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The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education

Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations

Kevin J. Dougherty and Rebecca S. Natow

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The first nation-wide analysis of the politics of performance funding in higher education.

Performance funding ties state support of colleges and universities directly to institutional performance on specific outcomes, including retention, number of credits accrued, graduation, and job placement. The theory is that introducing market-like forces will prod institutions to become more efficient and effective. In The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education, Kevin J. Dougherty and Rebecca S. Natow explore the sometimes puzzling evolution of this mode of funding higher education...

The first nation-wide analysis of the politics of performance funding in higher education.

Performance funding ties state support of colleges and universities directly to institutional performance on specific outcomes, including retention, number of credits accrued, graduation, and job placement. The theory is that introducing market-like forces will prod institutions to become more efficient and effective. In The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education, Kevin J. Dougherty and Rebecca S. Natow explore the sometimes puzzling evolution of this mode of funding higher education. Drawing on an eight-state study of performance funding in Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Washington, Dougherty and Natow shed light on the social and political factors affecting the origins, evolution, and demise of these programs. Their findings uncover patterns of frequent adoption, discontinuation, and re-adoption.

Of the thirty-six states that have ever adopted performance funding, two-thirds discontinued it, although many of those later re-adopted it. Even when performance funding programs persist over time, they can undergo considerable changes in both the amount of state funding and in the indicators used to allocate funding. Yet performance funding continues to attract interest from federal and state officials, state policy associations, and major foundations as a way of improving educational outcomes.

The authors explore the various forces, actors, and motives behind the adoption, discontinuation, and transformation of performance funding programs. They compare U.S. programs to international models, and they gauge the likely future of performance funding, given the volatility of the political forces driving it. Aimed at educators, sociologists, political scientists, and policy makers, this book will be hailed as the definitive assessment of the origins and evolution of performance funding.

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Reviews

The 'definitive assessment' of performance funding in higher education...

An in-depth study of an important topic...enlightening and very thorough.

The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations is the most comprehensive volume on the current state of performance funding in higher education.

The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education clearly articulates the origins, implications, and life cycles of performance-based funding as a complex function of higher education finance that is here to stay.

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About

Book Details

Publication Date
Status
Available
Trim Size
6
x
9
Pages
272
ISBN
9781421416908
Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
Conundrums of Performance Funding
Research Questions and a Preview of Methods and Perspectives
Chapter Contents and Preview of Findings
2. Putting U.S. Performance Funding

Acknowledgments
1. Introduction
Conundrums of Performance Funding
Research Questions and a Preview of Methods and Perspectives
Chapter Contents and Preview of Findings
2. Putting U.S. Performance Funding in Context
Conceptualizing Accountability
Accountability to State Government
State Finance of Higher Education as Accountability
The Use of Performance Outcomes in State Funding
Contextualizing U.S. Performance Funding
Summary and Conclusions
3. The Varying Trajectories of Higher Education Performance Funding Programs
How Many States Have Adopted Performance Funding?
Two Waves of Performance Funding Adoption
Different Stages of Performance Funding
Varying Trajectories of Performance Funding
Synopses of the Performance Funding Programs in Our Eight States
Summary and Conclusions
4. Origins of the First Wave of State Performance Funding Adoptions with Rachel Hare Bork, Sosanya M. Jones, and Blanca E. Vega
Explaining the Rise of State Performance Funding
Theoretical Perspectives
Research Methods
Broad-Based Social Forces Giving Rise to Performance Funding
Supporters of Performance Funding and Their Motives
Opponents and Their Beliefs
Coalition Formation
Identification of Policy Solutions
Agenda Setting
Summary and Conclusions
5. Incremental Change in Florida, Ohio, and Tennessee
Selection of Cases and Interviews
Theoretical Framework
Incremental Change in Funding Levels for Performance Funding
Incremental Change in Performance Indicators
Summary and Conclusions
6. Performance Funding Discontinued
Research and Theoretical Perspectives
Factors Contributing to Performance Funding Program Discontinuation
Risk Factors for Performance Funding Discontinuation
Summary and Conclusions
7. Origins of the Second Wave of Performance Funding Adoptions with Sosanya M. Jones, Hana Lahr, Lara Pheatt, and Vikash Reddy
Objectives and Theoretical Perspectives
Research Methods and Data Sources
Broad-Based Social Forces Giving Rise to the Wave 2 Programs
Advocacy Coalitions Supporting Performance Funding
Muted Opposition
Formation of the Supporting Coalitions
Identification of Policy Solutions
Policy Windows Opening the Way for PF 2.0
Similarities and Differences in the Origins of Wave 1 and 2 Programs
Summary and Conclusions
8. Summary and Conclusions
Summary of Findings
Research and Theory Implications
What Is the Likely Future of Performance Funding?
Appendix
Research Questions
Theoretical Perspectives
Research Methods
Notes
References
Index

Author Bios
Featured Contributor

Kevin J. Dougherty

Kevin J. Dougherty is an associate professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College. He is a coauthor of The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations.
Rebecca S. Natow
Featured Contributor

Rebecca S. Natow

Rebecca S. Natow is a senior research associate at the Community College Research Center at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is a coauthor of The Politics of Performance Funding for Higher Education: Origins, Discontinuations, and Transformations.