Inside Higher Ed

Apr. 7, 2015
Plausible Promises? Opens in a new tab.
Nearly a decade after the Kalamazoo Promise launched to nationwide buzz, the fanfare around promise programs has remained strong. Several cities, large and small, are considering launching their own versions of the programs — in which they pledge help for their residents to pay for college.

Dec. 11, 2014
TSP Researchers to Investigate Bond Funding, Student Outcomes
U.S. school districts regularly turn to bonds to fund building renovation and construction, classroom modernization and technology enhancements. Researchers at UT Dallas’ Texas Schools Project are investigating whether those investments pay off when it comes to student success.

Oct. 25, 2014
The Economist: The Geography of Joblessness Opens in a new tab. – Kain’s Spatial-Mismatch Hypothesis Re-Affirmed
In the OECD, a club mostly of rich countries, nearly 45m people are unemployed. Of these, 16m have been seeking work for over a year. Many put this apparently intractable scourge down to workers’ inadequate skills or overgenerous welfare states. But might geography also play a role? In a paper published in 1965, John Kain, an economist at Harvard University, proposed what came to be known as the “spatial-mismatch hypothesis”.

June 16, 2014
Researcher Joins Class of Greater Texas Foundation Fellows
Dr. Rodney Andrews, director of the Texas Schools Project at The University of Texas at Dallas, has been named a member of the second cohort of Greater Texas Foundation Faculty Fellows. The three-year program builds research and teaching abilities of Texas college tenure-track faculty working in areas related to student success.

Feb. 25, 2014
Four New Projects on Tap for Education Research Center
Researchers from six universities across the country recently were approved for new projects using data from the UT Dallas Education Research Center (UTD-ERC). The center’s joint advisory board accepted the four research projects, which focus on Texas students, teachers and schools, on Dec. 9.

June 24, 2013
C-SPAN: Student Financial Aid, Part 2 Opens in a new tab.
Panelists talked about the difficulties in navigating the opportunities for student financial aid assistance. Rodney Andrews presented his paper, “The Promise of ‘Promise’ Programs,” and Regina Deil-Amen presented her paper, “From FAFSA to Facebook: The Role of Technology in Navigating the Financial Aid Process.”

Sept. 24, 2013
$1.4 Million Grant Funds TSP’s Study of Teacher, Principal Quality
Texas Schools Project director Dr. Rodney Andrews says “everybody has had an exceptional teacher, so we know that teachers matter.” But empirically proving the effects teachers have on their students is more complex. Researchers at the Texas Schools Project (TSP), which moved to UT Dallas in 1997, were among the first to publish research on teacher quality, Andrews said. With a $1.475 million grant from the U.S. Department of Education, the TSP is exploring other elements of K-12 education.

Feb. 22, 2013
Commission’s Report Outlines Education Priorities Opens in a new tab.
Activists have long warned about the widening achievement gap between white and minority students. The Equity and Excellence Commission, a federally chartered group of about 30 education experts, is recommending changes to the funding and delivery of education.
Dallas News

Jan. 5, 2011
It’s unclear whether slight rise in Texas class size would hurt learning Opens in a new tab.
for all the concern about packed classrooms, experts have found little evidence that slightly larger classes deter learning. A commonly used waiver means hundreds of the state’s kindergarten through fourth-grade classes already exceed the current, 22-student limit for those grades. With financially drained districts eyeing millions in possible savings, legislators aren’t the only ones reassessing the decades-old philosophy.

Oct. 27, 2010
UFT wrong to fight Joel Klein’s attempt to release teacher data, says leading education researcher Opens in a new tab.
New York City’s schools chancellor, with the support of Mayor Bloomberg, wants to release the value-added test score results for 12,000 teachers – revealing for parents and the public the student learning gains attributable to each instructor. News organizations have requested the data; the city is ready to comply. The city’s United Federation of Teachers has challenged the release, and a judge will decide next month. I’ve spent many years looking carefully at such data. I know it can be incendiary; I know it has flaws. Still, I strongly support its release.

Sept. 24, 2010
Education Research Center Draws High Praise
Two of the nation’s top education officials recently highlighted work under way at The University of Texas at Dallas Education Research Center (UTD-ERC) and Texas Schools Project. Arne Duncan, U.S. secretary of education, and John Easton, director of the Institute for Education Sciences (IES), praised the center at a conference sponsored by the National Center for Education Statistics.

Sept. 2, 2010
Research Center to Lead Teacher Development Study
The University of Texas at Dallas Education Research Center (UTD-ERC) will lead a research team charged with measuring the effectiveness of professional development academies for Texas teachers. The researchers will assess content and participation in the academies, and then take a look at the training’s effect on instruction practices and student achievement.

Apr. 19, 2010
Pilot Project to Help High Schools Gauge Success
The University of Texas at Dallas Education Research Center (UTD-ERC) will help develop a groundbreaking research and reporting system that high schools can use to measure the academic success of students after graduation. The pilot program, “Tracking Postsecondary Outcomes for High Schools,” aims to develop detailed reports linking student data with postsecondary data.

Nov. 26, 2012
Texas Pre-K Programs Improve Kids’ Elementary Achievement Opens in a new tab.
Really important new CALDER study finds evidence that participation in Texas’ state-funded pre-k program is associated with increased 3rd grade math and reading scores for participating youngsters, as well as reduced rates of grade retention and special education placement.

Apr. 2, 2010
Me vs. smartest critic of AP in low-income schools Opens in a new tab.
This was going to be a piece about a great new book about Advanced Placement, “AP: A Critical Examination of the Advanced Placement Program.” I promise to summarize its conclusions before this column ends. But I want to focus on the most interesting contributor to the volume, a Texas economist named Kristin Klopfenstein who is author or co-author of two chapters and one of the four editors of the book. She has become the most articulate and knowledgeable critic of using AP to raise achievement in low-income schools, a movement I have been supporting for a quarter of a century, I decided to call her up, discuss our differences and report what she had to say.

Mar. 20, 2010
Book Trains Critical Eye on AP Program’s Impact Opens in a new tab.
At a time of mushrooming interest in Advanced Placement tests, a new book assembles studies on how capable the program is of meeting the increasingly diverse expectations held up for it.

Dec. 20, 2009
The Advanced Placement Juggernaut Opens in a new tab.
Advanced Placement classes, once open to only a very small number of top high school students around the country, have grown enormously in the past decade. The number of students taking these courses rose by nearly 50 percent to 1.6 million from 2004 to 2009. Yet in a survey of A.P. teachers released this year, more than half said that “too many students overestimate their abilities and are in over their heads.” Some 60 percent said that “parents push their children into A.P. classes when they really don’t belong there.”

Oct. 5, 2009
ERC Data & Expertise Integral in Comptroller’s Resource Allocation Study PDF opens in a new tab
In an effort to improve academic achievement and encourage more effective use of public education dollars, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs will conduct a study of school district resource allocation practices that contribute to high academic achievement and cost-effective operations. The study, required by House Bill 3 enacted by the 81st Legislature, will use the data and expertise of the UT Dallas Education Research Center.

Aug. 26, 2009
National Charter School Study Released PDF opens in a new tab
A new report issued by the Center for Research on Education Outcomes (CREDO) at Stanford University found that there is a wide variance in the quality of the nation’s several thousand charter schools with, in the aggregate, students in charter schools not faring as well as students in traditional public schools.
Girl Studying

Aug. 31, 2009
Project to Study School Intervention Programs
The Texas Schools Project will help evaluate programs designed to boost student achievement in five large school districts across the nation. Researchers will try to identify the most successful ways to implement and manage these programs, known as Supplemental Education Services, which are required by federal laws in many school districts.

Feb. 4, 2009
Study of Children from Low-Income Neighborhoods Finds Preschool Programs Can Boost Test Scores
Dallas Independent School District students who participated in Educational First Steps preschool programs were shown in a recent UT Dallas study to perform significantly higher in elementary math and reading test scores than their peers. “The most significant finding is that program quality matters in early childhood education,” said Dr. Richard K. Scotch, a professor in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences, who conducted the study.