Category Uncategorized

Can You Put a Price on American Beauty?

By Charles Landau, MPP, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives  Teddy Roosevelt wrote in 1912, “the establishment of the National Park Service is justified by considerations of good administration, of the value of natural beauty as a National asset, and of the effectiveness of outdoor life and recreation in the production of good citizenship.” In the context […]

Opinion: Paying College Athletes Isn’t as Easy as Writing a Check

Chelsea Lenhart*, MPA, Staff Writer, Brief Policy Perspectives Tickets are already on sale for the 2016 March Madness tournament, with prices ranging from $15 for a single game to more than $200 for the Final Four showdown. In 2014, the NCAA earned nearly $900 million in revenue from March Madness alone. Fans often bet high […]

Sequestration: An Extreme Consequence of Congress’ Ineffectuality

Annette Beck, MPA Introduction Sequesters are designed to reduce spending, however they often fail in this regard and instead create real harms: endangering public safety, forcing federal agencies to furlough their employees, and creating a climate where politicians can game the budget system Congress should either amend sequestration’s terms, or repeal it and replace it […]

Do Democrats Also Engage in Voter Suppression?

Jerry Wei, MPP Tuesday, November 3, 2015 was Election Day in America.  What was at stake? These were local and state elections, including a high profile fight over discrimination. State, and in particular local elections are notorious for low-turnout, mostly because these elections are scheduled “off-cycle,” – that is, held in years when national-level elections […]

Saving the World’s Poor: A Nobel Prize Winner on Development

Jerry Wei, MPP On October 12th, Angus Deaton, a Princeton economist, won the Nobel Prize in economics for his “analysis of consumption, poverty, and welfare.” The economist Tyler Cowen summarizes his research and ideas in a fantastic post here. While he advanced the economics discipline by developing the poverty measurement tools we continue to use […]

Data-Driven Decision-Making, Results-Based Management, Big Data, Data Analytics – The New Normal?

Dr. Kathryn E. Newcomer, Director, The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration Jerry Wei provides great food for thought in his article on metrics. He is spot on in pointing that the search for measures to guide decision-making in the public and nonprofit sectors seems to be ubiquitous, overly ambitious, and conducive to “Metric […]

A Good Metric is Hard to Find

Jerry Wei, MPP A proliferation of data has increasingly come to define the modern condition. We now use data to track fitness (Fitbit), hail cabs (Uber), and stalk love interests (Google). With technological advances, data are also being used as metrics to assess organizational and personnel performance. In theory, metrics—standardized, measurable, and objective—should work as […]