December 15, 2017

Dropping Knowledge

The Pew Research Center  produced a report this week evaluating data on people’s trust in government. As one might expect, trust and approval of government performance has shifted in the Trump administration, with Republicans being more favorable towards the current government than Democrats. Respondents from both parties agreed that government should have significant role in six areas: (1) ensuring safe food and medicine, (2) maintaining infrastructure, (3) responding to natural disasters, (4) strengthening the economy, (5) keeping the country safe from terrorism, and (6) managing the U.S. immigration system.

Overall, trust in the federal government is near the historic low point since 1958:

1 6

For Your Consideration

The Stanford Social Innovation Review published an article this week about pay-for-success financing, “which allows independent investors to finance social interventions aimed at issues or problems of interest to the public sector.” The article proposes criteria for when policymakers should consider pay-for-success models. The seven criteria are below. While not earth-shattering, they do provide a checklist framework for considering and ultimately justifying pay-for-success.

  1. The intervention must address a problem of interest to the public sector.
  2. The intervention must have a strong research evidence base in terms of effectiveness in a clearly identified population(s).
  3. The intervention must be economically attractive to the public sector.
  4. Outcomes must be expressed as metrics that are clearly defined and quantifiable.
  5. Outcomes must be achievable in a reasonable and clearly understood time period.
  6. The evidence-based interventions should be able to be implemented without significant administrative challenges.
  7. An intervention’s implementation should face no significant political or stakeholder challenges.

Food for Thought

The 74 blog has a post highlighting 10 infographics that affected how we look at education in 2017. It is a quick summary of many current education policy themes.  Here are two maps that stood out.

Housing cost map

vocational map

Need to Know

Last week, the American Enterprise Institute hosted a symposium on rural education in America.  The whole event is online, and many of the event materials are available in the form of white papers. The topics are wide-ranging, including “Rural Poverty and the Federal Safety Net,” “African American Education in Rural communities in the Deep South,” and “From Basketball to Overdose Capital.” The agenda and the sample we viewed were worth the time.


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