Recent Education Policy Research

Evaluations of Education Interventions and Programs

Upward Mobility’s Psychological Effects
Psychologists have long studied how people’s socioeconomic status (SES) affects them, but less attention has been paid to the impact of changing SES on academic and psychological well-being. IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin is conducting a study supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) with fellow investigator, IPR adjunct faculty Jennifer Richeson of Yale University, that focuses on understanding the psychological effects of status changes. They are examining the academic achievement and psychological well-being of students during a critical time—the college years and just after—in their pursuit of upward mobility, which is a key mode of status transition. They hope to demonstrate that the uncertainty of status transition has an impact on college outcomes. By treating SES as a dynamic process, the project also opens the door for new research into the subtleties of how changes in an individual’s SES can influence thoughts, behaviors, and important life outcomes. If the researchers can establish a causal relationship between the uncertainty of status-based identity and college achievement, they will be able to seek ways to improve college outcomes for students from low-SES backgrounds.

Mesmin Destin
IPR social psychologist Mesmin Destin's work
focuses on social and psychological factors that
contribute to disparities in educational outcomes
from middle school through early adulthood.

Academic Achievement and Health
Adolescents from low-SES backgrounds are likely to have health challenges even if they achieve success in school. Destin began a research study in collaboration with Evanston School District 202, which educates more than 3,000 high school students, to learn whether a school-based intervention to increase school motivation and academic outcomes for disadvantaged adolescents benefits students’ health. The study will test whether participating in groups that encourage academic motivation and provide social support and connection leads to higher academic achievement and better health for low-SES students. The five-year project is supported by the William T. Grant Foundation.

Opening Paths to Think About College
When middle-school students from families with fewer financial assets think about college, they tend to see it as too expensive. In two field experiments, Destin provided rising eighth graders with college financial-aid information. Control groups received no college handout in one experiment and a general handout about college costs in the other. In both experiments, the students who learned about possibilities for financial aid saw an “open path” for themselves to attend college. In the first study, the open-path information increased in-school motivation for children from families with lower assets, who demonstrated their intention to spend more time on schoolwork than the control group. In the second study, the students from low-asset families who saw an open path to college became more motivated to attend college and to pursue goals that require a college education. The findings appear in The Journal of Early Adolescence.

Low-SES Enrollment in Math and Science
High school students from lower-SES backgrounds are less likely to enroll in advanced mathematics and science courses than their higher-SES peers. In research published in AERA Open, Destin, Northwestern graduate student Ryan Svoboda, and their colleagues use data from a longitudinal study to assess the role of parents’ education and motivations on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) course-taking in high school and college. The researchers followed families starting in middle school through high school and college. They reveal that parents who attended college had higher aspirations for their children to take math and science courses and their children were more likely to enroll in such courses in high school and college. But they also find that motivated parents with any level of education who had high expectations for their children also influenced students to enroll in STEM courses, suggesting that there might be interventions to encourage students from lower-SES backgrounds to take STEM courses no matter their parents’ education.

Culture and School Achievement
Why do some immigrant children do better in school than others? Education economist and IPR Director David Figlio, finance professor and IPR associate Paola Sapienza, Paola Giuliano of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Umut Özek of the American Institutes for Research isolate the importance of immigrants’ home country culture on their academic achievement. With access to linked education and birth records from Florida, with its more than four million foreign-born inhabitants, the researchers find that immigrant students from cultures that emphasize the importance of delayed gratification perform better than students from cultures that do not. Students from such long-term oriented cultures, when compared with other immigrant students and native-born students, have higher test scores, fewer absences and disciplinary incidents, are less likely to repeat a grade, and are more likely to graduate from high school. They are also more likely to take advanced classes in high school, especially in scientific subjects. In an IPR working paper, the researchers validate their analysis using data from 37 countries, and the findings consistently indicate that the results also hold true for immigrants to countries other than the United States. Figlio is Orrington Lunt Professor of Education and Social Policy and of Economics, and Sapienza is the Donald C. Clark/HSBC Chair in Consumer Finance.

Immigrants and Academic Achievement
In an additional study using the Florida data that match administrative records and student records, Figlio and Özek ask another question about immigrant students: Do first-, second-, and third-generation immigrants perform differently in school? They examine results from reading and math tests, disciplinary and truancy records, high school graduation rates, and readiness for college upon high school graduation for Asian and Hispanic immigrants. They find that first-generation immigrants, who arrive in third grade or earlier, perform better than second-generation immigrants, who, in turn, perform better than third-generation immigrants. The U.S.-born children of foreign-born parents, no matter when they arrived in the United States, tend to do better than others from the same ethnicity who have lived longer in the country. These findings have implications for immigration policy: Policymakers should consider that although newly arrived immigrant children initially struggle in school and require considerable resources, they catch up very quickly to their native-born, ethnic peers, and the younger ones tend to outperform those peers.

School Quality Benefits Boys More
The high school graduation rate for girls is five percentage points higher than for boys, and the female college graduation rate exceeds the male rate by seven percentage points. Evidence indicates that the quality and quantity of inputs received in childhood affect boys differently than girls. School quality is one input that has received little attention. In their recent research published in the American Economic Review that used Florida school and birth records, Figlio, IPR research associate Krzysztof Karbownik, and their colleagues investigate opposite-sex siblings who attended the same set of schools. Looking at middle school test scores, absences, and suspensions, they find that attending higher-quality schools benefits boys more than girls.

Race, Parents, and Principals
Research has shown that teachers who are the same ethnicity as their students rate their students’ behavior in the classroom more favorably. But how does an educator’s ethnicity affect how he or she perceives and manages school-related interactions with parents? IPR education sociologist Simone Ispa-Landa analyzed interviews with 26 white, African-American, and Hispanic principals in high-poverty, majority-black, and majority-Hispanic schools, resulting in 166 interviews and 71 hours of field observation of the principals. All of the principals shared the same views on what parents’ proper role in schooling should be, but they had differences in how they tried to manage parents who did not meet their expectations. For example, only African-American and Hispanic principals sought one-on-one contact with parents they found challenging, while white principals reported routinely using the police to manage black and Hispanic parents.

Improving Academic Achievement

Family Disadvantage and the Gender Gap
Great gains have been made in closing the overall gender gap in academic achievement and attainment over the last 40 years. Looking more closely at these changes, Figlio, Karbownik, and their colleagues find that among minority families there remain systematically larger gender gaps in achievement scores and in rates of high school graduation and disciplinary problems. African-American and Hispanic girls have fared far better than boys in disadvantaged families compared with their white counterparts. Utilizing a dataset that matches Florida birth and school records, the researchers not only compare school-age boys’ and girls’ outcomes between ethnicities but also within families. In their working paper, the researchers conclude that a “sizable portion” of the difference in educational and behavioral gender gaps between whites and minorities is attributable to greater family disadvantage among minority families. Because more African-American families are low-SES, the gender gap is especially pronounced among them. An important finding is that the gender differences are not present at birth, even in low-SES families, but are rather a “causal effect” of disadvantaged family life on child development.

Math Tutoring Closes Achievement Gap
In an ongoing study, IPR economist Jonathan Guryan and researchers at the University of Chicago’s Urban Education Lab, which he co-directs, continue to evaluate a daily two-on-one math-tutoring program called Match, provided by SAGA Innovations. Implementing a randomized controlled trial in neighborhood high schools in the Chicago Public Schools system, the researchers show that students enrolled in the tutoring program for just one year improved their performance on a standardized math test enough to reduce the test-score gap between black and white students by one-third, performed better in math and other classes, were more engaged in school, and were less likely to be arrested for a violent crime. In 2016, Guryan and his colleagues implemented and analyzed the results from an additional year of programming, and the results from that second year replicate their initial results, which are as strong or even stronger than the first year’s. They are also analyzing results from the implementation of the tutoring program in New York City. 

The Science of Scale-Up
In another aspect of the Match/SAGA tutoring research, Guryan and his colleagues are undertaking a new study in Chicago Public Schools. Using a method they developed, they are studying the effectiveness of the tutoring program at a scale that is larger than it is currently implemented. In a March 28 presentation at The Hamilton Project in Washington, D.C., Guryan recommended a national scale-up of the intensive tutoring program because studies have found the program increases math test scores, and because it has the potential to narrow the black-white test score gap by almost one-third. He urged school districts to use their Title I funds to implement the program.

Mentoring Improves School Attendance
In testing the success of another program, Guryan evaluated an intervention intended to increase students’ attendance and engagement at school. He and his co-investigators assess a mentoring, monitoring, and case management program called Check & Connect (C&C). In a four-year randomized-controlled trial, C&C was implemented in 23 neighborhood Chicago elementary schools, serving 765 students in first through eighth grades. Mentors were full-time employees who met regularly with 30–35 students over two years, monitoring their attendance and academic progress. The researchers find that students in fifth to seventh grades had significantly fewer absences and failed fewer courses, although there were no effects on grade point average or test scores. There were no significant effects on C&C participant students in first to fourth grade. The program’s impact on the students was larger in the second year, suggesting that the mentor-student relationship is key to the program’s successes. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, and the William T. Grant Foundation provided research funding.

Rating Educational Technology
On March 28 at The Hamilton Project in Washington, D.C., strategy professor and IPR associate Benjamin Jones and Duke University’s Aaron Chatterji discussed their proposal for an online platform, called EDUSTAR, to evaluate K–12 education technologies. The platform, which has been piloted since 2012, uses intuitive star ratings, similar to those of the nonprofit Consumer Reports, for educational technology programs. The platform is based on rigorous and continuous evaluation of educational technology, and the researchers believe that such evaluation can spur innovation in the educational technology market. Past research has found mixed results for new technology in schools, the researchers explain, and EDUSTAR will help teachers, parents, and schools make more informed choices about the most effective digital learning activities. Jones is Gordon and Llura Gund Family Professor of Entrepreneurship.

policy briefing
Then-U.S. Representative Bob Dold (R–10th) of
Illiniois discusses the evidence on early childhood
education with IPR Director David Figlio (middle)
and IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach.

What Do Test Scores Miss?
Standardized test scores are the traditional measure of teachers’ effects on students. But it is widely acknowledged that standardized tests do not measure many noncognitive skills, such as adaptability, self-restraint, and motivation, which are key to becoming successful adults. In work supported by the Smith Richardson Foundation, IPR economist Kirabo Jackson looks to provide evidence on how better to identify high-quality teachers who improve students’ outcomes in school and beyond. Using data on all public school ninth graders in North Carolina from 2005–12, he examines other, longer-term, outcomes beyond student test scores—absences, suspensions, course grades, and on-time grade progression—that he establishes are influenced by teachers. Compared with using only standardized test scores, using both test scores and the alternative measures more than doubles the predictable variability of teacher effects on these longer-run outcomes. His research will help school districts correctly value students’ noncognitive skills that teachers shape and allow them to evaluate teachers more comprehensively.

The Effects of Single-Sex Schools
Many parents and educators believe in the superiority of single-sex education, but existing studies on single-sex schooling are flawed because students who attend single-sex schools differ in unmeasured ways from those who do not. In 2010, the Ministry of Education in the Caribbean nation of Trinidad and Tobago converted 20 low-performing secondary schools from coed to single-sex. This change provided Jackson an opportunity to isolate the causal effect of single-sex schooling from other confounding factors by comparing outcomes in coeducational and single-sex classrooms with the same teachers, schooling environments, and external supports. He finds that three years after being assigned to an either all-boy or all-girl secondary school, both boys and girls have higher scores on standardized tests. Five years later, they are more likely to take and pass advanced courses. Ultimately, both boys and girls are more likely to complete secondary school and continue to college. He also establishes that boys who attended the single-sex schools are less likely to have been arrested. Though Jackson’s findings might not hold in all contexts, he demonstrates that single-sex education can be an effective and low-cost way to improve student outcomes. The Spencer Foundation provided project funding.

‘Off-the-Shelf’ Lessons
As online lesson plans become more accessible to teachers in traditional classrooms, questions remain about the effects of this new technology. In an IPR working paper, Jackson and IPR graduate research assistant Alexey Makarin conducted an experiment in which they randomly assigned middle-school math teachers to receive high-quality “off-the-shelf” lessons. They discover that providing teachers with online access to these lessons increased students’ math achievement by 0.06 of a standard deviation, while providing access to the lessons along with supports to promote their use increased math achievement by 0.09 of a standard deviation. Yet they also uncover variation by teacher strength: Weaker teachers were more likely to benefit from access to these online lessons. Jackson and Makarin suggest that weaker teachers were able to use the lesson plans to compensate for their own skill deficiencies. The findings suggest that providing online access to high-quality instructional materials is more scalable and cost-effective than most policies aimed at improving teacher quality.

Delaying Kindergarten Entrance
There is a widespread belief that being the oldest in the class is a good thing for students, which has led parents—particularly in affluent areas—to delay, or “redshirt,” their children’s entrance into kindergarten. In Education Finance and Policy, IPR economist Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach and Elizabeth Cascio of Dartmouth College tease out the components of the relationship between a child’s age and academic success: the child’s age at school entry, age at the time of standardized testing (the commonly used measure of academic achievement), and age relative to the peer group. They focus on the third of these—a child’s age in relation to his or her peers. Using a dataset from Tennessee’s Project STAR (Student-Teacher Achievement Ratio), they observe and compare children who entered school at the same age, but were randomly assigned to kindergarten classrooms with different class ages on average. Rather than observing benefits for children who were older relative to their classmates, Schanzenbach and Cascio find younger students gained an advantage from being with older classmates. Students who were younger than their peers tended to have higher test scores up to eight years after kindergarten and were more likely to take a college-entrance exam.

Terri Sabol
Developmental psychologist and
IPR associate Terri Sabol examines
how to assess preschool quality,
adding to evidence that class
environment and teacher-child
interactions are key for students.

Measuring Preschool Quality
At IPR’s May 17 research briefing in Washington, D.C., “Ready for School, Ready for Life,” Terri Sabol, a developmental psychologist and IPR associate, noted that preschool “quality” has become a “buzzword.” To better define what quality preschool means, she enumerated two ways to think about it: classrooms’ structural features, which comprise issues of health and safety, class size, staff qualifications, and curriculum, or “process-oriented measures,” such as class environments and teacher-child interactions. Today, states mainly use the Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS) as their primary tool for gauging quality. The QRIS rates preschools on a number of key factors determined by each state, including both structural and process-oriented elements. The problem with such systems, Sabol explained, is that their rollout has “far outpaced the evidence.” To “get under the hood” of understanding high-quality preschool, Sabol and her colleagues tested whether current QRIS ratings are linked to better learning outcomes. They uncovered that structural improvements such as lower staff-child ratios and teachers with more education did not lead to added student benefits. What did matter, however, were class environment and teacher-child interactions. Sabol pointed out that these results are key for not only defining preschool quality and scaling up high-quality programs, but also for training teachers to engage in high-quality, high-impact interactions with their preschoolers.

Accountability in Higher Education
In the Journal of Economic Perspectives, Figlio and David Deming of the Harvard Graduate School of Education draw four lessons from 30 years of research findings in K–12 education, which could be applied to higher education. First, using strong rewards and sanctions leads schools to concentrate on what is measured—such as math—and neglect what is not—such as critical thinking, maturity, and open-mindedness. Second, the devil is in the details of accountability metric designs. If proficiency is emphasized, then schools have a strong incentive to focus on “bubble” students who are borderline; but if value-added gains on test scores over the previous year is the metric, then schools might reduce efforts in one testing period to make the measured improvement larger—the so-called “ratchet effect.” Third, the more accountability measures increase, the more strategic responses grow, and grow in complexity. Fourth, research has demonstrated that accountability works best at the lowest performing schools where students have the fewest choices. In the more complex world of higher education, where common goals and standards are rarer than in K–12 education, accountability might be elusive. The authors argue that accountability is likely to have the most impact on the parts of the higher education market that are the least competitive, are mostly taxpayer supported, and tend to have worse student outcomes, such as poor graduation rates.

School Spending and Student Outcomes

School Finance Reform Effects
“[S]chool finance reform is perhaps the most important education policy change in the United States in the last half century,” according to Schanzenbach and fellow researchers Julien Lafortune and Jesse Rothstein of University of California, Berkeley. In research supported by the Spencer Foundation and the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the authors examine the impact of “adequacy” school-finance reforms in the 1990s that raised funding levels of poorer school districts to guarantee equal access to “an adequate education.” These reforms sometimes resulted in higher spending in these poorer school districts than in higher-income ones. Using data from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as “the Nation’s report card,” for 1990–2011, the researchers determine that school finance reforms reduce the test-score gap between low- and high-income districts. “Money can and does matter in education,” they conclude. They find, however, that the test-score gap between low- and higher-income students in a state is not reduced by school finance reforms because the average low-income student does not live in a low-income district.

The Gap Between Practice and Policy
Many education researchers aim to provide research that educators will find useful, whether it is testing classroom innovations or the efficacy of policies and programs. Federal policy also encourages education research that can affect policy and practice. Yet there is a large gap between research and practice, and it is not clear how educational leaders view and utilize research. Social policy professor and IPR associate Cynthia Coburn and her colleagues from the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Colorado Boulder investigate what research school district leaders find useful in Educational Policy. Through surveys and interviews, the researchers learned that although district leaders did use research as federal policies intend—to select among curricula, programs, and interventions—the kinds of research the leaders find useful are not primarily peer-reviewed journal articles. Instead, they find frameworks and practical guidance from books more useful. District leaders can and do rely on research to make decisions, but they choose pieces produced by scholars that provide actionable frameworks for guiding action. These findings suggest that researchers need to better understand, and address, the needs of school district leaders when communicating results to them.

Common Core’s Implementation
In Educational Researcher, Coburn, education and social policy professor and IPR associate James Spillane, and Harvard education professor Heather Hill state that we are at an important moment in education research. American public education is facing rigorous new standards—the Common Core State Standards (CCSS), adopted by more than 40 states—and new accountability mechanisms. The researchers provide a conceptual framework for investigating if and how the CCSS and new approaches to school accountability interact to influence teaching and learning in the classroom. They argue that existing variation across states and districts in both the strength of accountability and in the degree of alignment between policies and the educational infrastructure creates an excellent opportunity for work that can advance implementation research. The authors outline a systematic research agenda to gauge the extent of implementation and influence of the CCSS and accountability policies. Spillane is Spencer T. and Ann W. Olin Professor in Learning and Organizational Change.

College Transitions and Persistence

Community College Expectations
Many community college students have difficulty graduating. Only 37 percent of high school graduates finish an associate’s degree or higher in eight years, and disadvantaged students fare worse. Researchers have focused on how and why students have not met colleges’ expectations, but few have examined the expectations that students have for their college and college experience. In Research in Higher Education, IPR education researcher James Rosenbaum, Northwestern’s Kelly Iwanaga Becker, IPR graduate research assistant Claudia Zapata-Gietl, and former IPR research coordinator Kennan Cepa, now a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, ask instead: Do colleges fail to meet students’ expectations? To answer this question, the authors define a new concept, “institutional confidence”—or students’ level of certainty that their college will meet their expectations for future outcomes. Surveying 757 students in eight community colleges and two private occupational colleges, Rosenbaum and his colleagues find students’ institutional confidence is lower in community colleges than in the occupational colleges in three key areas: dependable progress to credentials, relevant courses, and job contacts. When students lacked confidence in the college, they tended not to stay enrolled. Community colleges, the researchers conclude, can and should take action to improve students’ institutional confidence and thereby improve students’ degree completion, job placement, and earnings.

Lindsay Chase-Lansdale, James Rosenbaum
IPR developmental psychologist Lindsay
Chase-Lansdale and IPR education
researcher James Rosenbaum discuss
education policy with Charles Ashby
Lewis (right), chairman of the Lewis-
Sebring Family Foundation.

Careers for Community College Graduates
In additional work using the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) to study community college students, Rosenbaum and his colleagues examine the education and employment of 2004 high school graduates compared with that of 1992 high school graduates, tracked in the National Education Longitudinal Survey (NELS). A key finding is that more high school graduates are completing certificate programs than before, although there was almost no change in the completion of associate’s and bachelor’s degrees. In both two- and four-year schools, students in the bottom third of test scores and SES earned more certificates. The researchers confirm earlier studies about the economic benefits of obtaining sub-baccalaureate credentials, but they also try to understand the nonmonetary job rewards for these graduates. To do so, they use data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health (AddHealth). Their analysis reveals that job satisfaction was less strongly related to earnings than to rewards such as autonomy, career relevance, and career preparation. Both graduates with associate’s and bachelor’s degrees have similar nonmonetary job rewards, sometimes at the same level (autonomy, satisfaction, health benefits), and sometimes at a lower level (strenuous, irregular hours). Certificate holders report fewer job rewards than the degree holders but higher satisfaction, autonomy, and job status than high school graduates. Finally, the researchers examine how students’ low-SES and low test scores might affect college completion. Although higher SES, higher test scores, and plans to graduate with a bachelor’s degree all significantly increase the likelihood of students graduating with a bachelor’s, these factors do not increase the odds of receiving an associate’s degree or certificate—and might actually decrease them. Certificates and associate’s degrees offer a “more level playing field” for students from low-SES backgrounds with low test scores. The researchers suggest that this perhaps surprising finding merits more research and better outreach about sub-baccalaureate programs to lower-income and lower-scoring students. The research appears in RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences.

Flexible Duty-Hour Policies for Residents
IPR education researcher and statistician Larry Hedges and his colleagues investigate an important tension in the advanced education of surgeons. Work hours of surgical residents are limited to protect patients—the most important outcome—and the health and well-being of the residents. Yet restricted hours mean that residents have to interrupt the continuity of care of their patients and their own opportunity to learn and see procedures through. Beginning in 2003, the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) began limiting resident on-duty shifts to 80 hours per week, capping overnight shift lengths, and mandating time off between shifts. Hedges and his fellow researchers conducted a cluster-randomized trial that divided surgical residency programs between those that adhered to the ACGME guidelines and those that allowed more flexibility in hours for surgical residents but still imposed limitations on shift length and time off. The flexible, less-restrictive duty-hour policies did not result in an increased rate of patient death or serious complications. Nor did the flexible hours lead to a lower rate of residents’ own personal safety or satisfaction with the educational quality of their program. At the same time, however, residents who experienced the flexible duty-hour policy did recognize that their time for personal activities and rest were lessened, compared with their peers who followed the standard ACGME duty-hour policy. The study appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine, which recognized it as one of the 10 most significant articles published in the journal in 2016. Hedges is Board of Trustees Professor of Statistics and Education and Social Policy.

Defining Educational Design Research
Design research, which focuses on developing effective solutions based on human needs and behaviors, holds promise for solving practical problems of education and developing theory to guide future interventions. However, IPR associates Matthew Easterday, a learning scientist, and Elizabeth Gerber, a designer and mechanical engineer, note in the Australasian Journal of Educational Technology that design research in the field of education remains underdeveloped. To further the paradigmatic development of educational design research, Easterday, Gerber, and Northwestern’s Daniel Rees Lewis propose that design research products are arguments for how people should learn, and the practical products of design research are prototypes that can promote learning in the real world. Defining educational design research allows for better training for novice researchers and shows funders that the resources allocated for design research projects will result in theoretical and practical benefits for society, they write. The researchers conclude that educational design research projects aid in producing innovative interventions that directly impact learning more than other forms of research.

Lead Exposure and Test Performance
Previous research by social policy professor and IPR associate Dan Lewis discovered that levels of lead in the blood were associated with lower standardized test scores in reading and math among Chicago Public Schools students. Interestingly, the risks varied modestly by race and ethnicity. In a new study in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, Lewis and his colleagues examine the effect of low-level lead exposure on school performance among third graders in three Hispanic subgroups: Mexicans, Puerto Ricans, and children of other Hispanic ancestry. The researchers find that blood lead levels were significantly higher among Mexican children. Levels were also more elevated in boys, in children of less-educated mothers, and in children from low-income families. The results indicate that low levels of lead in the blood correlate with lower reading and math scores in all subgroups. The researchers estimate that 7 percent of reading failure and about 13 percent of math failure among Hispanic children can be attributed to exposure to blood lead levels of 5–9 micrograms per deciliter, a level which the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first defined as elevated in 2012.

Are Great Teachers Poor Scholars?
Colleges and universities aspire to excellence in both teaching and research, but does scholarly distinction come at a cost to teaching quality, or vice versa? Northwestern University President and IPR economist Morton Schapiro, along with Figlio, seeks to answer this question among tenured Northwestern faculty. Using data on the full population of all first-year undergraduates enrolled at Northwestern between fall 2001 and fall 2008, the researchers discover no relationship between teaching quality and research quality. This does not mean, though, that policymakers and administrators should replace high-priced scholars with untenured, lower-paid faculty, Schapiro and Figlio caution in a Brookings Institute report. They explain that illustrious research faculty provide a draw for both students and faculty, and having such highly regarded scholars teaching freshmen sends a signal to the community that the school takes undergraduate education seriously.