Category Archives: Education

State(s) of Head Start

Source: W. Steven Barnett, Allison H. Friedman-Krauss, The National Institute for Early Education Research, 2016

From the overview:
State(s) of Head Start is the first report to describe and analyze in detail Head Start enrollment, funding, quality, and duration, state-by-state. The report focuses on the 2014-2015 program year but also provides longitudinal data beginning with the 2006-2007 program year. Despite the fact that Head Start is a federally funded, national program, the report reveals that access to Head Start programs, funding per child, teacher education, quality of teaching, and duration of services all vary widely by state.

This report’s findings underscore the need for greater coordination between Head Start and state and local government agencies to build high-quality early learning programs with widespread reach and adequate funding. The authors call for an independent bipartisan national commission to study the issues raised in this report and develop an action plan to ensure every eligible child in every state has an equal opportunity to benefit from Head Start…..
Related:
Report Digest
Executive Summary
Report Contents
State Profiles

There’s an Antidote to America’s Long Economic Malaise: College Towns

Source: Bob Davis, Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2016

Many places that bounced back from losing jobs to China are home to a major university. ….

….Each state has at least one land-grant institution, initially funded by a grant of federal land or a payout in a program started during Abraham Lincoln’s presidency.

Land-grant universities were required to focus on agriculture and engineering—which turned into a broad applied research mission—and to promote their work statewide. Such institutions became a kind of natural experiment.

The result was that many land-grant counties became economic stars over time, even though those counties differed little from others nearby.

Between the late 1860s and 1940, manufacturing productivity in counties with land-grant universities rose 57% more than in similar counties without them, calculates Shimeng Liu, an economist at Jinan University in China who studied land-grant colleges when he was a researcher in the U.S.

Since 2000, the median unemployment rate in counties with flagship land-grant universities was 1.2 percentage points lower on average than in other counties, according to an analysis by the Journal…..

K-3 Policymakers’ Guide to Action: Making the early years count

Source: Bruce Atchison, Emily Workman, Louisa Diffey, Education Commission of the States, ECS Policy Report, November 22, 2016

From the abstract:
This special report summarizes the top policy components 12 of the nation’s top content experts convened by Education Commission of the States prioritized for a high-quality K-3 system.

Dining Workers Strike at Harvard, World’s Richest University

Source: Samantha Winslow, Labor Notes, no. 452 November 2016

On October 5, instead of setting up breakfast for thousands of college students, 750 cafeteria workers at the richest university in the world kicked off their first strike in three decades.

Harvard University’s dining hall workers are demanding a living wage of $35,000 a year, and fighting administration efforts to increase co-pays on top of already costly health insurance plans.

Though their average wage is $22 an hour, workers say it’s a struggle to get by during summer breaks, when they’re out of work or forced to rely on lower-wage temp jobs. They say university administrators are unconcerned about the situation…..

Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges

Source: Brian O’Leary and Joshua Hatch, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 4, 2016

The Chronicle’s executive-compensation package includes the latest data on more than 1,200 chief executives at more than 600 private colleges from 2008-14 and nearly 250 public universities and systems from 2010-15. Hover over bars to show total compensation as well as pay components including base, bonus and retirement. Click bars to see details including other top-paid college employees, how presidents compare with their peers, and how presidential pay looks in context to their institution’s expenses, tuitions and pay for professors. Updated December 4, 2016, with 2014 private college data.
Related:
39 Private-College Leaders Earn More Than $1 Million
Source: Dan Bauman, Chronicle of Higher Education, December 4, 2016
(subscription required)

Manager–Employee Gender Congruence and the Bureaucratic Accountability of Public Service Employees Evidence From Schools

Source: Mogens Jin Pedersen, Vibeke Lehmann Nielsen, Public Personnel Management, Vol. 45 no. 4, December 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
Much theory suggests that manager–employee gender congruence (that manager and employee share the same gender) may influence employee accountability. This article empirically tests this notion by examining how manager–employee gender congruence among public service employees relates to two key aspects of bureaucratic accountability: (a) organizational goal alignment and (b) compliance with organizational rules and regulations. Using school fixed effects on teacher survey data and administrative school data, we find that male teachers with male principals are less aligned with their school’s goals and less compliant with its rules and regulations than are male teachers with female principals.

Pension Liabilities Exceed Capital-Related Debt at US Public Universities

Source: Moody’s Investors Service, Sector In-Depth, November 18, 2016
(subscription required)

Credit risk related to unfunded pension liabilities for public universities we rate is increasing and aggregate net liabilities now exceed aggregate capital debt. Annual pension expenses are manageable at only 3% of operations (fiscal year 2015 median), but we expect them to rise as investment earnings lag assumptions and certain states continue to shift pension payment obligations to their universities. Currently, universities are better positioned than certain large local governments as it relates to pension liabilities and universities typically have more cash and investments relative to obligations that will help cushion rising pension costs…..
Related:
Press Release

New Research Finds Surprising Results When it Comes to Latino Participation in Early Care and Education: Public Policy Changes Appear to Pay Off, Attracting Hard to Reach Latino Groups

Source: National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families, Press Release, November 17, 2016

Three new reports from the National Research Center on Hispanic Children and Families offer a fresh snapshot of early care and education (ECE) program use among Hispanic families across the United States. They suggest that Latino families are more willing to enroll their children in ECE programs than ever before. Such programs can help prepare low-income children for kindergarten and future academic success. The briefs in the series include:
Hispanic Children’s Participation in Early Care and Education: Type of Care by Household Nativity Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Child Age
Hispanic Children’s Participation in Early Care and Education: Amount and Timing of Hours by Household Nativity Status, Race/Ethnicity, and Child Age
Hispanic Children’s Participation in Early Care and Education: Parents’ Perceptions of Care Arrangements, and Relatives’ Availability to Provide Care

Free Community College: An approach to increase adult student success in postsecondary education

Source: Emily Parker, Lauren Sisneros, Sarah Pingel, Education Commission of the States, ECS Policy Report, November 16, 2016

From the summary:
This new policy report discusses the growing interest in free community college policies across state legislatures, addresses the limited potential of current policies to help states reach their completion and attainment goals and offers a new, inclusive framework for including adult students in free community college policies.

A Lesson For Preschools: When It’s Done Right, The Benefits Last

Source: Elissa Nadworny, NPR, November 17, 2016

Is preschool worth it? Policymakers, parents, researchers and us, at NPR Ed, have spent a lot of time thinking about this question.

We know that most pre-kindergarten programs do a good job of improving ‘ specific skills like phonics and counting, as well as broader social and emotional behaviors, by the time students enter kindergarten. Just this week, a study looking at more than 20,000 students in a state-funded preschool program in Virginia found that kids made large improvements in their alphabet recognition skills.
So the next big question to follow is, of course, Do these benefits last?

New research out of North Carolina says yes, they do. The study found that early childhood programs in that state resulted in higher test scores, a lower chance of being held back in a grade, and a fewer number of children with special education placements. Those gains lasted up through the fifth grade.
Related:
Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School
Source: Kenneth A. Dodge, Yu Bai, Helen F. Ladd, Clara G. Muschkin, Child Development, Early View, November 17, 2016
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
North Carolina’s Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other). Student-level regression models with county and year fixed effects indicated significant positive impacts of each program on reading and math test scores and reductions in special education and grade retention in each grade. Effect sizes grew or held steady across years. Positive effects held for both high- and low-poverty families, suggesting spillover of effects to nonparticipating peers.