Using the best prose you possess, write an essay of 750-1250 words, evaluating the claims of need for the Non-Compete Clause Rule of appear in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

Evaluation in public policy has a storied history. It can be prospective or retrospective. It can be analytical, empirical or normative. It includes a wide-range of activities from social scientific research, from examination for conformity to “best practices,” performance management and thinly-veiled efforts to establish a predicate for policy change. Adapting a definition proposed by Evert Vedung to purposes of the present assignment, evaluation can be “a careful … assessment of … interventions, their organization, content, implementation and outputs or outcomes…” with some view to improvement of the intervention, understanding the consequences of the intervention and/or holding appropriate actors responsible. (p. 264)

Assignment: Using the best prose you possess, write an essay of 750-1250 words, evaluating the claims of need for the Non-Compete Clause Rule of appear in the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (especially §§ II.A – II.C. [ pp. 6-61] and §§ VII [pp. 156-195]). The text of the proposal appears here:

Non-Compete Clause Rule (NPRM) Links to an external site. (Accessed: January 19, 2023). [Not yet published in the Federal Register.]

The notice illustrates a common point: a critique of the status quo is often a starting point for new policy proposals. The assignment should be completed and submitted on Illinois Compass on the date indicated on the syllabus.

Additional instructions and suggestions:

Keep in mind, this assignment calls for an evaluation of the grounds offered for policy change — not the underlying conduct. This course doesn’t teach economics, engineering or epidemiology; it’s a class on political science. The evaluation needed is a task involving assessment of perspective, evidence and values embraced or used in other disciplines. As points of comparison, you may find it helpful to compare this text to published scholarly papers as well as any of the myriad reports now extent or soon to be generated by other units of the government, private think tanks, advocacy groups and others.

Your evaluation needs to offer grounds – much like the ones we discussed in class – for your assessment of the reports. It needs to go beyond a label or a grade. Of course identify things such as influence and treatment of stakeholders; perspective and function; selection of effects for evaluation; their criteria for judging effects; the standards by which performance on the criteria are judged; the evidence used to evaluate performance; the fairness of the conclusions drawn. Of course, consider the overall quality of the report and the use of sources, reference to other standards or metrics and so on.

Sometimes, I’m asked a question such as, “Are you just asking for our opinions?” In response, it might be helpful to compare this assignment asking for evaluation of reports to a review of wine. In commenting upon wine, some people will say simply, “I know what I like,” or they might offer a grade (e.g., “A”) or a score (87/100). That’s not an adequate review. With a wine, a critic might report that the wine is made of a particular grape, from a particular region or vineyard, with grapes squeezed and blended with a particular technique, and the result aged in a particular kind of barrel or vat. The critic might report the color, the aroma, the alcohol, the sweetness, acidity, tannins and body. All of these are facts. A connoisseur might, in addition, point out that if a wine were uncorked and allowed to “breathe” the taste might be different (and better). Or that a wine might be enhanced by serving with a particular dish. Or that a wine made with a similar grape and technique – in a different region – tastes differently in particular ways. And so on. In this assignment, I am asking students to become (novice) connoisseurs of policy evaluations. Yes, there are facts, and, yes, there are opinions involved, but the work of the connoisseur is deciding what to consider, noting what is important and explaining those choices about the item under review.

Purposes: The purposes of this assignment are giving students an opportunity to examine “real-world” policy analysis, to develop some sense of both the facticity and the plasticity in the enterprise of policy evaluation, to gain experience working with the different criteria rightly in evaluating public policy, and, of course, to write in the best prose they possess so that their work and learning in this class may be assessed.

Evert Vedung, “Four Waves of Evaluation Diffusion,” Evaluation 16(3):263-277 (2010)