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Should chronically disruptive students be allowed to remain in public schools? Should nonagenarians receive costly medical care at taxpayer expense? Who should be first in line for kidney transplants—the relatively healthy or the severely ill? In T argeting in Social Programs , Peter H. Schuck and Richard J. Zeckhauser provide a rigorous framework for analyzing these and other difficult choices. Many government policies seek to help unfortunate, often low-income individuals—in other words, "bad draws." These efforts are frequently undermined by poor targeting, however. In particular, when two groups of bad draws—"bad bets" and "bad apples"—are included in social welfare programs, bad policies are likely to result. Many politicians and policymakers prefer to sweep this problem under the rug. But the costs of this silence are high. Allocating resources to bad bets and bad apples does more than waste money—it also makes it harder to achieve substantive goals, such as the creation of safe and effective schools. And perhaps most important, it erodes support for public programs on which many good bets and good apples rely. By training a spotlight on these issues, Schuck and Zeckhauser take a first step toward much-needed reforms. They dissect the challenges involved in defining bad bets and bad apples and discuss the safeguards that any classification process must provide. They also examine three areas where bad apples and bad bets loom large—public schools, public housing, and medical care—and propose policy changes that could reduce the problems these two groups pose. This provocative book does not offer easy answers, but it raises questions that no one with an interest in policy effectiveness can afford to ignore. By turns incisive and probing, Bad Draws will generate vigorous debate.
The conflict in Iraq is characterized by three faces of war: interstate conflict, civil war, and insurgency. The Coalition's invasion of Iraq in March 2003 began as an interstate war. No sooner had Saddam Hussein been successfully deposed, however, than U.S.-led forces faced a lethal insurgency. After Sunni al Qaeda in Iraq bombed the Shia al-Askari Shrine in 2006, the burgeoning conflict took on the additional element of civil war with sectarian violence between the Sunni and the Shia. The most effective strategies in a war as complicated as the three-level conflict in Iraq are intertwined and complementary, according to the editors of this volume. For example, the "surge" in U.S. troops in 2007 went beyond an increase in manpower; the mission had changed, giving priority to public security. This new direction also simultaneously addressed the insurgency as well as the civil war by forging new, trusting relationships between Americans and Iraqis and between Sunni and Shia. This book has broad implications for future decisions about war and peace in the twenty-first century.
Including education has profound consequences, undergirding the case for the productivity of welfare state programs and the explanation for why all rich nations have large welfare states, and identifying US welfare state leadership. From 1968 through 2006, the United States swung right politically and lost its lead in education and opportunity, failed to adopt universal health insurance and experienced the most rapid explosion of health care costs and economic inequality in the rich world. The American welfare state faces large challenges. Restoring its historical lead in education is the most important but requires investing large sums in education, beginning with universal pre-school and in complementary programs that aid children's development.
Facing a new round of criticisms on the quality of undergraduateeducation in American colleges and universities, higher educationadministrators are eager to find—or create—effectiveprograms and practices that can enrich student experiences andenhance outcomes. In order to do that, those who work at collegesand universities need to have a better understanding of theirstudents. Institutional researchers, with access to a wealth ofstudent data, have the analytical expertise to supply informationthat can guide institutional policy and practice. Typologicalframeworks particularly can be used to generate such information,and this volume presents rich examples of typological approaches tothe study of college students. Typological research can reveal patterns in students’characteristics, attitudes, and behaviors and how those patternsare related to desirable outcomes such as learning and persistence,or to the nature, meaning, and utility of student-facultyinteractions outside the classroom. Such information can helpcampus leaders and other concerned groups gain a deeperunderstanding of their students, design better targeted andintentional interventions to optimize student experiences, andmaximize student learning and personal development outcomes. This is a special supplemental issue of NewDirections for Institutional Research. Always timely andcomprehensive, this series provides planners and administrators inall types of academic institutions with guidelines in such areas asresource coordination, information analysis, program evaluation,and institutional management.

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