News Feature

Early Childhood Spending Benefits Don’t Fade Away

North Carolina’s investment in early child care and education programs resulted in higher test scores, less grade retention and fewer special education placements through fifth grade, a study from the Center finds.

Researchers found the programs’ benefits did not fade with time, as in some early childhood intervention programs. Instead, the positive effects grew or held steady over the years.

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Dodge Proposes New Joint Ph.D. Program

February 17, 2017

Center Director Ken Dodge proposed a joint Ph.D. program between the Sanford School of Public Policy, the sociology department and the department of psychology and neuroscience to the Academic Council. “In recent years, students in sociology or psychology and neuroscience have increasingly desired to translate their research to public policy,” Dodge said, “this program would allow them to do that.”

Duke Chronicle »

A Jobs Program is Not Enough to Stop Homelessness

February 17, 2017

A jobs program by itself won’t be enough to fix homelessness, according to research by Faculty Fellow William Darity, Jr. “My impression is close to half of persons who are homeless have employment, regardless whether their city offers this type of program,” he said. “What we’d want to do is take an inventory at the municipal level and identify what the most pressing local needs are then structure a jobs program so we could match those needs with the skills, interests, and talents of folks who seek public sector employment.”

Next City »

Researchers Identify Signs of Autism Before Child’s First Birthday

February 15, 2017

Identifying autism before a child’s first birthday opens the door for researchers to create more interventions and therapies, according to Faculty Fellow Geraldine Dawson.  “We’re learning that there are biological changes that occur before the symptoms start to emerge,” she said. “It’s the ability to detect autism at its very earliest stages that’s going to allow us to intervene before the full syndrome is manifest.”

Scientific American »

Thinking Differently About Public Education

KIPP co-founder Mike Feinberg February 15, 2017

If critics of public education want different results, they are going to have to start thinking differently, according to Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP public charter schools. “There is a concept of public education and then there is how we deliver public education,” Feinberg said at a lecture presented by the Center. “We deliver it the same way and expect different results. If we want extraordinary results for our kids, we have to do extraordinary thinking.”

Duke Today »

Fewer Teaching Assistants Results in Lower Test Scores

February 15, 2017

Teacher raises throughout North Carolina have led to a decrease in teaching assistant positions and that could impact student test scores, particularly among disadvantaged students, according to research by Faculty Fellow Helen Ladd. “The evidence shows that additional teaching assistants for disadvantaged student groups contribute to higher test scores,” according to the study.

WUNC » WCQS »

Should a High School Diploma be a Voting Requirement?

Jennifer Lansford, Duke University February 11, 2017

Requiring a high school diploma to vote is a provocative and problematic notion, according to Center Faculty Fellow Jennifer Lansford. “Graduating from high school is one of the best predictors of positive financial and long-term outcomes,” Lansford said. But when it comes to restricting voting based on education, “we run the risk of becoming a more elitist society by privileging people from families with higher education.”

OZY »

How Maltreatment Affects the Developing Brain

Duke Center for Child and Family Policy Director Kenneth A. Dodge February 10, 2017

Children who have been maltreated early in life are at greater risk for future problematic behavior, according to research by Center Director Ken Dodge. In the Fast Track intervention, Dodge and his colleagues taught 1,000 kindergartners to use a stoplight as a metaphor for processing emotions and responses. Years later, those students displayed positive patterns of self-regulation. “We believe that it is cost beneficial to intervene directly beginning at a young age” he said.

Charlie Rose »

Racial Differences in Family Wealth

William (Sandy) Darity February 10, 2017

The wealth gap between black and Latino families versus white families has been increasing since the Great Recession, according to research by Faculty Fellow William Darity Jr. and his colleagues. They’ve found the black family has a median of $7,113 in wealth, while the median white family has $111,440 in wealth, Darity attributes the gap to social policies that foster educational segregation and redlining.

INSIDE HIGHER ED »

Is Congress Right to Repeal Gun Control Rule?

February 10, 2017

Congress is set to repeal a rule that prevented people with mental illness from purchasing guns. “What the policy actually does,” writes Faculty Fellow Jeffrey Swanson, “is take away the gun rights of a large category of individuals without any evidence that they pose risk.” He believes Congress should modify the rule, “to reflect what the evidence tells us about mentally ill persons and violence risks.”

The Washington Post » The Guardian »