Respond to Discussion Question 11a

There are many reasons why public programs aren’t as effective as they should be.  Millions of dollars are spent on these public programs each year; however, there are studies that have deemed them as ineffective. Determining the impact of social programs requires comparing the conditions of those who had received assistance with the conditions of an equivalent group that did not experience the intervention (Muhlhausen, 2011). 
           According to Consulting and Clinical Psychology, there is no significant statistical difference in D.A.R.E. graduate drug use and non-graduate drug use (2017).  Why do communities and schools continue to fund a program that has been around for more than two decades if it continues to be ineffective?  In both quasi-experimental and nonexperimental designs, failure to remove the influence of differences that affect program outcomes leaves open the possibility that the underlying differences between the groups, not the program, caused the net impact (Muhlhausen, 2011).  
           In the federal budget, social programs are considered discretionary and grouped with “other mandatory” domestic programs (Muhlhausen, 2014).  The social programs that are deemed ineffective are in the fields of education, welfare, housing, and employment programs.  A common issue with regards to these programs includes the cost and the relationship it has with budgetary concerns.  Determining the effectiveness of federal social programs is particularly relevant given the current political debate over the federal government’s persistent deficits and debt (Muhlhausen, 2014). 
References
(2017). DARE program proves ineffective. UWIRE Text. 
Muhlhausen, D.B. (2011). Evaluating federal social programs: Finding out what works and what does not. Retrieved from
         http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/07/evaluating-federal-social-programs-finding-out-what-works-and-what-does-not
Muhlhausen, D.B. (2014). Do federal social programs work? Retrieved from http://www.heritage.org/budget-and-spending/report/do-federal
         social-programs-work

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