Jan 202017

Policy Research Mathematica

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Policy Research – School Improvement Grants: Implementation and Effectiveness (Final Report)

Key Findings:

  • Schools implementing a SIG-funded intervention model used more SIG-promoted practices than other schools (23 versus 20, out of the 35 practices examined), but there was no evidence that SIG caused schools to use more practices.
  • Implementing a SIG-funded model had no impact on math or reading test scores, high school graduation, or college enrollment.
  • Elementary schools had similar improvements in math and reading test scores regardless of which SIG model they implemented.
  • Secondary schools implementing the turnaround model had larger improvements in math test scores than those implementing the transformation model. In contrast, reading improvements were similar for all models. The differences in math improvements across models might be due to factors other than the model implemented, such as differences between schools that existed before they received grants.

Policy Research – Escaping the Vicious Cycle: Public Programs Must Invest in Data Quality

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According to a recent article in Harvard Business Review, IBM estimates that bad data costs the commercial sector more than $3 trillion a year. This is a staggeringly large number, especially when considering how advanced the commercial sector is when it comes to data. The costs of bad data come from the following:

  • The post-processing of bad data to clean them for analysis
  • The time that decision makers spend hunting for the right data to inform a decision
  • The effort necessary to fix problems from decisions based on incomplete or incorrect data

Policy Research –Other Resources


Tom McDonald, tsm@centurytel.net; 608-788-5144; Skype: tsmw5752 policy research