditional CCCR indicators such as standardized test scores.


Faith in Values: Working and Still Poor

Aug 05, 2014 01:00 PM

The Live the Wage challenge launched last week, giving the many Americans who are participating a real-life lesson in just how difficult it is to live on a job that pays the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour. Cutting coupons to save on groceries becomes essential. So does checking the price of every item before purchasing it. Public transportation costs quickly eat into the weekly budget. Forget grabbing a bite at a local restaurant or going to the movies.


A Win for Data Wonks in Paul Ryan’s Poverty Plan

Aug 01, 2014 03:00 PM

Rep. Paul Ryan has generated lots of buzz around his proposals to expand EITC and reform the safety net through block grants, all outlined in his anti-poverty plan “Expanding Opportunity in America.” But for those interested in researching social mobility, Rep. Ryan’s most eye-catching ideas come in a short section near the end of the paper, with the unsexy title “Results-Driven Research.”


College-Admissions Professionals Not as Diverse as the Students They Recruit

Aug 01, 2014 02:00 PM

A new report out from the National Association for College Admission Counseling finds that the professionals reaching out to prospective college students are not as ethnically diverse as the population they are recruiting. Women and racial/ethnic groups are underrepresented in key segments of the admissions profession, according to the results of a survey of 1,500 admission counselors, directors, deans, and administrators at colleges and universities released July 30.


Brookings: Place and the Paul Ryan Poverty Plan

Jul 31, 2014 02:00 PM

The new poverty plan unveiled last week by Rep. Paul Ryan has definitely sparked a conversation, generating a flurry of responses from positive to critical to somewhere in between (call it skeptical). By not engaging in a budget cutting exercise as in the past, Ryan has framed his proposals as an effort to start a conversation in Washington about real policy reforms to more effectively fight poverty and promote economic opportunity.


Academy Health: Draft Bill Offers Glimmer of Hope for Health Services Research Funding

Jul 30, 2014 04:21 PM

On Thursday, July 24, the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over health research funding released its draft appropriations legislation for fiscal year (FY) 2015. Health services research fared well in the draft bill, in which the subcommittee proposed increases for the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


Urban Institute: Debt in America

Jul 29, 2014 02:19 PM

Debt can be constructive, allowing people to build equity in homes or finance education, but it can also burden families into the future. Total debt is driven by mortgage debt; both are highly concentrated in high-cost housing markets, mostly along the coasts.


Common Core Contracting Shows Uneven Trends, Study Finds

An analysis of contracting for common core-related materials shows a limited number of states accounted for the 600 opportunities in 2012 and 2013, with many other states showing no activity so far, according to Paul Irby, a market analyst at Onvia, a Seattle-based government business intelligence company.​


Everyone says turnout is key. So why does it keep going down?

Jul 28, 2014 07:00 PM

Tens of millions of dollars will be spent this year in an effort to boost turnout in the November elections. But the longer-term trends suggest that any marginal increase in what is expected to be a low-turnout election won’t have much effect on one of the chronic problems of America’s politics. [Washington Post]


Single Stop USA's Community College Initiative

Jul 28, 2014 02:40 PM

Single Stop USA and the Wisconsin HOPE Lab are pleased to share the most recent study of sites involved in Single Stop’s New Profit Social Innovation Fund award. The report highlights what this project has achieved by bringing an innovative approach to the provision of student services as well as areas where implementation improvements can be made.


Cato: Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?

The cost of health care for state and local government employees is increasing rapidly, as it is for workers across the economy. Since state and local governments are large employers — one in seven people work for state and local governments — these cost increases are materially important. Estimates suggest that state and local governments spent $70 billion on health insurance in 2001 (in 2012 dollars), and $117 billion in 2010.


If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?

Jul 23, 2014 05:00 PM

It is a commonplace of scientific discussion that correlation does not imply causation. Business Week recently ran an spoof article pointing out some amusing examples of the dangers of inferring causation from correlation. For example, the article points out that Facebook’s growth has been strongly correlated with the yield on Greek government bonds...


Tackling the Tough Challenges to Advancing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Jul 23, 2014 03:00 PM

D5′s 2014 State of the Work highlights new tools and resources, recently completed research, and new organizational approaches that can help foundations and philanthropic organizations take action, achieve their goals regarding DEI, and advance the common good. The 2014 State of the Work also features perspectives and analysis of three thought leaders on DEI issues and their charge to their peers in philanthropy.


Community colleges expanding disclosure on graduation rates and other outcomes

Jul 23, 2014 01:15 PM

Dozens of community college leaders, dissatisfied with how the federal government measures graduation rates at their schools, have signed up for an alternative reporting system that provides more information about student outcomes.


The Ultimate, Definitive Guide to the Budget Deficit

Jul 21, 2014 01:00 PM

The Congressional Budget Office on Tuesday released its latest projections on the long-term budget deficit, provoking the usual warnings about impending fiscal crisis. But just how big a problem is the deficit right now? What should we really do to reduce it—and when? The New Republic asked Brookings senior fellow and APPAM past president Henry Aaron for the following guide to the federal budget deficit for its "QEDecide" series.


CMS RMADA IDIQ Awarded to IMPAQ International

IMPAQ International is pleased to announce that it has been awarded the Research, Measurement, Assessment, Design and Analysis (RMADA) indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity (IDIQ) by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.


Latest 'Indicators of School Crime and Safety' Report Provides New Insight Into Postsecondary Campus Crime

Jul 09, 2014 01:30 PM

American Institutes for Research (AIR) experts played a major role in producing Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2013, which was released today by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS). The annual report presents the most current data on crime and safety at schools and on college campuses from the perspectives of students, teachers, principals and postsecondary institutions.


IWPR: As Foreign-Born Worker Population Grows, Many Lack Paid Sick Days

Jul 08, 2014 02:00 PM

Research demonstrates that low-wage workers and people of color are least likely to have access to paid sick days.This brief builds on previous research to provide an analysis of immigrant access to sick days using data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).


Initiative will fund climate-resilience efforts that reflect needs, interests of low-income people

Jul 07, 2014 06:00 PM

Kresge’s Environment Program is launching an initiative to assist community-based nonprofits positioned to help influence local and regional climate-resilience planning, and related policy development and implementation.


Shared Vision, Strong Systems: The Alliance for Quality Career Pathways Framework Version 1.0

Jul 07, 2014 03:30 PM

The Alliance’s goal is to help state and local/regional partnerships strengthen their career pathway systems. In 2012, CLASP invited ten leading career pathway states—Arkansas, California, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Oregon, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin— and their local/regional partners to join Phase I of the Alliance (2012-2014).


Measuring, Addressing Student Behaviors Help Raise Completion Rates

Jul 07, 2014 02:00 PM

Community colleges have been at center stage in higher education’s movement to increase retention and graduation rates for students, especially among minority populations. Never in the history of these institutions have so many stakeholders agreed to this common goal. Never have so many foundations contributed so many funds to support the goal, and never has there been so much research to help colleges reach the goal.


Health economics conference looks at future of the Affordable Care Act

Jul 03, 2014 02:08 PM

The USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics hosted the fifth biennial conference of the American Society of Health Economists (ASHEcon), bringing 800 health economists from across the country to USC for a comprehensive discussion of issues, including the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), innovative models in payment reform and how to use behavioral economics to alter patient and provider behavior.


Theory of change for the Study of EHS-Child Care Partnerships

Jul 03, 2014 01:00 PM

The Study of Early Head Start-Child Care Partnerships defines partnerships as formal arrangements between Early Head Start programs and community child care providers to provide services to eligible families with infants and toddlers. Services provided in child care settings should comply with the Head Start Program Performance Standards (HSPPS). Partnership services are usually funded through a combination of Early Head Start grant funds and child care subsidies.


A Closer Look at Simplifying Financial Aid Applications

Jul 02, 2014 06:00 PM

APPAM's Susan Dynarski, along with Mark Wiederspan, discuss in the New York Times taking a closer look at simplifying the financial aid process.


Social Media Use in Health Policy Research

Jul 02, 2014 03:00 PM

Health policy researchers shy away from using social media to share findings with policy-makers, according to a study published online by Health Affairs. Only 14 percent of the 215 researchers surveyed reported tweeting, and 21 percent reported blogging about their research or related health policy in the past year.


New Book Investigates Gender Gap in GCC Education

Jul 02, 2014 01:21 PM

When Dr. Natasha Ridge arrived in Ras Al Khaimah as a teacher in 2001, she was not prepared for the struggle that she witnessed in her classroom. Among Western educators, conventional wisdom maintained that girls were at a disadvantage to boys in school settings, yet in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), boys were falling behind their female counterparts at alarming rates. The implications of this phenomenon are significant.


New Research Points to Gaps in Student-Loan Counseling

Jun 30, 2014 04:00 PM

Each year a larger share of new graduates leave four-year colleges with student-loan debt, and the average balance of those who borrowed is higher, too. Student-loan default rates are on the rise. With those trends in motion, questions of how well students understand their debt have taken on new urgency.​


Does a Wife Shortage in China Mean More Crime Too?

Jun 30, 2014 02:33 PM

The authors of a new study look at the excess of single men due to the marriage market and gender imbalance in China as a cause of an increase in crime.


Cato: Fiscal Uncertainty and Economic Activity

Jun 19, 2014 01:16 PM

Over the past six years, policymakers and business leaders alike have seen the U.S. economy buffeted by larger-than-usual uncertainty about fiscal policy. As illustrated by a number of prolonged struggles at all levels of government in recent years, there is little consensus among policymakers about the fiscal mix and timing going forward. Will government spending rise or fall? Will taxes rise or fall? Which ones? And when will it happen?


Brookings: Frustrated Achievers, Protests, and Unhappiness in 3 Charts

Jun 18, 2014 03:00 PM

For years, Brookings' research on happiness has been finding progress paradoxes in the globalization process and have been tracking cohorts of “frustrated achievers” across a wide range of countries, especially in Latin America.


Cutting the Poor Out of Welfare

Jun 18, 2014 02:51 PM

Over the past three decades, Congress has conducted a major experiment in anti-poverty policy. Legislators have restructured benefits and tax breaks intended for the poor so that they penalize unmarried, unemployed parents — the modern day version of the “undeserving poor.” At the same time, working parents, the aged and the disabled are getting larger benefits.


Developmental Education Aligned to the Common Core State Standards: Insights and Illustrations

Jun 17, 2014 02:30 PM

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS), implemented in 44 states and the District of Columbia, are pegged to a set of college and career readiness standards, creating a potential opportunity to improve the alignment between the secondary and postsecondary sectors. In the current exploratory study, the authors draw on interview data to examine whether faculty and college leaders are considering or undertaking reforms of developmental education informed by the CCSS.


Mathematica: Limited Father Involvement: Which Families Are Most at Risk?

Jun 17, 2014 01:00 PM

Healthy marriage relationship skills education programs serving unmarried parents aim to help these couples improve their relationships, with the ultimate aim of supporting family stability and promoting child well-being. A central goal of these programs is to promote fathers’ sustained, active engagement in their children’s lives.


Simplifying Complexity in the Student Experience

Jun 16, 2014 02:10 PM

This practitioner packet, based on work CCRC conducted at and with Macomb Community College, is designed to help colleges identify areas where students struggle due to excessive complexity in the academic decision-making process, and to devise and implement relatively low-cost solutions that can improve the student experience.


A Pivotal Moment for the Fight to End Veteran Homelessness

Jun 12, 2014 03:00 PM

This week, the 100,000 Homes Campaign announced it had reached its goal of helping U.S. communities find permanent housing for 100,000 homeless Americans in just four years. That number includes more than 30,000 veterans, many of whom had previously been homeless for decades. Veteran homelessness has been dropping precipitously in recent years, and the fight to eliminate it now faces a pivotal moment.​


AIR: Measuring the Economic Success of College Graduates

Jun 12, 2014 01:00 PM

Calculating how much recent graduates earn after completing their degree is one way for policymakers to assess the return on state and federal investments in higher education. It’s also an important consideration for students and families, who want at least some assurance that the burden of student loan debt taken on today will be offset by higher earnings in the future.


MDRC: The Implementation and Effectiveness of a One-on-One Tutoring Program Delivered by Community Volunteers

Jun 11, 2014 06:00 PM

Competence and confidence in reading constitute the foundation for all educational achievement. Students who struggle with reading inevitably struggle with all academic course work, and those who begin school behind their peers rarely catch up without significant intervention.


Student Update: Spring 2014

Jun 11, 2014 01:00 PM

Sarah Cordes, one of APPAM's student representatives on APPAM's Policy Council, provides an update on Association initiatives from the Spring 2014 meeting that pertain directly to students.


More than half of American households make sacrifices to afford housing

Jun 10, 2014 01:00 PM

In the past three years, over half of American households had to make a “major sacrifice” to afford their rent or mortgage. The MacArthur survey measures how Americans are faring in the wake of the housing crisis and how their opinions about renting and owning have changed.


What Corrupt States Spend Their Money On

Jun 09, 2014 01:30 PM

A study finds that more corrupt states spend more money on construction, highways and police protections and less on health, education and other public services.


How Do Health Policy Researchers Use Social Media?

Jun 06, 2014 02:43 PM

As the United States moves forward with health reform, conveying complex information to the public becomes increasingly important. Social media represent an expanding opportunity for health policy researchers to communicate with the public and policy makers – but its use among these researchers appears to be low, according to a new study released today as a Web First by Health Affairs.


Internationally Recognized Scholar Daniel Diermeier Named Dean of Chicago Harris

Jun 03, 2014 01:00 PM

Daniel Diermeier, an internationally recognized scholar in political institutions, formal political theory, and the interaction of business and politics, as well as an expert in crisis and reputation management, has been appointed the next dean of the Harris School of Public Policy Studies.


Confessions of an Assessment Field-Tester

Jun 02, 2014 03:00 PM

In a country where many millions of kids never reach proficiency in math and reading by 12th grade, and as many as 60 percent of the lucky ones who do get to college are forced to take remedial classes, raising standards seemed—and seems—prudent.


OPRE: Secondary Analyses of Strengthening Families Datasets

May 28, 2014 12:31 PM

The Office of Planning Research and Evaluation (OPRE) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) plan to solicit applications for Secondary Analysis of Strengthening Families Data grants. The cooperative agreements will fund research to conduct secondary data analysis of the Building Strong Families (BSF), Supporting Healthy Marriage (SHM), and Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (CHMI) datasets.


IMPAQ Receives James W. Rouse Diversity Award

May 20, 2014 05:30 PM

IMPAQ International, a public policy research and evaluation firm, is proud to be have been awarded the 2014 James W. Rouse Diversity Award from the Chesapeake Human Resources Association (CHRA). The James W. Rouse Diversity Award honors the innovative strategies that businesses have developed and implemented to advance the concept and spirit of diversity. The award is given to the organization that demonstrates the very best diversity initiatives.


Westat to Conduct Cognitive Testing for the American Community Survey

May 20, 2014 02:00 PM

Westat will conduct cognitive testing on updated questions for the American Community Survey and Puerto Rico Community Survey. Both surveys are conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau. The data these surveys provide give communities the current information they need to plan investments and services.


Engaging With Policymakers: Why Scientists and Engineers Hold Back

May 14, 2014 02:00 PM

Roughly 90% of researchers in a recent survey said scientists and policymakers don't communicate enough. But, only about 60% said they were sure of the names of their elected federal representatives. Experts probed this paradox at the AAAS Forum on Science & Technology Policy.


Cato: Donating the Voucher

May 14, 2014 01:00 PM

In the United States, parents send about 10 percent of elementary and secondary school-age children to private schools, which through their accreditation meet the requirement that students receive an adequate education.


IMPAQ Number 13 on Baltimore Business Journal’s “THE LIST”

May 09, 2014 01:34 PM

The Baltimore Business Journal recently released the list of the Largest Defense and Federal Contractors Based in Greater Baltimore area On Friday March 28, 2014. On the list, IMPAQ International ranked as the 13th largest Baltimore area contractor. Rankings are determined by the amount of federal contracts awarded in Maryland in 2013, based on data from


MDRC: Designing Innovative Solutions for Programs Supported by the Administration for Children and Families

May 08, 2014 01:00 PM

The Behavioral Interventions to Advance Self-Sufficiency (BIAS) project is the first major opportunity to use a behavioral economics lens to look at programs that serve poor and vulnerable people in the United States. The BIAS project aims to learn how tools from behavioral economics can improve the well-being of individuals and families served by programs that ACF supports.


Urban Institute: Tax Subsidies for Health and Housing Top $600 Billion

May 06, 2014 01:00 PM

Tax expenditures will cost more than $1.4 trillion in fiscal year 2014. Those that support health and housing policies account for more than 40 percent of this number, or about $640 billion. These figures and their accompanying table are calculations derived from the tax expenditure estimates in the Treasury's Analytical Perspectives for the president's fiscal year 2015 budget.


Brookings: Student Loan Safety Nets

Apr 14, 2014 01:30 PM

The plight of underemployed college graduates struggling to make their student loan payments has received a great deal of media attention throughout the recent economic recession. The primary safety net available to borrowers of federal loans facing unaffordable monthly payments is income-based repayment, in which borrowers make monthly payments based on their earnings rather than a traditional schedule of flat payments.


Immigrants in New York City Bolster Housing Values

Apr 11, 2014 02:16 PM

Immigrants have helped stabilize New York City housing values over the past two decades and at the same time boosted property in once-troubled neighborhoods. The report—sponsored by the Americas Society/Council of the Americas—credits immigrants with easing housing affordability by revitalizing areas such as Canarsie in Brooklyn and Morrisania in the Bronx that were in decline in the 1990s.


Deadline for Submissions to 2014 Fall Conference Extended to April 18

Apr 11, 2014 01:00 PM

Have you submitted a proposal for the 2014 Fall Research Conference yet? Great news! The submission deadline has been extended to next Friday, April 18 for all proposals: caucuses, panels, individual papers, roundtables, workshops, and posters.


APPAM Offices Closed

Mar 17, 2014 09:07 AM

The Association's Washington, DC office is closed Monday, March 17, due to inclement weather. The office is expected to re-open on Tuesday, March 18.


APPAM Presents Single Paper Listing Resource for Conference Submissions

Feb 18, 2014 03:00 PM

In an effort to encourage complete panel submissions over single paper submissions for the 2014 Fall Research Conference, APPAM is posting all single paper submissions on The listing will contain paper title, author(s), contact information, and abstracts. The listings will be organized by policy area and updated weekly through the April 11 submission deadline.


The Economic and Financial Status of Older Americans: Trends and Prospects

Feb 18, 2014 02:30 PM

The global financial crisis and ensuing Great Recession reduced the income and wealth of many families, but older families generally fared better than young and middle-aged families. The Federal Reserve’s Survey of Consumer Finances reveals that being young was a significant risk factor during the downturn, regardless of a family’s race, ethnicity, or education level.


APPAM Offices Closed

Feb 13, 2014 05:00 AM

The APPAM office in Washington, DC is closed for February 13, 2014, due to inclement weather.


APPAM Debuts Online Paper Collection Resource

The 33 papers featured in this collection represent a selected cross-section of works that were first presented at the 2013 Fall Research Conference this past November. With more than 200 sessions and 700 papers presenting cutting edge public policy research, APPAM had a difficult time paring down to the selections hosted in the collection.


APPAM Office Closed for Inclement Weather

Jan 20, 2014 06:38 AM

The APPAM offices are closed due to inclement weather and will reopen on Wednesday, January 22, 2014.​


APPAM Closed for the Holidays

Dec 24, 2013 05:00 PM

The APPAM office is closed from December 24, 2013 through January 1, 2014.


MDRC: Financing Promising Evidence-based Programs: Early Lessons from the New York City Social Impact Bond

MDRC released a report about the New York City social impact bond program that was started in 2013. This social impact bond program is the first such program in the United States and one of only a handful social impact bonds that are in operation worldwide, with the others being in England and Australia.​


APPAM President Angela Evans Shares 2014 Plans

Dec 19, 2013 07:18 PM

New APPAM President Angela Evans shares her plans for her coming term in office. A strong focus on the Association's strategic plan plays a key focus for APPAM in 2014.


Urban Institute: Health Reform Monitoring Survey

Dec 19, 2013 03:21 PM

The Health Reform Monitoring Survey addresses data gaps to provide timely insights into the Affordable Care Act.


NIEER: Expanding Access to Quality Pre-K Is Sound Public Policy

Dec 18, 2013 03:30 PM

In 2013, preschool education received more attention in the media and public policy circles than it has for some time, in part because of a series of high-profile proposals to expand access to quality pre-K. The scientific basis for these proposed expansions of quality pre-K is impressive.


UCL Introduces New MPA in Public Policy

Dec 18, 2013 02:48 PM

Science, technology and engineering are rewriting the foundations of our modern societies. Although this happens in different ways for different communities, everyone is affected: from urban citizens in the UK, China or Brazil (re-)developing their cities to make them more sustainable and prosperous; to rural farmers in Ghana, Nepal or India leveraging new communications tools to exchange knowledge that can make their communities safer and more resilient in the face of a changing climate.


How to Take a Meeting with Policymakers

Dec 17, 2013 03:24 PM

Those who represent you in Washington, DC place a high value on the opinions and experiences of stakeholders. They want to know how current and proposed legislation and regulations affect the work that you do and are always seeking recommendations from constituents regarding how thing can improve.


Voting Begins for 2014 Policy Council and Leadership Positions

Dec 16, 2013 05:00 PM

Voting for the next cohort of the Association's Policy Council, which serves from 2014 to 2017, begins December 16. The election will conclude at midnight, Eastern Standard Time, on January 15, 2014. This year, elections are also being held for the Association's positions of Vice President and Secretary.​


Watch the 2013 APPAM Presidential Address

Dec 16, 2013 03:18 PM

Outgoing APPAM President Paul T. Decker delivered a popular address on November 8, 2013, at the Fall Research Conference in Washington, DC, entitled "False Choices, Policy Framing, and the Promise of 'Big Data.'"


Top economists weigh in on minimum wage at MIT

Fast-rising rates of economic inequality in the United States and poverty-reduction policies were the subjects of a daylong colloquium recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that featured several of the nation’s leading economists.


Innovator: Reducing fear of program evaluation

Paul Decker, President of Mathematica Policy Research and 2013 President of APPAM, shares in a podcast on how public leaders can encourage greater use of program evaluation to learn what works and to improve outcomes for citizens.


NIH/OBSSR Twitter Chat on Careers in Behavioral and Social Sciences

Dec 12, 2013 03:38 PM

The Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research at the National Institutes of Health will like to you to join the upcoming Twitter chat in the series on Careers in Behavioral and Social Sciences. The first chat in this series will include both scientific and administrative careers at NIH. This session will be live on Friday, December 13th from 2 – 3 pm EST.


Carnegie Mellon Receives $10 Million from The Heinz Endowments for Expansion, Rennovation

Dec 12, 2013 03:29 PM

Just weeks after announcing plans to establish a new academic hub, Carnegie Mellon University will further transform its Pittsburgh campus through a gift from The Heinz Endowments.


Decker's Conference Address Inspires a New Policy Student

Dec 11, 2013 03:05 PM

After a warm introduction, Paul Decker, CEO of Mathematica Policy Research and President of APPAM, took the stage. Thoughtful and deliberate, Decker somehow managed to combine all the words that I have ever wanted to say to explain the importance of social policy to friends and family. I had to resist my urge to race up to him following the presentation and beg for a copy of the speech. However, I am getting ahead of myself; let me “start from the start,” as one of my friends likes to say.


Use caution in raising the minimum wage

Dec 11, 2013 02:53 PM

APPAM member Harry J. Holzer presents an op-ed in the Washington Post regarding proposals to raising the minimum wage.


The problem with public policy schools

Dec 09, 2013 02:00 PM

The basic premise behind a school of policy derives from the modern idea of constitution-making — that wisely crafted laws can shape the character and conduct of citizens.


Brookings: Closing the Skills Gap through Workforce Development Policy

Dec 06, 2013 03:30 PM

On December 4, Governance Studies at Brookings hosted an event to highlight the importance of understanding the workforce skills gap in order to create effective public policies aimed at creating equitable economic growth in America. Moderator Elisabeth Jacobs, a fellow in Governance Studies and author of a new paper "Principles for Reforming Workforce Development and Human Capital Policies in the United States," asked a series of questions to which the four expert panelists responded.


Unintended Consequences: How Child Support Programs Discourage Employment for Low-Income Families

Dec 06, 2013 02:00 PM

Child support programs are designed to reinforce stability for children from disjointed families. A recent study, however, shows that these programs negatively impact low-income families. In the 2013 article published in the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, authors explore how accumulating debt tied to childbirth costs negatively impacts a father’s employment status and child support payments owed.


O*NET Project Seeks APPAM Member Assistance

Dec 05, 2013 02:19 PM

The Occupational Information Network (O*NET) is requesting assistance from active APPAM members. O*NET is collecting current and essential information about Management Analysts. The program, sponsored by the United States Department of Labor, is gathering occupational information for a national database to be used by employers, workers, educators, and students across the country.


MacArthur Foundation Grant Supports Computing and Public Policy Efforts at Chicago Harris

Dec 04, 2013 02:27 PM

The University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy has received a generous grant of $420,000 from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation to support a range of computing and public policy projects.


Experiencing the Fall Research Conference for the First Time

My name is Senovia Guevara and I attended my first Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management Fall Research Conference in November. I attended the event as a student conference volunteer and got the chance to review and write summaries for sessions that I attended. Although I was only at the conference for a few days, I was grateful for the opportunity as I learned so much from those whose presentations I attended.


Did You Attend the 2013 Fall Research Conference? It's Survey Time!

Dec 03, 2013 05:47 PM

Were you an attendee or presenter at APPAM's 2013 Fall Research Conference? We're looking for your feedback to make our conferences even better in the future.


Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Policies and Their Effects

Dec 03, 2013 02:59 PM

I attended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Policies and Their Effects session on Thursday, November 7. Presenters included Richard Hendra, Melanie A. Skemer, and Elizabeth Laird.


Emerging Directions in Policy Analysis: Theory, Methods, and Data

Dec 03, 2013 02:46 PM

Thomas D. Cook and moderator Maureen Pirog both spoke during the roundtable held on Thursday at the APPAM conference. Cook’s presented “Possible future for methodological research in the policy sciences: Building an externally warranted practice of the satisficing”. He discussed whether the current tools we use in policy analysis could be better and if they could be improved, what would that include.​


MDRC: Encouraging more low-income and first-generation students to earn a degree

Dec 02, 2013 04:00 PM

Sometimes, all it takes is a $7 burrito gift card to get high school seniors to submit their college applications early. “You always have some students who say, `I don’t want to go to college,’ but they don’t realize whatever it is in life, they need to go to college for it,” said adviser Martin Copeland at Theodore Roosevelt High School in the District of Columbia. “They don’t realize it until May. For those students, these incentives work.”


Learning to Think Critically: A Visual Art Experiment

Dec 02, 2013 02:13 PM

Students who participated in the School Visit Program demonstrated significantly stronger critical thinking skills when analyzing a new painting. These effects were larger for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds. In light of recent declines in the availability of the arts for disadvantaged populations, our results have important policy implications for efforts to restore and expand access to the arts.


APPAM Offices Closed

Nov 28, 2013 11:00 AM

The APPAM offices are closed for the Thanksgiving weekend and will re-open on Monday, December 2, 2013. We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday!


What Happens When Great Teachers Get $20,000 to Work in Low-Income Schools?

Nov 27, 2013 01:54 PM

In 10 cities, including Los Angeles, Miami, and Houston, researchers at Mathematica identified open positions in high-poverty schools with low test scores, where kids performed at just around the 30th percentile in both reading and math.


Strategies for Preventing Teen Pregnancy

Nov 25, 2013 06:35 PM

From curriculum to contraception, the Strategies for Preventing Teen Pregnancy panel covered all bases in the discussion of teen pregnancy prevention. With the U.S. having the highest rate of teen pregnancy of any developed country, the federal government is funding evaluations for evidence- based teen pregnancy approaches.


APPAM Thanks Everyone for a Successful 2013 Conference

Nov 25, 2013 05:56 PM

A short video thanking everyone for the successful 2013 Fall Research Conference in Washington, DC. Includes a message from new President Angela Evans.


Spotlight: University of Chicago

Nov 25, 2013 01:45 PM

Established in 1988, the Harris School of Public Policy is one of six professional schools at the University of Chicago. The school offers five master’s degree programs, several joint-degree programs with other schools and departments on campus and at other institutions, and a doctoral program. It has more than 30 full-time faculty members, including two Nobel Prize laureates, who are recognized around the globe for their breadth and depth of expertise.


Urban Institute: New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) Program Evaluation Final Report

Nov 22, 2013 03:30 PM

The New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program encourages investment in low-income areas by providing tax credits to private investors through certified Community Development Entities (CDEs) that invest in businesses and real estate projects for economic and community development purposes.


Mathematica: Highlights from APPAM's 2013 Fall Research Conference

"Effective policymaking and public management should be driven largely by evidence—the kind based on rigorous assessment of quantitative and qualitative data." —Paul Decker, chief executive officer of Mathematica Policy Research and outgoing president of APPAM


Breaking the Fall of the Middle Class: Assessing the Federal Budget Policy Approaches

Nov 19, 2013 08:00 PM

A roundtable session on Friday, November 8, "Breaking the Fall of the Middle Class: Assessing the Federal Budget Policy Approaches," featured presenters Robert Haveman, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Elizabeth Ford, Seattle University School of Law; Sally Clark, Seattle City Council; Gary Burtless, Brookings Institute; and Stephanie Cellini, George Washington University.


Effects of Food Assistance on Food Security-Findings from Established and Pilot Programs

Nov 19, 2013 06:00 PM

On Saturday, November 9, saw the session Effects of Food Assistance on Food Security-Findings from Established and Pilot Programs continue with the Fragile, At-Risk Families and Youth track of the 2013 Fall Research Conference. Chaired by Jay Hirschman, USDA, the panel included Mark Nord, USDA; James Malbi, Mathematica Policy Research; Ann Collins, Abt Associates, Inc.; and Judi Bartfeld, University of Wisconsin–Madison.


Lee Hamilton: Academic Information Important at the Policymaking Table

Nov 19, 2013 05:00 PM

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to attend the luncheon session held with Lee Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton has extensive experience in Congress and was selected to share the valuable knowledge he had gained during his extensive career. As an experienced policymaker and negotiator, Mr. Hamilton provided valuable insight that helped attendees better understand the needs of policymakers and stressed the importance of the information that academics bring to the policymaking table.


Early Childhood Interventions at Scale: Lessons for Current Policy Efforts

Nov 19, 2013 03:52 PM

Policymakers considering President Obama’s proposed Preschool for All Initiative will want to consult three papers presented at APPAM 2013, which shed light on the short- and long-term impacts of early childhood education. The papers indicate that while public and private preschool programs can support children’s development prior to entering kindergarten, these gains do not necessarily persist.


Introducing APPAM's 2014 Executive Leadership Team

Nov 19, 2013 02:31 PM

The Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management (APPAM) recently held its annual Fall Research Conference in Washington, DC. More than 1,700 members were in attendance during the three days of sessions, presentations, and meetings. During the course of the conference, the Association’s new leadership council was announced.


APPAM Members Select New Logo

Nov 19, 2013 02:08 PM

Over the last two weeks, Association members had the opportunity to vote on APPAM's new logo. The votes are in!


Policy Meets Management: The Case of Extending Foster Care

The roundtable discussion “Policy Meets Management: The Case of Extending Foster Care”, moderated by Matthew Stagner from Mathematica Policy Research, included contributions from Catherine Heath, Mark Courtney and Debra Zanders-Willis.


Challenges Faced by Research Associations in Moving Research into the Policymaking Community

Steve Rathgeb Smith, American Political Science Association, presented Rethinking the Research Policy Nexus. Rathgeb emphasized the need to move from mere publications to public action, a scenario whereby research-based evidences partners with the community and policy makers. This will ensure that scholarly findings are translated into and used in a way that will benefit stakeholders and members of the community.


Understanding the Effects of Social Policy on Poverty

Nov 15, 2013 06:30 PM

The Official Poverty Measure (OPM), criticized practically since its inception in the 1960s by researchers and policymakers alike, continues to be a topic of important discussion. The OPM determines poverty status by comparing pre-tax cash income by three times a minimum food diet, set in 1963, adjusted by family size and updated annually for inflation.


IMPAQ Acquires Berkeley Policy Associates

Nov 15, 2013 04:28 PM

IMPAQ International, a premier research, evaluation, survey and technical assistance firm, announced today that it had acquired Berkeley Policy Associates (BPA), a public policy research and consulting firm with capabilities across a broad spectrum of substantive areas, and based in Oakland, California. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.


Students Enjoy the APPAM PDW

Nov 15, 2013 04:00 PM

The Professional Development Workshop (PDW) took place prior to APPAM’s 2013 Fall Research Conference. A couple of APPAM student members share their thoughts about the discussions, events, and theme of this year's pre-conference workshop.


Housing and Well-Being Across the Life Span

Nov 15, 2013 03:20 PM

Irwin Garfinkel, Columbia University, chaired the Friday session entitled Housing and Well Being Across the Life Span. The panel consisted of three presenters who presented a mixture of research designs to assess the effects housing may have throughout a person’s life span and how policy should be informed by these findings.


Does 1+1 = 3? What Research Tells Us About the Potential of Two-Generation Approaches

Nov 15, 2013 02:52 PM

“Are parents increasing their education levels and employment when their children are randomly assigned to Head Start? Yes,” said P. Lindsay Chase-Lansdale of Northwestern University, one of four presenters on a panel of researchers who shared their findings on two-generation approaches to improving children’s well-being and their parents’ economic prospects.


CFED: Financial Products for Immigrants & Communities of Color

Nov 15, 2013 02:29 PM

Last week, APPAM hosted its annual Fall Research Conference in Washington, DC. For the past four years, APPAM has included a number of panels, roundtables and other sessions that highlight new asset-based research, all of which have played a role in informing the work of the asset-building field. Organized and promoted by the Building Wealth over a Lifetime Working Group, this year’s APPAM conference included fourteen such sessions.


A Look at the APPAM PDW

Nov 14, 2013 08:37 PM

Sarah Cordes, New York University, provides her takeaways from three important sessions during the past Professional Development Workshop that occurred on November 6, 2013, right before the opening of APPAM's Fall Research Conference. She summarizes the sessions Finding Jobs, Publication Strategies, and Finding Grants.


Spillover Effects on Crime

The Broken Windows Theory, Arizona Legal Workers Act, and the Secure Communities Program were the hot topics at the session Spillover Effects on Crime on Friday, November 8. Clemencia Cosentino, Mathematica Policy Research, chaired the session and John MacDonald, University of Pennsylvania, provided integrative commentary.


The Well-Being of Latinos in Traditional and New Destinations

Nov 14, 2013 02:00 PM

This Thursday session was chaired by Danya E. Keene, University of Pennsylvania, and included presentations by Abigail Fisher Williamson, Trinity College; Van C. Tran, Columbia University; and Brendan Saloner, University of Pennsylvania.


Could Data Tsunami Usher in APPAM’s Moment?

Nov 13, 2013 08:12 PM

Data Scientist: The Sexiest Job in the 21st Century "I've been waiting a long time to see a headline like that," APPAM President Paul Decker told the crowd gathered Friday in Washington for his presidential address. The headline, taken from a Harvard Business Review article, was one of many moments of levity that punctuated Decker’s otherwise serious talk entitled "False Choices, Policy Framing, and the Promise of 'Big Data.'"


Call for Proposals: Joint AAEA/CAES/EAAE Seminar

Nov 13, 2013 07:38 PM

The objective is to promote a better understanding of peer group influence on food consumption, and how social media and social networking affect food production and food choice decisions. Recognizing the role of social media in the broader food environment can help explain food choices that lead to unhealthy diets or the consumption of unsafe food.


Research on Community Colleges: Readiness, Quality, and Completion

Nov 13, 2013 07:22 PM

The Urban Institutes’ Lauren Eyster chaired the Friday morning panel on community colleges. Four presenters addressed a number of topics focusing on readiness, quality, and completion.


Meeting the Needs of Vulnerable Young Children

Nov 13, 2013 03:00 PM

On Friday, November 8, Deborah Reed, Mathematica Policy Research, chaired the panel Meeting the Need of Vulnerable Young Children. The panel consisted of Heather Dahien, State Health Access Data Assistance Center; Christina Weiland, University of Michigan; Anna Johnson and Deborah Phillips, Georgetown University; and Dylan Conger, George Washington University.


A Student Looks at the Bright Futures Breakfast

Nov 13, 2013 02:02 PM

On Friday, November 8, during the Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management conference held in Washington, DC, I had the opportunity to connect with other students and recent graduates at the Bright Futures networking breakfast held at the Westin Hotel.


International Development Fellowships & Research Grants in the UAE

The Sheikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi Foundation for Policy Research is pleased to accept proposals from visiting scholars to conduct field research in Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates.


Military Service and Human Capital: Policy Lessons from the Global War on Terrorism

Nov 11, 2013 02:40 PM

On Friday, November 8, several presenters discussed that deployment overseas either for combat operations or non-war related is now a way of life for military families. This, however, comes with serious negative effects on spouses left at home and the whole family as well as on the deployed parent. Specific impacts of these deployments upon military families range from emotional, social, domestic violence and even on their children’s education.


The War on Poverty: After 50 Years

Nov 10, 2013 03:45 PM

On Friday, November 8, Fall Research Conference attendees packed into the ballroom of the Washington Marriott for the second symposia on the weekend. As we near the fiftieth anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson’s historic launch of the War on Poverty, it seemed fitting that we take a step back to evaluate these programs. Two students from Rutgers University who were in attendance share their perceptions of the symposium.


Educational Inequality in the Wake of No Child Left Behind

Nov 09, 2013 09:07 PM

The Spencer Lecture on Thursday morning featured Adam Gamoran, President of the William T. Grant Foundation, who provided valuable insight and suggested potential pathways to awaken the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) program. Reauthorized by Congress, the NCLB aims to raising and closing the achievement gaps in elementary and secondary schools so that no child is left behind.


Short Bits: Hot Friday Sessions

Nov 09, 2013 07:38 PM

A quick look at three hot-topic sessions from Friday, November 8: "Does 1+1 = 3? What Research Tells Us About the Potential of Two-Generation Approaches;" "Early Childhood Interventions at Scale: Lessons for Current Policy Efforts;" and "Could Data 'Tsunami' Usher in APPAM’s Moment?"


Exploring the Impact of School Breakfast Policy

Nov 09, 2013 05:58 PM

Chaired by Rogan Kersh, Wake Forest University, this session at the 2013 Fall Research Conference explored various studies regarding school breakfast in class programs and their effects on student learning.​


2013 Fall Research Conference Poster Winners

Nov 07, 2013 05:22 PM

Winners of each daily poster session.


Membership to Vote on New APPAM Logo

Nov 07, 2013 01:00 PM

The APPAM Communications and Web Committee spearheaded a project to redesign the APPAM logo earlier this year. The existing APPAM logo was designed in 1994. Leadership and staff have gotten some complaints over the years that the logo is confusing and looks dated. In addition, over the past few years, APPAM has undergone some notable changes as we continue to focus on ways to pursue our mission.


Angela Evans Welcomes Attendees to the 2013 Fall Research Conference

Nov 05, 2013 02:50 PM

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans welcomes attendees and members to this year's Fall Research Conference in a special video address.


An Assessment of the Strengthening Communities Fund Capacity-Building Program

Nov 04, 2013 07:28 PM

The Strengthening Communities Fund (SCF) authorized under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) was designed to build organizational capacity of faith-based and community organizations (FBCOs) so they could contribute to economic recovery and help ensure that information and services available through ARRA reached disadvantaged populations.


Vermont Fiscal Director Stephen Klein Wins Steven D. Gold Award

Nov 01, 2013 02:00 PM

The award, presented by NCSL in conjunction with the National Tax Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management, recognizes a person who has made a significant contribution to public financial management in the field of intergovernmental relations and state and local finance. It was named for respected financial analyst Steven D. Gold, who was active in all three organizations.​


CAP: Getting to Results by Investing for Impact

Nov 01, 2013 01:00 PM

Government has a real opportunity to invest in innovation in the social sector. In tight fiscal times, all levels of government are seeking more innovative approaches to delivering better services and getting better outcomes. The field of social impact investing has emerged as a way to forge public-private partnerships in pursuit of shared social goals in areas like housing, clean energy, and—most recently—preventive social services.


Why Should You Attend the 2013 Fall Research Conference?

Oct 31, 2013 02:00 PM

Attending the Association’s fall conference is a professionally rewarding experience. Over the course of three days—November 7 to 9—attendees can socialize with colleagues from other institutions and organizations, hear some excellent panels and discussions on the latest research and policy ideas, and converse with their peers.


Data Geeks Make Change

Oct 30, 2013 03:00 PM

"Images of ones and zeroes, or endless pages of data tables might come to mind. But take a closer look and you might see how numbers and data paint a more colorful picture of the individuals and communities we work with. They not only enable a deeper understanding of the challenges that people face, they help inform decision making to improve lives."


MDRC: The Impact of Family Involvement on the Education of Children Ages 3 to 8

Oct 30, 2013 01:24 PM

This report summarizes research conducted primarily over the past 10 years on how families’ involvement in children’s learning and development through activities at home and at school affects the literacy, mathematics, and social-emotional skills of children ages 3 to 8. A total of 95 studies of family involvement are reviewed.


A Young Policy Professional’s Thoughts on Publishing

Brent Gibbons, Maryland Institute for Policy Analysis and Research, shares some initial thoughts on the process of publishing research in the public policy field.


MSPP Professor Judy Feder Issues Alternative Report on Long-Term Care Solutions

Oct 28, 2013 02:02 PM

Compelled to provide Congress with a comprehensive report on implementing and financing long-term care services, five commissioners, including Judy Feder, a health care and long-term care expert and professor at the McCourt School, issued an alternative report to the Commission’s final report to Congress.​


Know Before You Go to the 2013 APPAM Fall Research Conference

Oct 25, 2013 05:00 PM

The Association’s 35th annual Fall Research Conference is just around the corner. Attendees will be arriving in Washington, DC from locations all around the world, ready to learn about the latest in research across 10 broad policy areas. Several special events, symposia, and networking opportunities round out these intensely packed three days, giving attendees many choices to round out their conference experience. To make the most of your conference experience, here are some last-minute tips...


Abt Associates Expert to Present at Event on Ending Homelessness

Oct 25, 2013 02:34 PM

Tom Albanese, Abt senior associate, is giving two presentations at the National Conference on Ending Homelessness, organized by the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness.


Urban Institute: Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care Payment Methods and Spending in 20 States

Oct 23, 2013 05:51 PM

This study of Medicaid and CHIP managed care programs in 20 states indicates that capitation rate-setting became more data-driven and transparent during the time period 2001-2010. Benefit packages were fairly consistent over time and among states, with carve outs in every state for a least one acute service.


Let's Treat Housing as a Health Care Issue

Oct 22, 2013 01:35 PM

Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State did something Care for the Homeless has long advocated. He adopted the public policy that housing is health care. CFH’s health care professionals, who treat people experiencing homelessness every day, advocate for it. They know it’s not just easier to access treatment when you’re stably housed, but ongoing treatment is always more effective for those who have stable housing.


APPAM's Fall Research Conference Has Events Geared Towards Students

Oct 22, 2013 01:00 PM

Whether you're an undergraduate or postgraduate student in the public policy field of study, there is a lot to occupy your attention. One event you should give serious consideration to attending is APPAM's Fall Research Conference; this year's event is being held in Washington, DC from November 7 to 9, with a few special events on November 6 that are designed with students in mind.


Two Important Considerations When Choosing Your Ph.D. Direction

Oct 18, 2013 02:00 PM

Selecting the right program for your Ph.D. is definitely daunting, partly because the process is so different from selecting either an undergraduate or master’s program. NYU's Sarah Cordes looks at two key questions every Ph.D. candidate must address in order to choose the best program for their future endeavors.


Making Sense of the Dee-Wyckoff IMPACT Study Stanford's

Oct 18, 2013 12:58 PM

Tom Dee and UVA's Jim Wyckoff have just published an important study on Washington DC's controversial teacher evaluation system. They find that the IMPACT system (launched during Michelle Rhee's tenure as chancellor) appears to boost teacher effectiveness and also makes it more likely that low-performing teachers will depart. Per usual, Dee, the king of regression discontinuity, has found a clever research strategm that lets the researchers push past descriptive data and correlational findings.


Saving Defense Dollars: From Base Realignment and Closure to Overhead Realignment and Closure

Oct 17, 2013 12:57 PM

With the government shutdown over for the time being, the real issue facing the nation is something that both parties agree on, in principle: the need to reduce the size of the federal deficit. The Budget Control Act of 2011 and sequestration have made some steps in this direction, though aiming indiscriminately at certain parts of government far more than others. Half of all cuts, for example, come from the Defense Department.


Reimagining Aid Design and Delivery: Improving Federal Financial Aid for Students

The Brown Center on Education Policy at the Brookings Institution recently released a new paper, "The Next Steps: Building a Reimagined System of Student Aid." The author, Beth Akers, a fellow with the Brown Center, presented her findings and headed a panel on Thursday, October 3, to explore how a redesigned federal financial aid system could help more students afford and succeed in college.


NASPAA's Statement on the U.S. Federal Government Shutdown

Oct 16, 2013 01:00 PM

The more than 280 schools of public policy and administration represented by NASPAA, the global standard in public service education, share a concern about the impact that the October 2013 U.S. federal government shutdown may have on the future of public service, and on wider confidence in public governance.


Spotlight: Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a mission-driven, global leader in research and program implementation in the fields of health, social and environmental policy, and international development. Throughout the company’s history, Abt has been a critical resource to governments, international organizations, academia, and foundations around the world.


Fighting for Reliable Evidence: An interview with Judith Gueron, MDRC, and Howard Rolston, Abt Associates

Oct 15, 2013 02:30 PM

Judith Gueron and Howard Rolston join the Gov Innovator blog to discuss their new book, Fighting for Reliable Evidence, published by the Russell Sage Foundation. It describes the four-decade effort to develop and use rigorous evidence from random assignment studies to improve social policy, particularly in the areas of welfare-to-work and anti-poverty policy.


Urban Institute: Using Past Income Data to Verify Current Medicaid Eligibility

Oct 15, 2013 01:30 PM

Using data from the 2008 Survey of Income and Program Participation, we find that information about past income and employment that is available to state Medicaid programs can potentially verify (a) initial financial eligibility for between 55 and 79 percent of eligible applicants and (b) renewed eligibility for between 60 and 71 percent of eligible enrollees.


AIR: Value-Added Measures in Education

Oct 11, 2013 02:30 PM

State and federal policies, such as the Race to the Top program, have redefined accountability to require states to develop and use performance-based teacher evaluation systems to inform decisions on professional development, employment, and compensation. To assess teacher effectiveness, many states and districts are using growth and value-added measurements as one component of a comprehensive evaluation system.


U.S. DOL Announces Funds Availability for 2013 Employment and Training Research Papers Program

Oct 11, 2013 01:51 PM

he U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced in a Training and Employment Notice the availability of approximately $80,000 in funding for the 2013 ETA Research Papers Program. The ETA Research Papers Program seeks to support original research conducted by Doctoral and Post-Doctoral students on topics related to the public workforce system.


California's 'Linked Learning' Initiative Gets Influx of Funds

California's Linked Learning Initiative is getting more than $7 million in new funding from private and public sources to support the high school career-preparation program, which grew last year from seven to 63 districts across the state.


How to get census data during the government shutdown

Oct 10, 2013 01:00 PM

Among the many data casualties that have resulted from the federal government shutdown is the shuttered U.S. Census Bureau website, which is critical for many people, from demographers to journalists. But with a little digging, fellow data users, we’ve found that there are still several ways to access government data.


Distinguished Researchers, Professors, and Fellows Selected for Various 2013 APPAM Awards

Oct 09, 2013 06:57 PM

The Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management (APPAM) has selected several winners for four distinguished awards: the Best Dissertation in Public Policy and Management, the Best Dissertation in Public Policy and Management in Asia, the ICPA/JCPA Award for Research in Comparative Policy Analysis, and the Raymond Vernon Memorial Award. These annual awards will be presented to the winners at the Association’s 2013 Fall Research Conference in November.


Child Neglect: Are We Doing Enough?

Science tells us that responsive environments and supportive relationships are essential elements for building healthy brain architecture. When young children reach out for interaction and receive responses that are consistently unreliable, inappropriate, or simply absent, the impact of excessive stress activation combined with this lost opportunity for interaction can affect brain development and result in lifelong consequences.


Changing the Game: Closing the Data Gap Will Help Narrow the Skills Gap

The skills gap in the U.S. workforce is by now well documented and the consequences well known. Millions of Americans need jobs, yet employers are striking out when it comes to finding qualified candidates for the millions of positions available.


Get the APPAM Fall Research Conference App Now!

Oct 07, 2013 03:00 PM

The APPAM 2013 Mobile App is a native application for iPad, smartphones (iPhone and Android), a hybrid web-based app for Blackberry, and available as a web-based version for all other web browser-enabled phones, tablets, and laptops. The app is now available for attendees to download.


The Latest Shutdown Information for NIH- and NSF-Funded Researchers

Oct 02, 2013 05:57 PM

Are you working on a NSF or NIH funded project? Check here for updates as the government shutdown continues.​


Duke Professors Weigh In on Shutdown

Oct 02, 2013 02:30 PM

What can we expect now that there is a partial shutdown of the federal government? Duke asked several of its professors to weigh in, in less than 100 words.


Dr. Adam Gamoran to Receive 2013 Spencer Foundation Award from APPAM

Oct 02, 2013 01:00 PM

The Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management (APPAM) has selected Adam Gamoran, President of the William T. Grant Foundation, as the recipient of the 2013 Spencer Foundation Award. The Spencer Foundation Award recognizes noteworthy contributions through research and analysis in the field of education policy and management.


Final Pre-conference Update by President-elect Angela Evans

Oct 01, 2013 01:30 PM

In her last video blog before the 2013 Fall Research Conference, Angela gives her last update on progress for the event, including the APPAM Memorial, Saturday Caucus, and the luncheon with former Congressman Lee Hamilton.


After Two Years, Three Widely Used Elementary Math Curricula Outperform a Fourth

Oct 01, 2013 01:00 PM

Most elementary schools use curricula for math instruction. When choosing among the various curricular approaches that exist, educators often focus on selecting a program that will help students learn and understand mathematics and offer an instructional approach that fits their context and teaching style. [PDF]


Introducing the Center for Effective Public Management at Brookings

Sep 30, 2013 07:00 PM

Governance Studies at Brookings is pleased to announce the establishment of a new research entity, the Center for Effective Public Management (CEPM), which will focus on identifying and solving political and governance challenges in 21st century America. Former Vice President Al Gore delivered a keynote address about his views on government reinvention and tackling American governance challenges; Senior Fellow Elaine Kamarck provided an overview of the new center’s vision, research, and goals.


State Perspectives in Expanded Learning: The Role of Statewide Afterschool Networks

Sep 30, 2013 05:00 PM

With the demand for afterschool and summer programs reaching new heights, educators and policymakers are recognizing the benefit of a coordinated approach to expanded learning opportunities. Of the last decade, stateside afterschool networks have played a critical role in promoting such coordination, demonstrating how expanded learning in these programs can complement and reinforce school day lessons.​


Why Food Stamps Matter

Sep 27, 2013 01:51 PM

North Philadelphia is one of America’s poorest urban neighborhoods. In 2011, researchers with Pew Charitable Trusts estimated that Philadelphia’s poverty rate stood at twenty-five per cent. But that number hid huge disparities. Some suburbs were as leafy and affluent as Westchester, New York. Meanwhile, in the eastern part of North Philadelphia, the city’s poorest district, the poverty rate stood at about fifty-six per cent. In 2010, the median home price for a house in the area was $10,000.


Finding Balance

Fourth-year George Mason University SPP Doctoral Student and APPAM Student Member Don Shaw shares some thoughts about what to expect when committing to a Ph.D. program.


Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Lucie Schmidt

Sep 25, 2013 05:00 PM

Lucie Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Economics at Williams College. She is also Chair of the College’s Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program. She is an empirical microeconomist working on policy-related issues in labor economics and the economics of the family. She has written extensively on social insurance programs in the United States, with a particular focus on policies for the disabled.​


Fannie Mae reduces its max LTV to 95: Does the data support the move?

Sep 25, 2013 01:17 PM

It just got a little harder to buy a home. Fannie Mae recently announced that it would reduce the maximum loan-to-value (LTV) ratio for loans it purchases from 97 percent to 95 percent—meaning that borrowers now have to contribute a minimum 5 percent down payment, instead of 3 percent. This change places yet another barrier in front of low- and moderate-income families, who are already facing a tightening credit box.


Kioko, Hildreth Win Jesse Burkhead Prize

APPAM members Dr. Sharon Kioko and Dr. Bartley Hildreth, along with Indiana University's Dr. Craig Johnson, have been awarded the Jesse Burkhead prize for best article in 2012 in the journal Public Budgeting and Finance.


Breaking Ranks in Academia

Sep 24, 2013 01:00 PM

Why does so much of the academic writing on international affairs seem to be of little practical value, mired in a "cult of irrelevance"? Is it because IR scholars are pursuing a misleading model of "science," patterned after physics, chemistry, or biology? Or is it because many prominent academics fear criticism and are deathly afraid of being controversial, and prefer to hide behind arcane vocabulary, abstruse mathematics, or incomprehensible postmodern jargon?


CBO: A Premium Support System for Medicare

Sep 23, 2013 02:00 PM

Over the past two decades, numerous proposals have been advanced for the establishment of a premium support system for Medicare. Under such a program, beneficiaries would purchase health insurance from one of a number of competing plans, and the federal government would pay part of the cost of the coverage. The various proposals have differed in many respects, including the way in which the federal contribution would be set and how that contribution might change over time.


Urban Institute: The Costs of Debt Limit Brinksmanship

Sep 20, 2013 01:00 PM

In this testimony before the Joint Economic Committee, Donald Marron offers Congress four pieces of advice as it faces the looming debt limit.


Urban Institute: The Negative Effects of Instability on Child Development

Sep 19, 2013 01:17 PM

Children thrive in stable and nurturing environments where they have a routine and know what to expect. But a large number of children face instability at some point in their lives. They experience change in individual or family circumstances that is abrupt, involuntary, and/or in a negative direction.​


Georgetown Receives $100M to Create New Public Policy School

Sep 18, 2013 06:22 PM

The McCourt School of Public Policy (MSPP), funded through a gift from Frank H. McCourt Jr. (C’75), will be the ninth current school at Georgetown and the first new school at the university since 1957. It will focus on the use of evolving technology to help solve some of the most urgent and complex public policy challenges in the 21st century.


Spotlight: University of Minnesota

The mission of the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs is to inspire, educate, and support innovative leaders to advance the common good in a diverse world. The third-oldest public affairs program in the country, the Humphrey School has experienced a decade of steady growth in program expansion, student enrollment and graduation, excellence, and national reputation.​


Mathematica Study Examines Teacher Effectiveness in High-Needs Secondary Schools

Sep 16, 2013 04:00 PM

High-poverty schools across the country struggle to attract effective teachers, particularly in science and math. Teach For America (TFA) and the TNTP Teaching Fellows programs provide an alternative route into the teaching profession for promising candidates without formal training in education. Findings released by Mathematica Policy Research last week indicate that secondary math teachers from both programs are as effective as other math teachers in the same schools.


Child poverty has stopped climbing, but it's stuck at high levels

Sep 16, 2013 01:00 PM

Our child poverty predictions rely on historical American Community Survey (ACS) child poverty data, unemployment rates, and SNAP (food stamp) receipt. The Census Bureau recommends Current Population Survey (CPS) data for nationwide poverty estimates —those are what will be released Tuesday— and ACS for state-by-state statistics, which come out on Thursday. Nevertheless, our predictions have historically tracked national calculations closely.


From the Chairman of the Committee of Institutional Representatives

Sep 13, 2013 04:52 PM

The APPAM Fall Conference is right around the corner and there are a few things we need to do in preparation for our Institutional Reps meeting on November 8th. Please read through the items below and let me know if you have any questions. Look forward to seeing you soon.


Reference pricing as an alternative to selective contracting

A fascinating, new article on reference pricing by James Robinson and Timothy Brown appeared in the August issue of Health Affairs. The results are interesting enough, and I’ll get to them, but the well-articulated market context and potential implications of reference pricing are what caught the Incidental Economist's eye.


MDRC: Promoting College Match for Low-Income Students

Sep 13, 2013 01:15 PM

Most high school reform efforts understandably fo­cus on boosting the success of low-income students who are underachieving academi­cally, aiming to help them graduate ready for the rigors of college. But in every school dis­trict where students struggle, there are aca­demically capable low-income and minority students who do graduate from high school and are well prepared for college.


IES: Addressing Teacher Shortages in Disadvantaged Schools

Sep 12, 2013 01:13 PM

Two IES studies evaluated teachers from two highly selective alternative routes--Teach For America and the Teaching Fellows programs--and less selective alternative routes that accept nearly all applicants. An evaluation brief discusses the following lessons learned from these two studies.


An Introduction to the National Poverty Fellows Program

Sep 12, 2013 01:00 PM

As part of the APPAM Professional Development Workshop and for other young post-doctoral researchers, Timothy Smeeding Director of the Institute for Research on Poverty (IRP) at the University of Wisconsin–Madison will conduct an information session about the National Poverty Fellows Program, an exciting post-doctoral opportunity developed and administered by IRP in conjunction with two branches of the Department of Health and Human Services.


Mathematica: New Study Examines Effectiveness of Secondary School Math Teachers

Sep 11, 2013 02:00 PM

Middle and high school math teachers from Teach For America (TFA) and the TNTP Teaching Fellows programs are as effective as, and in some cases more effective than, other math teachers in the same schools. The first large-scale, random assignment study of the effects of secondary school math teachers from these programs on student achievement provides new evidence for policymakers and education officials concerned about teacher effectiveness and staffing strategies in high-poverty schools.


Cato Institute: School Spending Transparency Favors School Choice

Sep 10, 2013 02:00 PM

In a post at RedefinED Online calling for more sunshine on the Sunshine State’s public school spending data, Jason Bedrick discussed the broader implications of financial transparency.


Economy Edges Out Environment for Governments Plugging Electric Vehicles

Sep 10, 2013 01:15 PM

Contrary to common belief, many of the world’s most powerful nations promote the manufacture and sale of electric vehicles primarily for reasons of economic development – notably job creation – not because of their potential to improve the environment through decreased air pollution and oil consumption.​


What’s Behind the Drop in College Enrollment?

Sep 06, 2013 01:30 PM

New Census Bureau estimates published Tuesday point to a record drop in college enrollment after years of steady growth. Total enrollment dipped 467,000 last year, about a 2.3 percent decline from 2011. While it might not seem high, the number represents a significant reversal: It’s the largest year-over-year decline since the Census Bureau began estimating enrollment in 1955. So what’s to explain the sudden drop?


Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Scott Allard

Sep 05, 2013 02:00 PM

Scott W. Allard is an Associate Professor at the University of Chicago's School of Social Service Administration (SSA) with expertise in social welfare policy, federalism and intergovernmental relationships, and urban policy. Allard has received research grants supporting his work on social welfare policy from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), The Brookings Institution, and others.


Over Half of Food Stamp Recipients Live in the Suburbs

Sep 03, 2013 02:15 PM

The housing bust didn't just sink the world economy. It sunk the suburbs too.


APPAM President-elect Angela Evans Introduces the Saturday Caucus

Sep 03, 2013 01:00 PM

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans welcomes members back after the summer and presents the new Saturday Caucus debuting at this year's Fall Research Conference.


Cato Institute: Cracking the Books

Aug 30, 2013 01:00 PM

Public schools are usually the most costly item in state and local budgets. Yet despite tremendous and persistent spending growth in the last half-century, the public vastly underestimates the true cost of public education.


Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Robert Kaestner and Jane Waldfogel

Aug 29, 2013 03:00 PM

Last year, the membership voted for Robert Kaestner as part of the new Policy Council cohort. Serving until 2016, Kaestner joins Colleen Barry, David Johnson, Mark Long, Jodi Sandfort, Laura Peck, and Lucie Schmidt as the newly-elected Council members. In 2011, the membership voted for Jane Waldfogel, who serves until 2015 with the Policy Council cohort that includes Scott Allard, Marcy Carlson, Swati Desai, Barbara Devaney, Susan Dynarski, and Joyce Manchester.


American University Announces Environmental Leadership and Governance Internship Program

Aug 29, 2013 01:08 PM

Under the auspices of its William K. Reilly Fund for Environmental Governance and Leadership, the American University Center for Environmental Policy (CEP) is pleased to announce an internship program for students in the School of Public Affairs’ Masters of Public Policy and Masters of Public Administration programs.


Brookings: Revive Build America Bonds to Support State and Local Investments

Aug 28, 2013 01:01 PM

The Build America Bonds (BABs) program, which expired in 2010, should be reinstated to encourage budget-constrained state and local governments to invest in economically critical infrastructure projects. While authorized at a lower subsidy rate than the original program, a permanent BABs program would provide flexible, low-cost financing for a broad range of infrastructure projects that will create jobs and foster economic growth for years to come.


Urban Institute: Income and Wealth of Older Adults Needing Long-Term Services and Supports

Aug 27, 2013 02:00 PM

In his testimony before the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, Richard Johnson reports that most older adults who receive Medicaid-financed nursing home care have low incomes and very little wealth, both while on the program and for at least a decade before entering a nursing home.


Forget whether “opting-out” is good or bad for parents. How does it impact kids?

APPAM Policy Council member Jane Waldfogel contributed to an article that expands on a recent NYT Magazine cover story about mothers who opted to walk away from successful professional careers to stay at home with their kids.


Small Schools Give Graduation Boost in Big Apple, Study Says

Aug 26, 2013 01:30 PM

Students in New York City's small high schools are more likely to graduate than other students, and perhaps are also better prepared for college-level reading afterward, according to the latest in an ongoing longitudinal evaluation of the schools.


How New York City Became Safe Again

Aug 23, 2013 03:14 PM

While exploring New York City's terrifying past, we started to wonder how the city became safe again. New York's murder rate peaked in 1990. By the end of the 90s, violent crime in the city had dropped 56%.


Free Trade in Environmental Goods: The Trade Remedy Problem

Aug 23, 2013 02:11 PM

In late June of 2013, in a major speech on climate change, President Obama announced a plan "to launch negotiations toward global free trade in environmental goods and services," including clean energy technology. Removing or lowering tariffs on goods such as solar panels and wind turbines would lead to lower prices and greater availability of those products.


Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Mark Long

Aug 22, 2013 02:00 PM

Mark C. Long is an Associate Professor of Public Affairs at the University of Washington Evans School of Public Affairs. His current research focuses on higher education and labor issues, including gender disparities, affirmative action, and financial aid, and has previously worked on the economics of nursing labor markets and manufacturing firms' wage and productivity dynamics.


RAND: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Correctional Education

Aug 22, 2013 12:11 PM

After conducting a comprehensive literature search, the authors undertook a meta-analysis to examine the association between correctional education and reductions in recidivism, improvements in employment after release from prison, and learning in math and in reading. Their findings support the premise that receiving correctional education while incarcerated reduces an individual's risk of recidivating.​


Urban Institute: Who Are the Long-Term Unemployed?

Relative to currently employed workers, those who have been out of work for more than 26 weeks (the long-term unemployed) tend to be less educated and are more likely to be nonwhite, unmarried, disabled, impoverished, and to have worked previously in the construction industry and construction occupations. The long-term unemployed have much more in common with workers who are newly unemployed and workers who have become discouraged and dropped out of the labor force.


Understanding the Research, Policy, and Practice Behind Transforming Remediation

Aug 20, 2013 01:41 PM

The American Youth Policy Forum conducted an online seminar last week, presenting some key principles for transforming remedial education in postsecondary education. The webinar also highlighted promising institution-level practices and discussed future steps.


Mathematica: State-to-State Differences in the Vocational Rehabilitation Experiences of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities

Aug 20, 2013 01:00 PM

In a new working paper, Mathematica researchers Todd Honeycutt, Allison Thompkins, Maura Bardos, and Steven Stern present new state-level statistics on state vocational rehabilitation (VR) agencies in order to expand the knowledge base on both the agencies and the agency- and state-level practices that most effectively promote employment opportunities for transition-age youth (16 to 24 years old) with disabilities.


Regulation nation: Obama expands the regulatory state

Aug 19, 2013 02:00 PM

President Obama has overseen a dramatic expansion of the regulatory state that will outlast his time in the White House. The reach of the executive branch has advanced steadily on his watch, further solidifying the power of bureaucrats who churn out regulations that touch nearly every aspect of American life and business.


Urban: Strengthening Local Capacity For Data-Driven Decisionmaking

Aug 19, 2013 12:03 PM

The National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership used strategic planning to examine its model in the context of 15 years of local partner experiences and dramatic changes in technology and policy approaches. The process reviewed the functions and institutional arrangements of local data intermediaries and reflected on the continued need for local expertise to help communities use data for decisionmaking.​


Health Policy Briefs: Health Gaps

Aug 16, 2013 02:19 PM

At a time when health care providers and policy makers are exploring new models to promote better health and improve health care, different populations experience persistent and increasing disparities in health status. In the United States, life expectancy and other health status measures vary dramatically depending on factors, such as race, gender, educational attainment, and ZIP code, that should not make a difference.


Spotlight: University of California, Berkeley

Today, the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley conducts leading-edge research in budgeting and the economy, political participation, labor, education, inequality, racial profiling, criminal justice, health care, renewable energy and the environment, and national security.


Tackling Wicked Government Problems: Developing Enterprise Leaders

Aug 15, 2013 05:00 PM

Government leaders face increasingly complex problems that demand collaborative interagency solutions. Nearly all of the major challenges the government faces today, from cyber security and food safety to natural and man-made disasters, require leaders at all levels who can coordinate resources beyond their immediate control.


CBO: The Economic Impact of S. 744, the Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) would revise laws governing immigration and the enforcement of those laws, allowing for a significant increase in the number of noncitizens who could lawfully enter the United States permanently or temporarily. The bill also would create a process for many currently unauthorized residents to gain legal status, subject to their meeting conditions specified in the bill.


Mexico-U.S. Migration: Past, Present, and Future Trends

Aug 13, 2013 05:08 PM

The total number of Mexican migrants into the United States has increased more than ten-fold between 1970 and 2011. Why did so many Mexicans come to this country? Since about 2005, why has net migration from Mexico apparently fallen to about zero? Is this change likely to be permanent? Regardless of whether there might be an indefinite pause in Mexican migration, are there other "Mexicos"—in Latin America or elsewhere—in our future? And what are the implications for policy?


From the Eyes of a School Board Member: The Promising Story in Public Education

Aug 13, 2013 01:56 PM

On Education Week, guest blogger Debbie Wesslund, school board member of the Jefferson County Public Schools, the largest school district in Kentucky, shares how there is more to the public education story, and much worth applauding and supporting in Kentucky, and all across the country.


Higher Education, Data Transparency, and the Limits of Data Anonymization

Aug 13, 2013 01:16 PM

Advocates of higher education reform often argue that we ought to reward the most effective institutions, i.e., the institutions that do the most to improve student outcomes per dollar spent. The problem, however, is that we don’t have very good tools for assessing outcomes.


Harvard's Institute of Politics Announces Fall Fellows

Aug 12, 2013 06:11 PM

Harvard’s Institute of Politics, located at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, today announced the selection of an experienced group of individuals for Resident and Visiting Fellowships this fall. Over the course of an academic semester, Resident Fellows interact with students, participate in the intellectual life of the Harvard community and lead weekly study groups on a wide variety of issue areas.


Urban: The Justice Reinvestment Initiative

Aug 12, 2013 01:00 PM

This brief summarizes the efforts of states involved in the Justice Reinvestment Initiative (JRI), a program designed to identify and implement cost-efficient, evidence-based criminal justice reforms. To do so, jurisdictions use data analysis to identify criminal justice population and cost drivers and then develop policy options to reduce those drivers.


OPRE: Adverse Child Experiences in NSCAW

Aug 09, 2013 02:29 PM

More than half of the children in the NSCAW II sample report four or more adverse childhood experiences. This finding is from a brief that uses the second cohort of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW II) to examine rates of adverse childhood experiences among children who have been reported for maltreatment to the child welfare system.


State Tax Revenues Up But Volatility Continues

Aug 09, 2013 12:21 PM

States' tax collections have been growing for 13 straight quarters now. While inflation-adjusted state tax revenues are presently above the recessionary peaks, states continue to face fiscal challenges, particularly due to artificially propped-up personal income tax revenues, according to the latest State Revenue Report from the Rockefeller Institute of Government.


IMPAQ International to Conduct Study Profiling Women Veterans’ Economic and Employment Characteristics

Aug 08, 2013 01:04 PM

MPAQ International, LLC has been selected by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to develop a descriptive statistical profile of women veterans and their economic and employment characteristics. The Columbia-based, woman-owned firm will also inventory programs that explicitly or implicitly target women veterans in DOL and across other Federal agencies. The goal is to determine the extent of existing employment services available for this group.


GW's Elliott School of International Affairs Receives $245,000 Grant from the Hewlett Foundation

Aug 07, 2013 02:00 PM

The Institute for International Economic Policy (IIEP), at the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs, received a $245,000 grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for research on global development goals and women's economic empowerment. Led by GW Professor James Foster, IIEP will develop an approach for measuring progress toward the new global development goals that accounts for achievements across multiple dimensions.


Rutgers Future Scholars Experiment Gets 163 Urban Kids to College

Aug 07, 2013 12:47 PM

What would happen if the university put nearly 200 low-income kids in an intensive multiyear program to get them ready for college and offered them free tuition to Rutgers if they stuck with it? The results of the program, called Rutgers Future Scholars, are better than anyone at the university expected. Out of the 183 students who started the program as seventh-graders, 163 are headed to college this fall — including 98 to Rutgers on full scholarships, school officials said.


Urban Institute: State and Local Coverage Changes Under Full Implementation of the ACA

Aug 06, 2013 12:37 PM

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes many new policies intended to reduce the number of people without health insurance. This brief highlights new state and sub-state estimates of how the number and composition of individuals enrolled in Medicaid/CHIP would change with full implementation of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion.


Policy Analysis in Brazil

Aug 05, 2013 02:39 PM

This new book shows how policy analysis emerged as part of Brazilian state-building from the 1930s onwards. With the democratization process of the late 1980s, policy analysis began to include innovative elements of social participation in public management.


Accurate Counting of Homeless Youth Necessary to Provide Successful Assistance

Aug 02, 2013 05:22 PM

Homelessness is devastating for young people. They often can't attend school, let alone graduate. They experience hight rates of violence, sexual assault, physical illness, and behavioral disorders. To cope, many engage in drug use, prostitution, survival sex, or other illicit activities. And they are often invisible.


Fiscal stress: Beyond Detroit

Aug 01, 2013 01:41 PM

Detroit is the biggest city to declare bankruptcy in U.S. history. Most of the attention on the city’s fiscal crisis, however, has so far ignored the wider metropolitan, state, and even Great Lakes context that portends widespread fiscal challenges.


New Rutgers Regional Report examines nation’s employment and output recovery

Jul 31, 2013 01:08 PM

A new Rutgers Regional Report, “Employment Recession and Recovery in the 50 States: A Further Update,” authored by Joseph J. Seneca, university professor and economist at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and Will Irving, research associate at the Bloustein School, provides an update on the private-sector employment and output recovery across the 50 states.


The Rise and Fall of the Gold Standard in the United States

Jul 30, 2013 12:53 PM

There is, in informal discussions and even in some academic writings, a tendency to treat U.S. monetary history as divided between a gold standard past and a fiat dollar present. In truth, the legal meaning of a "standard" U.S. dollar has been contested, often hotly, throughout U.S. history, and a functioning (if not formally acknowledged) gold standard was in effect for less than a quarter of the full span of U.S. history.


Inside Higher Ed: Take 2 on For-Profit Earnings Study

Jul 26, 2013 02:05 PM

The final result is a toss-up in a study comparing how for-profit and nonprofit colleges stack up in job market returns of their certificates and associate degrees. That finding is a big shift from the unflattering conclusion about for-profits reached in an earlier version of the paper.


U.S. Prison Populations Decline, Reflecting New Approach to Crime

Jul 26, 2013 01:04 PM

The prison population in the United States dropped in 2012 for the third consecutive year, according to federal statistics released on Thursday, in what criminal justice experts said was the biggest decline in the nation’s recent history, signaling a shift away from an almost four-decade policy of mass imprisonment.


Abt's Low-Emission Development Work Highlighted in USAID Climate Change Bulletin

Jul 25, 2013 02:10 PM

The Mekong Delta is home to much of the country’s rice cultivation, which accounts for almost 40 percent of the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. As the amount of carbon dioxide in the air increases and temperatures rise, microscopic organisms in rice paddies produce more methane – a potent contributor to global warming and rising ocean levels. The Abt Associates-led, USAID-funded AILEG project is working with the government of Vietnam to reduce or mitigate their GHG emissions.


MDRC Selected to Implement and Evaluate Earned Income Tax Credit Expansion in New York City

Jul 25, 2013 12:59 PM

The New York City Center for Economic Opportunity has selected MDRC to implement and evaluate a pilot program to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) for low-income single workers without dependent children, with the goal of increasing employment and earnings. The $11-million, four-year pilot will offer up to $2,000 a year over a three-year period to participants with earnings up to $26,800 per year, with the maximum payment being made to those with earnings between $6,667 and $14,300.


The United States and R2P: From Words to Action

Jul 24, 2013 01:09 PM

This report by Madeleine K. Albright and Richard S. Williamson examines the responsibility to protect (R2P), the emerging political norm that aims to protect civilians from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity by preventing them from taking place or taking remedial action when necessary.


Meet the 2013 Policy Council: Laura Peck and Jodi Sandfort

Jul 24, 2013 01:00 PM

Last year, the membership voted in Jodi Sandfort and Laura Peck as part of the new Policy Council cohort. Serving until 2016, both women join Colleen Barry, David Johnson, Robert Kaestner, Mark Long, and Lucie Schmidt as the newly-elected Council members. Both Council members took a moment from their busy schedules to answer a few questions for the Association’s membership.


Brookings: Twenty Years of U.S. Economic Assistance to Eastern Europe and Eurasia

Jul 23, 2013 01:09 PM

The Bureau for Europe and Eurasia at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) released a report that assesses the record of USAID assistance for economic transformation to the region and focuses particularly on lessons learned.


Conference Update by President-elect Angela Evans

Jul 22, 2013 02:00 PM

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans provides an update on some special events happening at this year's Fall Research Conference.


A Respectful Request From APPAM President-elect Angela Evans

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans is asking for your assistance. She would like to initiate a memorial at the fall conference, honoring those APPAM colleagues who have passed away during the previous year.


OPRE: Overview of Tribal Health Profession Opportunity Grants Supportive Services

Jul 19, 2013 02:35 PM

This brief discusses the academic and social supportive services that students in the Tribal HPOG program are receiving to support their participation, retention and advancement in their trainings. It provides an overview of Tribal HPOG and the supportive services offered; how supportive services meet students’ needs; and promising approaches in delivering supportive services. The brief is part of a series of briefs being developed by the Tribal HPOG evaluation team.


CBO: The Economic Impact of S. 744

Jul 17, 2013 12:54 PM

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act (S. 744) would revise laws governing immigration and the enforcement of those laws, allowing for a significant increase in the number of noncitizens who could lawfully enter the United States permanently or temporarily. The CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have prepared an estimate of the cost of that legislation to the federal government.


Urban Institute: The ACA's Employer Mandate Has Far Less Effect on Coverage and Costs Than the Individual Mandate

Jul 16, 2013 01:10 PM

Our analysis shows that the ACA can achieve all its major objectives without the employer mandate. Conversely, the individual mandate is a central component of the law and its coverage expansion.


Spotlight: Duke University

Jul 15, 2013 01:00 PM

Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy is among the nation’s oldest public policy programs. It was established in 1971 by Terry Sanford, then president of Duke. His experience as governor of North Carolina and, later, as a U.S. Senator convinced him the country needed ethical leaders capable of rigorous analytical thinking, who also understood the political process. Sanford urged students to set “outrageous ambitions,” a call to action that remains at the core of the school’s identity​


Evaluating the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's Strategies for Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care

Jul 11, 2013 12:16 PM

How successful are youth in transitioning out of foster care? Westat is evaluating the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation's strategies for foster youth aging out of child welfare systems in New York City and Los Angeles County. The study is being conducted in partnership with the University of California, Los Angeles, Luskin School of Public Affairs, and Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work.


Exploring Health Data in Metro Atlanta and Beyond

Jul 10, 2013 01:13 PM

This Regional Snapshot looks at a variety of data for metro Atlanta and the State to help put public health in context. Socioeconomics and demographics play profound roles in how healthy we are, and this research explores these links. Using data from the recently-released County Health Rankings and from the Georgia Department of Public Health, we explore how healthy metro Atlanta counties are in relation to the rest of the state.


EPI: Low Churn Underscores Weakness of the Labor Market

Jul 10, 2013 01:11 PM

The May Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLTS) released yesterday by the Bureau of Labor Statistics provides an important picture of economic health (or lack thereof) in key areas.


Brookings: Vital Statistics on Congress

Jul 10, 2013 01:01 PM

For more than three decades, Vital Statistics on Congress, a joint effort undertaken by Norm Ornstein of the American Enterprise Institute and Tom Mann of Brookings, in collaboration with Michael Malbin of the Campaign Finance Institute, has been a go-to reference guide for Congressional watchers for impartial data on Congress and its members. It's been updated. This new interactive format allows us to update and correct the data more frequently and make it accessible to anyone.


Brookings Panel Evaluates Homebuyer Tax Credit Programs

Jul 09, 2013 05:12 PM

At a recent forum held by the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC, the results of an in-depth study of the federal homebuyer tax credit (HTC) and complementary state-level initiatives was released. Dynan, Gayer, and Plotkin’s research looked at how various federal programs were structured and, based on their features, what effects one would expect on the economy.


Call for 2013 APPAM Policy Council and Officer Nominations

The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management is soliciting its members for nominations to the APPAM Policy Council and for the positions of APPAM President-elect, Vice-President, and Secretary. All terms will begin in 2014.


IMPAQ Research Reveals Medicare Payments Increase Significantly With Number of Chronic Conditions

Jul 09, 2013 12:59 PM

A recent study conducted by IMPAQ International, a premier research, evaluation, and technical assistance firm, revealed that chronic conditions have a dramatic impact on Medicare spending. According to the study, beneficiaries with two or more chronic conditions account for 86 percent of total Part A payments and 70 percent of total Part B payments, respectively, although they comprise only 36 percent of Part A, and 41 percent of Part B enrollment.


Native Youth Address Polices that Affect Their Lives

Jul 09, 2013 12:26 PM

The National Museum of the American Indian welcomed a group of students from the Summer Policy Academy II, a program of the Santa Fe Indian School Leadership Institute. SPA II gives students the opportunity to travel to Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs to research and write policy papers on issues that affect their Native communities. Students are admitted into the program based on nomination by leaders in their communities.


The Import of the CREDO Charter School Study

Jul 08, 2013 12:38 PM

The new national charter school study by Stanford's Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) has attracted enormous, well-deserved attention. It provides by far the most comprehensive look to date at charter school outcomes. Representing a heroic effort to wrestle with the enormous complexities of studying charter school performance across more than two dozen states, the CREDO team has drawn notice for its remarkable effort and even-handed presentation of the data.


Digital start-ups: What to do when the grants dry up

Jul 05, 2013 01:14 PM

Latin America has a vibrant range of online news organizations, reporting on everything from drug trafficking to the latest developments in science. Some have long histories of producing exceptional content but financial realities are starting to catch up with them as grant funding becomes harder to find.


Brookings: Does the Unemployment Rate Mask Today’s Job Market Hardship?

Jul 03, 2013 12:37 PM

For the past 3 months the unemployment rate has remained stuck between 7.5% and 7.6%. This is more than half again higher than the unemployment rate at the end of 2007, the last time the job market was at or near full employment. In other words, the recent unemployment rate is between 2.5 and 3.0 percentage points above the level we should expect at full employment.


2013 Fall Research Conference Next Steps: The Program Selection Process is Complete

Jul 03, 2013 12:11 PM

We completed the extremely difficult task of choosing among extremely high quality proposals to construct a fall conference program that promises an intellectually stimulating and challenging three days. The work to develop the program was bittersweet. While final sessions for the conference will be extraordinary, there also were proposals we had to reject due to space constraints. This was an extremely difficult task.


Summer 2013 JPAM Preview

A summary of papers in the Summer 2013 edition of the JPAM, including a look at performance-based contracting in social welfare, Medicaid spending, state unemployment, teacher pensions, and aviation security.


MDRC: WorkAdvance

Jul 02, 2013 01:16 PM

Even in good economic times, many low-income, low-skilled adults in the United States have difficulty obtaining jobs that pay enough to support their families and advancing in the labor market. Individuals with no more than a high school education have seen their wages remain flat in real terms for decades, and their employment is often unsteady. Although training programs abound, many low-income individuals cannot afford them, do not complete them, or do not obtain a marketable credential.


Inside Higher Ed: Exacerbating Inequality

The last year has brought a cacophony of proposals for "fixing" the federal student financial aid system, with debates about the sequester and the size of the federal budget raging, the renewal of the Higher Education Act looming, and a well-financed effort by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation priming the pump.

Tara Sheehan

From the Director's Chair: Exciting Events at This Year's Fall Conference

Jun 27, 2013 07:26 PM

We’re busy here in the office assembling the final program for this year’s Fall Research Conference in DC. The conference will feature more than 200 panels, roundtables, workshops, and symposia over three days in November. In addition, we’ll have a number of special events, including several brand new events that I’m excited to share with you.


APPAM Membership Votes In Changes to Policy Council

Jun 27, 2013 06:00 PM

The APPAM membership has voted to approve a change in the bylaws to reduce the size of the Policy Council and change its composition. The bylaws change was approved by a margin of six to one.


Mathematica: Strategies to Facilitate Agencies' Use of Evaluation in Program Management and Policy Making

In a governmentwide survey, GAO found that most federal managers lack recentevaluations of their programs. Thirty-seven percent reported that an evaluation had been completed within the past 5 years of any program, operation, or project they were involved in. Another 40 percent of managers reported that they did not know if an evaluation had been completed.


Much pain for small gain: difficulty of cost adjustment in the euro area

Jun 25, 2013 01:01 PM

IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook discussed reasons for relatively stable inflation following the Great Recession. It noted that large output gaps and high unemployment have resulted in surprisingly little disinflation in advanced countries. This was attributed to more firmly anchored long-term inflation expectations as well as the reluctance of workers to accept nominal wage cuts.


University of Minnesota Regents Approve Humphrey School of Public Affairs Doctoral Degree Program

Jun 24, 2013 02:30 PM

The University of Minnesota Board of Regents recently approved a Ph.D. in Public Affairs degree program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. This doctoral degree will provide students with critical skills necessary to address increasingly complex domestic and global policy challenges—from healthcare reform and economic development to climate change and international conflict prevention—and better prepare them for careers in government, nonprofit organizations, business, and academia.


Brookings: Royce/Engel Food Aid Reform Amendment to Farm Bill

Jun 24, 2013 01:43 PM

Republican Ed Royce and Democrat Elliott Engel are offering an amendment to the farm bill that will be a positive step in U.S. foreign agricultural aid. The U.S. food aid program, founded in the 1950s, combined the best of American productivity and values—using surplus agriculture produce to save millions from hunger and starvation.


Urban Institute: State Level Progress in Implementation of Federally Facilitated Exchanges

Jun 20, 2013 02:00 PM

This paper focuses on states' roles in implementation of FFEs. We start by providing an overview of recent regulations issued by CCIIO that describes the possible roles both for states and the federal government in the FFEs. We then provide in-depth descriptions of each of the specific FFE options as implemented in three states-Alabama, Michigan, and Virginia-with an eye to each state's role in developing mechanisms to carry out their new responsibilities.


AYPF and MDRC Discuss the College Match Program

Jun 19, 2013 05:17 PM

A recent forum hosted by the American Youth Policy Forum and MDRC highlighted the findings from the promising College Match Program (CMP) in Chicago. The discussion, focused primarily on helping students gain admittance to the college that represents the best academic fit for their skills and abilities. The concept is known as "match" and forms the basis of the program. The CMP model is an intervention of sorts, combating the problem of "undermatching."


Abt Associates: CarbonCounts Adopted by Massachusetts to Manage Commonwealth’s 2020 Clean Energy and Climate Plan

Jun 19, 2013 12:59 PM

CarbonCounts, a data management system for climate change initiatives, has been selected by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to support its implementation of the Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) and the Commonwealth’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan for 2020 (the 2020 Plan).


Urban Institute: How are States and Evaluators Measuring Medical Homeness in the CHIPRA Quality Demonstration Grant Program?

Jun 19, 2013 12:53 PM

Many Medicaid and CHIP programs and private health plans are pursuing medical home initiatives aimed at improving the quality of health care, but varying conceptual definitions and measurement goals have led to the development of a number of different medical home measurement tools.


APPAM to Host Conference Call Regarding JPAM RFP

Jun 17, 2013 07:30 PM

APPAM is soliciting bids to host the editorial office for the next editor of the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM). The contract for the current editor, Maureen Pirog, expires in June 2014 and proposals are being sought for a five year period, starting in July 2014. To help institutional members interested in submitting a proposal, APPAM is holding an informational conference call on June 27th, 2:00 p.m. EST to answer any questions.


CAP: Using Mobile Banking to Expand Financial Access

Jun 17, 2013 01:47 PM

According to the FDIC’s “2011 Survey of Unbanked and Underbanked Consumers,” approximately 17 million adults in the United States, or 8.2 percent of the population, do not have a checking or savings account—a group known as the “unbanked.” Another one in five households in the United States are “underbanked,” meaning they do have some sort of bank account but still use alternative, nonbank financial-services providers such as check cashers and pawn shops.


Experts Advise Doctors To Remain Alert For Child Abuse, Though Evidence Lacking For Universal Screenings

Jun 13, 2013 02:24 PM

A review of scientific literature by an expert medical panel shows no evidence that intervention by a family doctor helps to prevent child abuse in kids with no outward signs of maltreatment, such as physical wounds or symptoms of psychological distress.


OPRE: Measuring Implementation of Early Childhood Interventions at Multiple System Levels

Jun 12, 2013 02:00 PM

To ensure implementation of early childhood interventions with fidelity, implementation strategies must be aligned and coordinated across system levels. This brief introduces the importance of measuring implementation at multiple system levels and proposes tools for doing so.


AIR: Racial Discrimination, Coping Strategies, and Racial Identity Among Black Adolescents

Jun 12, 2013 01:24 PM

Prior studies have shown that in the U.S., perceptions of racial discrimination are commonly linked to lower life satisfaction levels, decreased self-esteem, and enhanced depressive symptoms among African American adolescents.


Aspen Institute to Look at Online Learning

Jun 11, 2013 01:20 PM

The Aspen Institute has convened a task force to study how children learn online and how to improve online education while safeguarding student privacy. As part of the initiative, the institute will launch a digital library of research related to online learning, and the 20-member task force is expected to review research to date and release a report on best practices next year.


OPRE: Intervention Dosage in Early Childhood Care and Education: It's Complicated

Dosage, or the amount of intervention delivered, is an important factor in understanding implementation. This brief for researchers and practitioners aims to help establish a common language for communication of findings.


Abt Associates: Disciplined Planning, Structured Participation, and Collaborative Modeling

Jun 10, 2013 03:19 PM

Participatory planning applied to water resources has sparked significant interest and debate during the last decade. Recognition that models play a significant role in the formulation and implementation of design and management strategies has encouraged the water resources management profession to consider how such models can be best implemented.


New Perspectives on Transforming States' Health and Human Services

Jun 07, 2013 01:35 PM

In this commentary collection, twelve authors - national, state, and county leaders along with research and policy experts -- offer perspectives on lessons from the first year of Work Support Strategies (WSS). WSS is a multi-state initiative to design and test cutting-edge improvements in policy, service delivery, and technology to help low-income working families get and keep the benefits for which they are eligible.


Dr. Laura Bloomberg Appointed as Associate Dean at Minnesota

Jun 07, 2013 01:31 PM

The Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota has appointed Dr. Laura Bloomberg as associate dean, with responsibilities for advancing the school's mission related to high quality teaching and learning, public policy research, and community engaged scholarship.


Humphrey School Partners With Universities in Hong Kong and Around U.S. to Develop and Share Innovative Learning Materials

Jun 06, 2013 02:23 PM

The Hubert Project allows public affairs instructors to develop and share a wide range of materials—from short videos to media-enhanced eCases. It’s in part an answer to growing demands from today’s technically savvy students: instead of reading a printed articles and case studies, students can watch video interviews with key stakeholders, view photos, and browse relevant documents.


APPAM to Present Three Awards During 2013 Fall Research Conference

Jun 06, 2013 02:00 PM

There are three awards that will be presented at APPAM’s 2013 Fall Research Conference. The window for nominations is closing rapidly, so there is still time to enter.


EPI: Corporate Tax Rates and Economic Growth Since 1947

Jun 05, 2013 12:59 PM

The never-ending fiscal and budget policy debates inside the Beltway have moved on to “tax reform.” Much of this tax reform concerns the corporate income tax, and the conventional wisdom in this debate is that the goal of reform should be revenue-neutral changes that broaden the base and lower the tax rate.


Abt Associates: Country-led Innovation

Jun 05, 2013 12:57 PM

If your data isn’t accurate, the rest of your program doesn’t matter.


President Obama Names Humphrey School Dean in Plans for Latest Administration Posts

Jun 04, 2013 01:04 PM

Eric Schwartz, Dean of the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, has been appointed by President Obama to serve on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission that monitors the universal right to freedom of religion or belief abroad.


APPAM Update: 5/31/13

May 31, 2013 06:08 PM

In this issue: *Brookings and APPAM Host a Discussion of the Obama Preschool Initiative *JPAM Accepting Proposals for New Editorial Home *Spotlight: Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UTA ​


Suburban poverty: let's keep talking about it

May 31, 2013 01:31 PM

Suburban poverty isn’t new, but the latest evidence about its prevalence should dispel outdated stereotypes of distressed (mostly minority) cities surrounded by affluent (mostly white) bedroom suburbs. American metros have been evolving away from this stereotype for decades but our thinking about poverty—and especially about poor communities—hasn’t kept up.


Brookings and APPAM Host a Discussion of the Obama Preschool Initiative

May 30, 2013 06:12 PM

At a forum held by The Brookings Institution, in conjunction with the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM), Secretary of Education Arne Duncan spoke once again about the ambitious expansion of prekindergarten programs. With little interest among Washington politicos for more spending, coupled with a dislike among some camps to give the federal government more power, the President’s central education policy priority faces a monumental struggle to become law.


Abt Associates: Study Identifies Impacts of Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Vehicles

May 30, 2013 01:30 PM

Lithium (Li-ion) batteries used to power plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles show overall promise to “fuel” these vehicles and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but there are areas for improvement to reduce possible environmental and public health impacts, according to a “cradle to grave” study of advanced Li-ion batteries recently completed by Abt Associates for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).


OPRE: Do Youth in Foster Care Accurately Gauge Their Preparedness for Work?

May 29, 2013 01:28 PM

Young adults formerly in foster care are less likely to be employed or enrolled in college at age 19 than their same-age peers nationally, contributing to greater economic instability in their early adult years. Social workers, educators, and policymakers question whether youth are adequately prepared for work but have difficulty assessing their job preparedness.


MDRC Presents Capitol Hill Forum on College Match Matters

May 29, 2013 01:03 PM

On June 14, 12:00-1:30 pm, the American Youth Policy Forum and MDRC are cosponsoring a Capitol Hill forum, “College Match Matters,” which will provide an overview of the research conducted by MDRC on the promising College Match Program in Chicago Public Schools, as well as a panel discussion on the implications for policy, specifically considering opportunities for sustainability and scaling up.


Rethinking the Economic and Racial Composition of Community Colleges

May 28, 2013 01:15 PM

A recently released paper by member Sara Goldrick-Rab, "School Integration and the Open Door Philosophy: Rethinking the Economic and Racial Composition of Community Colleges," documents the extent of segregation at community colleges. Goldrick-Rab, an associate professor of education policy at the University of Wisconsin at Madison and the study’s co-author, shows that community colleges reflect the area they serve.


Spotlight: The University of Texas at Austin

May 24, 2013 02:55 PM

Located minutes from the State Capitol in Austin, Texas, the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs sits adjacent to the LBJ Presidential Library on The University of Texas at Austin campus. An APPAM institutional member, the LBJ School of Public Affairs is a professional school that grooms graduates for practice-oriented careers.


Abt Associates: On Analysis of Symmetrically Predicted Endogenous Subgroups

May 24, 2013 01:46 PM

Researchers and policy makers are increasingly dissatisfied with the ‘‘average treatment effect.’’ Not only are they interested in learning about the overall causal effects of policy interventions, but they want to know what specifically it is about the intervention that is responsible for any observed effects. In the U.S., using experimentally-designed evaluation to capture the average treatment effect is both commonplace and preferred practice.


Pepperdine's Michael Shires Named to Academic Fellowship in Terrorism Studies

May 24, 2013 01:00 PM

The Foundation for the Defense of Democracies (FDD), a non-partisan policy institute headquartered in Washington, D.C., announced that Dr. Michael Shires, associate professor of public policy at Pepperdine University, has been named an "Academic Fellow" for 2013-2014. Shires will travel to Israel in June for an intensive course in terrorism studies, and in particular, how democracies can defeat the worldwide terrorist threat.


MDRC: New Study Shows LaGuardia Community College’s GED Bridge Program Significantly Boosts GED Pass Rates and College Enrollment

May 23, 2013 02:00 PM

The GED Bridge to Health and Business Program not only aims to better prepare students to pass the GED exam but also to continue on to college and training programs. One year after enrolling in the program, Bridge students were more than twice as likely to have passed the GED exam and three times as likely to have enrolled in college as students in a more traditional GED preparation class.


Mathematica’s Experts Present at Welfare Research & Evaluation Conference 2013

May 23, 2013 01:00 PM

Mathematica Policy Research's family support experts will present findings and moderate discussions on diverse topics at the 16th Annual Welfare Research and Evaluation Conference in Washington, D.C., from May 29 to 31. The conference is sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation (OPRE) in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.​


Urban Institute: Can Federal Efforts Advance Federal and Local De-Siloing?

May 22, 2013 02:10 PM

In April 2012, Living Cities asked the Urban Institute to study the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, and the HUD Regional Planning Grants specifically, as a way to understand how the federal government could break down "silos," institutional or political barriers to cooperative and collaborative efforts. The research team reviewed key documents and conducted in-person interviews with personnel at federal agencies as well as organizations leading the regional planning grant projects.


AERA: News AERA Highlights E-news Update Briefings & Events Digital Media Gallery Prevention of Bullying: Research Report and Recommendations

May 22, 2013 12:30 PM

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) issued a new report titled Prevention of Bullying in Schools, Colleges, and Universities: Research Report and Recommendations. The report results from the work of a blue-ribbon AERA task force mandated to prepare and present practical short-term and long-term recommendations to address bullying of children and youth.


Mathematica: Does Better Recess Equal a Better School Day?

May 21, 2013 04:00 PM

A new study released from Mathematica Policy Research and the John W. Gardner Center for Youth and Their Communities at Stanford University suggests that there may be more to recess than just a break in the school day.


Urban Institute: Using SNAP Receipt to Establish, Verify, and Renew Medicaid

May 21, 2013 02:02 PM

States expanding Medicaid eligibility under the ACA can substantially expedite Medicaid enrollment and retention for SNAP participants, 97 percent of whom will qualify for Medicaid, according to this study. Even in states where SNAP provides broad-based categorical eligibility that extends SNAP’s gross income limits to at least 185 percent of the federal poverty level, 94 percent of SNAP recipients will qualify for Medicaid.


Brookings and APPAM to Present Forum on the Obama Preschool Initiative

May 20, 2013 08:30 PM

On May 29, the Center on Children and Families at The Brookings Institution will host Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to explore the administration’s plan to help states expand and improve their preschool programs.


IMPAQ International to Conduct Comprehensive Data Analysis of All Howard County Public Schools’ Data Systems

May 20, 2013 01:42 PM

IMPAQ International, LLC, a premier research, evaluation and technical assistance firm based in Columbia, Maryland, announced that it has been selected by the Howard County Public School System (HCPSS) to perform a comprehensive analysis of all HCPSS data systems.


The APPAM 2013 International Conference Program Now Available

The APPAM 2013 International Conference program is now available for download. This year's conference, "Collaboration Among Government, Market, and Society: Forging Partnerships and Encouraging Competition," will be taking place in Shanghai, China on May 26 and 27.


Policy, Research, and Tweeting

May 15, 2013 01:00 PM

What is Twitter, and how is it relevant for public policy analysis, research, and management? Is this a viable tool for today's professionals in the public policy field? The short answer: it depends.​


Chronicle: Lack of Financial Literacy Complicates Student-Aid Process

May 14, 2013 03:00 PM

A lack of reliable and transparent data on college costs and a complicated financial-aid-application process create an information gap that makes it difficult for students to pay for their higher education, according to a new report on overhauling the federal student-aid system.


The "disconnected youth" paradigm: one size does not fit all

May 14, 2013 01:30 PM

In recent years, national foundations and policy organizations as well as cities across the country have focused their efforts on advocating for and designing interventions for “disconnected youth”—that is, young people usually between the ages of 16 and 24 who are neither working nor going to school. With good reason too—these young people face tremendous obstacles as they transition to adulthood and are at very high risk of getting stuck in the poverty trap.


Growing Numbers of Stats Degrees

May 13, 2013 02:00 PM

There have been numerous anecdotal reports lately of growing numbers of statistics degrees. The Wall Street Journal’s Numbers Guy, Carl Bialik, wrote about the recent surge in interest in statistics in which he had graphs showing the increase of statistics majors/concentrators at the University of California at Berkeley and Harvard. ASA 2012 President Bob Rodriguez had similar information in his August 2012 Amstat News column, “A Major Trend: The Rise of Undergraduate Programs in Statistics."


APPAM Call for Abstracts: PDW Mentoring Sessions at the 2013 Fall Research Conference

May 10, 2013 05:00 PM

The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) will hold a mentoring session opportunity as part of its inaugural Professional Development Workshop (PDW) for Doctoral Students, to be held on November 6, one day prior to the official opening of APPAM’s 2013 Fall Research Conference in Washington, D.C., on November 7-9, 2013.


Post-Graduation Choices: M.P.P. or M.P.A.?

May 10, 2013 01:30 PM

Are you considering a future in the public policy or public administration fields? After undergraduate studies, the next step is choosing the right master’s program for your career aspirations. The two most common graduate programs are the Master of Public Administration (M.P.A.) and the Master of Public Policy (M.P.P.). Getting into the right program is a solid first step in getting your career within the public arena off to a great start.


Curbing the Tax Subsidy for Employer-Based Health Insurance Could Improve Equity and Raise Revenue

May 09, 2013 01:00 PM

In fiscal year 2011 the federal government spent $286 billion to subsidize the purchase of employer-based health insurance, making it the largest tax expenditure on the books. Over the next 10 years, this subsidy will cost $3.6 trillion. Did Congress ever vote for this big health care tax subsidy? Did the president ever sign it into law? The simple answer is no.


RWJF: Being Realistic About Body Image May Help Women Lose Weight

May 08, 2013 02:30 PM

A healthy body image has long been considered protection against the risk of developing eating disorders, especially for women. Research has also shown that America’s intense focus on very narrowly defined ideas of beauty can wreak havoc on women’s self-esteem. Yet psychologist Rebecca Thurston, Ph.D., reports that having an accurate and balanced body image may be the best way to maintain a healthy weight.


Chronicle: Low-Income Students Pay High Net Prices at Many Colleges

May 08, 2013 01:00 PM

At hundreds of colleges, low-income students pay high prices, even after grant aid. That's one key finding of an analysis of federal data released by the New America Foundation. In the paper, "Undermining Pell: How Colleges Compete for Wealthy Students and Leave the Low-Income Behind," Stephen Burd evaluates how well individual colleges with varying resources serve low-income students.


Westat: Mental Health and Substance Abuse

May 07, 2013 02:00 PM

A new effort is at hand to implement a public health approach on responding to trauma. This effort involves the community, persons who have experienced trauma in their lives, and service providers in awareness-building activities and interventions to address trauma. For the Office on Women’s Health, Westat is launching curriculum-based training and technical assistance efforts to create community-wide trauma-informed approaches through regional districts.


MDRC: Using Social Impact Bonds to Spur Innovation, Knowledge-Building, and Accountability

May 07, 2013 12:45 PM

In this article, first published in a special issue of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco’s Community Development Investment Review, we propose a vision of a social impact bond (SIB) model that moves beyond just achieving cost-savings to spurring innovation, knowledge-building, rigorous evaluation, and, potentially, outcomes that go beyond cost savings.


Documenting Discrimination in Local Rental Markets

May 03, 2013 04:13 PM

The Equal Rights Center (ERC), a civil rights organization, has a new report out that documents the presence of fair housing violations in rental markets across the state of Virginia. The report identifies anti-immigration legislation and accompanying "hostility toward immigrant communities, particularly Latino communities" as possible contributing factors to this discrimination in the rental housing market.


Urban Institute: Recessionary Loss of Routine Occupations Within and Between Industries

May 02, 2013 04:00 PM

This brief examines how employment in routine and nonroutine jobs changed both within and across industries during the Great Recession. Only a small fraction of the decline in routine jobs can be attributed to declining shares of routine jobs within industries. Most of the decline occurred between industries, because industries with a high share of routine jobs lost more employment than industries with a small share of routine jobs.


AU Ranks No. 3 Nationally for PMF Finalists

May 02, 2013 02:00 PM

Last year, American University rose from No. 7 to No. 5 nationally for its number of Presidential Management Fellowship (PMF) finalists. This year, AU has one-upped itself, rising to No. 3 in the national rankings for both finalists—of which AU had 19—and semi-finalists—of which AU had 45. This year’s finalists, announced in early April, hail from all of AU’s schools and colleges, including the School of Public Affairs.


Post-Election Partisanship among Millennials Deepens

May 02, 2013 01:00 PM

A new national poll of America’s 18- to 29- year-olds by Harvard’s Institute of Politics (IOP), finds a slight majority (52%) of Millennials overall continuing to approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as President. The poll also finds at no time have young Democrats and Republicans been more divided on President Obama’s job performance: 85 percent of Democrats approve of the job the President is doing while only 11 percent of Republicans say the same.


Just Push the Button

Apr 30, 2013 02:30 PM

Prescribing medication through a computerized provider order entry system cuts down on medication errors. By a lot. And the more CPOE is used, the more millions of errors can be avoided along with their corresponding unnecessary costs in U.S. healthcare, according to a study funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.


OPRE: Report to Congress on Dual Language Learners in Head Start and Early Head Start Programs

Apr 30, 2013 02:00 PM

This Congressionally required study examined three existing datasets to describe the characteristics, services, and well-being of Head Start children and families who speak a language other than English at home, approximately a quarter of all children served by Head Start in the 2007-2008 program year. The study addresses several questions posed by Congress in the Improving Head Start for School Readiness Act of 2007.


Urban Institute: Broken Immigration Policy, Broken Families

Apr 29, 2013 03:00 PM

This brief discusses how immigration policy keeps families apart and presents national data attesting to these family separations. Immigrants are more likely than natives to be married with spouse absent, their households are more likely to be headed by men with no wife present, and foreign-born children are more likely to be in nonchild relationships to the householder than natives.


OPRE: Human Services Research Dissemination: What Works?

Apr 29, 2013 12:30 PM

What are the most effective approaches to disseminating research on human services programs? This report reviews relevant literature from human services, health care, and other fields. The study combines dissemination models with communication theory and discusses barriers to dissemination.


A Review of CBO’s Activities in 2012 Under the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

Apr 26, 2013 02:00 PM

The federal government, through laws and regulations, sometimes imposes requirements—known as federal mandates—on state, local, and tribal governments and entities in the private sector in order to achieve national goals. In 1995, lawmakers enacted the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) in part to ensure that, during the legislative process, the Congress receives information about the potential effects of mandates as it considers proposed legislation.


RWJF: Women Who Give Birth as Teens at Higher Risk of Obesity

Apr 26, 2013 01:25 PM

A new study finds that women who give birth in their teens are significantly more likely to be overweight or obese later in life than women who were not teen moms. It is the first nationally representative study to identify a link between teen pregnancy and obesity, according to the authors, and will be published in the American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology.


National and State Trends in Enrollment and Spending for Dual Eligibles Under Age 65 in Medicaid Managed Care

Apr 24, 2013 12:00 PM

To reduce costs and improve care, states are increasingly enrolling individuals with disabilities in Medicaid managed care. Many states allow or require adults who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare to enroll in these plans. This study (1) quantifies changes in enrollment by managed care arrangement for duals under age 65, between 2005 and 2008 and (2) compares enrollment and spending between dual eligibles and Medicaid-only beneficiaries.


Predictors of Work Participation of Young Adults with Mild Intellectual Disabilities

Apr 23, 2013 02:00 PM

Individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) are three to four times less often employed compared to their non-disabled peers. Evidence for factors associated with work participation of young adults with ID is limited. Furthermore, studies on predictors for sustainable work participation among young adults with ID is lacking altogether. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate which factors predict finding as well as maintaining employment of young adults with mild ID.


Great Expectations: Moving Towards the Fall Conference

Apr 23, 2013 12:30 PM

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans looks at the record number of submissions for this year's Fall Research Conference, the line-up for symposiums, and what the pre-conference workshops are all about. ​


Social Equity Leadership Conference Coming in June

Apr 22, 2013 03:00 PM

The 12th Annual Social Equity Leadership Conference will be held this year from June 5 to 7 at North Carolina State University in Raleigh. The theme of this year’s conference is "Globally Engaged, Locally Responsible: New Challenges for Social Equity."


Occupational Issues of Adults with ADHD

Apr 22, 2013 01:30 PM

ADHD is a common neurodevelopmental disorder that persists into adulthood. Its symptoms cause impairments in a number of social domains, one of which is employment. This consensus development conference statement was developed as a result of a joint international meeting held in July 2010. The objectives of the conference were to discuss some of the occupational impairments adults with ADHD may face and how to address these problems from an inclusive perspective. [PDF]


IMPAQ President Cary Sennett Joins Accountable Care Workgroup Supporting Federal Advisory Committee on Health IT Policy

Apr 19, 2013 02:19 PM

MPAQ International announced today that IMPAQ’s President and nationally recognized expert in quality and quality measurement, Dr. Cary Sennett, has joined the newly formed Accountable Care Workgroup (ACWG) of the Health IT Policy Committee (HITPC).


IES: Expanding College Opportunities for High-Achieving, Low Income Students

Apr 18, 2013 02:00 PM

An examination of the effects of providing low-income, high-achieving high school seniors with college application guidance and information about the costs of college. The application guidance included information about deadlines and requirements for college applications at nearby institutions, at the state’s flagship institution, and at in- and out-of-state selective colleges.


Brookings: The Great Recession and Metropolitan Employment Location

Apr 18, 2013 01:00 PM

As policymakers and regional leaders work to grow jobs and connect residents to economic opportunity following the Great Recession, where jobs locate matters. The location of employment within a metro area intersects with a range of policy issues—from transportation to workforce development to regional innovation—that affect a region’s long-term health, prosperity, and social inclusion.


Fall Conference Progress Update

Apr 17, 2013 02:30 PM

APPAM President-elect Angela Evans thanks members for their recent submissions and gives an update on how programming is shaping up for this year's conference in Washington, DC.


Urban Institute: Reducing Fuel Consumption

Apr 17, 2013 02:00 PM

Police vehicles burn a great deal of fuel while patrolling continuously. Various approaches have been proven to significantly reduce the amount of fuel used and its cost. Hybrid vehicles typically get two-three times higher mileage per gallon than conventional vehicles and have proven viable for policing, in many cities, including New York.


MDRC: Encouraging Savings for Low- and Moderate-Income Individuals

Apr 16, 2013 01:00 PM

Many people do not save enough money to help them manage sudden losses of income or sudden increases in expenditures. Faced with the need to raise cash immediately, they often resort to alternative, high-interest sources of credit, such as payday loans and credit cards, that may trap them in a costly cycle of debt. Currently, few programs help low- and moderate-income individuals save for emergencies, and studies of the effects of such unrestricted, short-term savings programs are rare.


Urban Institute: Sustainable Housing Finance

Apr 15, 2013 01:30 PM

In testimony before the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Insurance, Urban Institute President Sarah Rosen Wartell described alternatives for reforming the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to ensure a sustainable housing finance system, focusing on steps Congress can take now to improve FHA’s financial health by strengthening its ability to assess and manage risk and mitigate loss.


Deadline for Proposal Submissions is TODAY

Apr 15, 2013 01:00 PM

The deadline to submit a proposal for the 2013 Fall Research Conference is today at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Daylight Time.


Moneyball for Judges: The Statistics of Judicial Behavior

Apr 11, 2013 03:30 PM

Why do judges do what they do? It is easy to identify two different answers. The first emphasizes the law. The second emphasizes politics.


CAP: Growing Occupations Could Help Decrease the Wage Gap if They Were to Pay a Living Wage

Apr 11, 2013 02:52 PM

Approximately 6.2 cents, or 27 percent, of our nation’s 23-cent gender wage gap can be explained by occupational segregation. This means that women are more likely to be employed in low-wage or minimum-wage service-sector positions such as home health aides, retail salespersons, or food-service workers.​


OPRE: Advancing the Self-Sufficiency and Well-Being of At-Risk Youth

Apr 10, 2013 01:40 PM

How can programs advance the self-sufficiency and well-being of at-risk youth? This report attempts to answer this important question by presenting a research-based framework for efforts to help at-risk youth enter a career workforce trajectory and prepare to become well-functioning, self-sufficient adults.


Brookings: Top Five Reasons Why Africa Should Be a Priority for the United States

Apr 09, 2013 03:30 PM

For over a decade now, the continent of Africa, especially sub-Saharan Africa, has undergone a major transformation. In 2000, The Economist referred to Africa as the “Hopeless Continent.” This nickname was based on an evaluation of the many disadvantages that characterized the continent: poverty and disease, cycles of conflict, military and dictatorial one-party states, etc.


Urban Institute: CHA Families and the Plan for Transformation

Apr 09, 2013 02:00 PM

For more than a decade, the Urban Institute has been following the experiences of Chicago Housing Authority families as they were relocated and their buildings were demolished and replaced with new, mixed-income housing. In this series of five briefs, we describe key successes and challenges faced by CHA and its residents.


Brookings: Jobs Alone Do Not Explain the Importance of Manufacturing

Apr 08, 2013 05:00 PM

When it comes to American manufacturing the U.S. media seems a bit confused. Last year, a bunch of stories argued that manufacturing job losses over the last decade don’t matter because productivity looks so good. Now, stories like this one are suggesting that manufacturing itself doesn’t matter much after all because the sector isn’t creating enough jobs.


OPRE: Portfolio of Research in Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency

Apr 08, 2013 02:00 PM

This Portfolio of Research in Welfare and Family Self-Sufficiency describes the major research projects of the Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation’s Division of Economic Independence. The Portfolio is divided into four sections – TANF and the Safety Net, Employment and the Labor Market, Education and Training and Other and Cross-Cutting Research.


Urban Institute: The Changing Wealth of Americans

Apr 05, 2013 03:00 PM

The Great Recession hit family finances from many directions. Housing and stock prices fell sharply, and along with them, family wealth. As economic output dropped and unemployment rose sharply, those who lost their jobs or were underemployed saw their wealth erode.


Regulatory Changes in California Are Expected to Affect Price and Utilization of Medical Care for Injured Workers

Apr 05, 2013 01:30 PM

The 2012 workers’ compensation regulatory changes in California are expected to affect both the prices and utilization of medical care to injured workers by most types of providers, says a new study by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI). The study provides a baseline for monitoring the impact of the 2012 reforms in California, SB 863.


Deadline for the 2013 Fall Research Conference Submissions Extended

Apr 05, 2013 12:08 PM

The deadline to submit programs for the 2013 Fall Research Conference has been extended to April 15. This year’s program aims to build on the knowledge and experience of Association members and their colleagues by examining the current state of research and analysis across critical policy issues, as well as offer an environment to explore the place of research and analysis in future policy deliberations.​


Annie E. Casey Foundation: Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development Connects Government Agencies, Community Organizations

Apr 04, 2013 02:30 PM

Schools, government agencies and community-based organizations have a new tool to help them identify and fund scientifically proven programs with a track record of promoting children’s health and development. Blueprints for Healthy Youth Development, a new interactive website being unveiled today, makes it easy to select cost-effective programs that help children reach their full potential.


Urban Institute: Financial Burden of Medical Spending by State and the Implications of the 2014 Medicaid Expansions

Apr 04, 2013 01:00 PM

This study is the first to offer a detailed look at medical spending burden levels, defined as total family medical out-of-pocket spending as a proportion of income, for each state. It further investigates which states have greater shares of individuals with high burden levels and no Medicaid coverage, but would be Medicaid eligible under the 2014 rules of the Affordable Care Act should their state choose to participate in the expansion.


Obama Outlines Human Brain-Mapping Initiative

Apr 03, 2013 01:00 PM

President Obama unveiled a $100 million proposal for a new project to map the human brain in hopes of finding cures for diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s and to reverse the effect of traumatic brain injuries.


RWJF: Facing What May Be the Affordable Care Act’s Ultimate Challenge

Apr 02, 2013 03:00 PM

It’s a time of unprecedented upheaval in U.S. health care. Big changes are bursting through on virtually every front. Legislators and administrators in Washington and 50 state capitals struggle daily to reinvent their health care systems even as they lack an exact blueprint for the new things they’re supposed to be building.


Brookings: Metro Monitor - March 2013

Apr 02, 2013 01:40 PM

How severe was the Great Recession in your area? How strongly have you rebounded? And how much farther does your region have to go until it has fully recovered? MetroMonitor tracks the performance of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas on these questions, presenting data for four key indicators—jobs, unemployment, gross product, and home prices—over three time periods: the recession, the recovery, and the full course of the recession from the pre-recession period to most recent quarter.


Preview the Spring 2013 JPAM

Mar 29, 2013 01:00 PM

A preview of the Spring 2013 JPAM, including a Point/Counterpoint on China's One-Child Policy, a policy retrospective on class size and student outcomes, and International Conference and other APPAM news.​


JPAM Call for Papers: Empirical Strategies in International Development Research

Mar 27, 2013 01:00 PM

JPAM invites papers for a symposium on "Empirical Strategies in International Development Research." In the last two decades scholars have pioneered new empirical techniques to address these problems. These include the use of randomized field experiments and sophisticated econometric techniques. This symposium seeks to assess as well as showcase cutting edge empirical work in this vein.


Senate Delivers a Devastating Blow to the Integrity of the Scientific Process at the National Science Foundation

Mar 25, 2013 02:00 PM

The United States Senate delivered a devastating blow to the integrity of the scientific process at the National Science Foundation (NSF) by voting for the Coburn Amendment to the Continuing Appropriations Act of 2013. The amendment places unprecedented restriction on the national research agenda by declaring the political science study of democracy and public policy out of bounds.


OPRE: Design Options for an Evaluation of TANF Job Search Assistance

Mar 25, 2013 01:31 PM

Services to help people find work are a common element of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and other programs, but evidence on the effectiveness of different approaches is limited. This report presents options for designing a rigorous evaluation of the impact of job search assistance for low-income workers.


Social Entrepreneurship Is On the Rise

Mar 21, 2013 01:00 PM

Working to expand Columbia SIPA’s offerings in the discipline of social enterprise, Professor Sara Minard helped to develop and recently co-taught an innovative field-based course called Social Enterprise and Sustainable Development in India.


Impact of Social Media on Public Services in the UAE Federal Government

Mar 20, 2013 02:45 PM

To explore the impact of trends within the UAE federal government, the Governance and Innovation Program (GIP) at the Dubai School of Government partnered with the UAE Prime Minister’s Office to conduct a national survey to examine how the UAE federal government and UAE customers are utilizing social media tools for service design and delivery.


CBO: Total Factor Productivity Growth in Historical Perspective

Mar 20, 2013 02:11 PM

This paper reviews the broad contours of total factor productivity (TFP) growth in the U.S. economy since 1870, highlighting the contribution of various technological innovations to the growth of different sectors of the economy. The paper also notes the correlation between TFP growth and improvements in general health and well-being as reflected in changes in life expectancy. Finally, the paper discusses the potential for continued growth in TFP in the future.


MDRC Announces Doctoral Fellowship Program for Summer 2013

Mar 15, 2013 04:15 PM

In the summer of 2013, MDRC will offer up to two doctoral fellowships to Ph.D. candidates who are pursuing independent, self-directed research on economic and social problems affecting low-income Americans.​


Urban Institute: Wealth Building among Young Americans

Mar 15, 2013 03:25 PM

Stagnant wages, diminishing job opportunities, and lost home values may be painting a vastly different future for Gen X and Gen Y. Today's political discussions often focus on preserving the wealth and benefits of older Americans and the baby boomers. Often lost in this debate is attention to younger generations whose wealth losses, or lack of long-term gains, have been even greater.


CURE/APPAM Conference and Webinar: University Engagement in Community Development

Mar 15, 2013 02:00 PM

This Institutional Member Forum, entitled University Engagement in Community Development, will highlight the importance and desirability of university engagement in community development, engendering interaction between scholars and practitioners.

Tara Sheehan

From the Director's Chair: The 2013 Fall Research Conference

Mar 14, 2013 01:00 PM

Though the 2013 Fall Research Conference is still several months away, now's the time to start considering it. As you’ve probably read by now, we’ve made some changes to this year’s submission process, adjusted the number of policy areas for submission, created new cross-cutting policy areas, and improved a few of the requirements for this year.


IES: Ladders to Literacy

Mar 12, 2013 03:00 PM

Ladders to Literacy was found to have potentially negative effects on oral language and no discernible effects on print knowledge, phonological processing, and math for preschool children.


Taubman Center Students Win Policy Competition

Mar 12, 2013 01:18 PM

Five Brown University Taubman Center for Public Policy & American Institutions master’s students won the mid-Atlantic regionals of Policy Solutions Challenge USA, a competition that encourages public policy students to develop innovative solutions to U.S. policy problems. The topic for this year’s competition was combatting childhood obesity. The Taubman team will compete in the finals in Washington, D.C. on March 22 and 23, facing off against teams from seven other policy schools.


Brookings: Sizeable Job Gains, But a Long Way From Good Health

Mar 12, 2013 01:15 PM

Employers added 238,000 workers to their payrolls at the end of February, the 29th consecutive month of job gains. Over the past six months employers have added 187,000 jobs a month, a rate of gain that is fast enough to reduce the ranks of the unemployed. The unemployment rate, which is calculated using a different survey, dropped to 7.7% in the month, its lowest level since December 2008. [Opinion]​


Abt Associates: Empowering Women Through Better Maternal Health and Family Planning

Mar 08, 2013 03:37 PM

International Women’s Day, sponsored by the United Nations and observed each year on March 8, is an occasion to reflect on the impact of maternal health and family planning on women. Family planning and maternal health programs are a fundamental part of women’s health because they provide essential and often life-saving services to women and their families.


Annie E. Casey Foundation: Youth Incarceration Sees Dramatic Drop

Mar 07, 2013 03:30 PM

America’s rate of locking up young people has dropped by more than 40 percent over a 15-year period, with no decrease in public safety, according to a new report from the Annie E. Casey Foundation. A new KIDS COUNT data snapshot, “Reducing Youth Incarceration in the United States,” reports that the number of young people in correctional facilities on a single day fell to 70,792 in 2010, from a high of 107,637 in 1995.


Abt Associates: Electronic Rx Order Processing Averted 17 Million Medication Errors

Mar 07, 2013 02:29 PM

U.S. hospitals which digitally processed prescriptions in 2008 prevented 17 million medication errors, according to a first-of-its-kind study by Abt Associates. The study, funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, was published recently online in the Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association.


APPAM Offices Closed Due to Inclement Weather

Mar 06, 2013 12:26 PM

The APPAM office in Washington, DC is closed today, Wednesday, March 6, 2013, due to inclement weather.


OPRE: Parents Reported for Maltreatment Experience High Rates of Domestic Violence

Mar 04, 2013 03:29 PM

The vast majority (86%) of children who have received a report of child abuse or neglect remain in their homes following the investigation. In addition to the maltreatment event that brought them to the attention of the child welfare system, these children may be exposed to domestic violence. Parents’ self-reports from NSCAW II indicate that a quarter of parents whose children remained at home following a maltreatment report experienced physical domestic violence during the previous 12 months.


Summary of the Summer Electronic Benefits Transfer for Children (SEBTC)

Mar 04, 2013 01:30 PM

The SEBTC, a demonstration by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, aims to mitigate summer child food insecurity by leveraging existing electronic benefit transfer technologies used by the Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. [PDF]


Disability Characteristics of Income-Based Government Assistance Recipients in the United States

Mar 01, 2013 06:54 PM

This U.S. Census Bureau report states that among the 46.0 million adults who received income-based government assistance in 2011, 30.4 percent of them had a disability. Understanding the characteristics of people that receive assistance may help governments coordinate and administer these programs better. [PDF]


IMPAQ: USDOL Announces Availability of Funding for 2012 Employment and Training Administration Research Papers Program

Feb 28, 2013 02:30 PM

The U.S. Department of Labor’s (USDOL) Employment and Training Administration (ETA) announced the availability of approximately $80,000 in funding for the 2012 ETA Research Papers Program. The ETA Research Papers Program seeks to support original research conducted by Doctoral students on topics related to the public workforce system.


For-Profit Group Suggests Best Practices for Serving Military and Veteran Students

Feb 27, 2013 02:40 PM

In order to better serve military and veteran students, colleges must be transparent and accurate in their recruiting efforts, provide active institutional support and faculty training, and improve measurements of success. Those are some of the recommendations in a report on best practices released by the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, known as Apscu.


OPRE: Introduction to the Health Profession Opportunity Grants Program

Feb 27, 2013 02:38 PM

The Health Profession Opportunity Grants (HPOG) Program was established by the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) to provide training programs in high-demand health care professions to Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients and other low-income individuals. Beginning in 2010, the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) provided five-year grants to 32 grantees in 23 states across the United States.


Registration Now Open for APPAM's Spring, International Conferences

Feb 25, 2013 02:00 PM

Registration is now open for APPAM's Spring Conference in Washington, DC and the International Conference in Shanghai, China.


Brookings: Making Defense Affordable

Feb 25, 2013 01:30 PM

In this policy proposal — part of The Hamilton Project's 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget — Cindy Williams proposes measures for sustaining a strong military while reducing future annual defense expenditures, mainly through addressing growing internal costs in the defense budget and reshaping military forces in a way that reduces future budgets while preserving strong and ready military capabilities.​


Prof. Jens Ludwig Interviewed in Time Regarding Urban Crime

TIME talked to University of Chicago Crime Lab director and APPAM Policy Council Vice-President Jens Ludwig about urban crime, federal gun legislation, and what can be done to end Chicago’s senseless string of gun deaths.


Mathematica: Analysis of Associations Between Contemporaneous Job Corps Performance Measures

Feb 21, 2013 04:02 PM

Job Corps is the nation’s largest vocationally focused education and training program for disadvantaged young people. The program’s goal is to prepare young people for successful careers. Each year, Job Corps serves more than 60,000 students at a cost of about $1.5 billion, which is more than 60 percent of all funds spent by the U.S. Department of Labor on youth training and employment services. [PDF]


The Road (and Rail) to Justice: Pushing for Fair Public Transit

Feb 21, 2013 03:26 PM

Public transit services often ignore the needs of the actual public. It’s been a long time since the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the Freedom Rides. These days people rarely think of convenient, effective public transportation—mobility for all—as a vital part of an integrated social justice agenda.


Abt Associates: Building on Vietnam's Health Gains

Feb 20, 2013 03:14 PM

The health of Vietnamese people has improved significantly in recent years through a variety of interventions. To help sustain these achievements, two USAID projects implemented by Abt Associates are helping to build Vietnam’s resilience against and ability to respond to infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and avian influenza.


Urban Institute: The Rate of Cyber Dating Abuse Among Teens

Feb 20, 2013 03:13 PM

Just over a quarter of youth in a current or recent relationship experience cyber dating abuse victimization, with girls more likely to experience abuse than boys. Victims of sexually-oriented cyber abuse are seven times more likely to experience sexual coercion. These and other findings from a survey of 5,647 youth in three northeastern states shed new light on how technology is used to perpetrate abuse and sexual violence among youth, as well as implications for prevention and intervention.


Introducing the 2013 Fall Research Conference: Knowledge Sharing and Policy Perspectives

In the first of a series of blogs on this year's Fall Research Conference, APPAM President-elect Angela Evans discusses the theme and some changes coming to the policy and cross-cutting categories.


Introducing the 2013 Fall Research Conference: Knowledge Sharing and Policy Perspectives

In the first of a series of blogs on this year's Fall Research Conference, APPAM President-elect Angela Evans discusses the theme and some changes coming to the policy and cross-cutting categories.


NCI Chooses Westat for Continued Clinical Genetics Branch Support Services

Feb 15, 2013 03:16 PM

Westat will continue to provide support to the National Cancer Institute's (NCI's) Clinical Genetics Branch (CGB), which is responsible for translating recent dramatic advances in molecular genetics into clinical management strategies for genetically at-risk patients. Some project activities are conducted on site at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center.


Urban Institute: Carbon Taxes and Corporate Tax Reform

Feb 14, 2013 02:30 PM

The revenues from a carbon tax could help finance lower corporate tax rates, extending business tax preferences, or other corporate tax reforms. Such a tax swap would reduce the environmental risks of carbon emissions and improve the efficiency of America’s corporate tax system. But it would also pose a significant distributional challenge. A carbon tax would fall disproportionately on low-income families, while corporate tax cuts would disproportionately benefit those with high incomes.


AERA Announces Publication of the International Handbook of Research in Environmental Education

Feb 14, 2013 01:48 PM

The American Educational Research Association (AERA) is proud to announce the publication of the International Handbook of Research on Environmental Education, a volume aimed at educators, researchers, policy makers, and students to help create better understanding of environmental issues. This cross-disciplinary volume identifies the scholarship that undergirds debate of environmental issues such as climate change, conservation, and sustainability.

Tara Sheehan

From the Executive Director (Jan/Feb 2013)

Feb 13, 2013 03:27 PM

APPAM's Executive Director Tara Sheehan discusses the Associaton's 2013 conference lineup and welcomes members to a new year, featuring lots of new changes.


Brookings: Water Resource Issues, Policy and Politics in China

Feb 13, 2013 01:55 PM

Among the many challenges to China’s current economic development trajectory, water resource constraints are among the most worrisome. The water resource challenge to China’s development is exceptionally complex, encompassing a blend of geographical, political, economic, and social dimensions.


MDRC: “Looking Forward” Memos Provide Recommendations for Policy and Research

Feb 11, 2013 02:08 PM

At a time when limited government resources demand that the nation make the most of investments in social and education programs, policymakers increasingly need to make decisions on the basis of reliable evidence. MDRC has developed two-page memos for policymakers that suggest ways to make progress on critical issues.


Abt Associates Acquires Australian Health and Social Science Firm JTA International

Feb 08, 2013 02:02 PM

Abt Associates has acquired Australia-based international health and social sector consulting firm JTA International. The acquisition extends the breadth and depth of Abt’s expertise in international health and development and offers new opportunities for diversifying the company’s client base.


Systematic Reviews as a Tool in Evidence-Based Decision Making

Feb 07, 2013 05:00 PM

With constant pressure to “do more with less,” policymakers and program administrators are turning to the existing research base for guidance on funding decisions, assistance with program development, and evidence of program effectiveness. For the research to be useful, however, decision makers must be able to draw accurate lessons from what can often be a large and bewildering assortment of relevant studies.


David L. Rousseau Named Dean of Rockefeller College at the University at Albany

Feb 07, 2013 04:11 PM

University at Albany President Robert J. Jones announced the appointment of Professor David L. Rousseau Ph.D., as dean of the Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. Rousseau was chosen following a national search. Rousseau, an APPAM member, joined the University in 2005, and since that time has served in various leadership roles including director of graduate studies, chair of the Department of Political Science, and the College’s interim dean since July 2011.


Mathematica Launches New Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation

Feb 07, 2013 01:41 PM

More than a billion people around the world live in extreme poverty. Against a backdrop of decades of international aid and programs, evidence-based research to assess programs and measure results provides a promising approach to improve the lives of the most vulnerable populations in developing countries. The need for rigorous research in the international arena is great. To help meet that need, Mathematica has created the Center for International Policy Research and Evaluation (CIPRE).


Number Sense, Not Counting Skills, Predicts Math Ability, Says Study

A child's ability to understand and manipulate sets of numbers in 1st grade predicts how well he or she will succeed in the math required both in secondary school and for day-to-day living, according to a study published in the current online edition of the journal PLOS One. Yet math tests in the early grades focus instead on how well and how quickly students can solve basic arithmetic problems, often using counting—a skill less connected to students' later math achievement, the study found.


RAND: Children's Exposure to Violence: Frequency May Not Be the Best Predictor of Negative Symptoms

Feb 06, 2013 01:41 PM

With the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School this December still fresh in the American conscience, children's exposure to violence has become a widely shared concern. Whether at home, at school, or in the community, exposure to violence raises concerns about not just the potential for physical harm, but also the longer-term developmental and mental health risks for children.


Urban Institute: District-Wide Model Bullying Prevention Policy

Feb 05, 2013 03:00 PM

This Model Bullying Prevention Policy is a comprehensive strategy that was developed for all youth-serving agencies in the District of Columbia. The policy employs a three-level public health model to prevent bullying, which involves shifting agency norms; delivering services to at-risk youth; and responding to bullying incidents in a way that inhibits subsequent acts, with an emphasis on data analysis to measure intervention success.


OPRE: Studying Child Care Subsidies with Secondary Data Sources

Feb 05, 2013 01:45 PM

A highlight of advantages, disadvantages, and potential research uses of four publicly available datasets in the study of child care subsidies: Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study, Early Childhood Longitudinal Study - Birth Cohort, Survey of Income and Program Participation, and the National Household Education Survey. The authors caution researchers to be aware of the multiple funding sources and types of support that could be incorporated in survey measures of child care subsidies.


Low-Cost Randomized Controlled Trials

Feb 04, 2013 07:05 PM

Sophia Guevara takes an in-depth look at the 2012 Fall Research Conference session "Low-Cost Randomized Controlled Trials" and the various issues and positions presented by the panel.


RWJF: Most Influential Research Articles of 2012

Feb 04, 2013 02:30 PM

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has announced the nominees for the organization's 2012 Year in Research campaign. This campaign, conducted each year since 2008, takes a look at the Foundation-supported research most popular among its readers during the year.


Abt Associates: Guide Summarizes Best Practices to Improve Contraceptive Access, Choice, and Use

Feb 04, 2013 01:45 PM

Social marketing – using traditional marketing to promote products and services that benefit the public – has long been used to drive demand for family planning. Now practitioners have a new guide to the best practices in social marketing in family planning, thanks in part to Abt Associates. The eight-page consensus brief, “Social Marketing: Leveraging the Private Sector to Improve Contraceptive Access, Choice, and Use,” was published by USAID in January.


California Facing Drought of Children

California's latest drought? Children. The state, according to a new report published by the Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, is producing too few children to supply the workers and taxpayers it will need tomorrow. This deficit, coupled with California's fast-growing crop of aging retirees, bodes ill for the state's economic future.


Jacobs Paper Questions College as a Country Club

Jan 31, 2013 01:31 PM

University of Michigan Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy Professor Bryan A. Jacob's paper "College as Country Club: Do Colleges Cater to Students' Preferences for Consumption?" affirms the role of demand-side market pressure in encouraging college investment in consumption amenities. Jacobs, an APPAM member, co-authored the paper with colleagues Brian P. McCall, and Kevin M. Stange. The paper is receiving attention from publications such as The Chronicle of Higher Education.


Kelly Brownell Named Dean Of Duke's Sanford School Of Public Policy

Jan 30, 2013 07:03 PM

Kelly Brownell, the James Rowland Angell Professor of Psychology at Yale University and a leading authority on public policies to enhance nutrition and combat obesity, will become the next dean of Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy. His new position begins July 1.


APPAM Member Ashlyn Nelson Named a Top Contributor in Education Discourse

Jan 30, 2013 02:53 PM

Education Week recently named Ashlyn Nelson, Assistant Professor at the Indiana University School of Public and Environmental Affairs, to the RHSU Edu-Scholar Public Presence Rankings. This is a list of top contributors to the public debate about education.


Call for Papers: Qualitative and Mixed-Methods for Policy Analysis

Jan 29, 2013 03:11 PM

The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (JPAM) invites submissions of papers for a special symposium on “Qualitative and Mixed-Methods for Policy Analysis.” The symposium will include papers that focus specifically on advances in these methodologies as well as papers that evaluate the efficacy and/or implementation of government programs, policies, laws and/or managerial innovations using these methods.


In North Carolina, school resegregation by charter?

Jan 29, 2013 02:30 PM

North Carolina could soon see a dramatic increase in the number of charter schools, with as many as 150 of the public-private hybrids opening across the state next year. But new research from APPAM members Helen Ladd and Jacob Vigdor, along with colleague Charles Clodfelter, suggests the charter school boom will result in greater racial imbalance in the state's public education system -- and that can have negative educational consequences for students.


ASPA: From the Precipice of the Cliff

Jan 29, 2013 02:29 PM

I have always been afraid of heights. I get this funny feeling in the pit of my stomach when I peer down from great heights or stand on a transparent floor, the type they have in Vegas. I have the same feeling about this fiscal cliff that we are on. The combined weight of this nation is going to bring us all tumbling down off this cliff without a safety net. [OPINION]


OPRE: Can We Trust Parental Reports of Child Care Subsidy Receipt?

Jan 28, 2013 03:30 PM

This brief finds a high degree of overlap between parent and provider report of subsidy receipt using data from the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study (FFCWS) Child Care Supplement (CCS) dataset. The authors recommend that researchers use administrative data to validate parental report of subsidy receipt whenever possible, but also suggest that the quality of parent-reported survey-based measures of subsidy receipt may be reliable.


CBO: Update on H.R. 325

Jan 28, 2013 02:15 PM

H.R. 325 would temporarily suspend the limitation on borrowing by the Treasury through May 18, 2013. On the following day, the current debt limit of $16.394 trillion would be raised by the amount of borrowing above that level during the period in which the limitation was suspended. The bill also would provide an incentive for action on a concurrent resolution on the budget.


Urban Institute: Labor Force Statistics on Older Americans, 2012

Jan 28, 2013 01:45 PM

This data brief reports 2012 labor force statistics for older Americans, a growing segment of the workforce. It reports labor force participation rates, unemployment rates, employment-to-population ratios, and the share of unemployed workers who have been out of work for more than six months, and compares outcomes to earlier years.


COSSA: NIH Data and Information Implementation Plan

Jan 25, 2013 04:00 PM

At the December 2012 meeting of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Advisory Committee to the Director (ACD), deputy director Lawrence Tabak presented the agency's Data and Informatics Implementation plan. The Plan is in response to the recommendations made by the ACD Data and Informatics Working Group (DIWG) at the June 15th ACD meeting.


Urban Institute: Reforming the Charitable Contribution Substantiation Rules

Jan 25, 2013 02:30 PM

In May 2012, the Tax Court issued two decisions denying income tax deductions for gifts to charitable organizations because they failed to meet the requirements for a qualified appraisal. These cases lit a firestorm of outrage in various circles, raising questions of how strictly substation rules should be applied.


Brookings: It’s Called the Vietnam Syndrome, and It’s Back

It had never really left—what was widely referred to as the “Vietnam syndrome”--but it has now returned unmistakably, certain to exercise a major influence on American foreign policy during President Barack Obama’s second term in office. It is the belief, born of brutal experience during the Vietnam War, that never again will the United States gradually tiptoe into questionable wars without a clearcut objective, overwhelming military force, an endgame strategy and, the support of the people.


Diversity Study Finds Economic Disparities Rising in NC Schools

Jan 23, 2013 03:15 PM

The racial balance in North Carolina’s public schools has remained steady since 2005-06, ending a trend of growing disparity from the previous decade, but students are increasingly separated by income. These are among the findings of a comprehensive report from three Duke University public policy professors who studied whether schools in each of the state’s 100 counties mirror the racial and economic composition of that county as a whole.


Former Prime Minister of Greece, George Papandreou, Will Teach at Columbia SIPA

Jan 23, 2013 01:59 PM

Dean Robert Lieberman announced that George Papandreou, former prime minister of Greece, will teach a seminar at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) in the spring 2013 semester. “It’s a great privilege to welcome George Papandreou to our community as a SIPA Global Fellow,” said Lieberman. “Greece today is a living laboratory for some of the key global public policy challenges of our time — including economic policy, social policy, and more..."


Taubman Director Publishes Paper on Racial Politics in Providence

Jan 23, 2013 01:56 PM

Marion Orr, director of the Taubman Center for Public Policy, co-authored a paper in the January 2013 issue of Urban Affairs Review about racial politics and the election of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras. “Anxieties of an Ethnic Transition” examines how Providence voters assessed the future of the city in the midst of an economic downturn following the election of the first Latino mayor.


Transportation Research Drives Forward

Jan 22, 2013 04:30 PM

Innovations in the realm of transportation technology have historically been physical; steam boilers gave way to internal combustion engines and then to electric fuel cells. But like most other technological landscapes, the field of transportation has undergone a digital revolution.


Simple Policy Change Could Solve U.S. Physician Shortages in 25 States

Jan 22, 2013 03:36 PM

According to a new University of Virginia study, half of the 50 states could end their primary care physician shortages, and save billions annually in health care costs, by a simple policy change: equalizing the licensure requirements for foreign-educated physicians and U.S.-educated physicians.


APPAM Welcomes New Policy Council Cohort for 2013

Jan 18, 2013 03:30 PM

The Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) welcomes seven new members to its Policy Council. The newly-elected Council members will serve on the board through 2017. Voting was conducted online from mid-December to early January by Association members.


Gates Foundation: Will 2013 Be the Year of Cholera Prevention?

Jan 18, 2013 03:00 PM

How do we as a concerned community about this disease come together to work on an integrated approach to cholera control – one that includes the massive investments in water and sanitation needed to make a permanent impact on the disease while bridging with the vaccine and treatment tools we have in the meantime? Perhaps most importantly, how does the cholera community work to increase the international and national level political will to work on a disease that affects the poorest of the poor?


OPRE: The Economic Well-Being of LGB Youth Transitioning Out of Foster Care

Jan 18, 2013 02:30 PM

This brief describes the characteristics and economic well-being of young people aging out of foster care who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual (LGB). It also compares their economic self-sufficiency to that of their heterosexual peers also aging out of care. The analysis uses data from the Midwest Study of Adult Functioning of Former Foster Youth, a longitudinal study that followed a sample of young people from Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin as they transitioned out of foster care.​


Urban Institute: Measuring Decentralization and the Local Public Sector

Jan 17, 2013 04:00 PM

An overview of the current and previous attempts to systematically measure -and collect data on- the scope and nature of (political, administrative and fiscal) decentralization in countries around the world. Despite the considerable quantity of scholarship devoted to the investigation of the causes and effects of decentralization, the current efforts to collect data on the various aspects of decentralization and local governance have not given rise to a single authoritative methodology.


Undergrads Surpass World Leaders in Crafting Global Environmental Agreement

Most students just want to get a good grade. Students in American University School of Public Affairs Prof. Todd Eisenstadt’s Comparative Environmental Politics class want more. These savvy undergraduates aim to craft a successful global treaty. “The climate talks in Qatar may have stalled,” said Eisenstadt, “but I knew my class could do better.”


Brookings: Uncharted Strait

Jan 17, 2013 01:30 PM

A few influential Americans have begun to suggest that the United States should reduce its long-standing security commitment to Taiwan. Some say that Taiwan itself has chosen to improve relations with China, so the island has less need for advanced U.S. weaponry and a defense pledge. Others argue that Washington, to avoid unnecessary tensions with a rising China, should accommodate Beijing on the most neuralgic issue—Taiwan.


OPRE: State TANF Policies as of July 2011

Jan 16, 2013 03:30 PM

This publication, The Welfare Rules Databook, provides tables containing key Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) policies for each state as of July 2011, as well as longitudinal tables describing various state policies for selected years between 1996 and 2011. The tables are based on the information in the Welfare Rules Database (WRD), a publicly available, online database originally developed under the Urban Institute’s Assessing the New Federalism project.


MDRC: Bringing Developmental Education to Scale

Jan 16, 2013 02:00 PM

While over half of all community college students are judged to need developmental (or remedial) reading, composition, and/or mathematics classes, these courses — which students are often required to complete before they can enroll in courses that confer credit toward a degree — typically present major roadblocks to student progress. To address this issue, the Developmental Education Initiative (DEI) was created in 2009.


Digital Divide Looms Large for Women and Girls in Developing Countries

Jan 15, 2013 02:51 PM

For women globally, the Internet has become a lifeline to information, opportunities, and new-found power. New data in a report called ‘Women and the Web,’ reveals how we can bridge the digital divide for women and unlock a massive wave of human potential.


CBO: Options for Taxing U.S. Multinational Corporations

Jan 15, 2013 02:42 PM

In 2008, 12 percent of all federal revenues came from corporate income taxes; about half was paid by multinational corporations reporting income from foreign countries. How the federal government taxes U.S. multinational corporations has consequences for the U.S. economy overall as well as for the federal budget.


Abt Associates Awarded New Project to Reduce Malaria in Kenya

Jan 15, 2013 02:38 PM

Abt Associates has been awarded the Indoor Residual Spraying 2 (IRS 2) Project in Kenya, a three-year malaria prevention project worth just under $25 million that is funded by the United States Agency for International Development-led President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI). Malaria is the leading cause of death in Kenya and IRS is the application of a long-acting insecticide on the walls, ceiling and all indoor resting places of mosquitoes that transmit malaria.


Urban Institute: Coping with the Great Recession

Jan 11, 2013 01:15 PM

While residents of high-poverty neighborhoods did not experience different rates of change in employment, wages, or home equity losses than residents of low-poverty neighborhoods between 2007 and 2009, their position prior to the onset of the Great Recession exposed them to much higher absolute levels of economic insecurity. Further, the recession severely diminished wealth holdings of families in high-poverty neighborhoods and put them at an increased risk of foreclosure.


Technical Assistance to Support STEM Teacher Effort to Be Provided by Westat

Jan 10, 2013 04:30 PM

For the U.S. Department of Education (ED), Westat will provide technical assistance to support the implementation of performance-based compensation and career ladder systems for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) teachers.


Brookings: The Psychological Toll and Economic Fallout of High Unemployment

Jan 10, 2013 02:16 PM

The job market continued to improve last year, but the pace of improvement was agonizingly slow. The unemployment rate edged down to 7.8%, a drop of 0.7% compared with the end of the previous year. Payroll employment grew 153,000 a month. Payroll gains in 2010, 2011, and 2012 have now offset a little more than half the loss in payroll jobs we suffered in 2008 and 2009. [Opinion]


New Health-Care Commission to Focus on Developing State Policies to Contain Costs

Jan 09, 2013 03:01 PM

A new blue-ribbon commission being convened by the University of Virginia’s Miller Center has begun work to develop practical state policies to contain health care costs. The commission's members include a former secretary of Health and Human Services; former governors; health insurance, hospital and physician group CEOs; as well as representatives of the major purchasers of health care in the United States, including Medicare, Medicaid, the private sector and consumers.


Jennifer Murtazashvili Authors Major Research Report on Democracy and Governance in Afghanistan

Jan 09, 2013 02:47 PM

Democracy International (DI), an organization devoted to promoting democracy and governance abroad, released a report that is the result of major research efforts in Afghanistan authored and designed by University of Pittsburgh Assistant Professor Jennifer Murtazashvili.


Students Publish Study of Philadelphia Homes Repaired By Grants

Jan 09, 2013 02:38 PM

Students at the University of Pennsylvania Fels Institute of Government published the results of a study of Philadelphia homes in Southwest Center City repaired by grants provided through the Basic Systems Repair Program (BSRP).


Johns Hopkins to Host Summit on Reducing Gun Violence in America

Jan 08, 2013 01:03 PM

The Johns Hopkins University is convening more than 20 global experts on gun policy and violence on January 14 and 15, 2013. Their task is to summarize relevant research and its implications for policymakers and concerned citizens.


Preview of the Winter 2013 JPAM

Jan 07, 2013 07:25 PM

What's inside the Winter 2013 JPAM.


Sanford Professors Express New Year's Wishes

Jan 04, 2013 02:18 PM

The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University asked a few of its professors "What domestic public policy change would you like to see in the new year?" See what they had to say.


Brookings: The Fiscal Cliff Has Been Avoided, But at What Cost?

Jan 02, 2013 03:15 PM

With Congress coming to a last-minute agreement to avoid the fiscal cliff, William Gale comments on the deal that was reached.


OPRE: Child Outcomes and Classroom Quality in FACES 2009

Jan 02, 2013 03:09 PM

This report provides a portrait of children who entered Head Start for the first time in fall 2009 and completed a year in the program in spring 2010. Successive samples of Head Start children, their families, classrooms, and programs provide descriptive information at the national level on the population served; staff qualifications, credentials, and opinions; Head Start classroom practices and quality; and child and family outcomes.


Deadline for Submissions Extended to January 15, 2013

Dec 28, 2012 10:37 AM

The call for papers for the 2013 International Conference has been extended to January 15.


APPAM Closed for Holidays

Dec 24, 2012 12:00 PM

The APPAM office, located in Washington, DC, will be closed from December 24, 2012 through January 1, 2013. The entire staff wishes you and your family a happy and healthy holiday!


Susan Dynarski's Study Cited in Atlantic Monthly

Dec 20, 2012 01:45 PM

Atlantic Magazine external link cites a 2011 study co-authored by Susan M. Dynarski on the widening gaps between low- and high-income students in college entry and graduation rates. The article examines why a college education, once understood to be the "great equalizer" allowing low-income students to catch up economically with their more affluent counterparts, no longer reliably offers such gains.


UMass-Amherst Seeking Policy Proposals for Spring 2013

Dec 20, 2012 01:35 PM

The Center for Public Policy and Administration (CPPA) at the University of Massachusetts Amherst is currently seeking project proposals for its Spring 2013 graduate course Policy Analysis. Organizations and agencies are encouraged to submit a proposal, as they often have ideas for research or projects that they are unable to carry out. Sponsoring a student project through the Policy Analysis course can provide an organization with the opportunity to meet additional needs.


Abt Associates: Food Insecurity Rates Drop for Low-Income Children

Dec 19, 2012 03:30 PM

A two-year summer food benefit demonstration program, initiated by USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service in 2011, showed a 20% decrease in very low food insecurity rates among children in participating low-income households in its first year, according to a recently released study conducted by Abt Associates in partnership with Mathematica Policy Institute.


American University Hosts Buenos Aires Justice for Learning Exchange

Dec 19, 2012 01:51 PM

SPA’s Justice Programs Office hosted Justice Horacio Corti, a member of the Buenos Aires Magistrates Council representing the judiciary, to exchange ideas on issues relating to judicial independence. The council is overseeing the development and administration of a new judicial system for Argentina’s capital. The new structure will provide for substantially more autonomy than under the previous federal system, a process similar to what occurred in the District of Columbia in 1976.


BRICLab Conference Examines the Quest for Global Economic Growth

Dec 18, 2012 03:00 PM

At this year’s BRICLab conference, policy and business leaders discussed the challenges that Brazil, Russia, India, and China face as drivers of global economic growth. Each nation is trying to attract foreign investment and spur the economy, while incorporating the needs of their constituents and long-term health of the environment.


Report Shows MSIs Leading the Way in Remedial Education Reform

Dec 18, 2012 02:47 PM

As higher education leaders continue to grapple with the need to rethink and redesign remedial education, it may pay to look at the experience of 25 minority-serving institutions, or MSIs, that revamped their remedial programs under a three-year initiative that just came to an end.


Urban Institute: Exploring Afghanistan's Subnational Fiscal Architecture

Dec 14, 2012 02:05 PM

Although the Afghan Constitution provides a framework for a unitary and highly centralized public sector, the Constitution also recognizes the importance of subnational governance. The primary obstacle to progress on subnational governance reforms is the absence of consensus -among government officials, policy makers, and development partners alike- on the organizational and budgetary status of subnational entities at the provincial, district and village levels.


CBO: An Overview of Supplemental Security Income

Dec 13, 2012 04:00 PM

In 1974, the federal government established the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program to provide cash assistance to people who are disabled, aged, or both and who have low income and few assets. SSI replaced several state-run support programs that had been partially financed by the federal government. In fiscal year 2013, the program will make payments to more than 8 million people at a cost to the federal government of about $53 billion, CBO estimates.


Meet the 2013 Officers of the APPAM Policy Council

Dec 13, 2012 02:45 PM

At the conclusion of the 2013 election, the leadership of APPAM will cycle. Meet the new leadership team for the Association.


Abt Associates: Annual Report Finds Homelessness Remains Stable in 2012

Dec 13, 2012 02:15 PM

The number of people who experience homelessness remained stable in the past year, but has declined by 5.7 percent since 2007, according to new Abt Associates’ research conducted for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). On a single night in January 2012, 633,782 people were homeless in the United States, with 62 percent of them homeless as individuals and 38 percent who were homeless in families.


COSSA: The Use and Non-Use of Social/Behavioral Science Research

Dec 12, 2012 03:30 PM

A recent Consortium of Social Science Associations (COSSA) Colloquium featured a talk by COSSA President Ken Prewitt about the National Research Council (NRC) report "Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy."


Brookings: The Education Choice and Competition Index

Dec 12, 2012 01:50 PM

Exploring the critical role of school choice in the future of education reform, the Education Choice and Competition Index (ECCI) is an interactive web application that scores large school districts based on thirteen categories of policy and practice. The intent of the ECCI is to create public awareness of the differences among districts in their support of school choice, provide a framework for efforts to improve choice and competition, and recognize leaders among school districts.


Abt Associates: New Online Tool Calculates Health Benefits, Economic Value of Climate Change Efforts

Dec 11, 2012 01:00 PM

Abt Associates recently unveiled AirCounts, a new online tool to help large and medium-sized cities calculate the health benefits and monetary value of air quality improvements. The interactive website— part of Abt’s arsenal of original climate change solution methods and tools—enables users to determine how many premature deaths can be avoided and the associated economic benefits in the largest cities worldwide, including all C40 Cities, as a result of emissions reductions.


Annie E. Casey Foundation: Youth and Work: Restoring Teen and Young Adult Connections to Opportunity

Dec 07, 2012 04:00 PM

In this KIDS COUNT policy report, the Casey Foundation finds that nearly 6.5 million U.S. teens and young adults are neither in school nor in the workforce. With employment among young people at its lowest levels since the 1950s, these youth are veering toward chronic unemployment as adults and failing to gain the skills employers need in the 21st century.


Urban Institute: National Indicators and Social Wealth

Dec 07, 2012 02:00 PM

In The State of Society, measures of national well-being that go beyond gross domestic product (GDP) are identified. Existing indicators and systems are found lacking in assessing the full economic value of caregiving and the contributions of women. This report presents the results of a meeting of leading experts on national indicators convened by the Urban Institute and the Center for Partnership Studies.


Chronicle: Ph.D.'s From Top Political-Science Programs Dominate Hiring

Dec 06, 2012 04:00 PM

For Ph.D. students in political science who have complained that graduates of top-ranked programs get all the job offers, new research on hiring practices in the field won't make them feel any better. That's because an analysis of more than 3,000 professors at more than 100 institutions shows that there is a direct link between graduating from a prestigious political-science program and getting a coveted tenure-track position at a research-intensive university.


CBO: Unemployment Insurance in the Wake of the Recent Recession

Dec 06, 2012 02:31 PM

The unemployment insurance (UI) system is a partnership between the federal government and state governments that provides a temporary weekly benefit to qualified workers who lose their job and are seeking work. The amount of that benefit is based in part on a worker’s past earnings. CBO estimates that UI benefits totaled $94 billion in fiscal year 2012 (when the unemployment rate was 8.3 percent, on average), a substantial increase over the $33 billion paid out in fiscal year 2007.


GMF: Global Swing States

Dec 04, 2012 02:00 PM

The rise of four powerful democracies – Brazil, India, Indonesia, and Turkey – could bolster today’s international order. Yet this outcome is far from assured. The degree to which the four “global swing states,” as this project calls them, will defend and reform the international order remains uncertain. If they do, their rise presents an enormous opportunity for the United States and its European allies.


Mathematica: New Denial and Disenrollment Coding Strategies to Drive State Enrollment Performance

Dec 03, 2012 01:14 PM

The Maximizing Enrollment program has worked intensively with eight states to help them more effectively use data to improve performance in enrolling and retaining eligible individuals. This brief shares specific recommendations for a method to classify denials and disenrollments, discusses why this is a powerful tool to understand the effect of policy changes, and shows how states can bridge from their current complex coding systems to a more streamlined system. [PDF]


Brookings: Human Resource Development in New Nuclear Energy States

Nov 30, 2012 04:00 PM

With the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, and Turkey all continuing pursuit of civil nuclear energy programs, the Middle East is likely to play host to the first newcomer civil nuclear energy states of the 21st century. After a long hiatus, the likely entry of several new states into the global nuclear power sector presents a number of unprecedented challenges.


OPRE: The CCDF Policies Database Book of Tables

Nov 30, 2012 01:00 PM

This book of tables presents key aspects of the differences in CCDF-funded programs across all 50 States, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, the Northern Mariana Islands, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as of October 1, 2011. The book of tables highlights policy variations across four general areas of policy.


Watch Sandra Archibald's President's Address Online

Nov 28, 2012 06:04 PM

Missed 2012 APPAM President Sandra Archibald's address during the Fall Research Conference? You can now view it online.


Brookings: The Doha Climate Talks and Long Term Treaty Goals

Nov 28, 2012 04:00 PM

Many key countries—through choice, duress or lack of resources—have sidestepped any substantial domestic commitments to reduce greenhouse gases over the past decade. As such, there remains a large gap between the level of ambition embedded in existing international agreements and the necessary steps for managing climate risks at reasonable levels.


Esther Duflo Named as a Top 100 Global Thinker

Nov 28, 2012 02:10 PM

APPAM member and 2011 Kershaw Award winner Esther Duflo, MIT, was named in Foreign Policy's "Top 100 Global Thinkers" list for 2012.


OPRE: On-Site Approaches to Quality Improvement in Quality Rating and Improvement Systems

Nov 28, 2012 02:00 PM

There are multiple indications that different forms of on-site technical assistance aimed at improving quality are being widely implemented as part of Quality Rating and Improvement Systems (QRIS). The use of coaching in QRIS (and other quality improvement initiatives) reflects emerging evidence that in order to translate what is learned through professional development into high-quality practices in work with young children, early educators need opportunity to see examples of specific practice.​


Urban Institute: Will There Be Enough Providers to Meet the Need? Provider Capacity and the ACA

Nov 27, 2012 04:00 PM

Much of the success of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will hinge on issues surrounding access to care, particularly as millions of individuals become newly-insured and strain the capacity of provider systems. New service delivery reforms in state Medicaid programs and the private sector, as well as provisions in the ACA focused on increasing primary care reimbursement and provider supply, and increasing funding for Community Health Centers, hold promise to improve access to quality care.


Brookings: Cities Return to Their Roots in the Global Economy

Nov 27, 2012 01:00 PM

Economic theory, world history, and contemporary experience show that metropolitan areas (i.e., city-regional economies) and trade are inextricably linked. Trade is essential to metro areas—it is how they grow their economies. And metro areas are essential to trade—they provide the specialization and market access that facilitates exchange among producers and consumers.


Urban Institute: Uninsurance Is Not Just a Minority Issue

Nov 26, 2012 06:00 PM

This brief compares changes in health insurance coverage from 2000 to 2010 across nonelderly racial and ethnic groups. We find that employer-sponsored insurance deteriorated among all groups, with whites and blacks experiencing larger percentage point declines relative to Hispanics and Asians/other. The uninsured rate increased by four percentage points among whites and blacks, while remaining constant for the Hispanic and Asian/other populations.


APPAM Celebrates New Leadership, Awards at 2012 Fall Research Conference

Nov 26, 2012 04:03 PM

The Association of Public Policy and Analysis Management (APPAM) recently held its annual Fall Research Conference in Baltimore, Maryland. Just over 1,600 members were in attendance during the three days of sessions, presentations, and meetings.


OPRE: Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation Final Report

Nov 26, 2012 03:00 PM

This is the final report of the Advisory Committee on Head Start Research and Evaluation. The Committee’s charge was to review and make recommendations on the design of the study or studies that provide a national analysis of the impact of Head Start programs and to comment on the research. The Committee was also asked to comment on the state of the evidence in early childhood and its implications for Head Start and other early childhood practice and for future research.


Abt Associates in New Effort to Control Foodborne Toxins in Africa

Nov 26, 2012 02:00 PM

More than 50 public, private and non-profit stakeholders recently attended a two-day workshop in Nigeria on aflatoxin, formulating solutions to reduce the impact of this dangerous fungus that infects grain throughout Africa. The November workshop, hosted by Abt Associates and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development of Nigeria, supports a new project, the Partnership for Aflatoxin Control in Africa (PACA). PACA was formally launched by the African Union Commission in October.


Annie E. Casey Foundation Announces New Partnerships to Strengthen Local Communities

Nov 21, 2012 04:00 PM

The Foundation is forming partnerships in three cities to improve the well-being of children and their families through community- and family-focused innovations. Initiatives in New York, Ohio and Texas will receive funding to support programs and services for children and families in vulnerable neighborhoods.


Brookings: Challenges for China's New Leadership

Nov 21, 2012 02:00 PM

China’s new leadership will take the reins of government early next year. This new collective, led by Xi Jinping, will have a slate of critical issues to address with China’s stagnating economy topping the list. Brookings experts Cheng Li, Kenneth Lieberthal, Jonathan Pollack and Jeffrey Bader delve into the issues that await China’s leaders and the likely action the group will take. [Videos]


CBO: What Accounts for the Slow Growth of the Economy After the Recession?

Nov 20, 2012 07:00 PM

The U.S. economy has grown slowly since the deep recession in 2008 and 2009, which was triggered by a sharp drop in house prices and a subsequent financial crisis. During the three years following the recession (that is, the third quarter of 2009 through the second quarter of 2012), the economy’s output grew at less than half the rate exhibited, on average, during other recoveries in the United States since the end of World War II.


Urban Institute: The Financial Burden of Medical Spending Among the Non-Elderly

Nov 20, 2012 03:30 PM

We estimate the financial burden of medical spending among the non-elderly using an alternative data source than previous studies. We investigate whether higher burden levels are largely due to higher medical spending, lower income, or some combination. Furthermore, we study individual characteristics correlated with burdens exceeding a given threshold. Although medical spending is higher for individuals facing higher burden levels, the effect of low income on high burden status dominates.


Decisive Win for Big Data, “Moneyball” Election Predictions

Nov 20, 2012 01:45 PM

Dean Paul Teske, University of Colorado Denver School of Public Affairs, recently wrote a guest piece in the Denver Post's Idea Log. In it, he states that "Big Data" and the ability to interpret them were big winners in this year's Presidential election. "To the dismay of many pundits, the predictions based upon aggregating state polls were overwhelming accurate about election results," he stated.​


Professor Angela Evans Selected as Next President-elect

Nov 19, 2012 03:31 PM

Professor Angela Evans, University of Texas at Austin, was elected as the new president-elect for APPAM. As the president-elect, Evans begins a three-year leadership commitment in which she will develop the 2013 annual conference in Washington, D.C. as well as serve as the representative of and spokesperson for the Association.


Brookings: Ten Leadership Lessons from Simpson-Bowles

Nov 16, 2012 03:50 PM

It was January 2010 and the Senate was locked in a sharp debate about the country’s debt and deficit crisis. Unable to agree on a course of action, some Senators proposed the creation of a fiscal commission that would send Congress a proposal to address the problem with no possibility of amendments.


Session Summary: How Health Literacy Became a National Policy Issue

Nov 15, 2012 01:53 PM

In this roundtable discussion, several topics were covered related to health literacy.


Session Summary: New Direction in Early Childhood Education Research

Nov 15, 2012 01:43 PM

This session examined new avenues of research and findings that addressed associative effects of early child care education.


Chronicle: Top-Ranked Journals Are Losing Their Share of Top-Cited Articles

Nov 15, 2012 01:30 PM

A study published by three Canadian researchers has identified a two-decade-long trend in which the world’s top-ranked scientific journals are slowly losing their share of the most-cited articles.


Gates Foundation: What Are MOOCs and Why Are Education Leaders Interested in Them?

Nov 14, 2012 02:56 PM

MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, offer free online college-level classes open to anyone, and everyone, who wants to take them. MOOCs have captured the imagination and attention of entrepreneurial newcomers and traditional incumbents alike. Start-ups such as Coursera, edX and Udacity have led the charge, expanding course offerings and rapidly signing up partners, from individual faculty members to prestigious institutional partners.


Mathematica: Reforming Incentives to Promote Evidence-Based Decisions at the Point of Care

Nov 14, 2012 02:15 PM

A new white paper describes how current financial incentives in the fee-for-service (FFS) system can lead to the over- and underuse of services at the point of care by physicians and other clinicians. It explores prominent payment reform models and concludes that no single approach consistently rewards evidence-based care. [PDF document]


Chronicle: The Rise of Poll Quants

Nov 13, 2012 04:06 PM

If you watched Meet the Press this past weekend, you learned that the presidential election was “statistically tied” and could be a “photo finish.” The Associated Press predicted a “nail biter.” The Philadelphia Inquirer threw up its hands, saying the vote was just “too close to call.”


Session Summary: Peter H. Rossi Award Lecture

Nov 13, 2012 02:31 PM

The Peter H. Rossi Award winner Thomas D. Cook discussed the Interrupted Time Series (ITS) method, which has seen a resurgence in use in large part to Cook’s work. ITS often uses administrative data and in its simplest form compares the differences in means or slopes between pre-intervention time series data and post-intervention time series data.


Session Summary: Family, School & Neighborhood Predictors of Child Obesity

Nov 13, 2012 02:01 PM

Four different reports examined various factors regarding childhood obesity, including dietary behavior, physical education, food pricing, and child care subsidies.


Session Summary: Melding Hiring Incentives and Work Sharing

Nov 13, 2012 01:53 PM

A fruitful debate about the positive attributes of the policy of work sharing and its potential to distort labor markets.


Saturday's Poster Winners

Nov 10, 2012 07:38 PM

Poster presentation awards for Saturday, the last day of the Fall Research Conference, including members from University of Kentucky, City University of New York, and George Washington University.


Session Summary: Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy

Miron Straf of the National Academies of Science moderated a deep discussion centered on his book Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy, published by the National Research Council.


Session Summary: Childhood Hunger in the U.S.

Nov 10, 2012 06:12 PM

This session attempted to identify various policy opportunities with regards to food hardships and hunger among children in lower-income families.


Session Summary: Diet, Exercise and Obesity

Nov 10, 2012 06:02 PM

Four main studies were the focus of this panel on diet, exercise, and obesity as it specifically related to children and families.


Session Summary: Kindergarten as a Policy Lever in Educational Reform

Nov 10, 2012 05:51 PM

This session provided an overview of varying studies done on kindergarten programs and the children enrolled in them.


Presidential Address: Effective Evidence-Based Policy Making: Some Critical Perspectives

Nov 10, 2012 04:39 PM

"Scientific technology has changed research and impacted decision makers in every policy field, including climate change, wealth disparities, and human trafficking," said Dr. Archibald. "We need to be prepared to address complexities in technology that will change more drastically." An important step forward would be the integration of policy analysis, resource management, and program evaluation.


Session Summary: Low-Cost Randomized Controlled Trials

Nov 10, 2012 04:24 PM

The session focused on the lessons learned from low-cost evaluations and the costs and benefits of investing in evaluation with reduced access to public resources.


Session Summary: Budgeting During Recessions

Nov 10, 2012 03:05 PM

A better understanding of how budgets are affected during recessions and suggesting innovative solutions to possibly reduce the negative effects associated with it.


Session Summary: The Recovery Act - Network Governance Under Pressure

Nov 10, 2012 02:44 PM

This roundtable focused on the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and brought together several policy analysts to report on lessons learned. The lessons that were shared focused on two key areas: designing networks and network entrepreneurship.


Session Summary: Can We Learn What Works Best In Health Care?

Nov 10, 2012 02:31 PM

Panelists focused on the usefulness of comparative effectiveness research (CER) in controlling health care costs and making health care more effective, as well as who should pay for this research, how the funding structure for the research changed, and how it should be directed to take advantage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.


Session Summary: Linking College and Labor Markets Datasets for Research on the Returns to College

Nov 10, 2012 02:12 PM

Presenter Clive Belfield, of Queens College, presented his work done with CAPSEE, acquiring linked data on educational attainment and employment. The project was motivated by the growing expense for college, the markedly higher risk investment of students to attend, and the impact of the Great Recession. The goal of the database is to start with a person’s college information and to link across, forward, and back on high school information, pre-college work, and additional education.


Session Summary: The Effect of School Curriculum Reforms on Student Achievement and Attainment

Nov 10, 2012 01:52 PM

The discussion revolved around an analysis of programs across the country that focus on lengthening or adding extra courses to a student’s school day. Though intuitively more instruction leads to more learning, it is not clear that more is always better due to the opportunity cost the students face and increased burnout rates of both students and teachers.


Fall Research Conference - Day Two Summary

Nov 10, 2012 01:24 PM

We're through two days of the 2012 Fall Research Conference; here's a quick look at what went on in the social media world yesterday.


Session Summary: "Health and Geography"

Nov 09, 2012 08:10 PM

This session, chaired by Thomas DeLeire, University of Wisconson-Madison, covered how low-income Latino and African-American youth can be strongly affected by elements present in their neighborhoods, and how point-in-time uninsured rates varied by state.


Friday's Poster Winners

Nov 09, 2012 07:36 PM

Friday's poster winners, including members from Harvard, MDRC, Abt Associates, University of Chicago, and New York University.


Brookings: Connecting to Opportunity

Nov 09, 2012 04:00 PM

Metropolitan transportation networks are critical for a region's economic competitiveness. Public transit is a key component of the economic and social fabric of metropolitan areas. While commuting to work is only one reason residents may use a transit system, it is a dominant use: Commutes make up the largest share of transit trips nationwide.


Fall Research Conference - Day One Summary

Nov 09, 2012 03:09 PM

The first day of the 2012 Fall Research Conference has come and gone. Check out some of the social media highlights from Baltimore and around the web!


Thursday's Poster Winners

Nov 08, 2012 08:46 PM

Three poster presentations won on the first day of the conference; two were from individuals from the U.S. Census Bureau.


ICMA: Asset-Based Economic Development and Building Sustainable Rural Communities

Nov 08, 2012 04:55 PM

Asset-based economic development and building sustainable rural communities is the focus of a three part series of briefing papers recently published by ICMA and written by former ICMA project manner and subject matter expert Anna Read. ICMA is often asked to provide more resources and support for small towns and rural places and one look at the number of these communities in the United States alone suggests why.


Library of Congress: Bioethics and Human Rights Subject of 2012 Human Rights Day Celebration

Nov 08, 2012 04:52 PM

A group of distinguished speakers will discuss issues surrounding bioethics and human rights at a panel held in honor of international Human Rights Day at the Library of Congress at 1 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 6.


Meet the Conference Communication Team!

Nov 07, 2012 11:04 PM

At the 2012 Fall Research Conference, we've enlisted the help of five public policy students to help communicate all the great events and programs happening in Baltimore over the next few days.


Dr. Jens Ludwig Elected to IOM

Nov 05, 2012 05:00 PM

Dr. Jens Ludwig, University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, was elected to the National Academy of Science's Institute of Medicine (IOM) in mid-October. Dr. Ludwig is one of the nation's leading researchers, applying scientific tools to the study of social issues such as crime, poverty, and health.


Boise State Announces New Ph.D. Program in Public Policy

Nov 05, 2012 02:20 PM

Boise State University has announced a new doctoral program in public policy and administration. The new program is slated to begin in the fall of 2013.


Urban Institute: Nonprofit Sector is Growing Faster than Rest of the Economy

Nov 02, 2012 03:30 PM

Even during and after the recession, from 2007 to 2010, nonprofit employment grew 4 percent and wages increased 6.5 percent, while they decreased in the business sector by 8.4 percent and 8 percent, respectively, and increased only 1 percent and 4.8 percent, respectively, for government. However, in 8 of the past 10 years, the nonprofit sector spent more than it earned. The gap between revenues and outlays was $65 billion in 2008, 2009, and 2010.


How Does CBO Model the Response of Labor Supply to Changes in Tax and Spending Policies?

Nov 02, 2012 02:35 PM

CBO uses two models of the economy to estimate the medium- and long-term effects of federal tax and spending policies. Those models take different approaches toward capturing the ways in which the supply of labor responds to changes in fiscal policy. CBO recently reviewed the extensive research literature on the magnitude of those responses, and this report describes the values the agency will be using in future analyses.

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Foundation Staff Participating in Four Sessions at 2012 Fall Research Conference

Nov 02, 2012 12:56 PM

Several APPAM members on the staff of the William T. Grant Foundation will be participating in four different sessions at this year's Fall Research Conference.


NCBI: Can, and should, behavioral neuroscience influence public policy?

Recent years have seen enormous demand amongst policy makers for new insights from the behavioural sciences, especially neuroscience. This demand is matched by an increasing willingness on behalf of behavioural scientists to translate the policy implications of their work. But can neuroscience really help shape the governance of a nation? Or does this represent growing misuse of neuroscience to attach scientific authority to policy?


Call for Papers: Collaboration Among Government, Market, and Society

Oct 31, 2012 12:53 PM

Collaboration and competition among government, nonprofit, and for-profit organizations have been growing trends over the years and have fundamentally shaped the values, operations, responsibilities, and results of public management. In order to explore these and related issues, SIRPA, UMD, and APPAM will hold a conference in Shanghai, China on May 25-26, 2013.


Know Before You Go to This Year's Fall Conference

Oct 25, 2012 07:51 PM

The 2012 Fall Research Conference is just around the corner. Here's some last-minute info you'll need before you leave.


NIH Releases Videos Highlighting Social and Behavioral Science Research Findings

Oct 25, 2012 03:00 PM

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Sciences Research (OBSSR) released four video highlighting outstanding behavioral and social science research that demonstrates the role of behavior in personal health. The videos focus on behavior's role in mindless eating, risk-taking, diabetes management and the evolution of skin pigmentation. [YouTube]


Abt Associates to Evaluate Program That Provides Services, Shelter for Homeless Youth

Oct 24, 2012 03:00 PM

Abt Associates has won a $2 million contract from the Administration on Children and Families to evaluate a program that provides shelter and services to homeless youth. Under the contract, Abt Associates will conduct a randomized controlled trial to study what happens to youth on a range of outcomes, including housing stability, homelessness, employment, education and health, among other measurements, once they leave the program.


APSA Announces New MENA Workshops

Oct 24, 2012 01:30 PM

The American Political Science Association is debuting a new series of annual political science workshops to be held in the Arab Middle East and North Africa. The MENA Workshops are a multi-year collaboration with early-career political science faculty to enhance regional scholarly capacity and networks. The program will deepen APSA’s engagement with the international political science community and strengthen efforts to support networks linking US scholars with their colleagues overseas.


Brookings: How Mobile Technology is Driving Global Entrepreneurship

Oct 24, 2012 12:15 PM

Darrell West examines mobile entrepreneurship’s key role in expanding opportunities for social and economic development around the world. Examining places like Nigeria, Egypt, and Indonesia, West notes that micro-entrepreneurs generate 38 percent of the gross domestic product, generating new ideas, business models, and ways of selling goods and services.


Drs. Gill and Duncan Author Op-Ed on Evaluation of Teachers in Pittsburgh

Oct 22, 2012 02:32 PM

Drs. Brian Gill and Duncan D. Chaplin, both from Mathematica Policy Research, authored a recent article on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette's website. "Evaluating teachers 2.0" looks at how Pittsburgh is helping to develop smarter, fairer ways to assess teacher performance. School districts like Pittsburgh's are working to replace moribund, mechanical, infrequent classroom observations with rigorous new measures of professional practice.


Urban Institute: The Response of the U.S. Public Workforce System to High Unemployment during the Great Recession

Oct 19, 2012 12:30 PM

The Great Recession and the high unemployment that followed have been the public workforce system’s greatest challenge. How did the workforce system respond to these challenges? How has it performed over the past five years? How adequate has system funding been to serve the unemployed? The American public policy response to the Great Recession was unbalanced and did not fully serve the immediate needs of unemployed workers by adequately funding reemployment and training services.


Abt Associates: Study Finds Wide Geographic Variation in Prescribing for Painkillers

Oct 18, 2012 02:00 PM

Appalachia, Southern and Western states have the highest rates of prescribing for opioids, commonly known as painkillers, a study by Abt Associates researchers published in the Journal of Pain found. The number of physicians in a county was the strongest predictor of the amount of opioids prescribed.​


Annie E. Casey Foundation: Child Poverty Rates Increase in 44 of 50 Largest U.S. Cities

Oct 18, 2012 01:00 PM

The 2011 American Community Survey (ACS) data show an increase in the rate of children living in poverty in the United States between 2005 and 2011. Among the 50 largest U.S. cities, 44 experienced increases in child poverty rates. Detroit, Cleveland, Miami, Milwaukee and Memphis, Tenn., had the highest rates of children living in poverty.


Gates Foundation: What Do Europeans Really Think of Aid for Poor Countries?

Oct 17, 2012 04:00 PM

It should come as no surprise that food crises and hunger shortages continue to wreak havoc on some of the poorest countries in the world. But, according to a new survey, despite difficult economic times, Europeans are still overwhelmingly committed to helping poorer countries. A new survey of European Union residents reveals that even an economic crisis doesn't dampen Europeans' support for aid. Eighty-five percent of Europeans say that Europe should continue helping developing countries.


Dr. Miron Straf Releases New Book on Using Science in Public Policy

Oct 17, 2012 03:02 PM

Dr. Miron Straf, Deputy Director of the Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education at the National Academy of Sciences, has released a new book entitled "Using Science as Evidence in Public Policy." The book investigates why scientific evidence is important to policy making and argues that an extensive body of research on knowledge utilization has not led to any widely accepted explanation of what it means to use science in public policy.


Urban Institute: The Costs and Benefits of Electronic Monitoring for Washington, D.C.

Oct 17, 2012 03:00 PM

A summary of the second DCPI cost-benefit analysis employing an innovative statistical method assessing the range of possible costs and benefits associated with specific evidence-based programs designed to prevent crime and recidivism. This particular study forecasted the costs and benefits of implementing an Electronic Monitoring program in the District. The analysis found an 80 percent chance that an EM program serving 800 people will yield benefits exceeding its costs.


Brookings: Harnessing Technology and Innovation in the Fight Against Global Poverty

Oct 17, 2012 02:05 PM

Recent research shows that new business models often matter far more than the technology of a given product when serving poor communities. Moreover, promising technologies do not bring about improvements in the lives of the world’s poorest people unless they are adequately invested in, rigorously evaluated, and then brought to scale, which typically requires the collaboration of many actors, including the private and philanthropic sectors and government.


University of Minnesota Regents Approve New Dual Degrees

Oct 12, 2012 01:45 PM

Late last month, the University of Minnesota’s Board of Regents approved two new dual degrees at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, a Master of Public Policy-Master of Public Health (MPP/MPH) and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning and Master of Public Health (MURP/MPH). Students can enter the new dual degree programs in fall 2013.


Harvard: New Research Explores Impacts of Mortgage Modification Plans

Oct 12, 2012 01:34 PM

Policies to allow mortgage modifications for struggling homeowners may raise the cost of credit for the riskiest borrowers, but not nearly as much as the banking industry has claimed. That is one finding in a new Harvard Kennedy School Working Paper titled "Bankruptcy Law and The Cost of Credit: The Impact of Cramdown on Mortgage Interest Rates" co-authored by Assistant Professor Joshua Goodman.


GPPI: Alice Rivlin on the Steps to Addressing the Fiscal Cliff

Oct 12, 2012 01:16 PM

Former Debt Commission Member Alice Rivlin on what is needed to avoid the fiscal cliff. (Video)


DSG Policy Forum Recap: “Social Media, Employment and Entrepreneurship”

Oct 11, 2012 01:33 PM

The Governance and Innovation Program (GIP) at the Dubai School of Government conducted a regional study on “Social Media, Employment and Entrepreneurship: New Frontiers for the Economic Empowerment of Arab Youth?”. The report explores perceptions on the impact of social media on employment opportunities, entrepreneurship, and social development. The regional survey covered a number of Arab countries, including: the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon.


CMU: Smart Traffic Signals Pilot Results Show Decreased Pollution and Traffic Congestion

Oct 11, 2012 01:19 PM

A unique partnership has piloted a new adaptive traffic signal control technology that promises to dramatically reduce harmful vehicle emissions and frustratingly long travel times through urban neighborhoods. With funding support from three Pittsburgh foundations, Carnegie Mellon University has worked with the City of Pittsburgh and East Liberty Development Inc. to deploy the technology for a network of traffic lights serving the busy East Liberty area of the City.


EPA Awards Abt Associates Contract to Protect Water Quality

Oct 10, 2012 02:33 PM

Abt Associates has been awarded a $107.8 million Indefinite Quantity Contract from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds which works to protect the nation’s marine and fresh water ecosystems, including watersheds, coastal ecosystems and wetlands. The purpose of the five-year contract is to provide technical support for assessment and watershed protection across the country.


Brown University: Providence Poll: Voters Worry Over City Finances

Oct 09, 2012 05:28 PM

Voter sentiments over the state of Providence finances have changed little during the last year, according to a new Brown University survey. A significant majority of Providence voters (85.9 percent) characterized the city’s budget problems as somewhat serious or very serious. This response is similar to a Brown University poll taken around the same time last year, when 86 percent of city voters said that they didn’t believe the city was recovering well from the recession.


AU’s Justice for Youth Summit to Address Outcomes for Incarcerated Youth

Oct 09, 2012 05:22 PM

The inaugural Justice for Youth Summit will convene policy makers, advocates, experts, families, youth, and students over the issues facing incarcerated youth in order to create better outcomes for this population. The Justice Programs Office will host the summit in partnership with the Campaign for Youth Justice on Friday, October 12 on the campus of American University.


Dr. John MacDonald, 2012 Kershaw Award Winner, Discusses Mentorship, Collaboration, and Career

Oct 05, 2012 04:30 PM

The Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) selected John MacDonald, M.A., Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania, as the winner of the 2012 David N. Kershaw Award. Dr. MacDonald works on a wide variety of topics in criminology that include the study of interpersonal violence, race and ethnic disparities in criminal justice, and the effectiveness of social policy responses to crime.


WCRI: New Study Shows 1 in 12 Injured Workers Still Using Narcotics

Oct 05, 2012 12:53 PM

With opioid misuse a top public health problem in the United States, a new report by the Workers Compensation Research Institute (WCRI) showed that few physicians were following recommended treatment guidelines to prevent it. Nearly 1 in 12 injured workers who started narcotics were still using them 3-6 months later. The report examined longer-term use of opioids in 21 states and how often recommended treatment guidelines for monitoring injured workers with longer-term use were followed.


Abt Associates Awarded Major Grant by USAID to Increase Access to Health Services

Oct 04, 2012 12:00 PM

The U.S. Agency for International Development today named Abt Associates to lead a five-year, $209 million project to increase the use of priority health services, especially by women, girls, poor and rural populations, in developing countries throughout the world. Abt will lead a team with deep experience in working with ministries of health at every level to build country capacity to expand access to health services, with a particular emphasis on improving health financing and governance.


RAND: Measuring Teacher Effectiveness

Oct 03, 2012 01:17 PM

Many personal, family, and neighborhood factors contribute to a student's academic performance, but a large body of research suggests that, among school-related factors, teachers matter most. What's less clear, however, is how to measure an individual teacher's effectiveness. It's a complex topic, and there are many factors that should be considered. RAND Education has applied its expertise to this and nearly every other aspect of the education system for more than three decades.


Thomas D. Cook to Receive 2012 Peter H. Rossi Award

Oct 02, 2012 07:07 PM

Thomas D. Cook of Northwestern University has been selected as the recipient of the 2012 Peter H. Rossi Award for "Contributions to the Theory or Practice of Program Evaluation."


CHCS: Medicaid Pilot Program Demonstrates Decrease in Emergency Department Visits and Hospitalizations for Patients with Serious Mental Illness

Oct 02, 2012 02:30 PM

A project that demonstrates the benefits of integrated care for Medicaid beneficiaries with serious mental illness in Pennsylvania shows potential for state cost savings through reduced emergency room visits, mental health-related hospitalizations, and hospital re-admissions, according to an evaluation released yesterday.


Urban Institute: Tax Policy Center Analyzes "Fiscal Cliff" Impacts on Taxpayers

Oct 02, 2012 01:30 PM

The fiscal cliff would increase Americans’ taxes by more than $500 billion in 2013, or almost $3,500 per household. A typical middle-income household would see its taxes go up roughly $2,000. Using the Tax Policy Center’s microsimulation model of the U.S. tax system, the authors examine in detail how the tax changes in the fiscal cliff would affect taxpayers at different income levels.


CBO: Taxation of Capital and Labor Through the Self-Employment Tax

Oct 02, 2012 01:20 PM

CBO decomposes the Self-Employment Contributions Act (SECA) tax base into its labor and capital components and analyzes three approaches that would modify the SECA tax base.


What's Inside the Fall 2012 JPAM

Oct 01, 2012 05:00 PM

A look at the articles found in the Fall 2012 JPAM.


OPRE: Work Participation and TANF/WIA Coordination Project

Oct 01, 2012 01:30 PM

OPRE has announced a new two-part project regarding work participation and TANF/WIA Coordination. The Claims Resolution Act of 2010 extended the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Program and contains a section on reports required from the states concerning the reporting of allowable work activities, and “Other” TANF expenditures.


Brookings: Preview of the New Supreme Court Term

Oct 01, 2012 01:20 PM

With 40 cases queued up, the U.S. Supreme Court is poised to begin its 2012 term on Monday, October 1. More than half the roster is comprised of criminal justice or federal judicial procedure cases but this session will likely be shaped by a few key cases, including race in the classroom, human rights violations overseas, and voting rights here at home. Visiting Fellow Russell Wheeler previews the session, noting that some of these cases will spark intense scrutiny. (VIDEO)


MDRC: Using Incentives to Change How Teenagers Spend Their Time

Sep 28, 2012 03:11 PM

The results of an innovative study designed to provide a more detailed understanding of how parents and their teenage children were affected by the Opportunity NYC-Family Rewards program, a comprehensive conditional cash transfer program. The three-year program, launched by the Center for Economic Opportunity in the Mayor’s Office of the City of New York in 2007, offered cash assistance to low-income families to reduce economic hardship.


RWJF: What is Driving U.S. Health Care Spending

Sep 26, 2012 05:00 PM

This paper by the Bipartisan Policy Center explores the factors that are driving the level of spending on health care in the United States. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) American health spending will reach nearly $5 trillion, or 20 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), by 2021. Therefore, it is important for policy-makers and other stakeholders to understand and offer solutions to the high level of spending on health care in the United States.