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
Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters Jesse Rothstein

Teacher Quality Policy When Supply Matters

Author: Jesse Rothstein
Publisher: American Economic Review
Date: 01/2015

Teacher contracts that condition pay and retention on demonstrated performance can improve selection into and out of teaching. I study alternative contracts in a simulated teacher labor market that incorporates dynamic self-selection and Bayesian learning. Bonus policies create only modest incentives and thus have small effects on selection. Reductions in tenure rates can have larger effects, but must be accompanied by substantial salary increases; elimination of tenure confers little additional benefit unless firing rates are extremely high. Benefits of both bonus and tenure policies exceed costs, though optimal policies are sensitive to labor market parameters about which little is known.

Feeling at Home in College: Fortifying School-Relevant Selves to Reduce Social Class Disparities in Higher Education Nicole M. Stephens, Tiffany N. Brannon, Hazel Rose Markus, Jessica E. Nelson

Feeling at Home in College: Fortifying School-Relevant Selves to Reduce Social Class Disparities in Higher Education

Author: Nicole M. Stephens, Tiffany N. Brannon, Hazel Rose Markus, Jessica E. Nelson
Publisher: Social Issues and Policy Review
Date: 01/2015

Social class disparities in higher education between working-class students (i.e., students who are low income and/or do not have parents with four-year college degrees) and middle-class students (i.e., students who are high income and/or have at least one parent with a four year-degree) are on the rise. There is an urgent need for interventions, or changes to universities' ideas and practices, to increase working-class students' access to and performance in higher education. The current article identifies key factors that characterize successful interventions aimed at reducing social class disparities, and proposes additional interventions that have the potential to improve working-class students' chances of college success. As we propose in the article, effective interventions must first address key individual and structural factors that can create barriers to students' college success. At the same time, interventions should also fortify school-relevant selves, or increase students' sense that the pursuit of a college degree is central to “who I am.” When students experience this strong connection between their selves and what it means to attend and perform well in college, they will gain a sense that they fit in the academic environment and will be empowered to do what it takes to succeed there.

Football as a Status System in U.S. Higher Education Arik Lifschitz, Michael Sauder, Mitchell L. Stevens

Football as a Status System in U.S. Higher Education

Author: Arik Lifschitz, Michael Sauder, Mitchell L. Stevens
Publisher: Sociology of Education
Date: 07/2014

Sociologists have focused almost exclusively on academic aspects of status in higher education, despite the prominence of nonacademic activities, specifically athletics, in U.S. colleges and universities. We use the case of football to investigate whether intercollegiate sports influence the distribution of status in U.S. higher education. Analyzing data on conference affiliations and other organizational characteristics of 287 schools over time, we find evidence of an athletic status system. Our work expands understanding of status in U.S. higher education, enriches prior explanations for the prominence of football, and generates tractable insights about the ongoing evolution of the intercollegiate conference system.

60 Years After Brown: Trends and Consequences of School Segregation Sean F. Reardon, Ann Owens

60 Years After Brown: Trends and Consequences of School Segregation

Author: Sean F. Reardon, Ann Owens
Publisher:
Date: 07/2014

Since the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, researchers and policy makers have paid close attention to trends in school segregation. Here we review the evidence regarding trends and consequences of both racial and economic school segregation sinceBrown. The evidence suggests that the most significant declines in black-white school segregation occurred in the late 1960s and early 1970s. There is disagreement about the direction of more recent trends in racial segregation, largely driven by how one defines and measures segregation. Depending on the definition used, segregation has either increased substantially or changed little, although there are important differences in the trends across regions, racial groups, and institutional levels. Limited evidence on school economic segregation makes documenting trends difficult, but students appear to be more segregated by income across schools and districts today than in 1990. We also discuss the role of desegregation litigation, demographic changes, and residential segregation in shaping trends in both racial and economic segregation. We develop a general conceptual model of how and why school segregation might affect students and review the relatively thin body of empirical evidence that explicitly assesses the consequences of school segregation. We conclude with a discussion of aspects of school segregation on which further research is needed.

Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States Michael Hout

Social and Economic Returns to College Education in the United States

Author: Michael Hout
Publisher:
Date: 04/2013

Education correlates strongly with most important social and economic outcomes such as economic success, health, family stability, and social connections. Theories of stratification and selection created doubts about whether education actually caused good things to happen. Because schools and colleges select who continues and who does not, it was easy to imagine that education added little of substance. Evidence now tips the balance away from bias and selection and in favor of substance. Investments in education pay off for individuals in many ways. The size of the direct effect of education varies among individuals and demographic groups. Education affects individuals and groups who are less likely to pursue a college education more than traditional college students. A smaller literature on social returns to education indicates that communities, states, and nations also benefit from increased education of their populations; some estimates imply that the social returns exceed the private returns.

education - CPI Affiliates

Emily Hannum's picture Emily Hannum Professor of Sociology and Education; Associate Director, Population Studies Center
Univerisity of Pennsylvania
Orley C. Ashenfelter's picture Orley C. Ashenfelter Joseph Douglas Green 1895 Professor of Economics
Princeton University
Gary N. Marks's picture Gary N. Marks Principal Research Fellow, Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER)
Australian Catholic University
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

Pages

Education - Other Research

Title Author Media
Birth and Fortune: The Impact of Numbers on Personal Welfare Easterlin, Richard

Birth and Fortune: The Impact of Numbers on Personal Welfare

Author: Easterlin, Richard
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Date:
Opportunity and Change David L. Featherman and Robert M. Hauser

Opportunity and Change

Author: David L. Featherman and Robert M. Hauser
Publisher: Academic Press
Date:
Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs Paul Willis

Learning to Labor: How Working Class Kids Get Working Class Jobs

Author: Paul Willis
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Date:
Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class Michele Lamont

Money, Morals, and Manners: The Culture of the French and the American Upper-Middle Class

Author: Michele Lamont
Publisher: The University of Chicago Press
Date:
The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002 Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto

The Rise of Intra-Occupational Wage Inequality in the United States, 1983 to 2002

Author: Chang Kim, Hwan and Arthur Sakamoto
Publisher: American Sociological Review
Date:

Education - Multimedia

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