K-12 Education

African American Language in Children’s Literature

April 12, 2024

The purpose of this study was to determine the most prevalent African American Language (AAL) phonological and grammatical features in slavery- and Civil Rights-themed children’s literature.

Parents’ Learning Support and School Attitudes in Relation to Adolescent Academic Identity and School Performance in Nine Countries

March 22, 2024

This study investigated relations among parental education, parents’ attitudes toward their adolescents’ school, parental support for learning at home, and adolescents’ academic identity and school performance over time and in different national contexts.

Teachers’ First Classroom Experiences and Persistent Racial Gaps in Schooling

February 8, 2024

New research findings show that teachers’ experiences during their first year in the profession impact how they assess students, particularly Black students, later in their careers.

Investigating if High-Quality Kindergarten Teachers Sustain the Pre-K Boost to Children’s Emergent Literacy Skill Development in North Carolina

February 7, 2024

This study tested the hypothesis that high-quality kindergarten teachers sustain and amplify the skill development of children who participated in North Carolina’s NC Pre-K program during the previous year. Higher value-added teachers promoted the skill development of all children, but did not differentially benefit the skill development of former NC Pre-K participants compared to non-participants.

Can Peers Help Sustain the Positive Effects of an Early Childhood Mathematics Intervention?

January 6, 2024

This study assessed whether the peer environment in kindergarten and first grade affected student learning following an early mathematics intervention. Findings suggest that classroom peer effects may play only a limited role in sustaining early intervention effects.

First Impressions Matter: Evidence From Elementary-School Teachers

November 7, 2023

New research findings show that teachers’ experiences during their first year teaching impact how they assess students, particularly Black students, later in their careers.

Association Between Relative Age at School and Persistence of ADHD in Prospective Studies: an Individual Participant Data Meta-Analysis

October 25, 2023

This study explored the association between relative age and the persistence of ADHD diagnosis at older ages. Contrary to some expectations, children who were younger when they started kindergarten are as likely as children who were older to have a stable ADHD diagnosis.

Are Friends of Schools the Enemies of Equity? The Interplay of Public School Funding Policies and Private External Fundraising

September 1, 2023

School districts across the U.S. have adopted funding policies designed to distribute resources more equitably across schools. However, schools are also increasing external fundraising efforts to supplement district budget allocations. This study found that external fundraising offset the policy-induced per-pupil expenditure gap by 26-39 percent.

The Compounding Impact of Racial Microaggressions: The Experiences of African American Students in Predominantly White Institutions

June 15, 2023

African American students often encounter racial microaggressions when attending predominantly white institutions (PWIs). Experiencing racial microaggressions can negatively affect African American students’ feelings of belonging to the campus community. Racial microaggressions can also affect students’ physical and emotional stability.

Understanding Heterogeneity in the Impact of Public Preschool Programs

June 13, 2023

Estimates indicate that a child’s exposure to higher NC Pre-K funding was positively associated with that child’s academic achievement 6 years later. NC Pre-K funding effects on achievement were positive for all subgroups tested, and statistically significant for most.

Racial Microaggressions and the Health of African American Students

June 12, 2023

Article reviews what racial microaggressions are, the impact of microaggressions on african-americans students, and research-based recommendations to address racial microaggressions in educational settings.

Kindergarten Conduct Problems are Associated with Monetized Outcomes in Adolescence and Adulthood

May 31, 2023

Researchers examined whether kindergarten conduct problems among mostly population-representative samples of children were associated with increased criminal and related costs across adolescence and adulthood, as well as government and medical services costs in adulthood.

School-Based Healthcare Can Address Children’s Unmet Health Needs: Models, Evidence, and Policies

March 13, 2023

This brief, published in partnership with the Hunt Institute, describes the state of school-aged children’s health and healthcare access in the U.S., summarizes research on the link between children’s health and educational performance, and presents examples and models of school-based healthcare along with summaries of the existing evidence on their effectiveness.

Situated Professional Learning through Targeted Reading Instruction: Building Teacher Capacity and Diagnostic Practice

February 27, 2023

In their chapter, Situated Professional Learning through Targeted Reading Instruction: Building Teacher Capacity and Diagnostic Practice, in Innovations in Literacy Professional Learning, Leslie Babinski and co-authors explore professional learning within the Targeted Reading Instruction model.

School-Based Healthcare and Absenteeism: Evidence from Telemedicine

January 17, 2023

School-based telemedicine clinics (SBTCs) provide students with access to healthcare during the regular school day through private videoconferencing with a healthcare provider. SBTC access reduces the likelihood that a student is chronically absent and reduces the number of days absent.

Teacher Workforce Diversity: Why It Matters for Student Outcomes

November 17, 2022

Increasing the racial and ethnic diversity of educators serving students in our public schools is a promising strategy that is vastly underutilized. The research has repeatedly shown the importance of a diverse teacher workforce. However, the path to increase diversity of educators is complex and will take significant efforts and investments by policymakers and advocates to accomplish.

How Charter Schools Undermine Good Education Policymaking

November 10, 2022

In this policy memo, Ladd argues that charter schools disrupt four core goals of education policy in the United States, namely: 1) establishing coherent systems of schools, 2) attending to child poverty and disadvantage, 3) limiting racial segregation and isolation, and 4) ensuring that public funds are spent wisely. Ladd offers policy recommendations to better meet these challenges.

Identifying Barriers to Recruiting and Retaining a Diverse Teacher Workforce

October 24, 2022

A diverse teacher workforce has the potential to improve outcomes for all students, and especially for students of color. While North Carolina clearly recognizes the importance of increasing diversity in the workforce – and despite national and local efforts from school districts and policy makers – the teaching workforce remains largely white and female, even as the students they serve become increasingly diverse, widening the racial gap between teachers and students.

Can Community Crime Monitoring Reduce Student Absenteeism?

October 17, 2022

This article examines the impact on student absenteeism of a large, school-based community crime monitoring program that employed local community members to monitor and report crime on designated city blocks during times when students traveled to and from school. The authors find that the program resulted in a 0.58 percentage point (8.5 percent) reduction in the elementary school-level absence rate in the years following initial implementation.

Comprehensive Support and Student Success: Can Out of School Time Make a Difference?

October 1, 2022

The author investigates the effects of a multiyear program, StudentU, on the early high school outcomes of participating students by exploiting data from oversubscribed admissions lotteries. Results suggest that comprehensive services delivered outside of the regular school day have the potential to improve the educational outcomes of disadvantaged students.

Latinx Immigrant Parents and Their Children in Times of COVID-19: Facing Inequities Together in the “Mexican Room” of the New Latino South

August 22, 2022

In their chapter, Latinx Immigrant Parents and Their Children in Times of COVID-19: Facing Inequities Together in the “Mexican Room” of the New Latino South, in The Pandemic Divide: How Covid Increased Inequality in America, Leslie Babinski and co-authors outline the state of affairs for Latinx families in the southeastern US in times of Covid-19 and to situate what is happening within the broader experiences of Latinx communities in the US.

Measuring Educational Opportunity in North Carolina Public School Districts

August 19, 2022

This research brief examines two measures of educational opportunity in North Carolina public school districts, average achievement and achievement growth. The first measure— average achievement—indexes the average level of student achievement at a single point in time. The second measure—achievement growth—indexes the rate of growth in student achievement over time.

When Does Crime Respond to Punishment?: Evidence from Drug-Free School Zones

August 15, 2022

Economic theory suggests that crime should respond to punishment severity. Using increases in punishment severity in drug-free school zones along with changes in the probability of detection resulting from a community crime-monitoring program, we demonstrate that drug-related crime drops in blocks just within the drug-free school zones, where punishments are more severe, but only if the monitoring intensity–and hence the probability of detection–is at intermediate levels.

Are Power Plant Closures a Breath of Fresh Air? Local Air Quality and School Absences

March 1, 2022

In this paper the authors study the effects of three large, nearly-simultaneous coal-fired power plant closures on school absences in Chicago. They find that the closures resulted in a 6 percent reduction in absenteeism in nearby schools relative to those farther away following the closures.

Effects of Daily School and Care Disruptions During the Covid-19 Pandemic on Child Mental Health

January 15, 2022

The pandemic profoundly affected American children with disruptions to their schooling and daily care. A new study found that service sector workers who had a young child reported disruption on 24 percent of days in fall 2020. The disruptions were more common in remote learning and had a negative impact on children’s behavior and on parenting mood and behavior.

The Benefits of Early Childhood Education Can Persist in the Long Run

October 26, 2021

This brief examines how the benefits of high-quality ECE might simultaneously diminish and persist in the long run. Strategies are then discussed to sustain the impacts of ECE during elementary school.

Light-touch design enhancements can boost parent engagement in math activities

September 1, 2021

Early proficiency in math skills is increasingly being seen as an independent area worthy of early curriculum development and policy investment to reduce socioeconomic disparities in children’s school readiness.

Do Teacher Assistants Improve Student Outcomes? Evidence From School Funding Cutbacks in North Carolina

February 16, 2021

This article examines the influence of teacher assistants and other personnel on outcomes for elementary school students during a period of recession-induced cutbacks in teacher assistants.

Getting Tough? The Effects of Discretionary Principal Discipline on Student Outcomes

February 1, 2021

Nationwide, school principals are given wide discretion to use disciplinary tools like suspension and expulsion to create a safe learning environment.

Equity and Access in Gifted Education: An Examination within North Carolina

February 1, 2021

The disproportionality between the representation of white students and students of color in gifted education programs is both persistent and pervasive. Attempts over the years to remedy the issue have done little to narrow this disparity.

Social and Emotional Learning During COVID-19 and Beyond: Why It Matters and How to Support It

February 1, 2021

Social and emotional development was in peril prior to the pandemic. After this time apart, it will take systematic, intentional, and intensive efforts to get social and emotional learning back on track.

School Segregation at the Classroom Level in a Southern ‘New Destination’ State

January 13, 2021

Using detailed administrative data for public schools, we document racial and ethnic segregation at the classroom level in North Carolina, a state that has experienced a sharp increase in Hispanic enrollment.

Connecting with K-12 Students During COVID-19: Findings and Recommendations from a Survey of North Carolina Teachers

August 1, 2020

This brief uses data from a survey of educators in nine districts participating in the North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project on the challenges of remote learning and education during the COVID-19 pandemic. It offers recommendations for improving educational equity during remote learning, addressing the following areas: technology access, availability of adult support, student well-being,…

K-12 Social-Emotional Support During COVID-19: Reflections and Recommendations from a Survey of North Carolina Teachers

August 1, 2020

This Brief Will Cover Emotional and Mental Health Support for Teachers. Survey data from N.C. teachers on their concerns about returning to school in the fall. Recommended strategies for helping school administrators promote wellness among school staff upon their return. Re-envisioning the Way Students and Schools Interact. Recommended practices for promoting relationship building among teachers,…

Lessons Learned about Online Schooling for Young Children from K-1 Classroom and ESL Teachers

July 1, 2020

This brief provides an overview of lessons learned about online schooling for young children during the COVID-19 pandemic from K-1 classroom and ESL teachers, and 5 recommendations for how to support the continuation of online learning into the next school year.

North Carolina Resilience and Learning Project

May 27, 2020

Katie Rosanbalm wrote the opening chapter of a book entitled, Alleviating the Educational Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. The book is a collection of approaches to trauma-informed education based on school-university-community collaborations. Rosanbalm’s chapter summarizes the literature on why trauma-informed strategies are important to academic success and describes the specifics of the Resilience and Learning Model. It concludes with preliminary qualitative findings from pilot schools.

Gender Differences in the Impact of North Carolina’s Early Care and Education Initiatives on Student Outcomes in Elementary School

March 1, 2020

Based on growing evidence of the long-term benefits of enriched early childhood experiences, we evaluate the potential for addressing gender disparities in elementary school through early care and education programs.

State of Empowerment: Low-Income Families and the New Welfare State

February 21, 2020

Carolyn Barnes uses ethnographic accounts of three organizations to reveal how interacting with government-funded after-school programs can enhance the civic and political lives of low-income citizens.

Raising the bar for college admission: North Carolina’s increase in minimum math course requirements

July 1, 2019

Charles T. Clotfelter, Steven W. Hemelt, Helen F. Ladd Education Finance and Policy (2019) 14 (3): 492–521.

Professionals, friends, and confidants: After-school staff as social support to low-income parents

March 1, 2019

Policy makers, practitioners, and researchers have emphasized the importance of supportive relationships between staff and parents in early childhood education settings and schools.

Impact of a Neuroscience-Based Health Education Course on High School Students’ Health Knowledge, Beliefs, and Behaviors.

October 1, 2018

The purpose of this pilot study was to evaluate the potential of an innovative high school neuroscience-based health course for implementation feasibility and impact on student outcomes.

Improving Young English Learners’ Language and Literacy Skills Through Teacher Professional Development: A Randomized Controlled Trial

September 19, 2017

Using a randomized controlled trial, we tested a new teacher professional development program for increasing the language and literacy skills of young Latino English learners with 45 teachers and 105 students in 12 elementary schools.

Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Programs and Policies on Educational Outcomes in Elementary School

November 17, 2016

North Carolina’s Smart Start and More at Four (MAF) early childhood programs were evaluated through the end of elementary school (age 11) by estimating the impact of state funding allocations to programs in each of 100 counties across 13 consecutive years on outcomes for all children in each county-year group (n = 1,004,571; 49% female; 61% non-Latinx White, 30% African American, 4% Latinx, 5% other).

Evaluation of a Public Awareness Campaign to Prevent High School Dropout

June 29, 2016

Many advocacy organizations devote time and resources to increasing community awareness and educating the public in an effort to gain support for their issue.

Impact of North Carolina’s Early Childhood Initiatives on Special Education Placements in Third Grade

December 1, 2015

This study examines the community-wide effects of investments in two early childhood initiatives in North Carolina (Smart Start and More at Four) on the likelihood of a student being placed into special education.

Attendance in Durham Primary Schools

June 1, 2013

This memo examines recent data from Durham Public Schools related to student absenteeism. This memo examines four related issues surrounding absenteeism: Description of student absenteeism by grade-level Persistence of truancy from one year to the next The association between truancy and grade retention, and The overlap between absenteeism and tardies.

America’s Promise Alliance: 10 Indicators of Academic Achievement and Youth Success

July 1, 2011

Approximately one quarter of U.S. students do not graduate from high school with their peers. Failing to complete high school severely limits opportunities for employment and future financial stability. High school dropouts earn lower wages through their lifetime and work for fewer years.1 The costs to society of high school dropouts are also high and…

Final Report to the Spencer Foundation

June 15, 2011

In 2009, the Spencer Foundation renewed its generous support of the Data Center with an additional two years of funding. In addition, Duke University and the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction have continued to support the Data Center through the collaborative relationship established in the current Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions.

Evaluation of the HillRAP Intervention in Davie County Middle Schools 2008-2010

June 1, 2011

This report presents the final findings for a two-year evaluation of the Hill Center Reading Achievement Program (HillRAP) as implemented in a middle school setting from September 2008 to June 2010. The Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University conducted this evaluation in collaboration with the Davie County Public Schools and the Mebane…