From New York, New Approaches to Fighting Poverty?

August 14, 2007

Reid Cramer from the New America Foundation has this report. I’m not sure if it will work, but it seems worth paying attention to.

Money quote:

Rather than identifying amorphous targets or unattainable goals, Mayor Bloomberg committed himself to remaking the toolbox. And he pledged $150 million a year to do so, some of it to be raised in the private sector. Much of the money will be used to try and test out new approaches. At the center of the effort is a newly-formed city office, called the Center for Economic Opportunity (CEO), which is designed to operate as a combination of a philanthropic foundation and a venture capital fund. This office will be charged with seeding innovation by supporting a range of experimental programs. But in addition to investing in R&D, the CEO will be in charge of evaluating the results, so programs that demonstrate success in reducing poverty can be built upon and those that don’t can be shut down. This results and evidence-based approach is gaining momentum in other areas of government, increasingly influencing budget decisions at the federal and state level, but the funding of policy innovation, especially in anti-poverty program at the local level, is breaking new ground.

In light of claims that Bloomberg’s team has manipulated school test score data, one hopes that they will be honest about the evidence.


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