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 »
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 »
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 »
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 »
In a new audio documentary called,”Changing Class: Are colleges helping Americans move up?” APM Reports producers interview Charles Clotfelter, professor of public policy at Duke and Center faculty fellow, about new research that suggests the chances for low-income students in America to move up through higher education are shrinking. “Nobody set out to do this. Nobody said, ‘Let’s make colleges more unequal…But in fact, that’s exactly what happened,” explains Clotfelter, on how the rise of income inequality in the U.S. has effected the growing inequality of today’s colleges.APM Reports »
North Carolina is becoming increasingly well known for producing high-quality education research. In part, due to the fact that the state has kept track of things like student test scores, teacher demographics, and school accountability data since the 90’s. It also is one of the few states where researchers can get student data (that has been anonymized) from a third party, in this case the North Carolina Education Research Data Center that operates out of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy. In North Carolina, local researchers realized the importance of tracking students and schools over time, according to Clara Muschkin, faculty director of the data center.Chalkbeat »
New research from Duke, UNC, and other universities shows that genes can affect social mobility through education, career advancement, and wealth. In a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers, including Dan Belsky, Terrie Moffitt, and Avshalom Caspi of Duke University, confirmed a genetic “score” predicted how far people went in school, how far they advanced in their careers and how much wealth they accumulated. Belsky, lead author of the study, explained in the News & Observer, “[This work] could change the debate around inequality and promote the idea that achieving success in life depends on a lot of things, many of which are beyond your control.”News & Observer »
Scott Huettel, professor of Psychology and Neuroscience at Duke and Center faculty fellow, explains in the New York Times how physical space can be tied to memory. “We have memories and associations that are connected to all of those things that make houses so heavily connected to ourselves,” he said. When it comes to buying or selling a home, Huettel says it’s impossible to try to turn that experience into a cold, emotionless, and solely financial transaction. He urges buyers and sellers to feel their feelings, but to also focus on the benefits of a new thing.New York Times »
The battle to stop the spread of firearms continues, with the latest development coming from Tuesday’s court ruling that blocked the release of controversial blueprints for 3D-printed guns. The availability of 3D-printed guns has many gun policy experts concerned, including Center Faculty Fellow Phil Cook. In Vox, Cook shares his prediction that they’ll be very attractive to criminals. “Over the longer term, if this form of manufacturing becomes cheap enough, it may become a major source of supply for street gangs and other criminals.”Vox »
In a new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, researchers Phil Cook of Duke University and Anthony Braga of Northeastern University find that larger-caliber firearms are much more likely to kill a shooting victim than smaller-caliber ones. The significance of this finding gets to the heart of the notion that ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people.’ But the JAMA study challenges that notion, connecting the probability of death to the lethality of the weapon used in a shooting. Cook–a Center faculty fellow–and Braga write that the finding “suggests that effective regulation of firearms could reduce the homicide rate.”Washington Post » MinnPost »