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ERIC Number: ED557979
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Mar
Pages: 13
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
"Moneyball" for Education Using Data, Evidence, and Evaluation to Improve Federal Education Policy
Hess, Frederick M.; Little, Bethany
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research
More than a decade ago, Michael Lewis penned the influential book "Moneyball." An examination of how Oakland Athletics General Manager Billy Beane used data to make his franchise competitive with wealthier baseball teams, the book struck a chord. Beane's strategy of making decisions based on data had a powerful and positive impact on the performance of the Oakland A's, and people quickly saw that this practice could and should be more widely applied. This paper suggests ways to revamp federal education policies and programs to help lawmakers spend public funds more effectively and efficiently to improve student outcomes. The aim is to identify a set of proposals that have some bipartisan appeal and can make a practical difference. This effort was informed by thinking from a select group of seasoned experts from the left and right who have much experience with federal education policy. Given strong-principled disagreements about the nature of the federal role in education, three caveats are vital. First, this exercise assumes that the recommendations will be revenue neutral. Second, this exercise does not assume that the federal government should dictate to states or localities exactly how to spend their funds. Third, "moneyball" strategies are not imagined to suggest that we should only value what can currently be measured, or paint everything as either "working" or "not working." Even with these caveats, however, promoting more use of data, evidence, and evaluation to do better for students is too important to pass up. Moneyball could also present a bipartisan pathway forward at a time when much of education policy seems to be increasingly stuck in fruitless debate.
American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research. 1150 Seventeenth Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 202-862-5800; Fax: 202-862-7177; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Bloomberg Philanthropies
Authoring Institution: Results for America; American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research (AEI)