Education Funding News in Brief

OMB Pushes More-Rigorous Program Evaluations

By Sarah D. Sparks — June 05, 2012 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The federal Office of Management and Budget is pushing harder to get federal agencies to put their money where the research is.

In a memo to U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and other agency leaders, the OMB has called for all fiscal 2014 budget proposals to include a separate section detailing the departments’ “most innovative uses of evidence and evaluation.”

The memo calls for federal agencies to create and expand research partnerships to study programs, include cost-effectiveness calculations, and embed the evaluation structure into program grants.

In education, that could provide opportunities for the nation’s regional educational laboratories, which in their latest contracts were overhauled to require more partnerships with other research groups.

The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, which oversees the labs, “wants us to develop research alliances and put people together around topics that are priorities for states,” said Barbara Foorman, the first commissioner of the National Center for Education Research and now head of the Regional Educational Laboratory for the Southeast Region. In tight budget times, both the federal and state education departments are pressing for more research on programs before spending money on them, according to Ms. Foorman.

The OMB is also calling for agencies to look for quick, low-cost approaches to the research itself. Traditionally, “gold standard” randomized, controlled trials take five years or more and tens of thousands of dollars to conduct.

“We strongly support this new effort,” said Jon Baron, the president of the Washington-based Coalition for Evidence-Based Policy, in an email. “As demonstrated in fields such as medicine and welfare policy, such evidence-based approaches can greatly increase government’s effectiveness in addressing critical national problems in social policy and other areas and identify important opportunities for budget savings to help address the long-term deficit problem.”

The OMB memo also encourages federal agencies to follow the lead of other departments’ “pay for success” models, in which private groups “invest” in promising interventions and are repaid by federal grants in return for showing progress.

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the June 06, 2012 edition of Education Week as OMB Pushes More-Rigorous Program Evaluations

Events

This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
School Climate & Safety Webinar
Praise for Improvement: Supporting Student Behavior through Positive Feedback and Interventions
Discover how PBIS teams and educators use evidence-based practices for student success.
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
IT Management Webinar
Build a Digitally Responsive Educational Organization for Effective Digital-Age Learning
Chart a guided pathway to digital agility and build support for your organization’s mission and vision through dialogue and collaboration.
Content provided by Bluum
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Sponsor
Data Webinar
Drive Instruction With Mastery-Based Assessment
Deliver the right data at the right time—in the right format—and empower better decisions.
Content provided by Instructure

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Education Funding Opinion How You Can Avoid Missing Out on COVID Relief Money
We’re losing the race against the clock to spend ESSER funds, but there are solutions.
Erin Covington
3 min read
Illustration of cash dangling from line and hand trying to grasp it.
F. Sheehan for Education Week/Getty
Education Funding K-12 Infrastructure Is Broken. Here's Biden's Newest Plan to Help Fix It
School districts will, among other things, be able to apply for $500 million in U.S. Department of Energy grants for HVAC improvements.
2 min read
Image of an excavator in front of a school building.
iStock/Getty
Education Funding Less Funding, Less Representation: What a Historic Undercount of Latinos Means for Schools
Experts point to wide-ranging implications, including how much federal funding schools with large Latino populations will get.
3 min read
Classroom with Latino boy.
Prostock-Studio/Getty
Education Funding Biden Budget Seeks Big Funding Increases for High-Need Schools, Student Mental Health
The president's new budget proposal comes just weeks after he signed into law a spending plan that fell short of last year's ambitious plan.
5 min read
Photograph of a compass on top of money.
Nuthawut Somsuk/iStock/Getty