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Respond to each peer initial post and question at the end with a response about 3-4 sentences long.

Peer #1

1. Provide a summary of the program evaluation and identify at least five stakeholder groups of the program being evaluated.

Mutual categories of program assessments are needed because assessments seek to classify and measure the level of unmet needs with an organization or community. (Posavac, 2016) The second process of program evaluation is having assessments document the extent to which operation has taken place, the nature of the people being served, and the degree to which the program operates as expected. (Posavac, 2016) The third part of assessing outcomes include evaluating assess variations due to program participation. The final part in program evaluating is being able to efficient with evaluations that conduct any type of cost analysis.

2. Discuss why a stakeholder may not provide valid (accurate) information to a program evaluator.

A shareholder is personally involved with the program, derives income from it, sponsors it, or is clients or potential recipients of its services. (Posavac, 2016) Since stakeholders each have a stake in the success of the program, each for a different reason. Since each stakeholder have different reasons as to why they want success, there is going be fabrications of information because stake holder do not want to be viewed as a bad guy.

3. How might an evaluator determine if stakeholder information is valid and what steps can an evaluator take to increase the probability of obtaining valid information?

The evaluator would use an assessment such as a survey. For example, juvenile determent programs, the evaluator would use the survey, after that the evaluator of the would look at the program retention rate and a short window of what happened to the juvenile after completing the determent program. The program evaluator would look at the average amount of time juveniles took to complete the program requirements to be exited out of the program. Percentage of juveniles who do not reoffend within three months of exiting a determent juvenile program.

References

Posavac, E. J. (2016). Program evaluation: Methods and case studies (8th ed.). Boston, MA: Prentice Hall PTR.

Peer #2

An evaluation of the Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) program conducted by the Institute of International Education (IIE) for the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), over the span of six months, gathered data to gauge recent and long-term impacts of the program. The Rise program funds and supports the placement of Canadian and U.S. science and engineering undergraduates for summer internships and research opportunities in German higher education institutions (The…Education, 2009).

There are many stakeholders associated with this evaluation. The Canadian and U.S. undergraduates participating in the program are two stakeholder groups representing their countries. A few others are the German Ph.D students who acted as mentors, alumni of the program from previous years, and the families of the interns. The family’s opinions can impact an intern’s performance, even if it’s from across the world (The…Education, 2009).

Stakeholders often have different aims for one program. In the RISE program, the interns want the program to succeed to gather valuable information via experience in the science and engineering field. The mentors may wish the program’s success to gain positive advertising for the school and their department. Positive advertising means higher enrollment numbers and more funding. If an evaluator only focuses on one stakeholder, then the other stakeholders will be upset that their opinions are being ignored. Knowing all the stakeholders and what they wish to gain from the evaluation tells the evaluator what information to gather. This could also cause stakeholders to give inaccurate information to the evaluator to fulfill their own agenda (The…Education, 2009).

Ensuring the information gathered from stakeholders is valid is very important in an evaluation. One method to ensure validity is gathering the same information from more than one source. If the information matches from multiple sources, the answers are more likely to be valid. Enlisting the help of a review board would also influence the stakeholder to provide accurate information (Posavac, 2011).

Resources

Posavac, E. J. (2011). Program Evaluation Methods and Case Studies (8th ed.) Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education, Inc.

The Institute of International Education. (2009). Evaluating the DAAD’s Research Internships in Science and Engineering (RISE) Program: A Final Report. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/User/Downloads/RISE-Evaluation-Report.pdf

Peer #3

In 1787, the founding fathers created the United States constitution to replace the Articles of Confederation; which was intended to make government less democratic (Simpson, 2016). For example, the Electoral College was responsible for electing a new President, when before, the President was chosen by citizens (Simpson, 2016). The founding fathers knew how detrimental government could be; therefore, they balanced power between the Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches, and implemented checks and balances within the three branches (Simpson, 2016).

When the constitution was written, the United States did not have to worry about “geographic isolation, agrarian self-sufficiency, threats to national security, and demands for public services” (Stillman , 2010). The rise of technological advances in the nineteenth centuries such as the “automobile, telephone, and the light bulb,” as well as, “involvement in the Spanish-American war and increased public participation in a democratic government” created a need for “administrative services” (Stillman , 2010). Public Administration was not necessarily a need when the constitution was written; therefore, it was excluded. According to George Washington and John Adams, talent, education, and moral character were the key characteristics of an administrator (The Evolvement of Public Administration, n.d.). Individuals with these characteristics usually came from the socially elite (The Evolvement of Public Administration, n.d.).

Woodrow Wilson wrote an essay in 1887, The Study of Administration, that stressed the importance of separating politics and administration; resulting in the politics-administration dichotomy (The Evolvement of Public Administration, n.d.). Wilson believed that administrators should not involve themselves in legislation; instead they should be responsible for the administrative details of implementing public policy (The Evolvement of Public Administration, n.d.).

The Progressive movement occurred between the late 19th century through the beginning decades of the 20th century, which was intended to “address the economic, political, and cultural questions” as a result of the “Industrial Revolution and the growth of modern capitalism in America” (Schambra & West, 2007, para. 1).  The increased concerns of “urbanization, immigration, the growth of governmental corruption, and the loss of traditional values” during the Progressive movement had a significant impact on public administration (The Evolvement of Public Administration, n.d.).

The Founding Fathers feared concentrated political power, which resulted in limiting power within the three branches of government through separation of power and checks and balances (Best, n.d.). The fear of too much power invested in one branch of government had a significant impact on how policies are created and implemented. The separation of power prevents the government from making quick governmental decisions that could negatively impact the way we live. For example, President Trump proposed many changes to specific policies that could impact the welfare of many citizens, but the separation of power and the checks and balances system prevents him from implementing his policies too quickly without considering all of the possible consequences to his decisions. In my opinion, the only negative effect to this particular fear would be that the government cannot implement effective policies quickly enough. Gun control is a very sensitive topic today, which requires a lot of discussion and reflection when modifying the law. Even though, in my opinion, stricter gun laws are needed, it will take time for the government to come to a consensus about stricter gun laws. 

Peer #4

The Founding fathers of the United States Constitution did not insert any language about ethics or administration in the country’s document. The Constitution of The United States does not even promote giving the people any type of power I surmise because The United States of America successfully used militias and guerrilla fighting to defeat the British Monarchy.  Richard J. Stillman states “The U.S. Constitution, the core framing document, says nothing about civil service, budgets, executive departments, planning, and yes, public administration, all essential to promoting effective government performance. Rather, the Great Charter of 1787 places a tangle of limits upon government action by means of federalism, separation of powers, periodic elections, enumerated powers, a bill of rights, and so forth—mainly aimed at negating public power, not enhancing it, in order to secure, in Thomas Jefferson’s ringing words of the Declaration of Independence, “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.The Founders, to paraphrase Louis Hartz, were “locked into John Locke” (Hartz 1955). They framed the American Constitution premised on erecting a “night watchman”-style government by means of a strict “social contract” with the people to provide for only defense, courts, foreign affairs, trade relations, coin money, and little else. (Stillman, R., 2018., pg.17).

A social contract to provide for the country in the very same way the British Monarchy provided for its denizens. The one thing that demarcated the United States from Britain is the United States operates on a Federalism system which allows the states and territory to have its own local muncipalites but still have to obey federal laws while Britain has the central power only. ushistory.com expounds further by stating, ” In creating a federalist system the founders were reacting to both the British government and the Articles of Confederation. The British government was — and remains — a UNITARY SYSTEM, or one in which power is concentrated in a central government. In England, government has traditionally been centralized in London, and even though local governments exist, they generally have only those powers granted them by Parliament. The national government is supreme, and grants or retains powers to and from local governments at its whim” (http://www.ushistory.org/gov/3.asp).

The founding fathers wanted to give local authorities some autonomy in running their respected states, this is a way to share power but the Federal government is still the uber law. The problem this can create is that some lawmakers can engage in malfeasance by focusing on states rights and thinking that their state is immune to federal law. We noticed this in phenomena in this country such as child labor laws, employee labor laws, civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, and a host of other issues. The founding fathers was not setting an edict of how to run the country, they wanted the people to decide how to pursue life, liberty, and happiness by framing the Constitution as a template on how to get there.

The motivation of power can be intoxicating. Some politicians elected by the people have abused the public’s trust. I have learned that if a person is considered powerful than money is not far behind. Richard Stillman states, ” The twentieth century saw successful progressive challenges to “boss rule” and machine politics, by the passage of women’s suffrage, direct election of senators, initiative, referendum and recall measures, combined with the rising public demands for government regulation of business, social services, and the like. In turn, these powerful democratic forces only heightened existing issues of governance. In the words of historian Robert Wiebe, America became a “distended society” (Wiebe 1967) that, in response, demanded more, not less, administrative thought, research, and training in order to knit together an increasingly fragmented or segmented society” (Stillman, R., 2018).

The Great Depression recovery is a good example of how public administration worked. The History Channel.com explains stating, ”

During Roosevelt’s first 100 days in office, his administration passed legislation that aimed to stabilize industrial and agricultural production, create jobs and stimulate recovery. In addition, Roosevelt sought to reform the financial system, creating the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to protect depositors’ accounts and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to regulate the stock market and prevent abuses of the kind that led to the 1929 crash.  Among the programs and institutions of the New Deal that aided in recovery from the Great Depression were the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which built dams and hydroelectric projects to control flooding and provide electric power to the impoverished Tennessee Valley region, and the Works Progress Administration (WPA), a permanent jobs program that employed 8.5 million people from 1935 to 1943. When the Great Depression began, the United States was the only industrialized country in the world without some form of unemployment insurance or social security. In 1935, Congress passed the Social Security Act, which for the first time provided Americans with unemployment, disability and pensions for old age. After showing early signs of recovery beginning in the spring of 1933, the economy continued to improve throughout the next three years, during which real GDP (adjusted for inflation) grew at an average rate of 9 percent per year.” (www.history.com/topics/great-depression).

Lets just think about this if it was not for public administration there would be no Social Security, Securities Exchange Commission, Federal Deposit Insurance Commission (which insures your money up to 250,000 dollars, and the Hoover Dam which is still a technology wonder in this century. Now lets look at how the Great Recession occurred due to malfeasance and deregulation of banks with investment banks such as Goldman Sachs, J.P. Morgan, and Bear Stearns making risky business decisions especially on sub prime mortgage loans. “The Great Recession—sometimes referred to as the 2008 Recession—in the United States and Western Europe has been linked to the so-called “subprime mortgage crisis.” Subprime mortgages are home loans granted to borrowers with poor credit histories. Their home loans are considered high-risk loans. With the housing boom in the United States in the early to mid-2000s, mortgage lenders seeking to capitalize on rising home prices were less restrictive in terms of the types of borrowers they approved for loans. And as housing prices continued to rise in North America and Western Europe, other financial institutions acquired thousands of these risky mortgages in bulk (typically in the form of mortgage-backed securities) as an investment, in hopes of a quick profit. In March 2008, investment banking giant Bear Stearns collapsedafter attributing its financial troubles to investments in subprime mortgages, and its assets were acquired by JP Morgan Chase at a cut-rate price. A few months later, financial behemoth Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcyfor similar reasons, creating the largest bankruptcy filing in U.S. history. Within days of the Lehman Brothers’ announcement, the Fed agreed to lend insurance and investment company AIG some $85 billion so that it could remain afloat. Political leaders justified the decision, saying AIG was “too big to fail,” and that its collapse would further destabilize the U.S. economy.  Although the Great Recession was officially over in the United States in 2009, among many people in America and in other countries around the world, the effects of the downturn were felt for many more years. Indeed, from 2010 through 2014, multiple European countries—including Ireland, Greece, Portugal and Cyprus—defaulted on their national debts, forcing the European Union to provide them with “bailout” loans and other cash investments.These countries were also compelled to implement “austerity” measures—such as tax increases and cuts to social benefit programs (including healthcare and retirement programs)—to repay their debts” (www.history.com/topics/recession).

These are fears that I believe our founding fathers feared, allowing a government which suppose to be for the people is controlled by entities with prodigious amounts of money which is controlling some politicians like Geppetto controls a puppet.

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