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
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.

Revisiting the "Americano Dream" Van C. Tran

Revisiting the "Americano Dream"

Author: Van C. Tran
Publisher: Stanford Center on Poverty and Inequality
Date: 05/2015

Is Latino assimilation stalling out because of the recent recession, rising deportation rates, and the growing popularity of rural destinations?

"Two souls, two thoughts," two self-schemas: double consciousness can have positive academic consequences for African Americans T.N. Brannon, H.R. Markus, V.J. Taylor

"Two souls, two thoughts," two self-schemas: double consciousness can have positive academic consequences for African Americans

Author: T.N. Brannon, H.R. Markus, V.J. Taylor
Publisher: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology
Date: 04/2015

African Americans can experience a double consciousness-the two-ness of being an American and an African American. The present research hypothesized that: (a) double consciousness can function as 2 self-schemas-an independent self-schema tied to mainstream American culture and an interdependent self-schema tied to African American culture, and (b) U.S. educational settings can leverage an interdependent self-schema associated with African American culture through inclusive multicultural practices to facilitate positive academic consequences. First, a pilot experiment and Studies 1 and 2 provided evidence that double consciousness can be conceptualized as 2 self-schemas. That is, African Americans shifted their behavior (e.g., cooperation) in schema-relevant ways from more independent when primed with mainstream American culture to more interdependent when primed with African American culture. Then, Studies 3 and 4 demonstrated that incorporating African American culture within a university setting enhanced African Americans' persistence and performance on academic-relevant tasks. Finally, using the Gates Millennium Scholars dataset (Cohort 1), Study 5 conceptually replicated Studies 3 and 4 and provided support for one process that underlies the observed positive academic consequences. Specifically, Study 5 provided evidence that engagement with African American culture (e.g., involvement with cultural events/groups) on college campuses makes an interdependent self-schema more salient that increases African American students' sense of academic fit and identification, and, in turn, enhances academic performance (self-reported grades) and persistence (advanced degree enrollment in a long-term follow-up). The discussion examines double consciousness as a basic psychological phenomenon and suggests the intra- and intergroup benefits of inclusive multicultural settings.

The Promise of Early Interventions for Improving Socioeconomic Outcomes of Black Men Gregory Acs, Steven Martin

The Promise of Early Interventions for Improving Socioeconomic Outcomes of Black Men

Author: Gregory Acs, Steven Martin
Publisher: The Urban Institute
Date: 02/2015

This brief uses the Social Genome Model to assess the potential impact of various childhood and adolescent interventions on long-term outcomes for black men. In particular, we see that increasing parental emotional support and cognitive stimulation during early childhood and raising reading ability levels in mid-childhood have the greatest impact on later life educational attainment and income. The overall effects of successful interventions are modest for the entire population of black men but are somewhat larger for individuals that would be directly affected by the interventions. Our findings suggest that making substantial progress in improving the outcomes of black men will likely require many different interventions that reinforce one another throughout the life course.

education - CPI Affiliates

Ann Dryden Witte's picture Ann Dryden Witte Professor Emerita of Economics
Wellesley College
Paul M. De Graaf's picture Paul M. De Graaf Professor of Sociology
Nijmegen University
George Farkas's picture George Farkas Professor, School of Education
UC Irvine
Paul Peterson's picture Paul Peterson Henry Lee Shattuck Professor of Government, Director, Program on Education Policy and Governance; Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University; Senior Editor of Education Next
Harvard University
Hans-Peter Blossfeld Professor of Sociology
Bamberg University

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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.