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The paperwork pile-up: Measuring the burden of charter school applications

May 28, 2015 Comments off

The paperwork pile-up: Measuring the burden of charter school applications
Source: American Enterprise Institute

Key Points

  • Charter schools were created with a clear bargain in mind: charter authorizers would give operators autonomy to run schools as they saw fit as long as those schools met defined performance metrics.
  • Currently, the balance between accountability and autonomy is heavily tilted toward accountability, with charter authorizers requiring unnecessarily extensive, time-consuming applications.
  • Excising unnecessary or inappropriate requirements could shorten the average charter application by one-third, saving applicants more than 700 hours of work and avoiding wasting money that could be better spent educating students.

Report of Findings from an Open Data Roundtable with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office

May 28, 2015 Comments off

Report of Findings from an Open Data Roundtable with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (PDF)
Source: U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (GovLab)

Today, data is widely recognized as not just an important tool, but a platform for innovation, and this Administration has taken many important steps towards making government data more open and accessible to the public. As Secretary Pritzker has said, the Department of Commerce is “America’s Data Agency,” and has a unique and central role in unlocking the potential of government data.

For the USPTO, disclosing and disseminating data go to the very heart of our mission. After all, the patent system rests on the bargain an inventor makes when he or she discloses an invention and teaches the public how it works, and in turn receives the right to exclude others from practicing it. From that perspective, the USPTO has been in the business of open data for a very long time. Our data lets inventors and businesses know when they need to invent around a technology and when they need to consider a license, which serves as fuel for our nation’s innovation engine. If we are going to live up to our mission to disseminate information about patents and trademarks, it requires an agency-wide commitment to the principles of open data—a commitment that the USPTO has made.

Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices

May 27, 2015 Comments off

Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices
Source: Transportation Research Board

TRB’s Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Synthesis 60: Airport Emergency Post-Event Recovery Practices explores approaches to improving the overall resiliency of airports through planning for the recovery phase of emergency response.

Expanding coverage: How primary care physicians are accommodating the newly insured

May 21, 2015 Comments off

Expanding coverage: How primary care physicians are accommodating the newly insured
Source: Deloitte

Are there enough physicians in the US to accommodate the millions of newly insured patients? If not, how will the health care system manage its growing (and aging) patient population?

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions 2014 Survey of US Physicians shows that 44 percent of physicians are treating more newly insured patients – an important finding for health care stakeholders and decision makers. More primary care physicians (PCPs) (56 percent) experienced an increase in the number of newly insured patients than did surgical specialists (40 percent), non-surgical specialists (38 percent), and other physicians (33 percent). Survey respondents report that this is causing longer appointment wait times and driving PCPs to work longer hours. To cope, some PCPs are adding new physicians and hiring clinical staff to help with care coordination.

Chronic Stress Induces a Hyporeactivity of the Autonomic Nervous System in Response to Acute Mental Stressor and Impairs Cognitive Performance in Business Executives

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Chronic Stress Induces a Hyporeactivity of the Autonomic Nervous System in Response to Acute Mental Stressor and Impairs Cognitive Performance in Business Executives
Source: PLoS ONE

The present study examined the incidence of chronic stress in business executives (109 subjects: 75 male and 34 female) and its relationship with cortisol levels, cognitive performance, and autonomic nervous system (ANS) reactivity after an acute mental stressor. Blood samples were collected from the subjects to measure cortisol concentration. After the sample collection, the subjects completed the Lipp Inventory of Stress Symptoms for Adults and the Stroop Color-Word Test to evaluate stress and cognitive performance levels, respectively. Saliva samples were collected prior to, immediately after, and five minutes after the test. The results revealed that 90.1% of the stressed subjects experienced stress phases that are considered chronic stress. At rest, the subjects with chronic stress showed higher cortisol levels, and no gender differences were observed. No differences were found between the stressed and non-stressed subjects regarding salivary amylase activity prior to test. Chronic stress also impaired performance on the Stroop test, which revealed higher rates of error and longer reaction times in the incongruent stimulus task independently of gender. For the congruent stimulus task of the Stroop test, the stressed males presented a higher rate of errors than the non-stressed males and a longer reaction time than the stressed females. After the acute mental stressor, the non-stressed male group showed an increase in salivary alpha-amylase activity, which returned to the initial values five minutes after the test; this ANS reactivity was not observed in the chronically stressed male subjects. The ANS responses of the non-stressed vs stressed female groups were not different prior to or after the Stroop test. This study is the first to demonstrate a blunted reactivity of the ANS when male subjects with chronic psychological stress were subjected to an acute mental stressor, and this change could contribute to impairments in cognitive performance.

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization

May 20, 2015 Comments off

Measuring Performance in a Modern Police Organization
Source: National Institute of Justice

Author Malcolm Sparrow describes some of the narrower traditions police organizations follow when they describe their values and measure their performance (clearance rates, response times, etc.). Sparrow uses the analogy of an airline pilot’s sophisticated cockpit as he advocates that police managers use a broader and richer information environment to assess performance. In easy to understand language, he summarizes the work of several giants in the policing field who have broadened the framework for monitoring and measuring policing (Herman Goldstein, Mark Moore, Robert Behn, etc.).

Improving Government Decision Making through Enterprise Risk Management

May 14, 2015 Comments off

Improving Government Decision Making through Enterprise Risk Management
Source: IBM Center for the Business of Government

While historically, the federal government has tended to focus risk management in the financial arena, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has recently launched a major reassessment of the government’s approach—encouraging the use of Enterprise Risk Management.

But OMB policies don’t readily translate into action. In this report, Webster and Stanton describe the evolution of federal risk management approaches and several agencies’ experiences in adopting Enterprise Risk Management. The authors asked cur­rent and former federal executives to describe the challenges of adopting an enterprise approach to risk management in their agencies and across the government. The report presents six challenges that they identified and concludes with six steps that organizational leaders can take to make Enterprise Risk Management actionable as a tool for successful implementation of agency programs.

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