• 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
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
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

Lisa Lynch's picture Lisa Lynch Provost and Maurice B. Hexter Professor of Social and Economic Policy; Research Associate, National Bureau of Economic Research
Brandeis University
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
Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans's picture Mariah Debra Ruperti Evans Professor of Sociology
University of Nevada, Reno
Mario Luis Small's picture Mario Luis Small Grafstein Family Professor, Department of Sociology
Harvard University
Terry M. Moe's picture Terry M. Moe William Bennett Monroe Professor of Political Science; Senior Fellow at the Hoover Institution; Professor, by courtesy, of Education
Stanford University


Education - Other Research

Title Author Media
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.

The Impact of Early Experience on Childhood Brain Development: Nathan Fox Nathan Fox

The Impact of Early Experience on Childhood Brain Development: Nathan Fox

Author: Nathan Fox
Date: 04/2010

On April 13, 2010, the Center on Children and Families at Brookings and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University sponsored an event that focused on the science of early brain development and the role that chronic stress early in life plays in the arrested development of children raised in risky situations. The policy implications of these and similar findings were discussed. This segment features Nathan A. Fox, Professor, University of Maryland, describing pioneering work that he and his colleagues carried out in Bucharest, Romania, looking at how institutionalization of children can profoundly harm children’s brain development.

The Race Between Education and Technology Goldin, Claudia, Lawrence F. Katz

The Race Between Education and Technology

Author: Goldin, Claudia, Lawrence F. Katz
Publisher: Harvard University Press
Date: 03/2010
Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success Bowles, Samuel, Herbert Gintis, Melissa Osborne Groves

Unequal Chances: Family Background and Economic Success

Author: Bowles, Samuel, Herbert Gintis, Melissa Osborne Groves
Publisher: Princeton University Press and Russell Sage
Date: 01/2005

Education - Multimedia

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