Education

  • Sean Reardon

Leader: Sean Reardon

The purpose of the Education RG is to examine trends in the extent to which educational access and achievement are related to poverty and family background. The scholars working within this RG are examining state-level differences in the effects of social origins, uncovering the causes of the recent rise in the socioeconomic achievement gap, uncovering the causes of the yet more recent turnaround in this rise (among kindergarten children), and examining the ways in which high-achieving children from poor backgrounds can be induced to go to college. The following is a sampling of relevant CPI projects.

Reducing the race gap in test scores: How can the black-white gap in achievement test scores be eliminated? The new Stanford Education Data Archive (SEDA) will provide the most systematic evidence to date on the capacity of school-district policies to reduce the gap.

Colleges and rising income inequality: Are colleges delivering upward mobility for those raised in poverty? The new “Mobility Report Card” will provide unusually detailed data on this fundamental question.

Poverty and schooling on reservations: The noted ethnographer Martin Sánchez-Jankowski is examining how education on reservations can be reformed to reduce dropout, poverty, and suicide. 

Education - CPI Research

Title Author Media
The Role of Mediators in the Development of Longitudinal Mathematics Achievement Associations Watts TW, Duncan GJ, Chen M, Claessens A, Davis-Kean PE, Duckworth K, Engel M, Siegler R, Susperreguy MI

The Role of Mediators in the Development of Longitudinal Mathematics Achievement Associations

Author: Watts TW, Duncan GJ, Chen M, Claessens A, Davis-Kean PE, Duckworth K, Engel M, Siegler R, Susperreguy MI
Publisher: Child Development
Date: 12/2015

Despite research demonstrating a strong association between early and later mathematics achievement, few studies have investigated mediators of this association. Using longitudinal data (n = 1,362), this study tested the extent to which mathematics self-concepts, school placement, executive functioning, and proficiency in fractions and division account for the association between mathematics achievement in first grade and at age 15. As hypothesized, a strong longitudinal association between first-grade and adolescent mathematics achievement was present (β = .36) even after controlling for a host of background characteristics, including cognitive skills and reading ability. The mediators accounted for 39% of this association, with mathematics self-concept, gifted and talented placement, and knowledge of fractions and division serving as significant mediators.

Improving the opportunities and outcomes of California's students learning English: Findings from school district-university collaborative partnerships Ilana M. Umansky, Sean F. Reardon, Kenji Hakuta, Karen D. Thompson, Peggy Estrada, Katherine Hayes, Hilda Maldonado, Susan Tandberg, Claude Goldenberg

Improving the opportunities and outcomes of California's students learning English: Findings from school district-university collaborative partnerships

Author: Ilana M. Umansky, Sean F. Reardon, Kenji Hakuta, Karen D. Thompson, Peggy Estrada, Katherine Hayes, Hilda Maldonado, Susan Tandberg, Claude Goldenberg
Publisher: Policy Analysis for California Education: Stanford, CA
Date: 10/2015

Recent policy changes in California’s education system have opened up a unique opportunity to improve educational opportunities for the state’s 1.4 million English learner students (ELs). The implementation of new state standards including new English Language Development standards will require major changes in teaching and learning for all students including ELs, while the Local Control Funding Formula gives districts that educate large numbers of ELs additional resources to improve the services that they provide. To take full advantage of these opportunities policymakers and educators should rely on the best available evidence to shape state and district policies and to inform classroom instructional practice for EL students. In this policy brief Ilana Umansky and her co-authors review research findings from three university school district research partnerships and present recommendations for changes in policy and practice to expand opportunities for EL students. They draw three main conclusions. First, California must improve the ways in which students who need language supports are classified and reclassified, in order to improve alignment across districts in the state, and alignment between classification and services. Second, state and local officials must become more systematic in how data on ELs are collected and used, by tracking students’ progress over longer time periods and by including all students who were ever ELs in accountability metrics. Finally, and most importantly, the state must improve ELs’ educational opportunities in school by expanding access to core content, bilingual instruction, and well-prepared teachers. Changes along these lines would not necessarily require large new investments, but they could yield substantial benefits for large numbers of California students.

Does Head Start Differentially Benefit Children with Risks Targeted by the Program's Service Model? Elizabeth B. Miller, George Farkas, Greg J. Duncan

Does Head Start Differentially Benefit Children with Risks Targeted by the Program's Service Model?

Author: Elizabeth B. Miller, George Farkas, Greg J. Duncan
Publisher: Early Childhood Research Quarterly
Date: 08/2015

Data from the Head Start Impact Study (N = 3540) were used to test for differential benefits of Head Start after one program year and after kindergarten on pre-academic and behavior outcomes for children at risk in the domains targeted by the program's comprehensive services. Although random assignment to Head Start produced positive treatment main effects on children's pre-academic skills and behavior problems, residualized growth models showed that random assignment to Head Start did not differentially benefit the pre-academic skills of children with risk factors targeted by the Head Start service model. The models showed detrimental impacts of Head Start for maternal-reported behavior problems of high-risk children, but slightly more positive impacts for teacher-reported behavior. Policy implications for Head Start are discussed.

Asian children’s verbal development: A comparison of the United States and Australia Kate H. Choi, Amy Hsin, Sara S. McLanahan

Asian children’s verbal development: A comparison of the United States and Australia

Author: Kate H. Choi, Amy Hsin, Sara S. McLanahan
Publisher: Social Science Research
Date: 07/2015

Using longitudinal cohort studies from Australia and the United States, we assess the pervasiveness of the Asian academic advantage by documenting White-Asian differences in verbal development from early to middle childhood. In the United States, Asian children begin school with higher verbal scores than Whites, but their advantage erodes over time. The initial verbal advantage of Asian American children is partly due to their parent’s socioeconomic advantage and would have been larger had it not been for their mother’s English deficiency. In Australia, Asian children have lower verbal scores than Whites at age 4, but their scores grow a faster rate and converge towards those of Whites by age 8. The initial verbal disadvantage of Asian Australian children is partly due to their mother’s English deficiency and would have been larger had it not been for their Asian parent’s educational advantage. Asian Australian children’s verbal scores grow at a faster pace, in part, because of their parent’s educational advantage.

Whitewashing Academic Mediocrity Tomás R. Jiménez, Adam L. Horowitz

Whitewashing Academic Mediocrity

Author: Tomás R. Jiménez, Adam L. Horowitz
Publisher: Contexts
Date: 06/2015

In an outlier city in California, whiteness has become the new code for academic mediocrity and laziness.

education - CPI Affiliates

Rucker C. Johnson's picture Rucker C. Johnson Associate Professor at Goldman School of Public Policy
University of California, Berkeley
Luis Fraga's picture Luis Fraga Associate Professor of Political Science, Co-Director, Institute for Latino Studies
University of Notre Dame
Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans's picture Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans Senior Research Fellow
University of Melbourne
Mario Luis Small's picture Mario Luis Small Associate Professor
University of Chicago
Martin Benavides's picture Martin Benavides Senior Researcher, Fellow, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (Stanford)
Group for the Analysis of Development (GRADE)

Pages

Education - Other Research

Title Author Media
The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, Linda Olson

The Long Shadow: Family Background, Disadvantaged Urban Youth, and the Transition to Adulthood

Author: Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, Linda Olson
Publisher: Russell Sage Foundation
Date: 06/2014

West Baltimore stands out in the popular imagination as the quintessential “inner city”—gritty, run-down, and marred by drugs and gang violence. Indeed, with the collapse of manufacturing jobs in the 1970s, the area experienced a rapid onset of poverty and high unemployment, with few public resources available to alleviate economic distress. But in stark contrast to the image of a perpetual “urban underclass” depicted in television by shows like The Wire, sociologists Karl Alexander, Doris Entwisle, and Linda Olson present a more nuanced portrait of Baltimore’s inner city residents that employs important new research on the significance of early-life opportunities available to low-income populations. The Long Shadow focuses on children who grew up in west Baltimore neighborhoods and others like them throughout the city, tracing how their early lives in the inner city have affected their long-term well-being. Although research for this book was conducted in Baltimore, that city’s struggles with deindustrialization, white flight, and concentrated poverty were characteristic of most East Coast and Midwest manufacturing cities. The experience of Baltimore’s children who came of age during this era is mirrored in the experiences of urban children across the nation.

"Caught Up:” How Urban Violence and Peer Ties Contribute to High School Non-Completion Maria G. Rendón

"Caught Up:” How Urban Violence and Peer Ties Contribute to High School Non-Completion

Author: Maria G. Rendón
Publisher: Social Problems
Date: 02/2014

While research shows growing up in urban neighborhoods increases the likelihood of not completing high school, it remains unclear what mechanism facilitates this process and why some youth are more vulnerable than others. This study addresses this gap by drawing on interviews with male, Latino high school graduates and noncompleters in Los Angeles. Interviews reveal urban violence is the most salient feature of urban neighborhoods and consequential for school completion. In an effort to avoid victimization male youth exposed to urban violence draw on male peer ties for protection. Inherent in these social ties, as in other forms of social capital, are expectations and obligations. I find that an orientation that privileges these expectations and obligations—and not specifically an anti-school orientation—gets male youth “caught up” in behavior counterproductive to school completion, like being truant with peers and getting expelled for “backing them” in a fight. I find not all urban youth adopt this orientation because youth are differentially exposed to the neighborhood. Family and school institutional factors limit some youth's time in the neighborhood, buffering them from urban violence. These youth then bypass the opportunity and need to draw on male peer ties for protection. Not having to employ these “strategies of action,” they avoid getting “caught up” and experience higher chances to graduate. This study argues that to understand the cultural orientation that guides behavior that contributes to school noncompletion requires accounting for how the threat of violence punctuates and organizes the daily lives of male urban youth.

Class Rules: Exposing Inequality in American High Schools Peter W. Cookson, Jr.

Class Rules: Exposing Inequality in American High Schools

Author: Peter W. Cookson, Jr.
Publisher: Teachers College Press: Multicultural Education Series
Date: 08/2013

Class Rules challenges the popular myth that high schools are the “Great Equalizers.” In his groundbreaking study, Cookson demonstrates that adolescents undergo different class rites of passage depending on the social-class composition of the high school they attend. Drawing on stories of schools and individual students, the author shows that where a student goes to high school is a major influence on his or her social class trajectory. Class Rules is a penetrating, original examination of the role education plays in blocking upward mobility for many children. It offers a compelling vision of an equitable system of schools based on the full democratic rights of students.

How Much Protection Does a College Degree Afford? The Impact of the Recession on Recent College Graduates The Pew Charitable Trusts

How Much Protection Does a College Degree Afford? The Impact of the Recession on Recent College Graduates

Author: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Publisher: The Pew Charitable Trusts
Date: 01/2013

Past research from Pew’s Economic Mobility Project has shown the power of a college education to both promote upward mobility and prevent downward mobility. The chances of moving from the bottom of the family income ladder all the way to the top are three times greater for someone with a college degree than for someone without one. Moreover, when compared with their less-credentialed counterparts, college graduates have been able to count on much higher earnings and lower unemployment rates. Even during the Great Recession, college graduates maintained higher rates of employment and higher earnings compared with less educated adults. However, the question of how recent college graduates have fared has remained largely unexamined, and many in the popular media have suggested that the advantageous market situation of college graduates is beginning to unravel under the pressure of the economic downturn. This study examines whether a college degree protected these recent graduates from a range of poor employment outcomes during the recession, including unemployment, low-skill jobs, and lesser wages.

Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...

Vulnerable Populations and Transformative Law Teaching

Author: Society of American Law Teachers, Golden Gate...
Publisher: Carolina Academic Press
Date: 03/2011

The essays included in this volume began as presentations at the March 19–20, 2010 “Vulnerable Populations and Economic Realities” teaching conference organized and hosted by Golden Gate University School of Law and co-sponsored by the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT). That conference, generously funded by a grant from The Elfenworks Foundation, brought together law faculty, practitioners, and students to reexamine how issues of race, gender, sexual identity, nationality, disability, and generally—outsider status—are linked to poverty. Contributors have transformed their presentations into essays, offering a variety of roadmaps for incorporating these issues into the law school curriculum, both inside the classroom as well as in clinical and externship settings, study abroad, and social activism. These essays provide glimpses into “teaching moments,” both intentional and organic, to help trigger opportunities for students and faculty to question their own perceptions and experiences about who creates and interprets law, and who has access to power and the force of law. This book expands the parameters of law teaching so that this next generation of attorneys will be dedicated to their roles as public citizens, broadening the availability of justice. Contributors include: John Payton; Richard Delgado; Steven W. Bender; Sarah Valentine; Deborah Post and Deborah Zalesne; Gilbert Paul Carrasco; Michael L. Perlin and Deborah Dorfman; Robin R. Runge; Cynthia D. Bond; Florence Wagman Roisman; Doug Simpson; Anne Marie Harkins and Robin Clark; Douglas Colbert; Raquel Aldana and Leticia Saucedo, Marci Seville; Deirdre Bowen, Daniel Bonilla Maldonado, Kathleen Neal Cleaver, Colin Crawford, and James Forman, Jr.; Susan Rutberg; Mary B. Culbert and Sara Campos; MaryBeth Musumeci, Elizabeth Weeks Leonard, and Brutrinia D. Arellano; Libby Adler; and Paulette J. Williams. The editorial board includes Raquel Aldana, Steven Bender, Olympia Duhart, Michele Benedetto Neitz, Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Hari Osofsky, and Hazel Weiser.