Performance Measurement and Management
CLASP Comments on the Adult Education (WIOA title II) National Reporting System
With the passage of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) in 2014, the Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL) have worked together to create common performance templates (referenced below). In addition to these templates, state title II programs will also be required to submit data through the National Reporting System (NRS), the existing performance accountability system for title II. Because of changes in WIOA, ED has proposed updates to the NRS tables. CLASP provided comments and suggestions on ways to improve the revised NRS with the goal of greater alignment and more integrated service.
CLASP Comments on WIOA Performance Management, Information, and Reporting System
As part of implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, the federal government creates performance data templates, data element definitions, and other tools that states will use to report performance data to the Departments of Education (ED) and Labor (DOL). CLASP has provided detailed public comments on the relevant Information Collection Requests (ICRs) released by the Departments, aiming to give the workforce system incentives to best serve low-income and lower-skilled youth and adults.
State Outcomes-Based Funding for Postsecondary Education
States are increasingly distributing funding for public postsecondary institutions based in part on student outcomes, a practice known as Outcomes-Based Funding (OBF). In principle, measuring postsecondary institutions’ success based on student outcomes rather than enrollments could help to promote improvements in the supports low-income students need to stay in and complete postsecondary education programs. However, without strong safeguards, OBF can instead create incentives to reduce access for low-income and underprepared students and unduly punish the open-access institutions that serve them. The following CLASP In Focus posts respond to research and provide recommendations to state policymakers to avoid unintended consequences.
CLASP Comments on Reporting Measures for the SNAP E&T Program
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP E&T) is a funding source that allows states to provide employment and training and related supportive services to individuals receiving SNAP (formerly known as food stamps) benefits. On March 24, 2016 Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) at the U.S. Department of Agriculture released an interim final rule on reporting requirements for the SNAP E&T program. CLASP is generally supportive of efforts to add reporting measures to understand the outcomes of individuals who participate in SNAP E&T. Our comments offer recommendations for additional measures that are critical to understanding the full effects of both mandatory and voluntary E&T programs, as well as technical comments on the measures included in the interim rule.
CLASP Comments on Performance Measures for TANF
The Human Resources Subcommittee of the U.S. House Ways and Means Committee released a discussion draft of a Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) reauthorization bill for public comment in July of 2015. The draft included a set of proposed measures of employment outcomes for TANF leavers. CLASP has long argued that Congress should replace the TANF work participation rate (WPR), which is a process measure, with outcome-based performance measures that will help foster and improve the effectiveness of these programs. At the same time, we have urged proceeding carefully and thoughtfully. These comments include overall thoughts on the role of outcome measures in TANF, as well as specific comments on the measures, goals, data sources, timing, and sanctions for failure.
Pay for Success: Questions and Answers
Much attention has been paid recently to “pay for success” strategies for government contracts. Under a “pay for success” or “outcome-based” contract, a government pays a service provider for achieving pre-defined outcomes for the population served. This brief document answers some common questions about Pay for Success contracts, including the version known as Social Impact Bonds.
Social Impact Bonds: Overview and Considerations
In this era of tight budgets and increased skepticism about the effectiveness of government-funded programs, the idea that the government could pay only for proven results has a broad appeal. While performance-based contracting has existed for years in a range of human services areas — including job training and placement, welfare-to-work activities, and child welfare — pay for success, and in particular, the version referred to as a “social impact bond” (SIB) has drawn a great deal of attention at all levels of government in recent years.
CLASP Comments on a Proposed Postsecondary Institution Rating System
CLASP—a national organization that develops and advocates for policies that improve the lives of low-income people—welcomes and strongly supports the U.S. Department of Education’s efforts to ensure that students have access to the information they need to make better choices about college and career goals and information about the outcomes of postsecondary education and training. While recent initiatives, such as the College Scorecard, have strengthened the information base available to the public, there is more work to be done to provide access to better and more comprehensive information about access, progress, completion and important post-graduation outcomes.
CLASP Comments to the Treasury on Pay for Success (PFS)
We applaud the Administration’s interest in improving outcomes in a range of areas where governments provide services. We are intrigued by the possibility of using PFS contracts as a means of expanding services, leveraging private investment and improving the evidence base for what works. However, we wish to emphasize that PFS approaches are not a goal in and of themselves; they are only worthwhile to the extent that they contribute to the goal of expanding high quality prevention-oriented services. As discussed below, we do not believe that they are appropriate for all types of government services. In particular, at this stage of development they should not be used to supplant existing core services.
Campaign for Youth Comments on Pay for Success (PFS)
On behalf of the Campaign for Youth, a coalition of national youth policy and advocacy organizations focusing on low-income youth who are out of school and/or out of work, we appreciate the opportunity to submit comments on the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Federal Register Notice regarding strategies to accelerate the testing and adoption of pay for success (PFS) financing models.
Reforming Student Aid
Over the last three decades, college costs have increased nearly four times faster than median family income (Figure A). Financial aid has not filled the growing gap, and “unmet financial need”—the share of college costs not covered by financial aid or what the family is expected to contribute—has risen sharply.
CLASP Comments on Performance Pilot Partnership
The context in which too many young Americans live is severe: 6.4 million youth ages 16 to 24 are disconnected from education, the workforce, and opportunity. America’s youth are experiencing Depression-era levels of employment, and we are losing significant ground with segments of our minority youth population. In particular, low-income young men of color are disproportionately affected by the current labor market—fewer than one in five African-American and Latino young men had a job last month.
Workforce Investment Act: Recommendations on Performance Accountability in the Workforce Education and Training System
Half of the U.S. workforce has only a high school diploma or less, and many of those with a high school diploma lack the necessary skills to compete for the jobs of the future.
CLASP recommends that significant changes be made in workforce development and adult education programs authorized under the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) so that these programs may become better gateways to the middle-class for low-income and other marginalized workers.
Increasing State and Local Capacity for Cross-Systems Innovation: Assessing Flexibility and Opportunities under Current Law
This paper was written as part of a collaborative effort between the National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Hudson Institute, and CLASP. The authors analyze the flexibility, opportunities, and barriers under current federal law with respect to cross-program integration and collaboration.