Reports & Research

Updated: August 7, 2018

 

Research Shows That When It Comes...

Schools in the United States are among the most inequitably funded of any in the industrialized world. These inequities in funding - which impact everything from class sizes to course offerings to teaching quality - create dramatic disparities in educational opportunities and outcomes for children. Students from low-income families and students of color experience the greatest disparities.

A new research brief released on July 17 by Learning Policy Institute shows that investing in these students and their schools can reduce those disparities. The brief, How Money Matters for Schools, draws on a large body of research that establishes that school resources are associated with higher student achievement. Moreover, research indicates that ensuring that schools with a large number of low-income students get adequate and equitable resources improves test scores and graduation rates. The brief summarizes the findings in a longer report and suggests ways states can use this knowledge to develop policies that ensure all schools are adequately funded and all students have the opportunity to receive a high-quality education. The brief’s author, Bruce Baker, a professor at Rutgers Graduate School of Education, also addresses long-standing counter arguments that money doesn’t make a difference and explains the flaws in earlier methodologies....

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Parents Prefer Armed Police...

After a school year marked by two of the deadliest school shootings in American history, parents’ fear for their children’s safety at school is at its highest point in two decades. But the public is skeptical that arming teachers or staff is the answer, broadly preferring measures such as armed police, mental health screenings, or metal detectors.

Strikingly, two-thirds of public school parents would prefer that their child’s teacher not carry a gun, including more than 80 percent of black and Hispanic parents.

These are just some of the findings from the latest edition of the annual Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools, the defining public opinion survey on American public education for the past 50 years. This year, PDK has elected to make results on school safety and guns available before the full poll results, which will be released in late August....

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PPIC Report: California’s K-12 Test Scores...

(Editor’s note: On Jun 26, the Public Policy Institute of California released a 26-page report analyzing data from California’s standardized testing of students. The following text contains the report’s conclusions. A link to the complete report can be found at the end of this article.)

California’s test scores in mathematics and English provide important information about the state’s K-12 system. Most importantly, the results inform parents, teachers, school administrators, and state policymakers about our children’s success in mastering these two basic subjects. In addition, test scores represent the only academic performance measures for students in elementary and middle schools used in the state’s K-12 accountability system. Thus, the data are central to evaluating whether schools and districts are performing adequately....

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Analysis: the Cost of Summer Child Care...

On June 11, the Center for American Progress released a new 50-state analysis looking at families’ ability to afford summer child care by calculating and juxtaposing the median income for a typical family of four and the expected cost of summer programming for 2018. The analysis assumes that the typical family in 2018 will, on average, enroll children in summer programs for five weeks - the average number of weeks children in the United States were enrolled in 2014. However, the national average length of summer vacation is 10 weeks. Key findings from the analysis include:

The typical family currently spends 20 percent of the income they’ll earn this summer ($3,048) for just five weeks of summer programming....

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Career Technical Education in California...

Career technical education is critical to meeting the state’s workforce needs.
If current trends continue, roughly one-third of new jobs in California will require some training beyond high school but less than a four-year degree. Career technical education (CTE), also known as vocational training, connects students to these career opportunities by providing industry-based skills. In addition to improving career options in the short term, CTE can provide pathways to higher education; for example, about a third of high school CTE courses meet the admission requirements for California’s public four-year universities.

Public high schools and community colleges are the primary providers of CTE....

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K-12 Reforms and California’s English Learner...

(Editor’s note: In May, the Public Policy Institute of California released a report by researcher Laura Hill examining issues relating to California’s students who are English Learners. The summary of Hill’s report appears below, along with a link to the complete 14-page document.)

English Learner (EL) students have been a key part of California’s K-12 system for decades. They currently make up about 21 percent of the public school population.

English Learner status is meant to be temporary, and indeed, reclassified English Learners (those who are deemed English proficient) are among the best-performing students in the state. But students who remain ELs for longer periods generally have poor outcomes....

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New Report Shows Overall Crime at Schools Has Declined...

Crime in the nation's schools and college campuses has declined over the past two decades, according to a new report from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES). However, the report also shows racial disparities in student discipline and a significant increase in the number of forcible sex crimes reported on college campuses.

The new report, Indicators of School Crime and Safety 2015, is the 18th in a series of annual publications produced jointly by NCES, in the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences, and the Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) in the U.S. Department of Justice.

The report presents statistics on crime and safety at schools and on college campuses, drawing upon an array of data collected from students, teachers, principals, and postsecondary institutions....

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Study: Gay Male Teens Trying Adult Hookup Apps...

Although hookup apps require users to be 18 or older, a new Northwestern Medicine study found that more than 50 percent of sexually active gay and bisexual boys ages 14 to 17 met male sexual partners on apps such as Grindr and Scruff. 

It also was common for these teens to use the apps to connect with friends and find new gay, bisexual and queer friends and boyfriends, which sheds new light on who uses adult male hookup apps and why. 

The study was published today, May 18, in the Journal of Adolescent Health. It is the first known study to document that gay and bisexual teenage boys use sex and dating apps designed for adult men to find male partners. The apps provide users with a virtual networking space specifically for gay and bisexual men and overcome the need to figure out a potential partner’s or friend’s sexuality....

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PPIC Report Details Statistics on Immigrants...

California has more immigrants than any other state.
California is home to more than 10 million immigrants-about a quarter of the foreign-born population nationwide. In 2016, the most current year of data, 27% of California’s population was foreign born, about twice the US percentage. Foreign-born residents represented more than 30% of the population in seven California counties; in descending order, these counties are Santa Clara, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Mateo, Alameda, Monterey, and Orange. Half of California children have at least one immigrant parent.

California has had high shares of foreign-born residents for decades....

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PPIC Study: Recent Immigrants More Likely than U.S.-Born...

According to a recently-released study by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC), recent immigrants are more likely than US-born Californians to be college graduates.
The study found that in 2016, 51% of working-age immigrants (aged 25 to 64) who had lived in California for five years or less had bachelor’s or graduate degrees, while 10% had minimal formal education (middle school or less). Educational attainment among newly arrived adult immigrants has increased markedly since 1980, when 15% had graduated from college and 37% had minimal formal education. In fact, recent immigrants have had bigger gains than US-born residents: the share of college graduates among US-born Californians increased from 21% in 1980 to 37% in 2016....

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Poll: Voters Worried About School Shootings...

An overwhelming majority of Californians are concerned about the threat of a mass shooting in their local schools in the wake of the Parkland, Florida, killings. But a majority also oppose allowing more teachers and school officials to carry guns in schools. These are among the key findings of a statewide survey on education released on April 11 by the Public Policy Institute of California (PPIC).

When asked about school shootings, 73 percent of California adults and 82 percent of public school parents say they are very or somewhat concerned. Democrats (55%) are much more likely than independents (36%) and far more likely than Republicans (24%) to say they are very concerned. The survey, which began just after the March for Our Lives protests against gun violence, found that across racial/ethnic groups, Latinos (68%) and African Americans (57%) are more likely to be very concerned than Asian Americans (49%) and whites (34%)....

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