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
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.

Determined to Succeed? Performance Versus Choice in Educational Attainment Michelle Jackson

Determined to Succeed? Performance Versus Choice in Educational Attainment

Author: Michelle Jackson
Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date: 01/2013

In many countries, concern about socio-economic inequalities in educational attainment has focused on inequalities in test scores and grades. The presumption has been that the best way to reduce inequalities in educational outcomes is to reduce inequalities in performance. But is this presumption correct? Determined to Succeed? is the first book to offer a comprehensive cross-national examination of the roles of performance and choice in generating inequalities in educational attainment. It combines in-depth studies by country specialists with chapters discussing more general empirical, methodological, and theoretical aspects of educational inequality. The aim is to investigate to what extent inequalities in educational attainment can be attributed to differences in academic performance between socio-economic groups, and to what extent they can be attributed to differences in the choices made by students from these groups. The contributors focus predominantly on inequalities related to parental class and parental education.

Family, the Lifecourse, and the Great Recession S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, Christopher Wimer

Family, the Lifecourse, and the Great Recession

Author: S. Philip Morgan, Erin Cumberworth, Christopher Wimer
Publisher:
Date: 10/2012

The family is an important setting within which the Great Recession can exert its influence. Although the downturn directly affected many workers by reducing their earnings or forcing them into unemployment, it affected others indirectly by changing their living arrangements or family life. Further, the ways in which families are formed or broken up may be affected by the Great Recession, as it can alter the perceived costs and benefits of various family-relevant behaviors. Amid the turmoil and economic upheaval in the wider economy, individuals and families go about their lives, deciding to get married, suffering through breakups and divorces, planning families, and sorting out their living arrangements. The recession could have major effects on all of these family processes.

The Economic Returns to Higher Education in the BRIC Countries and Their Implications for Higher Education Expansion Martin Carnoy, Prashant Loyalka, Greg V. Androuschchak, Anna Proudnikova

The Economic Returns to Higher Education in the BRIC Countries and Their Implications for Higher Education Expansion

Author: Martin Carnoy, Prashant Loyalka, Greg V. Androuschchak, Anna Proudnikova
Publisher:
Date: 01/2012

This paper focuses on the changing economic value of secondary and higher education in four potential world economic powerhouses - Brazil, Russia, India, and China - known as the BRIC countries. We show that in the past twenty-five years in the BRIC countries, changes in rates of return to higher education have not conformed to the diminishing returns to capital theory, which says that rates decline with level of education and that this pattern holds as countries develop economically and educationally. The rates to university completion have generally risen relative to the rates to investment in lower levels of education, and in all but India are now higher than the payoff to secondary schooling. We argue that this reflects the rapid economic change in all four countries, including their incorporation into the global economy, and, in Russia and China, the transformation from command to increasingly market economies.

education - CPI Affiliates

Luis Fraga's picture Luis Fraga Chair, Department of Political Science; Co-Director, Institute for Latino Studies; Notre Dame Professor in Transformative Latino Leadership; Joseph and Elizabeth Robbie Professor of Political Science; Fellow, Institute for Educational Initiatives
University of Notre Dame
Harry B. G. Ganzeboom's Image Harry B. G. Ganzeboom Professor of Sociology and Social Research Methodology
Free University Amsterdam
Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans's picture Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans Professor of Sociology
University of Nevada, Reno
Michelle Jackson Assistant Professor of Sociology
Stanford University
Mario Luis Small's picture Mario Luis Small Grafstein Family Professor, Department of Sociology
Harvard University

Pages

Education - Other Research

Title Author Media
And Their Children After Them? The Effect of College on Educational Reproduction Matthew Lawrence, Richard Breen

And Their Children After Them? The Effect of College on Educational Reproduction

Author: Matthew Lawrence, Richard Breen
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 09/2016

Conventional analyses of social mobility and status reproduction retrospectively compare an outcome of individuals to a characteristic of their parents. By ignoring the mechanisms of family formation and excluding childless individuals, conventional approaches introduce selection bias into estimates of how characteristics in one generation affect an outcome in the next. The prospective approach introduced here integrates the effects of college on marriage and fertility into the reproduction of educational outcomes. Marginal structural models with inverse probability of treatment weighting are used with data from the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study to estimate the causal effect of pathways linking graduating from college with having a child who graduates from college. Results show that college increases male graduates’ probability of having a child who completes college; for female graduates there is no effect. The gender distinction is largely explained by the negative effects of college on women’s likelihood to marry and have children.

Reducing Income Inequality in Educational Attainment: Experimental Evidence on the Impact of Financial Aid on College Completion Sara Goldrick-Rab, Robert Kelchen, Douglas N. Harris, James Benson

Reducing Income Inequality in Educational Attainment: Experimental Evidence on the Impact of Financial Aid on College Completion

Author: Sara Goldrick-Rab, Robert Kelchen, Douglas N. Harris, James Benson
Publisher: American Journal of Sociology
Date: 05/2016

Income inequality in educational attainment is a long-standing concern, and disparities in college completion have grown over time. Need-based financial aid is commonly used to promote equality in college outcomes, but its effectiveness has not been established, and some are calling it into question. A randomized experiment is used to estimate the impact of a private need-based grant program on college persistence and degree completion among students from low-income families attending 13 public universities across Wisconsin. Results indicate that offering students additional grant aid increases the odds of bachelor’s degree attainment over four years, helping to diminish income inequality in higher education.

‘Membership Has Its Privileges’: Status Incentives and Categorical Inequality in Education Thurston Domina, Andrew M. Penner, Emily K. Penner

‘Membership Has Its Privileges’: Status Incentives and Categorical Inequality in Education

Author: Thurston Domina, Andrew M. Penner, Emily K. Penner
Publisher: Sociological Science
Date: 05/2016

Prizes – formal systems that publicly allocate rewards for exemplary behavior – play an increasingly important role in a wide array of social settings, including education. In this paper, we evaluate a prize system designed to boost achievement at two high schools by assigning students color-coded ID cards based on a previously low stakes test. Average student achievement on this test increased in the ID card schools beyond what one would expect from contemporaneous changes in neighboring schools. However, regression discontinuity analyses indicate that the program created new inequalities between students who received low-status and high-status ID cards. These findings indicate that status-based incentives create categorical inequalities between prize winners and others even as they reorient behavior toward the goals they reward.

Early Childhood Disadvantage for Sons of Mexican Immigrants: Body Mass Index Across Ages 2-5 Elizabeth Lawrence, Stefanie Mollborn, Fernando Riosmena

Early Childhood Disadvantage for Sons of Mexican Immigrants: Body Mass Index Across Ages 2-5

Author: Elizabeth Lawrence, Stefanie Mollborn, Fernando Riosmena
Publisher: American Journal of Health Promotion
Date: 08/2015

Compared to their peers with non-Hispanic white mothers, children of Mexican-heritage mothers have higher average BMI and greater rates of obesity. The BMI of boys with Mexican-born mothers is higher relative to whites and children of U.S.-born Mexican mothers across early childhood, increasing sharply at about age 4.5 years. This divergence is driven by increases in the BMI of boys, as girls do not show the same growth. A number of measures, including descriptors of children's nutritional intake, lifestyle factors, and acculturation, do not explain the increased obesity rates among sons of Mexican mothers. Conclusion . Despite favorable perinatal health and weight, Mexican-American sons of foreign-born mothers show disadvantages in BMI that emerge close to the start of kindergarten.

Dynamics of Urban Neighborhood Reciprocity: Latino Peer Ties, Violence and the Navigation of School Failure and Success Maria G. Rendon

Dynamics of Urban Neighborhood Reciprocity: Latino Peer Ties, Violence and the Navigation of School Failure and Success

Author: Maria G. Rendon
Publisher: Routledge
Date: 04/2015