• Brown Center Chalkboard

    How Well Does College Pay? It Depends on Who You Ask

    office worker

    Until recently, little information was available on how individual college’s graduates fare in the labor market. In this post, Matt Chingos examines two organizations that are beginning to provide this information: PayScale and College Measures. Chingos finds that both sources have relative advantages and disadvantages but concludes that the federal government is better suited to provide accurate and comprehensive data.

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    A Flexner Report on Teacher Preparation

    Tom Kane argues that there is a need for dramatic change in the American teacher preparation system. According to Kane, new effective models of teacher training should employ selective admission standards, high quality training, and judicious placement practices based on future promise in teaching.

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    More Dubious Pre-K Science

    Obama visits preschool

    The state pre-k program in Georgia is put forward by supporters of universal pre-k as a model for the nation. In this post, Russ Whitehurst analyzes three studies of that program's impact and concludes that there is no credible evidence of a positive effect on academic outcomes. 

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    Homework Horror Stories

    High school student does homework before showing livestock

    Tom Loveless illustrates how a recent study suggesting high school students receive an onerous amount of homework that is detrimental to their health is profoundly flawed as a gauge of the national homework load. 

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    Refinancing Outstanding Student Loans: Not as Progressive as it Seems

    Elizabeth Warren

    Concern over rising student loan debt continues to occupy the news, with Senator Elizabeth Warren recently announcing a plan to introduce legislation that would allow borrowers to refinance their existing loans at lower interest rates. In this post, Matt Chingos and Beth Akers demonstrate that Warren’s proposal will disproportionately benefit higher-income Americans. 

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    Do Public Pensions Provide Equal Pay for Equal Work?

    Demonstrators hold "equal pay day" bag

    Matthew Chingos  argues that defined-benefit pension systems often fail to provide equal compensation for equal work. Chingos simulates the retirement benefits of male and female teachers in Ohio, and finds that among teachers who retire at age 55, the average woman receives 85 cents in pension benefits for each dollar received by the average man, a total penalty of about $70,000. 

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    Why Do State and Local School Agencies Underinvest in Evidence?

    Superintendent in school

    Tom Kane argues that those who make education decisions should be responsible for evaluating those decisions.  In the U.S., that means state and local agencies, not the federal government.  He proposes four ways to encourage state and local leaders to increase their investments in evaluation research and to produce faster, cheaper results. 

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    Does Pre-k Work? It Depends How Picky You Are

    President Obama at Head Start

    Russ Whitehurst examines and rates the internal and external validity of those studies that have been most frequently cited as justification for universal pre-k. 

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    What Do We Know About Professional Development?

    A teacher teaches a class for professionals at Graduate School USA

    After examining the body of research on professional development (PD) in teaching, Tom Loveless concludes that we don’t yet know the specific attributes that make some teachers effective and others ineffective.  Until those qualities are defined and a scientifically sound body of research on how to develop them is amassed, Loveless believes that significantly improving teaching will remain an elusive goal.

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    Fair Trade Faculty: Should Policy Enforce a Living Wage for Adjuncts?

    Professor Christian Agunwamba writes on the board while teaching his "Fundamentals of Algebra" class, which is held from 11:45pm to 2:30am, at Bunker Hill Community College in Boston, Massachusetts (REUTERS/Brian Snyder).

    Beth Akers addresses the growing concern about post-secondary institutions' increasing reliance on adjunct faculty. Akers argues that the government should not distort the labor market with aggressive regulation, but should take steps to ensure that this market can work efficiently on its own by allowing students and their families to develop informed preferences about post-secondary labor practices.

     

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