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Susan MIller

April 2021

This document is a brief guide to WSIPP’s benefit-cost approach. For additional detail on WSIPP’s methods, see WSIPP’s Technical Documentation. The WSIPP benefit-cost model estimates the dollar value of offering a program—a defined set of government efforts—to an additional person.

The WSIPP benefit-cost model does this by valuing changes in outcomes(e.g.crime, depression, test scores) produced by programs and comparing them to the costs of providing those programs.Forexample, “cognitive behavioral therapy for adult depression” is a program that provides a specific type of talk therapyto adults to reduce the symptoms of depression. The benefit and cost estimates reflect the difference between a person who receives the program and one who does not.

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Susan Miller

October 2020

For the past nine months, the battle against Covid-19 has required school districts to constantly adapt as conditions evolved.

School indoor air quality is the next challenge districts must successfully meet if in-person instruction is to continue or resume.

Let me begin with some points I think many people reading this agree on:

1. Many children have experienced substantial learning losses due to disruption of last spring’s semester and in some cases the use of remote and hybrid learning this fall. While the finer points of individual studies can be challenged, the overall conclusion from studies by NWEA (“The COVID-19 Slide”), and CREDO (“Estimates of Learning Loss in the 2019-2020 School Year”), is that when they are finally measured, student learning losses are likely to be large.

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Mathew A. Kraft

June 2020

Researchers commonly interpret effect sizes by applying benchmarks proposed by Cohen over a half century ago. However, effects that are small by Cohen’s standards are large relative to the impacts of most field-based interventions. These benchmarks also fail to consider important differences in study features, program costs, and scalability. In this paper, I present five broad guidelines for interpreting effect sizes that are applicable across the social sciences. I then propose a more structured schema with new empirical benchmarks for interpreting a specific class of studies: causal research on education interventions with standardized achievement outcomes. Together, these tools provide a practical approach for incorporating study features, cost, and scalability into the process of interpreting the policy importance of effect sizes.

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Susan Miller

April 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic is creating management and governance challenges for organizations large and small, and school districts are no exception.

 

Systematically thinking about these challenges in terms of directors' five core responsibilities can help school boards meet those challenges.

 

A board's first duty is to set direction for the organization, which includes establishing the critical goals it must achieve and reviewing and approving management's strategy for meeting them.

COVID-19 has not altered districts' foremost goal, which is to graduate students who meet state academic standards.  What it very likely must change is districts' strategy for doing this.

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