Societal Context

Inequality Matters: Framing a Strategic Inequality Research Agenda

Young people in America today are growing up in an era of striking, and in some cases, unprecedented, social inequalities. Economic inequality is at a record high. Today 22% of all income in the US goes to top 1% of earners, while 50 years ago only 10% of total income went to the top 1%. This economic inequality is mirrored in the large educational, health, and political disparities between the children of the rich and the poor.

Trends in School Economic Segregation, 1970 to 2010

Trends in the racial segregation of schools are well documented, but less is known about trends in schools’ economic segregation. We use multiple data sources to document trends from 1970 to 2010 in between-district residential segregation and in both between-district and between-school enrollment segregation by income. We find that between-district residential segregation among all families grew from 1970 to 1990 and again from 1990-2010.

Residential Segregation by Income, 1970-2009

Every city or metropolitan area in the U.S. has higher- and lower-income neighborhoods. The extent to which these neighborhoods differ in their average socioeconomic status, however, varies considerably. Moreover, this socioeconomic residential sorting has grown substantially in the last 40 years (Reardon and Bischoff 2011a; Reardon and Bischoff 2011b; Watson 2009); the bulk of that growth occurred in the 1980s and in the 2000s.

60 Years After Brown: Trends and Consequences of School Segregation

Since the Supreme Court's 1954 Brown v. Board of Education decision, researchers and policymakers have paid close attention to trends in school segregation. While Brown focused on black-white segregation, here we review the evidence regarding trends and consequences of both racial and economic school segregation. In general, the evidence regarding trends in racial segregation suggests that the most significant declines in black-white school segregation occurred at the end of the 1960s and the start of the 1970s.

Patterns and Trends in Racial Academic Achievement Gaps Among States, 1999-2011

In this paper we combine National Assessment of Educational Progress and state accountability test data to examine variation among states in achievement gap levels and trends. Although national trends in gaps have been well studied, little research has examined variation in gaps across states or the extent to which differences in state demographics or policies account for these differences.

The Costs of Disability in China

We describe the degree to which household income is negatively associated with the prevalence of different types of disability (i.e. medical impairments) in China using data from the 2006 Second National Survey of Disabled Persons. We then calculate the extra costs of disability across different types of households and show how these costs differ by the type and severity of disability in both urban and rural areas.

Do Countries Paying Teachers Higher Relative Salaries Have Higher Student Mathematics Achievement?

Educators have long claimed that good teaching is the key to higher student achievement, as well as to other positive student outcomes, such as moral values and tolerance. Economists also have bought into this argument (Clotfelter, Ladd, & Vigdor, 2007; Rivkin, Hanushek, & Kain, 2005; Wright, Horn, & Sanders, 1997).