Research News

IPR Empirical Research Mirrors President's Speech


In President Barack Obama's October 2 speech at Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., he asked at one point, "What are the facts? What is the empirical data that would justify that position?" Though his point was to talk about a Republican push for cutting taxes and the state of the economy, below are some of the themes that are also the subject of rigorous, high-quality research by IPR faculty—and that could provide robust data and guidance for the policies in question. Below you can find the reference taken from the president's speech with links to related IPR faculty and their research.

EDUCATION: PRESCHOOL, HIGH SCHOOLS, COLLEGES, STANDARDS | HEALTHCARE | TAX REFORM | CLEAN ENERGY | GENDER EQUALITY | THE GREAT RECESSION | POLITICAL GRIDLOCK | PRESIDENTIAL STRATEGY

EDUCATION

High-quality preschool

If we make high-quality preschool available to every child, not only will we give our kids a safe place to learn and grow while their parents go to work; we’ll give them the start that they need to succeed in school, and earn higher wages, and form more stable families of their own.”

Schanzenbach
Diane Schanzenbach

Redesigning high schools


If we redesign our high schools, we’ll graduate more kids with the real-world skills that lead directly to a good job in the new economy.

Community colleges and college affordability

“We’ve invested in more than 700 community colleges—which are so often gateways to the middle class—and we’re connecting them with employers to train high school graduates for good jobs in fast-growing fields.”

  • IPR Director and education economist David Figlio examines higher education policies and practices, including how students learn in higher education settings.
  • IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum looks at employers’ hiring processes for community college graduates.
  • Northwestern President, professor, and IPR economist Morton Schapiro specializes in college financing and has written several books related to these topics.

Read more about IPR research on college affordability, in addition to a research briefing that discussed cost-effective interventions to boost low-income college enrollment.

Raising standards for learning

“That’s why we launched a Race to the Top in our schools, trained thousands of math and science teachers, supported states that raised standards for learning."

jackson
Kirabo Jackson

Read more about IPR faculty-led research interventions and experiments that aim to improve achievement in local schools.

HEALTHCARE

“[T]he third cornerstone had to be healthcare reform.”

TAX REFORM

Prasad
Monica Prasad

Between a growing economy, some prudent spending cuts, healthcare reform, and asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little bit more on their taxes, over the past five years we’ve cut our deficits by more than half.”

  • IPR sociologist Monica Prasad studies taxation and development and has written a book and numerous journal articles on the topic.

CLEAN ENERGY

“If we keep investing in clean energy technology, we won’t just put people to work on the assembly lines, pounding into place the zero-carbon components of a clean energy age; we’ll reduce our carbon emissions and prevent the worst costs of climate change down the road.”

GENDER EQUALITY

“Women now outpace men in college degrees and graduate degrees, but they often start their careers with lower pay. And that gap grows over time, and that affects their families.”

THE GREAT RECESSION

When I took office, businesses were laying off 800,000 Americans a month. ... The unemployment rate has come down from a high of 10 percent in 2009, to 6.1 percent today.”

figlio
David Figlio

"Our broader economy in the aggregate has come a long way, but the gains of recovery are not yet broadly shared -- or at least not broadly shared enough."

Read more about IPR’s Great Recession research.

POLITICAL GRIDLOCK

But if gridlock prevails, if cooperation and compromise are no longer valued, but vilified…”

  • IPR political scientist Laurel Harbridge studies many aspects of legislative cooperation or lack thereof, including partisan conflict, legislative gridlock, public approval, and legislative compromise.

PRESIDENTIAL STRATEGY

“I am not on the ballot this fall…[b]ut make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot—every single one of them.”

  • IPR political scientist Daniel Galvin is engaged in several ongoing research projects focusing on presidential strategies and how they affect the president’s party and policymaking.

Read the full coverage of President Obama's visit to Northwestern University, the first by a sitting president since Dwight D. Eisenhower, or the transcript of his speech.