Category Archives: Education

Early Head Start Participants, Programs, Families and Staff in 2012

Source: Stephanie Schmit, Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), Fact Sheet, October 2013

This fact sheet reviews the 2012 Program Information Report (PIR) data for the Early Head Start program, which serves children under age 3 and pregnant women. In 2012, Early Head Start continued to provide vital services to a diverse group of low-income children and families. However, only about 4 percent of eligible children receive Early Head Start services.

The Causal Effect of Faculty Unions on Institutional Decision-Making

Source: Stephen R. Porter, ILRReview, Vol. 66 No. 5, October 2013
(subscription required)

From the abstract:
The author’s goal in this article is to estimate the causal effect of unionization on institutional decision-making, using a national survey of presidents and faculty senate leaders to measure the level of shared governance at 341 public universities in 15 different areas. To handle the endogeneity of faculty unionization, an index of state employee collective bargaining rights is used as an instrument for unionization. Findings indicate that unionization greatly increases faculty influence over institutional decision-making, both in compensation and in areas outside of compensation.

Postsecondary Education Issues in the 113th Congress

Source: David P. Smole, Congressional Research Service (CRS), CRS Report for Congress, R43302, November 7, 2013

The 113th Congress may face an array of policy issues affecting postsecondary education. Many of these postsecondary education issues may be considered as part of efforts to reauthorize the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). However, postsecondary education issues also may emerge as part of other legislative efforts such as comprehensive immigration reform (CIR), reform of the federal tax code, or the annual appropriations process.

This report identifies and briefly examines several postsecondary education policy issue areas that may be of general interest. For each of these broader issue areas, the report provides a brief background summary and an introduction to and discussion of various aspects of the issue. Varied policy options are also identified for further consideration. The following postsecondary education issue areas are examined in this report:
College costs and prices. …
The Federal Pell Grant program. …
Federal student loans. …
Student loans and personal bankruptcy. …
Noncitizens and federal student aid. …
Institutional quality. …
College completion. …
Campus safety. …

Bringing the Community to the Bargaining Table

Source: Nick Faber, Labor Notes, October 16, 2013

In a time when parents, community, and teachers have less and less say in how their schools are run, the union contract is one place where we can authentically give parents and community members a voice. That’s how union teachers in St. Paul feel about our contract: it’s the most important legal document—and social justice document—for ensuring a quality education for our students. So over the past four years we have gradually moved toward public participation in our negotiations. There was a bit of tension around open bargaining on our team at first. People weren’t sure how outsiders would act, and were afraid of saying something “wrong” in front of community members. But after reflecting over the last 10 years’ negotiations, we realized there was nothing we said around the table that we would not want our members and the community to hear. In fact, there were many things said by management that we really did want the community to hear!

We need a war on poverty, not teachers

Source: David Sirota, Salon, November 7, 2013

The right loves to demonize unions, but economic factors are much more important to success in the classroom…

…So what is the problem? That brings us to the new study from the Southern Education Foundation. Cross-referencing education data, researchers found that a majority of all public school students in one-third of America’s states now come from low-income families.

How much does this have to do with educational outcomes? A lot. Social science research over the last few decades has shown that two-thirds of student achievement is a product of out-of-school factors — and among the most powerful of those is economic status. That’s hardly shocking: Kids who experience destitution and all the problems that come with it have enough trouble just surviving, much less succeeding in school.

All of this leads to an obvious conclusion: If America were serious about fixing the troubled parts of its education system, then we would be having a fundamentally different conversation….

Number and Characteristics of Early Care and Education (ECE) Teachers and Caregivers: Initial Findings from the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE)

Source: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation, NSECE Research Brief, OPRE Report #2013-38, October 2013

From the abstract:
What did the early childhood teaching and caregiving workforce look like in 2012? This research brief describes the Early Care and Education (ECE) workforce data developed in the National Survey of Early Care and Education (NSECE). The survey focuses on individuals providing direct care and education for children birth through five years and not yet in kindergarten. Findings are based on over 10,000 questionnaires completed in 2012 by a sample of individuals representing about one million center-based classroom staff, as well as about 830,000 paid and about 2,300,000 unpaid individuals regularly providing home-based ECE to children other than their own.

Trends in College Pricing 2013

Source: College Board, 2013

From the summary:
Trends in College Pricing provides information on changes over time in undergraduate tuition and fees, room and board, and other estimated expenses related to attending colleges and universities. The report, which includes data through 2013-14 from the College Board’s Annual Survey of Colleges, reveals the wide variation in prices charged by institutions of different types and in different parts of the country. Of particular importance is the focus on the net prices students actually pay after taking grant aid into consideration. Data on institutional revenues and expenditures and on changing enrollment patterns over time supplement the data on prices to provide a clearer picture of the circumstances of students and the institutions in which they study.

Cost of College Continues to Skyrocket While Policymakers Seek Solutions

Source: Mike Maciag, Governing, October 29, 2013

The cost of higher education has far outpaced state funding, household incomes and inflation. … The primary driver of the hike in costs for public institutions is a sharp drop in state funding. State and local government appropriations stood at about $5,900 per student in fiscal year 2012 – a 26 percent decline in inflation-adjusted dollars from 2000 levels, according to data compiled by the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. This cut has occurred nearly across the board: over the past five fiscal years, every state – with the exception of North Dakota and Illinois – recorded declines in per student educational appropriations. …

What’s The Value Of An Associate’s Degree? The Return On Investment For Graduates And Taxpayer

Source: Jorge Klor de Alva, Mark Schneider, Nexus Research and Policy Center, American Institutes for Research, October 2013

From the summary:
Given the high cost associated with earning a degree—and its frequently accompanying debt burden—students, parents, policymakers, and the media are questioning the value of higher education. The authors of this report look at the labor market success of students who have graduated with an associate’s degree from a community college as their highest academic credential. Holders of associate’s degrees earn more income and are less likely to be unemployed than high school students.

The authors explored the following questions:
– Do graduates who earn an associate’s degree and participate in the labor force experience returns, such as higher wages, that justify the costs incurred by them in obtaining that degree?
– Do taxpayers receive a positive return on their investment in the production of associate’s degrees?

From the press release:
A national review of community colleges and their graduates’ financial return on investment finds that California and Texas have the most institutions with graduates in the top tier of wage earners. Thirty states have some community colleges whose graduates’ median net lifetime earnings trail those of the state’s high school graduates.

The median earnings of associate’s degree holders during their careers is about $259,000 more than for high school graduates, according to What’s The Value Of An Associate’s Degree? The Return on Investment for Graduates and Taxpayers, written by experts with the Nexus Research and Policy Center and the American Institutes for Research (AIR). The study examined data from 579 institutions representing more than 80 percent of the nation’s community college enrollment.

Eating Our Young – The world is spending more on the old and skimping on the young

Source: Anna Bernasek, Newsweek, October 25, 2013

…Across the United States, whether it’s schools, food stamps, health care or entry-level jobs, the young are feeling the brunt of government cutbacks. With debt and public spending at the top of the Republican agenda, with the sequester already biting, and with GOP members pledging not to raise revenue through taxes in any circumstances, there has never been a worse time to need help from the government.

This year, the young and vulnerable especially have been hit hard through automatic federal spending cuts to programs like Head Start, nutrition assistance, and child welfare. Financial crises in cities like Philadelphia and Detroit have meant another wave of school budget cutbacks. And the weak job market is hurting the youngest workers most, with youth unemployment more than double the national jobless rate….

….But is America overspending on its young? Public spending in the U.S. on children came to $12,164 per child in 2008, in current dollars, according to Kids’ Share, an annual report published by the Urban Institute. Of that total, about a third came from the federal government and two thirds from state and local governments.

Compare that to what we spend on the elderly, which primarily comes from the federal government. According to the Urban Institute, public outlays on the elderly, in current dollars, was $27,117 per person in 2008, more than double the spending on children…..