Statistical Measurement Issues Influencing the Comparison of Texas Pre-JOBS and JOBS Program Data

Date

1993-07

Authors

Schexnayder, Deanna T.

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Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources

Abstract

As part of the evaluation of the first year of the Texas Job Opportunities and Basic Skills (JOBS) program, the Center for the Study of Human Resources contracted to produce a Pre-JOBS Welfare-to-Work Baseline Report. The main purpose of this report was to statistically measure referral and enrollment patterns, activities and services, and program outcomes for Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) caretakers from the year immediately preceding the beginning of the JOBS program. Because the REFOCUS pilot operated by the Texas Department of Human Services (OHS) formed the nucleus of what later became the JOBS program, results from this pilot were targeted as those with which results from the first year of the JOBS program were to be compared. For reasons that will be explained in this paper, this approach proved unsuccessful. The use of many of the planned measures that relied on program data from the pre-JOBS period would not be valid comparisons with measures from the JOBS program. In lieu of the Baseline Report, the JOBS Evaluation Work Group requested a short report summarizing the nature of the problems encountered in using pre-JOBS program data as a baseline for the JOBS program. They also requested a presentation of those statistical measures for which comparison between the pre-JOBS and JOBS period was still appropriate.

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