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Multiple outcomes of education

Displaying 11 - 20 of 171

Florence Xiaotao Ran, Hojung Lee.

The landscape of developmental education has experienced significant shifts over the last decade nationwide, as more than 20 states and higher education systems have transitioned from the traditional prerequisite model to corequisite remediation. Drawing on administrative data from Tennessee community colleges from 2010 to 2020, this study examined the heterogeneous effects of corequisite reform for remediation-eligible students with varying levels of academic preparation. Using difference-in-differences and event study designs, we found that corequisite remediation significantly improved gateway and subsequent college-level course completion for students in all placement test score groups below the college-level threshold. For math, the positive effects on college-level course completion were stronger for higher-scoring remedial students than for those with lower placement test scores, whereas the pattern was reversed for English. However, since the corequisite reform, students requiring remediation were more likely to drop out of the public college system, and those with the lowest scores were less likely to earn short-term certificates.

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Sophie McGuinness.

Short-term certificate (STC) programs at community colleges represent a longstanding policy priority to align accelerated postsecondary credentials with job opportunities in local labor markets. Despite large investments in developing STCs, little evidence exists about where and when STCs are opened, and whether community colleges open new programs of study in coordination with labor market trends. Using public workforce and postsecondary data, I examine health and manufacturing STC program openings to understand the conditions in which STCs are launched and whether the timing of program openings correspond with labor market activity in related industries. I find that STCs are spatially aligned across labor markets within a state, but not necessarily temporally aligned with county-specific trends. One additional STC per college is associated with labor markets that had 2-3% more employment and 4-6% greater share of employment in related industry.

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Kenji Kitamura, Dana Charles McCoy, Sharon Wolf.

Children's approaches to learning (AtL) are widely recognized as a critical predictor of educational outcomes, especially in early childhood. Nevertheless, there remains a dearth of understanding regarding the dimensionality of AtL, the reciprocal dynamics between AtL and learning outcomes, and how AtL operates in non-Western contexts. This paper aims to extend the existing AtL literature by both conceptually and empirically investigating the dimensionality of the AtL scale of the International Development and Early Learning Assessment (IDELA) – a globally used measure of early childhood development – based on data from Ghanaian children newly enrolled in formal schooling. Additionally, our research explores reciprocal relationships between AtL subconstructs and academic skills over time. Our analysis identifies two dimensions within the IDELA AtL scale: Self-Regulation (SR) and Motivation. We found that children with higher levels of SR early in schooling demonstrated better literacy and numeracy skills in later grades compared to their peers with low early SR, whereas children's motivation did not predict subsequent literacy and numeracy skills. This study enhances understanding of AtL in non-Western contexts, with implications for culturally appropriate support for children’s engagement in learning.

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Sade Bonilla, Veronica Minaya.

Community colleges are a critical component of the U.S. higher education system, providing access to students from traditionally underserved communities. However, enduring challenges to completion stemming from educational, economic, and social inequities persist. Building on prior work that examines barriers to student success and their relationship to student outcomes, this descriptive study examines the relationship between students’ time utilization, engagement with campus resources, financial and mental well-being, with academic persistence. Specifically, we examine the relative importance of these barriers on students’ educational attainment. We find that the incidence of adverse mental health is comparable to 4-year undergraduate populations. The rates of food and housing insecurity are comparable to previous studies, though strikingly high. While a plurality of respondents engage with multiple campus resources, this engagement is unrelated to their propensity to remain enrolled or complete additional credits. Most notably, mental health conditions were negatively related to persistence and credit accumulation, while the relationship between academic outcomes and measures of food and housing insecurity was smaller and not significant. Our findings suggest that facilitating access to mental health supports is a prominent avenue for supporting student engagement and success.

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Takako Nomi, Michael Podgursky, Darrin DeChane.

This paper investigates patterns of racial/ethnic and gender gaps in post-secondary degree attainment trajectories by the levels of students’ pre-college academic preparation. We follow four cohorts of Missouri public high school freshmen for five years beyond on-time graduation among White, Black, and Hispanic male and female students. A composite measure of pre-college academic preparation is constructed based on test scores, GPA, attendance, and advanced course enrollment, which we label Academic Index (AI) and split students into AI Quintiles for analysis. We find large racial/ethnic gaps in AI, with the largest difference for Black male students, who are heavily concentrated in the lowest quintile. Gender gaps in academic readiness widen during high school. College enrollment is higher for Black male and female students near the average AI and below, but this advantage completely disappears for degree completion. Hispanic-White gaps emerge earlier than that of Black-White gaps as Hispanic students are less likely to graduate from high school and attend college. An important finding is that top-performing Black and Hispanic male students have much lower rates of degree completion than other top-performing students. Also, Black-White gaps are much wider in any degree attainment than in bachelor’s degree attainment, suggesting lower likelihood of completing a sub-bachelor degree among Black students. After controlling for academic preparation and the FRL status, bachelor’s degree attainment among Black and Hispanic female students are similar to, or higher than, that of White female students.

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D'Wayne Bell, John B. Holbein, Samuel Imlay, Jonathan Smith.

We study how colleges shape their students' voting habits by linking millions of SAT takers to their college-enrollment and voting histories. To begin, we show that the fraction of students from a particular college who vote varies systematically by the college's attributes (e.g. increasing with selectivity) but also that seemingly similar colleges can have markedly different voting rates. Next, after controlling for students' college application portfolios and pre-college voting behavior, we find that attending a college with a 10 percentage-point higher voting rate increases entrants' probability of voting by 4 percentage points (10 percent). This effect arises during college, persists after college, and is almost entirely driven by higher voting-rate colleges making new voters. College peers' initial voting propensity plays no discernible role.

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Lucy C. Sorensen, Andrea Headley, Stephen B. Holt.

Involvement with the juvenile justice system carries immense personal costs to youth: 30% of detained youth drop out of school (relative to 5% nationally) and 55% are re-arrested within one year. These personal costs are compounded by societal costs – both directly in $214,000 of expenses per confined youth per year – and indirectly in lost social and economic productivity. While much of the extant research on the “school-to-prison pipeline” focuses on school disciplinary practices such as suspension, less attention has been given to understanding the impact of school referrals to the juvenile justice system on students’ relationship with school. Using novel administrative data from North Carolina, we link 3 years of individual educational and disciplinary infraction records to juvenile justice system records to identify the effect of juvenile justice referrals for school-based offenses on student academic and behavioral outcomes. We find that, even for the same offense type and circumstance, relative to students only punished for infractions internally in the school, students referred to juvenile justice experience lower academic achievement, increased absenteeism, and are more likely to be involved in future juvenile system contact. We show that these juvenile referrals are not inevitable and instead reflect a series of discretionary choices made by school administrators and law enforcement. Moreover, we examine demographic disparities in school-based referrals to juvenile justice and find that female students, Black students, and economically disadvantaged students are more likely to receive referrals even for the same offense type and circumstances.

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Christopher Cleveland, Ethan Scherer.

Education leaders must identify valid metrics to predict student long-term success. We exploit a unique dataset containing data on cognitive skills, self-regulation, behavior, course performance, and test scores for 8th-grade students. We link these data to data on students' high school outcomes, college enrollment, persistence, and on-time degree completion. Cognitive tests and survey-based self-regulation measures predict high school and college outcomes. However, these relationships become small and lose statistical significance when we control for test scores and a behavioral index. For leaders hoping to identify the best on-track indicators for college completion, the information collected in student longitudinal data systems better predicts both short- and long-run educational outcomes than these survey-based measures of self-regulation and cognitive skills.

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Maciej Jakubowski, Tomasz Gajderowicz, Harry Anthony Patrinos.

The COVID-19 pandemic resulted in significant disruption in schooling worldwide. This paper uses global test score data to estimate learning losses. It models the effect of school closures on achievement by predicting the deviation of the most recent results from a linear trend using data from all rounds of the Programme for International Student Assessment. Scores declined by an average of 14 percent of a standard deviation, roughly equal to seven months of learning. Losses were greater for students in schools that faced relatively longer closures, boys, immigrants, and disadvantaged students. Educational losses may translate into significant national income losses over time.

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Catherine Armstrong Asher, Ethan Scherer, James S. Kim, Johanna Norshus Tvedt.

We leverage log data from an educational app and two-way text message records from over 3,500 students during the summers of 2019 and 2020, along with in-depth interviews in Spanish and English, to identify patterns of family engagement with educational technology. Based on the type and timing of technology use, we identify several distinct profiles of engagement, which we group into two categories: Independent Users who engage with technology-based educational software independently, and Interaction-Supported Users who use two-way communications to support their engagement. We also find that as the demands of families from schools increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, Spanish-speaking families were significantly more likely than English-speaking families to engage with educational technology across all categories of families, particularly as Interaction-Supported Users.

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