News

  • July 08, 2022

    The police in St. Petersburg, Fla., knew well that Jeffrey Haarsma had mental-health issues. Officers had been to the 55-year-old’s home at least 25 times in the year prior to an emergency call on Aug. 7, 2020. But the lone responding officer shot and killed Haarsma, who was unarmed, as he attacked her during an attempted arrest over a minor offense. While Pinellas County officials later decided the shooting was justified, they also concluded the call should have been handled as a mental-health issue rather than a criminal investigation.

    Since that day, there have been nearly 2,000 fatal shootings by police officers in the line of duty. Roughly 1 in 5 involved a police response to someone showing signs of mental illness. It doesn’t have to be this way.

  • July 07, 2022

    In the fall of 2016, the office of Federal Student Aid (FSA) launched a set of pilot programs to assess potential expansions of federal financial aid. One of these programs allowed participating colleges to award Pell Grants to eligible high school students concurrently pursuing college coursework. This program, set to end in summer 2022, was established to increase access to dual enrollment and subsequent college attendance for students of low-income families.

    In a recent article published in Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis (EEPA), we show that this program not only failed to increase low-income students’ access to dual enrollment but may have actually decreased access. Despite the good intentions behind the program, it created new barriers to dual enrollment for colleges and families. These unintended consequences offer important lessons for policymaking.  

  • May 02, 2022

    In his research, Pearman has identified a cyclical relationship between school closures and neighborhood change. Closing schools increases the likelihood that Black neighborhoods will gentrify. In turn, gentrification leads to lower enrollment as families are displaced and new residents opt out of the neighborhood school or don’t have kids to enroll. 

    “If these school closures are promoting the further dispossession of communities of color, making them even less likely to retain their historic profile of being Black communities, then there’s broader conversations that need to be had about what these closures mean for the lifeblood of Black neighborhoods,” Pearman says. 

  • April 27, 2022

    "There's a recent Stanford study that shows that closing schools impacts black students and accelerates gentrification in communities of color," Brown said, citing a study released by the Stanford Graduate School of Education on March 28.

    The district argues that school closures will save money, Brown said. "But studies have shown that school closures [do] not save a significant amount of money for school districts," he said. "The district claims that there's a budget shortfall and there's no choice but to close schools. But there's always a choice and we must make a choice for for our students."

  • April 26, 2022

    Research on the academic effects of school closures is mixed. If displaced students wind up at a substantially better school, they tend to do better. But students often end up at a similarly performing school, and the closure does academic harm. 

    Another recent study found that school closures in Black communities can contribute to gentrification, which itself can mean fewer students enrolled in a neighborhood school. That “can lead to further school closures — which can start the cycle back over again,” said Pearman, who coauthored the study with Stanford graduate student Danielle Marie Greene.

  • April 11, 2022

    In a new study from Stanford University's Center for Education Policy Analysis, census information and school closure data showed that school closures lead to increased gentrification, and that gentrification increases the most in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

    In this interview we hear from Francis A. Pearman, the lead author of the study, "School Closures and the Gentrification of the Black Metropolis."

  • April 11, 2022

    Researchers at Stanford set out to fill that gap. They found that school closures increased gentrification, but only in Black neighborhoods.

    The study, set to publish this spring, examined every urban school closure nationwide between 2000 and 2012. It revealed that closures increased the likelihood of property values rising and more affluent households moving into Black communities, from 19 to 27%. When school closures happened in white and Latinx communities, however, researchers found no evidence of the same pattern.

    I spoke with the study’s co-authors, Francis Pearman and Danielle Marie Greene, about possible explanations for these findings.

  • April 11, 2022

    Researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education combined U.S. Census data with national statistics on school closures to investigate whether the closures affected patterns of gentrification, a phenomenon marked by an influx of relatively affluent residents in previously disinvested neighborhoods and subsequent rises in housing prices.

    School closures increased gentrification, the study found – but only in predominantly Black neighborhoods.

    “School closures are one of the most politically fraught issues in urban school reform today,” said Francis A. Pearman, an assistant professor at Stanford GSE and lead author of the study. “This study sheds new light on the consequences of these closures, in particular for the future of Black communities.”

  • August 09, 2021

    In a new study, researchers at Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE) and Big Local News, a project of the Stanford Computational Journalism Lab, examine the extent to which the enrollment decline was influenced by school districts’ decisions to hold classes in person or go remote.

  • August 07, 2021

    Districts that went strictly remote experienced 42 percent more decline than those that offered full-time in-person learning, according to a new research paper by Professor Dee and colleagues, posted Saturday. While some of these schools were losing students before the pandemic, the declines between fall 2019 and fall 2020 were significantly steeper.

  • March 09, 2021

    As students in some parts of the United States approach nearly a year without in-person school, new research suggests that the reading skills of young children have suffered during the pandemic.

    The research, a preliminary national study from the group Policy Analysis for California Education, found that as of late fall, second graders were 26 percent behind where they would have been, absent the pandemic, in their ability to read aloud accurately and quickly. Third graders were 33 percent behind.

    Those differences were equivalent to being able to read seven to eight fewer words per minute accurately.

  • March 09, 2021
  • February 16, 2021

    “In a sort of negative cascade, these outcomes are associated with a host of further reduced opportunities later in life, including lower engagement in school, reduced access to college, and higher unemployment,” said co-author Carrie Townley Flores, a doctoral student at the Stanford Graduate School of Education (GSE). “Each of these negative outcomes indicate that the system that is in place is not supporting the child fully. As schools become aware of the risks associated with preterm birth, they may pay closer attention to it as a potential risk factor.”

  • November 19, 2020

    This debate kicked off nearly a decade ago with a study by Sean Reardon, a prominent Stanford education researcher. Using data from a number of different tests, he compared students born in the early 2000s to those born decades earlier. His conclusion was bleak: the difference between students from the highest- and lowest-income families had jumped 30 to 40 percent.

  • October 06, 2020

    There’s evidence that GreatSchools’ ratings are exacerbating racial segregation, not just within school systems but in the communities around them. “What makes GreatSchools popular is partly that they’re linked to real estate sites, which is partly what makes them dangerous,” says Sean Reardon, an education professor at Stanford University who studies poverty and inequality. “They start to overtly link people’s residential choices to what seems to be a measure of school quality. While that makes lots of sense if it’s a high-quality metric of school quality, if it’s more of a measure of socio­economic composition of schools, then it runs the risk of creating incentives for more socioeconomic segregation.”

  • October 01, 2020

    We know from extensive research conducted by scholars across different countries, and especially Sean Reardon, professor of poverty and inequality in education at Stanford University, that money invested in children’s education outside of school (in and of itself) is becoming increasingly important in determining success within school.

    Wealthier parents (the wealthiest 20%) spend seven times more per child each year on private education outside of school hours than the poorest 20%. Those who are wealthiest use their private wealth to advantage their children outside the school system through private tuition in Ireland too.

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