The Perils of Success

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colleges, meanwhile, there was an 11.1-point increase. The women’s colleges also did better in raising social self-confidence, according to the authors’ analysis. However, "having a high proportion of female faculty in an institution was not a significant predictor of women students’ self-reported ability," Kim and Alvarez note.

The students at women’s colleges, they suggest, have fewer distractions from academic study and more opportunities to become "actively involved in student organizations [and] to exercise leadership." While women at the coed colleges seem to have acquired more "practical, job-related skills" (the women’s schools stress the liberal arts), that advantage may be insignificant in the long run. Graduates of women’s colleges, the authors note, continue to outnumber their sisters in Who’s Who of American Women.

The Perils of Success

"The Effect of Employment and Training Programs on Entry and Exit from the Welfare Caseload" by Robert A. Moffitt, in Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (Winter 1996), Univ. of Pennsylvania, 3620 Locust Walk, Ste. 3100, Philadelphia, Pa. 19104-6372.

Conservatives have delighted for years in pointing out the unanticipated consequences of liberal social programs. Now, it appears that some measures dear to conservative hearts might have some unanticipated consequences of their own. Take the most dearly held conviction of the new consensus on welfare policy: that job training programs will move the poor off welfare and into privatesector jobs, thus shrinking the welfare rolls.

What few of the experts seem to have considered, argues Moffitt, an economist at Johns Hopkins University, is that the more such efforts succeed, the more poor people likely will be attracted to welfare. That would be fine if the main object is to help poor people improve their skills and get jobs, but not if it is simply to shrink the welfare rolls. Ironically, the best way to discourage welfare might be to require recipients to participate in job training efforts that are ineffective. Moffitt uses a simulation model of welfare participation to illustrate the various possibilities.

The last major federal overhaul of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) in 1988 required the states to set up so-called Job Opportunities and Basic Skills programs, but set only modest goals for participation. More than half of adult AFDC recipients are ordinarily exempt from job-training requirements for various reasons. The more hardnosed approach now favored by many political leaders might produce surprising results.


Assessing ‘Public Journalism’

"From the Citizen Up" by Mark Jurkowitz, in Forbes MediaCritic (Winter 1996), P.O. Box 762, Bedminster, N.J. 07921.

"Public journalism" is the latest fad in the newspaper business. No one is quite sure what the phrase means, but a good many editors are trying to put it into practice anyway, apparently hoping to win over disenchanted readers with an upbeat display of journalistic good citizenship.

Proponents such as Jay Rosen, director of New York University’s Project on Public Life and the Press, believe that public journalism can "improve democracy," while critics such as Max Frankel, the former executive editor of the New York Times, worry that the press could end up compromising its traditional mission and itself. Jurkowitz, ombudsman for the Boston Globe, examines four of the roughly 200 "public journalism" projects launched in recent years.

• The San Jose Mercury News published a lengthy investigative series last year on corruption in the California State Assembly. Then it "formed a brigade of about 30 activists who visited Sacramento, grilled state legislators, attended lobbying training seminars, and tracked bills and campaign contributions." Jurkowitz lauds the reporting, but questions the second

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