Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How the Obama Administration Will Grant Money

This Washington Post article by Ezra Klein lays out how the administration will spend it's program grant money. It’s great to see this rationale in plain English. In the past, we’ve usually had to read between the lines. Each RFP and each agency handled each project differently.
The Obama administration's favored funding structure involves a three-tiered test. The top tier is for programs that have tested themselves using a randomized control trial in multiple sites, or something close to it. That's the gold standard in evidence, and those programs get the most money. The second tier is for programs with preliminary evidence, and they can get some money. And then there are programs that can make a case for why they're worth trying, and they can get a bit of money -- enough, essentially, so they can develop evidence and come back to qualify for a higher tier. Program funding is being moved to this model across the government, in education and energy and transportation and more. "This is one of the few times I've regretted being a Republican," Haskins says happily. "I just think this is the exact right thing to do, and they’re being so thorough about it."
Then there's the systemic level. The model here is the Race to the Top program, which has been at the core of the administration's efforts in the education space. That initiative ran a competitive grant program in which states needed to submit a reform plan, then pass it through their state legislatures, before they could qualify for cash. The money, essentially, was used to buy votes for a broader reform vision.
I love the Ron Haskins quote. Haskins was senior advisor for welfare policy in the George W. Bush administration.

1 comment:

trade4target said...

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You’ve got it, whatever that means in blogging. Anyway, You are definitely someone that has something to say that people need to hear. Keep up the good work. Keep on inspiring the people!