• 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
"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.

State of the States: Education Sean F. Reardon

State of the States: Education

Author: Sean F. Reardon
Date: 02/2015
Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education

Remaking College: The Changing Ecology of Higher Education

Publisher: Stanford University Press
Date: 01/2015

Between 1945 and 1990 the United States built the largest and most productive higher education system in world history. Over the last two decades, however, dramatic budget cuts to public academic services and skyrocketing tuition have made college completion more difficult for many. Nevertheless, the democratic promise of education and the global competition for educated workers mean ever growing demand.

Remaking College considers this changing context, arguing that a growing accountability revolution, the push for greater efficiency and productivity, and the explosion of online learning are changing the character of higher education.

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.

education - CPI Affiliates

Jan O. Jonsson's picture Jan O. Jonsson Official Fellow of Nuffield College, Oxford University
Oxford University
Brigid Barron's picture Brigid Barron Professor of Education
Stanford University
Rachel Lotan's picture Rachel Lotan Emeritus Professor of Education (Teaching), Director, Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP)
Stanford University
Janet Currie Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs; Chair, Department of Economics; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research; Director, Center for Health and Well Being
Princeton University
Reinhard Pollak's picture Reinhard Pollak Head of the National Educational Panel Study: Vocational Training and Lifelong Learning, Social Science Research Center; Professor of Sociology, Freie Universität Berlin
Freie Universität Berlin


Education - Other Research

Title Author Media
Paying for Performance: The Education Impacts of a Community College Scholarship Program for Low-Income Adults Lisa Barrow, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Cecilia Elena Rouse, Thomas Brock

Paying for Performance: The Education Impacts of a Community College Scholarship Program for Low-Income Adults

Author: Lisa Barrow, Lashawn Richburg-Hayes, Cecilia Elena Rouse, Thomas Brock
Publisher: Journal of Labor Economics
Date: 07/2014

We evaluate the effect of performance-based incentive programs on educational outcomes for community college students from a random assignment experiment at three campuses. Incentive payments over 2 semesters were tied to meeting two conditions—enrolling at least half-time and maintaining a C or better grade point average. Eligibility increased the likelihood of enrolling in the second semester after random assignment and total number of credits earned. Over 2 years, program group students completed nearly 40% more credits. We find little evidence that program eligibility changed types of courses taken but some evidence of increased academic performance and effort.

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.

Education - Multimedia

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