NC panel starts long process of addressing public school needs in response to court order

January 24, 2020

Two days after a state judge called for a concrete plan to adequately fund public schools across North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper’s Commission on Access to Sound Basic Education met Thursday to discuss what that plan might look like. The Commission approved a set of recommendations that it hopes will help guide defendants and plaintiffs in the Leandro case as they develop a plan to improve North Carolina’s public schools.

“We need to make lots of investments in our education system that we haven’t been making for the last eight or nine years,” said Helen Ladd, CCFP faculty fellow and member of the Commission. “So, we’ve got to catch up to where we were and then move forward.”

Read more: WRAL »

SNAPing out of Food Insecurity

Anna Gassman-Pines. Duke University January 13, 2020

Anna Gassman-Pines summarizes her research on the daily variability of food security in a recent article on Public Health Post. Leveraging daily survey reports from a sample of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipient parents with young children, Gassman-Pines and co-author of the study, Anika Schenck-Fontaine, found that the severity of recipients’ daily food insecurity is higher at the end of the SNAP month than at the beginning. These findings add to growing evidence that SNAP benefits may be inadequate for too many families.

Public Health Post »

Can treating poverty change a child’s brain?

Lisa Gennetian January 7, 2020

An article in Maclean’s Magazine highlights a research initiative led by Lisa Gennetian that is testing whether an injection of cash for poorer families can reshape a child’s early life and educational outcomes. The study, called Baby’s First Years, launched in 2018 and involves giving monthly installments of unconditional cash to low-income mothers over the first three years of their child’s life to test whether money itself improves family life and child development.

Read more »

Lisa Gennetian Joins Panel on Income Instability, Child Poverty and Child Wellbeing [MULTIMEDIA]

Lisa Gennetian December 10, 2019

On November 22, Lisa A. Gennetian joined a panel of experts on racial and ethnic inequities in family income stability. The panel was part of a day-long event hosted by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), Brandeis University’s The Heller School for Social Policy and Management and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, to engage in a dialogue on racial/ethnic equity and policy proposals to reduce child poverty. During the panel, Gennetian spoke about how poverty as well as stability of income can affect children’s development and presented findings from her work on income stability among Hispanic families with children.

The event was one of many featuring conclusions from the 2019 NASEM report, A Roadmap to Reducing Child Poverty. To watch the webcast recording of the event and download the report, visit:

View Gennetian’s presentation: Income Instability, Child Poverty, and Child Wellbeing: Race/ethnicity and informing policies to alleviate poverty

Universal pre-K means more gains for all children, a study finds. What does that mean for North Carolina?

preschool kids playing in classroom December 1, 2019

Education NC covered the Center’s latest Early Childhood Initiative lecture, featuring Elizabeth Cascio of Dartmouth College. Cascio discussed her research that looks at the cost efficacy of universal over means-tested (targeted) pre-K. During a presentation of her latest study, Cascio pointed to findings that show universal programs across states do not cost more per pupil than targeted programs, but they deliver ‘more bang for your buck,’ she said. She also discussed some possible reasons.

Education NC »

Home Visiting Program Linked to Reductions in Child Abuse

November 11, 2019

Family Connects, a program in which nurses conduct home visits for newborns and their families, is linked to substantial reductions in child maltreatment investigations in children’s earliest years, according to new research from Duke University.

Program participants had 44 percent lower rates of child maltreatment investigations during children’s first 24 months of life, compared with parents who did not receive the program, researchers found.

“We now have evidence from a rigorous evaluation that the Family Connects program can reduce the community rate of early child abuse investigations,” said lead author Kenneth Dodge. “Supporting families with newborns is key to child and family well-being.”

For more information on the study and key findings, access the news release or download the full report.

Sanford Professor Wins Stockholm Prize for Gun Violence Research

Philip Cook, Duke University November 11, 2019

Economist Philip J. Cook, a professor in Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy and Center faculty fellow, has been awarded the 2020 Stockholm Prize in Criminology for his decades of research on gun violence and its wide-ranging effects on society.

Cook and co-winner Franklin Zimring, the William G. Simon Professor of Law at the University of California at Berkeley, will share the prize: $1.5 million Swedish kroner, or about $150,000. The prize will be awarded by the Queen of Sweden in a ceremony in Stockholm June 10, 2020.

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How to Equally Share Your Heart with All Your Little Loves

Jennifer Lansford, Duke University November 6, 2019

An article in the Charlotte Parent explores a popular topic of whether parents have a favorite child — “a topic worth exploring because of the deep effects favoritism can have on both parents and children.” In the article, Jennifer Lansford explains there are “no really good empirical studies on this issue.”

“She suggests that the ‘strong social preference not to have a favorite’ may cause some parents to feel too embarrassed or guilty to admit they have a favorite, while other parents might have difficulty interpreting the question itself: Does having a ‘favorite’ mean you actually “love” one child more than your other(s)? Or does it simply mean that you treat your children differently for any number of reasons?”

Charlotte Parent »

Who is Duke University’s largest donor?

October 28, 2019

In response to a reader-submitted ‘Chronquiry,’ a recent article in Duke University’s student newspaper reveals The Duke Endowment as Duke University’s largest donor. Since 1924, the Endowment has given $1.6 billion. Susan McConnell, director of the higher education program for The Duke Endowment, explains that Duke receives grants in four areas: education, health care, rural churches and childcare. In the childcare program, she says “the Endowment has partnered with the Center for Child and Family Policy, contributing $7.4 million since 2000 to collaborate on evidence-based programs. An additional $13 million in grants has gone toward Durham Connects, a community-wide nursing home visiting program for parents of newborns.”



The Chronicle »

Moving on up: More than relocation as a path out of child poverty

Lisa Gennetian October 18, 2019

Moving children up out of poverty will require more than “moving to opportunity,” explains Lisa Gennetian and Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, of Temple University, in a recent blog post for Brookings Institution. In order “to genuinely alter children’s prospects,” the authors call for “a multi-pronged, coordinated set of policy investments that enable each child to fully reach her potential.” 

Read more: Brookings Education Plus Development Forum »