Sandy Darity Has a Plan to Close the Wealth Gap

William "Sandy" Darity November 5, 2018

Center faculty fellow William “Sandy” Darity discusses his idea of “baby bonds,” a proposed solution for closing the wealth gap, on the latest episode of The Ezra Klein Show podcast. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ) recently introduced legislation that builds off Darity’s concept and aims to provide every American child, at birth, with seed capital that they can use to go to college, buy a home, start a business, or build wealth in other ways.

The Ezra Klein Show by Vox Media »

New ‘Redshirting’ Study Reveals That Boys Are Held Back More Than Girls — and It’s Actually Helping to Close an Achievement Gap Between the Genders

Philip Cook, Duke University October 24, 2018

The impact of “redshirting” — the practice of holding a child back a year before they enter kindergarten — has important, surprising effects on student achievement gaps, according to new study from Center Faculty Fellow Phil Cook. Using data from the North Carolina Education Research Data Center, Cook found the extra year of age for students in NC is positive: older students were 1.6 percent less likely to be diagnosed as learning disabled, 1 percent less likely to be speech impaired, and 2.3 percent more likely to be classified as intellectually gifted. He also identified male students in NC are much more likely to be redshirted than females. However the most interesting takeaway, according to Cook, is that “the likelihood of redshirting is strongly inversely related to academic ability.”

The 74 »

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

Photo of Leslie Babisnki October 4, 2018

In education, we expect children to use their brain to learn – but we never teach them how to take care of it. Health education courses that are offered in high school rarely focus on brain functioning or the link between brain functioning and health behaviors such as sleep, exercise, healthy eating, and stress. This is a missed opportunity as adolescence is a unique developmental period for both the promotion of healthy behaviors and prevention of risky behaviors. In a new study from the Center for Child and Family Policy at Duke University, Leslie Babinski, lead author, and researchers evaluate the potential of a neuroscience-based health education course and its impact on student outcomes.

Thirteen teachers from two high schools and nearly 400 students participated in the quasi-experimental pilot study. Students were assessed of their knowledge and behaviors through online surveys.

Findings from the pilot demonstrated the course could be successfully implemented in high schools and that students gained knowledge about the links between their brains and their health behaviors. However, the study did not show effects on student health beliefs and behaviors over the course of one semester. For more information and authors’ implications and conclusions, view the full report published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Journal of Adolescent Health »

A Job for Everyone? This 21st-Century Keynes Says It’s Possible

William "Sandy" Darity September 19, 2018

Center faculty fellow William “Sandy” Darity has been a longtime champion of a “federal job guarantee,” a policy that would ensure the option for anyone to work in a public sector program. Only in recent years though has his ambitious proposal come into favor. Potential Democratic candidates such as Sens. Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand and Bernie Sanders have expressed support for such a program. The idea continues to gain steam among liberal policy wonks and politicians but remains a long way from becoming a law, especially while the White House and Congress are controlled by Republicans. Darity, however, remains optimistic.


What we learned from Walter Mischel, the late creator of the marshmallow test

Photo of Terrie Moffitt, Duke University September 14, 2018

Following this week’s passing of Psychologist Walter Mischel, creator of the Marshmellow Test, Center faculty fellow Terrie Moffit shares about the outcomes of children who passed and failed the test in her ongoing study of 1,000 random New Zealanders from birth to their 30s. The children who “failed the test” as kids “are in deep financial trouble by their 30s,” says Moffitt. Those who were very self-controlled were doing well. “They’re entrepreneurs. They have got retirement accounts. They own their own homes,” she said.

PBS NewsHour »

Why Is College in America So Expensive?

Charles Clotfelter, Duke University September 11, 2018

The United States currently spends more on college than almost any other country, according to data in the latest Education at a Glance report, released this week by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Only one country spends more per student than the U.S. and that is Luxembourg, according to the report’s data. Why is it that college in America is so expensive? Charles Clotfelter, a Duke professor and Center faculty fellow explains in The Atlantic, “There is such a thing as wasteful competition.”

The Atlantic »

Racial Wealth Inequality Overlooked as Cause of Urban Unrest, Study Says

William "Sandy" Darity September 10, 2018

More than 50 years ago, riots tore through many U.S. cities, prompting national scrutiny of the root causes. Yet a half-century later, says new research, a key contributor to the social upheaval of the 1960s remains under-explored: racial wealth inequality. Among the authors of the new study, Center faculty fellow William “Sandy” Darity Jr., explains, “[Previous] inquires…have looked exclusively at income and earnings – and have ignored wealth…But wealth deprivation seems to have played an important role in producing urban uprisings in black and Latino communities. Los Angeles provides a powerful illustration.”

Duke Sanford School of Public Policy »

New federal proposals are already hurting immigrant children — long-term costs could be worse

Anna Gassman-Pines. Duke University September 7, 2018

In recent days, many immigrant parents have called local health providers demanding to be dropped from federal nutrition programs in fear that accepting federal aid could keep them from getting a green card. This comes after news reports that the White House is potentially planning to deny legal status to immigrants who have relied on public benefits. In addition to the negative health effects that could result from such a policy change, Anna Gassman-Pines writes in The Hill about an equally concerning effect of parental extreme stress and the harm that family stress can have on children’s health and development.


The Hill »

NC Schools Train Staff on How to Support Children Who’ve Experienced Trauma

Katie Rosanbalm September 6, 2018

It’s been almost a year since the NC Resilience and Learning Project kicked off its pilot program at three NC public elementary and middle schools. The Project, facilitated under the research and evaluation of CCFP’s Katie Rosanbalm, works with high poverty schools to help ensure academic success and improve social and emotional wellbeing of children impacted by trauma. In reflecting on the pilot year, the team at the Public School Forum, the Trauma and Learning Policy Institute, and Rosanbalm, have come away with an understanding that staff are eager to learn about and better support students who’ve experienced trauma, that leadership at the school and district levels are critical to the success for the project, and that the culture change process is one that takes time and commitment. In year two, the Project will expand into eight districts and 17 schools.

Education NC »

How Much Do Charter Schools Cost Districts?

Helen "Sunny" Ladd, Duke University August 22, 2018

As charter school enrollment grows, researchers disagree on the extent of financial impact and who’s to blame. Duke University researchers concluded in their study of NC communities that as a result of charter school growth, the local districts had between $300 and $700 less to spend on each remaining student at district-operated schools. Yet researchers at the Center for Reinventing Public Education argue the financial challenges have less to do with charter schools and more to do with rigid structures that prevent districts from reducing costs as students leave. Helen “Sunny” Ladd, one of the Duke researchers and CCFP faculty fellow, concedes that assessing school district finances can be subjective but still defends their study’s overall finding that charter school growth results in a “large and negative fiscal impact” on the districts evaluated.


The Educated Reporter »