Great interview with DOE’s Jim Shelton

20 May 2010 |

The wonderful folks over at United Neighborhood Centers of America have an excellent interview with the DOE’s Jim Shelton, the man heading up the Promise Neighborhoods program. Read the full interview here. And here’s an excerpt:

Building Neighborhoods: Obviously you’re breaking down silos that way at the national level and hopefully at the local level they’re doing the exact same thing. The place-based strategy is important. Breaking down silos is important.

But there are a few other themes that I have seen come out of the administration and I thought maybe you could talk about their importance, both within Promise Neighborhoods and the broader administration strategy. Obviously evidence and evaluation play a very strong role in many different things that the administration is doing. Can you talk a little bit about that?

Assistant Deputy Secretary SheltonYou clearly picked up on the theme that’s come from everyone from the president on down. We want to invest our dollars in what works. That means that we need to look for and seek out those things that work, but also make sure we’re using the most rigorous means available to figure out not only whether they work, but in what context, and in the best cases, what exactly makes them work. We’re trying to make sure that as we develop programs in general, and Promise Neighborhoods in particular, that we’re thoughtful about what we’re trying to learn from the program and are we constructing it in a way that allows us to walk away from hundreds of millions of dollars of federal investment with clearer answers to some of these core questions about whether it works, in what context, and how you can do it most effectively and efficiently.