Education

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Can Public Schools Close the Race Gap? Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, 26(1): 7-30.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E., Gould & I.E.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size - implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District

Disentangling the Racial Test Score Gap: Probing the Evidence in a Large Urban School District
Journal of Policy Analysis & Management, Winter 2007, Vol. 26 Issue 1, p7-30, 24p.

Stiefel, L., Schwartz, A.E. & Ellen, I.G.
01/01/2007

We examine the size and distribution of the gap in test scores across races within New York City public schools and the factors that explain these gaps. While gaps are partially explained by differences in student characteristics, such as poverty, differences in schools attended are also important. At the same time, substantial within-school gaps remain and are only partly explained by differences in academic preparation across students from different race groups. Controlling for differences in classrooms attended explains little of the remaining gap, suggesting little role for within-school inequities in resources. There is some evidence that school characteristics matter. Race gaps are negatively correlated with school size-implying small schools may be helpful. In addition, the trade-off between the size and experience of the teaching staff in urban schools may carry unintended consequences for within-school race gaps.

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts

From Districts to Schools: The Distribution of Resources across Schools in Big City School Districts
Economics of Education Review, 26: 532-545.

Rubenstein, R. & Schwartz, A.E., Stiefel, L.
01/01/2007

This paper explores the determinants of resource allocation across schools in large districts and examines options for improving resource distribution patterns. Previous research on intra-district allocations consistently reveals resource disparities across schools within districts, particularly in the distribution of teachers. While overall expenditures are sometimes related to the characteristics of students in schools, the ratio of teachers per pupil is consistently larger in high-poverty, high-minority and low-performing schools. These teachers, though, generally have lower experience and education levels - and consequently, lower salaries - as compared to teachers in more advantaged schools. We explore these patterns in New York City,  Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio by estimating de facto expenditure equations relating resource measures to school and student characteristics. Consistent with previous research, we find schools that have higher percentages
of poor pupils receive more money and have more teachers per pupil, but the teachers tend to be less educated and less well paid, with a particularly consistent pattern in New York City schools. The paper concludes with policy options for changing intradistrict resource distributions in order to promote more efficient, more equitable or more effective use of resources. These options include allocating dollars rather than teacher positions to schools, providing teacher pay differentials in hard-to-staff schools and subjects, and adapting current district-based funding formulas to the school (and student) level.

Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance

Measuring Equity and Adequacy in School Finance
Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy. Edited by Ladd, Helen F. and Ted Fiske. Laurence Erlbaum Associates, New York,

Downes, T. & Stiefel, L.
01/01/2007

The Handbook traces the evolution of the field from its initial focus on school inputs (per pupil expenditures) and the revenue sources (property taxes, state aid programs, etc) used to finance these inputs to a focus on educational outcomes (student achievement) and the larger policies used to achieve them. It shows how the current decision-making context in school finance inevitably interacts with those of governance, accountability, equity, privatization, and other areas of education policy. Because a full understanding of the important contemporary issues requires inputs from a variety of perspectives, the Handbook draws on contributors from a variety of disciplines.

What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners?

What Do Business Improvement Districts Do for Property Owners?
Proceedings of the Annual Conference on Taxation, p431-437, 7p

Schwartz, A.E., Ellen, I.G. & Meltzer, R.
01/01/2007

The article discusses the implication of business improvement districts (BIDS) to property owners in the U.S. The scheme first arrived in the country in mid-1970s when urban centers were losing both residents and businesses to suburbs. Such scheme is beneficial to companies because it delivers fair basic services such as security, maintenance, marketing and capital improvements.

Dueling Schemata: Dialectical Sensemaking About Gender

Dueling Schemata: Dialectical Sensemaking About Gender
Journal of Applied Behavioral Science Vol. 42, No. 3, 350-372.

Foldy, E.G.
09/01/2006

Recent scholarship has shown that, despite the broad representation of women in the workplace, gender inequities in organizations remain widespread. Because gender schema ”embedded ways of thinking about men and women” contribute to this phenomenon, addressing such mental models should be a part of gender equity initiatives. This article provides data that suggest that some individuals hold within themselves quite contradictory schemas of men and of women. It then illustrates how individuals can use these internal inconsistencies to push through superficial understandings of gender to more complex ones. By facilitating this learning process in training and other kinds of organizational events, change agents can strengthen organizational efforts to achieve gender equity.

Do Good High Schools Produce Good College Students? Early Evidence From New York City

Do Good High Schools Produce Good College Students? Early Evidence From New York City
In Advances in Applied Microeconomics, Volume 14, Improving School Accountability: Check-Ups or Choice, edited by T. J. Gronberg and D.W. Jansen,

Schwartz, A.E & Bel Hadj Amor, H. & Stiefel, L.
06/12/2006

We examine variation in high school and college outcomes across New York City public high schools. Using data on 80,000 students who entered high school in 1998 and following them into the City University of New York, we investigate whether schools that produce successful high school students also produce successful college students. We also explore differences in performance across sex, race, and immigration, and we briefly explore selection issues. Specifically, we estimate student-level regressions with school fixed effects, controlling for student characteristics, to identify better and worse performing schools based on state mandated exams, graduation, and college performance.

Predicting Cognitive Control From Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood

Predicting Cognitive Control From Preschool to Late Adolescence and Young Adulthood
Psychological Science, June 2006, Vol. 17 Issue 6, p478-484, 7p.

Eigsti, I., Zayas, V., Mischel, W., Shoda, Y., Ayduk. O., Dadlani, M.B., Davidson, M.C., Aber, J.L. & Casey, B.J.
06/01/2006

In this longitudinal study, the proportion of time preschoolers directed their attention away from rewarding stimuli during a delay-of-gratification task was positively associated with efficiency (greater speed without reduced accuracy) at responding to targets in a go/no-go task more than 10 years later. The overall findings suggest that preschoolers' ability to effectively direct their attention away from tempting aspects of the rewards in a delay-of-gratification task may be a developmental precursor for the ability to perform inhibitory tasks such as the go/no-go task years later. Because performance on the go/no-go task has previously been characterized as involving activation of fronto-striatal regions, the present findings also suggest that performance in the delay-of-gratification task may serve as an early marker of individual differences in the functional integrity of this circuitry.

Is there a Nativity Gap? New Evidence on the Academic Performance of Immigrant Students

Is there a Nativity Gap? New Evidence on the Academic Performance of Immigrant Students
Education Finance and Policy. Vol. 1, No. 1, Pages 17-49. March 29,

Schwartz, A.E. & Stiefel, L.
03/29/2006

Public schools across the United States are educating an increasing number and diversity of immigrant students. Unfortunately, little is known about their performance relative to native-born students and the extent to which the "nativity gap" might be explained by school and demographic characteristics. This article takes a step toward filling that void using data from New York City where 17 percent of elementary and middle school students are immigrants. We explore disparities in performance between foreign-born and native-born students on reading and math tests in three ways�using levels (unadjusted scores), "value-added" scores (adjusted for prior performance), and an education production function. While unadjusted levels and value-added measures often indicate superior performance among immigrants, disparities are substantially explained by student and school characteristics. Further, while the nativity gap differs for students from different world regions, disparities are considerably diminished in fully specified models. We conclude with implications for urban schools in the United States.

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